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Redtop Conversion Advice Needed


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Morning gentle folk. I have a few questions to ask the gurus of redtopification into a 1987 hatch.

1. What clutch is best?

2. I'm using the original 1.8 dizzy with a modified bracket, is this a straight forward bolt on job?

3. Coolant hoses and radiator?

Any other specialist parts needed? I've got manifolds and carbs in mind , got the sump and pickup etc etc

Any other advice much appreciated :)

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if you have the flat flywheel use a uprated GTE clutch plate or a calibra turbo plate with either cover depending on flywheel type.

the bracket just bolts on but you need to machine a 1.8 cam pully to get the little dizzy drive gear off it then use a slightly longer bolt to fit it to exhaust cam pully.

standard rad if good is ok with electric fan.

standard 1.8 hoses fit bar for heater ones. i used an alloy T piece on rear of water pump but you could buy the ones made by Js on othe topic page.

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You'll need to fit a spigot bearing to the end of the crankshaft as fwd setups don't use them but rwd needs them.

The 1.8 large waterpipes fit but you need to find new bits for double alloy T piece to bottom of inlet manifold, double T to heater matrix and from rear of head to heater matrix.

You can either fit an expansion tank and use the vent pipe from the manifold, or get a piece added to you're radiator for it, or just blank it off.

Mines blanked and as long as you bleed it fully when first filling it will be fine (mines been in and thrashed for years without issues)

Also remember to adjust/set the clutch arm pivot on the gearbox to the correct point for the new clutch before fitting the engine, just follow the guide in the haynes for that.

Standard 1.8 alloy mounts on block and original rubber mount on OS but i swap the NS one for a 50mm thick round mount (originally for mk2 rs2000 escorts)

Otherwise the rotational force rips the NS rubber into 2 when driven enthusiastically. Looks like this:


For the sump fitting there are several options and opinions. Some people trim the astra baffle plate and fit it with the original rubber gasket, some fit it with double cork gaskets (standard 1.8 ones), or like i did just fit a single cork gasket and file the baffle plate in the bin. Its needed in fwd were the oil would otherwise slosh up to the crank under braking/acceleration but this doesn't happen in rwd with the 1.8 sump.

Before you drop the engine in it might be worth trimming the lip on the bulkhead back a little for more access to heater pipe and engine-gearbox bolts. You don't have to but the extra space makes it easier


Thats all that springs to mind

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Yukspeed -- Sell the Spigot bearing you need , That`s where i bought mine from ;)

The XE exhaust camshaft is a main oil feed and will need blanking ,

As the above comment says - SBD have the blanking plates , dowel and oil o/seal you need ,

The exhaust manifold i used was from Peter Lloyd Rallying ,- straight pipe to a Sportex over axle bend and back box, (ebay)

I used the standard 1.8 big wing sump and standard 1.8 gearbox,

Can`t mind what set up - flywheel , cover ect but Retro Power will keep you right ,

Standard 1.8 Dizzy , coil and spark loom off a 1.8 ,

Custom Dizzy Bracket :)

If i think of anything else i`ll let you know :)


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Exhaust manifold wise, we make one in stainless, its not cheap but you get what you pay for.

All the others that are around the £125 to £160 mark are the same manifold, the one that comes with the powder coating that burns off........they, without being rude, are not great.

Here's one I made (its a Kadett one but the manta one is only slightly different - everybody else says they are the same, which is why theirs don't fit!)


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