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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time follower, first time poster--

I'm currently at the beginning of the 1.9 - 2.4 conversion based on Bob's article. I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience in making this conversion or if Bob has written any follow up articles concerning head modifications, carburetion, cam options, etc. to complete the switch.

Also, a lot of machine shops tend to be hesitant about welding up crankshafts for offset grinds. No one in San Diego was happy about doing it, but a place in LA (Castillo, I think) said they had a lot of experience with it, and they'd do it for $800. Is that reasonable or is it safe to try a local shop with limited experience? In other words, how typical are screw-ups here and what are the chances that the work won't hold up on a normally aspirated engine?

Any advice is greatly appreciated,
Anthony--'73 GT in San Diego
 

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Hey there! My on 1.9 to 2.4 conversion has been on hold for about a year now, but when I spoke with my local speed shop here in Shreveport, Louisiana, they quoted me about $450 - just for the weldup and offset grind. Seems like it was about $200 or so to balance the assembly, but I'd have to dig out my old notes to be sure.

I'm guessing that a lot of stuff is more expensive out on the west coast, but I wouldn't have thought machinework would have been. As for your question about using an inexperienced shop, I would have to say there is absolutely NO WAY I would put together a stroker of this nature and rely on the "hohum" expertise of the machinists to do this kind of grinding. I would certainly look for a shop familiar with this kind of work.

Just my 2 cents worth, your mileage may vary :)
 

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I have first hand experience with Castillo and Opel Cranks, so here's my advice if you want to go to a larger displacement: Call the Opel GT Source and buy a complete engine from him. You can get a remanufactured 2.2L for less than the cost of building a "healthy" 1.9L. And for a little more money you can get a 2.4L. You can also get used 2.2L and 2.4L engines. Call 1-800-OPELGTS to get the current price. (When I was there a couple of weeks ago there were a couple of 2.2L and one 2.4L engines in stock.

You won't get all the way to 2.7L, but what you will get will be a rebuilt engine for a lot less cost... and a lot less pain than a poorly re-worked crank.
 

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You know, I can't tell you how envious I am of you guys who can actually GO to Opel GT Source. Heck, I'd be happy if there were ANY shop in town where I could go and talk to someone about Opels. *sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I take it your experience with Castillo was not good?

I'd hate to go buy a complete engine considering I have one sitting on my patio and one running in my car, but maybe that's the way to go.

I guess I was thinking I could get crazy with the extra engine and rebuild the one currently in the car while I run the hek out of the other. I'm not talking all out race engine, but something fun.

I've already happened upon some 305 pistons, so taking the crankshaft out of the equation would still leave me with a 2.0L, but I would have to lengthen the con-rods to compensate for the added throw that's not there, right? Kind of back in the same boat.

Other than the machine work to the block and crank, what other major problems/expenses would I run into? Could I modify one of my 1.9 heads to work? That seems to be the other big issue.

Thanks for the help,
Anthony

Still not ruling out Opel GT Source for the real thing...
 

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On Castillo... for liability reasons... I'm sure that they do very good work and that my experience (with two different cranks) was an abnormal situation. Every one makes a mistake once in a while.

However, we now have all of the "pieces" of crank work done by those who have done the work well for me. (By pieces, I mean I taught a local machinist how to knife edge the cranks the way I want them, we go to another place to grind the cranks, and another to heat treat/nitrate, and so on.

The idea of an engine sitting and going to waste while buying another rubbs me the wrong way too. The problem is the ecconomics. Special rods, special crank work, the extra head work, etc. ends up costing more than a 2.2L

It can be done. Rally Bob has written a good "how to" using Chevy 3.75" bore pistons. (Hopefully you can find it, or someone can point you to it.

Other expenses?... As far as the "short block" goes, you will have to get some custom machining on the pistons (Rally Bob described that in his "how to".) You will also have to go to alternate rods (or have work done on the stock rods) because the Chevy piston pin is a diferent size. (The "how to" article may tell how to deal with the rods.)

The 1.9 head can be made to work with a 2.0L or a 2.2L. To get performance equal to the "store bought" 2.2L you will need to go to bigger valves along with the magic "rotorooter" in the ports. Our price for this kind of work starts at about $1000 and goes up.

If you go to the 2.2L there's good news and bad news for the head. The good news is that it already has "big valves" and the ports flow much better than the 1.9L. The bad news is that part of the way Opel got the ports to flow better was to relocate the intake ports... this means that you can't use the stock 1.9L intake manifold without modifying it... or go to the Fuel Injection system (good news is the FI, bad news is the $$$ for the FI.)

Another option is to go to a 2.0L head from the Opel GT Source. The intake valve on a stock 2.0L head is bigger than the 1.9L (42mm vs 40mm, but not as big as the 2.2.L). Also, the port on the 2.0L head was re-designed and flows better, but you can still use your stock 1.9L manifold... better yet, a 1.9L manifold modified ala Rally Bobs stuff posted somewhere on this site. Don't hold me to this, but I think the Opel GT Source gets about $625 for a remanufactured 2.0L head. (You can also buy a complet 2.0L engine ( remanufactured or used) from the Opel GT Source but I'm not sure of the prices.

One last thing to consider. If you just can't stand to throw away your spare engine, then just do a very good rebuild on the short block along with a good valve job on the head... then go with a turbocharger or a supercharger. If you don't try to get crazy with the HP, this can be done for about $3K-$4K total cost and get the power levels of a 2.2L. (If you want to get crazy with HP, then be prepared to sell your soul to the devil.)
 

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I love it when they talk dirty

I posted the two articles by Rally Bob (Intake porting and 1.9 to 2.4 conversion) the other day as attachements to posts entitled "Bob's Articles" on this site. As another poor guy with too little time on his hands, I too aspire to one day do some kind of performance modifications to my GT's. I would be greatly interested to hear about progress and lessons learned from whatever you decide to do.

Best of luck,
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, that's a lot to think about. It sounds like either way I go there will need to be a lot of planning.

If having two engines is fun, then maybe three's a charm. I'll try to keep people informed of my progress as I go--

Thanks
 

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Anthony dropped me an email asking about my 2.4 project, so I thought I would just reply here in case anyone else was curious, or in case they might have comments on something I could plan better ;)

I started working on my 1.9 to 2.4 project about 18 months ago when I lost the old engine to a rod knock brought on by poor oil pressure <Taps plays in the background...>. In her defense, it happened in the last 30 miles of a 700 mile trip from Shreveport to New Orleans and back.

I eagerly downloaded Bob's article on the conversion, and pestered him with many emails, and then began grinding on the Rods and Crank. My rods are a LOT lighter than they used to be, though I could not quite get down to the 522 grams he did (seems like I wound up around 570 grams). I was very proud of my handy work - I have several hours in on them, but once they are shotpeened they will as near perfect as I could ask for.

I did a lot of work on the crank to smooth out the lines and remove some material, but I know I still have more to do there.

I purchased 4 Hypereutectic, flat-top Sterling Pistons for my baby, which still need to be milled .030 and flycut for the valves. I'll be running 1.84/1.50 chevy valves in the head, along with a complete Cam Effects Roller Kit. I have started doing some portwork on a 1.9 head, but now I'm actually starting to nose aroud for someone who'll be able to set up the cylinder head for me, and given some of Bob's comments, I feel very interested in a worked 2.2 head.

Before, I was planning on going with a fully modified intake per Bob's article, but if I go with the 2.2 head, I make have something fabricated. Either way, I am still planning on running a 500cfm Holley 2bbl (#0-4412) on top of it - this carb is actually VERY popular with the oval track crowd, so they are easy to find used if you're in a pinch for $$, or if you want one set up "right" there are a dozen companies out there that sell "prepped" carbs spec'd to your application. For exhaust, I talked to the guys at my speed shop about finding someone to fab up a header that will run into 2.5" pipe (Bob assures me that a prepped engine will like all that pipe) and pass through some form of freeflow muffler (still doing research on exhaust, but Bob asserted several times to stay away from Flowmasters and Chambered mufflers - I had looked into Spintech Mufflers at one time, but they seem like they would have flow characteristics very similar to Flowmasters). I will definitely have the exhaust exit in the standard locations. :) I also plan on having the exhaust all ceramic-coated by Jet-Hot - unless there is a better process out there these days...

The reason that my project went on hold was cash-flow. I was the sole provider for a while while my fiancee was in nursing school. Now that she's out, most of that $$ problem has been dealt with.

Right now I'm concentrating on the body - which is currently in the drive, under a tarp, and stripped to the shell (I don't have a garage, unfortunately). I'm trying to either find some sheet metal to clean up my baby, or possibly find one that is more solid (not much luck so far). I'm about halfway through rebuilding the suspension (stripping, cleaning, rebuilding with Poly bushings). Once I'm finished with the suspension and get the car on four wheels again, it's headed to the body shop (hopefully by then I'll have the sheet metal I need, or a "new" body). Since I don't have a garage (and likely won't for another 18-24 months when we can manage to buy our own place), my plan is to have them do the shell up right (including the doors and painting the headlight buckets of course), install the glass with all new gaskets (I'm going with the black "euro-style", or GTJ, rubber) so that I have a watertight empty car to bring home on four wheels.

Once the body is back home, I'll progress with the sound/heat insulation and rewiring. I'm rewiring my baby with an 18 circuit PainlessWiring kit (#20102) - so it will be a custom job. I plan on installing plenty of modern conveniences, and I wanted a modern fuse block, so it just made more sense to me to go with the Painless kit than return to stock-ish Opel wiring.

Some time after that I'll be back over at the machine shop having the heart and soul of the beast finished off. I'll be mating the 2.4 to a getrag 5speed through an s-10 clutch assembly, and then lifting the powertrain up into place into the reborn beauty.

Then I plan on driving and driving and driving....

*sigh* so much to look forward too!

A few things I'm still looking for advice/help on:

a 2.2 head, and someone to do it up right once I get my roller kit.
an Instake Manifold for said head.
a GOOD header. Or, if I have one Fab'd, should I go 4 into 1 or tri-Y? Long tube or short?
a GOOD, long lasting muffler suggestion.
any suggestions for finding Fender sheet metal (I don't want flares)


Any help would be appreciated.

Pricing - While I was writing this, I opened up my notes. Some prices that I was quoted here in town were:

Bore & Hone Block: $68.00
Weld up, Offest Grind, & Straighten Crank: $475.00
Resize Rods, Small Ends: $68.00
Mill .030 off Pistons: $40.00
Balance Rotating Assembly: $95.00

Of course that's in Shreveport, LA - but I thought I'd mention it.
 

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Don't forget that the 2.2 and 2.4 heads have larger combustion chambers than the 1.9 heads. This will lower your compression ratio and you'll want to compensate for this.

-Travis
 

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Do you have any specs on Chamber Size on those 2.2/2.4 heads? I'm not especially worried, since I'm going to use the flat tops and the larger valves will bump the compression some (by effectively reducing the chamber size slightly) - but I was interested in plugging it into my spreadsheet and projecting compression.
 

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Also, don't forget to get the crank "heat treated" after all the welding and such. (heat treating may already be included it the machine shop is doing it right. After all that work it's also a good idea to have it nitrated (sp?)

You can get a 2.2 head from the Opel GT Source. If you want the ports worked on before Gill sends it to you, let him know and we'll do the work with the "roto-rooter".

Rally Bob can tell you how to modify the stock stuff to fit the 2.2 head... but better yet, go to Fuel Injection.

We'll fab the header for you, but it isn't cheap... $480 for a 4-2-1. The 4-2-1 is sort of like the Lenk header (that now goes for $$$$$) but with a few improvements like merge collectors.

Oh yea... I almost forgot... while you are getting the "small end" of the rods re-sized (changed to a different diameter), get the "big ends" re-sized too (re-sized here means "trued" to original roundness and diameter). You're new crank will thank you for it.
 

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Cool - good to know on the Head and Header situation. Thanks for the info - I'll certainly keep that in mind when I'm ready for the head! :D

I'm attracted to the driveability of Fuel Injection, but Holleys feel like home. I also do NOT want to cut the heater box up if I can avoid it. Are you referring to some kind of custom FI setup? Or the 2.2/2,4 FI ? (I dunno much about Opel Fuelies - forgive me if that is a stupid question). And would it tolerate an aggressive Roller Profile?

Thanks for the reminder on the "big end" resize - It's in my list of $$ quotes, i was just touching on the 2.4 Conversion Specific prices in that post, but it certainly is worth mentioning. I'll also double check with Kittler's AMS (my machinsts of choice) on the Heat Treating. I honestly don't remember if that even came up. As far as Nitriding goes, at least that seems to be the correct spelling, I was not familiar with it until you brought it up. I just got through doing some poking around (my goodness, ain't the Net grand!) and it certainly sounds worth pursuing! I'll have to check with Kittler's on that as well.

Thanks for the very useful info!

Heheheh... on a slightly off topic note, while I was searching for info on Nitrated Cranks, I stumbled across This Site, which makes me wish I still had one of my old Beetles... <evil grin>.
 

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If you go to a 2.2L head, then a 2.2 FI is a bolt on... well you will also need to do some wiring, and make some brackets to mount stuff to. However, it all fits nicely in an un-modified engine compartment. You don't need to cut the heater box. You will need to go to an electric fuel pump.

All in all the installation is easy... you can do it on a Saturday. If you decide to go this way, contact the Opel GT Source. They will have everything you need for the conversion.

After you've gone to FI, later on you can go really "high Zoot", with a Haltech programable engine management system. The advantage of the Haltech is that you can program it to handle just about anything you can do to the engine... up to and including a turbo or supercharger.
 

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Please be aware though that the 2.2 FI intake manifold will choke down the airflow of a stock 2.2 head by about 20%. The runners of the 2.2 FI intake are smaller than those of even the 1.9 FI. Better to adapt a 1.9 or 2.0 FI intake to fit the 2.2 head by cutting/welding the flange from the 2.2 intake to the 1.9/2.0 intake.

Bob
 

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Yea... what Rally Bob said. So here's the way to do it properly:

Get your 2.2L FI manifold; bolt it and the exhaust manifold/header on the head (more on the header in a minute); then cut off the intake manifold at the mounting flange... throw away the manifold (not the mounting flanges); Next (to do it right), get out the old "roto-rooter" and port match the remaining 2.2 FI mounting flanges;

Moving on, take the 1.9L/2.0L FI intake manifold and cut off the mounting flanges... throw away the mounting flanges. Next, take out your TIG welder and tack weld the 1.9/2.0 manifold to the 2.2L mounting flanges (mounting flanges still mounted on the head).

Now it's time to finish welding the intake. A problem is that the heat may warp the flanges as they are welded. So the best way is to completely weld the intake manifold with it still bolted to the head. (It will probably still warp a little bit, but not enough to cause air leaks if you use a good gasket.) So, the best way to completely weld all around the flanges is to usel a header flange plate (a flat steel plate cut out to take the place of the manifold/header). Then keeping everything bolted to the head, weld up the intake flanges.

After you complete welding, take out the "roto-rooter" again and clean up the inside of the runners where the flanges were welded on.

For those of you who don't have the "roto-rooter" or the TIG welder, send it to us and we'll do the work for you. (Contact us directly: email [email protected])

If this seems like a lot of work, you're correct. But this is the kind of stuff it takes to get every last bit of performance. Those REALLY serious about performance will do it. For the rest (and majority) going with the "bolt on" FI will still give you a performance improvement you will be pleased with.

Bob ... the other Bob
 

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The other option would be to cut down a 3.0l manifold. Just need to get one from the other side of the pond...

-Travis
 

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Hey guys, I just received some pricing information from Jet-Hot Coatings and thought I'd share it here in case anyone else might be interested in their services.

Here is the info I received via email:

It would run $165 to coat your header inside & out with our Sterling finish.
The 2.5" pipe would be done for $12 per foot. Mufflers are typically $70.
That price includes all necessary cleaning as well, unless they are chrome
or nickel plated. We'll need them here for about 5 days plus shipping time.
Return shipping would be $22-39.

I will send you our full information package to get you all the coating
benefits in greater detail. It will not turn colors like chrome or
stainless. Also it lowers under-hood temperatures by 40 degrees, keeps the
pipes 25% cooler and gets you 1-3% extra horsepower. Of course, it's highly
rust resistant as well - 140x better than paint. Because of that we expect
it to increase part life be 10x or more.

All parts receive a 3 year unlimited guarantee that covers chipping,
peeling, cracking, discoloration, rusting - anything. New parts also get a
lifetime rust through warranty as well.

Please ship your parts to:

Jet Hot Coatings
5602 Orchard Rd
Pascagoula MS 39581

Just be sure to include your name and return info so we know who they belong
to and specify the finish of your choice. As for billing, you can either
include a credit card number with the parts or you can call one in to the
phone number listed below.

Thanks

Todd Beiswenger
800-432-3379 x112


It was actually MUCH more reasonable than I expected. :D
 
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