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Opel Key Master
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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
Upgrades For 2010 at New Vintage Automotive

It is upgrade time for the Fireglow GT, so here it goes. Matt Newman drove the Opel up to me to perform a couple tasks. One of his biggest complaints have been the wheel well gaps and how high the front end sits compared to the rear. Also larger brakes are desired. So here is a rundown of the parts for this session of upgrades.

Opel GTS Front lowering spring
Opel GTS rear sport springs
Koni Red adjustable shocks
Rebuilt 75 Calipers
New Hardware
New crossdrilled/slotted rotors
EBC Green stuff pads
3/4" rear wheel cylinders
New 22mm Master cylinder (which may be mated to larger booster at later date)
Excellent used dashboard to replace one with ABS cover installed

Also here are some pics of the items layed out, and current stance and measurements
Front: 26 1/4" from ground to highest point of fender
Rear: 25 1/4" from ground to highest point of fender
 

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Opel Key Master
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Discussion Starter · #162 ·
Brake upgrade needed afterall

I do not think Matt knew how bad he needed the brake upgrade, or at that matter a brake job!!! I fitted the 75 Caliper to check wheel clearance...and it looks good. I then noted that both sides' brake wear is even, but there was almost nothing left to the pads. I guess 2 years of hard driving has done its toll to the brakes. Here is a pic...notice the boots even pulled loose due to the travel of the worn pads
Keith
 

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Rear spring removal

Today I began by removing the front spring. Usually the fun part..ha,but this time it went rather smooth. I did realize that I needed to get some different bump stop bushings, as we will be going the full 2 inches. I had Matt order some from Energy Suspension. I used the wood block method this go around, as I have the lift tied up for some time with a Cadillac. Here are the comparisons and such that show the spring difference with the new, and the removal.
 

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Opel Key Master
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Discussion Starter · #164 ·
Finalizing the front modifications

The Energy Suspension Bushings came in, quickly installed and started putting everything back together. Looking good. Just have to watch when lowering onto the ground with the jacks now. So the bushings were a 9121G for black, the Red ones Jordan had used were back ordered, so black was fine with me. The rear still has yet to be done, and may bring it up in the front a little bit, but the current measurement is 23-1/2 inches from the ground. That is almost 3 inches total. Now keep this in mind. The original shocks that were on this were gas charged, and they probably pushed it up that 3/4 of an inch, so just changing the shocks out might have lowered it all in itself. It looks pretty good, does need the rear down now a bit...so onto that
 

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Opel Key Master
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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
Modifications for 75 Calipers

A few note on these calipers. Calipers should be mounted to where the bleeder screw is positioned on top. This helps in bleeding out all the air. The Mantas outlet is pointing the same way the bleeder hole comes out, so this make it a bit challenging. I could make a line and a new bracket, but I don't have all the time in the world to do all of that right now. So I like to use existing parts. Now the original hose support mounted onto the caliper by the 2 mounting bolts. This bracket does not fit anymore. I bought a brake line already flared for the metric bubble fitting on one end. I can flare this, but decided it would be much easier flaring the inverted flare for the original hose. So I cut the hose support brackets, swapped sides, and made a really short line. Now this is extremely short, but I had room to spare when flaring with my hydraulic flaring tool. I then had to give it a little "S" bend to mate up to the hose, and allow the hose to still be clamped with the clip. I have a special set of bending pliers that are great for close quarter bends. Looks good to me!!!! Lets hope I can duplicate it on the other side, ha. Also make note I will use the other piece of that support bracket as a washer for the other bolt. So my spacing will be the same.
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #166 ·
I was pressed for time on the rear end lowering, so I cut the springs. I did this in a way where I cut a little each time to get the desired height I was looking for. The new measurement is 24 to 24-1/4 in the rear on each side. I also have to modify the panhard bar for the lowered suspension. Will post on that later. I also mounted the first caliper and rotor, everything seems to clear nicely.
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Suspension and Brake Upgrades Completed

So Keith has been swamped (which is good for business but not so good for restoration threads getting updated :p) so I'm going to finish up some posts here to keep my personal "blog" up to date. I won't be able to provide much of the "how to" info but here goes...

The new suspension and brake components are out of this world better than my old set-up. The Koni red shocks, sport springs, and custom panhard bar (and previously installed front and rear anti-sway bars) glues the car to the road. The lowered stance looks great to boot! The "Big Brake" upgrade in the front and rear give the car amazing stopping power. My goal was to even up the braking response between my other modern cars and the Opel and I think that has been accomplished. A tap on the brake pedal and the car just stops - no more disparity between one vehicle and the next. Attached are photos of the front brake set-up and shocks and the rear shocks and panhard bar.

Matt

P.S. Keith alerted me that I may need to turn that U-bracket on the exhaust and I can see in the first photo that sure enough it has made contact with the panhard bar at some point. That's an easy to do for me.
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Minor Modification Made...

I happened to notice that the left front caliper was very close to if not touching the wheel hub. So, for peace of mind, I decided to grind ever so slightly the left front caliper because the clearance with the hub there was too close for comfort. The right front caliper required no modification.

Matt
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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"New" Dash!

So last year I purchased a "new" crack-free dash from Lyndon (CIARA1970). Having the car at Keith's shop afforded me the opportunity to have it installed with the front windshield being removed in the process. I had hoped to source a better front windshield in time to be installed at the same time but that didn't work out. The plastic cover from OGTS was a nice temporary solution but having a crack-free original dash sure is nice!

Matt
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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New GM 105 Amp Alternator

I posted about this in the "alternator" thread but just to round out my posts today, this is the latest upgrade to my car the GM 105 Amp alternator. This alternator is internally regulated and is a two-wire connection. It was simple even for me to install (well, I did have some help as I already noted in the other thread :yup:). With this alternator, the battery charges up fast and you can every electrical device on at once with no problem. The windshield wipers never get "tired" either even with the headlamps on. I also added an Optima red top battery at the same time.

Matt
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Marking Three Year Anniversary...

Today marks three years since the completion of the restoration of my GT. I'm continuing to use this thread as my personal "blog"...

I managed to put ~2,500 miles on the car over the last twelve months. This is much lower than the previous year (about half) primarily because the car was off the road for upgrades several times and also because I was too busy to do any distant car shows. In fact, I only managed to do one car show this past 12 months but did take a "People's Choice" award in that one show. The car has gone 14,254 miles since time of restoration.

As far as upgrades, there were many as documented in prior posts including:

  • Volt / Oil Temp Gauge
  • Sprint Manifold
  • "Big Brakes" ('75 calipers, vented/slotted rotors, pads)
  • Suspension Enhancement (Koni Red shocks, pan-hard bar, lowering)
  • Crack Free Dash Installation
  • 105 Amp Alternator

All of this has made the car even more fun to drive! It's been a great year and a great three years with my Opel. I actually have friends and co-workers ask me "How's the Opel doing?" before they ask how I'm doing!

Happy Opeling!

Matt
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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New Windshield...

Latest upgrade is the install of a new windshield which is thoroughly discussed in this thread so I won't elaborate much here (just documenting for posterity :)). While my car was on the lift looking at some other minor issues we tracked down a rattle to what appears to be either something trapped in the exhaust pipe or a baffle having come loose in the muffler. So, that's the next thing to do (may be a good excuse to get a better flowing muffler or maybe one that just sounds better). Also, I still have a five-speed transmission on the wish list to make highway driving a little more pleasurable.
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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Window Tint and Banner...

Since the new windshield was installed, I have had the windows tinted and a new banner applied by our very own Steve (SteveGT). I really like the look of the blacked out windows and the heat in the cabin is dramatically reduced. Finally, the new windshield banner looks much better than my old one because Steve has cut it perfectly for the curvature of the GT windshield.

Matt
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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22mm Brake Booster and Master Cylinder

After upgrading the front calipers to the '75 "Big Brakes" and the rear drum cylinders to the larger size (see prior post), I was having an intermittent "grabbing" condition requiring me to lift up on the brake pedal with my foot to get complete release. It was occasional and so I lived with it for a while but finally decided that, rather than do a bunch of diagnosis, I would use this condition as an excuse to upgrade to the OGTS 22mm Brake Booster and Master Cylinder (MC) (which BTW did end up solving the problem in addition to providing a nice performance upgrade :veryhappy).

Attached here are some photos of the process. The first is the original stock set-up. The next three photos show some comparisons between the old and new booster and MC. The fifth and sixth photos are there so I can comment on a couple "lessons learned" (see below) and the last photo shows the new set-up installed.

I have to say that this 22mm combination is awesome. Combined with the larger calipers and rear cylinders, the GT stops on a dime and feels like a modern car with respect to pedal feel and travel. The new set-up got an early real-world test when I took the car out for test run. A squirrel ran out in front of me and I instinctively slammed on the brakes hard. The car just stopped like I couldn't believe (no squirrels were harmed in this upgrade :)). The new set-up has been tested at highway speeds now and I am happy to report no problems at all.

Now for some lessons learned that may help other newbies like myself if you are doing this upgrade. First, see the brass banjo fitting in the fifth photo? Don't grab onto the facing of that fitting with a pair of pliers to hold onto it. This rookie mistake cost me four weeks without my car as I spent a couple hours each Sunday for a month (a month of Sundays :sigh:) trying to figure out why the rear brake line wouldn't seal against the MC. Long story short, I unknowingly cut a groove across the circular ribs in the facing of that banjo fitting on the MC side and this litterly formed a channel through which brake fluid could flow. No amount of tightening or application of new copper "crush" washers could solve that problem. A recycled banjo fitting from OGTS finally solved that problem but it took a newb like me a long time to figure out.

Second, refer to the sixth photo. The fitting on the right is what the FSM calls a "static pressure valve". Of course it doesn't bother to tell you its purpose nor does it concern itself with showing you a picture of what it is supposed to look like. Suffice it to say you need one of these to keep the rear brake line pressure correct. If your MC comes with the fitting shown on the left in this photo on your MC rear brake lines, replace it with a proper static pressure valve. I'm not sure why mine had the other fitting but not knowing what to look for, I assumed it was correct (they look identical when screwed into the MC). OGTS sent me a replacement static pressure valve and that was all it took (after bleeding of course) to get the whole system properly set-up. In addition to OGTS, several forum members helped me with my issues and I've thanked them separately so they know who they are. Thanks again guys! :notworthy

Well, that's it for the brakes for me - I've done as much as I think I can or need to do on the brakes (and suspension). Next on the list is some custom exhaust to connect up to my sprint manifold!

Matt
 

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Opel Key Master
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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
Refresh time

So its been over seven years since we really did major work to the car, and Matt had a 5 speed he wanted installed, and other little things taken care of. A lot of things we did seven years ago are not what we do today, as we learn over time what works, and what doesn't work so well. The undercoating we used on Matt's car was a 3M Body Shultz and at the time it was pretty decent stuff, dried hard and was paintable. One thing I noticed after a couple of years inspection, was that any oil that got on the coating, stripped it to the primer. Not really what I wanted to see, and the stuff is not easy to clean as it has a rough texture. I started looking at it on the lift, and thought, why not pull the driveline out, and do a complete freshen up underneath? The transmission is a lot easier to install with the engine out and as an assembly, the car is getting a header, and they are a real pain to install with the engine in the car. I thought all I would need to add was taking the rear end out, and remove the coating with some elbow grease. The engine has some leaks, and I will go ahead and regasket it, and repaint. So here we go, this will go rather quick too, as I cannot tie up the lift for too long of a time, but I can't have Matt's car looking like an old hag either!
 

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'72 Opel GT (Sara)
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We're Getting the Band Back Together...

It's just like old times Keith! I can't believe how much you accomplished in a day! :cool: I'm REALLY excited to have her back in for some upgrades and a general refresh! The 15x8 STR wheels and Toyo Proxes RA-1 tires went on just before the trip to Keith's shop.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #178 ·
Well the latest is we disassembled the engine to regasket it. I am using a new one piece oil pan gasket with this, and I had luck on the last one we did, so while the opportunity arose, we did it. Doing some long needed belly pan touch ups from a GA Opel meet jack incident as well. The engine was painted Strato Blue instead of such a dark blue as before.
 

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