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Stage Rally Manta B


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Obviously there is information before this, but I'll start from here:

Finally I have got hold of a Cosworth 2WD T5 gearbox which I could pick up fairly locally. Along with a Bellhousing for a 20XE to T5 bellhousing, the V6 bolted up fine to the gearbox.


The T5 bellhousing is meant for a 20XE, and the V6 + 20XE starter motors are in slightly different positions and so I need to modify the bellhousing slightly. No great deal though, the bellhousing is otherwise a really good fit.

I also have to get a spigot bearing for the crank to support the gearbox input shaft.

I got an old vectra sump (at least I think it was a vectra sump) for the V6 and milled it down to 35mm. This clears the mains girdle and will be the start of my dry sump pan. As I have the pump + oil tank, I might as well have a go at making the pan.


The "sump pan" bolted to the engine block shows that the pan clears the girdle fine, and when I place the engine in the car it will rest of 1/4" of wood to give me a bit more space for making the sump pan. It is only very tight at the front of the engine where the subframe and steering rack are anyway. I will probably twin scavenge from the rear as I should be able to prevent forward oil surge under braking.


I started bolting the oil pump on, but there is a lug on the block that stops the oil pump being able to sit against the block properly. It was requiring 40mm spacers which really sucked.


The lug is just there for for block machining (i.e. in the factory as somewhere to clamp the casting), so I chopped it off. Then, the oil pump can sit flat against the block.


Much Better! I also bolted a plate to the drivers side of the engine which makes a start of the engine mounts.


I sat the engine + gearbox back into its proper location, the engine is sat 1/4" above the subframe + rack using a peice of plywood. The gearbox is supported at the back with a small jack. The engine position needs a bit more fiddling with before I can start making the mounts. It will be good to get it mounted though!!

The T5 gearbox fits in the Manta tunnel fine. Where I have the T5 sitting, it's mounting flange is very close to the Manta's chassis mounting points. So making a gearbox mount should be really easy.


The gearlevel position is not too bad, it is further forward when compared to my original gear selector (which I never finished anyway!), but should be okay if I kink the gearlever a bit towards the seat. It's already reachable, but in harnesses it's suprising how little you can move.


The passenger seat is also quickly bolted in to try out the positioning. For some reason I had to re-drill the seat rails. I have no idea why, I'm sure it all fitted before the car was painted! Still, I had to cut the tunnel anyway, so a touch-up to the white paint is on the cards anyway.


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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the comments. Yes Lee or me occasionally post on Migweb, although I generally can't be arsed to be honest.

The V6 will be run on Jenvey throttle bodies. Need to speak to Martyn Bowyer about some engine stuff soon. Anyhow, update below:

Done a few more bits now. It almost feels like the last stretch! lol Yeah, right.

Lee didn't have anything to do up the garage so I gave him the job of making up the steering column from some 303 stainless bar I had got for the job.

He made a great job of it, I think we'll be safe to use the steering!!


Previously, before I painted the Manta I welded a 3/4" ID bearing + bearing holder to the bulkhead for the steering column. As I am using a corsa electric power steering column, which is mounted much more towards the drivers seat, the original column was too short - hence having to make one up.


The bar fits great in the bearing, and will satisfy the scrutineer's need for having a liquid tight seal across the whole bulkhead.

I made up some engine mounts to get the V6 in position. It took quite a bit of faffing about to get the engine in the right position, and I found that I had bolted the gearbox on at a 7deg tilt, so I had to take it all out and rotate the gearbox back to vertical and put it all back in position.


The drivers side engine mount in the vice for final welding before it's put in position to hold the engine.


I made a quick temporary gearbox mount, just to hold the gearbox in place for now. Next week I will finish off the gearbox mount.


After making up a similar engine mount for the passenger side, I have a fitted engine + gearbox. Of course, there's still some finishing off to do, but the clearance for the dry sump looks good.


The engine + gearbox are in. Now I need to check the position of everything, then rip it all out again so that I can modify the bellhousing to be able to fit the starter motor, then put it all back in and fit an alternator somewhere.


The gear lever position is good, and I can reach it from my seat, but 1st and 3rd and just a little bit on my finger tips, so I might make a gear lever that protudes back about an inch or so.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I suppose not technically an update to the Manta! lol

As the bottom end of the X25XE V6 has been sat around for a bit with the heads off, I thought I had best strip it down now and seal it up so that it can be rebuilt in the new year. Anything's better than just having it laying around getting dirt in the bores, waterways and oil galleries. I also want to make the dry sump pan on a nearly empty block, I'll just put the main caps and girdle back on to weld up the dry sump pan.

The flat 20XE flywheel fits perfectly on the X25XE crank:


The bottom end of the X25XE with it's girdle on, the sump is mostly removed and the crank windage tray is removed:


Photo of the girdle/main cap interface. It's probably a good job that there is a strong girdle strapping the mains as there are 6 cylinders and four mains!


Girdle removed:


Which revealed a nasty peice of swarf on the block on the back of the crank sensor hole:


The swarf fell off as soon as I touched it.

The last person to rebuild this engine did the crank pulley FT. It took me, some heat, a 3ft breaker bar + extra extension to get the pulley bolt out. However, the woodruff key gave up first and sheared before the bolt made lots of noises and moved:


This in turn created a burr on the end of the crank which scored the crank thrust bearing, so a few bits to replace. The crank bolt was far too over-tight it was crazy, it just laughed at the nut gun.


The X25XE Crank, with its huge counterweights:


One empty X25XE block:


The oil galleries run across the block from the front of the engine to the rear taking various deviations on the way. The oil exits the pump and into the lower gallery hole in the photo:


The gallery from the oil pump then comes out the threaded hole to the right of the oil filter in the photo below. This goes off the oil/water heat exchanger (Which I won't be running) and return from there into the -10 JIC fitting to the left of the oil filter. This feeds straight into the outside area of the filter, which includes a pressure releif valve incase the filter gets blocked - this is probably designed to operate before the filters own pressure releif system which are generally flawed by the fact that when they releive, they push all of the previously filtered out debris straight into the main oil gallery feed! D'oh!

After passing through the filter the oil enters the main oil gallery feed through the centre filter hole. This gallery, as well as feeding the main crank bearings directly and going off the rest of the engine also goes back to the oil pump (the top gallery in the photo above) to the oil pressure releif valve to control the oil pressure.


Me and Lee also took the T5 apart to check out the gearset. It was a bit fiddly because we started off without consulting the manual, but it only took 10min of headscratching or so before we sorted it out. The gearset looks in good condition, and looks to have been rebuilt fairly recently, which reflects what the previous owner told me.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

Sorry for the lack of updates. But in reality, not much has been going on! Anyway, I finally got around to doing something on the manta:

I decided to get the TIG out and finally get on with the dry sump pan for my 2.5ltr V6. Lee had some spare fittings from his Pace dry sump which are pretty cool, they have a gauze filter inside a "pickup" tube which is then screwed through the sump pan. It's probably easier to just look at the photos of them!

I started off by milling down a Vectra sump. I think I milled it down to about 35mm, this clears everything that is under the engine. I have the subframe cutting across the front of the engine, right under the sump so I need to keep the sump as low as possible at the front of the engine.

With what was left of the sump pan bolted to the block I chucked the block on a welding table and started rough cutting some 2mm aluminium to make the bottom of the dry sump pan. Luckily the windage tray bolts directly to the main cap girdle, so the sump pan is litterally just an oil catcher! I started off by cleaning all the aluminium. I cleaned the sump with thinners to get as much oil off the pan as I could, and then I gave everything a good scrub with a stainless wire brush. It is vital to get rid of all aluminium rust before trying to TIG anything.




Once I had the rough size done, I did a couple of tack welds to hold the plate in plate, and then profiled the plate with a die grinder to the same shape as the sump pan. It was then the moment of truth, to start welding!!



I started off with an already balled white tungsten (about 2.4mm dia.) and I was using a 2mm (I think! I must check that) filler rod. I started at 70amps, this turned out to be a bit less than I needed, so I moved to 80amps. This was fine, but unfortunately I don't have an adjustment (pedal or finger control) for the current, so I could only go so far before the heat soak meant that the current was far too high. Then I would have to stop, wait a 30 seconds and start again. I think I'll definitely get a foot pedal for Matt's TIG. It would be very useful for ali. Initially, the heat arc was hard to predict and seemed a bit scattered. After a while I decided to snap the tungsten to weld with a new end, this helped a lot and when it had balled this new end was very concertrated and worked really well. I also moved the tungsten so that is was protruding about 2mm out the end of the shroud. Gas was Argoshield.




In the end, the pan came out okay. There are a few places where I could have done better, but then this is the first time I've TIG welded ali (at least without trying to use a stainless filler rod by accident!!) and everything looks tidy enough and looks like it won't leak oil everywhere. Looking forward to bolting the engine back in now and getting on with the exhaust manifolds!

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry, haven't written up any updates for ages. Been a bit busy with the mill and the lathe but I've also been doing some bits on the Manta.

I've sprayed the front bumper, bonnet and doors. I haven't chucked the doors on yet. I did try the throttle bodies in place though as soon as they arrived! :)


and obviously I popped the bonnet + bumper in place.




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  • 7 months later...

Sorry, this is very picture-heavy, with not too much in the way of text!

Over the past couple of weeks, with a *lot* of help, the car finally hit the road and made it down to the rolling road for mapping. During mapping we discovered no diff oil seal, so had to fit one of them! lol Then we blew a water hose, and then finally we blew the rear crank oil seal which was a pain because it could be fixed. So the engine was only just into the actual mapping session when the seal failed.

Steve G and Steve P of Track and Road are angel's and never gave up, giving us all the room we needed to fix the various problems we had and they never gave up, but in the end there was no way we could fix the crank oil seal on the rollers! So it will need to be fixed and then we can go back. At least now it can be fixed and made reliable by getting it up to temperature and setting the oil pressure properly, etc.

It was a very exciting day at the rollers, although also very tiring! There were quite a few photos taken over the last bit of the build + getting it to the rollers, so I'll let the photos do the talking:

Well, there would be photo's, but (a) the forum software won't let me link to any of the photo's because they don't have .jpg extensions in the URL and (B) there is a low limit to the amount of photo's you can post at a time which is a pain, so I guess you'll just have to imagine what it was like. :(

Edited by Brian_S
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