Maine Manta project
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Thread: Maine Manta project

  1. #1
    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    Maine Manta project

    Now that she is here it is time to start planning and ordering parts. I've assumed responsibility for Sam's 73 Manta that he bought in 1974. It has 86k miles, original paint, and an interior that looks practically new...well... except for the headliner. The details of my plans are still in flux but the basic idea is to keep things generally stock in appearance while making reasonable improvements to the performance capabilities of the car.

    I was hoping to avoid major bodywork but I tend to be OCD about that and while the orig. paint is still good, there are plenty of dings and a few small dents. The trunk lid was also resprayed and the shade is off. So far I have found no rust. at all. But I haven't been under the car yet. The car came from Georgia. It may take me a while to decide so in the meantime I am going to start with the undercarriage. I'll be putting her up on blocks and starting to disassemble front and rear suspensions for cleaning/painting/and replacement of worn bushings etc.
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    Gary, BQS4, opelgtguy and 5 others like this.

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Sooooooo, you got Sam Mobley's car
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    Looks good.

    Where 'bouts in Maine?

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    yes, this was Sam Mobley's car. It is now with me here in the Portland Maine area. Strange to think it's been 31 years since I last owned an Opel.

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    I rolled one of the wheels that came with the car over next to my car in the garage. It's about the size of the rear brake disc Started looking for tires - looks like 13" has fallen out of favor.
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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Manta View Post
    I rolled one of the wheels that came with the car over next to my car in the garage. It's about the size of the rear brake disc Started looking for tires - looks like 13" has fallen out of favor.
    This has been discussed on the site here, a lot of people ran the 205/60R-13, but, they are all but, gone. The best you can do right now, and not run a race tire, is 185/70R-13. A lot of stores still carry that size.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BQS4 View Post
    This has been discussed on the site here, a lot of people ran the 205/60R-13, but, they are all but, gone. The best you can do right now, and not run a race tire, is 185/70R-13. A lot of stores still carry that size.
    I recently purchased a set of Kumho tires, 185/70 R13, from Tire Rack --SOLUS TA11

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    I recently purchased a set of Kumho tires, 185/70 R13, from Tire Rack --SOLUS TA11
    That's the size I had on my Manta back in the day. I've currently got three sets of 13" wheels and I am thinking of maybe selling one set to finance a set of 15". Conceivably that could give me a 13" stock set for vintage show, a 13" set for autocross, and a 15" set for just driving around. Not sure I am sold yet on the 15" appearance though. In some of the pics I have seen of 15's on the car the tires/wheels look ....wrong. They look too big for the car. Maybe those don't maintain the same overall diameter as the stock tire?

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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Manta View Post
    That's the size I had on my Manta back in the day. I've currently got three sets of 13" wheels and I am thinking of maybe selling one set to finance a set of 15". Conceivably that could give me a 13" stock set for vintage show, a 13" set for autocross, and a 15" set for just driving around. Not sure I am sold yet on the 15" appearance though. In some of the pics I have seen of 15's on the car the tires/wheels look ....wrong. They look too big for the car. Maybe those don't maintain the same overall diameter as the stock tire?
    165/80R13s (stock size) diameter are 23.4"
    185/70R13s are 23.2"
    205/50R15s are 23.1"
    215/50R15s are 23.5"

    It's not an overall diameter issue that doesn't look quite right, it's the differing sidewall height. IMO the stock size looks wrong by being too small, 185s are marginally better, 205s and 215s look great, and anything on 16" wheels is too much wheel. But everyone has their own opinions.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    The front shocks on the car are Konis and the rear are Bilsteins. I am trying to track down a set of front Bilstein shocks to replace the Konis that are tired. I found a part number from Bilstein european parts index : 24-627726 for the B6 sport shock. Does anyone know a source for these on this side of the Atlantic?

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    Opeler opelgtboy70's Avatar
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    I sent you a PM.

    Karl

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    Congrats on your Manta, looks great! Keep us apprised of your progress.
    Gene Mak

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Manta View Post
    I am going to start with the undercarriage. I'll be putting her up on blocks and starting to disassemble front and rear suspensions for cleaning/painting/and replacement of worn bushings etc.
    Pete;
    When you have the front end out, let me know, there's an upgrade that's well worth the effort. RallyBob came up with a gusset kit, for the front end, this, combined with poly bushings (if that's the way you're going) will do wonders for handling, even if you just make it a stock car. I explained this to Sam when I was looking over the car. I had this done to my 75 Sportwagon and wished I had done it sooner.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    Thanks for calling my attentions to this Gene. Is this what you are referring to? http://www.opelgt.com/forums/3a-fron...tml#post228733 Glad to hear there were no injuries

    If so, it looks like I'd need to find a welder to bring the parts to. Then again, I've been wanting to learn to weld... I will get under the car today and have a look at the area around the bushings to see if there are signs of stress / fractures.
    Last edited by Blue Manta; 11-06-2016 at 10:01 AM.

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genemak1 View Post
    Congrats on your Manta, looks great! Keep us apprised of your progress.
    Gene Mak
    Thanks Gene. Seeing your car at Larz Andersen eventually got me thinking seriously about getting an Opel again... after a few moments (days) daydreaming about the M1 and Gullwing I'll never be able to afford

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Manta View Post
    Thanks for calling my attentions to this Gene. Is this what you are referring to? http://www.opelgt.com/forums/3a-fron...tml#post228733 Glad to hear there were no injuries

    If so, it looks like I'd need to find a welder to bring the parts to. Then again, I've been wanting to learn to weld... I will get under the car today and have a look at the area around the bushings to see if there are signs of stress / fractures.
    Well, my situation aside, checking for the cracks and such is still a good idea, but, I was more referring to that having driven the various Opels, GTs, Mantas, Kadetts and such, The Manta/Ascona is a far better handling Opel than the GT, it's just that welding the gusset kit on not only takes care of the cracking issue, but, it takes the handling of the Manta/Ascona to a new level. RallyBob even has a way to replace the lower ball joints with Chrysler units, but, that does envolve a LOT of work. This is where you can see where Bob has done the work and how the kit goes on, about 1/2 way through this photo album of his.....
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/104985...57605108823143
    mschinelli3 and Blue Manta like this.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

  19. #17
    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BQS4 View Post
    WOW, just wow...

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BQS4 View Post
    Well, my situation aside, checking for the cracks and such is still a good idea, but, I was more referring to that having driven the various Opels, GTs, Mantas, Kadetts and such, The Manta/Ascona is a far better handling Opel than the GT, it's just that welding the gusset kit on not only takes care of the cracking issue, but, it takes the handling of the Manta/Ascona to a new level. RallyBob even has a way to replace the lower ball joints with Chrysler units, but, that does envolve a LOT of work. This is where you can see where Bob has done the work and how the kit goes on, about 1/2 way through this photo album of his.....
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/104985...57605108823143

    Some more pics near the end in this folder, showing another front-end buildup for a Manta I did.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjPqTgMH
    My Flickr photos.
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    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    A bit of a lull over the holidays but Santa did leave some presents for my Manta. German elves were late and missed the sleigh ride so their toys had to take the boat so arrived only today.
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    Opeler Blue Manta's Avatar
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    While waiting for suspension parts I decided to start working on the interior. Seats are out and will get new foam - as soon as I find someone who can do the work... The guy who was to do it called me back and said he was worried he would damage the original vinyl covers which are in very good shape. I'm going to ask the Owl's Head transportation museum who they recommend. Anyone in New England area have any recommendations?

    I bought from Gil at OGTS a replacement for my split shift boot but have to say I'm disappointed as it is plain rubber and not embossed material like the original.

    BTW, what are the plastic brackets on the passenger kick panel for?
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    Last edited by Blue Manta; 01-10-2017 at 10:10 PM.
    mschinelli3 likes this.

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