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James' SRB


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  • 6 months later...
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Finally got round to fitting the new springs. In the process found more welding to do and a perished fuel pipe ( the bit that goes through the boot floor from the tank )

As these are much shorter than standard I've tied them in top and bottom with cable ties. Is this good practice? Its just that the rears can just fall out when suspension is at full stretch!

Strange thing is, when comparing the rear springs, the new ones were much shorter than standard, but when fitted to the car the reduction in ride height wasn't that much. I guess the old ones were just saggy!


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'slammed to the deck!'

I've never fully understood some modified suspension. It will lower a cars height but jack the car up on the proper jacking points and you can lift the car a couple of feet up in the air, only the wheels remain on the floor?! Then tyre changes can then only be done by jacking under the wishbones or spring seats.

The rears aren't under much load and yes they do seem to drop out easy, even when you're removing standard heights. I've always assumed the rear anti-roll bar and possibly the dampers act to hold the rear suspension up just enough to stop the possibilty of the springs falling out if you say, jump a bridge or something!

The new springs have certainly given your car a more aggressive stance, very nice.

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  • 3 months later...

Just a quick update. Had a little more welding done to her ( o/s rear spring area ). As far as I can tell this should be the last of it!


Had a very enjoyable day down in Cornwall with Paul Newport ( paulmanta ) and Alan. The plan was to remove the 4 speed box and replace with the 5 speed in one day! The job went so amazingly smoothly that , not only did I drive down in daylight, but arrived home in daylight too!

I take my hat off to these guys. Everything was so organised and done to a very high standard.

Paul had designed and had produced a couple of mods to allow the existing gear lever and centre console to be used.


I became slightly worried when Paul attacked the tunnel with a hammer!


Raising the box into position. Just look at the concentration on their faces :P


Needless to say the drive home was much more relaxed. I had forgotten how nice the manta 5 speed box felt. Really looking forward to the drive to Billing this year.

Many thanks again guys for doing such a good job. :rolleyes:

Not sure I'll manage to get much more done on the manta this year as I really need to knuckle down and get my Girlfriend's house finished. But will try and sneak in the odd saturday in the garage when she's not looking!!

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Was down with Paul on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and i recoginise those bits all to well to do the 5 speed conversation, Paul was painting the new bits for your car when i was down there and Paul and i did some of the mods on the gearbox before you arrived on the saturday.

Did you see that nice shiney engine sitting in the corner well thats Paul and I were working on during the week, plus lots of other bits while i was there.

Paul and i will be doing the same 5 speed conversation to the X PMA Manta that is sitting in Paul's seriously large warehouse.



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Superb looking job that. I expect the B feels a lot more 'long legged' with the extra gear! Did you opt for the original lever/linkage mechanism for cosmetic reasons and as not to have to chop the interior and tunnel too much? I can't imagine the getrag with the old stick as the vertical movement of each change doesn't give that sporty feel of the conventional five speed but then of course you have to sacrifice the centre console for that of a later manta.

This really is a great looking car and it's certain one of the best rolling restorations in the club.

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Pop on a photo of the gearlever and centre consol, many of us would like to see the result of all the work.

Looking good, Cheers, Colin.

As you can see, business as usual in here! Box is in neutral.


Rick, thanks for your comments. I agree that you do lose that sporty feel with the old gearshift but I wanted to keep the car looking as authentic as possible ( says he who has just slammed it to the deck ) This car is more about nostalgia for me more than anything else. When I sit in this car I'm instantly taken back to when I was a young lad, spent a fiver a week on fuel, gave Mum a tenner and had no worries ;)

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  • 3 months later...

Just a quick update. Bought a pair of mint doors off ebay a while ago and have finally got round to doing something with the drivers door. The hinge pin was way too loose in the lower door hinge section so had to have it drilled out and a sleeve inserted. Only way to do it was to drill through the door itself and then weld up afterward.



Also, while at a local classic car meeting I met a rather nice man who said ' I used to own one of those '. Turns out he had a garage of spares he wanted to sell :rolleyes:

So I've ended up with a rather nice bonnet, two mint cavalier wings and various other bits. The Bonnet was a welcomed find as mine has developed rot along the outer edge.

The bonnet was painted along with the door today so looking forward to getting them on the car in time for Billing.


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  • 1 year later...

Car sailed through her MOT on Thurs. Now taxed for the summer and ready to make the 5hr trip to Simon at Suffolk County Mantas tomorrow. Simon has kindly agreed to post pics on here of the work in progress so I'll be watching with great interest. :)

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Started stripping James' car today, update with pics.


Here is his pride and joy, sitting outside my workship prior to work starting.


Today was so sunny and warm (24c) i decided to start the work outside. Got the engine out here.


The engine bay is is amazing condition with only a small amount of work to do before smoothing it out.

Edited by simon p
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Got more done on James' car recently.

Dropped the rear axle off as James wants it painted in 2K


I hung it up on my engine hoist, pressure washed it and cleaned it up before giving it a couple of coats of high build primer. Stripping and blasting would have be prefered but sadly, wasn't a option.


To aid mounting bonnet rams, captive nut were fitted


nut was welded in


And lastly sanded flush


All inner wings holes all welded up



The axle will be wet and dried tomorrow an will then get a lovely drop of black applied, i'll then bolt it back on. It's of to the paintshop for the engine bay to be painted on Saturday

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You've changed Sene, I can remember the time when you were happy with a tent, barbecue and a can of lager.

Now you've gone and got all serious (oh, and the interior in a black SR should really be beige!)

Lol. At least now when I have too many beers at Billing and roll under the car i'll appreciate the view a bit more! :lol:

Beige interior?? No I'll stick to the funky burnt Orange.

Simon - looking good mate :thumbup

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  • 1 month later...

A few pics of Simon's work

All the bits painted and ready for assembly




New rocker box painted and fitted


Coil relocated to side of rad mount


Brand new headlights to compliment the now very shiny inner wings. Note that all engine wires now run tucked away under the wing lip.



Engine back in complete with bonnet rams


Many thanks to Simon for the excellent work. He used new bolts on everything where possible. The steering rack is brand new as are balljoints etc. With the new springs and shocks I fitted a couple of years ago this car now drives fantastic being very tight and together.

Have ordered new polished oil filler cap and rad cap to finish off the bay. Also waiting on Clive to supply one of his beautiful rad infill trays. Hopefully should arrive soon.

Off to the bodyshop next week to have the nose cone painted as this now lets the car down.

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