Charlies GT3
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Thread: Charlies GT3

  1. #1
    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    Charlies GT3

    Well hi all and welcome all to my GT3 thread.
    Now that my GT1 is back on the road and GT2 has stalled due to the amount of work and budget required this is on hiatus but the budget is being worked on and I will get back to it. I have started to have thoughts on my yellow 1970 GT.

    Those thoughts have turned to building a mild track toy just for fun. Isn't that where it always starts? Leading on from those who said on another thread "do something with your Opel every day, no matter how small" Most of what I do to my Opel seems to be on this forum and now with this thread I will document my ideas and actions for my GT3.

    With the engine being seized I thought about fitting a 2.0 turbo engine I have into it. The problem is not so much the engine installation but everything else that need to be done. It turns out it would be substantial and most likely never be completed. Amazingly common sense has kicked in and this idea has been shelved for now. Back to basics thinking lead me to the idea of a 1.6 ltr XE engine from the Opel family. It puts out about 110 European HP(there is a difference to US HP) An extra few HP can easily be got. It is a light car and stripping it will help. I can probably use the original gearbox and drive train. A small upgrade to the brakes and improve the suspension like adding anti roll bars and I should have a nice little racer for me to enjoy. By the way from research that 1.6 can be uprated to 220HP if the need arises and budget is available. Feel free to comment and I will have a few more pictures added in a couple of days.
    clarkey and MikeNotigan like this.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Member clarkey's Avatar
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    Like your plans. That will turn heads around Mondello. Not sure there is a RWD gearbox option for a X16XEL engine though. I heard block (smaller) will not mate to Getrag 5 Speed from 1.8.
    Last edited by clarkey; 03-22-2017 at 09:52 AM.
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    Senior Member nickincrete's Avatar
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    The 2 litre 2.0xe or red top engine is quite an easy and common, in europe, swap.

    Opel GT Source

    In fact you can buy all the bits for the conversion like engine mounts and exhaust manifolds, not cheap though.
    However you need to find a 5 speed getrag gearbox from a manta 1.8 , not gte or 2.0 and cut down the oe 1.9 propshaft. You also need a power cap that replaces the airbox with sfi written on it.
    I actually did this conversion myself and made the mounts and manifold, cut up an oe one.
    Its a fantastic conversion 150 hp as standard and you use the standard fuel injection and ecu. As its an opel engine it can use the opel cam cover plastic and not the vauxhall one so it looks great as well.
    The 2.0let or turbo c20xe has also been fitted but im not sure how they managed to get it in, they may have to cut the body work.

    I fitted drilled slotted discs from a honda and also volvo 4 pot breaks at the front and the breaking is transformed from this. Try using abs calipers as its easier to plumb in. Info should be on this site or google it.
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    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    My idea with going for the 1.6 is that they are so much more common, they are lighter and with a mild tune I don't need to go mad modifying the rest of the car. The 1.6 can be tuned to 245BHP for about £10,000. Mild tuning including intake and exhaust upgrade give about 130Bhp. I'm not ruling out a 2.0XE, I'm just thinking alternatives. I have the 240 gearbox and shortened prop-shaft so OK on those grounds. They are no good with the turbo engine I have. The turbo engine requires an R25/28 box from a 2.5/3.0 V6 Omega and with this the tunnel needs modification and then the rear axle will need serious upgrades too. Not where I want to be.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    Got a bit done to the GT3 today. I put it up on dollies to ease moving it about the shed when working on it and I pulled it out of the corner. I haven't seen this side on the car since I got it and parked it up

    I know I need to lighten the GT but I wasn't planning to do it this way. Fortunately it doesn't seem to have eaten into the sill or maybe I'm just too afraid to test it.

    I also took out the rubbish which had been stored/dumped inside and removed the seats to get a clear idea on the state of the floors.



    Pretty much what was expected. The passenger door also has a little rust but should be easily salvageable.
    I also noticed this sticker on the windscreen. Does it mean anything to anyone?


    Finally for now a plan is slowly coming together for the engine. I should have a 1.6 next week and in my research of fitting it to a getrag240 box I have been told it should fit but it was also suggested that it's not that hard to get a Mazda RX8 6 speed box to mate the 1.6XE with a simple adapter plate. Now if that doesn't make your mouth salivate. Only have to work out the propshaft, so a bit more research required and feel free to add your thoughts.
    The Scifi Guy and opelgtcr8z like this.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    The floor tear down

    Leading on from how to tackle your project thread I'm tackling this GT one piece at a time. Looking at all that needs to be done can quickly become overwhelming. With that in mind I'm concentrating on one floor at a time and the drivers side first. I have drilled out the seat rails but I'm not sure they are salvageable on either side and they are not that expensive new. I will need to see what seats I'm going to use first. How hard is it to get good race seats into a GT? It's quite tight.
    The floor is a patchwork on metal and looks like it has been repaired several times. Again I have started to drill out the spot welds along the inner chassis rail. The floor was badly rusted and I was a little concerned about the condition of the rail itself. Even though it was full of rust the rail is in remarkable condition. My only other concern is the inner sill but I haven't got that far just yet as I'm taking my time to separate the panels rather than just cut the hell out of everything. I'm in no rush.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

  9. #7
    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    The engine and gearbox

    While I haven't got the donor engine or Mazda gearbox yet I have been doing a bit of research.
    The Mazda gearbox is 800mm (31.5 inches) from bell-housing to prop-shaft making it considerably longer than an original 4 speed or a 240/5 speed and worse is that the gear stick is 740mm(29.1 inches). This means the gear stick will come to where the handbrake is on the tunnel or about 230mm (9 inches) further back. For the intend track use it is workable. I can mount the seat further back and bring the steering and pedals to compensate. I could move the stick 230mm (9 inches) forward. not as easy as on a 240 but in the right hands is doable. Next on the modification list is the prop-shaft. The Mazda Prop is carbon and not easily modified. Most companies won't touch it. Fortunately a Ford prop from a type 9 box has the same splines and diameter so should fit and has been used in other applications.. On from this the prop will be extremely short, so not sure if it will work. How short could I get away with having the prop and maybe move the engine and box forward to compensate. My chosen 1.6 is an XE short block but I don't think it will move forward 9 inches without ending up with some or near all of the engine in front of the front wheels.
    All this information has been gleaned from hours of reading and so far is none of my own work. The best thread I have read so far on the subject is this
    I haven't ruled out a 2.0XE and 240 box conversion as it would be easier but I have time and still like the idea of the 1.6 and alternative gearbox.
    Feel free to comment on my madness as the therapy will save me the cost of a shrink and that money saved can be put into my GT. Scifi Guy you know what I'm talking about.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Member clarkey's Avatar
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    A lot of ideas going on there. I like idea of 6 speed gearbox but I gotta say 2.0xe with 5 speed in such a light car would be a guided missile on the track. More straight forward too. If 1.6 mates to Getrag 5 speed I reckon that would be worth trying. I can say that fitting 5 speed with standard 1.9 has made a massive difference to driveability of my machine.

  11. #9
    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    Definitely have a lot of ideas but I have only posted a few of them. I will leave the rest closer to the time of implementation. The engine/gearbox is the main concern at the moment which I would prefer to have a plan in place once I have the rusted panels replaced.
    I have the drivers floor removed and the inner sill is not too bad so now I just have to make a template and weld that in before moving on to the next bit.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

  12. #10
    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    A couple of weekends ago I was asked to help out at an Autotest event(Gymkhana on your side of the Atlantic). I had never done so before but I is something I am considering in this car. Before all the contestants got out on track I sneaked out in my GT1, just because I could. In Ireland, neither spectators or pictures are encouraged and as such there was none of either. There were 4 courses laid out in an industrial estate which allowed for a decent speed and while out of concern for a 45 year old car I didn't push the GT, it did at least show me the potential the GT could have and it has spurred me on to have this done sooner rather than later. I have also now signed up to help out at other events, the next one being in May and June. I might try to sneak a few pictures from the next event.
    Back to the shed and I did get a little of the floor replaced but was not happy with it so I have decided to replace the floors with proper panels and will be ordering them soon. I am also not happy with the condition of the sills as after a little more investigation they are not in the best condition so I will be ordering the 3 parts to these too just in case I need them. I don't want to pull any more apart until I have the metal to replace them. The sills are not that dear to buy so are on the list.
    I have also acquired a front and rear sub-frame from a 1.8 Manta , it just has to be cut out of the pile of scrap that many years ago was a nice car. While I am not fully sure what I intend to do with it, the price will be right. At the very least I may be able to get the front and rear anti roll bars(Sway bars in American). Maybe I can use the brakes, maybe I can install the rear axle. I know it is wider and I'm not sure there would be any benefit anyway. Something I hadn't thought about until now is that I will need LSD and this may have some influence on what I do to the rear.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    I have been trying to follow my new mantra of doing a little on the GT every day but dam if work doesn't keep getting in the way.
    Anyway I have been thinking about my seized engine and decided to hook up a battery one more time but still didn't budge. As I had disconnected all my temporary wires something just didn't seem right so I connected a jumper lead to the engine earth instead of the battery earth and tried again. While the starter clicked as normal I also noticed the crank pulley twitch, so I tried it again and blow me but after a couple of more tries the engine turned a full revolution. I was as happy as a bishop in a brothel. So now I have to sort out some wiring, cooling, fuel supply and install a carb, a Weber 32/36 I have somewhere and see if this baby moves under it's own steam.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Senior Member nickincrete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie1966 View Post
    My idea with going for the 1.6 is that they are so much more common, they are lighter and with a mild tune I don't need to go mad modifying the rest of the car. The 1.6 can be tuned to 245BHP for about £10,000. Mild tuning including intake and exhaust upgrade give about 130Bhp. I'm not ruling out a 2.0XE, I'm just thinking alternatives. I have the 240 gearbox and shortened prop-shaft so OK on those grounds. They are no good with the turbo engine I have. The turbo engine requires an R25/28 box from a 2.5/3.0 V6 Omega and with this the tunnel needs modification and then the rear axle will need serious upgrades too. Not where I want to be.
    The c20let is the same block as the c20xe so the turbo red top will physically fit on to the 1.8 gearbox.
    Weather it will take the power is another matter.

    Regarding the rear end what i am proposing if you want it to take the power, that will also work with the rx8 gearbox give you a lsd and independant rear suspension is an early bmw 3 series rear end. It also has the correct pcd.

    This has been fully covered on this site.

    I have bought one and am slowly converting it to fit. It needs narrowing a couple of inches or if not you could use flares.
    Depends on the wheel size you want as well Im using 15 x 8 with 225 50 15 tyres on the rear.
    I will probably use a rx8 lsd, cheap at 50 pounds.
    To narrow it will need the half shafts modified and cut down, or if you can afford it new ones made. It may be easier to use a bmw lsd but they cost from over 300 pounds and are probably quite worn by now.

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    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    Hi Nick, thanks for your reply.

    With my driving the 1.8 gearbox wouldn't last the first launch so I would have to use something stronger. Options are the aforementioned Mazda RX8 box or the Opel R25 box from an Omega. The Omega R25 box requires tunnel modification in a GT, the Mazda, I don't yet know for sure but it does look like it will be an easier fit.
    I was thinking about an E30 rear end too but they are getting harder to source, at least here in Ireland. I have been thinking about alternatives and came up with a possible contender of a Subaru early 90s to 2007 Impreza and Forrester 4x4 rear end.
    https://goo.gl/images/kpKf2n
    I looks compact, has disk brakes, a better selection of rims and as standard comes with a Viscous coupling type LSD or in WRX form comes with a mechanical LSD. There are a number of cons too such as body work to make it fit including shock towers, I'm not sure of the width but probably wider than a GT. All theoretical at the moment.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie1966 View Post
    Hi Nick, thanks for your reply.

    With my driving the 1.8 gearbox wouldn't last the first launch so I would have to use something stronger. Options are the aforementioned Mazda RX8 box or the Opel R25 box from an Omega. The Omega R25 box requires tunnel modification in a GT, the Mazda, I don't yet know for sure but it does look like it will be an easier fit.
    I was thinking about an E30 rear end too but they are getting harder to source, at least here in Ireland. I have been thinking about alternatives and came up with a possible contender of a Subaru early 90s to 2007 Impreza and Forrester 4x4 rear end.
    https://goo.gl/images/kpKf2n
    I looks compact, has disk brakes, a better selection of rims and as standard comes with a Viscous coupling type LSD or in WRX form comes with a mechanical LSD. There are a number of cons too such as body work to make it fit including shock towers, I'm not sure of the width but probably wider than a GT. All theoretical at the moment.
    Standard Subaru rear diffs are R160....design dates back to the Datsun 510!

    Probably okay with 150 hp, but if you decide to go turbo they will break. Ask any Subaru owner who ups the stock HP and tries to launch hard. 160 mm ring gear is kinda small....
    charlie1966 likes this.
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  17. #15
    Opelitis afflicted My location charlie1966's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob.
    I assumed as the Impreza is turbocharged the rear end could handle the Opel 2.0LET engine. I hadn't considered that the Impreza power is going to 4 wheels in the equation.
    I will keep looking.
    RallyBob likes this.
    "You can't fix stupid, but stupid eventually fixes itself." -Issac T.

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    Senior Member nickincrete's Avatar
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    The mazda mx5 is pretty cheap and plentiful and also has the right pcd ie 4 x 100 and can be upgraded with the rx8 lsd diff. However it is still slightly wider than the Gt.
    charlie1966 likes this.

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