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OPEL-LESS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ya keith i hear ya, i appologize to all. in short just frustrated as this GT was supposed to be a "decent" car to drive in high school until i get my 51 packard done, and done the way i want it. now all of my time is going into this GT and leaving no money for another car. i know the Opel name is great and our cars are far better than most new cars, and cars of their day...they're not junk. i'd love to rebuild a 1.9 into a 2.0 or something but the only place to get parts is OGTS....100 bucks a piston, $18*.** camshafts and 125 dollar gasket sets, it is just so expensive for me to handle, so i'll agree i'm being cheap with my GT. i'm about to throw in the towel guys, this was just not the car the PO claimed it to be.
 

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While we need to support OGTS to help preserve the availability of parts for our cars in the future, I do understand the financial constraints we sometimes have. Parts are available elsewhere and sometimes at a much reduced price. Jared, if you need help trying to get an Opel motor together as cheaply as possible, I can help. Just let me know.

-Travis
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
(ring ring) "is travis there"? i need alot of help travis as the tape measure eliminates the vega motor...manifolds are on opposite side as the opel motor. i do need to bore and possably overszed bearings. what all is needed to bore my origional 1.9 to a 2.0(seems most economical) as from what i have read so far, i need chevy 265 pistons and rings which are widely available. i will then need a head gasket for a 2.0, can i just order a gasket set for a 2.0 or does it have to all be for a 1.9 and then a 2.0 head gasket? what has to be done with the wrist pins for the chevy pistons to fit the opel rods? is this all that needs to be done or am i missing something else rather than having it bored? do you have any of these gaskets or chevy pistons/rings? what about main and rod bearings?
 

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So, here is the chance to discuss what can be done to ECONOMICALLY rebuild an Opel CIH engine, for the average Opel'er. I can start with my experience.

My engine had 102,000 miles on it when I "rebuilt" it a few years ago. In spite of the high miles, it was in remarkably good condition, a testament to German engineering, and frequent oil changes.

Starting with the rotating parts, the cam was worn BADLY, which was what initiated the re-build. One of the intake lobes were virtually round, and two of the exhaust lobes were heading in the same direction. But the cam bearings were good, so a new (used) cam was all that was needed. A friend gave me his spare cam, so that was free.

The lifters had been tapping a bit, so a new set was bought. It was a while ago, but they were reasonably priced from a local parts supply store. Maybe $100. The valves were all serviceable, and I had a local machine shop grind them and the heads. I didn't know about hardened seats back then, but I don't plan on subjecting the engine to hard use. I also had them deck the block and the head to make sure that they were flat. I think they took about 0.005 inch (five thou) off each just to make sure they were flat. Including hot tanking the block and deglazing the cylinders, I think they charged me $150.

The crank was PERFECT. Hard to believe, but so were the main and rod bearings. I plastigaged them three times since I didn't believe it, but they were all under 2 thou clearance, and no ridges or marks on the journals. So I simply reused the crank and bearings as found.

The cylinders and pistons were also in spec, but the rings were worn. The same machine shop deglazed the cylinders, and the rings cost me $100 from a local supply store.

A complete gasket kit was another $150, but I have since bought kits off eBay for as little as $29.

I decided to leave the timing chain as found, but I replaced the tensioner. I think I paid $20 for that.

Your experience might vary depending on how worn your engine is, but I was able to get a pretty good engine for about $500. Not a race engine, but it will do nicely for me.
 

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Opeler
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On one end of the spectrum we have Rallyebob with his megahorsepower screamers while the other was just shown us by Keith and his sensibly rebuilt stocker (mostly). What I would like to see is a collection of ideas demonstrating how to get a few extra hp at a rock bottom cost. I have followed the threads on porting the intake and modifying the exhaust. Obviously the Weber is mandatory (I have that now). Now, for those of us who are about to pull our engines fior some serious work, please explain the possibilities and costs of maybe boring the cylinders slightly - especially with a worn (and whose isn't) engine - and replacement pistons to get the compression up a tad. My ultimate goal is to have a daily driver with enough get-up-and-go to push me back into the seat a little when I press on the gas. I'm willing to get dirty but I don't have a professional garage or a champagne budget so I am looking for about a 30 - 40 hp gain ending up at around 110 total horses. Possible on the cheap??

Bill and the FrankenOpel
I know, dear, but it's just a few more horses. . .
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well i was lucky to have a recently rebuilt motor out of a part car, but unfortunately somebody had a little too much fun in the red line and payed for it, and killed a Opel GT due to a broken rod, which also took out the crank and the rod jammed against the side of the block breaking part of the number 4 cylinder and crushed a oil journal in the block. all timing componets are virtually new with no wear and the cylinders had not the slightest ridge, but its junk. head has new valves, springs, cam and lifters which will also be going into the new motor i will end up having to rebuild. still going to do a valve job since we have a grinder just to be sure they will seat well. i will probably mill the head/block for re-assurance and it will have to be bored, i need a price on this yet. i have 3 sets of cranks and rods, and one set is forged but i'm not sure if it has to be surfaced or not. have 3 good sets of pistons and one set is flat tops, dont matter i have no use for them. i'm thinking i can get a rebuilt motor for a new set of pistons and rings, boring and milling, gasket set and some bearings. i already have new cap, rotor, plugs, wires, recently rebuilt SOLEX (changing to webber anyway) and i just got a new clutch kit less than 75 miles ago with a resurfaced flywheel. that was 125 kit and 25 surface job. how much will all my machining be?
 

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This thread forked off from another thread about Jared needing a motor. This is why I've included things that don't fall into a CIH rebuild.

1. Pick up a used 1.9l cheap. This is likely the cheapest option but has some risk as you won't know what you bought until it's installed unless you buy a running car or see it running first.

2. Buy a used 2.2l from OGTS. I believe they are going for about $1k. This really isn't a bad deal considering the extra torque you'll get. Note that you'll have to modify the 1.9l intake to make it fit.

3. 'Re-ring' your 1.9. As long as your cylinder walls and crank are in good shape this is a good inexpensive route. For gaskets go to Autozone. Yes they can get them and they're about $80. You can also get great deals on eBay if you're patient. Main bearings are roughly $55 at Autozone. I've never had to buy Opel rod bearings so I don't what the cheapest source is. Again, if you're patient, main and rod bearing have been selling on eBay for $10-$25. I've never bought opel rings so I don't know the best source but they shouldn't be too hard to track down.

4. Add Chevy 265 pistons to #3. I've not done this personally but I know others have. I've heard that the original design of the 265 pistons wasn't very strong and isn't best suited for high HP applications. I'd hope that modern aftermarket pistons wouldn't have this problem. They do have a larger diameter pin than the Opel so you'll need to have the rod opened up. You'll also need the 2.0l head gasket an oil pump gasket from OGTS.

To sum it up

cast pistons $75(set of 8)
main bearings $55
rod bearings $30 (estimate)
full gasket set $80
2.0l head gasket $33
oil pump gasket $2.40
265 rings $?
plus machine shop labor which veries greatly across the US and Canada....

This could be a really cheap rebuild if you shop around for an inexpensive machine shop. If you're aiming at a performance build I personally wouldn't go for the cheap shop but rather the good shop, but that's just me.

Lots of other parts are available as well if you do your research or just ask...

-Travis
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nope no performance rebuild here, just have to have it bored as all 3 of my good blocks are worn too far. its gonna be bone stock minus the bore and a weber carb *should* be coming from the PO sometime. i dont like the idea of opening the rods up, but if it has to be done theres nothing to do about it. wish your autozone was around here because the 4 local ones always say they dont list parts for a 1.9 litre, just a 1.1, i'll ask for james he is the only knowlegable person at any of them. i can get some machining done from my dads friend who is more than happy to help us out but one issue, he moved a few months ago and he dont have his shop completely wired up yet. i got about 300 bucks give or take twenty.... sounds like i need some more to button this project up....:eek:
 

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I am somewhat reluctant to post this, but since it's from a reputable company I figured I'd throw it out there. I just read a new product release from Swain Tech Coatings that could be interesting for low budget engine rebuilds. In the product release they call it 'Piston Saver'. It's basicly an extra thick skirt coating, up to .004" intended to fill the gap between piston and cylinder wall to avoid the need for a rebore and oversized pistons. I took a quick look at their web page and see no mention of it. But I do see 'Heavy skirt build up .002"-.004" $24 ' which is likely it. It's an interesting idea!

Any thoughts Bob(TGSI)?

-Travis
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so is that a coating that they put on your origional pistons? then you still have to get a set of bigger rings right?
 

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greensmurf20 said:
so is that a coating that they put on your origional pistons? then you still have to get a set of bigger rings right?
Yes, it's a coating for your original pistons. You shouldn't need bigger rings. You'd just remove slightly less material when setting the end gaps.

Jared, it seems odd that you'd have so many junk Opel motors. How much clearance were you finding between the pistons and cylinder walls. How out of round were the cylinders?

-Travis
 

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crazy opeler
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558 Posts
greensmurf20 said:
i was looking fo rthe parts to go to a 2.0, need the gaskets, pistons, rings, and wristpins, and bearings would be great too. .....

OGTS has all of these, thought the pistons are the $400 variety, I have been out of the opel loop for a while and never heard of using the 265 chevy pistons for a 2L but those can be found anywhere.
I would recomment getting your gaskets new from OGTS, it may be more expensive than autozone, or some online retailer but who knows if they will fit or not, and if there is anything wrong with your gasket set, OGTS will second day deliever the bad part for free, in fact one of mine was leaking, Gill sent me a brand new one free of charge, and heck it could have been me installing it wrong but he replaced it anyway. He also sells the gasket set for the 2.0L pistons as a set with the engine gaskets at no extra cost.
I got my bearings from the place that I had my engine rebuilt at, they got a better deal on them than I could get anywhere else. So check and see if your machine shop can give you a better deal.
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
one block is junk and HAS to be bored, no way around it, the other block we did already is in specs in the way of bore, but its a little out of specs for roundness, then what it would take to get it in specs for roundness, it would be out of specs for bore, the origional block to the car hasn't been touched yet but it has a ridge like the other 2 were. the book ihave says there are 3 different standard size bores, how do you tell which bore you are really supposed to have? i'm not sure of the exact numbers now i'd have to take the mic and check it all out again, dad is the one who does all the technical work such as checking bore sizes and stuff i dont have the ability to do(which isnt much on a old simple car like ours). so what is the minimum i can get buy and still have a decent engine in the departments of run well and reliability? bore which i guess has to be done, pistons, rings, wristpins, open up the rods, gasket set and a 2.0 head gasket right? i have a a little over 300 bucks to start off and i know thats not getting me that far. my dad wants me to put the car up for sale, i would have done it 2 months ago, but now i have 3 months of work into it, and honestly i'm attatched to the car, even though its not the best example of a GT. i already did wheel cylinders, flex hoses, booster and MC, 2 days straightening out electrical, changed the motor, new clutch kit with resurfaced flywheel and changed the transmission more times than i'd like to admit. i just dont want to give up now btu i dont have the money to finance a german rebuild right now. to be honest i have 350 bucks into the car if i take away the money that i have sold from opel parts, from the money i have actually put into the car including buying the car, and it sucks i can't put 400-500 bucks into it and be done. sorry somebody smack me , got off the subject a little bit, just like always. i know i should support OGTS, but right now i'm avoiding them as much as possable for the time being............*headache*lol
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
great news for once!!! i got sick of trying to find a way to get money and called up the boss that owes me money from last summers work, 1300 to be exact. i asked him if he could get me 300 bucks sometime soon, and he said no problem and that i'd have it by the end of the week. good thing he said no problem or i'd have told him off like that teacher yesterday....oops. i figure if he gives me 300, and the 300 that i already have, i should be able to get that car back together and have a little bit left over hopefully. i'll be ordering parts soon, and i'll keep everybody posted on how everything goes, maybe i can get the block taken in to get bored and possably get it milled along with one of the heads i have. i'll order the bearings, pistons, rings, and gasket set when i get the rest of my money, so i can get it all at one time. i need to check my cranks to see if they need to be turned anyway, so i can't order yet. anybody else think of anything i missed.....?
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
forgot to add, can somebody verify that the cylinders need to be bored to 3.750? and what size do the rods need to be opened up to, for the chevy wrist pins? thanks in advance for any help!!!
 

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Opeler
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you have PM
A word of advice if you bore out your current block, wait until you (or your machinist) has the pistons IN HAND before you decide what bore dimension to use... Stated dimensions are sometimes not what they're suppossed to be, or maybe some folks measure differently than others...
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yep sounds like a good idea, i dont need anymore engine, transmisson, or brake problems on this car, i've fixed it all twice over...lol. if it wants to kill me for electrical i'll swear and be ok with it and same with body, i know theres a hidden story behind the car about that drivers side rear quarter and the front passenger side fender. anybody know the size the rods have to be opened up to so they will accept the chevy wrist pins? i'd just like to get an idea so i can get a good estimate when i call the machine shop tomarrow. i'm at 300 dollars for parts, then i have to add the cost for machine work. we have the machinery here to do the valve job so i should have a little screamer when i'm done, compared to the worn out, busted ring motors that have been in it.....lol
 

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crazy opeler
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558 Posts
it shouldent matter what size the pins are opened up to, they will charge you the same price no matter what just like boring the block, if you want an aproximation check out bob's 2.4 build up, he used chevy 305 pistons.
 

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The chevy 265 pistons are a 3.75" (95.25mm). Stock Opel 2.0 pistons are 95mm (3.74") and stock 1.9 are 93mm (3.66). The Chevy pin diameter is .927 compared to .906 for the Opel. The 1.9 block would need to be bored .090 for the Chevy pistons.

My engine I just built has forged 265 pistons along with early forged Opel rods. All the info on building a 2.0 & a modified head can be found by searching either the posts here or on the classic opel site. Bob L has explained it many times in these posts. I built my engine from all the info he has provided and only had to email him once for a question.

Tom C
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks tom and chris.
sounds like i will have the same lower end you have, forged 265 pistons and early forged crank and rods. i dont like the idea of 090 over, doesn't that motor run a little warmer than the 1.9? i'll be looking harder if you say there is good info for this conversion. thanks guys, i think i'm gonna get somewhere finally!
 
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