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Dans Manta Disaster


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  • 2 months later...
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parked up a few weeks back and had a chunk taken out of my front bumper . not only that but its partially separated from the bumper beam and is all floppy . makes an annoying "old banger" squeek over little bumps .

well anyway ... sourced another second hand one (3rd one now) , got a friend to paint it for me cheap .

got some clear indicators and slapped the lot on over the weekend .

quite pleased with it ... one of my more sucessful projects .

altho the clear lenzes didnt quite fit properly and oh i scratched the bumper carrying down the stairs [:(!]

but here it is looking better ....

just need the manta and blitz stickers now


also had a little accident with the exhaust ... reversed into a kerb and snapped it off at the rear box , and with the most amazing timing one just happened to turn up in the for sale section .

will be fitting it this week somtime


oh and not forgetting my other accident ... running into the back of a newish passat . locked the fronts up at 15mph and just shunted into him . trade of paint and insurance details . not much luck lately , touched in the nsf light surround , luckily my bumper was already smashed and there wasnt any noticable body damage on either car .

under closer inspection the wing just behind the headlight has a tiny bend and slight cracking of paint . ah well ....ce la vie ...

hoping to afford the bike carb mod at the end of this month , altho i did want a heated front screen aswell ..... cant have everything i suppose .

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That Manta's looking good now,in mat black it has a similar appearance to the Chris Tee 'mad max' Manta (love to see that Manta at the show again)

I remember seeing this when i bought the 1800 wheels off you years back when you live in North London,(Maida Vale?) i turned up in the Land Rover i had at the time,the Manta has changed a bit since!

Do you want to bring it along to a car show or two?,there is the Performance Vauxhall at Santa Pod on the 3rd June and Luton Festival Of Transport on the 10th June and of course you'll be at Billing with us.

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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wow im flattered to be invited Ian . but honestly its not as good as it looks , thats the best angle , the rear of the car is a right mess still . crappy filler around the rear arches , rust bubling though and silver paint here and there on the rear quarters , not to mention the holes all along the bottom of the back panel and round the sides .

all a bit embarrising really .

paint is coming off in places ...around the sunroof , tail gate and bonnet .

have to paint it all again but this time spend more time rubbing down to get the paint to stick better on the corners .(crappy aerosols)

not sure if im remotly neer show standards especially seeing some of the other members stunning examples , but im trying to make a go of it . really wish i could afford to get the body work sorted properly and have a nice paint job done in a booth .

id love to go along to santa pod and luton , ill make a reminder and get in touch neerer the date [:)]

oh it was colindale i was at with the wheels , not that far from there now , down the road from golders green .

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I don't think that you should bo so negative of your own handy work (although most people are more critical of their own work). Everyone has to start somewhere and bodywork is incredibly difficult to get 100% right - you just need to take your time and concentrate on one area at a time. my 2nd manta looked similar to yours with primer patches on the back panels - it was still my baby though.

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I'd be chuffed to drive around in a car like that. I had the nerve to park this


in the front row of cars at Billing on the Saturday lol

Keep up the good work and be patient - it'll get there!

OMOC #5826..... 79 SRB coupe - 'interesting project', 79 Cav saloon - 'another interesting project', 1993 Senator 24v. Yakshimash.

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DAN,dont worry about how good your car looks,you are keeping a Classic on the road with work in progress,no one will hold that against you,i'd be happy turning up to these events in the 'Guiness Turd' my Brown hatch that has had two hits up the R'se and got red primer on the drivers side,it went to Billing and was lined up in the concours last year!

You'd enjoy Luton as its also a social event for us Manta types,we put up a Gaze-e-bow and light the Bar-B-Q and sit in deck chairs all day talking Manta's and Santa Pod is good for seeing what performance mods are being done to Vauxhall type cars and engines and again the Gaze-e-bow and Bar-B-Q wil be having an outing.

Really it doesn't matter that your car is not show winning standard yet,come along and join in,you'll enjoy yourself.

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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  • 4 months later...

made more progress today , and in the last few months ...

carved my K+N in half to clear the bonnet , and gave it a nice coat of stone chip

dont look too bad really .


tarted up my rocker cover a bit (copied someone here i think , good idea btw)


and done somthing different with my cam cover ...


also , clive sent me some of those kick panels , which are really a work of art . i was soo excited to get them in i snapped 3 drill bits making the new screw holes .



and today finally fitted my new brakes .

out with the old....


in with the new ... many thanks to mark (gunman) for the discs .


it was all really strait forward , the only bit that was greif was fitting the goodridge hoses .

had to re-flare the ends of the brake pipes .

if anyone does this beware when your flaring not too flare the old manta lines too much as the flare will split at the ends . took me 3 goes to get it right . its fine now , screwed in nice and no leaks

oh and 1 other thing , had a bit of faffing around with the hose to stop it fouling the suspension on full lock . do check that if you do hoses .





brakes are much much betetr now , not that there was anything wrong with the old ones , i had new pads and discs and fitted a new slide kit , i guess they just arent up to the job .

the braking effort starts much sooner when depressing the pedal . aand altho i havent emergency stopped it yet , it feels really good and im sure will perform 100% better than before .

1 thing i did notice , the new brakes are a lot heavyer and i could feel it on the steering , its only slightly more heavy to turn and not a problem atall .

STILL waiting for my bike carbs to come back , its been ages now ...maybee 3 months or somthing ...

im sure its going to be worth the wait .


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  • 3 weeks later...

tested the brakes down to cornwall and back over the weekend .

and ive got another problem .

didnt notice it much with the old brakes but now im finding that the servo doesnt hold much vacume for very long .

when going uphill for a while (less vaccume in the inlet)

if i need to stop suddenly the initiall press of the pedal doesnt do harldy anything for a sencond . feels very hard and then seems to work alright ...as the vacume builds up a bit .

so i guess i need a new servo !!!

thats the bad news but the good news is that again and again this car really impresses me . zooming down the a303 last night , easyly sustaining 90 if i wanted to , never lacked power up hills even in 5th at 70 , and theres some whoppers down the westcountry .

and round the bends on the sigle lane bits its was really excellent .

held the road brilliantly .

i think i need to be a bit braver with it . ive got to keep my foot down more i think , the car seems much more surefooted when powering around the corners .

and better yet got my bike carbs and manifold back ....



just a few niggles to organise before i get them on .

throttle cable

choke linkage

manifold gasket

and 1 or 2 other things ....

im praying that they just bolt on and work like the guy at bogg bros said , being my everyday car it really needs to just work , 1st time .


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should work pretty much by just bolting them on.

would be best to get it rolling roaded to get it spot on.

no one seems to touch bike carbed engines tho apart from bogg bros.

ill be keeping an eye on this as my engines going back in this week with r1 carbs on[:D]

omoc member 5918


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How much did that manifold/carb set up cost? (if you don't mind me asking [:P][;)])


OMOC #5988

hmackay at opel-manta.com


I hae a few guid reasons for drinkin’

And yin juist entered ma heid

If a man canna’ drink while he’s livin’

Hoo the Hell can he drink when he’s deid!

There is no word in Gaelic that can possibly convey the same level of urgency as the spanish word mañana

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What exhaust have you got on this engine Dan?

As your set up will effectively be the same as mine (SEH engine, R1 carbs, Blydenstein B+ head, Courtenay cam and Ashley manifold and system), I'm following this topic with considerable interest.

Mine won't be on the road for a while yet but from what you've found with yours so far, I'm really looking forward to it.



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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shug: bike carbs were about £100 from ebay

manifold and rejetting and a couple of other bits i wanted repaired came to £278 .

Mick: hope your right on that one , cos im a long way away from bogg bros rolling road .

Joe: ive got an ashley 4 branch manifold . altho ive not been convinced its any better than the standard one . seemed to loose low down smoothness and power a bit . altho it probably gained at higher revs , its hard to tell . basically no more pulling away in 2nd gear .

well thats how it is at the mo using a single weber . hopfully the carbs will give a little better low down grunt .

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  • 6 months later...

right.... ive been stuck all winter for working on manta as im a fair weather mechanic . been getting back into it lately .

but running into problems as usual for me .

trying to get the r1 carbs up and running and its not going too well .

while struggling with the carbs other little niggles keep turning up . like the clutch pivot decided to unwind itself AGAIN !! , os headlight keeps flickering and the earth strap for the alternator has broken off . so a few little saet backs but im not detered .....yet ....

so anyway the carbs ....

put them on ... and just couldnt get it to run right , had fuel squirting out of one of them and running on 3 cylinders .

so put the single carb back on for the winter . and tryed again last week .

but this time with the R1 fuel pump .....(rather than the facet i fitted by the tank)

that seemed to stop the fuel squirting out but i still had running problems .

traced it to an air leak where the carbs attatch to the manifold with short silicone hoses and clips .... got that sorted ...

so now running on 4 , balanced it up again as best i could with a really old crude air flow guage . spent a fair bit of time dooing that and got it idling really smooth . so i took it for a run ...

low down power and response was much improoved but anything over 2500 rpm and theres just no oomph , like its not getting enough fuel ....

so after much head scratching , screw turning and ignition timing fiddling it was still the same . so i finally bit the bullet and took it up to red dot racing in watford .

on the dyno it totally went lean at 2000 rpm and they stopped the test in case of a meltdown .

the problem is rekkoned to be 2 things . 1st the r1 pump .

apparently not a proper pump as it must be gravity fed and its not designed to pull fuel from a tank 9 foot away .

so what ive got to do is go back to the facet pump i had before , fit a pressure regulator(in the post) before the carbs and then it will be in a tuneable state .

so after that the next bit is to leave it with them for a day so they can get the jets re drilled to what ever size is right ,

and another go on the dyno and it should be sorted .

im hoping i can get it all together in the next few days and leave it up there on tuesday .

the guys at red dot really seemed to know there stuff and were very interested and extreemly helpful . i did feel a bit of a twat with my measly modded 2 liter 8 valve , when there was loads of proper ,heavly modded , mega horsepower jap cars parked up outside . saw a few dyno results in the windows of these nissan things .... 300 bhp 350 torque at 7800 rpm !!!!! bloody hell !!!! if only i could get half that !!!

whats more one guy has his own manta collection ... a 400r and a few gte's

his mate apparently owns/owned the manta 400 driven by colin mcrae in the 80s !!! so i was a bit lost for words there, and shortly after that again , as he gave me the lowdown on the cosworth head and fueling set up details !

so yeah , a very knowledgable guy .

ill post again next week when its hopfully all done .....

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It's interesting to know about the R1 pump Dan as I may have exactly the same problem as you in the very near future. However, Mick Harbidge is running one on his XE powered coupé on R1 carbs and it runs perfectly. However he has got his mounted under the car at the rear so it may well be we'll both need to move ours to there to get them to run okay.

In fact, I should be working on mine tomorrow so it may be in line for a bit of pump relocation to pre-empt any possible problems, as where it is at present, it's certainly not gravity fed.

Having said that, a chap we met at the Retro Rides Show at Mallory Park last August had one in his Kadett (XE, R1 carbs and pump) mounted on the front bulkhead and it ran fine.

I suspect that possibly only Bogg Brothers really understand bike carbs on cars, no matter how experienced other firms may be with Webers etc. I'd suggest it's worth giving them a ring before you spend any more on a new pump and regulator as Mick's car is perfect on the same set-up you've got.



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not to worry ... we can make more

another set back yesterday morning ....

wouldnt start ...thought id flooded it , or the coil lead had fallen off ......

but no , the carbs had found there way out of the silcone hoses and dropped off !!!

wondering if i done the the clips too tight or not tight enough???

looks like the petrol has eaten away at the hoses a bit , and possibly with the help of a misfire on start up the carbs came off and ripped the inner of the hoses apart exposing the threading behind the inner layer .....

for now ive turned them round and refitted them , and it seems ok .

i really need this to be reliable and not happen again , so ive set about tring to find another kind of hose .

it seems the usual silicone stuff will be suseptable to petrol over time .

anyway theres a couple of different ones to consider .

the original r1 carb to manifold rubbers about £27 for 4

similar silicone hose as ive got now about £35 per meter

or the daddy of all hoses , resistant to petrol and anything else a whopping £100 per meter plus vat !!!

any one got an ideas on where else to get a suitable hose with a 2" inside diameter ?

as soon as i get these hoses sorted out , il get on with what you suggested before Joe , about the spark plugs . thanks for that advise by the way , you typed out a hell of a lot of useful info and im very greatful for that . shame its gone now , but i did read it 3 or 4 times and i think i know what im dooing .

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Now having the carbs falling off is certainly a good reason for not starting!

I'm sorry all my waffle has gone as I don't feel like writing it all out again, but I will if anyone wants it.

The hose issue is interesting. I think I'll try some R1 rubbers on mine pretty soon.



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I saw those earlier too Mick. They certainly are the ones. From the photo there's one retaining clip missing (and a mate of mine had a bit of a problem with that breaker a few years ago). But I'm tempted I must admit.



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