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Need Advice Driving Gt Xcountry (please)!!!

Changed the title so I could get someone to not only read this string, but give some much needed advice!!!

Still new to this site, but am beginning to get the hang of finding S---! out I want to know!!! Not bad for a 46 yr. old who is basically a self taught confuser user! Anyway here goes!

bought two Opel Gt's 2 yrs. ago neither has ever run since I got em! One has paper (1972) One doesn't (1970) couldn't sell them on ebay 2 times back to back, so what do I do: Buy one off the add board from this site of course!!!! I'm certifiably Opel insane at this point!!! Anyway, got an old friend in Houston I haven't seen since like 1989 and I call him & wie the money to drive and pay for this car if she seems good! We got the car 1972 Harvest Gold color (or pumkin) don't know what to call this butt ugly color the Opel came in!!! We have it in the shop for new Vbelts and R&R of the rear brake cylinders and will fly down and hopefully ( God Willing) drive here back 2,125 miles to California!!! She is a 1972 automatic, with Air/Cond. and a 1.9L engine.

Any advice from you fellow Opeler's out there as far as driving this gal 600-700 miles per. day after being stored for two yrs. & only started would be appreciated!!!
Getting the wheel cylinders sent from OGTS as we speak, going to have the fan belts replaced as it's in a shop as we speak! Also going to carry water ( have lived in the desert before) I have always admired this car from afar, saw my frist in 1969 when I was in 8th grade, never even ridden in the damn car yet!!! (I must be sick) Actually this is a way to satify my wife as the car was bought for her as it is an automatic (yeah right)! Anyway that's my story & I'm sticky too it!!! Regards, Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK

I've had to re-post this as my last post got 47 views and NO replys!!!
And this forum wouldn't let me change the title!!!

I bought a 1972 GT from Texas off this site, the car is being looked over by a mechanic, says looks good...needs rear brake cylinders, on their way as we speak! The car has set for at least two yrs. and has only been started and occaisonally driven, mechanic says it looks to have a new or rebuilt radiator!

We are going to fly to Houston and drive this car back to Northern California some 2,129 miles, we will be carrying extra water for sure!!! Any advice from you fellow Oplers would be appreciated on making this trip!!! Been told I've got a lot of guts doing this twice now, One from the German mechanic working on her!!!! What do you think???

Regards,
Rick
 

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Road trip

Well, it's a 30 year old car, and of course no matter how much a person or mechanic were to look it over, anything could happen. It's a little easier taking long trips with mine as I do all the work, and have had it for 20 years+. I know on mine what's good, bad or marginal. That being said the best I could offer is to also take oil along with that water as it may use or leak some, and a 4 quart oilpan doesn't have a huge reserve. The Mojave is a long stretch of nothing. I would make sure to have the number to Opel GT Source so that if anything were to happen, and you have to have it looked at along the way, at least you'd have parts available to you or the mechanic if needed. Also, on the Yahoo board I've heard of a list of owners signed up to help fellow Opelers in just such situations. I'm not on that board, so don't know how extensive or helpful that list of people may be, or if it truly came to be.
Best of luck.
BD
 

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Hi Rick. Sorry, but only Moderators can change thread titles. Which I did, but then merged them together.

There was a thread by a lady Opel owner a while ago that asked this question prior to her driving her GT from CA to AZ, so I will see if I can search for it and provide the link. There was also a good "what to do in a restoration" list that I copied from a members site and posted here last week. While a compete restoration is a bit much to complete prior to a cross country drive, it will give you some ideas of weak spots in Opels. And do you need lots of guts to drive an Opel cross country? No, but patience, a few spare parts, some mechanical aptitude and a bit of preparation should get you there. These Opels may be 30 years old, and as such tend to have pieces that are broken or will break. But they are also fairly easily repaired.

Stay tuned, I'll see what I can do to help you out...
 

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Things to pack on Xcontry trip

Rick,

Not only would I pack the H2O, Oil, but I would also pack some tools. Not all of your tools but the general ones; screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, socket set, duct tape, wire, electical tape.

I would also take some extra parts:
i.e. rotor, distributor, radiator hose (or 2), point, plugs, condesor, general any small part that can stop you in the middle of no were put would be easy to fix if you had an extra one available.

Good luck on the trip :)
 

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An old mechanic, who happened to be my dad, gave me some good advice. If you keep oil and water in an engine, it's hard to hurt it. I'd make sure that you don't have any coolant leaks and I'd change all hoses regardless of how they look. Drive the car far enough to make sure that it doesn't overheat before you leave on your trip. Also take a water pump with you. I changed one on a 1.1 kadett 6 miles south of the Mackinaw bridge in northern michigan on my way back from college one November. Boy was I glad I had one in the trunk. They can be bought from most auto parts stores for about $35.00; however, it usually takes a day or two to get. By the way, wheel cylinders are also available from places like Autozone, etc. You'd be surprised what is still available for Opels. Make sure the tires & brakes, and front end parts are in good condition and that the lights work. I'd also take a set of plugs, points & condenser along. Make sure the fan belt is good and bring an extra along. they're cheap and can be bought at any parts store. Check the oil often at first. 50 miles, 150 miles, 300 miles, etc. until you get an idea how much oil the car is using. Clutch cables will be difficult to acquire along the way, but in a pinch you could drive the car without one. start the car in gear, shift with the sycros and turn it off at every light. Not much fun, but it's been done before.
Good luck and let us know how you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the Great Advice and Links!!!

I was hoping for just what you all gave me!!! Sounds more positive than " Man you got some guts driving that thing accross country" You guys would Luv to hate the Romanian mechanic that has my car in his shop at Chris's Euro Cars in Houston! Heavy accent in his voice, owned a 1.1 GT years ago, thinks mine is in ok shape But " a piece of ****" He drive a Mercedes so everything to him is _hit! He did however give the Opel Corsa a thumbs up!!!
He rents one everytime he goes to Europe, "Drives the _ uck out of it and loads it down tryiong to break it" His exact words to me!!! I'm a disabled ex aircraft mechanic of 20yrs....So I personally Love Chris, even though I haven't met him as of yet!!! My friend who drove this car and bought it for me says this guy knows his stuff! I can beleive it from his attitude and being a former mech myself!!!

Thanks again guys!!! I bought the 72 GT with Air/cond Butt ugliest color they ever sold the Opel in (my opion)

Rick
 

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CIH oil capacity

Burst said:
Well, it's a 30 year old car, and of course no matter how much a person or mechanic were to look it over, anything could happen. It's a little easier taking long trips with mine as I do all the work, and have had it for 20 years+. I know on mine what's good, bad or marginal. That being said the best I could offer is to also take oil along with that water as it may use or leak some, and a 4 quart oilpan doesn't have a huge reserve. The Mojave is a long stretch of nothing. I would make sure to have the number to Opel GT Source so that if anything were to happen, and you have to have it looked at along the way, at least you'd have parts available to you or the mechanic if needed. Also, on the Yahoo board I've heard of a list of owners signed up to help fellow Opelers in just such situations. I'm not on that board, so don't know how extensive or helpful that list of people may be, or if it truly came to be.
Best of luck.
BD
It's not even that or did you modify your oil pan for larger capacity? Last time I checked, it only holds 3.25 quarts! :(

That said, I bought my '69 Kadett 1.9 Automatic in Seattle last year, flew up and drove it back through 7 states to Texas in early September and had only two minor problems along the way which I fixed well enough to get me back to Texas where I could do it right. That was a slightly crazy 61 year old driving a 35 year old Opel by himself through the mountains, high plains and desert in late summer, no less, for about 2700 miles!

GO FOR IT!! and good luck! :)
 

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Otto,
Good Point!
Got me. I always change the filter and buy 4 TOTAL quarts to do the change. I just brought up that point because in one of my trips to Las Vegas years ago from here at home, it was using a quart every 100 miles. I had to "use" 11 quarts total on that trip. Stopping every 100 miles to add a quart of oil, 10 stops total, and only had to stop 3 times for gas!
Was quite the trip. But other than that was running great and made the trip without any problems. Has been on that trip many times since the rebuild, and now am glad to say, uses virtually no oil. Also after having it 20 years and rebuilding the engine 3 times, almost leak free also. Nothing like practice to accomplish that!
:)
Brian
 

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Burst said:
Well, it's a 30 year old car, and of course no matter how much a person or mechanic were to look it over, anything could happen. It's a little easier taking long trips with mine as I do all the work, and have had it for 20 years+. I know on mine what's good, bad or marginal. That being said the best I could offer is to also take oil along with that water as it may use or leak some, and a 4 quart oilpan doesn't have a huge reserve. The Mojave is a long stretch of nothing. I would make sure to have the number to Opel GT Source so that if anything were to happen, and you have to have it looked at along the way, at least you'd have parts available to you or the mechanic if needed. Also, on the Yahoo board I've heard of a list of owners signed up to help fellow Opelers in just such situations. I'm not on that board, so don't know how extensive or helpful that list of people may be, or if it truly came to be.
Best of luck.
BD
The list came to be. Join at http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/classicopels/ It was done a year or so ago, but I can't remember the name of it. I can't remember who has the names and phone nos of the people involved either. A couple of people used it when they were moving cars across country. Damn "Old timers" is catching up with me. Or Flashback :confused:
 

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All good advice. And the Yahoo list is in a spreadsheet by one of the members, complete with addresses and phone numbers, I'm on that one. Once you get back in CA, OGTS is in the center of the state, OpelWasp is in Yuba City, there are members in the Bay area. You may wany to contact Gary, site admin, and see if he has the members list by zip code and you may be able to get assistance if needed that way. HTH.
 

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Good News - This Engine is Tough

Here's the good news. If it runs well for the 1st 100 miles, it's probably going to make it the whole way. Just don't push it hard. Especially in the heat.

These engines are pretty tough, so I wouldn't worry about the engine itself. The support systems are most likely where any problem will surface.

Take one of those universal cheap clear fuel filters in case your tank's crudded up.

Electrical seems to be the weak link.
Ignition Switch on the steering column - they fry, so be prepared to hot start your starter.
Headlamp circuit - there are two kinds of Opel GT; those that have fried the headlamp wires (as they pass from the engine compartment to the wheel well to the headlamp bucket), and those that will soon fry the wires.

Lift the rear compartment flap to the spare tire and sniff for fumes. There's a bunch of fuel vent lines, and fuel lines, that are 30 years old. These old plastic lines become pretty fragile. If you smell gas, replace them before your trip.

Take electrical tape. Besides the obvious use, it'll patch a radiator hose well enough to get you out of the desert.

Take an AAA Plus card. The "Plus" has 100 miles free tow before the per-milage charge kicks in.

Take a roll of heavy gage wire with four alligator clips. You can even run hot-start wires from the starter to the driver seat in case your starter switch frys (common in Opels). (This could be hard to explain if you're stopped by a highway patrolman - so have your paper work as well)
 

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Emergency list

To All;
The list that Jarrell (soybean) is referring to is called: O.P.E.L.
Opel
People
Emergency
List
I have not been doing my job of updating and asking for more volunteers, here of late, but, I need to get back on the balll
Gene
 

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put me on it gene
 

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Four years ago I drove my GT from Tucson to N. C. through Texas. I also was unsure of its ability for the long distance travel. I took spare water, oil, water pump, tools and jumper cables. I started slowly, around 55 MPH out of Tucson to see how it would do. Of course everyone was passing me like crazy. I didn't care because I was getting my belove GT to where I am living.

As the miles rolled on over the next day and I was in Texas I started increasing my speed as I knew how long the drive across Texas was. By the time I arrived in Raleigh NC I was driving the same speed as the rest of the traffic.

During the trip my headlight relay stopped working so I was limited to driving only during the day. This gave me a good reason to stop at night and get some sleep as I have been known to drive the trip straight through (36 hours of driving) in my regular car.

I had no other mishaps during the trip though the sitting position was not the greatest for me for long distance driving, legs straight forward, so I cramped up a lot. Getting out of the GT at rest stops was quite a sight as I just kind of rolled out of the car onto the ground and then stretched before getting up.

A doable trip if done cautiously and slowly at the start. Bring a good form of entertainment as there is none in west Texas. Have fun and keep us informed.

Mike
Opelphile and happy
 

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Old cast iron engines and old cars? I trust them more than any other vehicle that came out with a computer. Oil change, gas flush w/ new filter and flush the radiator. Smack the brakes a few times at 20 mph, if they hold, your good to go. The only problem I've ever had with them was road water getting in the dist. cap. Easy fix for that too (RTV).My 2c's :rolleyes:
 

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I drove a basically unknown GT from Prince Rupert BC to El Paso Tx and then back to Co. I had it loaded with parts for the trip, pretty much everything I could think of was stuffed in the nooks and crannys of the car. If you remove the steel from the back of the spare tire area you can put alot of things in that dead space. If you road trip like I do then whatever you brought won't fail. I didn't use a single part that I took along, it's murphy's law I guess. Just from experience I'd check out the wipers and thier linkage too. When it's raining isn't the time to find you have a problem. If it were me I would take my time and not use the lights at all until you have a chance to go through them. Might even go so far as removing the main power wire to the relay just to be extra sure.

One thing the parts were good for on that trip was ballast. We went through a flood in lower Oregon and while driving in deep water the nose was bouncing but the rear stayed on the ground.
 
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