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1978 Manta Sr Berlinetta - Australian Version!


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So a small update on this thing Engine supported by engine crane and front end removed Remote Brake booster fitted behind front drivers side guard Gas struts from a VT Holden Commodore fi

So I finally got my sump back, after having been modified to clear the Steering rack Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member. Pickup had to be trimm

Next up was the steering and front suspension. Because I lowered the rack 50mm, and the car has 40mm lowered Spax springs which cannot hold the weight of the car (note the first 4 coils below!)  its

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So a small update on this thing

Engine supported by engine crane and front end removed

26039687682_68e2be0bdf_b.jpg

Remote Brake booster fitted behind front drivers side guard

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Gas struts from a VT Holden Commodore fitted, a straight bolt on job

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Crossmember is back after having been modified for lowered steering rack

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Steering rack all cleaned up and fitted with 75-84 Holden Gemini Rack boots, which again are identical to the Mantas...and a lot cheaper for me to buy here than ship Manta ones from the UK

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Front end back in car

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A quick before and after shot

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Cleaned up all the front end bolts

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All brake lines now fitted

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Wilwood remote reservoirs fitted

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Engine bay almost complete, Still needs a good clean and some wiring removed once im sure the engine runs ok

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So really its just the Sump I am waiting on now then I can start and run it (touch wood) 
Brakes I will bleed tomorrow

I am also going to fit some new seat belts, just so it looks better when I license the thing as the current ones are a little slow to retract 

Hopefully have a start up video in a week or so ;) 

 


 

Edited by GTREA
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  • 1 month later...

So I finally got my sump back, after having been modified to clear the Steering rack

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Pickup had to be trimmed to suit chopped sump rear

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One of the only parts I did not replace with new broke.....as they do

Thread extension on Rear Slave cylinder broke, ordered some new ones

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Ran a kit thru the rear drums while there

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So all that was left to do was start it.....

And..well....life wasn't meant to be easy, I have no Spark whatsoever :rolleyes:

 

Going to do an injector pulse check tomorrow to check if the crank angle sensor is working

Then swap the ECU, coils and igniters to rule them out to.

The 1UZ runs 2 coils and 2 Igniters, one for each bank...this has no spark at all so I dont believe they are faulty, more likely the ECU or Crank angle sensor I reckon

 

So close! :unsure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My mother always told me if things are to hard in life they ain't worth doing, so I have quit the wiring for now, and may drop the car into a performance Shop to get running!

In the meantime I have bled all the brakes and have a good solid pedal

Turns out in November 2015 they changed the law here allowing Rose Jointed Tie rod ends, this is a massive Win for me....which I only noticed about a week ago!...before hand they were a NO GO which is why I had to lift the front of my car to get the Track Rods back to a decent angle so I could license it without excessive Bump Steer

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So now I am trying to buy these: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/272249192630?euid=1ce0243296b1409eab46c131ddf47dd2&bu=43032879959&cp=1&sojTags=bu=bu 

to support the weight of my engine and level the car off properly again as the standard Spax springs compress the first few coils under load

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.......but he said he wont ship to Australia :rolleyes:

 

Because of the new ruling I ordered a pair of adjustable Track Rod ends from COMPBRAKE in the UK 

Couple of issues I have noticed when fitting though, firstly the standard Tie Rod end is Tapered, the new ones are not, hence the new ones wont fit all the way thru the hole in the Stub Axle.....Drill the Stub axle to suit?
Secondly the new ones appear to be to long, on minimum adjustment they are about 10mm longer than Stock ones, and they adjust out from there......Cut down the Track Rod to suit!?

Standard vs Adjustable

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Minimum adjustment, looks similar in length but Rose Joint Screws fair way into Adjuster, far more thread in Standard item.

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Extended

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On the car with wheel roughly at straight ahead

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Edited by GTREA
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I went through the pains of changing to a different rack on my last project.  Never again.  There is so much geometry you need to figure out to get it all to work correctly.  Good luck with this, car looks amazing :thumbup

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great project!

Out of interest, if you had cut the bulkhead away and moved the engine further back do you think you would have been able to avoid lowering the steering rack? (obviously this would probably create other issues with the brakes and exhaust manifolds)

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13 hours ago, Jason b said:

Great project!

Out of interest, if you had cut the bulkhead away and moved the engine further back do you think you would have been able to avoid lowering the steering rack? (obviously this would probably create other issues with the brakes and exhaust manifolds)

Maybe if I had used a rear sump....possibly...but it would require a huge motor shift backwards as the rear sump on a 1UZ sits more towards the middle And basically rests right on the Manta cross member.....keeping the car looking as original as possible and no bonnet bulges was my priority

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My best bet would have been pushing the front sump version, like I have in my car now forwards and moving the radiator into the nosecone like they do with the straight 6's, but I want some semblance of handling!

The rack has been moved straight down 25mm, not forwards or backwards so I figure if I space the track rod ends down 25mm the geometry should be the same....unless im missing something!?

My new 550lb Manta tarmac rally springs arrived today (below) compared with standard Manta springs, both give a 40mm lower ride height

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.....should punch the shocks thru the strut tower nicely over the first big bump! :)

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I ordered some longer (120mm) M12 Socket head cap bolts to replace the ones in my Track rod ends as they were a little short (90mm) and I couldn't quite get the necessary down spacing with them

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I hope it all works out OK!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GTREA
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There is more to it than just moving it all down.  its kind of hard to describe.  let me see if i can find a diagram.  but basically draw a line between your upper A arm mounts and your lower A arm mounts.  The pivot points of your rack should intersect that line.

 

here you go

 

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Edited by h0tr0dder_uk
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  • 2 weeks later...

Fantastic looking car :thumbup :wub:  and I love the colour, my old Cav Coupe and SR Berlinetta should have been that colour, but were both sprayed black well before I purchased them.

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Sorry I failed to mention I had a crack at fitting the COMP BRAKE track rod ends, I was a little hesitant as it required cutting down the Track Rods themselves, but after a quick look on eBay I saw they were a dime a dozen (well 15 quid) I got the grinder out and started cutting!, they require about 15mm to be taken off the track rod...I also cut 3mm into my thumb for good measure...... :(

I ordered some longer 1/2" screw head cap bolts and made my own 40mm spacer, to match the 40mm rack drop

The steering arms are now level with the lower A arm, you can see a before (with standard tie rod ends) and after below

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^ I still need to finish it all off but you get the idea.

I have not driven it yet obviously but I cannot notice any wheel movement as I jack and lower the car as I could before.

 

My theory is this, it may not be perfect but I am fairly confident it will be 90% good....and i think that will be 'good enough'

I have done some stupid shit to cars in the past like cutting coil springs in half with a grinder, that must have had a massive effect on steering angles, I never knew what bump steer was or considered the consequences when I did it many moons ago, but cant say I noticed any real ill effects either,,,but they must have been there!?

My old R32 GTR was setup fully for track work and maximum turn in, on road it would tramline (follow contours of road) like a bitch moving the steering in your hand, but that never really bothered me...just kept me on my toes!.

Even the Mrs brand new car has that damn fangled drive itself crap built into it and that steering is constantly moving around in your hand as it attempts to keep you in your lane.

At the end of the day I wanted a V8 in a Manta and it 'had to' fit under the standard bonnet no option, so I am going to have to live with the consequences, but I honestly don't think it will any worse than say a Manta with a 40-60mm suspension drop?

Time will tell, videos to follow, if its shit I will say its shit :)

I'm off to the UK next week for a month to make the most of your now weak pound so wont I find out for a while......

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Don't think you will have any problem. I did as you on my A when I put the V6 in back in 97, and never had any problems.

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Don't know if it is the same over there, but for the UK mot , rose joints must have dust covers if used on a road car.

Love your car BTW, just wish I could see it in the flesh.  If you are comeing over to the UK, are you going to come and visit us at Billing?

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Yeah, although its a bit of a ballache getting all of the geometry correct it ultimately gives you a better engine fitment.  Im wondering whether to leave my engine at it current height or drop it 1.5" by lowering the rack.  One positive about having the engine a little higher is the sump has tonnes of clearance and I'd be able to tuck the exhausts us higher and run the car lower.  Decisions decisions......

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  • 4 months later...

 

So I have been away for a little while but things have still progressed.

Spent 6 weeks traveling Europe in July / Aug and managed to see a few Opels, Hired this little 1.0 3cylinder Astra which I managed to get to 201kmh on the Autobahn....amazing performance from such a small motor!

Also have an outstanding fine for 150 euros for speeding in Belgium in it :( still deciding whether to pay that!

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Went to 'Classic Remise' in Berlin and of the hundreds of cars in there I was surprised this was the only Opel.

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Whilst the Mrs did some Berlin wall stuff I went to a car dealer to check out this Manta, all original, 20'000kms and 13'000 Euro!

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Back home and I sent the Manta off to a workshop to get it running.

In the end it was a simple 1 wire job to get spark and fire up!...which was a bit annoying, but then there was a load of problems actually getting it to run which made me feel better as I was well and truely over it and it would have pissed me off trying to sort all the issues such as blocked injectors, crank angle sensor in operative, to much back pressure in fuel return line and so forth.

This is the night I got it back, it runs but needs some vacuum lines and radiator hoses fitting

.....Just checking the Handling

 

Fixed a few niggly issues I found after driving it, like the inhibitor switch for the automatic, I had both the Mantas and the Lexus one on the box connected at the same time and as i changed the selector position it would cut the engine, I removed the plug for the Lexus one and problem solved.

I found the brakes to be dangerously bad, but then remembered I had not fitted the Vacuum hose to the remote VH40 brake booster, again all good now and I have good feel.

Engine was overheating, turns out the thermo stat was blocked, I replaced it and it is better, but I still appear to have an issue where the top hose is hot and the bottom cold even when I remove the Thermostat completely.

And the steering seems fine, alot of people were worried it would bump steer with the 40mm steering rack lower, I have not pushed the car hard yet into corners but I can honestly not notice any symptoms of Bump steer in regular driving!?, the steering is quite heavy and slow speeds as is to be expected but I have not had the wheels aligned yet either, still seems to track straight and true and steer ok.

 

Few random pictures

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So.....as for the performance of it with the Lexus V8?

Well its probably not as outright fast as I would have liked, although it will still smoke my OPC Insignia in a straight line (but in reality thats not saying much as there pretty damn heavy and slow!)

What I am happy about is the sound, which unless your listening to the videos above on a PC with a subwoofer sound system you can not truly appreciate, this thing is LOUD and sounds as tough as!....most Lexus V8s run a twin exhaust and sound very warbley, or what we Australians like to call a 'Thong Slapper' (Flip Flop slapper for you in the UK lol ) , but this one runs a big single and it sounds sooo much better for it.

It is super effortless to drive with just the merest of touches on the throttle getting you going faster than most other cars around you whilst upshifting around 1500rpm, very lazy performance, which is just what I wanted ;)

The auto for whatever reason (maybe in eco mode or snow mode or whatever) takes off in 2nd, I can only get 1st by selecting it manually, but it takes off just fine in 2nd due to its light weight, I am happy to leave it like that.

I also really like the sound of this motor over say 5000rpm, with the 32 valves it truely screams for the last 2000 or so RPM,  you can just hear it in the last video when the camera is facing backwards, although the wind noise drowns most of it out :(

Everything else in the driveline feels solid and the car drives quite nicely, I think the standard diff and axles are goin to be perfectly fine with the auto.

Now to organise an engineer to sign it off and get it licensed so I can drive it legally :)

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Oh yes!  Spoke to my wife about visiting Perth, and she didn't seem very enthusiastic about the idea. I was thinking I would like to track down this Holden/Opel enthusiast with the Senator and Monza .... but not her idea of a holiday for some reason ..... ;)

I might have to make a separate visit over some time next year. Cost of flights has come down to Gold Coast from NZ, but I haven't tried looking for Perth flights.

Edited by opelnz
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/4/2016 at 01:03, H-400 said:

Sorry you had a speed ticket in our country. Sometimes it's difficult to get one! 

Cause of the traffic jam or the terrible condition of our highway's.

 

My wife made me pay the fine :rolleyes:

 

Anyway for those of you not on Facebook this is what I have been up to lately

I made my first car show on the weekend!

Custom Cars and Coffee.

Decent turnout with around 500 or so cars and many turned away as venue filled to quick.

So many albums posted of the event, 1000's of pictures, yet I must admit I was a bit surprised and a little disappointed that hardly anyone took a picture of my car :dunno:

Anyway these are the ones I could find

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It did always have a small crowd around it however.....looking slightly befuddled....funny watching people walk around the back to read the badge :yup:

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Few more pics here: https://www.facebook.com/ashleighpeakephotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1209562375790990

I was also nominated to use it as Santas sleigh for our street Xmas party.

"Santa in a Manta"

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Just driving it around on permits atm, got it unofficially weighed while having a wheel alignment

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Front - 745kg
Rear - 450kg

Bit heavier than I thought.

Also used the GPS speedo to do a few 400m times on a local back road, not overly impressive ETs as traction appears to be a MAJOR issue, I just cannot get it off the line without spinning the wheels, then when I back off the stupid auto shifts to 2nd and it labours its way back up the revs, but the MPH is not to bad and indicates it should run in the high 13's if I can get the start right.

I only got 2 runs in and I messed both up but as its someones street so that had to do.....

0-100 -- 6.7sec
0-400m -- 14.9
Terminal - 160kph
Spun wheels backed off changed to 2nd immediately

0-100 -- 5.2
0-400m --15.2
Terminal -- 136kmh
Good start but car ahead and backed off

Edited by GTREA
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