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Dans Manta Disaster


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its been a while scince i last posted here , but heres the update (if anyone is still interetsed i dont know but here it is)

i finally overcame the rubber hose nonsense and payed £100 for the super duper stuff (its now on ebay for £30ish per meter)

carbs have been secure and seem reliable . altho performance can differ alot depending on ambient temperature and engine temperature .

i crashed it , got wedged inbetween two cars , missing the front and jamming up against the os wing and door , and the ns wing and floor behind the wheel .

the poor renault megane has its wheel and driveshaft ripped clean out and bent double . i drove away ...just about .

got it fixed 2 wings and tracking . got a bit from the insurance also with special thanks to Ian my local area rep for providing a realistic valuation to the assesor .



shortly after that i had a motorbike mechanic balance the carbs with his fancy expensive tool for £30 . he had to take off the airfilter to see what he was doing .

even though the tool said it was balanced it was running lumpy ...

i took it on a run to kent and back , it was going quite well . comng home from work the nextday it went bang chug chug chug chug klonk klonk klonk and just about everyother bad sounding noise you can think of .

turned out he didnt remember to tighten the screws under the air filter , one fell in and smashed the bloody piston to smitherines , peppered the head and valves.... really fekkin it up big time .



so i bit the bullet and fixed it , even though it was probably more cost effective to go for a different engine .

it had 4 new pistons , rebore , crank grind ,new bearings and bolts ,another head with new valves+guides+seats , new tappets , gasket set , bolts ,new belts and pump ,new calibra turbo clutch , almost the whole lot. £1000 or there abouts and a hell of a lot of work .



took a bit of time but got it all together again , and its even better than before . the front wheels come off the ground when i accelerate!!! in my dreams haha



next ive had new springs and adjustable rear shocks , just incase i need to moove a caravan ;)

ive got a compleat front subframe sandblasted poly bushed and painted , recon rack ... ready to fit

ive welded the floor up and bulkhead inner arch areas both sides, rear arches sill sections inner and outer , sanded it all , treated whatever rust , hammerighted the whole floor white and the spare wheel well black .

lost the pictures but what we did really looks the buisiness and hopfully will make it all last a bit longer .

still a few niggles round the rear arches to weld up , likewise the lower rear corners i bodged up ages ago ....

elegance side skirts all preped and ready for fitting , making that full respray ive always dreamed of looking like a possibility sometime this year .

another back axle with discs in the pipe line ....

in the meantime exhaust blowing again , and my replacement engine and gearbox mounts are far too solid , lots of vibration and noise ...

brakes need ...somthing dooing so i put a new stereo in and new speakers on the back shelf insted :lol: sounds great :D

still need to lead the roof and prep the 400 bonnet for paint ....the list goes on...

may actually tackle the chassis rails while the subframe is off??? can of worms i think ...

im getting there , still got the bug , still lovin the ol manta... gets better every year .

must join up to the club again , been too long .

Edited by dynamytedan
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much much bad luck ,thats why its called Dans manta disater ...it really has been :blink: but thats what you get for having a rare car .

flip back to the start and look at the standard car gloss black , square lights , 1800 engine , varajet carb ,in the years before that 1st picture head gasket going every 10,000 , carb needs tuning/fixing almost everyday , so it gradually became what it is now partly out of ambition and partly nescesity .

keeping it original and standard was never really an option .

it was £350 from a garage in Rickmansworth (neer Watford) had 55,000 unverified miles and lots of golf Tees in the boot , 1 owner from new . a cheap head gasket job done , a knocking axle , polish everywhere . 6 month MOT , 2 months tax .

i suppose if it wasnt for all the mechanical problems that developed , more could have been done making it look better .... but as an everyday car at that time it was hard to do anything that took more than a few hours,

its amazing that inspite of all the problems , even the many breakdowns i didnt mention , its never totally let me down , i was always able to fix it with miinimal tools again and again and drive on ....

its now on 118,000 , its been all round ireland , back and forth several times a year to cornwall and N wales , and to work everyday for about 7 years .

its role these days is becoming more and more an expensive toy/hobby and not subjected to everyday wear and tear so often . thats exactly what i need to make more progress . :thumbup

so the aim of the game these days is , if it breaks , modify it to accept a more modern part as a replacement , but nothing too extreeme just reliabilty and decent performance.

Edited by dynamytedan
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  • 2 months later...

ive been busy ....

that front subframe all poly bushed and painted is fitted with new front shocks and springs.

with adjustable panard rod ,turns out the rose joint was worn and knocking

catch tank thing fitted

400 bonnet prepared for a carbon sticker sheet wrap thing .

tracking done .

put lead in the roof.

finished welding for now , arches, floor, sills, chassis rails, boot seal lip done! (starting to need inner wing tops) so its not/never really finished .

rmj sides fitted , no back bumper yet so ive made up some bits to help the look ...

got some mudflaps to go there aswell.

only concern is that the rear wheels look a bit wrong,

ill need to have a read about wheel and tyre sizes under standard rear arches,

ive considered cheap spacers as a stop gap , but the arches look very close as it is, plus the standard studs are already 1/4" short i wouldnt want to make it dangerous.

so that leaves only hubcentric things .they seem to be 25mm or more and thats possibly too thick , i dont know ?!?!?

nevermind for now.

continuing prep for full respray for next weekend





a few more niggles to get sorted .

a service , a valet , ignition leads , door shut stainless manta trims , paint wheels if i get time.

with any luck it might look alright for billing .

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  • 4 weeks later...

finally got some paint on the damn thing ,

slapped some rmj sides on it

fitted the old side skirts down the back of the rear arches and made up a small section to help the skirts blend in.

some mudflaps

painted the wheels white (a bit essex boy , but they look good to me )

welded almost everything now except inner wing tops that are slowly going

but now the kit is on , the wings cant come off easyly DOH"!!!!!

a bit arse about face , but what the hell i think it looks the best its ever looked

ive had good comments from strangers and passers by , and lots of admiring looks .... its nice :thumbup

still it could always be better ,

must do the brakes soon , its gotten a bit spongy scince biling ... i fear a siezing caliper as it pulls left a slight bit ,and more under braking .


scince putting on a different subframe and all new bushes etc... and having the tracking done

the report said one wheel has its camber/caster out

did i put a top ball joint the wrong way round ?? is that what adjusts it ?

maybee my tracking guy has not done it right .

ill see what happens when the brakes are sorted out .


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thanks for the compliments guys , really nice to have some admiration for what has been alot of work and money over the years .

and finally to get it looking reasonably good at 300 paces im happy with that

now i cant say everything has been done 100% properly which is a shame. the preperation for paint could have been better , as i can pick a mistake on almost every panel .

what the hell, the respray cost me £70 for paint , and i did the rest in work hours (so i got payed to do my own car!!!)

my boss John + manager Phill and mate Stuart will never read this , but i owe them all a big thankyou , as they did help me with the welding and fillering .

our painter Lee rushed it a bit at the end and didnt block down as much as he should have , so ive got wobbly bits and lumps, divvets and silicones here and there, for that the boss went mad and almost sacked him .

i didnt want anykind of stigma surrounding the work on it , and luckyly he kept his job.

anyway a big thanks to the guys at the garage , now i must work my ass off to show my gratitude ....

more overtime and saturdays forever more

but at least i can take some pride in it now and give it a polish on sundays .

i know what you mean about the wheels Monzta, not wide enough looking at the back and not deep dish but, i like the ronals for what they do.

they seem like prety good wheels to me ,fairly light weight and not so wide all they sap my fuel and power .

and they dont get kerbed too easyly . thay also take a pounding and dont get warped like some larger alloys do.

tyres are cheap also.

its hard to justfy new ones other than improoving the look . i wouldnt want to change the handling too much it seems alright.

and i cant afford £1000 of wheels and tyres at the mo .altho the bbs ones do look good in their own right ive had somthing else in mind for ages now.

which is weller steel wheels like these...


but i havent found anyone that still makes them , and all second hand ones seem to be knackered and for a ford or 4x4 .

they used to be about £200 for 4 new ones. ill keep looking .

today i investigated my going left and brake issues .

the caliper slides , the shiney long allen bolts were ok , but the rubbers they slide in were not.

one of them had become swollen possibly through oil or somthing so its not releasing fully as it should .

so that might be an easy fix if i had a new rubber thing, the piston and pads seemed ok .

just happen to notice one of my top ball joints fitted differently to the other . turned it around 180 and now its all good .

goes alot straiter now . camber looks the same to the eye both sides .. it didnt quite before.

another DOH! and back on track... sort of :thumbup

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