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The A Comes To Life!

Manta again

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If the splined fasteners have rounded off onthe inside then one way is to simply drill the heads off, the nice thing is that the drill centres nicely into the centre of the bolt.

If the remaining studs will not come out after the heads have been drilled and the disc removed then simply place a nut onto the remaining stud and fill with weld, the heat will free up the thread and obviously you'll be able to spanner this off.

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Another a warm day in the sun B) unfortunately it was spent fighting the A. As mentined earlier in order to sort the tin worm on the swan neck I felt it was easier just to remove the front subframe so I could get good access. The bolt that holds the front subframe to the swan neck has decided to put up the mother of all fights :blink: . The bolt has rusted itself to the metal sleeve in the rubber bush when you turn the bolt the whole bush rotates in its housing :o . After applying loads of heat and using the largest technical adjustment tool I can swing under the car the bolt still remains in situ. :( Its no good I'm going to have to cut through the bolt between the swan neck and subframe....this is going to take a while. Stopped after 30mins will come back to it later, need to get other stuff done.

Spoke to my local machine shop they will remove the exhaust valve seats, fit new ones compatible with unleaded fuel and machine them to the right profile. Price £120 sounds ok.

So off with the head :lol: The first bolt i tried to remove holds the water thermostat to the head, sheared straight off :lol: . Its OK things cant get any worse :D Went to remove the cam cover on the front of the head, one of the bolts was rounded off by previous owner, soon sorted with the use of the angle grinder. Next onto undoing the timming gear from the front of the camshaft...I dont believe it some b******d has rounded out one of the splined socket bolts :o more gentle warming and faffing about eventually liberated the bolt.

Heres the fruit of todays labours.



Not the best condition.

On closer inspection, huston we have a problem. :lol:

The last time a saw a bearing this bad


was when I saw this one


The cams not in great shape either time to replace that as well.


So another day comes to an end and the parts list has grown again. Where in the hell am I going to find cam bearings :unsure: cant remmember the last time I saw any for sale. HELP. New cam and followers required should I upgrade the cam to a Kent 214 or even a 234 but dont want to go mad with head mods. Anyone fitted a 214 running a weber downdraught? Now where am I going to find those bearings.

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Can't believe it, a friend of mine told me about a small engineering firm in Croydon who have been going for years and just have a lot of stuff :blink: One phone call later they can confirm that they have 3 boxes of cam bearings which have the correct part numbers for my engine. :D Will visit them this week with cam to check size etc. If they have got the crank bearings as well I think I will invest in an engine set. If the parts turn out to be good will put companies details on the thread if anyone else is interested.

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The saga of cam bearings and heads continues anyone who knows about modifeid heads and cams for the cih engine please read the thread under technincal discussions. All input welcome.

Thanks Opel 2000 for the idea about getting the splined bolts of the back of the disc worked a treat. :thumbup

Alot going on with Manta's at the mo more to report later, hopefully. :D

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Hi there, nice thread and nice Mantas. My A series runs on a GTE coil / distributor etc and runs spot on. Unfortunatly it was fitted on the car before I bought it so I didnt fit it

Edited by nicgm
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Thanks for the comments. Will definately get rid of the points when I get back to that part of putting the engine together. :D

Very excited heres a pic of my latest purchase which will in time become my TE2800 replica. Pick her up sunday, can't wait.


My wife is very understanding, lucky me. :thumbup

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Another day spent on the A, finally managed to remove the subframe to chassis bolt. :D Working on the assumption the metal sleeve in the bush has rusted itself on to the bolt I cut the head of the bolt off, then welded the nut on the other end. Used the windy gun to turn the bolt until it turned with ease then using a drift knocked the bolt out.


The bolt may be out but now I need to replace both bushes. Anyone know of a supplier for poly bushes for this item?

With the gearbox and engine out the way I changed over the heater matrix just need to get some new hose and clips.

Now that the engine is out the way I can see more clearly the inside of the chassis rail and guess what more rust :lol:


Will get onto the welding this week.

I have decided to use the stage 2 head but will use the springs etc of the old head but with a new kent cam and followers and fit a weber 38 dgas carb. Have sent the head off to have the exhaust valve seats done. Need to get this one back up and running to keep the Mrs's happy

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  • 2 weeks later...

All these bank hoildays and no chance of getting onto the A to finish the welding, its nice to have to much work :o . Have decided that in order to get her all up and running so that she can get to Billing, that the engine from my latest project to make a TE2800 replica will be donated to TMO. That way the build up of the engine with the stage 2 head can be done at a leisurely pace over the winter and I can get my TE project into the garage sooner. :D

Making a trip to Telford on sunday to pick up yet another Manta. This will be used as a daily driver. So that will make the total of four Manta's and it will be the only working :thumbup

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally got round to spending a few hours on Eileens car.

Due to the episode of getting the subframe bolts out and destroying the rubber bush, decided to fit some poly bush's. Designed to fit the B's but just at home in an A :D


As many of you know stripping the crusty old metal from the chassis rail without damaging the inner strengthener is a pain in the a*se. Managed to get one side off and all cleaned up and ready.


Decided to let someone else do the hard work of fabricating the replacement part for the chassis rail as my metal bending skills are a bit rusty :D and time is short.


Keep trying to find time after work to get on and do something to move it forward but just to knackered :blink: it must be an age thing. :P

Edited by Manta again
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  • 1 month later...

Can it be done :o

Billing is next weekend although we have the hatch to go in the Miss's wants to take her A as well.

List of things to be done:

Weld on drivers chassis rail

Patch sill

refit front crossmember

Bleed brakes

Overhaul gearbox, might fit a replacement.

Fit new engine from project TE car (engine still in car) dont know if it runs.

Fit new exhaust

Valet car, oh OK wash it.

Get an MOT

Get insurance

Get tax

Will book MOT for friday, if I have any parts missing or break anything I'm doomed.

Clock starts on saturday have all weekend and as much energy as I can muster each evening next week. :blink:

Wish me luck :D

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OK that was a long weekend spent on the A, 22hrs in total need new shoulders and a new back or my head testing :D

What I do need is a new welding helmet mine is taking at least 5-10 secs to go dark not good for the eyes :(

Ok so the chassis leg and floor section above it is all done, cut it really fine this is the state of the gas bottle when I finished.


Anything more and it would of been game over. I brought the chassis repair sections from Leidinger Tuning to save some time and effort. I have to say that the fit was very poor requiring a lot :( of fettling, but at least the rot has gone from that side now :D


Removed the engine and gearbox from the front clip and separated the gearbox from the engine and removed the flywheel and clucth as they will need fitting onto the next engine as the donor vehicle is currently an auto. Refitted the front clip and at last the old girl was sitting on all four wheels again.



Replaced all the gaskets on the gearbox so she should be good for a few more miles now although the oil seapage does stop the rot :lol:

Started preparing my TE project car for heart transplant to go into Eileens A. To save time my plan was just to remove the engine and leave the box in situ but there is one nut that I cant really get to holding the bellhousing onto the engine. It might just have been easier to take the whole lot out but it was getting dark and I just ran out of steam.

The only other bugger is that the top bolt holding the alternator sheared off the reason why this might prove a pain is that the alternator on the auto engine is different and has a remote regulator, so matching up the wiring between alternators might prove a bridge to far for me.

Going to crash now and figure out the fastest way to get the engine out.

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Totally peeed off, tried to bleed the brakes up.... the brake flaring tool I've got is cheap rubbish all the new pipe work i made up for the front leaked :(.

got some wiring done :D But generally just peeed off. Still lots to do, going back out there now.

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OK OK I surrender :(

Just to many small things going wrong, I called time at 9.10pm this evening. The A is not going to Billing.

Today has been a crap day my HTC phone died today at about 12.30pm, the heavens opened whilst we had the roof off of a building, its amazing how fast you can get breather fabric up :lol: To much rain to continue work rushed home to sort out A. Bought new flaring tool and other stuff, replaced leaking pipes but joint between the flexible hose and hard plumbing at the caliper end sheared off leaving me to find a new flexible hose!!! The rain stopped me from removing the engine from the donor vehicle :blink: Theres always next year. We will just have to come in the hatch.

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  • 6 months later...

OK after a long break and far to much fun with hatch I finally got round to finishing some of those jobs round the house that needed doing so it was back to Eileens A.

Started cleaning up the stage 2 head that I found last year to check to see if there is any damage any where.

So far so good but I heed to run it through a cleaner to tell for sure.

As you can see I'm thinking of running it with a single DCOE carb mainly because when finished it will be driven every day and wanted to retain some sort of economy. :D

The next question is what cam to put in her to retain sensible driving characteristics with a decent performance increase ;)



Edited by Manta again
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  • 1 year later...

So much has happened since my last post on the A.

Work stopped on her because we wanted to move, which meant a lot of time getting the house ready. When your a builder your own house is always the one thats not quite finished. :lol: The other decision that was made that the A would get fitted with a C20xe which I purchased. As there was so much stuff going on at home I decided to entrust the engine conversion to Simon at Suffolk County Manta's. It then took me a long time to strip the engine source the new parts and eventually get it up to Simons place.

So now some action again, I just hope I put the engine together OK otherwise it could be a short lived experience. :ph34r:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok so Billing is over and yet again I had no Manta to show, only a Subaru and that doesn't count. There has been some progress the C20xe engine I built encountered a few problems so for safety sake it went off to a decent engine specialist to get the once over and was stripped, cleaned properly :ph34r: and then re-assembled so she should be good for quite a few miles now. You learn something every day the coscast head I got from Kev Abbott is an early one and is apparently the best head you can have (cheers Kev) and was declared in very good condition well worth the money :D . To retain the heater its going to run on the coil pack rather than dizzy and I'm going to retain the standard injection system for cost reasons and improved driveability over going twin carb.

Anyway here's some piccies of how the engine bay looks now. Once the final instal has been done the nice shiney bits will be added to the engine.



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Ok so the engine is on the way back to Simon's. With the increas of engine performance over the CIH I also decided that the brakes will need to be upgraded. i have had a set of vented and cross drilled disc's mounted on hubs for a while which were mounted on my V8 A series which have now been donated to the cause. As the brakes are physically bigger with twin pot calipers the wheels need to be changed. So as a stop gap I purchased the following 7x17, not sure how they will look on the car but other changes to the car are starting to be planned out. ;)


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