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'88 400R XE'd Project


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Didn't realise i hadn't this in the projects section-not that i've too much progress to show but progress all the same[;)]

New wing mount welded in.....



Rotten Headlight.....





Sill almost ready for welding.....


Next task is to tackle this bad boy![V]


Not looking forward to that one-anyone any tips on welding in a complete rear panel?[xx(]


OMOC 6052

The home of OMOC on the island....


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  • 1 year later...

Just a bit of an update. Progress has been slow with one thing and another but do it once and do it right is my motto! No rush DSC02855-Copy.jpg


Thought i only had to do the DS sill but the PS one needed doing as well Cut out the old sill/rust and zinc primed as best i could on the inner sill.....


Then done the same to the new sill and tacked her in.....


Finished welding in both sills and cleaned up the welds with a die grinder to get a good finish (even though there going to be covered with 400 skirts! ).....




Next up were the usual A pillar/inner wing repairs......

Out with the old.......


.....and in with the new......


Welded up.....


Drivers side......


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I finally managed to track down a complete 4 slot panel and welded it in....


Funny part was i welded it in even though it needs to be cut out again! The reason is i will be fitting a lamp pod so the 4 slot section will be cut out to accomodate that but i needed the bits that go over the headlights so i had to find a complete one to weld in to make sure the pieces over the headlights were exactly where they should be. Needless to say i didn't weld it around the 4 slot part anywhere! Cutting one of them out was enough-horrible job

Next up was this bad boy!......


I tacked 2 braces across between the quarter panels before cutting anything to make sure everything stayed where it should and then got the grinder warmed up!....


Truth be told it took damn all cutting for that to come out! It was in a terrible state! The way i cut it was (and i would reccomend to anyone doing this)-was to cut it down along both joints but staying about 10mm the inner side of the joint just to make sure you don't cut too much. Then get a sanding disc in the grinder and sand back towards the joint until you meet the face of the lip you need to weld to on the quarter panel. Don't take a chance by just putting the disc right in the joint and cutting cos you will cut the lip you need to weld to!

Spare wheel well had a hole in it as well but i never really liked the way the well sticks down under the car so much so i planned on getting rid of it anyway.....


I welded in a good strong plate in place of the wheel well. I also had to cut about 2" from the bottom of the quarter panel as it was shot as well....


Had to do the same the other side. Piece welded back in......


The back really was in a terrible state and nearly got the better of me several evenings! The lips on both quarters that you weld the new rear panel to were very bad as well but i finally decided they would need replacing. I set about cutting off the old bits and making templates and welding back in new ones-tricky work!



I used the tig welder to weld these because i wanted to leave them as neat as i could. If i was left with big blobs of weld from the mig welder to sand back it would be very easy to make a mess of this joint which would result in a very bad fitting rear panel! They came out ok though scared.gif A couple of mm out anywhere and i'd be back to square one (and to the nuthouse!) It went well though-RESULT!!.....



I had also ordered 2 new corner pieces from dr. Manta and had to fit these as well. At this stage i think i was using about 20 vice grips to hold everything together! Got new corner pieces welded in ok though...



She was coming together nicely joy.gif ......






The new panel was actually a Cavalier rear panel-the only difference being that there were a few extra holes in the back of it to hold the Vauxhall lettering. Instead of welding up all of these individually and warping the panel into sh**e! i tacked a strip along the back of them so they could be filled with epoxy at a later date....



I ran the welder into the corner of the shed at this point and had a stern word with it basically telling it i never wanted to see it again! grin.gif

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Next up was to try and get the underneath sorted. So i made a rain coat for the car and wheeled her outside for a hosing down around the arches.....


That was a waste of half a day cos the pressure washer didn't even tickle the sh**e thats up in those arches!

Got her back inside though and rounded up a bit of help to leave it in a workable position. This was what faced me........



Ah well nothing for it only a vast selection of wire brushes and lots of elbow grease. This was without doubt the dirtiest messiest job i ever done! I was taking it back to bare metal so all the underseal had to come off and the only way is with a wire brush on the grinder-trust me i tried everything! When your taking it off the underseal turns into little fine threads of rubber/gunk and go EVERYWHERE! Nothing for it only cover up and get on with it


Along the way i came across some tin worm in the chassis leg so i had to coax the welder out of the corner again!

I peeled back the outer skin of the chassis leg and cut it away...


Then i cleaned up the inner skin (which was ok-phew!) and lashed on zinc primer....


I then folded up a channel sction to suit and split it down the centre to make 2 angle pieces out of it. Why?...if i had just welded the channel section over it i wouldn't be able to see where the hole for the crossmember struts was and would only be guessing with measurements so i welded one piece of the angle on top and then ran the drill through from the bottom through the existing hole in the inner skin. I then welded the bottom piece of the angle on and ran the drill through from the top through the hole i was after making. Then i just welded along where the 2 angles met and cleaned it off. Make any sense? Probably not!


I sold the welder this time to make sure i wouldn't see it again! grin.gif

I eventually got her back to bare metal....


This is what arches look like under all that gunk!....



I then went along and brused zinc primer into ALL the joints and any of the bad surface rust areas. I followed then with a bead of U-POL Tiger Seal again in every joint and crevace.....




I then went over all the joints and seams with 2 coats of seam sealer. I think it's airtight at this stage! Feck it at least it'll keep the tin worm at bay for another few years.

This is basically where i'm at at the minute. I just need to round up some help over the next few days to put the car on the other side to get at the other 2 arches and then 2 pac prime the whole underneath.


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The Pics are spot on, I really should take more photos so I can have a record of this sort of thing with the cars i do.

The underseal is one of the worst aspects of Manta restoration, I have spent days and days making stringy webs of mastic with a cup brush on a grinder !! Then having to go over it all again with a smaller wire brush to get the last of it off. Nasty.

Good work fella, keep us updated.

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Cheers for the comments lads It really is a horrible job and to be honest at times,while stripping the underseal from the arches only to end up puttin more back in at a later stage, i did think at times 'am i f***ing mad!? But glad it's done now and i know it's all solid underneath at least :thumbup

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thats exactly how i fixed my chassis leg, the box inside seemed very strong still. Only difference was i had to go further up and made a plate for each side then welded a seam to the inner box before folding a plate for the underside to complete the new box.

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  • 2 months later...

Some of the pics from above seem to have disappeared with the changeover but this is a quick re-cap anyway. I'm not one for gabbling on so i'll just post up the pics :P .........





A coat of zinc primer,2 pac primer,2 coats of white underseal and a coat of 2 pac white later.......





Boot sanded and primed.......



Spent a few days rubbing down the engine bay to prep for paint.....





It doesn't look much different but the skin on my knuckles would argue different! :D

I just mocked up the front end then to see how it was shaping up.....



Still a lot of work but it's the closest it's looked to a Manta in about 3 years!

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  • 1 month later...

Love watching this take shape and its ben an inspiration to get mine done and ready for paint.

We have been kinda 2 steps behind you so the pics have been a great help.

Cant wait to see it finished

Suz n Jay

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