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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my Manta in August 2019 when I was 17 years old (18 now) for $3,500. I have dreamed of owning an Opel for about 4 years now (coming from a family of American muscle car lovers haha). I got a job for the sole purpose of being able to buy an Opel as soon as possible, and I knew I had to take a shot at this Manta when I saw it for sale.
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After trailering it home I obviously had to drive my first car around the neighborhood as soon as I got it, right? Cue a giant trail of smoke and dozens of backfires at 3 am... Uh oh. 馃槰

After a month or two of tinkering, praying that it was not something seriously wrong with the internals, we decided to bite the bullet and pull the engine out. Might I add it was showing 110, 110, 85, 110 psi - should have just gotten it over with earlier. Gil at Opel GT Source recommended we take the engine to Bell and Gaines in Modesto.

Bell and Gaines tore it down the day after we dropped it off and found remnants of the top compression ring just sitting on top of the mangled #3 piston. Most of the top rings from cylinders 1, 2, and 4 were just gone.
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The cylinder head had also been damaged by the ring remnants that had embedded themselves between the #3 piston and the head. It was all just a mess. It started to sound expensive... Of course, you can't be lucky enough to get a perfect car for $3,500. Something has to be wrong with it. 馃槀
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To cut to the chase, they hot tanked, acid-dipped, and bored out the block to 2.0 liters,
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Machined the 1969 head we already had to accept 2.0 valves,
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Balanced the crank,
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Got new high compression 2.0 pistons from OGTS,
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And started reassembly. (See next post)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
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(8 thousandths)

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Everything, and I mean everything is either new or has been gone through. Water pump, oil pump, timing chain, hydraulic lifters, hydraulic cam, rockers, distributor, flex plate, starter motor, alternator, OGTS shorty header, Weber 32/36 ... You name it, it's new. Yes, it's expensive... 馃槵 We learned the hard way that the electronic ignition kit does not work on my distributor - I believe it had to be an earlier serial number?

The engine was painted black, including the timing chain cover since the bare metal didn't come out clean enough to meet Bell and Gaines' standards. They masked and painted the water pump black as well.
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Everything else was assembled and it was ready to be run for the first time!
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I do have plans to polish the valve cover, but that's not a huge priority.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's a link to the first start!

And here's the last time they ran it after they tried testing with electronic ignition and went back to points: (Listen to how fast it revs around the 1:20 to 1:30 point!)
 

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Very nice. congrats on the new toy
 

RunOpel
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That's awesome :) thanks for the pictures and progress report. The fun has just begun for you :)
 

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Is your car a 4 speed std?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is your car a 4 speed std?
It's actually a 3 speed auto. I'm still on the fence whether or not I should convert to a 4 speed.
I already have a guy holding onto a 4 speed for me that I'll hopefully be picking up on the way home from the 50th anniversary Manta trip here in California. He says it's out of a 1.9L 1965 Kadett - does anyone happen to know if that transmission is any different?
 

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I'm not sure what the differences mite be but I've read 69 to 71 4-speeds do have some internal differences that effect parts interchangeability.

I would suggest converting to a 4speed for the major fun factor and more efficiency to getting your new found power to the ground. Many members have done it and didn鈥檛 regret the switch.

Good thing is used 4 speeds are plentiful and cheap. 50 -100$ + shipping is common.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not sure what the differences mite be but I've read 69 to 71 4-speeds do have some internal differences that effect parts interchangeability.

I would suggest covering to a 4speed for the major fun factor and more efficiency to getting your new found power to the ground.

Good thing is used 4 speeds are plentiful and cheap. 50 -100$ + shipping is common.
I'll be looking into it more to make sure it'll work in the Manta.
And yeah, I'm thinking of converting to a 4 speed mainly because it'll be more fun :) I'm driving a 98 Mustang GT with a 5 speed as my daily right now, and I hate driving my brother's 96 GT auto - his car is only fun because it's a Boss Shinoda with the sticker package and side exhaust, and the mufflers have rotted out so it's unbelievably loud haha. Manuals are just a blast.
I would still need to get a hold of the structural firewall piece for the clutch cable, the clutch assembly, flywheel, different driveshaft(?), and whatnot. I guess having the actual transmission is a good place to start lol
 

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There never were any CIH engines in Kadetts in -65, the only engine was a 1,0 liter ohv rated at 40 or 48hp DIN and the tranny was a miniscule four speed that wouldn't have lasted five minutes behind a 19S engine. And its bellhousing bolt pattern is totally different. The first CIH equipped Kadetts came for the model year -68 with 19S, 17S and 15S engines. The 17S was never sold in North America. All four speed CIH trannies are interchangeable but there are different speedo connections and reverse light switches.
 

Your Noble Friend ;-)
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1965 is obviously wrong, but if it is from a 1.9 Kadett it will fit fine. If I'm not mistaken, only the 1.9 GTs had a different linkage due to tight space in the tunnel.
Although, for going through all the trouble changing over to a manual, I strongly suggest you go to a 5-speed. Your choice of a Getrag 240 or anything else that has been used before (use the search).

Dieter
 

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Discussion Starter #14
1965 is obviously wrong, but if it is from a 1.9 Kadett it will fit fine. If I'm not mistaken, only the 1.9 GTs had a different linkage due to tight space in the tunnel.
Although, for going through all the trouble changing over to a manual, I strongly suggest you go to a 5-speed. Your choice of a Getrag 240 or anything else that has been used before (use the search).

Dieter
Yeah, I thought '65 1.9L didn't seem right. Hopefully soon I'll be getting more info and some pictures of it. He said he knows it will not fit in the GT, so I assume he is referring to it having a non-GT shift linkage.
I have thought about putting a 5 speed in, but Opel Getrags are hard to come by and the few I've seen were waaay too expensive for me.I have yet to look into a T5, but it seems that converting to an Opel 4 speed would be, in comparison, a lot more straight forward since manual transmission cars and parts are so abundant.
But this is all stuff for the future. I plan to drive it with an automatic for a while and convert it when I have the time and finally decide that I'm bored of the automatic :)
 

Detritus Maximus
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Just my opinion, but if the motor/trans is not in the car right now, I'd go ahead and swap in a 4speed. It's just way too easy, although I don't remember if there is any modification to the tunnel required.
Part of my reasoning is that with a fresh rebuilt upgraded motor, the old auto might not hold up so well.
 

Opel Rallier since 1977
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Just my opinion, but if the motor/trans is not in the car right now, I'd go ahead and swap in a 4speed. It's just way too easy, although I don't remember if there is any modification to the tunnel required.
Part of my reasoning is that with a fresh rebuilt upgraded motor, the old auto might not hold up so well.
Hmmmm.... a really good suggestion IMHO. These 4 speeds are not that expensive.

But, on the other hand swapping them in and out of a Manta/Ascona later is pretty darned easy. And one less thing to deal with at the moment.
 

Opel Rallier since 1977
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Hey D.... Ask the shop where they set the ignition timing. The '74's stock timing is pitifully retarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey D.... Ask the shop where they set the ignition timing. The '74's stock timing is pitifully retarded.
Will do. I'll try to ask them tomorrow
 

Opeler
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Nice job! That engine looks and sounds great. Good luck with the trans swap. Don't forget that in addition to the trans, you will need a flywheel, clutch assembly, clutch pedal, clutch cable and linkage.
 

Opeler
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Here's a link to the first start!

And here's the last time they ran it after they tried testing with electronic ignition and went back to points: (Listen to how fast it revs around the 1:20 to 1:30 point!)
What type of cam did you go with? That engine has fantastic throttle response! Good Work!
 
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