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Hello From The Pnw


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Hello all from northwest Washington (state), USA.

I recently happened to come across a very nice looking ( ruby red) 1974 Manta Luxus that had apparently over-heated to some degree and consequiently blew its head gasket( at minium). Luxus here meaning autotrans only apparently as no sun/moon roof though it is sporting stainless wheelwell trim.

The young chappie who had the head surfaced and renewed the gasket says it's still loosing coolant,somehow, suspecting the block is cracked or similar catastrophy.

Apparently he is the owners daughters boyfriend, he is not the owner.

Regardless the car looks pristine, clock shows around 53K miles and appears to have lived in the garage when not on the road

A good wash and it would look straight off the showroom floor, interior is very nice also aside from the so-called "air freshener", WHEW!.:wacko:

Price is right to say the least. at under 1K USD.

It seems probably most would toss even a good original motor if they came across one this nice but I'm sorly tempted to grab this thing and hope for the best with the original plant.

If not then I'm all for some dual cam FIAT power. ( I know, know ):o

I suppose my question boils down to how much abuse, re: overheating, can these engines stand before being destroyed.:(

Are there any well known scenarios, common problems, any particular places to look first for confirmation of mortality after running hot ?

( I don't know when this happened but this a very cool temporate climate here so at least they had that going for them....)

I hope to talk with the principals again shortly; admittedly many unknowns here and do realize I am asking of "odds" and "most likelies, et c.

Car may still even start and drive some, I hope at least up onto the trailer....

Pictures might be possibly forthcoming......

Any thoughts are welcomed.


Edited by Achille
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Hi There.

Clive here.

I've known these ahngies for many years now, in short the CIH Engine for all it's downsides in weight and lack of power over modern engines, it is a good old lump, pretty damn tough and reliable.

I've had a couple of headgaskets go on these in the past, and had no further problems when replacing the gasket, even without skimming the head.

Depends upon the amount of engine running whilst overheating your particular engine had suffered.

Also there is something I had seen in common withthese engines and that is a dip in the block between 2 & 3 pistons more than anywhere else, it has something to do with the water jacket beneath the block surface on old engines causing a slight distortion. My old 2.0S B series always had a slight weep here, and seen it on other CiH engines too.

A good US source for info and possibly a 2nd hand engine would be http://www.opelgtsource.com/ The engines are quite readily available still over here, but shipping would be a distinct problem due to weight it would cost a bomb.

If you decide to go for a different engine altogether, then I would have a look on this site at some of the engine conversions being done "Your Project" section of the forum.

Also I know that GM in the US have thrown a lot of R&D into what we over here know as the ECOTEC (GM XEV) engine, and GM Performance Parts have a hell of a lot of aftermarket parts for this engine to give huge horsepower.

If I was in the US I would have been looking at putting a nice V8 into this, or trying to keep original, or looking at the XEV.

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Hi Clive, thanks, that is just the sort of knowledge I was looking for.

Though I'm not the least familiar with these CIH Opel motors it only seems reasonable considering their heavy weight and relatively modest output(dry.gif) that they should at least be very robust.

Interesting info, re the "dip" between # 2 & 3, just the sort of hard won insight that makes these fine forums so wonderful, thanks.

Without giving this young shade tree wrench the 3rd degree, I 'd like to assume an el cheapo head gasket, insufficiant torque spec and/or technique leaves plenty of room for less painfull resolution.

I would like think the entire bottom end would be shot before the block would crack but that's only idle spec on my part of course.

In other words I need to get off my duff and snatch this beotch, devil take the hindmost.;)

Can't claim to know anything more about the ECOTEC than to recall hearing the name years ago.

Was this the same origin/family as the "QUAD 4" OLDSMOBILE motor that was put into some widely different types of racing cars quite some time ago, a "small"( 2-2.5 litre?) 4 zylinder,4 valve, DOHC "modular" motor? Held a closed course record and many endurance records for years?

V8s have their place I guess but I really like a 4 in any configuration.

I'm not a purist by any means but I'd as soon keep at least close to original myself as regards the basic lump.

Yes, I'm sure I could find a good shortblock fairly reasonablaly here locally should that be necessary, but thanks for the link always good.

Shug; It looks like you've got THAT covered but I DO I know (Count Graf, Baron? ) von Opel built a rocket powered car back pre WW2 ! :o

...No ?:wacko:


Edited by Achille
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