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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to the site and breed of vehicle and about to begin the map of drawing out the project for the 69 Opel GT, that I picked up recently. I am honestly debating doing a RetroMod in that which it has the looks of a Opel but the guts of {Blank}(Porsche 944, S2000, Miata). I am basically doing a full restoration the car has not driven since 1980 and body is in pretty decent shape. I have all the parts and emblems of the vehicle. I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions. Thanks for the help, advice, conversations hopefully to become of this. ~Jonny
 

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Hi Jonny and welcome to the forum. I live in Nevada too, so we are spread out neighbors. Before you change out motors and change everything under the hood, I would recommend you read some of the posts that started out with V-8's, an endless parade of oversized engines that with good intentions, these cars ended up in the junk yard. I got my GT ,I bought it brand new in 71. Finished the restoration a couple years back. I chose a 2.4 modern Opel engine and a five speed Getrag transmission. The engine drops right in, no cutting, no mods, same motor mounts and the same dimensions as the original 1.9 liter engine. I just hate to see people come along with big ambitions only to find out that they are in over their head.

Opel GT Source is a great place to get new and used parts, fast shipping, and they always back up the stuff they sell. Gil (the owner) is a book of knowledge when it comes to GT's.

So I guess to sum up my thoughts, go the path of least resistance when putting in a new motor. My 2.4 and the five speed make the GT go pretty fast, I have never tried to find out what the top end is, but there is plenty of gas pedal after I chicken out. Also, the restoration of a GT is a black hole for money, believe me.

Bob
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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As said, there's a lot of work involved in restoring a GT. Very few engines will fit in a GT engine bay and none will mate to the existing drive train. Opel GT's are all about the body. I suggest fixing up the car and getting it working with one of the existing Opel engines. You can always contemplate a crazy engine swap at a later date. Make your car a nice looking fully functioning ride first and do engine mods later.
 

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Somebody somewhere was selling a fiberglass body for an Opel GT. If still available one of those may be better suited for what you want to do.
 

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Hello, I am new to the site and breed of vehicle and about to begin the map of drawing out the project for the 69 Opel GT, that I picked up recently. I am honestly debating doing a RetroMod in that which it has the looks of a Opel but the guts of {Blank}(Porsche 944, S2000, Miata). I am basically doing a full restoration the car has not driven since 1980 and body is in pretty decent shape. I have all the parts and emblems of the vehicle. I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions. Thanks for the help, advice, conversations hopefully to become of this. ~Jonny
Hi Jonny, as you have already noticed, some people here don't like other people to "chop up" the GTs! You may have also noticed that they DON'T READ all of your post! I don't see a single word about using a V-8, only 3 nice inline 4 cylinder engines! At first glance those would seem to be good choices but the engine bay of the GT is really small (FYI - the total width of the car is about 10 inches less than a Honda Civic -depending on year). It isn't apparent because the proportions are really good. Spending some time here will get you acquainted with "The Sci Fi Guy (aka Gordo)" who has chopped up the body more than most of the rest of the forum combined, and his advice is well given. The easiest swap is another Opel engine such as a 2.4L (or just some basic hot rodding of the 1.9: bore, compression, etc). The stock engines were stuck in the middle of the "emissions" reduction era and without the technology available lost a huge chunk of HP. Lots of info on here to do that. There is also an "Engine Swap Forum" that can explain what others have done (but probably not too many failures - people don't like to talk about what they did wrong). A lot of the navigation parts of the Forum are messed up after the "Admins" tried to update the software so some things don't work. The engine swap is here: https://www.opelgt.com/forums/engine-swap-forum/ There is a similar forum on the Opel mods and another on "racing". The "FORUM" button on the menu bar across the the top did not work when I tried it, but the "Forums" under the Site Navigation heading directly below the "Home" button (left hand side a couple of inches down)did. Take a look at what is to offer and if you still need help (almost everyone does), post your questions! Welcome aboard the Opel Express!

Doug (aka slracer - nothing to do with my Opel)

You might also want to take a look at this thread where a GT which was flooded out with salt water from hurricane Katrina was modded for an aluminum Buick 215 ci V-8. When you read about what was done, you will have a better idea of what everyone is talking about. A lot of links have been lost from past threads but the facebook one a short way down will take you through Facebook and to a popular Hot Rodding article on the "Katrina Beast": https://www.opelgt.com/forums/opels-media/47137-check-out-hot-rodding-mag.html
 

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Spaceman
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@jonnybbravo,

Welcome to the forum and congrats and all of luck with your 69 Opel GT project. I'm not the most diligent when it comes to posts and advice's, but keep it nice and you'll get a lot of good feedback, that's is my experience.

Cheers.
 

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Jonny
I see no real big issue with a restomod. Others have done so. I have seen a Ford inline four with turbo, a Mazda Rotary, V8's,V6's and one member here is putting the GT body on a Jag driveline and independent suspension. Being as it is a 69 I would ask if it is a 1.1L or 1.9L. The 1.1L is somewhat rare here in the states. Around 5000 were imported so it would be worth leaving it as is. For ease of installation and drivability I would go along with others and recommend a later model 2.4L five speed with fuel injection. P.J. Romano up in Canada has managed to build a very drivable 2.5L. You sound like you have the skill to pull this off so good luck.
 

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Your Noble Friend ;-)
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... The 1.1L is somewhat rare here in the states. Around 5000 were imported ...
Correction - only approximately 3,500 were ever built. Plenty of them might have ended up staying in Germany because of the higher taxes on the larger engines.

Dieter
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Update

Hello,

Thanks for all of the feedback and opinions from everyone. So I scored a 1995 Miata with 3 Engine Blocks, 2 Heads, LSD Differential, Full Suspension, Transmission 5 Speed, 3 seats and so far I am in to the project about 1 grand. I am going to begin stripping the car down here soon. Because the issue with sticking with Opel motors and such is the cost of parts and the likeliness of it all staying around. You also have to consider the likeliness of getting parts in the future is as I am assuming slimming out due to the supply and demand.

The cool thing about the miata motor and drive train is that parts are plenty of parts there cheap. An I have the ability to fabricate all of this into the GT. Including having to make any modifications. I am in no rush and just doing what I can as the project allows. Currently helping on wrapping up other projects that are retromods (54 Chevy putting a 2017 GMC drivetrain LS1, C7 Tranny). Also a part of this is that converting this original motor to fuel injection is pretty damn difficult due to parts. This car hasn't driven since 1980 with the 1.9 in it and when I was looking it over as it was last driven in Alabama. But anyways the ability to push this light car with a fuel injected 1.8 Miata Motor, suspension, drive train will make this car with say I get 200hp will be scary enough to allow myself to have the fun in the build, but also the ability to mod it further if wanted with the large availability of parts available.

I am basically gonna strip the car out and inventory the exterior and interior pieces and go from there. Anything that you guys want to share please do. I am trying to familiarize myself to this Forum layout and functions etc.

Cheers,
~Jonny
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ozada/ Opelazda Project Update

Thought I would just give you an update. I pulled the motor and tranny out of the Opel yesterday. I have the mazda sacrifice on the lift and slowly pulling it apart not in a super rush since it all in the drafting stages and such.

I am enjoying the project as time goes, no rush but just keep the ball rolling kinda thing. I plan to have the body off by the end of the week from the Mazda. The body work on the Opel luckily enough is pretty much minor and I mean minor surface rust, The worst of the rust is in the underbelly of where the battery was stored. which will either be cut out for space or fabricate a near piece of sheet metal into the area to restore.. I am most likely just going to strip it with aircraft stripper to avoid damage doing a sandblasting job but still debating that aspect of it.

I had a mechanical engineer come by and thought the project was pretty cool, but he was simply wanting a paint job on his 912 Porsche. So showed him the project and he was like man this is gonna be a fun car when its all said and done. So I may tap his brain on the motor build to pull the most amount of torque keeping it aspirated. But time will tell. Still as I said in the drafting phase of all this and need to try to sell off alot of this opel stuff I am not going to be using. I am probably gonna fabricate my own style dash and guages along when it comes to that part of the project.

I can tell alot of people are turned off by the notion of what I am doing but want something different. An planning on taking that approach with the car as well using LED lights and such and making it all plug and play since I am essentially doing a Exocet out of a Miata and Opel GT hybrid. So I am debating calling it a Oazda or Opelazda. But any ways thought I would share the little bit of things done in the process so far. Hope you all have happy holidays!

I need to sell off this 1.9 Motor with Original Solex Carb. I have a rebuild kit for the carb and some other parts guages and things that I will be selling off as I will not need them most likely either, ill keep those of you whom are interested updated. But not in a rush to sell the stuff off. Need to steam the motor down and such to clean it up since I dropped it out with the cross member etc.

An for those wanting the best way to drop out the motor, drop it out the bottom easy peasy process once you have it supported when you unbolt the cross member and all the necessary things disconnected. Just used a jack while the car was on a lift to push it all back and out.

~Jonny
 

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Opelitis afflicted
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Love the updates. You will find most on here won't mind what you are doing so long as it's finished and driven.
At the end of the day it's your, life, money and cars, you are free to do what you want.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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I guess you're the same dude on Facebook that I asked to show pics of the suspension.

So, do I understand correctly, you're planning to put the shell of a GT onto the chassis and suspension of a Mazda? I actually like that idea. It seems like a more logical approach than to try to modernize a whole, mostly intact, GT car to have all the amenities that a nice modern Mazda has. A car is more that just an engine, suspension, and a body these days. Back in the day, we were thrilled that our radios actually worked. Nowadays, we want really good climate control, anti-lock brakes and other gizmos, bluetoothiness, touch screens, etc. By using the base engine, chassis, suspension, electrical system, etc. of a modern car you get all that stuff right from the start. Instead of trying to figure out how to install and customize all the features of a modern car into the shell of an old GT, your problem will be which features to disable or not install.

As far as our reluctance to embrace radical mods, well, we've seen a lot of never finished projects, mostly V8 installs. Few have gone the swap-the-body-onto-another-car route. It being your business to do this sort of stuff gives us high optimism about your project.

However, if you ARE going to try to swap all the goodies from a Mazda onto a GT chassis/whole car.......

.......well....then yer just plum crazy!

:lmao:
 

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I guess you're the same dude on Facebook that I asked to show pics of the suspension.

So, do I understand correctly, you're planning to put the shell of a GT onto the chassis and suspension of a Mazda? I actually like that idea. It seems like a more logical approach than to try to modernize a whole, mostly intact, GT car to have all the amenities that a nice modern Mazda has. A car is more that just an engine, suspension, and a body these days. Back in the day, we were thrilled that our radios actually worked. Nowadays, we want really good climate control, anti-lock brakes and other gizmos, bluetoothiness, touch screens, etc. By using the base engine, chassis, suspension, electrical system, etc. of a modern car you get all that stuff right from the start. Instead of trying to figure out how to install and customize all the features of a modern car into the shell of an old GT, your problem will be which features to disable or not install.

As far as our reluctance to embrace radical mods, well, we've seen a lot of never finished projects, mostly V8 installs. Few have gone the swap-the-body-onto-another-car route. It being your business to do this sort of stuff gives us high optimism about your project.

However, if you ARE going to try to swap all the goodies from a Mazda onto a GT chassis/whole car.......

.......well....then yer just plum crazy!

:lmao:
And if anyone knows what "plum crazy" is, it's Gordo! ....:yup: ... :lmao: ...:lmao:

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I’m not on Facebook.

But anyways yes I’m going to take a Miata drive train and suspension, and shove it into the Opel. I will have to fabricate the wiring harness into the car and basically make an entire new harness which is gonna be all plug and play when I get done and make life so much easier. It’s just a matter of time to do it and slowly working on the project as I get time

As for mods yes I’m capable, here’s a 54 retromod being merged with a 2017 GMC that’s getting finished up, this was engine fitting, the rear frame was all fabricated in house. Rear axle shortened.

Engine Auto part Vehicle Automotive engine part Car


But anyways thanks for the comments and opinions. As for the wiring I would agree. The nice thing is I don’t have to worry about smog or anything. But now just debating how much power, and mods since i got three engine blocks to do something with for the $500 I paid for the Miata sacrifice.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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The GT is a unibody design which makes using other components from say a Miata rather difficult. I would recommend trying to keep the subframe design of the GT.

The front suspension subframe can be modified easily to use coil overs. Some have done it, creating tubular a arms for a coilover suspension. You could modify the engine subframe to hold a different engine. You’ll need a new driveshaft. And for the rear, you might be better off keeping it as is or go with a watts link setup. IRS won’t be an easy or cheap mod. IRS requires more frame support and for a GT, that could mean replacing the gas tank with a frame for the IRS.

Personally I’d keep it Opel powered but I also tend more towards a purist standpoint than the LS swap everything mindset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just fully stripped GT and Miata to the bare parts needed form the body swap. Plan to put the Miata subframe in tomorrow to roll the body around. Currently have it on a cart to roll around, definantly front end heavy and not that difficult to remove the subframe on either car.

I have an Opel 1.9 motor and full front and rear suspension among some other parts I plan to sell off (engine, tranny). I can take some pictures. As for the motor it’s not ceazed and can rebuild. But just looking to sell everything as is. I am in Nevada. Off your interested just message me.

I’m just making something that is unique and what I’m wanting to do as many do with retro mods. The cool part of all of this is that engine swaps if I decide to another on this will be easier as I’m using a Miata subframe, suspension, brakes, rack and pinion, and wiring harness with ecu etc.
 

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Just fully stripped GT and Miata to the bare parts needed form the body swap. Plan to put the Miata subframe in tomorrow to roll the body around. Currently have it on a cart to roll around, definantly front end heavy and not that difficult to remove the subframe on either car.

I have an Opel 1.9 motor and full front and rear suspension among some other parts I plan to sell off (engine, tranny). I can take some pictures. As for the motor it’s not ceazed and can rebuild. But just looking to sell everything as is. I am in Nevada. Off your interested just message me.

I’m just making something that is unique and what I’m wanting to do as many do with retro mods. The cool part of all of this is that engine swaps if I decide to another on this will be easier as I’m using a Miata subframe, suspension, brakes, rack and pinion, and wiring harness with ecu etc.
Hi Jonny,
Do you have any updates on this project? I was thinking of doing the same thing and was looking for any advice you would be willing to share.

Toby
 

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Hi Jonny,
Do you have any updates on this project? I was thinking of doing the same thing and was looking for any advice you would be willing to share.

Toby
Considering that it has been 3 and 1/2 years since 99119's last post I believe it may be possible that another GT engine swap modification may be resting in the heat of the Nevada desert waiting for a future owner. Who knows.....
 

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Considering that it has been 3 and 1/2 years since 99119's last post I believe it may be possible that another GT engine swap modification may be resting in the heat of the Nevada desert waiting for a future owner. Who knows.....
I knew it was a long shot. I have found tons of info on using the Miata motor, even full youtube videos on how to do the swap. I have not found anything on using the Miata front and rear sub frames, maybe that is a sign.
 
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