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Opeler
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
my biggest fear on keeping opey alive is if i wreck him.hood/fender/the front end stuff mainly.i have some usable fenders ect but they are out in the weather and will probably rust away in next few years.in looking around i dont find oe or after market---or i missed

is there any intrest in light weight fiber glass(hand layed)fenders/hoods/header

if there is i can clean up the stuff and pull some molds.
based on the race car bodies i make fenders can be as light as 5 to 8lbs
heavier apps would only need another layer of glass.made a light hood for isuzu drag truck for customer that save almost 40lbs(weighed 8lb)

i dont like gel coat as it adds weight and stress cracks sooner than bare glass(no flex)this causes problem to--pin holes to fill in hard to roll out areas.can use gel coat but the weight goes up and the part cost to(more material and labor).gatoring also is problem with gel coat and you dont see it till part is pulled.the only way i have been able to avoid this is thicker gel coat=more weight and material with worse stress cracking.pin holes take time to fill but long tearm results may be better--definatly lighter.

any ideas or input welcome(critics to!)

also have about 5 manta and 2 gts in the field for parts--ask and ill see if i got good part(some parts are stored in building)have 3 more gts located at same spot i am trying to buy.

thanks
David
 

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Super Moderator
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13,844 Posts
I don't know of anyone currently making fiberglass body parts for Mantas. Some sheetmetal parts are available from overseas but are very costly to buy and ship over here.

Years ago Unlimited Products sold Manta front fenders and hoods. I bought a set of their fenders...they were horrible! They didn't fit, they were warped and wavy, and to make matters worse they weighed 9.5 lbs while the stock sheetmetal weighed 11 lbs. Hardly worth the trouble!

Mantapart used to have molds for most stock parts, but as far as I know those are long gone.

One thing to consider is that there are two style of hoods and two styles of fenders too. The '74/'75's were different from '71-'73 models.

I think you might have a tough sell with race-only parts, most folks just want to replace old rusty bits with direct bolt-ons. This means an inner structure and hinge mounts for the hood, and for the fenders an inner shield/brace is a good idea to prevent the door's front edges from water and road debris. Just some thoughts...direct replacement 'street' parts are probably a better idea.

One thing I've seen some interest in is the smaller Steinmetz flares for the Manta, if you could get a set of those and replicate them, there's probably a few people on these forums interested in buying them.

That said, welcome to these forums!

Bob
 

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Manta Maniac
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1,385 Posts
Bolt on 'glass fenders with the steinmetz flares already molded in would be cool...but like all things Opel, its a very limited market..... :(
 

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Opeler
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Bob
thanks for valid input.

I will have to go look but memory says(it do lie to me some times)
the diffrence in hood is the washer locations?this could be blanked out in pattern and holes drilled as needed(or not)
the hood frame seems to still be good after the sheet metal is junk and to keep things affordable and easy could be bonded to fiber glass hood(shell)
the front fenders rear liner could be molded during lay up in 2 peice mold(more $$$$)or the peice removed from steel fender and bonded to the glass.
epoxy stuctural adhesives work good for this.
i remember that the front fenders have diffrent side marker lights--trip to the barn to look at 74--wrong--the 74 up do not have the bumper mounts--the 74 bumper rubber may hide this but i dont think so.this could be delt with in several ways.the mold would be made for 73 back and when making 74 up the area in the mold can be filled with clay(belive it or not this works real well)
i know what you mean on the junk glass parts that some sold--it gave glass a bad name.the biggest problem is that when you make a mold off a part it shrinks--when you make the part in the mold the part shrinks--shrink times 2 dont fit.these problems can be worked around by either adding to original part(shrikage is hard to caculate as conditions cause diffrent rates of shrinkage temp ect)or letting it run wild--as in making the back edge of the front fender an inch or so longer and then triming to fit.the long runs are the problem-the short distance is hardly noticeable.
the hood and front header will have to be added to before pulling the mold.leaving mold on part for a month or so helps reduce the shrinkage as well.
show car finishes are hard to achive with glass--you would be amazed how bad formula and sports racer bodies are when examined close(even swift and lola)you can get very good results and 99% will never notice.the longer part can cure in mold the less shrinkage and wavyness will develop.

next thought--i am down to my last good front bumper(73back)and my best rear is not real good.
my moms lotus elan has fiber glass bumpers that have been foam filled.they are painted silver/aluminum and this is how chapman built and sold the cars.
this would be easy to do for the opel and would be better than no inspection sticker.they could also be painted black or to match car.stock mounts could be bonded in and then expandable foam.shrikage shouldnt be a real problem here as the side mounts could be "worked"
all of these parts can be done fairly low cost if end user finishes.if this gets off the ground parts will be supplied with info on how to properly finish parts
so that a good useable job will result(only the pickey pickey will find flaws--life is to short to be that pickey!!show cars are usless as you cant drive it for fear of idiots running into it--happened to me to many times-when its perfect they aim for it!!

yall help find the holes in this so i can decide if its worth it.
anyone have recent cost on fenders ect--this will play a large part in the bottom line--if it can be done for 1/2or less.
thanks--yall are great and this is the best dam site i have ever been to!
David
 
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