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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Meet Vanessa, she's 31 and still kickin' but for how long with a horrible sicknes like this?

thats 31 years being a daily driver and i asume not spared much.
I don't use it for any different then to get me from a to b.
Please tell me she'll be allright and get well soon with ease, i won't ever sell or dump this car as i get too emotionaly attached to things so she'll have to roll to the end of time. :(
 

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Opel fan
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Mata Love

Well, to tell you she'll get better with ease... can't do that :( ,

but a labor of love is not really labor, right? :)

just about anything can be fixed with enough time and effort!
I think if that's what you got your heart set on then nothing will stop you. Go for it man!! PS, She will get well soon and be all right !
 

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Check the frame rails and jack points underneath where they attach to the body. Manta's are prone to rust there.

I went to look at a Manta a few years back, the body and paint were in such good shape I wondered why he was only asking $300.00 for it. I looked underneath and saw the drivers side frame rail had rusted through and it had dropped down almost two inches. The passenger side was not too much better.
 

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sven, do you have a wire welder and some skill to use it? If your frame is ok (or it needs alittle patching), those rust spot aren't much to worry about. Cut it out, match a piece to it with a 1/2 inch flange, weld and putty the seems. If I can, I'll post a picture of my #2 GT which was rearended. It would scare alot of folks off. I like fixing things others are scared of, course I hate throwing any thing away.:D
 

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Sven;
I'm no metalurgist (sp?) but, I think there would be a chemical reaction of the different metals. I have a stanless steel tail pipe tip on my galvanized exhaust, but, it won't really matter there, bodywork may be something different.
 

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There is a different metal blend between stainless and std sheet metal. You have to be a pretty experienced welder to work it. Which I'm not :( but I can do well enough for same type/size metal. Has to do with heat chacteristics, eddie current in the metal and a couple of other things. For sven's problem, plain old sheet metal will do. However if you had cash and a good, experienced welder, you could make a stainless floor pan. A bit of overkill though, I think.
 

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crazy opeler
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Do not mix the metals,
one of my gt's was fixed using stainless panels and the chemical reaction between the two metals made it rust out twice as bad in half the time.
When I do metal repair to opels I try to use metal from another part of a parts car just so I have the same type of steel.

Fiberglass is OK, for repair. I find it to be a bit messy to deal with, although I do like the green fiberglass filler that Bondo puts out. You wont have problems with it cracking over time due to moisture.

Remember these things

1. Cut out ALL bad metal

2. weld in like metal if possible

3. Coat the inside of the panel with a rust preventative

4. You MUST make sure that you don't interfear with the factory drain holes, as in don't cover them over.
 

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Old Opeler
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Substitues for the right stuff

Stainless Steel still rusts! Especially when welded to other metals.
It is also very hard to panel beat into shape as it work hardens.

Fibreglass ALWAYS cracks at the edge of the sheet metal it is stuck to when used to bridge gaps. Also rust will form between it and the metal it overlaps.

There is no real substitute for the original sheetmetal cut from another car of the same era and/or make.

However the restoration industry in New Zealand is beginning to use new zinc plated sheet called "zintec" for replacement panels.
Any weld joins need the zinc coating feathered away from the welded edge - before welding. The advantage is that the inner surfaces already have rust proofing.

Sven, get hold of a few of the UK "Practical Classics" magazine as they usually have an article or two on intrepid Brits welding huge hunks into their salt ravaged cars. There are also adds for quite inexpensive MIG welders. Many people have learnt new skills by fixing classic cars - try it out on a wreck first till you master the ability to weld sheet metal.

Rule number one is: "Get rid of ALL the rust" - it will just rust on!
Rule number two is: "One big patch is better than several small ones" - less welding.

Pre-shape larger panels before fitting them into place and welding
into place using small short runs of weld to keep the heat down to reduce distortion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well here goes. I've only done a tiny bit coz i had to go out and then night falls at 4pm

Its some freaky stuff! theres more body filler than metal in that car. the previous owner obviously tryed to fix it, but quite badly, he just stuck a sheet of metal with those pop nuts (what you call em?) on the still rusty body. this is what it looks like after 8 years being like that. no going back now, i spent all my money on a welder, compressor with air brush and sander to get this car in shape.

looks like i'll be doing quite alot of shaping when i get it all to bare metal. As you can see the car was once long ago metallic blue, but someone obviously didn't like that.
will post more pics tomorow when i get more done.
 

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Old Opeler
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One bit at a Time

Good on you Mate!

Just do one area at a time so that the whole car does not look like that all at once!

Be aware of the fuel filler and tank being in there too (fire hazard)
believe it or not a FULL fuel tank is slightly less of a risk than an empty one! The fuel vapour in a partially empty tank will explode.
If you do have an empty tank then squirt a CO2 (carbon dioxide gas - NOT powder!!) into the filler to lower the risk when welding close to the filler and leave the cap ON tight.

You can establish the lines at the edges of the wheel arches with a line of bent wire so you have some idea where the edge should be. Just tack the wire to the body at the front and rear edges of the repair after bending it to shape - it give you a line to work to.

If you need help just ask the folks on this board. Your local high school or Technical Institute will probably have Body work classes at night school which can be very useful if available too.
 

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sven, try this out. Get a piece of thin cardboard, or other really stiff paper, and copy the arch from the other side and mark "out" on it. Using that as a trace, mark a piece of 18 gauge and add a 1/4" (or 1mm) for a flange lip. Mark your bad side (without the extra) and trim it out. Then put the metal with the "out" to the inside of the car and tack it in place. Don't forget to weld the wheel-opening lip on before hand, though. Add a little grinding, metal treatment, some zinc-chromate primer and your favorite color.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the tips.

I removed the gas tank and washed the floor and car with water. my tank cap can't be fastened tight so fuel leaks out, i wouldn't take the risk, so thought i'd be sure besides i have better visibility from the inside without it.
 

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Same/same sven. Just gonna have to work on the back layer first, then the outer. Personally, I'd trace and cut both pieces and weld the wheelwell arch in, then the outer skin. Pinch it together w/ visegrips at the bottom and weld it up. You can only make it better so no sweat. Your rotory wire brush and some underbody spray will take care of the inside. You can use some filler for any voids.
 

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boomerang opeler
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hi to gtjim
thanks never knew i was intrepid just thought we were to dum not to know when to give up on a car
got to love zintec been here for a few years now and it will last for ages without paint so it has to be good
i did a patch on a sill and it has had no paint on it in 2 years (weld rusts but it was left as a test)
ps the salt is to add flaver ever had frys without it?and theres nothing wrong with welding everything back from the front badge and still call it the same car
 

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Old Opeler
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RUST.....Rust.....rust.........

Baz & Sven, Have a look at the pics of my GT restoration in the Gallery under GTJIM. I know where of you speak!

Took 14 months and professional help to get it done but it looked so good after the paint job that I got a new front badge too!

Canterbury, NZ is quite dry but the PO had some "professional" fix a front and rear ender crunch years ago and they sculptured it back to shape with about 100 pounds of lead! No panel work just lead built up over the bent sheet metal.

It was the soldering flux that did the damage. Looks like they just flicked the paint on without cleaning it all off.

Some areas on the cars have up to five layers of sheet metal. Particularly around the front guards. Just have to start with the bottom layer and work outwards bit by bit.
 
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