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The daily run around project hatch


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Well in a way this is the follow on to the topic below:


I now have the hatch and the plan is to tidy it up, make it a bit more solid and tart it up a bit here and there as well. The car is not going to be Concours (I've got the Coupe to keep me happy there!), just my everyday runaround. Sean, Tracy and Pat have done a great job getting it clean again and getting it driveable, its upto me now to make it a more pleasant experience!

First jobs are to sort the brakes as they are not great, get it running a bit smoother, as Sean got it running reliably but we didnt have time to get it spot on so its still a bit jerky at low revs. It needs a rear silencer which is already enroute from EBay and the exhaust needs a bit of adjusting throughout as its hitting something underneath.

After that its a case of tidying up the bodywork. I'll respray the bumper white, it needs a new lower rear section behind the wheel arch on the passenger side. Both arches need tidying up, I need to get the skirts off and treat a bit of surface rust on the sills (they have been renewed just need protecting better!). The drivers side wing has a couple of bubbles here and there but I hope to save it. There are a few spots of rot here and there to be sorted over time as well but on the whole its pretty solid. It came with quite a few reciepts for welding which is a good sign hopefully!

Interior wise, well it currently has the check interior but I hope to get a chicago grey one at some point as I suspect thats what it should have had but the original one was so badly kept Sean had to bin it and fit the one thats in it. If anyone hears of a cheap grey interior for a hatch let me know!

Electrically it seems to work ok, it just needs tidying up and the dash putting back together.

I've got a fair bit of old stereo equipment to throw in it as I like my sounds, I've already fitted a new steering wheel as well as I struggle to get in with the standard wheel!

Mods wise well I wont be doing a great deal. Sean had a set of 400 mirrors which I now have for it. They need repainting and fitting but they are so much better than the standard things! I hope to fit some twin headlights as I had forgotten how poor the square ones are! The foglight will be moved into one of the reverse lights on the the clusters as well. After that it will be a case of rummaging through the loft to see what goodies I still have! I'm still not overly keen on the wheels but they do have good tyres so thats one thing. I might look at getting a set of original ronals instead to be honest as I want to keep it looking fairly standard, but we'll see what happens.

As you can probably tell this is going to be a fairly plain project. Nothing fancy, no big mods, just a case of subtle improvements and making it a useful everyday car.

Theres a few picks below of how it looks as I've got it. sorry the pics aren't great, its raining today!





I'm hoping to start work on it next week, weather permitting so I'll keep you updated on how its going. My plan is to re-tax it in a month or so and Manta driving will be back in my life again!

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Hi Andy

That actually looks quite good with the black bumper now you have cleaned the slime off it. Sorry I cant give you a hand with it M8 I will get tray to get inthe loft for the other little goodies your after. Did you see we have regretably put Pats car on ebay now

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Thats funny Sean as I felt a bit like that but I'm still going to paint it white I think. No worries with the help mate, its my turn to help you for the next few months me thinks!

Yeah I suspect the wheels are fwd offset as well, they sit too far in. Hoping to get a clean set of ronals for it as I want to keep it fairly standard although I'm sure I'll get tempted to put something different on. Sean has a set of TSW Imolas that if they dont go with the exclusive he's sadly having to part with I may have to consider an offer for, or should that be adding to my ever growing tab Sean!!!!!!!

I've taken wednesday off this week so weather permitting I can start sorting a few odds and ends out.

Time for a loft hunt I think!

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Well if you want black side skirts no problem I have the ones from the black hatch that got broken oh and funnily enough a black bonnet:joy but sadley not the rear bumper that was too rusted on. You have just reminded me I need to get my slave to go up in the loft.

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Slave has been in the loft and retrieved your goodies and amazingly enough they are Irmscher light bezels and they are in white. I forgot to say in my last post if Phill warren dosnt want the tailgate then thats here in black to You can collect them when every you get up just remember to remind me :thumbup

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cheers for digging out the bits Sean, or should that actually be Tracy I'm thanking!

Not sure yet when I will be up. i forgot that its bank holiday on friday! If I don't make it this week it might be early next week in the afternoon. Mind you if the weather is not good wednesday it might be then instead as I'm off all day but hoping to do some bits on the car! Alternatively I'll see what Nat has planned over the weekend as I might see if I can pop in the car and collect the bits then.

Got the new rear silencer today. Its a bosal one and actually seems quite good, its even got a 2" stainless tail pipe! Will hopefully get that fitted in the next day or so.

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it looks to be a hatch one and the part number seemed correct but you never know till you try it! Its got to be better than the 90 degree rusty bit of mild steel on there at the moment. its been made to look like a side exit, but it actually looks !

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I've started doing a few jobs on the hatch to get it ready for daily use. So far its mainly been bodywork. The scuttle panel had a hole about the size of a 5p in it by the windscreen. thats now been cleaned up and filled and is primered for now.


The drivers side rear arch had a few bubbles on it, as did the lower edge of the rear quarter just behind the arch. Eventually I will tackle the whole arch but for now I've tidied up the rear half and the lower edge of the quarter. Once the grinder hit it I found a few unseen holes, and in an ideal world I would have replaced the arch and lower lip, but as this is not a show car, and for now, its just a tidy up, I've cleaned up the holes, taken it back to good metal and filled it with fibreglass and filler.




I know this is not best practice but should keep it tidy for a year or two when I will hopefully have the time and facilities to do a proper job. The main thing is its not structural so welding is not quite so vital. It has actually come out ok and I've managed to get the line of the arch fairly close. It still needs a coat of spray primer and another sanding but for now, as it lives on the front garden and I'm less than half a mile from the sea, I've just coated it in primer to protect it.


As far as other jobs go, well the horrible side exit 'thing' has gone and a fairly tidy Bosal rear silencer sourced from Ebay for £15 is now in its place. Its amazing who little things like that can make such a difference.


I've put the dash back together but thats about it on the interior. I've removed completely the non working rear wiper which has given the added bonus of the hatch now staying open on the struts! The rear boot spoiler was cracked but Sean had a black one sitting in his garden so that has now gone on. The old aerial has been removed and a new one is waiting to go on. I've got pretty much everything to put twin headlights on it, and the 400 mirrors also need fitting.

Engine wise all I've done is give it a quick clean. Its still a mess in the engine bay but at least you can see what your looking at now! Its running rough but I'm going to replace the fuel filter and a couple of bits and pieces then play with the timing and idle speed to see if it can be improved. I'm collecting up bits to give the brakes a good going over. I've got a set of decent pads from Ebay, and a couple of new rear cylinders. I want to also get some new rear shoes and hopefully some different calipers so that I can do it all in one hit. Hopefully some braided brake lines will go on as well.

Next step on the bodywork will be to get the side skirts off and tidy up the front of the arches and along the sills. They have been renewed according to the paper work but there is a bit of surface rust I want to get rid of. I also suspect I have a hole under the washer bottle so thats coming out this week to see how bad. When I washed it a lot of water was coming in in that area so i suspect it needs plating. Reminds me that I must get my welder back from my work mate! After that the main job is going to be the passenger side rear quarter, which as you can see in the picture of the rear silencer is rotten. Sean has given me a repair panel to do this. I'll also tidy up the rest of the arch while I'm there, which on first inspection doesnt look as bad as the other side but hey, its a Manta, and looks are usually decieving!

I've sourced a set of standard ronals for it now, so if anyone wants some 14" 5 spokes in black which I reckon are more suited to a Nova or Astra offset wise let me know and make me an offer.

Well thats all for now. Hopefully I'll have another update in a couple of weeks.


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