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Bendy's XE power 400 project


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Hi folks im a new member, i live on the orkney isles and ive also been a member of the vauxhall sports car club for years. Ive got a calibra V6 and most of the bits to build a decent manta so im attempting to build a manta 400 replica with an XE engine, this will be a thread to show progress of how things are going for anyone intersested. Ill be running a thread over on vxlscc too but ill be asking for 99% of my technical help on here (and i will be asking alot) Hope you dont all get sick of my bombardment of questions[:P]

The target is to have it finished for my 25th birthday which is april 22nd next year but as with most projects im sure it will spectacularly miss the finish date by a country mile ::)

Ive had it around a month and only managed a few good runs at working on it so far, normally resulting in me getting carried away and realising its 2am when i get up for work at 6am !

Ive also got alot on at work just now so its 60 hours a week most weeks (keeps the cash coming to buy parts for the car though) Ill update as often as i can. these first photos are camera phone jobs as im waiting for a new digital camera at the moment so excuse the poor quality!

heres the first pictures of the car as i got it and some of the bits and peices i got with it.





8x15 revolutions and xe motor


Aleybars cage


1800 engine and box


my poor van that had to ship it all over here on the ferry! non sunroof roofskin on the rack!


Thats the lot at the moment till i get some progress with it all!

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Good luck wi your 400 bendy! I just got one myself and its worth it for the smile everytime you open the garage, nevermind the driving.

Looks like a helluva lot of stuff crammed into that van, can't wait to see it progress.


Pass me the gun and ask me again....

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Aye cheers, ill probably need plenty of luck! Ive wanted one for years but the calibra has always taken up most of my time and money. It just came to a point where i realised front wheel drive sucks! There hasnt been a manta on the road up here for about 9 years and the population is about 20,000 odd, i know of only one other rusting away in a barn on the island!

The van was stacked out! two engines and boxes, subframe and rack, wiring looms, rubbers, hoses, brake callipers, roofskin, irmscher rear splitter, full 400 kit, spare glass, rear seat, rollcage, wheels, radiators, fans, boxes of manta bits everywhere![:D]

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I recognise those wheels, and the cage, and the 400 kit.

That's my old stuff that i sold to Manta400barn [:)]

I found one of the centre caps for the wheels after i'd shipped the stuff up to scotland, if you want it e-mail me your address and i'll post it up to you [:D]


OMOC no:3325

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All the gear has had quite a journey! Is it the caps for the revolution wheels you mean?

If so ive got hold of 4 brand new ones for them as i intend to get them all straightenend up and powdercoated white so your alright but thanks for the offer[;)]

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here it is at the beggining stages of stripping it down and out! All glass removed, interior carpets gone and seats out.

it took me 2 weeks to sort through the van load of parts i had before i even got it in the garage.


Big tyson has taken a liking to the GTE recaros, i dont blame him they rock!


Stripping off the sound deadening from the bootfloor with a wall paper steamer, softens it a treat then just use an old chisel to peel it off


Sound deadening removed from under rear seats along with the metal heatshield (which was a nightmare to get off)





heres a whole lot more in the front to take off Which looks like it may be hiding some very crusty bits :-/


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been grazing my fingers and wrecking my 19mm chisel tonight! Sound deadening removed from the front sections only to unearth some rusty bits! it could be alot worse though it just looks bad. i cant stress enough how handy the steam has been in removing the stuff, bit of a wet mess but its a huge help.

heres the before and after pics

passenger side before


passenger side after, note large rotten gash!


driver side after


Rusty bit close up


Its just rotted out inside the box sections, the actual box sections seem very solid. Must just hold dampness in there. It will be better when i get it cut out and cleaned up. Ill be performing lots of tapping with the hammer over these bits to make sure first

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I know it's too late now, but a hot air gun makes removing all that bitumen on the floor pan relatively easy.

Big Tyson is beautiful by the way. I hope we'll see more of him as the project progresses.

As Kev says, your floor looks like a good one, especially considering the age of the car (usually the newer the rustier with Mantas).



Please log into this site from the Home page folks. It helps to keep it as the first Manta site listed on Google.

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Well things sound good for my floor then, thanks guys! I should get a good bit done on it this weekend.

Joe, Tyson is always in the garage with me when im messing about it, he is a big poof really! He is a 16lb scottish wildcat descendant and by far the biggest cat ive ever had, polishes off at least 4 Orkney voles a day, keeps the vermin down and any other pesky strays! Doesnt make normal cat noises ever, just growls and grunts!

Heres him on a kitchen chair just to show how big a monster he is[;)]


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I managed tae get away from work at a decent time today which was unexpected so i set into the manta at around 3pm, first i investigated the rot in the floor and cut it back tae good metal, its not bad at all after i got it cut oot. ill soon have that patched up, there is still a bit tae get cut oot on the driver side but the philips screws on the seat rail brackets are solid so i tried the impact driver on them and i completely wrote it off! the casing burst so that will be on hold till i get a new (hopefully better) one!



After that it was tea time but i thought sod it im in the zone now so i kept going, took the wings off and the bonnet too. The edge all the wing bolts fix tae on the passenger side is more or less fecked its so rotten but ill make up a new bit from the old sunroof housing which should work a treat, waste not want not and all that.

By this time i needed some sustinance so went in for some mince ant tatties! managed tae avoid the post tea crash out and got back out there, thought ill disconnect everything from the engine ready for it tae come oot then watch the Moto gp qualifying. got clean carried away and at 11.45 i finally got the engine out after a right struggle and in the middle of it all a 6mm D shackle i had on the back of the head roond the chains suddenly let go! Absolutely shat myself but he angle i had it at the head hit the bulkhead and it didnt drop too far, thank god!

heres the pics, 2.0 cih and stripped 1.8 cih in the grave yard.





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quote:Originally posted by lepo5

bendy, if you need an opel spark plug cover for the 16v, metal or plastic just give me a shout [;)]


Might take you up on that nearer the time, not sure what im doing with the engine yet, ive always been a vauxhall guy so thought i would keep the original cover but thats probably inapropriate when its in an opel! [:)]

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You've done more in a day than I do in six months there.[:I]

I'm sure there will be a few folks who'd like your CIH engine if you want to sell it to help fund your new one.

What a fantastic cat by the way. We had a really large one in the early 1980s but I've not seen one so big until now. I'm jealous!



Please log into this site from the Home page folks. It helps to keep it as the first Manta site listed on Google.

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Have to say well done that man on your progress so far going to be keeping a close eye on this topic to see how you get on. As the others have said for an Exclusive that is in remarkeble condition seems like you have dropped on a real good un there. Good luck with your Manta project and definately keep us posted on your progress.

3494%3A%3C884%7Ffp37%3B%3Evq%3D32%3A8%3E764%3E%3B%3A%3A%3EWSNRCG%3D32355%3B%3B%3B53459vq0mrj Midasmesh giving it rear wheel action in the Staffordshire Moorlands. OMOC 5285

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Aye the cat is quite a character, it will be a sad day when he is not around, ill never get another one like that i wouldnt think!

By all means if the 2.0litre cih is of use to anyone and will keep their car alive then ill part with it. Slight problem is the fact i live on the Orkney isles at the north of scotland but ive shipped engines up here before so its not impossible. The engine and box is 95,000 miles and was all running fine about 3 weeks ago. What are these units worth? I could put some money towards getting a limited slip diff by selling it![;)]

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So heres whats been happening this week, doesnt look like much mores been done but it has, first i stripped the rest of the gubbings out of the engine bay and both wiring looms. Removed all the sound deadening stuff from the bulkhead, wrestled with the dash for a while to get it out and hit a brick wall tring to remove the heater fan assemble due to rusted screws. Stll not got a new impact driver so ill have to leave it just now. (pictures are from a proper camera now and not just a camera phone)


Found a couple of patches on the chassis rail (very rough patches at that)


Chopped out the old sunroof housing, i think im going to try to plate this for now as im not too confident on cutting the whole roof off the car and putting the non sunroof one on it even though i do have it here. I also thought i could plate it with the old sunroof panel as its strong and sound, is this a good idea?


Ive also decided to remove the spare tyre well as its been poorly patched before and the spare wont be going there anyway, the old sunroof housing will be a good bit of metal for this as its ribbed and strong. The battery will most likely be situated here on a flat panel.


After some pondering i concluded the big wobbly lower front panel (excuse me not knowing its proper name) doesnt do anything structural so as you can see i cut it off at both sides below the headlights and it litterally fell off the bottom radiator mount as the spot welds had corroded. I take it it will be alright without this?


Finally i need to know if this is any kind of braking compensation device or balancer or just a splitter as ive never seen a brake setup like this? im most likely going to be keeping the drums at the moment but will probably fit a hydraulic handbrake and bias adjuster next to the conventional handbrake with the rear brake line run inside the car.


Still nobody interested in the 2.0 engine and box? Just give me shout if you are. Ill maybe need to stick it in the for sale section.


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Your certainly getting stuck into this project Bendy

The roof is something someone else will have to addvise you about but the front lower panel you can remove,this is the front of an early B series that got left in place after the face lift air dam front bumper was added because it mounts the bottom of the front wings,make something to mount the wing securely and loosing that front panel wont be a problem.

I havn't ever owned an impact driver,always worried that using them on screws through bodywork will distort panels,what i do is get a screw driver that fits the screw well,push/hold it into the screw as hard as i can then using a pair of mole grips on the shank of screw driver try and turn the screw,you do have to be carefull you dont strip the screw head.

I've got piles of all sorts of Manta parts,i might even have something you need!

surplus parts bought,whole cars considerd. M/B 07947 640505

OMOC Member number 2658F

Ian Virco,area rep,Beds Herts and North Bucks.

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I tried removing the screws first in the very way you described there and broke my best philips screwdriver, minced the point in bits. Then i broke out the sealey set i have with hex shanks after 2 days of soaking with WD40 and the same happened to it! At this point i thought impact driver its will have to be, broke it too. They are severeley stuck so ive been soaking them regular but i think its going to take a shock to break them loose.

All becomes clear about the front valance when you say it now! In that case i definately dont need it, the 400 kit wings bolt independantly to the front bumper so the wind mounts arent even needed. Im sure ill recyle the metal to make a new top mounting edge for the wing on the offside as its completely rotted away [;)]

As for the roof ive spent a while looking at the spare roof, then the car then the roof and was going to attempt a skin removal like you described but im not really confident at the moment and i dont want to end up wrecking the roof on the car and the spare one too. The thing is the roof on the car is not rotten at all and neither is the actuall sunroof panel so i thought why not just plate it with it as its strong and solid, if it goes goes wrong in a few years time ill still have the spare roofskin to put on. Might seem like madness not putting it on now but im not going to try something im not confident with yet. Bodywork isnt my strong point at the moment, mechanicals, engine rebuild etc no problem but not done much body fettling! If i was to go for it i think the overlapping idea would definately be the best, im not at all keen on the straght cut and shut idea at all.

Can anyone tell me what this brake set up is all about on the manta?

Can i just run new line to each front whells direct from the master cylinder then another single line inside the car through a bias adjuster then onto a hydraulic handbrake and to the T-piece on the rear axle? Thus scrapping the device in the last photo? Is it some sort of booster like what older land rovers have?

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