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1971 Opel GT
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am looking for recommendations for shops in the area that are able to rebuild Opel engines and other more difficult jobs. Thanks.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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15,349 Posts
Charles Goin(GoinManta) in Virginia is who to send your engine to. I live near Camden in Jersey. DO NOT TAKE IT TO THE LOCAL RACE ENGINE BUILDER. They WILL fluck it up. Opel engines are NOT easy to rebuild. There are hidden oil passageways and holes that must be cleaned out and lined up. Little mini-freeze plugs in the valve oil gallery MUST be replaced with screw in pipe plugs.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Contact Charles Goin.
 

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I don't agree that they are difficult to rebuild. Any competent engine shop can get it done with the proper knowledge. OGTS is very helpful with this and is a good source for info when needed. As Gordon has mentioned oil gallery plugs in the head need to be removed the gallery cleaned, and threaded ones installed. Again not a big deal.....
 
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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Yes. But no normal rebuild shop would replace the freeze plugs with screw in pipe plugs, as RallyBob suggests. Evidence: Charlie's shop did not replace the freeze plugs in my head with screw in pipe plugs and, instead, put in new freeze plugs. 45 minutes after I started driving the new engine, two of the freeze plugs popped out. No oil to the lifters at cylinders 3+4. If that had happened on the highway it could have nuked the head.
Also, we have seen countless incidences here on this site where the oil holes in cam bearings were not lined up with the oil holes in the head. Nuked cam shaft and bearings were the result.
Also, on my latest engine, the shop installed one of the crankshaft's bearing caps backwards. They all look virtually identical. A new dude did the assembly. Charlie breaks the engine in on his test stand and at the 50 minute mark, just before he was going to wrap it up and give it to me, the engine seized and the flywheel sheared off the 6 mounting bolts and went flying across the room, almost decapitating him. All of this after the exact same machine shop had done 10 previous 2.0/2.2/2.4 engines for him. That shop is considered one of the best shops in the area and other shops send certain things to them.

So, NO, not "any" competent machine shop can always get it done with the proper knowledge. You need to be really anal about who you choose and be aware of a number of basic tips yourself so that you know to tell them to do those things. OGTS has better things to do than tell every single little thing that is unique about our engines to every Tom, Dick, and Dufus machine shop who calls them.
 

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Can Opeler
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3,486 Posts
Any many machine shop will do fine. Just provide necessary info to them. GT engines are dead simple other than a couple of quirks in the cylinder head.

I’ve never had an issue with anything before. But my engines are pretty tame. 15k miles on press on freeze plugs here too:)
 

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Super Moderator
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13,877 Posts
The timing covers and the cylinder heads are the two areas that need special attention. If the shop intends to bead-blast either component without 100% disassembly (every plug and nut and bolt removed), then RUN away. They will destroy your engine in minutes.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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2,278 Posts
I don't know of any shop that bead blasts parts in general unless it is a reman shop, but I supposd they do exist! That would indeed be a big problem if they did not then clean EVERY nook and cranny.

BTW, I have never replaced the head oil gallery aluminum plugs on any Opel engine. Never had one pop out, and I have flogged plenty of Opel miles. If the head is hot tanked with corrosive materials, then it is a problem. But I have my heads cold tanked, which does not damage the AL parts. This warning can be taken to any shop.

Honestly, all the problems mentioned above can and have happened in all sorts of engines. Seen 'em all happen on many engines. Certainly having the experience with Opel engines is a plus, but a GOOD shop will not makes mistakes like a reserved main caps... sweet Jesus, that is a bad one!
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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2,575 Posts
The issue with freeze plugs is that the CIH never actually had a one size fits all due to the blocks being made by different foundries over time. There were 2 or 3 different foundries.
 

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BTW, I have never replaced the head oil gallery aluminum plugs on any Opel engine. Never had one pop out, and I have flooed plenty of Opel miles
FWIW, I only saw this a few times in the 1980’s. But during the 1990’s I started seeing it more and more. Time catches up with us...

Clogged oil passages, and especially rocker studs, are a bigger problem than ever now. These heads aren’t 10 years old...they’re 45-50 years old now.

My thoughts are, if I am going to invest the time and energy into the rebuild/modification head....spending $600 on machine work, $600 on parts, and countless hours preparing it....I’m gonna be pretty pissed off if $4 worth of pipe plugs and a little time prevents a catastrophic failure but I didn’t bother doing it.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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2,278 Posts
Just sayin' what hasn't ever failed for me....Some new AL plugs are probably pretty easy. Just don't see any need for tapped holes and plugs; the pressures up in the head's oil gallery are low; that very restricted oil passage up the head makes it so.

I've been cleaning out the rocker studs since 1977....that is far more important IMHO.

But, hey, that does not solve the OP's need.

OP, what part of PA are you in?
 

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1971 Opel GT
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Near Harrisburg. I have had problems with the local small shop doing rebuilds so I don't mind sending the engine out of state to a shop that has good experience doing Opel engines. And I like the idea of a test stand run in. Thanks Scifi Guy.
 
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