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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my thread subject "what kind of Solex is this", I had been trying to figure out what year/model Opel the carb on my 71 GT came from. I just noticed that you posted a picture on this site of the exact carb that's on my 71 GT. It's obviously not a GT engine compartment in the picture (the green fenderwells and the valve cover are different than the GT) What is the yr/make car in the picture, and do you know if that was the original carb for the car pictured?

By the way, for those who had responded to my thread, the rough idle problem was indeed a bad brake booster vac leak. Fixed that, advanced the timing a tad, upped the throttle stop screw a bit, and the car runs like new. Odometer says 48,000 miles, and I can almost believe it, it's running that well. Some cosmetic work, and 9LivesGT rides again.
 

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Hi;
The picture you see is the engine bay of my wife's 74 Sportwagon. It was purchased in Tampa, FL. The PO had replaced the original carb, with the one you see in the picture. It is the original type solex 32 DIDTA (spelling?) But, here's where it gets interesting. I know that a few out there still like the solex, it is a good carb, till it needs rebuilding. Then it's good for one rebuild. Trust me, I have found this out from 25+ years of driving nothing but Opels. You can also ask many members of this group too. The weber is just a far better carb, in that, not only can they be rebuilt easier (which, btw, they don't have too) more importantly, they can be TUNED better than the solex. And I don't mean twisting a few screws. You can get jets, bleeders, and emulsion tubes to tailor the weber to YOUR car, YOUR driving, and YOUR driving arena. Here's another interesting little fact, and this is how I got her (my wife) Sportwagon so cheap. The PO didn't bother to check the internet for sites like this, or Yahoo Groups "Classic opels", for info, he just had a local garage (read, they didn't know how to work on an Opel, let alone know what it is) find him another "replacement" carb. The solex you see in the picture is BRAND new, and it also cost over $500 to get!! You can get a weber 32/36 downdraft, NEW, with a fancy air cleaner, for about $300, or LESS, if you search the internet! So, I'm not saying, "throw your solex away" just to get a weber, no, if your car is doing fine with the solex, GREAT! Keep on rollin':D But, start putting aside the money to get a weber when you can afford it, or the solex does start giving you trouble. I have a weber on my GT, that has been on 3 other cars now, I just keep moving it. It hasn't been rebuilt. My 74 Sportwagon came with a weber. I bought a used 38 weber (a more performance oriented weber) for $10, and was recently given another 32/36 from another member in TX. You can find deals on used webers on EBAY every now and then. Sometimes, you can buy a "parts car" that'll have a weber on it. If the parts car can be had for $50-$100, the carb alone is worth it.
 

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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Leave it to someone who says he's been driving Opels for 25 yrs to solve the mystery Solex question ! Thanks for all of this great info, and the interesting story. No wonder it didn't look like a Solex on any GT I'd ever seen. So this model carb costed your car's PO $500 new? Well, as long my GT is running well, I think I'll keep it so I can brag that it has a $500 carb on it. I was on another opel site (opelclub.com) and found a picture of your 74 Sportwagon. Now THAT is unusual. In the Northeast, Opels are near extinction. I've only seen 4 Opels on the road in the last 15 yrs up here, 2 red GT's, a yellow Kadette, and a rusty orange Manta that I used to pass up on my commute toward Boston everyday. You obviously are a dedicated Opel fan, if you've somehow managed to actually drive them for that long. I guess these cars are just quirky and interesting. After someone buys one, they have no choice but to learn how to work on it, or walk. Thanks for the Weber info too. From what I'm reading on this website, the Weber is not just a bolt-on and go? There's some kind of linkage modification that needs to be done, it appears. I can't find any clear description of exactly what needs to be done to the Weber and the linkage to get it to hook up to the 1.9. There's a close up picture of a modification that apparently has to be made to the Weber, but I'm unclear what exactly is being done there. Did you need to do anything special to your Weber to install it on your GT? Someone told me it's just unbolt the Solex, bolt on the Weber with a new gasket, and connect the linkage to it, same as the old carb, that's it. But this site has a string that makes it seem much more involved.

Enjoyed the Sportwagon story tremendously. It will be an interesting story to tell friends. As I mentioned, Opels are so rare around here that people always ask what kind of car it is, what's it got in it, can they look under the hood, etc.

I'm curious, what was your 1st Opel, or the 1st Opel you drove in, that caused you to continue driving these cars for 25 years??? Must be something early on that gives people an interest in these cars.

Since you shared your interesting Opel story, I guess one amusing Opel story deserves another. In 1968, we lived in a house that was just up the street from a Buick/Opel dealership, in town not far from where I live now. I was 11, my brother 13. Outside the front entrance, on the sidewalk, they would park one shiney new GT, every couple of months, until it was sold. This was ongoing from '68 to '73. After a couple of years of walking past the "sidewalk GT's", we became so fond of the cars I remember one day, when a Strato Blue GT was out front, the two of us went into the showroom. I pointed to the GT brochures and asked the salesman if I could have one. He said "no, those are only for people who are buying one of those". I said "but I am going to buy one, someday". He said we weren't old enough, and we had to leave. After we left, he came out with the brochure and said "I want you to keep this, this is for you". Fast forward about 32 years. The PO of my GT said the PO he bought it from said it was a local car, it came from that same dealership, when new. The car had a black enamel paint job on it when I bought it. I've recently been at it with the sand paper, getting it ready for a repaint. When I sanded away the black, I uncovered the original paint. Strato Blue. I still have the brochure, I kept it all these years. I'll never know, but I like to think I have the car that was on the sidewalk, that day.
 

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It is a little interesting as to how I got hooked on Opels. I, like you, got to notice Opels from seeing a GT. I really liked the looks of the GT, but, don't get me wrong, I just love Opels, period. What sold me on Opels, was the first Opel we had in the family. It was a 72 Kadett Wagon. White exterior/red interior, automatic, 1.9 motor and a roof rack. My Dad was a traveling salesman (so to speak) and put a LOT on miles on a car in a year's time, but, that's just in and around the city of Atlanta. He had driven all sorts of cars, but, none ever held up like that little Wagon. It was also simple to work on, economical, easy to drive, and trustworthy. Then and there, my love for Opels set in and I've been hooked ever since.
The piece you have to modify for the weber, is the piece that the linkage attaches to to turn the throttle plates. You can see it on your solex. Follow the linkage to the carb, just before you get to the carb, you'll see a ball-and-socket joint. Well, there's a pin coming out of that ball-and-socket joint at 90 degrees to it. There is a bracket that fits over this pin and goes back to the carb in front of this ball-and-socket joint. It's this bracket that you have to modify when you get a weber carb to work on the Opel. It can be done by anyone with a hammer and a dremel tool, you just need to duplicate the one on your solex, but, use the one off the weber. I'll try and get some pictures to post for you.
The weber will run out of the box on your Opel, but, what everyone is talking about is that, it's not "perfect". It can be tuned more, and more specifically to your motor, and your type of driving. You can't do this with the solex. Now, just to be frank with you, I have a weber on my current GT that has been on 3 other Opels I have owned. I took it straight out of the box, and bolted it on myself. Each time it has been moved, I moved it myself, and it has never been opened, and yet has been running perfectly all this time, some 250,000 miles plus! Now, the current motor it sits on, the weber can be "adjusted" more, since it is a performance motor, or I can go up one step to a 38 weber. I have gotten 40mpg outta this carb, and yet I have also run a few people, who thought they were "playing" with a buzzy little foreign car.
I'll keep the solex on my wife's Sportwagon as she's not a lead foot, and seeing as the carb is new, it'll be a while before it will give problems, who knows, maybe never, but, I have several webers now that if it does, I can swap it out in no time.
 

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Opeler
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129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, now I see what's going on with the Weber carb linkage thing. Others interested in installing a Weber on a Opel could also benefit from reading your last reply to this string. Not to imply that everyone else is as clueless as I am sometimes, but that's a good walk-through of the swap. Should give anyone the confidence to go for it.
Hey, you said it was 72 Kadett Wagon ? First ride in an Opel I had was in a red 72 Kadett 2 dr coupe, in '75. It was my friend's mom's car, she let us borrow it to go to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox (lose!). It was like riding in a shopping cart on the highway, but it was a unique experience. Didn't see to matter that they lost, that little car was so much fun. Speaking of the Sox, as I type this, they are down 5-1 in the 9th in their 2nd wild card playoff game. Nope, game's over, they lost. I think I need to ride in an Opel now. Sure cure for baseball, or any other blues!
 

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I've always had an interest in cars, even when I was real young. I didn't have a computer till 97, so most of what I learned about Opels, I had to find out on my own, or actually ask someone face to face. I had 13 Opels at one time.
 

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Old Opeler
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Strato Blue Boston GT

My 1972 GT came from Clair's International Motorcars in Boston Massachusetts and was originally Monzablau-Metallic as Opel called it. The original lady owner brought it with her when she emigrated to New Zealand about 1983 and sold it to me last year when it needed considerable rust removal.

I had a picture of a Green GT on my wall since 1969 and always wanted one but they were never imported here new as we are a Right Hand Drive country and they were all LHD, as mine still is.
It has undergone a full year of body rebuild and is about to be repainted - GM Laurel Green - metallic. Had 104,000 miles on it but the engine still ran great with only the Weber card modification - all else is original.

Just wondered if the Buick dealership was the same as the one you mentioned NineLivesGT?

"You Are Treated Fair & Square by Ernie Clair"
 

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Opeler
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
from Boston to New Zealand???

GTJim,

It wasn't the Clair dealership. But the Clairs are still selling cars in the Boston area... I thought you may be interested. If you go to www.clair.com, you'll see that they now sell Cadillacs and Saturns. Unfortunately, I did not live close enough to that area to be familiar with the dealership at all.

I was quite amazed to receive a reply from someone from New Zealand, who has a GT from Boston? Sounds like you are another advocate for the Weber carb conversion. I will do the swap, if my Solex does deteriorate over time. There can't be many GT's in New Zealand, one would think.

Just curious- about the green GT picture you've had hanging on the wall since '69: is that the GT advertisement showing the green GT with the knockout blond w/ pink dress crouched on the rear fender? If so, this is starting to get a bit too eerie... I have had that picture on the back door of my basement shop forever, for this reason: In college, (20+ yrs ago) there was a blond who looked nearly exactly like her in my freshman english literature class. She sat directly to my left in class. I told her that, and one day I brought the picture in and showed it to her. A day later, she tied a lock of her blond hair to the steering wheel of my '71 GT, when I was off to another class. I knew immediately that it had to be hers. It gets better (much) from there, but let me just say, that ad has got to be the most effective ad of all time... the girl in the picture really does come with the car.

Yes, do paint it green, and carry the ad with you. It pays to advertise.
 

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Old Opeler
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Far Away GT in NZ

Hello NineLivesGT,

One of only three in the whole country! Without EBay and some real staunch parts sellers from over there I could never have begun the job of restoration. The undercoat is hardening for the next twoweeks, then a rub down and Green paint goes on.

The car ws built 04.24.72 and sold new on 07.22.72 in Boston so it had a quick trip across the Atlantic. Went from Boston to Hawaii then down to Mexico and across to New Zealand - all with the original owner. She admits that she was "quite the lass about town" with a new GT in 1972. I have the original paper work from Clair Buick Inc. and it shows the car cost $3554.25.

I have the single page "pink dress" add too but the one that stayed on my wall was the double page ad of the same vintage with a dark green GT, a Gold GS 400 Stage I Buick and a blonde in a green jacket ( the same blonde by the look of it).

Just goes to show that GTs are worldwide babe magnet phenomena :)))
 

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My GT is a 69 that is "supposed" to be a copy of the GT in the ad too, but, somewhere down the line, it got repainted the 74 "Aztec Bronze" is think is the name of the color.
 
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