The Banana Makeover
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Thread: The Banana Makeover

  1. #1
    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    The Banana Makeover

    I've been meaning to start a thread for several months on my 1970 GT restoration project and I'm finally getting around to it. Here are the basics:

    1970 Opel GT fairly all stock with only a few mods. I did about a 50% restore on this car about 18 years ago and it's due for a full makeover.
    The plan is:
    - complete body and paint makeover including the engine bay.
    - complete restoration of the bottom with all new undercoating
    - rebuild of all suspension
    - strip and powdercoat all suspension and small parts
    - engine is good and strong but stock 1.9. Only plan to re-gasket here and there and replace the oil seals as it leaks oil everywhere - no surprise there.
    - replace all oil seals in tranny and rear end as well
    - replace seats with custom upholstered Fiero seats
    - restore dash with dash cover
    - install electric power windows
    - upgrade interior trim and function as I can and needed
    - upgrade wheels and tires to 15" variety
    - Anything else I can think of along the way.

    I've made quite a bit of progress and will post details in separate posts here. As always I would be thrilled to get advice, ideas and encouragement along the way! Here's a old picture of the banana car.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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  3. #2
    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    I started the project over Christmas and completely disassembled the car down to the metal chassis. The only thing left was a few dash parts and the gas tank. I then built the wooden rotisserie similar to the one Mike DeMarsh posted (Thanks Mike!) but made some changes as I wanted all connection points to be on solid undercarriage points. Got it all built and attached, flipped the car up on the side and spent about an hour and a half powerwashing the entire bottom. The PO had obviously used a lot of spray can undercoating which came off pretty easy. I then scrubbed everything with degreaser and power washed even more. I bought this this car came from the SOCAL area when I was stationed out at Edwards AFB so it was essentially rust free and VERY clean. Only some surface rust here and there. Cleaned up all those areas, epoxy primed and then undercoated with two-part epoxy undercoating using a roller and brush. Here are some pics.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

  4. #3
    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    And here are some pics of the bathing! I was really lucky as we had a nice day in the mid 50s over the Christmas holiday.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    And some more pics of the under carriage cleanup.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    Here are pics of the new undercoating. The two-part epoxy stuff has great adhesion properties and is tough as nails afterwards. It is supposed to be "rubberized" so that it won't chip or peel. I was very happy with the results but it sure can make a mess on the floor.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Owner of EZ2Wire.com My location GoinManta's Avatar
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    Another great car I am looking forward to seeing.
    CURRENT
    '71 Opel Kadett 4 Door 36D (2.0 L w/ EFI & Auto) - "Mary Ann"
    '74 Opel Manta - "Barbara"
    '72 Opel GT - "Ginger"
    '05 Pontiac GTO

    In the past owned:
    '04 & 06 Pontiac GTO
    2 Bitters (#491/#439)
    '73 Commodore GS
    ATLAS ( 74 Manta w/ 2.8L LK5 )
    & many other Opels

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    Senior Member dallasmanta's Avatar
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    Nice work Mike, Keep up the good work ROn

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    Can you supply some specifics on the undercoat? Was it roll on or spray on? What brand, etc?

    Looks really good!

    Doug

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    2000 Post Club norbertone.gt371's Avatar
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    Nice siblings you have
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    Opeler
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    Under coat

    Yes do tell ,I see you used a roller looks good!Havnt played with a two part under coat yet

  13. #11
    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I did a bunch of research and pretty much came to the conclusion that the popular truck bed coatings were the same as undercoating as long as you used the two part epoxy rubberized stuff and NOT the single stage stuff which is not tough at all. I purchased the Rustoleum brand but you have to be sure to select the epoxy stuff as they do sell a lot of the single stage stuff. The kit comes in two cans obviously and you mix according to the instructions and let it sit for about 15 minutes before using. Goes on nicely with a roller and/or brush. Sets up rock hard in 24 hours.
    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    When I get my car done I wonder if it will look like this?
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    So I've been slowly stripping down the engine and nose areas for repaint and finally got that all done. Basic process was a LOT of wire brush on a drill to remove about 95% of the old paint and any surface rust here and there. I used a sand blaster (bucket and siphon style) to clean up the tight spaces I could not get with the wire brushes. This kept the sand blasting down to a minimum. Once all areas were as clean as I could get them I shot a coat of epoxy primer as I went along. This took about two weeks to get everything done. This weekend I was able to scuff down the entire nose and engine bay area, shoot another coat of epoxy primer, then base coat and clearcoat. I have to tell you it really feels good to get this area done. What a PITA it is to work around the engine and nose areas! Spraying all these areas through every area and trying not to get runs or rug against the wet areas is a real challenge. But now it's time to move to the outer body! Here are some pics of the primer all done.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

  16. #14
    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    And here are some pics of the finished paint job.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    A few weeks back I took all the suspension parts plus the engine cross member and a few other parts to the powder coater for beautification....lol. They were pretty grungy plus some old brake line leaks plays havoc on the paint. Got everything media blasted and powercoated a nice dark yellow. I cleaned and painted the rack and pinon. Installed all new inner/outer tie rods, ball joints, and bushings. Thanks OGTS! I opted for the stock rubber bushings as I've had poly in previously and its a harsh ride.

    I must agree with Gordo in that I will NEVER install OEM lower control arm bushings again. Our LCAs have to be the worst design in terms of maintenance and flimsiness. Trying to press these puppies in was extremely time consuming and damaging to these soft flimsy control arms. Lots of time on the press with blocks of all sizes trying to support these things without bending the heck out of the arms. Unfortunately I did bend the outer ears in several times during various techniques and then had to reverse the pressing process to re-straighten. I opted to install polys back into the uppers and stop at the OEM lowers. Here are a couple picks of the nice parts and the almost finished front suspension.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    LCA washer clearance - how much

    I have a question regarding the LCA bolts. So after I got the OEM metal bushings installed I notices the inner metal sleeve sticks out significantly more than the outer metal sleeve. The inner sleeve is completely seated against the inner race of the cast iron spring support so they can't go in any further. When I tighten the bolt the large metal washer obviously will tighten against the inner sleeve and lock it in place which is normal. The entire movement of the LCA is due to the rubber twisting between the inner and outer sleeves. But is there supposed to be this much gap between the outer washer and outer sleeve?
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    Last edited by V6Opel; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:24 AM. Reason: highlight the title
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    Got my headers back from getting new ceramic coating. These headers are probably 20 years old and still in great shape. Just needed a fresh cleaning and coating. The local shop did it for $140 plus tax. I think that was a pretty good deal. Cleaned and recoated inside and out.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    Happy Father's Day to ME!

    Yesterday was a monumental step forward in the resto project. We got the body painted all nice ans pretty! My friend is able to use the paint booth on the weekend and we spent most of Sat doing the final prep, sprayed the epoxy based primer sealer then basecoat and clearcoat. Color is Corvette Velocity Yellow. Went this morning to pick up the car and bring it home. Need to wait a few days, then begin polishing down the clearcoat. Here are a few pictures.
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

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    Opeler V6Opel's Avatar
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    Here are a few pics baking in the sun today. Nice tan!
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    Mike Pilkenton
    70 GT - Corvette Yellow
    72 GT - Roadster, 3.1L V6, T5
    2008 Opel GT (w/ SKY badges)

  22. #20
    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by V6Opel View Post
    I have a question regarding the LCA bolts. So after I got the OEM metal bushings installed I notices the inner metal sleeve sticks out significantly more than the outer metal sleeve. The inner sleeve is completely seated against the inner race of the cast iron spring support so they can't go in any further. When I tighten the bolt the large metal washer obviously will tighten against the inner sleeve and lock it in place which is normal. The entire movement of the LCA is due to the rubber twisting between the inner and outer sleeves. But is there supposed to be this much gap between the outer washer and outer sleeve?
    Aarrgghh! You copied me!

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!


    Yup, that's what my bushings look like, so I guess it normal.


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