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Silver hatch now a 2.4 B coupe


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Well I got myself this hatch a while back because I was bored to death of driving a mondeo around..




I absolutely love it, its only done 65k and is great condition and has loads of history. The only problem was...I always wanted a coupe.. Then I met Phil Warren locally and he made me the right offer on my hatch, so we struck a deal and I agreed to sell him my hatch once I had a coupe on the road.

I looked for ages and then saw this on the forum.....



I went to see it and its ideal for me to use daily having only done 45k. The only snag is the engine is destroyed (and its an auto[V]). So Mr Virco was pressed into service to bring this new beasty from The isle of Sheppy back over to Brighton.

With a critical eye, the front valance has a small hole and next to it at the bottom of the drivers front wing there is another small hole. Apart from that there are only blemishes in the paint, little tiny rust spots here and there over the car where microscopic chips in the paint are there and the car has stood outside for a year or so. The interior is blue and very good apart from a little of the material on the door cars starting to peel back.

So now Phil is patiently waiting for me to get this roadworthy.

It needs:

New engine

Manual gearbox conversion


I want the car to be a good reliable everyday car so I decided to utilise the 2.4 I had sitting in the driveway along with a 2.2 injection system I have. The choice here was injection or carbs but I figured the injection would be more reliable and economical which suits the aim of the car. I also have a Carlton 2.2 gearbox just removed from an 81k mile car so that will be fitted.

I would also like to fit:

Set of Alloys

Possibly an interior upgrade (exclusive with blue piping)

Twin headlights (spare in my garage)

Brake servo, vented discs and new boxed calipers from a 1986 2.2 Carlton.

I stripped the 2.4 engine which I believe has done over 100k.




It shows a noticeable lip in the top of the bores and the engineering company has rebored this for me to .5 oversize. The crank has been checked and has had the journals polished and can still take standard bearings. He pointed out a groove where the rear oil seal has worn into the crank, this may cause a slight oil leak in time I have been warned.

Today I have removed the engine and box from the car, had a real hassle though. The engine crane fouled the lower valance AND both lower suspension arms! It also only just reached far enough to remove the engine and has scuffed the rubber bumper insert at the front of the car. Overcame it by jacking up the front of the car from one side. Will have to carefully consider this when it all goes back in.




Hopefully will get some more time soon to degrease and clean up the engine bay, do the brake servo change and touch up any paint that needs sorting. Does anyone know what colour this car is??

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The colour code is L212 AY 111 but it means nothing to me?! I was hoping someone else would recognise it..[:I]

Paul, you'd have to ask NMA (Chris) that. Apparently whilst cruising about 65 it suddenly went bang, lots of noise, no power and left a trail of oil. Unless I strip the engine I won't know but I can tell you the crank turns by hand about a quarter each way and then stops abruptly.[:0]

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That looks a nice car Roy. What year is it?

If it's any help with the lift, jack the car up and put a piece of timber under each wheel. That should give you the clearance you need to fit it underneath.



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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Heck Roy that is a bit of a bast about the engine crane.

Short reach cranes can be a pain in the butt, I always had to remove the bumper and put a load of padding between the nose of the Manta and the crane when constantly borrowing my mates crane.

Now have an absolutely brilliant item that lifts anything at 80' distance [:D]

But as Joe says, you could lift the car with the chassis cross brace (radiator area) and get some of those big Machine Mart Jacks to hold the car up at an angle in order to roll out the crossmember and re-fit the engine that way, this is how I fitted my V8 and must say it was pretty straightforward.

Damn fine looking Manta is that though, I bet Chris regretted having to sell it.

Shiny bits http://www.customsolutions.me.uk

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Having been driven around by Chris a few times I can guess why it went bang.....[:D][:D]

Bear in mind this car went from being driven by an older couple nearly all it's life to some one with a taste for track days and motorbikes and you get my drift!


Andy Turner a.k.a Fat Southern B'stard membership no: 3783

"its all going flat cap and walking stick instead of Rally jacket and bottle of beer....."

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Surely not! lol

At the end of the day Chris told me he never took it over 65, who am I to doubt him---- but the main thing is the engine and gearbox were going to be replaced anyway so I don't care how fast he drove it!!

It will see some speed when its done thats for sure [}:)]

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Sorry Roy,forgot to say,like both the hatch and your coupe mate,very nice motors!I have a 78 hatch (in silver),but like you,i'd love a silver coupe,but the old 'b' around 79/81,a 2.0 SR,oh well,there's always the lottery i could win.

Paul Ansell omoc 5963 (Birmingham)

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Thanks for saying so Paul [:)]

This all started back in 2005 when I started poking around in the wheelarch of my exclusive (my everyday car)and found a bit of rot in the footwell and chassis leg:



Its now had footwell repairs, chassis leg repairs, replacement A post, replacement rear arch, rear quarter repairs and sill repairs. Lots of sandblasting to scabby areas. It still needs rear footwell repair, attention on rear valance, respray, engine overhaul (as its almost 100k). One day................

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I spent a couple of hours today cleaning up the gearbox I had from the 2.2 carlton I have just broken ready for the manta. I attacked it with degreaser and paint stripper and then blasted it well and truly with the jetwash. It looks almost new now and I stood back and admired it.

I wanted to prep it for silver paint and decided to drain the oil from it when disaster!! Attached to the bottom drain plug was a big clump of swarf and one of the gear teeth!! [:(] HOW ANNOYING...I test drove this car and it drove fine but I guess it would be plain stupid to use this on a car now , especially with a more powerful engine.....[:(!]

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Hi mantadoc, when you say slide the cassette out of the box, what do you mean? The tooth itself is nice and shiny, I'm trying to post a picture up but I've just rebuilt my pc and am missing paintshop to reduce the picture size... I'll sort it v soon then you can see.

Edit: Heres the pictures, although the tooth looks grey it is actually shiny silver- its just the light.



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That exact thing has happened to me - a gearbox I knew performed perfectly & silently presented me with a piece of metal just like that and a pile of swarf stuck to the drain plug. This was bad news because it was a 1.8 Getrag and they aren't cheap to get hold of!

I was all set for not reusing the box but thought I'd consult my friendly neighbour whose business is transmission rebuilds (A1 Transmissions in Bolton, hello Harry if you read this!) and he gave me some very sage advice - the conversation went like this;

Harry - does it get all the gears? Me - Yes

Harry - is it quiet? Me - Yes

Harry - does it jump out of gear? Me - No

Harry - theres nothing wrong with it then? Me - well I suppose not...

Harry - so why don't you fit it then? Me - erm cos of this bit of metal & swarf stuck to the drain plug - oh right I get what you mean....

Fitted it and it's perfect..................

My bit of metal looked like this





1984 GTE Coupe 2.0XE16v - B623RWW - currently being reshelled...

1988 GTE Exclusive Coupe - E862BAO

1996 BMW 328i Touring Alpina Cosmetics Hartge Power - Parts Chaser/Manta Tower/Daily Driver

OMOC Member#5937

E-Mail Me - mrcarlos@mantagte.co.uk

Into MySpace? Check me out......



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It is tempting to reuse but like mantadoc says, if its 2nd gear it will only be a matter of time before it goes bang and fills the gearbox with bits! TO open the box is it just a case of undoing the bolts around the middle and sliding it apart? (I have in mind the nightmare scenario of undoing it and load of cogs fall out across the floor! Lol

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Hi Roy

Why dont you take it to Auto Europe in crawley they specialise in diffs and box's they will also be totally honest with you I have used them in the past. Or I have a very nice 1st gear back dog leg 400 box it would fit your engine but it aint cheep as they are a rare as rocking horse S""t.

Tel:- 01293 862606.[:D]( Auto Europe )

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Thanks for the offer Sean but if YOU say its expensive then my bank manager would have me shot! Phil thanks for the offer mate perhaps we could strip it and have a look between us to see if the gearbox can be saved.

Well the story continues.. I decided to seperate the original engine and box, bearing in mind the engine only turns over about a quarter by hand and the car is meant to be all original. NMA and Sean both insist the engine and box have not been worked on- what I found is a real mystery.

Anyway I unbolted the gearbox and found some black and some silver bolts-strange. Some are too long-Strange. The last one is the wrong type and has the wrong thread on it?!-Stranger.

I seperate the box from the engine and remember I have to rotate the torque convertor in order to undo the three bolts and I'm thinking what shall I do as the engine only turns so far...I turn it anyway and to my surprise it rotates freely all the way around...

I undo the first bolt and the torque convertor drops slightly! I'm thinking that can't be right! Anyway check out the pics, look at the convertor bolt holes, they should be smalll and round..


Now look at the crank bolts, safe to say these have definitely been off! The flexplate is buckled slightly.


See if you can see what else I found was wrong:


Now look more closely..


The bolt is missing!

I'm trying to guess what happened, NMA said he heard a bang and what sounded like bits blowing out of the engine. When he stopped he could see a trail of oil behind. Could it be the oil pump bolt fell out causing the bang and loss of power and oil (could it affect the gearbox if the convertor was already loose?) Or maybe the gearbox somehow jammed with loose convertor bolts and blew the bolt out of the oil pump?

What do you think? Either way is the engine OK? It rotates freely apart from slightly tightening up twice once either side of a rotation. I put this down to the fact that the crank doesn't compress the pistons at 4 regular intervals but almost 2 at a time...

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  • 1 month later...

Well I've been reminded that it has been a fair while since I updated this...and crikey it is! Not a huge amount has happened but I'll give a running commentary and some more pictures.

First I stripped the gearbox to find the problem and found that the box was very clean on the inside. Here is where the tooth came from:


I decided that because it was only half a tooth I would persevere with this gearbox. If it fails I have a spare. So here it is reassembled and cleaned up:


I also stripped and painted the bracket for the gearstick and I have a new old stock gaiter to fit on reassembly.

Next I stripped the GTE propshaft back to bare metal then primed and sprayed gloss black as it was quite rusty:


Next I sandblasted the engine block to remove all traces of rust and corrosion. Several coats of VHT black gloss and a couple of VHT clear paint and it looks like this:


Next my new +5 oversize pistons arrived with rings already fitted. After degreasing I removed the conrods from the old pistons and fitted the new ones. The circlips were tricky (I got a fat lip from one-stung like Bas...)but were all fitted OK and everything was liberally coated in engine oil.

The crankshaft was polished and I refitted it to the block with new bearings and then fitted the pistons to the block. The first 2 went in fine but number 3 was a real pig. I tried 3 times and each time the bottom ring somehow managed to get stuck on the cylinder edge. The next try it went in fine and I was really relieved but then I noticed a tiny sliver of metal on the engine block face [?][?] Took the piston back out and found this:


The middle ring has a tiny lip all the way round and it decided to leave about 1cm of it behind [:(!]

A quick phone call to my fantastic supplier and a new ring set for one piston was ordered from Germany. After paying for a courier to bring it to me (damn postal strike!) about a week later my new rings arrived...........They were standard size!! Another quick phone call to my fantastic supplier [:P] Lol and new oversize ones were ordered from Germany. A week or 2 later and the new ones arrive and the piston now sits nicely in its new home.

This was the first time I had used a piston ring compressor and I figure it was user error on my part. I found that pushing down hard on the compressor whilst the piston goes down and then rotating the compressor as soon as resistance is felt meant that it went in without problem. Must remember that[;)]

More recently I moved onto the head. Using the inlet manifold gasket I slightly opened up the ports and smoothed the rough casting as far as I could into the head. Heres a not-very-good picture of the ports. If you feel inside the ports are nice and smooth and there aren't any sharp edges in there.


I then removed the camshaft, rockers and tappets and handed the head to my local engineering firm. They have degreased it and placed it in a decoking bath. The valves were removed and new 3 angle valve seats were cut into the seats and the valves put back with new valve stem oil seals. The springs were replaced with new Kent cams valve springs as I have a new OP234 Kent cam kit. Initially I'm going to replace the original camshaft until I get the engine up and running, then once it fires on the button I will replace the camshaft with the new Kent one so that it can be run in correctly at 2.5k for 20 mins.

Next I was thinking about the exhaust. Interestingly the 2.0s and GTE manifolds are both the same style casting as the 2.4 one so I thought it must be a good design. I thought I'd rather use a newer manifold but my 2.4 one had several heat cracks in it. Paulmanta came through for me here with a NOS one.

So today I cleaned off the surface rust ready for new VHT paint and again worked the manifold inlet and outlet holes using the gasket for a guide. They are now smooth as far as my finger can reach..




That was done today and I'll be painting the head tomorrow and putting another coat on the manifold. Ideally the VHT paint will be cured so I might stick it on foil in a warm oven for a while...

I'll soon be on to cutting the gearbox tunnel and fitting the new one and replacing the fuel tank with an injection one (plus running the lines)

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