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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well tuesday I will finally own my first opel. I bought a 74 manta off ebay for $500 you may have seen it on there last month, and tuesday I go get it. It's out near buffalo and I'm over by albany so it's gona be a nice 10 hr round trip, but well worth it. I just wanted to share my joy and excitment with you guys. I'm also getting a free 74 manta from a farm near me. It's just been sitting on the side of the road for at least 15 years. Its an auto and the engine is blown, but still has a lot of good parts. So I guess you will be hearing more from me come wednesday morning.

Brett
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Congratulations!
Some will disagree with me, but the Manta, in my opinion, is a better 'driver's car' than the GT. Much more forgiving and very predictable.
I bought mine with 154K and put another 70k on it over the next 7 years. I lost it in an accident one day (not my fault! I was sitting at a stoplight), but soon bought another. Hopefully, in the near future I will have that one on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sorry about yyour loss, hope you get the other one on the road soon. Your old one had lot of miles. Had there been any rebuilds before you got it? Did you rebuild it before you put that 70k on it. The one I'm getting has 110k but happens to come with a gasket set and bearings. The guy says it doesn't need a rebuild but should I do one anyway. I've got a 79 triumph spitfire too and it quickly developed the death rattle with only 60k on it, the bearings we razor sharp. Of course one is british and one is german so I'm hoping the manta can be driven for awhile before I gotta do the engine. Oh yeah can you drop the oil pan with the engine in the car or do you have to pull it to do the rings and bearings. Thanks.

Brett
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Nope, no rebuilds. The motors longevity was entirely due to the previous owners being fanatical about maintainance and oil changes. Well, that and the Germans using good quality iron! I drove the crap out of that car, everywhere at 70 mph, hard downshifts, etc. In the first year I replaced the exhaust with correct Bosal parts from OGTS and Mantapart, the master cylinder immediately after buying it (a $500 74 Manta 130 miles from home! It took the 20 mile drive on country roads to the highway to figure out the master was bad!), and the driveshaft (u-joint started making that 'tink-tink-tink' sound when I was running around trying to find exhaust donuts for the new exhaust!). The guy I bought it from put a brand spanking new 32/36 Weber on it six months before I bought it. Beyond that, over the next seven years, I replaced the water pump twice (the second time was after the car was totaled), two clutches, and one head gasket. A couple pairs of brake calipers and rotors (see above description of driving style). I broke one ball joint, cracked a front subframe arm, twisted a lower control arm, and broke a brake disc. The ball joint was old and failed, the disc completely separated from the 'hat' because the caliper had a stuck piston. All other failures were from hard driving, not inherent weaknesses in the car.
If you maintain the Manta, learn the weak spots, replace things BEFORE they fail, and use good quality parts, you should not have a problem. In fact, after all that, including the accident, the motor went on to do another 6000 in my current GT before I installed a new 2.0. The transmission from the Manta is still in the GT, having done yet another 6000 behind the 2.0. It shifts as nice as you could want, makes no noise, and I have not changed my driving style.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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It will be easier to pull the motor. Plus, you will have a more relaxed time working on the motor. Take the trans out at the same time and put new seals and gaskets in it. If you do this out of the car and reassemble the motor and trans, you have a much better chance of not having oil leaks. There is also a write-up (I'll see if I can find it) on replacing the side seals in the trans (one requires drilling and tapping to install a bolt, but it is really easy.
If you are interested, I'll send you a list of the things to take care of or inspect to make Manta ownership more pleasant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah that woudl be great if you coudl send me a list of stuff to I shoudl check out. I'd love for nothing more then to make this car my daily driver, well at least until the start salting the roads. Thanks.

Brett
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah the guy that sold me the manta said the brakes where bad, said it seems liek the fluid was bypassing the piston in the master cylindar. I planned on getting a rebuild kit becasue new ones are awfully expensive, and maybe getting some rebuilt calipers and wheel cylinders.

brett
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Ah, yes, the 'late' Manta master cylinder! A complete, unrepentent pain in the a%^! The French made Delco-Morraine units do not like to be rebuilt. I've tried twice and OGTS set me straight on those things. They suck. Their recommendation at the time (95-96 or so) was to get the 'early' Manta/Ascona/1900 brake booster which is used with the ATE master. A much cheaper and much easier to rebuild unit. I didn't do it and my brakes were never what they should be.
You could also swap to the 75 Manta/Ascona/1900 front discs and calipers. They are significantly larger, 30% or so, in swept area, not diameter.
Used rotors tend to be thin by now, so you are better off to bite the bullet and buy new rotors.
 
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