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Good for you for sticking through it. That's past the point of intimidating for me.

I'll make an update in my own thread, but, I took a day off to "finish" the bodywork on my GT, having thought for a few months "If I could just spend a weekend on it, I'd get it done". And in a 13 hour stretch I only managed to do about 1/3 of one seam, of at least a half-dozen I still need to do. I don't know where the time went, I didn't leave the garage the whole time. I hit that "why am I doing this?" point of frustration again. And I'm doing easy seams. Rockers and wheelwells would have scared me off.
 

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Good for you for sticking through it. That's past the point of intimidating for me.

I'll make an update in my own thread, but, I took a day off to "finish" the bodywork on my GT, having thought for a few months "If I could just spend a weekend on it, I'd get it done". And in a 13 hour stretch I only managed to do about 1/3 of one seam, of at least a half-dozen I still need to do. I don't know where the time went, I didn't leave the garage the whole time. I hit that "why am I doing this?" point of frustration again. And I'm doing easy seams. Rockers and wheelwells would have scared me off.
I've hit that wall many times on my build to. These hardcore project that you, me, any many others have taken on get the better of us. It's always best to step back, take a break. Heck I took a few months off many times cause I d get so frustrated and fed up......it's all part of being human... Don't give up yet!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Bob one thing about this forum, I don't think you will find a member that doesn't genuinely care and would be willing to jump and help your cause. Its just amazing how many caring people are connected to this forum. We like to share our opinions and offer advice that isn't necessarily how you would approach the issue. That's whats so cool about being connected to the best forum around. We can get great advice with knowledge and then do with it as we please :)
I'm enjoying watching your progress and look forward to an Opel just as nice as your other restored vehicle.
Time and money with lots of fun.
I agree, the people on this forum have been very helpful and I enjoy meeting like minded people. That said, I can repair all of the rusted sections so the underside will be sealed from water. I don't see a way to repair the trailing arm mounts. At least two sides of each mount are rusted to the extent that they are not attached to the U channel flanges which are rusted away as well. I've been staring at them for a week now and I see no way to properly repair them. Maybe someone has done this repair in the past but at the moment, I'm dead in the water working on a parts car. Here are some pics as well as a pic of the Mustang I built and raced. I've worked on a bunch of cars over the years and have never dealt with rust like this poor Opel has. Lord have mercy!
IMG_2357.JPG IMG_2358.JPG IMG_2359.JPG IMG_2341.JPG
 

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oh nelly that's for sure a surprise no one wants to see. As you said you bought it as a project and unfortunately when your tearing down to restore you find all the nice surprises you'd wish you hadn't. HOWEVER better to find it now and take one day at a time to repair then not have found it until your doing 50 60 or higher down the road and the bottom drops out if you know what I mean.
I'm sorry to see what your your seeing and I'm rooting for you. one day at a time my friend. besides the best part of it is your retired and have all the time you care to have to do what you do so well.
Keep pluggin away I look forward to your progress
 

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Discussion Starter #25
oh nelly that's for sure a surprise no one wants to see. As you said you bought it as a project and unfortunately when your tearing down to restore you find all the nice surprises you'd wish you hadn't. HOWEVER better to find it now and take one day at a time to repair then not have found it until your doing 50 60 or higher down the road and the bottom drops out if you know what I mean.
I'm sorry to see what your your seeing and I'm rooting for you. one day at a time my friend. besides the best part of it is your retired and have all the time you care to have to do what you do so well.
Keep pluggin away I look forward to your progress
Thanks Terry
 

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I wonder if this is a good time to think rear end swap. You have to rebuild everything so why not rebuild it to accept a stronger rear end since I suspect you are going to have some grunt under hood when you are done. Seems to be trend in your vehicles. Others here could certainly give you pointers and there are threads that discuss the process but you are pretty close to a blank canvas.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I wonder if this is a good time to think rear end swap. You have to rebuild everything so why not rebuild it to accept a stronger rear end since I suspect you are going to have some grunt under hood when you are done. Seems to be trend in your vehicles. Others here could certainly give you pointers and there are threads that discuss the process but you are pretty close to a blank canvas.
I've considered more power but more power means everything has to be changed. Been there. I had planned on putting the car together as stock but unfortunately the rust was an add on.
 

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I was thinking the same thing as Timbo. If you're already tearing out and rebuilding the suspension mounts, why not replace them with an IRS? No need to consider higher power necessarily, just, so that it can accept a better rear end.

I'm thinking, you might consider at the end of this, with all the pain in the ass you went through, it might be nice to say you got something better out of it than a stock GT.

That said, if you do want to just repair it and just don't know what it's supposed to be under there... I don't think it's a valuable part. There's probably guys around that could take out the sawzall to their parts vehicle and donate you replacement mounts and some floorpan for the price of shipping. Bit of a pain because a rolling donor is still a rolling donor until you cut away suspension mounts.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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I don't think it's a valuable part.
The trailing arms are actually a super important part. Without them, the first pothole you hit will tear the rear axle off. They also preserve the angle of the driveshaft to the differential.

If you look at those trailing arm brackets you can see that they're pretty flimsily mounted to the skin of the floor boards, with maybe an additional bit of reinforcement. You could easily come up with a sturdier set up. Like, how about replacing them with 2" angle iron? A metal plate and two short sections of angle iron welded or bolted to the plate and sticking down, bolt or weld the plate to the car. You could replace both trailing arm brackets in one afternoon and make them stronger than oem. They ain't rocket science, they're just pivot brackets. Heck, he could put slots in the mounting plate where the angle iron bolts to and make his own concept of adjustable trailing arms.

Bob's a customizer and can think outside the box, I'm sure he'll conquer this booger in a jiffy.
 

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IMHO, all looks repairable. The area around that one anchor will need some piecing or shaping of bits to rebuild that corner, but it is not much different from rebuilding a badly rusted out battery box area in a Manta/Ascona.

The idea of getting that area cut out from a donor car is a good one, Matt.

Just another trick..... Lapping new sheet metal of more thickness over the existing metal makes the welding easier. When you apply the heat to the lap joint, the new, overlapped metal's exposed edge will melt faster as it is more exposed. So, using thicker overlapping metal makes it melt at about the same time as the underlying thin body metal, and makes blowouts a lot. lot less frequent. And with the thicker overlapping metal, you can play the puddle back and forth between the 2 and control the heat going into the underlying sheet metal.
 

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The trailing arms are actually a super important part.
Value as in expense, difficulty finding replacement, or necessary to horde. I.E. No one is keeping a stash of old mounts. No one strips them off old donors before they scrap them.

Not value as in, not necessary for the vehicle to function. Which they obviously are.
 

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Am always fond of using bit and pieces.... Patches,, The problem is that your dealing with a uni body construction, It's made to be strong Unibody..way Once the Metal has been been Comproised thin, Rust and Rot and Rust holes it's not a strong shell, the body will flex more,,, So I would say Fiber glass not as strong,, If you have a plasma Cutter and Mig welder ,makes work much essier..

We all think differently,,, If it was me.... I'd strip the GT to a Shell... Get a Harbor Freight Trailer for $350 Dollars (( Make a Rolling Stand That can Be Transported))) Mount and brace the GT Uni-body
Have the shell Sandblasted blasted inside and Out
Blast Shops range from $700 to $1,300 depending on if you want it rust protected...
GBrown GT.jpg

Here's a Link From Keith's thread I think you need to read:
The $350 Opel Restoration stand


Then I would Cut out the floor and rockers and such while on the stand Trailer... You must realize by now that the GT sit nearly on the Floor... the trailer / Stand way will let you "" Work like a human again"" LOL and still be able to transport and move the GT around....etc... just some idea's

Again These are Just My Idea's ... To try to make the Restoration Pain any easier ..
My Advise I would use the Floors and Rockers that Opel GT Source Sells,
Making GT patches is not easy...
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I'm a bit confused at the moment. You all have good ideas. I'm headed out in a few minutes to look at a couple of GTs. Maybe one has fewer issues than mine and I can use mine as a parts car. It is pretty rough other than what I've worked on already.
 

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I'm a bit confused at the moment. You all have good ideas. I'm headed out in a few minutes to look at a couple of GTs. Maybe one has fewer issues than mine and I can use mine as a parts car. It is pretty rough other than what I've worked on already.
Go scoop up that Orange GT in Salisbury,, you'll be fine....
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I looked at a couple of GTs on Cape Cod today. One would make a good project for someone. It looks good with minimal rust. I've decided to sell my GT or part it out. It's sort of embarrassing not finishing the car but it became more of a challenge than I had envisioned. I'm no spring chicken so I figure I'll find something else less strenuous to occupy my time. This forum has been great. Thanks everyone!
 

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What would the advice be here for the next person who attempts this?

1 - Be more thorough in looking for rust or holes before purchase?

2 - Do a full teardown before beginning repairs, to investigate what might need repairing?

In Bob's case he seems to have done some higher level repair work on the front end before discovering what the mounts looked like under the rear end. He's rebuilt his brake booster and master cylinder, redid his brake lines. Fixed rust. And, now discovered more necessary repairs than he's interested in finishing. But it probably wasn't necessary to discover them in that order.

I dunno what I'd do. I'd have rejected that GT at the start, but, in for a penny in for a pound, I don't know that I'd walk away.

Best of luck Bob, if you're not too burnt out, with what you know about the vehicles now, a second attempt with better bones might be a lot more rewarding.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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For me, the lesson I learned over the years was to get the most rust free GT you can find. And try to get one from the "dry" States. The days of finding a decent 50 year old GT with no inconvenient to fix rust in the "wet" states are long gone. It's well worth it to spend several thousand or more for purchase and shipping to get a car with little or no rust. Whether it runs or has any parts on it at all is entirely secondary. There's lots of junkers with all the parts you could want out there, but there's dang few minimally rusted ones. Parts hunting is fun and relatively inexpensive, repairing rust in difficult places is a royal PIA and will make you give up on your car project, as we have seen many times here on the site.

I got my GTX car's body for $1500 and paid $1500 to have it shipped from Washington State to NJ. It was worth every penny. The guy had done a whole bunch of radical bodywork to it and then shoved it in the back of his garage for the next 18 years while he moved onto other car projects. He couldn't get the $2000 he wanted for it on Ebay. I contacted him after his listing expired and offered the $1500. He said that at least half a dozen people had come to see it and all said "Too much work to finish it and make it run!".

Bah! If I hadn't decided to modify it even more I could have had it painted, swapped all the parts over from my rusty GT, and been driving it in 3 months. It would have taken me 6 months to a year to fix the rust on the previous GT and I would have had to pay someone to do it. At a glance my previous Red Baron GT looked mint and was the shiniest car at car shows, but it was secretly a rusty crapp bucket. Here it was:

424872
 

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I looked at a couple of GTs on Cape Cod today. One would make a good project for someone. It looks good with minimal rust. I've decided to sell my GT or part it out. It's sort of embarrassing not finishing the car but it became more of a challenge than I had envisioned. I'm no spring chicken so I figure I'll find something else less strenuous to occupy my time. This forum has been great. Thanks everyone!
Sorry to see you go! Wish you the best with whatever future endavours you take on....
 

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Hey Bob Sorry, I think your frustrated,right now.., but hey that part of taking a step back,,,

I think you just need the right GT ... If this GT was rusty.. and you haven't spend ..that much on it yet...

I would look into getting a Good rust free Runner GT... with a Floor and Rockers..next time,and If you have money in your retirement for a GT project too,,, Now you have a new frontend to pop into the next GT

Theses Opel GT's are very addicting cars, for some reason... Once you own one drive one... u'all see
Hey you really tried to save this poor, little rusty orphan of a GT... no matter what.we said,,, you'd getter done..l'
so now .. You've been exposed to Opel GT's... what to look for, etc..
so I think you've already been infected with the Opelitus Disease.. the "Opel Passion"
and they say there no cure LOL ?
Soo ... I Think Bob, you'll be back for some more LOL ?

Cheers,
Mike
 
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