If you donít mind, I am going to answer this directly, and then "paste" it into the "Canadian Club" section of the www.OpelGT.com site. By the way, what part of Canada do you live?
First off, some of the parts that you need can be bought locally, especially if you happen to know what other car manufacturers used the same part you need. When you mention the name "Opel", most auto parts stores will just give you a blank stare. But if you get them to check their sources (and especially their old "paper" parts books, also look under "Buick" since some parts book call them "Buick Opel"), they will often find that they DO have a part number. Especially AutoValue (used to be "Bumper to Bumper" here in Calgary) and NAPA. DON'T bother with Canadian Tire, unless you know what other car uses the same part (for example, the 1970 to 1972 Mercury Capri 4-cylinder uses the same points and condenser, and older Volvos used the same alternator and regulator). Fortunately, the electrical (alternator, distributor, starter) is mostly Bosch (although GM snuck some Delco starters in during 1972 and 1973). The points also cross reference to the VW Beetle (similar era, before electronic ignition), which happens to be the cross reference for the "Pertronix" ignitor (an electronic module that nicely replaces the mechanical points and give the Opel the biggest improvement. After replacing the Solex carb with a Weber. More on that in a minute).
But don't bother asking at a Buick Dealership. They could seldom help, even back when they still sold the damn cars. Now, they would just stare at you. Even if you tell them that Opel is "GM of Germany", and that the Cadillac Catera (the "Caddy That Zigs") is an Opel Omega with nothing more than Cadillac emblems. But I digress...
The brake parts are pretty much all "ATE" (Alfred Teves), who also made brake components for BMW's and such. Many of the local auto parts suppliers can get you what you need (such as rotors and pads, master cylinder, caliper and wheel cylinder repair kits), if you are patient. And lucky. But be a discerning shopper. For example, rotors were a one week delivery from AutoValue, and only cost $24 CAD each. Which was HALF the price compared to an Opel supplier in the States. Same with an electronic voltage regulator. But brake flex hoses were TWICE as much locally as from Opel GT Source, even after shipping.
Opel specific parts (such as the distributor body itself, or a water pump, or suspension parts, or engine parts) often can ONLY be bought from an Opel supplier. My particular favourite is www.OpelGTSource.com (aka OGTS, tell Gil Wesson or Dennis Gardiner that I sent you. I might not be their biggest customer, but I must be in their top hundred). Patience is a bit of a virtue, but USPS Air can get to me in a week usually. Never more than two. Which why few Canadians use their Opels as Daily Drivers. There are also a couple of other suppliers (none in Canada; pity!) such as www.opeljunkyard.com (in fact, I just ordered an ignition key assembly for my 1975 Ascona SportWagon from David Ponder, the owner) and Opels Unlimited (www.opelsunl.com, also called "Opels Unreachable" because of Todd's odd customer service skills). More suppliers are listed on the OpelGT.com site (such as USA Opels, Jim Marchitto, http://justwebit.com/members/39011/ and Blitz Parts, John Grosh at http://home.messiah.edu/~jgrosh/Blitz%20Parts.htm). I may have forgotten one or two, so apologies to those I missed.
And there is also your local junk yard. I have scavenged two Opels at our local Pick Your Part in the past two years, and I know of at least three Opels that will eventually end up in a Calgary junk yard. Call around. If you happen to live in Ontario, there's a good chance that used parts are available with an hour or two drive. And the best choice? Another Opel owner, preferably nearby, who has what you need. Buy from them, trade with them, and ask favours of them. It's amazing how resourceful the Opel Community is. Get to know your fellow Opelers. Even in another country!
And last, but certainly not least, use eBay. I was a bit wary of it at first, but I have only been bitten once (of perhaps forty transactions), and I still got the price refunded (but not the shipping, which is often as much as the part itself!). But this requires EXTREME patience. Seldom will you find exactly what you need, when you need it. I have taken to "stocking up" on parts that I suspect that I will need "someday". And boy, does that TICK Myrna off, as spare Opel parts seem to get preference over things she thinks are necessary now. Such as a bedroom suite. Hey, it was good enough when we got married, what's THAT about? Twenty years, not withstanding!
So let's look at your list:
1) Shocks: Should be available locally. I got mine from AutoValue (Munro "Classic Edition" for the rear, stock item for the fronts). But what kind do you need? If you want performance shocks, talk to OGTS.
2) Brakes: Mostly available from your local supplier, except for the brake booster and complete master cylinder. But flex hoses are cheapest from OGTS (non OEM). Brake cable: either OGTS, or a used one from eBay or the used parts suppliers. Make sure you get the correct one (two types, ball end or stirrup). Drums? I havenít had to get a set yet, just had the old ones turned. But for this, I would try the used market before I bought new. Probably NOT available new from a local supplier, as they are Opel-specific. Sand blast and turn a used drum, and they are as good as new. Mine had 102,000 miles, and had never been turned until now.
3) Suspension bushings: DEFINITELY OGTS. But do you want OEM rubber bushings, or Polyurethane? There are advantages to both, disadvantages to both. Read all about it by searching on OGT.com. Or ask a question, and your curiosity is sure to be rewarded. But ask it in the correct forum heading, or the Moderator will have to punish you
4) Panhard rod: same as the e-brake cable. But why do you need a new one? Bushings are available. And bent rods can be straightened. And I might even have a spare. Let me know if you can't get one locally.
5) Rear sway bar: Either OGTS (but that requires you weld brackets on the differential, not my cup of tea) or Addco (http://www.addco.net/) which has simpler brackets. But also get a front bar. I like the OGTS front bar mounting, but whichever way you go, get a matched set. A very excellent improvement to the GT's handling, BTW. JM2CW.
6) Headers: sometimes seen on eBay, but beware that most have a reputation for fitting poorly, with not much improvement in performance. Spend the money on a bigger exhaust pipe/muffler/resonator (much discussed on OGT.com) or get a Sprint manifold. Or do both.
7) Ah, the Solex carb. Aka the "SlowEx". Piece of JUNK. Trash it NOW. Get a Weber. Either a 32/36 DGAV (or DGEV, or just a DGV; or a 38 DGAS; read all about it on OGT.com. Some folks get them from OGTS, but most either buy them used, or from one of the Weber suppliers (www.piercemanifolds.com/ or www.racetep.com )
Well, that's about all the words of wisdom from me tonight. Welcome to the Opel Community, and good luck!
Sent: March 28, 2004 6:41 AM
Subject: Opel GT
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I just aquired an Opel GT, 1971, with 40 K on it, quite excited about a resto. I was an apprentice mechanic at the GM dealership when the Opels were new so I am familiar with them mechanically and electrically, (Ijust retired from teaching high school auto shop 27 yrs in).
So here's the question, do you know of a good parts source here in Canada.
Some of what I need, shocks, suspension bushings, rear panhard rod, maybe I'd add a rear sway bar.
Brakes, friction materials, rotor, and drums, emerg cable.
The history of the car....owned by the guy for 25 plus years....he bought it from a kid who was trying to put a V8 in it....sat in dry storage so NO rust, although some dents.
I have the original engine, ready to be rebuilt.
Thinking about headers, different carb, (vaguely recall problems with stock?)
Interior....carpet set, head liner, rear parcel shelf needed but I think I'll have no problem.