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Opel Manta GTE Exclusive Project update 21/09/2008


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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to update not really to much further forward but hopefully in couple of weeks will be taking the car to someone who knows what they're doing.

Have a guy just up the road who has previously had a vauxhall thunder Saloon with a manta 400 engine running twin 48's.

So long as all goes to plan he will be looking at he timing getting this set and checking jetting on the carbs, and probably discovering more issues along the way!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Also going to check the distributor to make sure it is one from a carbed manta not the injection so can make sure the vacuum advance working correctly.

Have got as far as I can with the running problems now needs to be fine tuned by someone who knows and can explain what is wrong.

Will let you all know soon


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  • 4 weeks later...

Right finally an update, managed to get wedding plans to a place where I can pay my baby some attention again (well for couple of hours anyway!!!!)

Managed to fit the new pressure sensor that I bought for it and have got 3bar of pressure on tickover so something else I don't need to worry about.

Mind you what a pig of a job

However until she is stripped down and acid dipped not going to get my hopes up too much.


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i thought this was a typo error,welding plans

No not a typo error it is wedding and coming at around the same time my MOT runs out too (bad planning I know!!) so got to get the engine running, ready so when the MOT runs out and I start the main rebuild I know the engine is good and ready to go when it's done.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok well about time for an update. Sorry taken so long but with wedding now week and half away and all the planning had to do for that not had a chance to get online.

Well have had a guy come and look at the engine and carbs for me, a lovely chap called Steven James has his own small business specialising in the older and classic vehicles, he comes to your house and works so great if you cannot drive your car anywhere, really knowledgable and put up with and answered every daft question I threw at him, cannot recommend him highly enough.

He set the timing and adjusted the carbs a bit and decided carbs would be best to have service so he took the carbs and cleaned them all up giving me an A4 sheet of things which were wrong that he had sorted out came back and refitted them and reset the timing. she was still running like bag of nails, so had a further look at the distributor and discovered that it still had the original dizzy for an injection engine ie very little advance hence only being able to get it to run well over only 2000 revs of the full range. Then went from bad to worse when went to adjust the dizzy and discovered it is about as good a a chocolate teapot!!! Vacuum advance was giving between -7 and + 35 pretty much whenever it felt like it!!

Now probably going down the route of a megajolt system to do away with the dizzy. Not ideal or my original plan but probably by far the easiest and best system available and will make it easier to adjust in future.

However it won't be being done now as unfortunately MOT runs out and after a bit of investigation of the so called solid drivers footwell and the removal of large amounts of expanding foam and filler don't think she'll pass!!!!!


To be honest was never the plan to put her through another MOT would cause to much more damage/rust over the next year. So after having never actually got to drive her running properly just got to hope I love her as much as I think I will from the trips we have had, when she's finished!!!!!

So just as a reminder of her current state and as a fitting end to the whole will she, won't she run properly before the rebuild (and in true Manta fashion she never did!!!) Here are the last pictures of her in one piece before the rebuild




So next step when all has calmed probably in the next month or so after wedding I will start the destruction ooops sorry restoration !!!!:D


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  • 4 weeks later...

Although the block is a 20S and not a 20E it doesn't necessarily mean that the head isn't from a later car, or indeed the original head which was present when the car was bought. Also, it would take more than 200 miles to do any damage to the valves, so I wouldn't worry about it. It's not the end of the world having a non-unleaded head anyway, I used to use Castrol Valvemaster, which costs around a tenner for the bottle but lasts ages because you only need to put small shots of it in at a time when you fill up with unleaded (in fact, when mine is back on the road soon i'll be using it again because I don't have an unleaded head anyway).

With regard to using higher octane fuel like Optimax, remember you'll only really get the benefit from the higher octane if you run slighly more advance on the ignition timing. The main feature of higher octane fuel is the resistance to knock when the timing is advanced, thats how engines run better on it. Newer cars will adjust the timing automatically, but on the Manta you'll have to just rotate the distributor a little bit - use a timing light for it though.

Looks like a nice project. All the best, Tom.

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Although the block is a 20S and not a 20E it doesn't necessarily mean that the head isn't from a later car, or indeed the original head which was present when the car was bought.

Looks like a nice project. All the best, Tom.

When I skimmed the head and did the top end rebuild I had them check ad it has been upgraded to take unleaded which is a bonus.


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  • 5 weeks later...

Sorry not been on for long time with one thing and another.

Wedding and honeymoon now over and other half has replaced the wheels on his car so can now get the Manta out of garage.

Started to strip a few bits off tonight and turned into a rather major strip of the passenger side. Things are not looking overly great at present but as I was told in an earlier post "all things are repairable" so onwards and upwards. It is going to be a major job to fix the passenger side and going to have to be careful I don't end up with the whole thing bending across the centre as there is so little metal left!!!!

I have taken some pics so thought would post them up.

A lot of solid metal round the front


but not in the corner


The inside of the passenger sill yet another fibreglass bodge


after removing the fibreglass



inside the front passenger footwell scared.gif


inside the rear wheelarch, yes that is the floor


Not looking good at all sad.gifsad.gif



Good thing is the drivers side doesn't look as bad (mind you not stripped it yet!!


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You've got alot of work on your hands there Suzy. On the positive side, it's a straight looking motor (body wise) monetary wise, it will be alot cheaper to restore, then one, with rusty panels and supermarket dents. What colour are you thinking about 'once' the car is finished?

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Good to see you are still enthusiastic with this, also to be toatlly honest there are some quite easy repairs there, ok so I have done them many times in the past myself and I may find them easy, but when you get stuck into the repairs you will find them not as daunting as you may first think.

By the way, love the fibreglass footwell, aint there some muppets around eh? I once had a fibreglass A pillar that was supporting the Manta door hinges and that was from a documented £3000 restoration would you believe, car was that bad I scrapped it 2 years after it's former owners had had it restored.


anything you and your other half are a bit wary of tackling, just post up on here and I'll try and tell you how I'd go about it, but i'm assuming you are both more than capable :thumbup

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You've got alot of work on your hands there Suzy. On the positive side, it's a straight looking motor (body wise) monetary wise, it will be alot cheaper to restore, then one, with rusty panels and supermarket dents. What colour are you thinking about 'once' the car is finished?

Still working on the colour at the moment possibly Dark Blue, Metallic Red or if I can find one a nice metallic White. I want something different that either hasn't been done before or is unusual. Any suggestions welcome though.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a quick update, will try to post pics up soon, have managed some parts which are going to make my life a whole lot easier and prevent quite a lot fabrication.

Now have

replacement bonnet,

2 brand new wings,

2 replacement skirts,

rear Panel,

2 outer sills

The two panels that go under the wings

pair of headlamps

pair of rear lamps

New genuine non sunroof roof panel

Replacement boot lid

Just got to try and locate a good pair of doors, panel that has the bonnet release pull on, pair of inner sills and chassis rails although if necessary these will be fabricated.

Hoping to get the car over to parents house in next couple of weeks or so then I can strip down, (they have lots of space to store the engine gearbox and mountains of parts I'm currently collecting.) although probably going to leave the glass in the front and rear until have welded the sills up just to give it a bit more strength.


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Ahh it was you who bought the other parts from Dom in Slough!!!

I had his exhaust off him and was watching the other auction - good price for that many parts

10/10 for perseverance on that shell though with that amount of rust I would have broken it!!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Time for another progress report.

The Manta is now over at my parents managed to talk my dad into letting me do the work over there ( being a daddies girl has it's perks ). Also it gives me the benefit of my dads knowledge when it comes to the welding and substantially more space to work ( had 2ft each side at ours!!).

You will see where I get my ability to use something to do a job it's not designed for LOL :-D

Have been thinking about the type of weld I want to use, looked at MIG, TIG, Arc etc but have decided to use the STIG weld I have heard it's faster LOL :-D :-D sorry have a daft sense of humour!!

I think I have made reasonable progress today. : : The fun bit should start soon.

The Manta in her new home


Stripped the rest of the interior




Petrol tank out


Back stripped


Wiring loom and ancilleries out


Engine coming out


Engine out



Big Hole







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Nothing but respect for you Suzy, and in fact all of you Manta people.

It devestates me to see that my favourite car of all time (since first driving one at 12 years old) are such rot boxes

Great to see you guys doing work like this to keep them alive.

Keep it up Suzy.


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  • 6 months later...


Sorry it's been a long time since last update but until now no progress has been made, due to the winter and the lack of enthusiasm to go out in the cold LOL and work has meant no time either. However me and the hubby took this week off work to really start to make some progress and I think we have. The floor has been replaced along with alot of the lower panel work. Will be posting pics up later this week of the work we have done and how it's been done. I'll warn you now it may not be what you are all expecting, started as a sarcastic suggestion and has now become reality.

Pics to follow shortly.


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Finally I am pleased to say we have made some progress :-D

Had last week off work and in usual fashion went at it ike a bull in a china shop and got to use some big machines too :-D

Firstly the floor was tackled as this was the major problem. This was solved using what started out as a sarcastic suggestion involving cutting the floor from the skyline to fit the manta.

Before we tackled the floor this is what it was like



Then take one 3dr japanese coupe, some precise measurements, an angle grinder and a JCB :-D




Take a break to move the garden shed


Cut out the floorpan



Brace one very rusty car to prevent folding it in half



Cut out second floor to same precise measurements, Flintstones eat your heart out


Suddenly realise what you have done, team meeting called :-D Decision carry on regardless it's too late now


Using brute force and ignorance (we had plenty of both) put new floor in and check out the perfect tunnel fitment :-D tack into place




After lunch lol

Cut out rear passenger wheelarch.


Joggle and weld in replacement panel after treating with jenolite and zinc primer.



Cut out lower passenger rear sill inside and out



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