74 Manta build
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Thread: 74 Manta build

  1. #1
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    74 Manta build

    Ok, I finally <finally> am gonna try to get my Manta going. Dave and others have inspired me to do a build-thread to track progress along the way, and will maybe help me stay on it for a while... I'll take any critiques, questions, comments, or advice as long as it's not too mean-spirited haha.

    I am going to do a Rally car, but unlike Dave's Ascona B I'm wanting to do a different class/ level of prep: I'm going to use as much Opel stuff as possible, and be as period-correct as I can for a mid-70'd Pro Rally car. This will keep my speed and expenses down. The goal is Historic-class, or vintage class or the like.


    The car is a 1974 Manta Luxus I guess- no GTE or Rallye unfortunately. The car is in pretty solid shape for the age. I bought it from the original owner who lives in my town and is a member of my local gearhead club. The car was used on many a TSD rally, won some smaller local Autocross titles, and was a DD for years. Bob, the original owner, was bought the car while he was in high school. He said it was real fun in the rain and claims he invented drifting in the late 70's but didn't have a name for it haha. He kept it and wanted to make it a resto project that he and his teen daughter could work on and that be her first car, but alas she couldn't imagine being seen in it and wanted the more girl-friendly Honder.... sad, but you all understand that story. So the poor Manta sat for 4+ years in the back yard. I pulled it from his back yard and assured him I would "do something fun with it" and I want to make good on that.

    The car is 97&#37; stock:

    orig sheet metal (all)
    org wheels
    org seat (gettin tossed)
    org motor
    org tranny
    org glass
    org spare
    org paint (that's not really a +)


    The bad news:

    car has, what I have read/been told is common, battery tray rust- not too bad but needs attention.

    car needs a cheapo paint job baaad.

    car needs lots of mounts, bushings, bearings, etc.

    headgasket blew at a December RallyCross.

    car needs shocks/springs.



    What has been done so far:

    - removed and cleaned out gas tank first- yuck. Tank was naaaasty.
    - removed and cleaned out/tanked the radiator.
    - Harold installed brakelines, front pads, front rotos, rear shoes, rear drums, etc. Brakes are good. Car stops fine...needs improvement but everything 100% stock and working well.
    - got Webber 32/36 and had that rebuilt (thanks again Harold)
    - new plugs
    - new points
    - cleaned out fuel pump- that could be better too... I might go electric.
    - ran as much new fuel and vent line as I could get to,
    - swapped Manta valve cover for cooler-looking GT valve cover.

    That's all I can think of for now- she needs lotsa work but has mega-potential to be a fun little car.
    Last edited by kwilford; 03-21-2008 at 12:11 AM.

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  3. #2
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    Car is "Signal?" Blue with blue interior as you can maybe see.

    It's sportin' some BMW 320 wheels (light!) and some Kumho R700 rally tires.






    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g1...0/DSC02271.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rally Manta View Post
    I'm wanting to do a different class/ level of prep: I'm going to use as much Opel stuff as possible, and be as period-correct as I can for a mid-70'd Pro Rally car. This will keep my speed and expenses down. The goal is Historic-class, or vintage class or the like.


    The bad news:

    1) car has, what I have read/been told is common, battery tray rust- not too bad but needs attention.

    2) headgasket blew at a December RallyCross.

    3) car needs shocks/springs.
    1) Charles Goin should be able to help you out with some pre-fabricated battery tray replacement steel

    2) You probably need to mill the head and skim the block deck to ensure flatness to help prevent future head gasket problems. So you probably should follow RallyBob's advice on the amount of head milling required to raise the compression up to the "rule book" allowed levels. And remember to search for the cam gear modification trick to put the cam timing back where it needs to be.... there are several of us who know how to do that, so just send a PM...

    3) RallyBob was kind enough a couple of years back to post specifications for some rally springs.... If you can't find the info.... I've got it tucked away somewhere.... These can be special ordered from Coil Spring Specialties -- individually calibrated coil springs for any suspension need. for a reasonable price..

    I'm sure Rallybob even has a list of alternate Brand/application of shocks to use that are immediately available......

    Good Luck and keep us posted!
    Last edited by Paul; 03-20-2008 at 01:04 PM. Reason: otto proofin'
    Paul

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    Opeler
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    Thank you for the interest Paul...

    immediate goal is tear the car apart and get a cage in so I can paint shell and start all the stuff that can wait till I'll on the other side of that hurdle.

    I asked before and I know it's all here, I just gotta go back and read more about T-bird shocks, spring-rates, upside-down Fox shocks, front member plating and strengthen-ing and all that again.

    I've got some pics from Monday night to post here in a minute and will have more tomorrow from where I can get to tonight after work.

    John
    http://www.teamtac.org/
    Facebook : TVR-SCCA (North Bama/ South Central TN) Rallycross
    Crow Mountain Hillclimb, RIP

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    Opeler
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    March 17th:

    Got the car to the shop after pulling my road-race (ITB) car out since it's somewhat done and got 2nd. last weekend

    start the "fun" part of dismantle-in and labeling schtuff. need to pull as much interior as possible to get ready for cage.

    here we go:


    hey- it's not dirt, it's RallyCross Patina hehe.
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    http://www.teamtac.org/
    Facebook : TVR-SCCA (North Bama/ South Central TN) Rallycross
    Crow Mountain Hillclimb, RIP

  8. #6
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    just realized I have 2 accounts here, whoops.

    John aka the Yellerhammer

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    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    manta

    more shots before tearing into it.
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    Oldpiler My location oppositelock's Avatar
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    John, good luck on the rally project and keep at it. I can't wait to see it finished. Things have kind of stalled out on my Ascona since racing season has started and I have been very busy working on a new Speed World Challenge team building new cars. Progress is still being made, though slowly, on the engine. Hopefully I'll have more time to work on it once the race cars are finished.

    My first rally car was a 1974 Manta Rallye that I built back in 1987 (see the pictures below.) If you have any questions let me know. For suspension on that car I used Volvo 140 station wagon springs cut down to the proper height. They worked very well for rally and they were practically free from the boneyard. Shocks were real DeCarbon rally shocks procured from Sweden. That was the key to the whole deal on the suspension. My advice is get some real rally shocks and not mess around reinventing the wheel trying to adapt something else on. Manta A's have been rallied for decades and there is plenty of proven stuff still available. My friend John who helped me get a lot of the parts for my Manta and Ascona can still get things like shocks and quick rack kits, etc.

    First two pics are of my Manta when I drove it in 1987. Second two are from 1989 after my friend Rick bought the car and crashed it big time in Canada and finally killed it.
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    Be warned, it makes a mess and a lot of smoke so have plenty of ventilation. Trust me, it works. I used to restore old British cars.

    - Dave Clark
    current Opel stable:
    1980 Ascona B rally car

  11. #9
    Tennessean Site Supporter My location hrcollinsjr's Avatar
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    I think I recognize the guy in the car. A VERY talented driver who honed his driving skills on crooked gravel roads in middle TN as a teenager. Out of modesty I won't mention his name.

    Thanks for the ride John!

    Harold






    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g1...0/DSC02271.jpg[/QUOTE]

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    Site Founder My location Gary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rally Manta View Post
    just realized I have 2 accounts here, whoops.

    John aka the Yellerhammer
    Which one would you prefer? I can merge them.
    My 24 Valve Ascona A wagon project blog.
    www.alt-opel.us
    @opelgary


  13. #11
    Tennessean Site Supporter My location hrcollinsjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Which one would you prefer? I can merge them.
    Anybody that would come up with Yellerhammer should stick with it! Anyone seen the commercials with the Yella Cowboy advertising YellaWood? I see a strong family resemblance.

    I'd run a Yellerhammer magnet on the door instead of a Rallycross #.

    Harold

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    opeletti75
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    rally manta

    i have a nice pair of kyb gas ajust shocks on e bay if you would like to take a look i hear they are hard to find

  15. #13
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Which one would you prefer? I can merge them.
    Gary, that's ok, don't worry about it- it's fine.

    * I can't express how shocked I was to have an "admin" type offer to help do something. wow, wow, wow.


    I should have an update of a little more progress after the weekend if things go well.

  16. #14
    Opelizer My location scrapman's Avatar
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    Optional Battery Fix

    Alternative suggestion to the typical batery tray rust problem. My battery has been moved to the trunk and sits in a Plastic marine battery box that has been bolted to the floor. The battery wires all are enclosed in a plastic cable wrap and runs inside the car all the way back. Never had any problems with it. The front tray area has been rebuilt and covered with fiberglass insulation. It stays clean and no more rust problems.

    Rick

  17. #15
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    Yes! I have moved the battery to the trunk on several cars and will likely do that on this one.

    I found out that old welding leads make wonderful bettery cables and (cheap) can be scarfed from your local welding shops if you are willing to wait till they throw some out.


    Got a pretty good amount done this weekend, as soon as I can (get to the office/USB cable) I'll post some pics and an update.

  18. #16
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    3-22/23-08


    Got several leaps in progress this weekend, (wife out of town) was at the shop almost all weekend!


    got the car further stripped down, banged on a couple dents, took the shell outside and pressure washed it inside and out (an outside lift and pressure washer are wonderful tools together)
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    Gordy likes this.

  19. #17
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    went to a friend's and blasted the original mags and straightened the lips out a bit- came out looking good. Did several other small pieces since I had use of the blaster.... A Blast cabinet is also a wonderful, wonderful thing.
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  20. #18
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    Easter Sunday: <no resurrection jokes please haha>


    Harold (Hcollinsjr) came down from TN and we rolled up the sleeves and got to the head gasket... I had removed as much as I could to get ready to pull the head, and the gasket itself didn't seem to be bad, but Harold noticed a key piece missing that would have caused the problem. it was the o-ring or something towards the front of the head that was MIA.

    The valves were pretty cruddy but cleaned up well, and new headgasket went on without too much trouble.
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  21. #19
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    Now for some fun stuff:

    RallyBob intake manifold and a proper rally header going on finally:

    Yes, the header was a pain, but we got it on and bolted up with the help of the 'ol B.F.H.

    Harold, for a cheeseburger, I'll tell you how Ron got it in there hahah.
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  22. #20
    Opeler Rally Manta's Avatar
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    More misc stuff from the weekend's thrashing:
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