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Time for another "What's your experience" thread.

What strange fixes or mods did the Previous Owner of Your Opel do?

One that jumps out to me: When I bought my '72 wagon, The PO said the engine had been rebuilt by "the most reputable rebuilder" in NJ.
While troubleshooting why it momentarily lost oil pressure twice, I pulled the rocker arms off. What I found was the rebuilder had substituted three lifters with ones that were designed for an overhead valve engine. They had the oil hole in the cap to lube the rocker through the pushrod and the Opel rockers ended up with a bump on the end from rubbing over the hole and hung up on the lifter, the oil blew out through the lifter and the engine made all kinds of noises when the oil pressure dropped.

Glad I was not on the highway when it happened!

What's yours?
 

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The PO of my gt had used black rtv for the seal on the gas gauge sensor area and put too much this resulted a collection of rubber pieces that would float in the tank and would ocassionaly clog the line.... I def got stranded on the highway more than once because of it :banghead:
 

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I bought my first Opel, a '70 GT in upstate NY. The the car was stripped down and freshly repainted and the bumpers and lenses were off the car. Seats were just sitting inside. I towed the whole mess home and started to put it back together. The drivers side had two seat bolts ripped through the metal. Dang. So I went to work on the tail lights. Three were OK, one was wrong. I realized that the bracket from the inside that the tail light screws into had been removed at some point and welded back on...upside down! Luckily he was not much of a welder and a little quick work with my Dremel cut off tool and I had it removed. I used rivets to reattach it. Got the job done, and once the tail light was in, you couldn't see the rivets.
 

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I got the predecessor to Willit? a 71 GT, from a Mercedes Benz dealer. I just wanted the car and was not at all cognizant of how things worked on it. Found out after I got it home, the headlights were in the open position and kept that way with sheetmetal screws. This was many years before the internet so no help was readily available. I found out then how the headlights worked. With some loose titanium sheet metal I made some new rotating arms for the buckets, and got it working the way they should. Those were the days. :banghead:
 

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Our v8 Opel project was purchased as a rescue from a junk yard. It was a drag car back in the 70's. When we were disassembling it for sandblasting, we found that the area in the back under the carpeted shelf had been poured full of Concrete :eek: (and of course all the builders' names were inscribed). Evidentally, the car was too light to hook up the rear tires to the asphalt. And, yes, the concrete is still there since we couldn't figure out how to remove it.

Vickie

Interesting side note, we took the car to a cruise in a couple of weeks ago and were talking to a guy who said he built a drag Opel back in the 70's.. Turns out he was the one who poured in the concrete! (small world)
 

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Opeler
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Probably not the PO, just some "genius" auto repair guy

I bought my 74 Manta 5 years ago from a woman in CA who said her friend's mother had been the original owner. It's a decent, virtually rust free original car with only a bit over 68,000 miles when I bought it (not a bad buy for $2100 :)). Some of you have seen at at Carlisle, Springfield, or even Charlotte this year.

Here's a few oddities I found:

The battery had been replaced with a giant battery that required hammering a big dent in the wheel house to make it fit.

The battery box had a small rust hole that apparently caused a water leak. Sooo.... someone had drilled about six holes through the floorpan on the drivers side as a fix. At least the car didn't smell of mildew!

The clutch release bearing squealed and apparently someone thought they could fix it by cobbling in a very stiff coil spring pulling back on the clutch release lever, attached to the floorpan with a sheet metal screw and washers.

A "real genius" must have replaced the clutch at sometime (it was from the SF area). There was a ton of RTV between the trans and bell housing and the 2 bolts on the right side of the trans had been replaced with larger fasteners, probably because they were stripped. But the best part was they had cut the floorpan on both sides of the shifter opening toward the rear of the car, apparently so they could pull the transmission rearward to remove it. I guess they thought this was easier than just removing the e-clip and taking off the shifter..... Fortunately the sheet metal was just folded back (and they hadn't even bent it back forward!) so I was able to repair it with some aluminum, pop rivets, and RTV.

The good news is otherwise the car was pretty much unmolested. It cleaned up nice and I've put about 13,000 miles on it since I bought it.

Don
 

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My '70 GT has two electrical "fixes". I thought it interesting that the lights were left in the up position while it was stored (outside). I have since figured that it was probably always driven that way, because the lights are currently wired to turn on and off with the parking light switch. I think instead of adjusting the mechanism so both cans would lock into place, PO just forced them into position and wired them to a switch.
The other issue is that there is something (as of yet unknown) that continuously drains the battery. So, instead of testing to find it, it's currently wired with a kill switch on the side of the dash, right about where the driver's right knee touches the dash/console. So, whenever you get to your destination, you have to remember to flip the kill switch, or you'll probably be stuck there until you get a jump.
This is all so much fun!!!
 

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Not sure the PO did this, but my Manta was originally sold with aftermarket AC and the first owner for some reason wanted it removed according to paper work. So the dealer mechanic got rather lazy and didn't bother to replace the vent hoses to the outside dash vents or the short vent duct to the center vents. Consequently there was no fresh air to the vents. Gene came through with the missing center duct and I found the hose to hook up the outside dash vents.
The good thing is that the mechanic didn't bother to swap out the two groove crank pulley so I was able to install AC again.
 

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I bought a 72. I was doing some metal work on a hole on the passenger side rear. While I was sinking the welds (hammer and punch ) so I could repair the finish the whole section over the rear tire fell off, I mean a piece of bondo about 18" by 12" area had to be at least a gallons worth, about 3 inches thick at the deepest point. It had had an accident and instead of pulling metal out they just packed it full of bondo and painted.
 

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The PO of my old Manta Luxus had the air conditioning disconnected so he could save gasoline. The "mechanic" sliced and diced the freon lines. In the process, he cut the oil sender wire. He also had a larger oil fitler installed. The PO never noticed that his oil light didn't come on when he started his engine and the compressor wore a hole in the filter. He never knew he ran out of oil and siezed the engine. I picked up the car and a new engine for a total of $500.00 back in the early '80s. The poor car died from frame rot as it originated from CT.
 

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PO Nightmares

Bought a 72 Manta Rallye from a customer that was the original owner, he came in with a complaint about the engine making noise. When I pulled the valve cover the head was caked & baked with gunk, I call him and ask how ofter the oil had been changed. His reply was, "oh I have never changed it, I just check it and if it needs more I pour in some. The car had 51,000 miles and had never had an oil change or a new filter and he wanted to sell it rather than get fixed because it didn't last as long as he though it should.
 

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Hey! I think I owned all of your cars originally because I recognize all of those funky patch jobs.

Worse one I ever did was sell a Falcon with a wood screw jammed in catewompus because the bolt would strip out every time I cut new threads and I was afraid I was about to drill into the water jacket of the 1st cylinder.

Sold it for $125 to some punk who came back next month wanting a refund. Since he had reported the sale to the DMV (and had wanted the paperwork from me) to show $10 as the purchase price, I offered to take the car back for a full refund of $10. He was less than enthusiastic and threatened to impose physical penalties upon my person. Go figure.
 

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I went to change the brake disc's in my Manta, and discovered that when the job had been done previously by the PO - the retaining rings on the spindle had not been tighteded at all and the lock washer's werent even installed (MAJOR play in the disc just moving by hand) Glad the wheels didnt come off with my light driving foot and all....:ugh:
 

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Bought a 72 Manta Rallye from a customer that was the original owner, he came in with a complaint about the engine making noise. When I pulled the valve cover the head was caked & baked with gunk, I call him and ask how ofter the oil had been changed. His reply was, "oh I have never changed it, I just check it and if it needs more I pour in some. The car had 51,000 miles and had never had an oil change or a new filter and he wanted to sell it rather than get fixed because it didn't last as long as he though it should.
:eek:
 

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PO storys

My first GT had a new clutch according to the PO, well something didn't feel right with the stick, so I decided to check on the clutch install, and found the 4 bolts holding the transmission to the bell housing where stripped :banghead: , after I fix that problem I took the car for a test ride, while on the test ride the steering wheel came off in my hands during a turn :eek: lucky for me it went back on with a quick push and I completed the turn. My second GT only had the front brake retaining pin left out, by the way a GT will stop with only halve the brake pad touching the disk but thy do wear faster.
 

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When I test drove my '69 it wouldn't idle under 2500 rpms and every time you let out the clutch the drive train thumped badly. Of course, the thumping was caused by the worn out rubber donuts in the drive line and a couple of dollars of parts fixed it. As for the idle rpms, the kid said that the engine had been rebuilt by a Professional Race Shop in Seattle and it had a HOT cam in it with a Weber carb and header and that is why it wouldn't idle down. I looked at it and found that ALL of the throttle linkage bushings were missing and the linkage rods rocked back and forth whenever you touched the gas pedal. Never knew which way they were going to go. I built some bushings and installed it and the idle with that RACE cam went down to about 800 rpms smoothly. Took it back to the kid and he wasn't happy to see it running so good within a couple of days after he sold it!

Swiss :cool:
 

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Under the carpet in one Kadett I purchased the floor seemed oddly solid, straight, and smooth. One look under the car revealed the answer: The floor boards had started rusting out and instead of welding in a patch panel the PO cut two pieces of 3/4 plywood to the shape of the floor, one to fit inside and one to fit underneath from the bottom. He screwed the two pieces together through what was left of the steel floor, then applied a 1" wide and thick bead of caulk around th edges of the plywood on both sides.

It was pretty solid, and not a lot of road noise through it, but it seemed a little less than satisfactory to me.
 

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So Many to choose from....

As a salvage yard girl I'd have to say I've seen more than my fair share of creative repairs....But as far as on th GT's I'd have to say it would be a toss up between the 2 Previous owners.

P. O. #1 thought it would be a really clever idea to replace the 1.9 Opel engine with a vette motor, a Chevette that is. Why? you ask, I have no idea. Maybe because replacing the starter was so much fun. It did run but the hood wouldn't go back on.

Clever P. O. #2 thought it would be a great idea to try to flare out the GT and add a wing.....Chicken wire, body filler, and 1975 plymouth arrow taillights....need I say more?
 
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