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Manta A Series V8 Supercharged

Paul Barrett

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cut and pasted the story so far,DSC00283.jpg?t=1247693230

project A series this will be picked up next week sometime, (still need to officially sort the trailer etc)

plans at first is to do the structural welding asap, get it mot'd etc and drive it as a running restorationm always wanted one so i thought sod it with some of the funds from the tracker sale. got chatting to john with a stall at billing and went to high wycombe on monday to see the beast and she was in better condition than i was expecting for a car built in 1971-2, it has not been on the road for 21 years!

already got hold of this ultra rare piece of manta history, broadspeed front spoiler!! original kit not a FB copy from germany


should like this when fitted


more goodies arrived from deutchland today


brand spanking new chassis rails and sill plates, saves a lot of hassle in fabrication

no work today as the old boy had to have an operation so amongst all sorts of jobs i decided to be a tart and make a new key for the A,

start with raw ally block and fashion opel lighting strike by hand and polish the nuts out of it......






i went to have a spare cut today but couldnt help me , crappy timsons place monkeys, ill go to old boy in kingsthorpe, should have a blank in stock

another purchase for the manta, not even started work on her yet! these badboiys from timc20xe on here, need abit of work to retso them to former glory but nice and deep dish, 8" rears ansd 7" fronts, oh and will be changinf the tyres for some moremanly none euro strached type.

wol_error.gifThis image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 1024x768 and weights 255KB.rims.jpg

more goodies for the build now picked up an axle, 1030 volvo 240, not sure on the ratios will have to some measuring. will hopefully be more up to the job than the standard jobbie, it has already been stripped and started to 4 link, bu this may go in favour of the manta spring cups ,live axlle, as i dont want to mess too much with the manta floor pan


the chosen powerplant, got this for good money and its all there, turbo is sound, oil good, looks pretty honest, will give it a go over though for peace of mind, right nightmare trying to move it from a relatives where it was dropped off to my garage with gastric flu and the squits lol


still need to sort gearbox, i can have an omega 2 ltr box for 40 quid, but not sure, ive not heard of anyone trashing omega boxes

well i couldnt resist, went and took the flywheel off and robbed the flywheel and clutch from xe bottom end i need to get rid of...

saabf/wheel off...


do the bolt holes match......no in a word. not far out but dont line up and the centre hole of the xe flyhweel is too large, but the xe clutch friction plate is a spot on match, so maybe will work that way if splines are the same on the r28 box or is it vaux turbo friction plate i need to use??

the saab f/wheel is afir bit thicker than the xe one so juts out more but not sure if enough for r28 as johnny has said i may have a issue there.


also looking at the wiring loom on the lump looks pretty hassle free as it has its own loom rather than being incorporated into full car loom, which i have anyway even the abs ecu etc.

cool LET friction plate then it is, but im surethe saab one will mate up, we shall see this evening.

another new bit sourced FMIC, courtesy of Anthony on here, should be arriving soon


righty picked this beaut up to move the manta to my workshop, also wouldnt mind hiring it out to peeps on here, if that dont work out then flog it on again.


aso sorted the shifter on the omega box, combination of omega parts and manta original, bit of cutting....welding...


Edited by Paul Barrett
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Well impressed with what you are doing...but being a novice and not too mechanically minded quite a bit went over my head...fly wheels, Saab bits. However, yours is two years older than the one I just picked up, see pics on link. What is the chassis like on yours? Mine has fallen off at the jacking points and I am at a bit of a loss what to...either buy new jacking points, only ones I can find are from Dr Manta or not bother. I noticed someone on here mentioned that someone didn't bother with them and just welded a new piece in to the chassis. I too just want to get an MOT on it and then do the restoration bits as I go.

Look forward to see how you progress and maybe gleaning a few tips from you.


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looks in pretty good nick mick. as for the jacking points, either scan german ebay or do what i intend to do, 2 pieces of angle iron welded together to form a channel section and use that put the strength back in. the originals look toss and obviously were not up to the job as they are nearly always like swiss cheese on every manta a or b series, lucky if they are not.

BTW mine are shot too. one side just fell off in my hand, but no big deal.

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cheers for the link 1900sr, cant believe i havent spotted that one yet! hope the axle is up to the punishment, im going vovlo route to be on safe side.

ive got her to the workshop now from my mates where its been in storage, so weekend will see som work started.

anyone interested int he lump and box out of it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

lots of progress on the manta today!! need to upload pics but done so far...

-engine and box out and ready for ever offers me some money for it dont want much just need out the way.

-wings, bonnet, boot, lower scuttle, skid plate off and at the balsters for a clean up ready for repair

- doors off interior half stripped

most glass out, just need to get screen out and rear screen, but need to source a new front seal as old one is perished and doubt it will go back without falling to pieces, any help on that appreciated

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cheers kevin,

yeah i was thinking the same with the volvo unit, ill be whipping the rest of the drivetrain off soon so i can what i can do when it in front of me, it has got to be changed as the stock manta stuff is just not going to cope with the torque

Take a look at the pics below Novashed.





I have a non torque tube Commodore B axle in my A series as I am running a 3.9 V8. If you want more pics or info let me know.

Edited by paul1393
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very useful paul thank you. i did come across commodore axle useage, but getting hold of one is quite difficult no? volvo ones pretty plentiful, mine has already been stripped

is that stock commodore one, or has it had the manta spring cups and rods welded on?

Have another look at the lower control arms they hinge on a bracket at the axle end unlike the manta. The spring cups are in the lower arms themselves. The axle brackets were made for me and have a Carlton void bush pressed into it them. The arms themselves are Commodore (ABorC), however you can also use Record C/D/E, early carlton or V'hall Viceroy they are all the same. The Volvo axle can be secured to the car the same way. Or there is no reason you can't use the Manta spring cups welded to the Volvo axle.

You will need to link up the upper control arms to the body. I used a heavy box section welding to the rear chassis legs and into the floor under the back seat, and some half moon shaped brackets welded to the top of the axle. They are adjustable with right and left hand thread rose joints in the ends of the rods, this will enable you to get the nose angle on the diff aligned properly.

With the prop all you need is a suitable two piece with the correct couplings each end. A prop-shaft specialist altered a Record E one for me.

You will also need to fabricate a mounting in the transmission tunnel for the prop center bearing.



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is there any reason why i could run a prop straight from gearbox to diff?

I considered a one piece when I was building the car, however I was advised against this by others. Manufactures have fitted two piece props since the 60s and you know how they like to keep costs down! If a one piece would have done the job as well as a two peice they would have stuck with it!

Manta's have one piece props but they are very short as the shaft inside the torque tube acts like the rear half on a two piece prop. In other words the pivot on the nose of the torque tube acts in the same way the center bearing would on a two peice prop.

I think you may encounter alignment issues with the vertical movement of the rear axle on the suspension if you stuck with a one piece. Remember it will be twice the length of your existing prop.

I am no expert on these matters I just took advice from people with experience.



Edited by paul1393
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When i modified my 1300cc mk3 cortina and fitted a 2000cc engine i went for a single piece prop. As standard you could get the single piece prop or the two piece prop with centre bearing.

I found that with the single piece prop there was a lot of harsh vibrations that went away completely with the two piece.

You can use either but i would go with a two piece prop every time.

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got half a day on her today, quie time consuming stuff restoration, and this before i even get modifying, still very rewarding...

got panels back from blasters too, bonnet and boot will need lots of work to get them flsat again, aswith the heat generated from the blasting made them ripple a fair bit,at least they are rust free!





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The right angle strip that attaches to the inner wing and bulhead/footwell, did you replace that, its a tricky repair and they rust a lot around there,

i have cut out all rot any pitting if its structural too and put new metal in. bit more to do in that area but im treating that as floor pan work, im working my way round from this point. then ill be onto the floor pan then the rear end, which will be fun with sill work a plenty!

You'll prob end up stripping most of the car underneath, but well worth the effort in the end smile.gif

definately worth it

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