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This is a 1978 Opel (Isuzu) 1.8l
 

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Most Opelers seem to have nothing but disdain for these cars.
I tend to like oddball vehicles and the Buick Opels by Isuzu certainly qualify.
(in a weird identity crisis sort of way) :p I never met anyone who
owned a German Opel who was also into the Japanese "Opels"
Jalopnik had an interesting story on these ill-fated cars, as well as GM's
mismanagement of Opel.
Cheers,
RR
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dare I ask did you find your next opel?
Hows the new home?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes sir I'm over by the UCF area. Sorry you had to let go of yours. looking at your opel was very inspiring, mine will never be that beautiful but the thought it could be makes me grin reaaaalllll big.
 
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Most Opelers seem to have nothing but disdain for these cars.
I was raised on the old adage,"If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Say Nothing at All."
That being said, I think I already said too much.

I tend to like oddball vehicles and the Buick Opels by Isuzu certainly qualify.
I too, am attracted to very rare & obscure vehicles.

I might look at an Isuzu Opel TWICE.
 

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It looks to be in great condition .....If it ran that would make it more appealing.... I too see the appeal of oddball cars.... this certainly qualifies. 4 doors makes it less appealing but a 78 in that condition is quite a find.
 

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Wow. Flashback

That story RR posted is probably the best description of the decades long cluster @#$% I have ever read regarding GM's relationship with Opel.

As some of you know, I was the Opel mechanic at a Buick Dealer in OKC during part of the 70s.

I remember the Isuzu cars well. While they are not Opels, they shared a lot of design elements, and in some cases, parts. Even though GM did not own Isuzu at the time, according to one writer, "...since 1971, it has had a close relationship with General Motors bordering on being subsidiary."

Most of the time, when a new model hit the show room, the dealer would purchase a boat load of specialty tools (usually made by Kent-Moore) to work on the vehicles. The dealer where I worked didn't even bother to purchase those tools. The first time I had to get into the rear axle on one of them, I needed a special splined tool to hold the pinion gear in place. Went to the tool room and got the one for the Opels, and it was a perfect fit.

I went ahead and posted pics, since they will be gone soon from CL (well, not too soon if he leaves the ad up until he gets $1900 for that car.... he will be lucky to get $190 for it).

This one has aftermarket A/C (I installed a boat load of those once the dealer figured out he could make an extra $75 per car by selling it with aftermarket A/C) as welll as aftermarket cruise. Factory cruise was not available.

Almost every one had the same two complaints when new. 1. Hesitates on accelleration from a stop; and 2. Oil leak from the front left side of the head where the timing cover mated with the block. But for those two things, I RARELY did any warranty work on a "Buick Opel by Isuzu." Quality control, if not materials, was, other than those two items, on par with Toyota and Honda at the time. Both turned out to be easy fixes.

Have some interesting stories about the fixes, but this thread is already too long, and it isn't likely anyone is interested, as I highly doubt anyone on this board has one of these, or ever will.
 

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That story RR posted is probably the best description of the decades long cluster @#$% I have ever read regarding GM's relationship with Opel.

As some of you know, I was the Opel mechanic at a Buick Dealer in OKC during part of the 70s.

I remember the Isuzu cars well. While they are not Opels, they shared a lot of design elements, and in some cases, parts. Even though GM did not own Isuzu at the time, according to one writer, "...since 1971, it has had a close relationship with General Motors bordering on being subsidiary."

Most of the time, when a new model hit the show room, the dealer would purchase a boat load of specialty tools (usually made by Kent-Moore) to work on the vehicles. The dealer where I worked didn't even bother to purchase those tools. The first time I had to get into the rear axle on one of them, I needed a special splined tool to hold the pinion gear in place. Went to the tool room and got the one for the Opels, and it was a perfect fit.

I went ahead and posted pics, since they will be gone soon from CL (well, not too soon if he leaves the ad up until he gets $1900 for that car.... he will be lucky to get $190 for it).

This one has aftermarket A/C (I installed a boat load of those once the dealer figured out he could make an extra $75 per car by selling it with aftermarket A/C) as welll as aftermarket cruise. Factory cruise was not available.

Almost every one had the same two complaints when new. 1. Hesitates on accelleration from a stop; and 2. Oil leak from the front left side of the head where the timing cover mated with the block. But for those two things, I RARELY did any warranty work on a "Buick Opel by Isuzu." Quality control, if not materials, was, other than those two items, on par with Toyota and Honda at the time. Both turned out to be easy fixes.

Have some interesting stories about the fixes, but this thread is already too long, and it isn't likely anyone is interested, as I highly doubt anyone on this board has one of these, or ever will.
Which rear axle type did they have, CIH or ohv ? And what ratio ?
 

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It has been 40 years. I think the parts that interchanged were the same as the bigger Opel rear axle assy.

Also believe the ratio was 3.55:1, but don't quote me on that.

Have no idea if the rear track was the same as the German 1900, Manta, etc.
 

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Wow. Flashback

That story RR posted is probably the best description of the decades long cluster @#$% I have ever read regarding GM's relationship with Opel.

As some of you know, I was the Opel mechanic at a Buick Dealer in OKC during part of the 70s.

I remember the Isuzu cars well. While they are not Opels, they shared a lot of design elements, and in some cases, parts. Even though GM did not own Isuzu at the time, according to one writer, "...since 1971, it has had a close relationship with General Motors bordering on being subsidiary."

Most of the time, when a new model hit the show room, the dealer would purchase a boat load of specialty tools (usually made by Kent-Moore) to work on the vehicles. The dealer where I worked didn't even bother to purchase those tools. The first time I had to get into the rear axle on one of them, I needed a special splined tool to hold the pinion gear in place. Went to the tool room and got the one for the Opels, and it was a perfect fit.

I went ahead and posted pics, since they will be gone soon from CL (well, not too soon if he leaves the ad up until he gets $1900 for that car.... he will be lucky to get $190 for it).

This one has aftermarket A/C (I installed a boat load of those once the dealer figured out he could make an extra $75 per car by selling it with aftermarket A/C) as welll as aftermarket cruise. Factory cruise was not available.

Almost every one had the same two complaints when new. 1. Hesitates on accelleration from a stop; and 2. Oil leak from the front left side of the head where the timing cover mated with the block. But for those two things, I RARELY did any warranty work on a "Buick Opel by Isuzu." Quality control, if not materials, was, other than those two items, on par with Toyota and Honda at the time. Both turned out to be easy fixes.

Have some interesting stories about the fixes, but this thread is already too long, and it isn't likely anyone is interested, as I highly doubt anyone on this board has one of these, or ever will.
Thanks for posting the pics. I had a 78 Buick Opel for my first car. By most accounts, it was a turd lol. No ac, slow as can be, I think I got it up to 90 mph once and felt like I was really pushing the limits,,, engine was screaming.

But, as bad as that car was in some regards, it was a 4 spd manual and rear wheel drive. In the wet, it would fishtail with incredible control. I even took it mudding a few times with a jeep friend. He would pull me out if I got stuck, we'd make a little circuit, and that car was an absolute hoot. It was so light , as long as you hit the puddle with a little speed, you'd get right thru it. I'm fortunate to have moved on to some cars with ac and a few more hp, but I'll always fondly remember that car.
 

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I just read that you have had these GM Buick-Opels in USA. And they were made by Isuzu? When 1.8 -litre engine would have been big here in northern part of Finland, you must have felt that they were not adequate.

This same model, german Opel Kadett was one of the most common cars here in seventies and far to the nineties wery often seen car on road. Usually they were 1.2 -litre cars with small rear axles. CIH-cars had much more robust transmissions than these. And better axles. But on the other hand, these small cars took about 6 litres per 100 km summertime and something over 7 litres wintertime. If taken proper care, engines went to 500 000 even with normal mineral oils (changed between 6000 km). Usually the care wasn't so good.

I have three of these. I plan to take one of them to use this year. I bought my first kadett in 1995. That time they were the ones to buy with small money. Usually these had problems in their distributors. They were gunged up, and engine oil couldnt get to upper bushes. After changing them contact breakers worked properly. Then usually rear axles were whining wery badly. Gear oil and rear axle oil were usually not changed at all. And that axle was a bugger to fix, it took long time to get set right. And probably hypoid-type gears caused whining, cause they sharpened edges of teeths. Also gearboxes were bugger to fix without parts and interesting ones to build up again. Cork-type front crankaxle seal and valve cover seal were usually leaking a bit. But, after all, even in old years these cars could be quite reliable if driving nicely. I have driven several hundred thousand km:s with these.

There were some some problems with acceleration from stop, if ignition was set too early. The markings in chain housing were for ignition. Most thought it was top death mark, and put distributor too early.
 

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Welcome to our newest Finnish member!

You know, if you don't post pictures, it ain't true, right? ;) :unsure::D

Dieter
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Welcome MaurinopelOHV
Thank you for the info and your story,
Look forward to your input and pics in the nearer future
 
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