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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off if you were not aware, my day job is to draft and layout ductwork for a Mechanical Contractor. Our ductwork goes straight from my AutoCAD to a plasma table where the items are cut out and formed.

What this has to do with Opels is simple. Some of the most requested items for the Manta are battery boxes, firewall patches (which are not reproduced), jackpoints, rear wheel patches, etc.

I don't have any in stock right now and was looking at the prices from Europe. Then a brain surge hit me.. They may not look as good as the German pieces, but our sheetmetal shop could probably do anything flat and with easy radius bends. I could probably produce most the battery box repair sections, jackpoints, and create a firewall patch as well (Probably incorporated into the battery box). We are talking about parts for the most part are hidden anyway.

So how many are interested in sheet metal repair sections for the Manta/Ascona/1900 if the prices were say 1/4 of my current list prices? It would req uire you primering the parts yourself, etc.. But considering I could do a battery box for about $40 with the firewall section, verse the current $199 I think that would be alright for most.

Charles
 

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Opel Addict Since 73
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Count me in!!!

Count me in!!! I could use the firewall section RIGHT NOW!!! As a matter of fact...I've already begun fabricating my own patchwork for the firewall on my latest project Ascona. Charles...if you think this might be something do-able in the not-too-distant future...I might consider holding off on my custom patchwork. What's your projected time frame??? -Scott
 

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Charles (a I just replied via e-mail),

I was planning on building a new battery box myself, but if you can do it for $40 USD, count me in (the $199 was just too much for a piece that I could do a passable job of fabricating myself). So far (and I haven’t dug too deeply into the Ascona), that’s the only body panel I think I need. That said, I haven’t pulled off the MC& booster, but I have a new MC coming via eBay, so the integral battery box and firewall patch would probably be a good thing. How soon can we get them, and how do we go about actually buying them? Please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Buying will be via website, how long is a MUCH easier answer than with the rubber reproduction, etc.. since I have a sheetmetal shop at my beck and call :)

Once I have an orginial in my hands and have pulled my Master Cylinder (This weekend I think). Getting the dimensions and drafting it out will take longer than cutting a prototype. That should be really easy, the plasma table should cut the piece in all of 5 minutes.

Charles
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW, a optional choice of Stainless steel for the battery box will be available too.

Charles
 

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Vendor
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Charles,
This is AWESOME! Can't wait to hear how it goes. Every manta owner should be pulling your arms off to get one of these things!
Todd
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK I think this is how I will make them:

13 GA (About the same as the car sheetmetal for easy install)

Will undersize them to fit in without having to cut out the existing metal

Then line it with a thin 24 ga piece of stainless that will be spot welded into place.

best of both worlds and still should be less than $80,

OR Pure Stainless for about $95

Just galvanized for about $50.

Could also make it full sized for those that want to cut out the whole area and replace it.

Once I do the template in AutoCAD, all I have to do is "print them" on the plasma table. So I can be very accomodating to what anyone wants.
 

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My .02 here.....

Don't do plain steel....it'll just rust out again. Think of the environment it's exposed to.

Don't do galvanized steel. It produces toxic fumes when welded, and is a PITA to get paint to adhere to it properly.

Make it stainless. It can be MIG or TIG welded easily enough.

Do it once, do it right!

Bob (stepping down now!h)
 

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I would agree with Bob...I can't see putting steel back in just to watch it rot away again. That's a hostile area, even if you coat it with POR-15. In stainless, it's still going to be only half the cost of the other kits you were selling, which would have just rusted away again. Incorporating some kind of channel to divert water away is a good idea too. So when can I plan on cutting mine out and welding in a nice new stainless piece?

Todd
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Soon, this weekend I plan on pulling my Master Cylinder and starting the template.

Next week I should have a prototype and be able to dry fit it.

Once thats done I can start getting them made.

THe great thing is that for anyone that wants Stainless (which would be the best choice) I can do that.

For those wanting to be cheap, the alternate version in galvanized would be available too.

Fortunately lots of options are available.

Bob, what gauge would you recommend for them if they are going to be made to "sleeve" the battery box without removing the whole battery box area?

I was thinking 14 guage for a "replacement", 18 guage for the "sleeve"
 

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GoinManta said:
Bob, what gauge would you recommend for them if they are going to be made to "sleeve" the battery box without removing the whole battery box area?

I was thinking 14 guage for a "replacement", 18 guage for the "sleeve"
18 GA is probably sufficient. Stainless is a bit stiffer than mild steel, it won't rust anyway (I assume you're talking a 300 series SS BTW), and as you know metal is priced by the pound, so the material costs for 14 GA are quite a bit more. I'd shoot for a complete replacement rather than a drop in, as the battery fit is tight to begin with. Also, if you drop in a nice pan over an old rusted tray, you may still have problems with fuse box attachments below, or hood release bracket rust, etc.

It would be nice to have a new part with all the correct bracketry and the hold-down studs for the fuse block, etc. I'd buy 3 or 4 of them initially. Who knows, maybe you could get that 3.9 litre head ported for 'free' if you want to work out a trade.....

Bob
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You damn tease ;) I will hold you to that. So expect a 3.9L head in the shipment with the battery boxs.

Complete with studs and hood release handle bracket will be a neccesity now ;)

Again the great thing is that it can be optional. for a extra few $$$. Great thing about being able to make these in one and two pieces when I need them.

Well enough procrastination. I have to get to the garagae and strip a Manta of its brake booster, etc..
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Prototype?

Can't do the full firewall patch. BUt will do one that can be welded to the firewall.

But I did notice once I started pulling at the previous owners repair of ,y Battery box that I didnt even have one !! The PO had covered the old old and used silicone to adhere it so once I removed the patch AND the old silicone nothing was left.

Anyway see the design will have a flap at the end that can go up and cover the hole in the upper fender area and drop down the firewall to patch that portion. Also a 1/2" flange to help secure the battery box to the body. A second piece will be made to lay over the where the master cylinder goes because that area often is cracked (although it is not in my car).

Also I am going to look for an aftermarket bracket to use for the hood release and have that and the bolts installed for the fusebox (Which really will be two stainless steel bolts ran through the battery box and welded in place. to seal.

THe only thing I see a problem with is the part that you would have to have to put the hold downs for the battery itself in.

The question though is can you hand form stainless like you do regular steel or is it too stiff. I am not sure if leaving the piece of metal on the batter box to fix those areas will be good if it can't be easily hand formed by the purchaer. If I have to hand form the prototype to get the shop to do the forming later that may be more money.

What do you all think?
 

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Super Moderator
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sheet metal

Charles;
You won't have to do a full firewall, just the section over from where the battery box is, the area the brake booster covers, from the trans tunnel (if possible) to the battery box and down to the frame.
Gene
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Firewall

I was thinking of something like this, that is put on Before the battery box patch,

This way the Battery Box goes over the firewall patch and all is sealed. Then the water will drain across the heavy guage frame rail and all aarea are protected.

Look Good?
 

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