Going in the bin is this exhaust section from an Opel Manta A series which I had been keeping it as a pattern for future reproductions of exhaust systems for the Opel Manta, but that won't be happening now.

UK version of the Opel Manta A series exhaust
The exhaust on the UK version of the Opel Manta differs from the European versions because of the compromises necessary to rework the design to suit a right hand drive vehicle.
The downpipes have to merge much closer to the exhaust manifold than on a European car, in order to clear; the steering column, clutch cable and brake servo. Whether or not this restricts the flow and reduces horsepower is a moot point.
To complicate matters further, automatic variants of the Opel Manta A series require a couple of extra kinks in the downpipe in order to clear the much bulkier gearbox. I have even heard that on the last of the Opel Manta A series, produced from August 1974 onwards, had a different design of engine mount, moving the engine slightly further forward and requiring a marginally longer front pipe.

Ian Dove has built a replica of the TransEurope Engineering TE2800 for use at classic rallies. If you haven't heard of a TE2800 before and think it looks like an Opel Manta A series on steroids, you'd be correct. TransEurope Engineering bought partially built bodies from Opel, re-engineered the body and suspension, then squeezed a tuned (142 bhp) 2.8 litre Opel six cylinder engine and gearbox into a Manta shell with appropriate modifications to the running gear. Performance was: 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22 seconds, and a standing start kilometre in 29.2 seconds. Top speed was 130mph. Bodywork was similar to an Irmscher body kit with a bonnet bulge. A rally version was also produced with an engine tuned to give 230 bhp. Some other special parts fitted were Recaro rally seats, 7" alloys, vented discs, LSD, Nardi steering wheel and uprated suspension.

I was able to supply Ian with an assortment of bits and pieces during his build up. He mailed me because his servo had packed up and I knew there was one in the loft, but could I find it? It had somehow got into a box of cables!
Once found I was able to get it boxed and sent off by courier the next day.

Ian Dove's TE2800 Replica - source Ian Hardy

Dropping into the Scrap Bin today is this Mountney aftermarket steering wheel off an old Opel Manta A series project of mine. Sadly whilst the car was stripped and awaiting a respray the local chavvers decided it needed further lightening and tried to remove this desirable accessory.
Being as they were intellectually challenged, rather than use a screwdriver they tried to yank it off. The attempted theft was unsuccessful but it left the mounting flange distorted and with some paint fractures.
Knowing how fussy some types can be on eBay these days, I consider it unsaleable, so it is en route to recycling heaven, unless you want to intervene of course.

Mountney wheel - a class item ruined by a bunch of neds

As with all other items in the Scrap Bin it is absolutely free if you collect, or pay just the cost of postage. The bin will need to be emptied by the end of September.


Updates:

30/09/2011 - Now scrapped


It's all about labels

I have just spent a few hours restructuring the "labels" for this site, labels are a way of dividing up the blog into different categories. I have also added a widget at the top right hand corner of the page that lists these labels in order of popularity. If you click on a label; for example, Opel Manta A series, the blog will re-arrange itself to show all the posts on that subject in chronological order. Neat eh!
Hopefully this will make it much easier to find the articles of particular interest to you.

Find the label - source opel-classic-parts.com

On offer is an Autodata owners workshop manual for the Opel Manta A series. It is very similar in format to the more common Haynes manuals, I've never seen another one like this.
It covers the Manta and Ascona A series models with the 1.6 and 1.9 engines. It is not quite as comprehensive as the equivalent Haynes manual, but does still cover plenty of common tasks such as; rebuilding the engine and major mechanical components.
It is in fair condition, with some oily pages, perfect for the workshop. It can be sent to within the UK for, or overseas, just mail me for a quote.

Autodata Manual - just like the Haynes version

I have just dug out these 4 plastic sill trims. I think they might be Opel Rekord C series, possibly D series. They bear the following part numbers; 3468175 & 3467366.
They are by no means mint, but might replace a lost or broken one. They go in the scrap bin today and are up for grabs for free. The bin will be emptied at the end of August!

Unknown Sill Trim - Opel Rekord or Commodore?

Updates:

01/09/2011 - Now scrapped

Andy R mailed me a couple of days ago looking for a steering rack for his Opel Manta A series. I assumed that he had a problem getting an MOT, as it turns out he has just bought a left hand drive Manta from Holland. He is now collecting parts for the conversion to right hand drive.
Luckily I had this spare in the loft, last one left.

Opel Manta A steering rack - Another handy find

John L dropped me a line, he needed to replace a duff rear brake cylinder on his Opel Manta A series.

I recommended changing both to ensure even braking and luckily still have a fair few of Bendix made items to clear. Bendix is not a common name among aftermarket parts suppliers, but I used them on one of my own cars about 8 years ago and they're holding up just fine.

I was able to package them up and out the same day, I then did a quick stock check and there are just enough to service five more cars.
The label on the box lists them as being suitable for the Ascona, Manta, Rekord and CD (the Bitter made coupe I assume).
Should you fancy a pair, they are £15 inc UK delivery.

Brake Cylinder - best replaced in pairs


It's time to offer this Haynes manual for the Opel Kadett C series from 1975-79. It is in good condition and covers all the myriad maintenance of tasks you would expect of a Haynes manual for the Opel Kadett.
John Haynes OBE wrote and published his first book, on building an Austin 7 Special, whilst he was still at school in 1956. He wrote two more 'Special' builders' manuals while doing his National Service in the RAF. The first 'proper' Haynes Owners Workshop Manual, for the Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite, was published in 1965. Based on the stripdown and rebuild of the project vehicle and with extensive use of step-by-step photographs – a process that has not changed to this day – this manual set the standard for many generations of manuals to follow.

Since Haynes Publishing was founded in 1960, more than 150 million Haynes Manuals have sold throughout the world, more than half a million in the UK last year alone. There are around 300 UK car manuals in print at present with 130 plus UK motorcycle manual titles - not to mention equivalent ranges in the USA, France and Sweden. Actually writing a car manual takes 20 to 30 man-weeks. Authors work in pairs, which shortens the origination time and avoids them going crazy in the middle of long projects. We buy a car at the beginning of the project and sell it at the end - either to staff or on the open market. The workshop phase lasts approximately 4 weeks, although we usually keep the car until the manual is about to print in case of last-minute queries. From the start of a project to the publication of the manual usually takes between three and six months. Motorcycle manuals take about two-thirds as long.
...read more here

Opel Kadett Haynes Manual - Very Useful
Updates:

07/10/2011 - Now Sold

I have had a back axle for an Opel Manta A series sitting in my back yard for quite a while. I was keeping it in reserve for a stillborn project and the time has come to move it on. Here is a quick run down:

The Good Bits:
It is from a Manta A series 1900 Automatic, this means it will have the longer 3.44 : 1 gear ratios.
The doner car had covered under 100,000 miles and the automatic transmission reduces the normal shock loading.
Unlike the more common Opel Manta B series, the Opel Manta A series has a narrower track. This makes it much better for converting Opel Kadett C series and Vauxhall Chevettes without having to install huge wheel arches.
I removed the half shafts and they have been stored in a dry room indoors.

The Bad Bits:
There is a lot of rust in the spring cups and they will need to be replaced.
The brake back plate is missing one one side, and there are no brake drums fitted.
The unit has stood outside for some years, so a good blasting and repaint is definately overdue.
You should probably replace as many bearings as possible before use.

It is a very large item to send by courier, so I would recommend collection from London. If it will fit in my car I can deliver it to you for the cost of fuel. Bear in mind though that this will be around 15 pence per mile. Anywhere around the North of England will be a 500 mile round trip.

Manta A rear axle - perfect for Kadett conversions

There has been quite a rush on Opel Manta A series indicator switches in recent weeks, I hope that its just coincidence and not something that's going around!

There are two types of indicator switch used on the Manta A, the early models from 1970-73 have just the indicators, headlamp flash and push wash/wipe functions; the later models had all the wiper controls on the arm too.

I had one on a steering column of the earlier type, which was good news for Jason from the Isle of Man because that's what he needed and had been messed around by someone who lied about being able to source one.

Replacing the switch isn't too difficult, but you have to be very gentle getting the steering wheel off, so as not to cause damage to the collapsible steering column. Ideally you would remove the whole steering column, but this would add a few more hours to the time the job takes and is very difficult on your own. The ignition switch housing can be a pain, as if it is original, it is secured with a tear off headed bolt which needs to be drilled and extracted with a stud extractor tool.

None off this is beyond diy mechanics level, just take your time and be methodical.

Manta A Indicator Switch - Removal can be a pain
UPDATES:

01/03/2013 - All stock now sold

Around a year ago I listed a complete fuel injection set up salvaged from a late model Manta B series GT/E. There was no responce, so in the autumn I stripped off all the components and sent the aluminium off to the local scrap dealer.
Now it seems there is demand for these parts; at least they are now ready to post out in manageable chunks. There appears to be a relay in the box of bits, this could well be the fuel pump relay that people keep asking for, more to follow on this subject later.

Opel Manta B GT/E Fuel Injectors - Now in demand

I seem to have an overstock of used Opel Manta A series glove boxes. Without exception they are all finished in black vinyl and are to suit all versions of the Opel Manta A series.

There is a small difference between the early and later types; early cars have a chrome effect twist knob and later cars have a plain black vinyl pull catch.

They fit into the Manta dashboard with self tapping screws. These glove boxes are equipped with a vanity light which were fitted to all UK specification Opel Manta A series as standard, but were only fitted to the deluxe European versions.

When you're putting together a special show car, there's nothing like having the original factory manual in the glove box along with all the other official bumph.

Here are exactly those items for the Vauxhall Astra Mk2 / Belmont range which our European cousins will recognise as the Opel Kadett E series.

Vauxhall Astra Mk 2 - Opel Kadett E series

This particular pack came from a Vauxhall Astra Mk2 Belmont LX Estate that I owned a few years back. It differed from the more common or garden Vauxhall Astras by the placement of the 1.8 litre engine and close ratio gearbox under the bonnet. It was the first vehicle I owned with fuel injection and I recall that it went rather well but sadly longevity wasn't in the DNA..anyway I digress.

This pack contains all the information used for the Vauxhall Astra Mk2, such as; specifications, tyre pressures, switch locations, etc. and is dated November 1989. There is also a separate audio manual for the radios which covers types; 272, 670 and 681 and a dedicated manual for the Philips DC 751/63/79. There is a vehicle security manual and a service location map for Vauxhall and Bedford dealerships. There is a wallet and pamphlet for optional RAC assistance and Vauxhall Sureguard mechanical and breakdown protection. Lastly there is a used Service History log book.

This treasure trove is packed in a jiffy bag ready to be sent out to you.

I have a stock of rocker cover gaskets for the cam in head engine. To the best of my knowledge this engine was first used in the Opel Rekord C series and continued to be used for the next thirty years finishing its life installed in some of the long wheel base 5 door version of the Vauxhall Frontera.

I have both the normal cork gasket with 2 mounting lugs and I also have the much rarer early version with 9 mounting lugs. I would imagine that these were fitted in the late 60s and early 70s and would be very difficult to source elsewhere. Drop me a line if you need one.

Late type rocker gasket

Early type rocker gasket

Just the one front overider for the Opel Manta A series, rare and precious!
This type of overider was only used on the earier versions of the Opel Manta A series from roughly 1970-72, typically on those cars with a 592***** chassis number.
There is no rubber insert supplied, this part will have to be transfered across from your old Opel Manta overrider.
I also have a complete used set of these overriders in poor condition, if you want to have some re-chromed.
Make me an offer.

Opel Manta A series Overrider - rare and precious

I have had a back axle for an Opel Manta A series sitting in my back yard for quite a while. I was keeping it in reserve for a stillborn project and the time has come to move it on. Here is a quick run down:

The Good Bits
It is from a Manta A series 1900 Automatic, this means it will have the longer 3.44 : 1 gear ratios.
The doner car had covered under 100,000 miles and the automatic transmission reduces the normal shock loading.
Unlike the more common Opel Manta B series, the Opel Manta A series has a narrower track. This makes it much better for converting Opel Kadett C series and Vauxhall Chevettes without having to install huge wheel arches.
I removed the half shafts and they have been stored in a dry room indoors.

The Bad Bits
There is a lot of rust in the spring cups and they will need to be replaced.
The brake back plate is missing one one side, and there are no brake drums fitted.
The unit has stood outside for some years, so a good blasting and repaint is definately overdue.
You should probably replace as many bearings as possible before use.

It is a very large item to send by courier, so I would recommend collection from London. If it will fit in my car I can deliver it to you for the cost of fuel. Bear in mind though that this will be around 15 pence per mile. Anywhere around the North of England will be a 500 mile round trip.

Daniel Christy from Malaysia, a regular correspondent, recently asked about fitting a tachometer to his Opel Manta A series.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is what the Official Opel Service Manual has to say.



Rob Day wrote to me recently, he was looking for the plastic shroud to go round the steering column on his Opel Manta A series. He was struggling to find the correct part because his Opel Manta A is of the later type. The key difference between the early and late model A series is the position of the wiper controls.
On the late models these are controlled from the indicator stalk by twisting it and the hazard light switch is mounted diametrically opposite the stalk at the 3 O'clock position.
On the early cars the hazard switch is located on top at the 12 O'clock position and there is a wiper switch on the dash.

I checked and found one of the late type shrouds with the hole for the hazard switch at the 3 O'clock position. It was clean and in good condition.

A swift £18 PayPal payment and Rob was sorted.

Manta A steering column problem - Sorted!

I seem to have an overstock of used Opel Manta A series centre consoles. Without exception they are all finished in black vinyl and are to suit the manual transmission version of the Opel Manta A series.

There is a fitment for a cigarette lighter or auxiliary power plug as they are called in these politically correct times. There is a cut out for an ashtray and there is a handy stowage bin next to the handbrake for your 8-track cassettes or mp3 player, iPhone, etc.

The unit is secured to the transmission tunnel by self tapping screws into plastic rawlplug type fittings. These were fitted to all UK specification Opel Manta A series as standard, but were only fitted to the deluxe European versions.

In the past I saw one that had been tastefully recovered in leather and very plush it looked too.

Being made of Opel's finest plastics they are virtually indestructible and will be one of the few surviving human artifacts to be recovered by highly evolved mechas in the year 4000.

In the mean time if you can find a use for one you know who to contact!

Opel Manta A series centre console - Indestructible

I am adding a new "Scrapped" page, it will list those parts which are too tatty to sell but will be gladly donated to anyone that has the need for, or can find a use for them. These Opel spares have to go, I can no longer afford the space on the basis that they might come in handy one day. You can call to collect the parts or I can arrange a courier at cost.

The first items to go in the scrap bin are four standard 13" Opel Manta A series wheels of the sort that require hubcaps. They have quite a lot of surface rust, but if you look here you will see that even the tattiest wheels can be rejuvenated successfully.
Save these wheels before they become reincarnated as a Chinese domestic appliance.

Opel Manta A wheels for free!

Updates:

01/05/2011 - Now scapped

I recently had a set of wheels powder coated for my everyday car. In the past I have used companies as far afield as Birmingham for the service, but this time opted to pay a little more for local service and chose Willow Powder Coating in South London.
Their service was very good, they can blast and powder coat a wheel within a week and normal surface rust doesn't seem to be a problem. For my everyday car I chose Gloss Ford Diamond White for a rally look; but Silk finish silver, Silk/Matt black or many other colours shouldn't pose a problem.
Expect to pay around £50 per wheel and remember to deliver them stripped of tyres, balancing weights and valves, etc.

Powder coating - Before & After

If you want to do a classic Opel or Vauxhall Rostyle wheel, you may get best value by choosing a Matt Black finish and spraying the silver sections yourself. Powder coat takes paint well providing you lightly key the surface by sanding it with 600 or 1000 grade wet'n'dry sandpaper. If you don't have a paint factors nearby, you can buy wet'n'dry sandpaper at a reasonable price from Screwfix, they also stock production paper.

In the past I have used Hammerite Silver Smoothrite paint to excellent effect, I have also had good results from the range of industrial paints available by through CPC Farnell, such as their excellent "Steel Wheels" paint from CarPlan. The last set of Opel Rostyle wheels I had powder coated was around a decade ago, they still look good today and that is with storage outside in all elements.

If you want the best finish for your original Opel or Vauxhall wheels I cannot recommend the benefits of powder coating highly enough, which outshines and outlasts the original finish.

As mentioned in the New Season Kick Off post I have two cars to sell, word must have got out, because one has already gone before I even had the chance to list it here.
It was a 1973 Opel Manta A series coupe in rare Cosmos Blue.

The car came to me following an accident as a stripped out shell, I had the front and rear valences replaced and the shell resprayed. I then spent a pleasant few weeks re-assembling it, taking the opportunity to install the wiring loom from the SR model. This meant I could install the rev counter and desirable supplementary gauges fitted on the SR.
The interior was in a charming light blue vinyl and just needed a little cleaning up.

August 2010 - Scrubbed up well

Unfortunately I never got the engine to run reliably and after a checkered early start fell out of love with the car and it became neglected. It has been rescued by long term Manta enthusiast Steve Godfrey and is returning to Oxfordshire where it has lived for most of its life.

Mirsad Joldic from Hungary is looking for rear axle bearings for his Opel Rekord C Series, sadly I have nothing left to suit. However I forwarded on the mail to Anthony Drosos in Greece who was able to list these pattern parts alternatives:

1604212-1604290 (SET 35X67X22.5)
FLENNOR - FR291191
FAG - 713 6446 20
OPTIMAL - 202202
SKF - VKBA992
SNR - R153.08
TIMKEN - TKR 8538
TRISCAN - 8530 24204
QUINTON HAZZEL - QWB 280
CORTECO - 19017488
AUTEX - 805467

Anthony Drosos has plenty of other parts for classic Opels, you can mail him or follow the link on the side bar to contact him through Facebook.

Opel Rekord, powerful, safe and economical

Steven Fordham contacted me recently, he had spotted I had a trim listed for the Opel Manta B series, he owns a Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1, which is to all intents the same vehicle.

The only significant difference between a the Cavalier and the Manta is that the Manta has air slots in the front panel; 2 on the early models and 4 on the later ones. There were slight differences to the interior trim detailing too. All Mk1 Vauxhall Cavaliers were fitted with the distinctive aerodynamic "droop snoot" front panels, even the humble 2 and 4 door saloon variants; unlike the equivalent Opel Asconas which received traditional looking bluff fronted radiator grills.

Both vehicles were sold side by side at Vauxhall dealers in the UK during the 70's and 80's. But when the front wheel drive Cavalier Mk2 was introduced there was no coupe option offering. Vauxhall fans had to wait for the introduction of the Vauxhall Calibra in 1989 for that privilege.

Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 "It's an Opel!"

Alastair Macaulay owns a fine brace of Opel Kadett C series coupes. One is a stripped out, highly modified, speed machine; the other he wants to keep completely original.
Last year I was able to find him some brightwork trim, mostly side strips and wheel arch mouldings.

In recent weeks I was able to find a couple more Opel Kadett mouldings and a door weatherstrip for him.

For sale - Opel Kadett C series Trim

Kim Kullberg hails from Finland and keeps a collection of no fewer than 6 Opel Kadett B series. He spotted the bodywork list at markkinnon.com where a selection of wheel arch trims are listed for the Kadett B.

The level of detailing that went into the design of brightwork on classic cars has become a lost art. Since the 1980s cars have evolved into ever simpler, flowing, organic designs, which of course is a whole lot cheaper too.
Although this type of stainless steel trim is prone to stone damage, denting, retains mud which can lead to corrosion; when pristine it is a thing of great beauty.

Car brightwork - a thing of beauty

The Opel Manta A series is probably one of the two best looking models Opel produced; the other being the original Opel GT sports car.
If the bodywork had been made of fibreglass, aluminium or stainless steel, it would have been a distinct improvement though.
The Manta body shell is a typical GM monocoque design but is more complex than its contemporaries and hides rust well, which is not a good thing.

Mick and Caroll are busy rebuilding their Manta A series and have been able to source replacement inner wings from a German company. Not included were the braces which mount to the outside of the inner wings and can be quite a rust trap.
I had a single pair of repair sections left in stock, these were sold under the Veng brand here in the UK up until the late 1990s. Unusually for pattern parts the finish is very good, with an attractive spray painted finish. Much better than the usual dipped matt black paint.

Veng branded inner wing braces - nice finish

Mick James is converting his Opel Manta A series from an auto gearbox to manual. The automatic gearbox is quite effective on the Manta A, but does not suit the sporty nature of the vehicle and is also somewhat inefficient. All of which leads to reduced miles per gallon. The manual conversion provides an ideal opportunity to fit the excellent 5 speed gearbox fitted to the later versions of the Manta B series.

Mick was able to source a flywheel, clutch, gearbox and prop shaft easily enough but got stumped for a clutch pedal, pedal box and manual gearbox centre console. Most recently he discovered that he needed the plate that mounts to the top of the transmission tunnel and provides a fixing for the gear lever gaiter.

Luckily I have a well stocked box of salvaged parts and was able to oblige.

Mounting plate, not sexy but very useful.

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