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Hello & I Was Wondering If You Can Help Me

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Hi my name is Edwin Parkinson.

I own two Vauxhall Victor FE's and have just purchased an Opel Manta A series 1.9 SR 1972.


You might have seen this car for sale on Ebay

As you might have guessed there are some problems with the car i found out about 5 miles away from buying it

Engine overheated very quickly , and oil light came on

Stopped when heat was on red and stopped by the side of the road - then had to be towed by the AA - what an ordeal that turned out to be....but that's another story

Once the car was home this morning I quickly set about identifying the cause of the problems

Maybe radiator / cooling system was full of stuff and just not performing well enough

So i flushed the system out with water and watched the results

some light brown water but nothing major flushed the radiator and the engine not much

Re-attached the pipes and started to use some product that apparently cleans your system

Part of this is running the car for 30 mins on idle - i checked my gauges and oil pressure was reading 20 & engine temp cold. After a while this started to heat up got to maybe 1-2 on the temp controls

oil pressure dropped to 0 and light came on

So I don't know is the heat making the oil less viscous and really the engine is knackered pistons aren't tight enough etc or are the sensors not working properly? or has the oil pump knackered.

and is the over heating due to the radiator being too small and the fan too weak to draw enough air through

I am in the process of trying to find the source of all of the problems

Indicators also intermittent either work or just don't so maybe this is a grounding problem.

If your free and willing to help i'm on 07882323360 or please reply to me here.

I may well join the Manta Club in the future but just trying to get her on the road - really want to know how this old girl passed the last MOT with no advisories



Edited by Ed Parkinson
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Hi Ed

Have run a number of A's have never had a problem with over heating due to fan or rad size. I'm assuming that you checked to make sure the thermostat is working. My only other thought would be about the head gasket, was there oil in the water? Maybe time for a compression test!

All the best Richard

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What he said check stat.

If the head gasket has been recently replaced the O ring in the top of the front casing is often missed out by people who don't know leading to water loss and immediate overheating again, followed by cars being sold. My mate bought a GTE like that cheap and was an easy fix. Shame for the owner that had paid a garage to replace gasket........

If no water loss is present and it is a viscous fan then turning heater on helps or some people lock the vicsous coupling to test.

Obvious question for Manta owners with experience, is the fuel gauge reading high too? If so suspect voltage stabiliser can mean that just temp gaige is reading wrong, experience will tell you if the engine feels baking hot and hoses are turgid.

Do you have the oil light or oil light and oil pressure gauge dash? The lights are reliable. However, the light and gauge sender (for extra 3 clocks) are not and frequently play up.

If it is an old style 1.9 engine then the oil pump will have a gasket. No gasket = Sheared dizzy drive pin on these, too thick a gasket = no oil pressure.

Flashing / flickering oil light at idle on a baking hot old engine does not always = doom and gloom mates have had them and they were ok.

Modern oil can cause too low pressure so search out some 20W 50 or whatever these had originally that helps.

Lastly do not put a couple of 1mm washers behind the oil pressure relief valve spring if the valve is in the coverplate as I did on one of my old cars to stop it flashing at idle.

Having a new oil pump end plate or old one skimmed if poss helps pressure and is cheap but you need to track down a gasket or make one from right thickness material. Do not put back on with valve facing wrong way or you blow oil filter seals when cold

No warranty of any kind implied or given and no liability accepted for any loss or injury no matter how incurred

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To add to the above, chasing a recent wire fault I removed the dash and when I touched the multi plug at the rear everything flickered, gauges we're never much cop but once I'd fiddled and cleaned them with contact cleaner, sha ting....... All is well, true steady readings

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Thanks I have cleaned the radiatior and have bought a new one, new hoses and a new water pump which should be with me soon I hope. (not that expensive and some one is actually making me some new hoses- can pass the details of all of these on if you want some "new" spares. Im going to buy a modern electic fan and mount this infront of the radiator as well.

The original fan isnt a viscous one and is in good condition.

There doesnt seem to be a blown head gasket because theres no white on the cap or in the oil so doubt theres water in the engine.

The oil I topped the car up with is 20w 50 classic car oil that i use for the Victors

I have a feeling that maybe something to do with the carbs running too lean too much air in the mix making the engine run hot.

I didnt know about the O ring in the front casing and havent really played with the engineyet still trying to rule out the cooling system as the main fault. It could be as simple as the pump being knackered.

The oil light comes on on the dash but the actual reading of 0psi is from the 3 additional dials above the gear box

I might have a look at the wiring and the sensors & probably think that the indicator failiure is down to the switch being knackered / poor contacts

Thanks for the advice so far I will keep you updated as things progress... by the looks of things its going to be slower rather than quicker than expected. Though the new radiator came over night - express delivery or what!!


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