Post By Flloyd
Opel GT EV restoration and conversion build thread
Hey guys! Just wanted to put my intro out there. I've been on this site here and there never posted much, but have always really enjoyed reading over all your threads and viewing all your beautiful cars.
It was Just after my father purchased his '76 Corvette in 1998 that I saw my first Opel GT in a movie we were watching. I've always loved small cars and I fell in love with the GTs because it was everything I loved about my dads vette in a smaller package and I have been a huge fan of the Opel GTs ever since and, so began the search for my dream car.
The first car I found literally had a tree growing out of the hood, so the search continued... I found many opels in junk yards with rusted out floors and/or large price tags over the years. Until finally my parents presented me with a 1973 yellow Opel GT on Christmas day in 2010. My dad was able to pick it up fairly cheap from a friend of a friend that was going thru a divorce and couldn't keep the car.
As you can see from the pics the car has clearly been wrecked in the front and needed body work, but I was fully prepared to dive into it 100% as soon as I had the cash. The car sat in storage for about a year until I found a craigslist add on October 30th 2011 for a running, driving, blue/primered 1973 GT that has had all the body work done and ready to paint, complete with new tires and the exclusive '73 wheels that I really like.
I bought this car and sold the yellow one soon after, saving myself tons of money in body work. I stripped the rest of the interior out to get it painted, but again money was an issue so there she sat stripped down with all her little parts in boxes waiting for new skin.
Last year I moved from Wichita, KS to Joplin, MO with my family to start a whole new chapter in life and about a month ago I noticed a neighbor of mine had a beautiful Red Opel GT in his garage. I stopped and talked shop with this man who was obviously very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Opels he mentioned this site a couple times when I talked about work I plan on doing to my car or parts I was looking for.
A couple days ago my '91 Honda that I have had for awhile as my everyday driver started having some problems. Im hoping this presents to me the perfect opportunity to finally pull my opel out of storage and put her all back together. The current plan is to sell the Honda as is and use that money to buy all the parts I need to put the GT back together without the new paint job. The only problem this presents is that when I finally have the money to paint the car I have to strip it all back down, but to me the extra effort is worth getting to finally drive my dream car after more then 15 years of waiting.
Today I visited my neighbor once again with my list of parts required to turn my '73 GT into my new everyday driver. This visit he provided me with his name, number and username and again mentioned this site and the friends hes made here. He seems very active on here so im sure many of you more active members know my new neighbor Donha. He has such a beautiful '69 Opel GT and he has been such a joy to talk Opels with.
I know this is really long and many of you might not read it because its so long, but if you do read it all then thank you so much for listening to my story. The way Donha talks and from what I've seen on here you guys all seem so very friendly and knowledgeable and I look forward to getting to know you all better and being a part of this online Opel family.
^^^ Posted back on 07-20-2014 in an introduction thread^^^
So after the long discussion on the above "Intro" thread about how to paint the car we landed on just a simple quick and easy Walmart rattle can job and it turned out great!
So we put it all back together...again... and started working towards getting it running and road worthy, but as always with a project car life happens and other things take priority. I fell in love and fathered a couple children in Joplin, MO and my parents moved on to Vegas, NV.
When I had the available time and money to spend on the car I worked on getting it running and with Tom Kings (tomking here on the forums) help eventually succeeded. I even got to drive it around the neighborhood a bit, but next came the wiring which very quickly got over my head. Even with a wiring diagram I couldn't figure out why the turn signals and headlights seemed to be reversed. I torn the headlight mechanisms apart several times and traced all the wires and almost just replaced the whole harness and rewired the whole car but eventually it got the best of me and I ran out of time and money for the project and ended up sending the car to my dad for him to work on it for me.
He had the car for about a year or so but also eventually ran out of time to work on it as well. So it sat in the hot Vegas sun and cooked and the more she sat hot and neglected the more our hard work got rolled back and ruined.
I have now moved back to Wichita, KS and gotten the car back from Vegas where I now have money and time and a 2 car garage to work with. Upon receiving the car back I started thinking about possible engine swaps for more fun and more power and after alot of research and careful consideration we came to the conclusion of an electric conversion.
From what I've been reading these cars are absolutely perfect for an EV conversion because of their small size, light weight, aerodynamics and plenty of space behind the seats for batteries after removing the spare tire and fuel tank. My original plan was to swap the standard transmission for an auto but now with the plans of converting to electric I will keep the manual tranny and attach it to the electric motor with an aluminum adapter plate and coupler. I have about 3 years of CNC programming and machining experience so I've considered making these 2 parts myself but I don't have access to a machine so I'm beginning to think it may be easier and faster to just throw some money at someone to have one shipped to me or machined for me.
I've picked out the motor:
Zivan NG1 Battery Charger
(not sure yet if ill do NG1 or NG3 also hoping to find one used for a much lower price.)
but not quite stead fast in these decisions always open to suggestions on better or cheaper options.
I've been working on the car on the weekends starting with stripping out all the things I wont need, Fuel tank, exhaust, radiator and the engine.
After everything is removed my plan is to power wash the whole car and after its all cleaned and stripped down to bare metal Im going to rattle can the engine bay and interior to a bright neon green over white primer and well be attempting to paint the cars exterior as best I can, with my new air compressor and paint gun from harbor freight, to the beautiful Synergy Green found on the newer Cameros. Over the last couple days Iv'e purchased an abrasive blasting hopper and 2 different media. I started with the soda and once I realized this was too soft to remove our rattle can primer and the factory blue I switched to an oxide black diamond media which is much more abrasive but still not removing the paint as well as I had hoped, Im wondering if its because my compressor is too small even tho the compressor is 1hp and the abrasive blaster says it requires 1hp.
My biggest roadblock currently is figuring out how to come up with an adapter plate and coupler and how to remove the thick cracked chunks of factory paint on the interior.
Again thanks for reading and following along with my build and any and all help is very greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Flloyd; 3 Hours Ago at 12:18 PM.
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