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Just Saying Hello And Can Anyone Help, Please?


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Hello to you all.

I'm Steve from Crawley in West Sussex and I own a 1987 GTE Exclusive. I'm a returning member having been out of the club for a couple of years, mainly due to work commitments. Whilst I've had my car for a few years now it has never been up to the standard I would like. I'm now, hopefully, in a position to do something about it but require advice and the contacts in order to achieve my aims. (a new/different fully re-con engine is priority) Any help, especially local, would be much appreciated. The car is currently on a SORN and I need/want to drive it this year. Look forward to hearing from you with your ideas and recommendations. Many thanks, Steve.

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Hi steve,

Welcome back.

Look through the projects section and you can see different options on engines. Depends on how handy you are and available funds to some degree and then what you looking for in terms of performance!

I'm just finishing off my coupe project with 2.0 l 16v ecotec engine or you could use the older redtop.

Or did you just want to keep to original?

Get yourself to billing and see what's on show to give you a better idea.

Edited by upk
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Hi Steve,

Good to have another returning member. Like you I had a break from the club (about 20 years to be exact) and joined a couple of years ago. I restored a GTE coupe when I joined.

Where are you?

My advise is patience, patience, patience.

If you rely on others to do some of the work remember 'it will be ready in 2 weeks' often means 'it'll be ready in 4 months'

Take advice from the many talented members in the club.

Visit Billing in July if you can and get feel for what can be achieved and how it might look.



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Thanks for the warm welcome back guys. :)

My thoughts regarding my engine are to have a good reliable car that I can drive whenever I wish. Whilst I want it to be good, I don't want to lock it away just for 'shows'. I want it to be practical and useable. I don't want to race it, probably never take it on a track and it doesn't have to beat every other car away from the lights. It currently has the wrong engine in it, 20T, which is from a CF van and so whatever I swap to must be an improvement. Sadly, I don't have the knowledge,  or space to do it myself. I know if I put a 20E engine in everything else stays the same but if I change to another engine what else needs to change too in order to function right and be safe. I've been told figures of £1000 - £4000 to do it and, whilst I'm looking for a good deal, I'll spend what it needs for the right job. In an ideal world, I need to find a mechanic around the Crawley, Horsham, Gatwick area that can take my car and do all I need and then bring it back. If they have it a week or a month, whatever, it doesn't matter to me, it just has to be right.

Kev - I'm off to read the projects pages now and see where it takes me.



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Welcome back Steve, there are a few members down your way, hopefully one will see this thread and suggest a good mechanic who can help. I would think the usual GTE 2.0E would suffice, easily keep up with current traffic, is a good strong engine and still a good number about. But otherwise the usual conversion would be to Red Top it with the 16V lump of the early 90's. Think you need the 1.8 gearbox for this, and they are harder to come by now. But I'm no expert on this, there are plenty on here that are.


On a side note, I'm arranging a Drive it Day on the 26th April, starting not too far from you around Caterham or Godstone, venue yet to be decided. Even if you don't want to join the run, why not pop along in the morning and say hi around 10am ish? See the thread in the events section.



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Theres a few of us locals around in Brighton- at least 3, a mk1 cav coupe in Hove, theres an A' at Gatwick and probably a few others. If you want to chat cars and engines drop 'Hardcore' a line. Say Roy sent you. Im not sure how often he comes on here but if you can't get hold of him drop me a line :)


He does lots of engine swaps on his own motors ..


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OP need some more criteria.

The number one reliable and easy to fit / keep / work on engine for the GTE is the 2.0E CIH lump as fitted.

Zip tie a spare EFI relay to the one on the inner wing and / or learn the 2p trick

Add a spare complete ignition coil and amplifier to the inner wing and test periodically.

As long as the black male / female spade and round connections on the green wire are in good order pretty much nothing will leave you standing at the road side.

If the question is what is the best freely available engine to go in then the X20XEV @ 136 BHP will trump an ancient Redtop on standard injection and be almost as easy to fit (barring wiring) (SAAB's chain drive versions of these engines I leave in same category)

Cavalier SRi / SRI 130 lumps come in as an easy fit but like the above require "1.8 parts" to mount and sump.

(I include all Family II Single cam in this category whether injected or carbed)

Frontera CIH 2.4 and Carlton CIH 2.2 are the favoured "original looking" swaps that use all your mounts and sumps and injection (mostly)

So if the question is what is the best most reliable engine to go in then the standard CIH or 2.2

If the question is what is the best modern engine for the chassis to make my classic a nice reliable daily driver with decent performance and economy for the money in the modern age then the X20XEV

Just my opinion.

All V6 and Straight 6 ignored for now - though I count GM 3.0 12V as an easy fit to GTE. While these make a great GT car the availability of a decent engine is getting more challenging.

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Hi Steve, good to have someone return to the 'Madhouse' !!


 As for engines the option are dependant not on what engine is desirable but depends on you - How deep are your pockets? how skilled with the spanners are you?


 The cheapest / easyest option is to obtain a known good 2.0L GTE engine and swop like for like in your Manta, not very hard for the 'sunday mechanic' or the least expensive at the Garage, with a little more money the engine could be rebuilt first.


 At the other end of the scale truely anything is possible, almost any front wheel drive Vauxhall / Opel ( and some SAAB and Pontiac ) petrol engines will bolt to an 1800 gearbox but over 200bhp will be asking a lot of it.

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