I had a mail from Robin, he was looking for a set of rear overriders for his Opel Manta A series. As he pointed out, he wanted the rubber type and not the chrome versions. To the best of my knowledge overriders were a standard fitment on the UK market Opel Manta, along with a few other "DeLuxe" specifications, unlike in Europe where some very plain versions of the car were sold.

Opel Manta A series rubber overrider - chunky
In case you don't already know, the earliest versions of the Opel Manta A series could be equipped with optional solid metal chrome plated overiders with a thin rubber strip on the leading edge. If your vehicle was built from 1970-72 and has a chassis number beginning with 592x this would have been the type of overrider fitted. There will be more to follow about this type of overrider later in the blog (watch this space).
Around the start of 1973 the overrider design changed to a solid block of rubber, the reason for the change of materials is a moot point. Perhaps it was to save money, suit changing fashions or perhaps provide better cushioning for low speed impacts. If your vehicle was built from 1973 onwards and has chassis numbers beginning with 595x, 598x or 599x this will be the original style of overrider for your car.

Opel Manta A series rubber overrider - part no. 3459475

Because of their use and location, overriders tend to suffer from rapid deterioration. The metal design rusts out and the rubber design becomes perished from the action of the sun and the steel  mounts corrode. The problem is usually worst for the rear overiders where they are subject to a lot of road spray and condensation from the exhaust. Needless to say, careless parking, whether you own or other road users aggravates this process of deterioration.

I have managed to find Robin one new old stock rubber overrider and another reasonable salvaged example, I wish I had a warehouse full!

Opel Manta A series rubber overrider - prone to degredation

Following on from yesterday's post about Kenlowe Fans, it occurred to me that if you haven't encountered one of these units before some instructions for fitting it might be in order. It has been said that a picture is worth a 1000 words, so I'll save myself from writing 5000 words then and show you the following 5 images.

Kenlowe Fan Fitting Instructions - 1 of 5

Kenlowe Fan Fitting Instructions - 2 of 5

Kenlowe Fan Fitting Instructions - 3 of 5

Kenlowe Fan Fitting Instructions - 4 of 5

Kenlowe Fan Fitting Instructions - 5 of 5

Would anyone out there like an electric fan for their Opel or Vauxhall? This one was fitted to an Opel Manta B series GT/e and I'm sure that, as claimed, it saved the owner fuel and improved performance. Electric fans do this by taking away all the unnecessary drag that a standard mechanical fan places on the engine. Who needs the fan running in freezing temperatures or on the open road? Furthermore, on those occasions when fast motorway traffic suddenly grinds to a halt, this type of unit will kick in and stop your engine from cooking its gaskets.

Kenlowe Electric Fan - less than half price

I didn't realise that the Kenlowe company pioneered thermo-electric engine cooling over 40 years ago and the principles have proved so successful that over 85% of the world's cars produced annually adopt this concept. Today Kenlowe produce the widest range of thermo-electric fans, engine pre-heating, oil cooling, and heating / ventilation / extraction systems ensuring that Kenlowe remain at the forefront of air movement and temperature control. Kenlowe supply original equipment car manufacturers with fans and all the Formula 1 teams with pre-heating systems.

Kenlowe Electric Fan - turns freely and runs quietly

I have tested the fan; it turns freely and runs quietly. These fans can cost from £60 upwards when new, I am offering the kit with the thermostatic control unit for just £35 plus p & p.

Kenlowe Electric Fan - thermostatic control unit

One of my regular email correspondents reported recently that he has been having an odd problem with his Opel Manta A series blowing its dipstick out of its hole. In the past I have heard of similar tales involving the oil filler cap popping off unexpectedly. Both are bad news, apart from the mess it will make of the engine bay, if you are on the motorway and don't notice what has happened your engine could run dry and seize up.

In my opinion, the most likely cause is the build up of crankcase pressure due to a blocked breather gauze. Sadly, it is synonymous with a vehicle that has been neglected or otherwise unloved. When the oil isn't changed regularly and / or is poor quality it becomes thick and tar like, clinging to surfaces and not flowing as it should.

The majority of Opel Manta A series models are fitted with the cam in head or C.I.H. engine. The breather gauze is made of a metallic mesh located inside the top of the rocker cover and  held in place by a steel plate spot welded to the inside the cover at the time of manufacture.

As I see it there are a number of servicing options available:

Option 1 - Flush through with white spirit, engine degreaser or a full can of carb/injection cleaner. This can be sprayed or poured through the breather hole at the top of the rocker cover and collected with a suitably large solvent resistant bowl placed underneath.

Option 2 - Soak the whole rocket cover in a bucket of strong caustic cleaner. This will probably remove any finish and require you to paint or powder coat afterwards.

Option 3 - Drill out the spot welds, remove and clean the gauze and refit. Replace the spot welds with some pretty stainless steel bolts, not exactly concours standard but very practical.

Furthermore if the engine has covered over 75,000 miles, even if it is still running well, a light engine rebuild is in order. Fitting parts such as new piston rings, bearings and honing the bores, not a cheap option today, but good value in the longer term.

From my past experience with these engines I found that they responded well to either; changing the oil at the recommended 6000 miles intervals with a cheap oil from the motor factors or leaving it for a longer period, providing it was quality semi-synthetic oil.

John Lomas has owned this lovely Opel Manta A series for the last 15 years, back then he didn't feel it was viable to spend good money on it. Recently with these cars becoming increasingly rare, he felt it was worth the effort and splashed out on a "Top job" re-spray, adding a Broadspeed Turbo front spoiler and Opel Manta B series 13" alloys wheels.

The rest of car is standard Opel Manta A series – and the kids think its ‘Epic’?

Tony is looking for a master cylinder (Delco) repair kit for his 1978 Kadett C GT/E 1.9.
He has an unconfirmed part no thanks to Alymac at the Opel Kadett C owners Club which is 3476454.
An Opel Manta B brake cylinder and reservoir would be another possible option.

Drop me a line or use the comments section and I'll pass your details on to him.

Opel Kadett GT/e - source Opel Martin

Steve, dropped me a line, he is looking for the following items for a Vauxhall FD Victor:
  • Front panel
  • Plastic inner wings
  • Door cards
I don't have any parts of this type, but if you can help please get in touch

Here's what WikiPedia has to say about the Vauxhall Victor FD Series

Vauxhall Victor FD series - source Classic and Performance car

Robert Newborn asked me about piston rings for a 993cc engined Vauxhall Nova, I had mistakenly thought that the Vauxhall Nova only came equipped with the alloy headed overhead cam or OHC engine used in so many of the early front wheel drive generation of GM vehicles.
Apparently, the smallest capacity versions of the early Vauxhall Nova and Astra too, inherited the same ancient overhead valve or OHV engines that date back to the Opel Kadett B and C series. Well you learn something new every day as they say.

Vauxhall Nova Mk1 - available with 998cc engines too

I couldn't help Robert, but if by chance you can help, please contact me and I will be glad to pass your details on.

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