Opel GT Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is what I've been having a problem with lately. The urge to go out and work on the Opel.

When I first bought the car, I was so gung-ho about the whole thing. Worked on it every single day and wanted to get it done as soon as possible. Then I ran into snags, like the need for a welder to fix rust spots, the need for replacement parts, the need for more money generally. So it sits on jackstands, waiting for me to work on it, but I never do. Something more important always comes up for me to spend my money on, and the Opel just becomes "That thing" in the garage.

The times I finally get the energy to go out there and work on it, I end up finding more and more problems everytime. The ant hill worth of work I started with has become a mountain of work and it's more than I can handle, or afford. And now on top of this, we might be moving and I may not have a garage to work on her anymore. This project may end up being another one of those "Can't finish, must part out" stories that happen much too often, and I really don't want it to be. I want to see this thing through to the end.

So for those who have restored a GT, what kept you going? How did you finally finish your project, despite all the outside forces that wanted you to quit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,344 Posts
Well, Dan, here's a question for you. Did you get to drive the car before you started this project? If not, a lot of inspiration to get it back on the road is not there. For me, it was knowing what the car would do and wanting to be able to do top end quicker, not to go faster. Of course I went through a long time to get where I am now, the total restoration, kinda, and the engine/tranny swap. The incentives for me was the "little victories", completing one phase or system, then going on to the next, seeing how it will all come together when it's done. The only time I wasn't working on the car or a piece of it, was when I was not here. Each item I took off the car was repaired or replaced if it was a suspect item. When I had a few pieces all ready, I would paint them. It doesn't take a whole lot of bucks to clean, and inspect, what really costs is the replacements or repairs. I could go on and on, but the thing is you got to want to get it back on the road. The fun is driving it after all the work is done. The feeling of accomplishment that you did it. HTH.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
Dan0myte said:
...what kept you going? How did you finally finish your project...
Finish?? :D

Hey Dan-
I don't know the whole status, but I feel I've been where you are. For myself, the interest level on a "hobby" car is relative to the burden it throws me when I don't need to be hobbying. If I can't move it 20ft within 15 minutes, then it is terminally "in the way"... and the rest of my life piles up around it... and it's trapped there as what it is -an immobile pile of useless crap.
I've always thought the detailed priority list idea was great... and admired those who could create and follow one! Personally, I'm a bit too manic... and my list just ends up stupid! So, I just pick one thing I think I want to accomplish, set a goal date... and force myself to dig in. If I overshoot my goal date, but still manage to keep the hobby "out of the way", I don't find myself resenting it.
Anyway- summer's here soon... is the rust all that important to fix this year? I think I'd make it roll again (out of the way)... and maybe more feasible to move it with me ('cause it's mobile). Then I'd make it run! (no longer useless crap). I think I'd feel better after completeing one of these! P.S.- my experience with parting out a car is it can take a lot of work and time! :eek: Yep- that was just my brain ticking. Good luck!
-Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,894 Posts
Dan, I know exactly how you feel. I bought my Red one in 89 and gutted it, started replacing door, window seals, etc, going to do it frame up. Then time, other things, came along and there she set.The next thing I knew, I had forgotten how I took it apart. I found the brown one, which was running, and then started slowly but surely to upgrade everything. As I worked on the brown one, memories came back and now I'm getting ready to start on the red one again. The moral of the story I guess, is just keep plugging away a little at a time and it will all come together. The other solution is, get one that's running to help keep the fires fueled. Keep the faith and it will run. Jarrell
 

·
1000 Post Club
Joined
·
4,117 Posts
Well my GT "retired" in 1985 when the rear end went out. I got it home(450 miles later) and put it in the driveway. After a year, I got a junkyard rear end, removed the engine and transmission and got them rebuilt. I put the engine and transmission back together and reinstalled them. I rebuilt the front suspension and reinstalled. It was then in my parents garage for 7 years just sitting there. By now, I was married and it moved to my garage and just sat there. Then in 2001, my son was 2 years old and I told myself, if I don't do this now, it will never get done. I removed as much exterior stuff as I could and got it to a body shop. They had it for about a year. I got it back and put everything back together when my son was asleep. Were there setbacks? Yes. Was it frustrating? Yes, but I knew what the end result was going to be. It went to its first car show in 2003 at a British car restoration company. They loved it!! Remember, this was 18 years after it was retired.

Is it done? Never!! But now instead of finding 3 things wrong while repairing one thing, I usually find one thing wrong after fixing 3 things. Now I can buy fun things like sway bars instead of a gasket set.

The moral. If you really want it, do it!! Try to do as much as you can but get a professional to do the stuff you can't. I can't do body work so I found someone to do it. Some people have the funds to do it all at once or you can take your time with it.

Just my 0.02

Jeff
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,751 Posts
"motivation" is like going to work every day, you don't really see any immediate results, but, in the long run, you do. I have been "restoring/personalizing" my Opels for 25+ years, but, I get to drive them at the same time too.
 

·
Manta Maniac
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Bringing your average Opel back to life....

One of the best ways to re-motivate yourself is to get to a show to look at the other Opels, and talk to their owners.
We all face similar challenges with our respective car's, and someone on this board will have come up against whatever it is you are banging your head about...
If you are just starting out, I have a tried formula with my cars....this is for my "bargain buys" and works for me...

1. Get it home, usually on a trailer, with associated parts inside it or in the back of the truck.
2. Unload it, remove all 'spares/extra parts'....wash it and vacum interior.
3. Replace any broken glass, oil the locks and hinges.
4. Take a good look over the whole car....now is the time to assess it's future...parts or project?
5. If it's going to be a project, try to get it 'on the key', ie, you can start it and move it around your property as required (very important in my case....it can be like a puzzle trying to juggle cars and spaces at times).
6. Get it structurally sound, usually chassis(frame) rails and floorboards etc on your average Opel.
7. Brakes, suspension, steering.
8. Beat the electrical gremlins to death.
9.Get it to the point it can be driven legally.
10. DRIVE IT!!! get to know (and love) it's character....as you iron out all the bugs and glitches that Opels are born with.At this point it may be ugly, but it will be bringing a smile to your face...and any car person will recognise a 'rolling restoration in progress' and will encourage you.
11. When you are happy that the car is running well, then look to do the bodywork dings/get it painted/re trim the interior/add the bolt on goodies...etc,etc,etc!!.(by this point you will have had time to discover all the little bits the car needs, and will have sourced most of them as time/money/OGTS/fellow Opelers/Ebay permits)

Note, this process can take a couple of weeks to the odd decade....but it will get most cars reliable and on the road a much greater percentage of the time than those who start out by compleately stripping the car for that "100 point" restoration....and a few months/several years later are looking at a shell and some boxes of parts and shaking their heads. :(
Once you have your Opel useable and looking respectable....now go buy another one to make into that 100 point car..... :D
 

·
Old Opeler
Joined
·
5,564 Posts
If you don't get back to working on the GT then the Opel Police will come and take it away from you! They keep warning me that they will be visiting too! :p
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,751 Posts
"Note, this process can take a couple of weeks to the odd decade" posted by Rob


Jeez Rob, you're generious, some of us are working on a century!! :D :D ROFLMAO!!
 

·
Opeler
Joined
·
193 Posts
I agree with the "get it rolling" philosophy. The sooner you can get it driveable the more fun the project becomes. By driving, you also discover things that need to be fixed that just looking at and inspecting the car you won't likely find. This is the frustrating part of driving. One thing about body work, it is sort of like an old house I once had. The porch step was rotting out. I thought it a simple repair. But when I pulled the step off I found out the stringers were rotten. So then I had to pull all the steps off to replace the stringers. Well once I got the stringers out I found the porch support posts were rotting. Rust is sort of like that. Behind what you see is probably lots of other nasty bits needing repair or replacing. The best way is to strip the whole car down, but that is very time consuming and dollar consuming. Otherwise, if it isn't about to crumble beneath you, get the mechanicals right, drive it, have some fun, then when you're ready for big body work you've got a clear goal insight, get your sweet running machine back on the road.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
On mine I did the lists. To buy, to find, to do and kept track of where it all came from. I found that as I looked over the lists there were redundant stupid things that could be avoided and not needed. Buff the old paint and fix a hairline crack is an example. Why buff paint if your going to have to repaint it? Fix rear brake cylinders and upgrade brakes is one that I did get caught on. I fixed the cylinders and about a month later removed them. It was nice to check things off the list and rethink as I prioritized it all. I've got another to do and I'll be making lists of what I need and such. On the other side a 3 page to do list was alittle intimidating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,344 Posts
Just to add some realism here, and not to have anyone take offense, here's what I did with Willit?, my 72 GT I'm putting the 3.4 V-6/T-5 into. First off, this started right at 4 years ago. Engine and tranny off E-bay, spent some months checking and double checking all the wiring for the computer. Had to build a circuit board to get the engine to run. Built a tach board by P J Hall to convert the tach to read a 6 cylinder. Built new subframes for the engine/tranny, modified three times. Built exhaust manifolds for the engine, twice. Stripped car down to an empty shell. Rebuilt/modified wiring harness to integrate engine computer and car wiring, twice. Painted anything that was painted at the factory to either black or silver (new color for the car), except for the exterior. Rebuilt front and rear suspension. After all the painting was done and was rolling again, sent the car to the body shop for serious body cancer removal, repair, and paint. Today or tomorrow, he said, the car will be ready to come home for installation of all bits and pieces, then go to the upholsterers for a new interior. Total cost, I have no idea, but to give you an idea, I started with a zero balance credit card and have put $500 every month on it, the current balance is over $10,000. but there have been incidentals added to the card, like gassing up the motorhome and going to dog shows, plus other stuff that was not GT related. A lot of the cost involved or is related to the engine/tranny swap, like $1500 for an NOS ZF posi. All the welding for the mounts and engine accessory plates, etc, this was contracted out at an hourly rate for the welder. Right now it's getting excited in anticipation of getting it all back together again and driving it. And now there is a deadline, it has to be ready for OMC. Has it been fun? Oh yes, but at times fun was spelled F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N. Would I do it again? Yeah, but a lot smarter next time around. I know the pitfalls and will avoid them if possible. It has been a blast doing this, and the help/suggestions/accolades I've gotten from the folks here on this site have been extremely helpful in keeping the project going forward. I've had a lot of professional help with things I couldn't do, but in the final analysis, it was my idea, almost, to do all this and I can say with pride, I hope, when it's done, I did it and it works. :D
 

·
Member
Joined
·
88 Posts
Drive it soon!

I love super restored and superbly customized showroom cars, but the time and money to make one is unfathomable. I have 5 classic cars and have learned a few things that work for me:

1) Make it run and drive it. This means prioritizing towards function first, form later.
2) Use whats reasonable - a brand new engine, recaro seats, and the proper taillight lenses can come later. Minimize initial cost.
3) Add goodies only after you have had it running for a while and are actually driving it. Nothing like trashing a $2000 paint job while trying to figure out how to get the headlights to flip over right. Or worse, finding out you dont like to to drive it!

I dont have time or cash for trailer queens, and dont want a car that Im constantly worrying will be stolen or just trashed out of spite or carelessness.

I occasionally yearn for leather seats, targa tops, and pearl flames on candy bases but then I go drive around and forget about the 'guilding'. I love leaving a new Camaro at the light repeatedly and seeing the face on a BMW owner that cant keep up with a sportwagon full of surfboards and a spray painted hood!
Its even more fun in the GT (cuz they kinda expect something from it and are still surprised).

Finally, owning a classic car means either working on it yourself almost every weekend, or being filthy rich (Jay Leno style) so you can have a staff of mechanics do it for you. Its not for everyone, and it would take a fortune to get the kind of no-thoughts, turnkey operation that a new car provides (or should).
 

·
Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
motivation... passive-aggressive style

... I just checked out Dans web page -WOW!- ... let it be known that he has been VERY busy! He's already committed (and currently appears to be somewhere between start and finish) on ALL of the following: a bare metal strip-down (well, actually stripping is done)... a second Asian repower fitment... some panel section replacements... and a front suspension rebuild. He's aligning himself to have a really awesome finished product, but is WAY past potential of "drive by day, fix by night" now.

In my earlier post here to Dan, I mentioned how I pick 1 thing and a completion deadline. Into application within Dans world I realize this for sure: Dan, I'm sorry, but moving away from that house in the near future is simply not an option for you... you need that spot in the garage for a while! This is why... scrounged from an earlier thread...
Dan0myte said:
I swear this car will be moving under it's own power in 2005, come hell or high water (or blizzard, in Regina's case). :)
Hey, you've already picked a goal... and a deadline! & you didn't say it needs to be water resistant or street legal. 6 months to go! ;) (nudge, nudge) c'mon, YOU CAN DO IT!
 

·
OpelGirl
Joined
·
394 Posts
i know this is an old post but just what i was needing! i was actually doing a search on seats. My driver seat has a broken thingamajig, whatever makes it recline and not recline, the seat still stays upright but you can move it freely abut 3" either way. I came across this post and it just confirmed for me what i thought.

I knew i wanted to drive one this year or i would lose interest and ppl kept telling me that the yellow one was stripped most of the way,i shoud just strip it and plan on spending a year getting it done. I have fought back and forth with the idea of not driving one this year.

I decided to get wheels and tires though i worried what ppl would think about a yellow car with dings and rust with brand new chrome wheels and tires and decided i don't care.
I have copied this post to save for reference. I think i am even going to switch over the interior from the purple one to the yellow one, knowing i will have to take it all back out again come winter, so what! I will just be really good at putting back again the second time.

Gotta love this site :)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top