Why do these fail? Bad planning and unrealistic goals. Same as most kit cars (80% never make it to the road).
It's easy to buy a car, a rebuildable engine and tranny. Then comes the money and hard work. He probably bought a core engine and tranny from a buddy for $200, found a cheap car/shell. By the time the engine is running he'll spend $2000 on it AT LEAST (nobody does this for a stock engine), then comes fixing the old slipping C-4. Find a rearend, have it narrowed ($450) and heli-arc on Opel brackets, plus, it probably needs reconditioned. Custom driveshaft, subframes and roll cage. After all this he has a chassis and engine with small front brakes.
Then the guy is missing all the Opel hardware and interior that everyone spends a lot of time and money collecting. And he's left the car outside all this time without glass and a hole in the hood. He probably bought a stripped car.
That car is about $8000 (or more) away from completion if you want a street/strip car. His collection of parts is terrible.
302 is the easiest V8 engine for a conversion. It fits between the fenders with shorty headers. SBC requires more cutting and cast iron exhausts (or even more cutting).
A lot of people have hybrid Opels. Those the finish the project did a remarkable job. This isn't like putting a bigger V8 Ford engine in a V8 Ford.
I kinda sorta agree, although I'm doing a V-6 mod on my 72 GT. I already have the engine, 96 Camaro, tranny, 92 S-10, and differential, ZF 3:08 posi-traction, a new hood from OGTS, plus new brake lines, hoses, new rear brake cylinders, emergency brake hardware, plus a lot of other stuff to bring the car up to semi-original and new. The idea behind the mod was not to go any faster, (The speedo indicated 150 MPH and slowly climbing), but get there quicker, (it took 3 1/2 miles). I've had the car over 12 years and already had 3 different rebuilt engines in it. It will look almost like any other GT on the road except for the new hood and mag wheels. It will take some minor sheetmetal trimming to get it all together. Time consuming? Yes, but a lot of fun. In my opinion a V-8 is overkill, you could probably smoke the tire(s) in the first 3 gears, all power and no go. Just my $.02
I agree that the reason most of these projects fail is unrealistic expectations. Everyone thinks it will be a short-term, relatively easy project (just put in the old v8 I have out back). It actually is a very long term project with lots of major modifications and $$$ required to make it come out right (ask me how I know this ). But I believe it can be done and done well.
It is a shame to see another GT that will end up in the scrap yard, but I have too many now and can't save another one.
But that's why I'm doing it !!! I want the overkill look and performance. It's a weekend car. It's my #1 hobby. It's takes away all the other daily grief.
351, AOD, Dana 44 axle. It'll take a long time. The engine cost a bundle and it's not done yet. All the components are matched down to the tire size. I try to focus in one area at a time. Get it done and move on. The car is still mostly intact. Tearing it down to nothing doesn't make sense and I can't store a fully disassembled car. Plus, I don't have to remember, find and document where every part went. I also have notebooks full of data (from internet, books, magazines, conversations). Research is very important, just like staying focused. Spending too much $$$ and time on an insignificant detail is a waste.
Well, I can't fault you there, if it's what you want to do. With the auto tranny it would be more tractiible. I've got a neighbor with SBC + auto trannies in a chopped 50 Mercury, 46 Ford 2-door sedan, and a 49 Chevy pickup. Neat cars, but they all came originally with a standard tranny, and again, my personal opinion, they should have T-5 or T-56 trannies in them. Oh well, that's what make the world go around. Different strokes for different folks. Hope you get yours done and it won't give you problems later down the road.
its your car, to please you. so if a sbc and 350th pleases you in a GT, then put a sbc and a 350th into a GT. quote from a local car guru "it's only origional once, and thats when it comes off the line. after that cut it, chop it, grind it, paint it, and drive it".
well my opinion is that if i were to do it i would go with an ls1 and traction control system with custom suspension on all corners
an aluminum block v8 that is controlled like that would be nice penty of power and speed
Everybody has to do it their own way. The more variety the more learned. I like different.
Traction control would be nice. But I can add it later. It another nickel in the pot. Good tires helps. The way an Opel is designed the torque tube is very important. Most hybrid people put in a single driveshaft and toss the tube. W/o ladder bars or something to keep the axle from rotating, the back tires will never grab.
An in-law cousin started a Buick V8 project. That's the early 60's aluminum V8. Very light. Plenty of power. Don't know how far he got. The new SBC V8 is light, compared to previous. But not like the new aluminum 4 bangers.
I believe they were 215 or 225 engines. My neighbor had two of them. He had one built up to 300 HP and the other to 350 hp to install in his homebuilt airplane. The FAA didn't like them even for an experimental aircraft powerplant. The cooling system was the problem. I personnaly like to have sleepers for cars, my other wheels are 71 Dodge van with a NASCAR 340, 426 hemi tranny and a 4:10 trac-lok. Right now it is my quickest set of wheels. For fun, a 75 monza with a 350/350 and 3:08 Auburn locker. The fastest indicated is the GT, and I hope to have it quicker. Any way mor epower to you getting the V-8 power to the ground.
215 is a lot more than 1.9L. His made 200 hp, nearly stock. It's hard make much power with those. The rocker arms and shafts are weak (over 5500 rpm). T&D upgrade to hardened shafts and roller rockers is expensive. Plus the valves are small but the intake port is fairly high. 300-350 HP is a lot of work and $$$.
Friend just sold his 400 HP 340 RT Challenger. Challengers don't look like sleepers, although most aren't fast. I had a modified V8 Monza. It ate 3 Saginaw 4 speeds. It could light up both back tires at 30 mph. I went to a 350 turbo, not as fun but much more reliable. I miss the car occasionally, but not changing the plugs. I bought the Monza because insurance on an Opel GT was double. They considered the GT a 2 seat sports car. The Monza was listed as an economy car. Ha.
I've got the notch back monza (TC) I like that body style better than the fastback (2+2). I only have trouble changing the #3 or 5 plug, I don't remember which. It takes about 15 minutes with a special bowtie wrench. The rest of it is pretty straight forward. In stock form a 340 usually beats a 350, but it's all in the drive train. This is a factory installed 350, there is so much additional bracing through out the body, to keep it from torque twisting, I think it weighs a couple of hundred pounds more than the stock 4 cylinder body. I'm putting about 50-75 lbs in the GT for engine and and tranny subframes for the same reason. I want the body to stay straight during hard acceleration. When I was running the engine on the test stand, it would torque over pretty good under mild acceleration. During the restoration, kinda sorta, I'm putting in new poly bushings all the way around and making sure things stay tight. New stiffer shocks, new brakes, etc. Where the real fun is going to be is the splicing the total computer system into the GT harness, or vice versa. It's coming, slow but sure. Have a really great weekend.
My V8 Monza was a factory V8, just not stock. I found out the hard way that the manual and auto bodies have different floor pans. They didn't have "the wrench" when I owned mine. I would jack up the front, take the motor mounts loose, put a block under the oil pan, lower the car. The engine stayed up where I could reach #3 and #5. Even side was easy.
I was going to do the same V6 project that you are. Then I got a FREE running 1991 5.0L. Then came a free 390. By this time POWER had sucked up my last reasoning brain cell. The 390 and 302 were lost in a fire at a friends place. I found out the NHRA would not allow a 390 in a GT because of the short wheel base (back flip and spin). Now I was over the edge and had collected parts for a Ford V8 installation. So, what's the biggest Ford engine NHRA will allow? 351. It's not a dedicated race car. I should have checked the rules book before starting.
My guess is the additional wiring harness will need to be as separate as possible from the stock GT. Old GT wiring isn't known for being high quality. Mine stinks. How are mounting a 43 psi fuel pump for the EFI? Electric fan? Good luck...
how do the insurance companys concider a car a "sports car" you can have a 350 in a corvette or a wagon, same engine but different body styling and the insurence is more than double the other. whats the difference with a geo metro and opel gt, almost the same size engine and car. and also how much does it cost to get it appraised for colision insurance? does anyone have colision on their gt?
well jordan insurance depends on ALOT of things. such as 2 door or 4 door, number of cylinders, what liter motor, manual or automatic, overall value of the vehicle, seatbelts, airbags, crash test ratings and many other things. you have a 350 stationwagon with 190 horse and a fullframe steel body. then you have a 350/350 horse corvette with a 6 speed, posi, 2 seater, 2 door, and worth 5 times as much. corvettes have 3 times the get-up-and-go with the same if not less safety features and cost is no comparason..........
GT-Freak, where in KC are you located. I'm in the Shawnee area.
I have full coverage insurance on my GT through State Farm. It has $10,000 replacement coverage for the Comp and Coll. I figure that would help me start to rebuild another one if this one was totaled. They did not rate it as a sports car.
Also, I have my 16 year-old son as the primary driver. With that, the 6 month premium is around $600 - $700. Not bad when you look a who they rated as the driver and the Comp and Coll.
I also have three other vehicles, house, and other insurance with State Farm, so there is that package deal.
Two to respond to, I'll do the last first. Insurance companies look at how the car would normally be driven. A station wagon or van would not be driven the same as a Corvette, that is aggressively. Therefore more chances for an accident. Same as the GT and a Geo. I've always had full coverage on my cars, but with fleet isurance, longevity, age, good driver discount and a few other perks, none of my wheels is more than $300 per year. For the GT wiring to the V-6, it's going to be pretty simple, use the GT wiring for the basic car, and engine gauges, I've already got the adapters for the sending units. Relays for the engine and computer stuff. I had to build a power panel to run the engine on the test stand, so it will be easy to integrate it into the wiring harness. I got a 100 psi fuel pump and filter. The engine fuel system dumps pressure at 50 psi back to the tank and the fuel pump dumps at 75 psi back to the tank. I'll probably mount the fuel pump and filter to the bottom of the floorpan next to the fuel line outlet hole. I plan on putting a sheet metal guard around them both. New steel lines going and coming back are also in the plans. The plastic return line will be used for the vapor cannister up front. The wrench I use on the plugs for the 350 is a curved 9/16, 5/8 box end. It looks like a bow tie, not that it came from GM. The manual says to raise the engine for plug and starter changes, I opted to do both without breaking loose the motor mounts. A little testy but do-able. The only competition I plan on doing with the GT is one trip to the local drag strip for time and speed. After that it will be just driving FUN!!
#1 - I live north of Worlds of Fun and the Ford plant.
#2 - Insurance rates change with the times and driving habits of the owners. GT's are cheap to insure now. I bought "da Monza" in April 1978 (I was 19). At that time Opel GT owners were typically young and lively, it had 2 seats, looked fast and was driven like MG and Triumphs. (Actually was faster than sad American 4 bangers.) Monza was a new American eco-car built off the Vega. Being relatively new, it was not affordable to most younger people and had a history of a small family hauler. That all changed. I saved my pennies and worked like a dog (about $2/hour), so could I pay cash, $2450 (1978 dollars) for a used V8 Monza with alloy wheels, really wide tires and 4 speed. Insurance on an Opel GT for me at that time was over $800/year. Now GT owners are typically older and more careful.
This post really changed from bashing bad V8 conversions.
Well let's get it back on track a little. Back in the late 60s a friend had an MG sprite with a 265 chevy V-8 in it. It would go like gangbusters as long as the axles held up. He was constantly replacing them. The only thing he did to the car was put in the engine, no changes to the driveline at all. Way back in high school, a classmate had a 40 Ford coupe with a 49 Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 in it, same scenario, didn't change anything but the engine. Kept breaking off the exhaust system from the torque. But he could make square turns by judicious application of the throttle. Having just the brute force of the engine and not compensating for that power and torque is asking for trouble. That's the secondary reason I went to the V-6 and 5-speed, not really massice amounts of brute power and torque, but nice and tractible 200 hp going to a ZF posi-traction. That, and primary reason, it fits without a lot of major sheetmetal work. It will also have a pretty stable suspension when I get done.