I had to clear my patio before a little soiree I was planning to hold, so this Opel Manta A series fuel tank had to go. Admittedly, it had rusted through in places and had a tasty dent to boot.

Opel Manta A series fuel tank - just a bit rusty

Opel Manta A series fuel tank - ok I admit it, a lot rusty

Opel Manta A series fuel tank - big dent too

I thought it may have been useful as a pattern, but not any more, it's on route to become reborn as white goods in a far off country.

Daniel from Spain has been thinking of replacing the door locks on his Opel GT with those fitted to the Opel Manta A series. I have looked through the Opel Factory Parts Catalogues and the part numbers are different for both cars and checking out some videos on YouTube they don't look quite the same.
I wonder whether the handles and locks used for the Opel GT were sourced from the Opel Kadett B series that it is based on? If anyone can help clarify the situation please get in touch, for the meantime here are some pictures of the handles and locks fitted to the Opel Manta A series.




Nothing special really, but Jack Smyth spotted on the main website that there was a salvaged Opel Manta A series gearbox going for £10..Yes just £10 for 25kg of finest German made metals.

You can't leave these sorts of components at the front of the house, here in London, an area where man hole covers, telephone cables and even sections of railway line disappear overnight!
I made sure that all fluids were fully drained (a condition of carriage) and split the bell housing from the main body of the gearbox in order to fit the unit in a box of reasonable size.
One useful thing I did learn, was that by keeping the box small, I was able to send it to Plymouth for just £10.80, which was quite surprising considering the weight of 25kg.

Justin Manville has been trying to sort out a replacement engine for one of his two! Opel GTs. Here in the UK, Opel GTs are like the proverbial rocking horse manure or hen's teeth.
It seems that at some point in the past one of these Opel GTs had the running gear from an Opel Manta B series GT/e installed. That engine has now gone long past its best and he wanted a replacement.

Sitting in my garage I had a rebuilt 2 litre lump looking for a new home and a deal was struck. There just remained the thorny problem of sending the item the 200 or so miles further North to the Stoke area of England. Interparcel, the courier service I use have a pallet delivery service, so it was time to build up a pallet suitable for carrying the engine. I managed to borrow a hoist and found it was easiest to hang the engine off straps and build up the wood to match the engine mounts.

Opel Manta GT/e engine - quite a lump

I was then able to lift the combined assembly higher on to a dolly for rolling around, lastly I could shrink wrap the entire unit to protect it whilst in transit.

Engine shrink wrapped

Needless to say, all this had to be done on what have been the hottest days of the year so far, time for a beer to cool off.

For the record, the cost of the delivery service was £50.90 for an economy option, plus VAT at £11.18 and some additional insurance cover above the standard £50 gave a total of £67.08. This allowed the transport of any item up to the following dimensions: Maximum height: 90cm   Maximum width: 100cm   Maximum length: 120cm. The maximum weight for each pallet is 450kg.
Realistically it takes a couple of hours to knock up a custom pallet and shrink wrap the result. Adding in time and materials, such as the wrap and sundry straps and coach screws, etc. I would have to charge £100 for the service in future just to cover my costs.

Another item on Finian Moore's wish list was to replace some of his chrome wheel nuts that had lost the dome on the top. I can only assume that it is held in place by that Haynes Manual favourite the "interference fit", otherwise known to normal folk as "rammed in effing tight". I doubt that once they have come off anything will keep them in place again, but I welcome your comments if you know otherwise.
I found a few spares languishing in the garage, got the worst of the corrosion off with Autosol my favourite metal polish and added them to his parcel.

Opel Manta A series chrome wheel nuts

I've been sorting out a few more parts for Finian Moore in Ireland, he needed the early type of heater cover with just the one central washer jet to match his early style bonnet. This was the only salvaged part left in stock, as you can see it has been painted over in red paint with drips and runs too. It also had a crack running from one edge for about an inch.
Finian seemed philosophical and thought the crack could be superglued and the red mess smoothed out and painted over. He needed a few other bits, so I was able to squueze this item in with the rest.

Heater cover (early type) - Opel Manta A series

Neil Billingham mailed me because he had spotted that I have some new thermostat housings for sale. They are for the Opel Manta A series (Ascona A series too) which unfortunately would not suit the later series of cars such as his. Neil had been suffering from water leaks that couldn't be sealed, this is not something that I have experienced, but it did sound like the aluminium had warped under excess heat.
I suggested that following quick and dirty fix:
... You might try is to place some rough grade production/emery/wet'n'dry paper on the flattest surface you can find, this is probably the kitchen counter top, which you may get away with depending upon your current partnership status. Then run the offending flange against the paper to level it off, because the ally is so soft, this can be surprisingly effective!
Something like 80-120 grade should do the trick.
After some further trawling through various oddments boxes, I found a good used example of the thermostat housing off the late Opel Manta B series, we double checked part numbers and they matched. This item was sent off a couple of days later and there has been no further news, which I assume bodes well for Neil's nasty leaks.


Thermostat housing for late Opel Manta B series

 There are just a handful of these grab handles for the Opel Manta A series and Opel Ascona A series too. As you can see there are only 5 of the black type and just one of the white type, I am out of stock of the little trim pieces that clip over the end to hide the mounting screws.
Eagle eyed blog readers will have spotted that the two handles are slightly shorter than the others, this is because the two grab handles fitted in the headlining are a different size to the single grab handle fitted to the passenger door on the Opel Manta A series

Grab these Opel Manta A series handles before they're gone

I recently retrieved this door seal for the Opel Commodore B series and Opel Rekord D series too. It is a brand new old stock (NOS) Opel made item and has the catalogue number 1 57 265 on the rather grubby packaging.

Opel Commodore & Rekord door seal - new old stock

According to the Factory Parts Catalogue this catalogue number corresponds to "Weatherstrip, door opening - right" as shown below:

Opel Commodore & Rekord parts catalogue

The only odd thing, is that the closest illustration number in the catalogue is 134, which as can be seen below corresponds to the short type of door with a frame fitted to the 4 door versions, such as the Opel Rekord D series and not the long frameless doors fitted to the Opel Commodore Coupe.

Opel Commodore & Rekord parts catalogue

However, refering back to the original table, it shows the fitting as corresponding to the "SZ" model designations, which as can be seen below identify the 2 door coupe version of the  Opel Commodore B series and Opel Rekord D series.

Opel Commodore & Rekord parts catalogue

In conclusion, if you are looking for a door seal for either the  Opel Commodore B series or Opel Rekord D series, please get in touch and we can double check the dimensions to make sure that it is exactly the right part for your Opel.
This type of seal is listed at between €100 - €200 on one German supplier's website, I think I should be able to offer a fair bit off those prices.

As the summer months are upon us, its a good time to check the condition of your radiator hoses, there's nothing worse than getting stranded for the need of such a basic component. When I was using my Opel Manta as daily driver I always had a spare pair of radiator hoses in the boot. I also fitted stainless steel hose clamps for easy maintenance, as trying to cut off a rusted up Jubilee clip with a junior hacksaw is not my idea of fun.

These Opel Manta radiator hoses are all salvaged, but still in very good condition without visible perishing, cracks or other flaws, currently, I have 4 of the upper hoses, some some are genuine Opel made in Germany, catalogue number 13 36 782 or GM part number 03 448 716 and the others are branded by DEV? their part number is DEV 201 2481.
They are available for £5 each plus p&p, the best examples go out the door first and stainless clips are not included.

Opel Manta A series upper radiator hose - keep one in the boot

 I also have 3 of the lower hoses, 1 is in good condition, the remaining 2 are starting to show signs of cracking and bulging near the clip, these you can have for free.

Opel Manta A series lower radiator hose - stainless steel clips, nice

Daniel Christy from Singapore mailed me about a problem with foul gasses filling his Opel Manta A series, the source for the effluvium had nothing to do with a spicy oriental diet, but rather the "big gap around the gear stick" which he has had to stuff some rags in.

Manta A series - big gap around the gear stick, not good

The gearbox should be equipped with two rubber draught seals; the smaller one is visible at the base of the gear lever and attaches to a steel plate screwed to the transmission tunnel and covered by the centre console. The second is much larger and sits on the top of the gearbox where the gear lever connects to. Both of these seals are needed to keep noise, draughts, dirt and fumes out of the cabin.

Opel Manta - bellows style gear lever gaiter

Fitting the gear lever bellows type gaiter isn't a complicated job, it is a bit fiddly but gets easier the second time!
  1. First remove the centre console, it is located by self tapping screws, some will be covered by a blanking plug or hidden under the ash tray.
  2. Next slip the bellows off the transmission tunnel mounting plate.
  3. Now you have access to the bottom of the gear lever and can disconnect the gear lever from the gearbox. To do this, unclip the strong spring that biases the gear lever towards the 3rd and 4th gear detents.
  4. Next, remove the circlip that locks the connecting pin in place and push out the connecting pin.
  5. The gear lever can now be pulled upwards to disconnect.
  6. Cut away old or damaged bellows with a knife or snips.
  7. If you have the time, this is an ideal opportunity to clean and repaint the gear lever shaft.
  8. Slide on the new bellows, if they are tight don't force them, use WD40, silicon, washing up liquid or similar lubricant.
  9. Reassemble the gear lever and centre console in the reverse order to disassembly.

Up for grabs today is a gear lever gaiter for the Opel Manta A series and presumably the Opel Ascona A series too. It is salvaged, but as can be seen from the picture is in excellent condition without any of cracks or splitting that affects these items as they become aged.
Should this be just the part you are looking for it can be yours for £10 plus p&p, note that if you can still find a new one in Germany, you will be looking to spend around £30.

Opel Manta A series gear lever gaiter - becoming expensive now

Updates:

13/09/15 - Now Sold

One of the most endearing styling features of the Opel Manta A series is the twin round tail lights on the rear panel. It is a styling cue borrowed from the Opel GT coupe and this classic look, puts the Opel Manta into an exclusive club; alongside Ferraris, Corvettes and the Skyline GT-R.


Opel Manta round tailights - an exclusive look


Opel Manta tail light - crystal clear and deeply glossy

When new, like this example, the silvered plastic is crystal clear and deeply glossy, but they are affected by the elements and you need to see how they look fresh out of the box to appreciate how dull they normally are on the average 40 year old Opel Manta.


Opel Manta tailight

You can have this reversing light base for £25, but you don't get a new foam mounting gasket with this particular kit, however I can find you a clean salvaged should yours be damaged. Also available is a brand new lens to go with this kit for just £5 extra.

Here is another Haynes manual, this one is specifically for the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 and in true Haynes style has a rather fine cutaway drawing by Terry Davey of the 2 door coupe version of the Cavalier Coupe. This particular version of the manual must have been produced very early in the production life of these cars as it only covers the period from September 1975 to 1977. Of course production continued on till 1981 and the introduction of the front wheel drive Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2.

For Sale - Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 Haynes Manual - £15

If you have a Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 from the 1975-81 period, everything you will need can be found in this tome. It is in good condition, there some dirt on the edges of the pages, otherwise it is as clean as a whistle.

It is priced at £15, which includes delivery to a UK address. I can send to some European locations too, but please ask for a quote first as this could be quite a high sum.

Original service manuals for classic GM vehicles are not exactly plentiful in the UK, stocks are very limited and I will not be replacing them, so don't hang about if this is what you need for your project.



Updates:

None so far

Apparently you would be hard pressed to find a new car in 2012 with manual windows, oh how the World has changed. Back in the 70s, electric windows were the sole reserve of executive cars and limousines, but for both humble economy and sports cars too, the hand crank or "window winder" was king.

Opel Manta B series window winder

I have just one good salvaged example available for the Opel Manta B series, which should also be suitable for the Opel Ascona B series and the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 too. It will be yours for just £3.50, plus p&p.

According to my Haynes Workshop Manual the part numbers for the Opel Manta A series are as follows:

1.6 engine   No .... 217
1.9 and 1.6s engines No .... 221
1.9 engine (USA only):
Manual gearbox  No .... 216
Automatic Transmission  No 219

This particular distributor has the part number 237 5125 stamped into the casing, but looks identical to the model used in the Opel Manta A series, possibly the ignition advance curve is different. Either way if you fancy a "punt" it is for sale for £45 to clear

Delco Remy Distributor - part number 237 5125


Delco Remy Distributor - shiny new cad plating


Delco Remy Distributor - any good for your Opel?

Updates:

30/06/13 - Now sold

All the Haynes manuals for the Opel Kadett C series have now sold out, but panic not Classic Opel Spares Blog reader, this one from Autobooks covers a great deal of the same information.

Here's what Autobooks had to say about their publications:
The expertly produced guide to servicing, overhaul and repairs on your Kadett - ideal for the DIY enthusiast who can carry out major as well as minor jobs. The Autobooks series of Owners Workshop Manuals is the largest in the world - millions of copies sold worldwide.
 It is available for £7.50 plus p&p, which should be around £5 to the UK.


Autobooks workshop manual - Opel Kadett C series

UPDATES:

17/05/15 - Now sold

Anthony De torres recently sent me his wish list of bits, one of the first items on the list was a pair of front wheel bearings for his Opel Manta A series project. My stock control has always been somewhat slack and I thought I had sold out, but luckily for Anthony there was still a pair left on the shelf.
They were branded as Motaquip although I suspect that for all the different aftermarket suppliers branding on the boxes, the contents come from the same few suppliers.
These are available for £7.50 plus p&p.


Motaquip bearing kit for Kadett, Ascona & Manta

Motaquip branding on the outside

Each box contains the inner and outer  bearings, a dust seal and a split pin.

Contents wrapped in oiled paper - fish and chips anyone?

I have been holding these back for some years now as "insurance" for my own Opel Manta A series, but I have decided to throw caution to the wind and let them go. It is a set of 4 brand new pistons, rings and gudgeon pins for the 1.9 litre version of Opel Cam in Head (C.I.H.) engine. The 1.9 litre unit was fitted to many Opels, most notably versions of the; Opel Kadett B series, Opel Rekord C series, Opel GT coupe, Opel Ascona A series, Opel Manta A series, Opel Ascona B series, Opel Manta B series, Opel Kadett C series, Opel Rekord D series and the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1.

They have been produced by Mahle, a company famous for quality, especially in MotorSport applications. The size specified is 93.50mm which is 0.5mm greater than standard and the maximum stated overbore for the 1.9 litre engine block.


Mahle piston set - fits numerous Opels from the 1960s on

I am looking for £100 for the set, which includes all the rings already installed and the gudgeon pins. Delivery to the UK will be £10, other areas, such as the USA are possible at cost.

Mahle piston set for old Opels - fancy these for your next rebuild?

UPDATES:

01/07/2014 - Parts under negotiation for supply to Belgium
08/07/2014 - Payment complete, parts sent by courier and NOW SOLD

Here is another Haynes workshop manual, this one is for the Opel Ascona B series and Opel Manta B series and in true Haynes style has a rather fine cutaway drawing by Terry Davey of the 4 door saloon version of the Opel Ascona B. This particular version of the manual must have been produced very early in the production life of these cars as it only covers the period from September 1975 to 1977. Of course production continued on till 1981 when the range was given a major face lift, most notably changing from steel bumpers to fibreglass mouldings, along with the introduction of fuel injection and 5 speed gearboxes.

Haynes Manual - early Opel Ascona & Manta B

But if you have an Ascona or Manta from the 1975-81 period, everything you will need can be found in this tome. It is in really good condition, there is a small muddy mark on the corner of the back page, otherwise it is as clean as a whistle.

It is priced at £15, which includes delivery to a UK address. I can send to some European locations too, but please ask for a quote first as this could be quite a high sum.

Original service manuals for classic GM vehicles are not exactly plentiful in the UK, stocks are very limited and I will not be replacing them, so don't hang about if this is what you need for your project.


Updates:

23/12/16 - Now sold

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