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Mike.

Mike's Manta.

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Enjoying seeing your work Mike. Keep it up and let us know how it’s going. Great to see such attention to detail. 

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At least now I know the panels and shell are solid and I now have a good base to work on. 

It took a good few weekends to get all the panels back to bare metal and coated, removing the paint from the bonnet was the most challenging panel, didn’t want to distort the metal with too much heat from the wire wheel but some pressure was required to get the paint off,

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Most of the work has been to the underside of the manta, which is the reason I bought this as a project, I feel that it’s easier to work on floorpans, rails, jacking points etc rather than delicate thin steel on the shell, roof, inner wings, engine bay where it would be much more noticeable,

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Body shop have removed all paint from floorpans and red leaded, front inner wings and rails still to do,

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Edited by Mike.
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The lead loading process has now started as you can see the drivers rear quarter panel and arch is complete but the passenger side is still work in progress, the front nosecone above the lights has also been loaded and completed. I like seeing progress all be it slowly. The dash and wiring loom are away to be removed, loom checked and tidied up.

The lead loading is an art, wish I had these skills, the bodyshop lads seem quite skilled, they are older experienced lads,

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A gentle heat is applied with the oxy-acetylene kit, avoiding excessive heat not to distort the rear quarters, lead rods melted on and while hot spread on thickly with a wooden spatula and left to cool, 

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Ready to file flush, this process reduces the amount of filler required before painting, the lead over time remains flat and smooth, not like filler that can ripple over time,

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Lead loading all flushed off with the rasp file,

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A bit of pin pulling on lower edge of rear quarter just behind drivers door, previous accident damage during its lifetime, old scars!

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Its amazed me how much work has been needed to knock what I thought was a reasonable shell back into a straight shell again!

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The previously exposed sore spots repaired above both headlights,

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The lead loading is like buttering a scone, lash it on,

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Notice the adjustment screw on the file for profile adjustment,

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Edited by Mike.
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Stunning work, your nearly, nearly at the peak, paint and rebuild is always the nicest work, but i do like the fab and weld work also. 

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Just been in past the bodyshop returning the wiring looms which have been checked and repaired, the passenger rear quarter was still work in progress the last time I was through but this has now been completed so that’s all the lead loading done. The dash is now out, I’m going to paint inside and out when I’m at this stage, it’s nothing but a bare shell. Gravitex stonechip on the underside, inner wings and rear arch inners. Hopefully get it back soon so I can start my rebuild.

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Dash out, wiring loom out,

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Empty shell,

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Edited by Mike.
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Flared and fitted new 3/16” brake lines to rear subframe, fitted new brake flexi and checked the bleed nipples were able to be loosened and tightened when access is easy, didn’t want to shear one when it’s all assembled. Used the old ones as a template.

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I spoke to the bodyshop about raptor but they work the gravitex and then a coat of paint on top and say they have had no issues or problems with its application and durability so I’ll take their  word for it.

Edited by Mike.
Edited.

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Gravitex is ok but no where near as durable as raptor, and the raptor is tintable. If you get chips on the topcoat the gravitex will show through. I’ve used gravitex in the past as that’s all that was available it’s not too bad stuff. There are more advanced products about now. 

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All panel gaps fitted and aligned, first round of filler applied and sanded. She is really taking shape, actually resembles a manta now. Side skirts and rear arch sections away to be trial fitted next week then hopefully into the spray booth.

When I bought the manta it came with the square lights and a set of irschmer quads in bubble wrap, I intend to keep her as standard as possible but I feel the mantas look better with quads fitted, so these along with the under headlight trim trial fitted,

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The front bumper had dropped on both sides, it was re fitted to run in line with the front wing body crease and match up with the wheel arches,

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Rear tail lights trial fitted,

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Rear bumper iron trial fitted and gap adjusted, drivers side needed work to even up gap,

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All panel gaps tested and adjusted where necessary,

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Both doors with new door pins fitted, no play or drop on either of them,

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a rust free door now, a half door skin and lower door frame section fitted,

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Bonnet and wing gaps adjusted,

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The coupe boot was when closed standing proud at both hinge sides beneath rear window, I don’t know how the bodyshop did it but I’m told it fits properly now while still retaining the original torsion bars, so all good.

Edited by Mike.
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Looking good, havn't seen red oxide used on a car before? After filler do you use high build primer, 

 

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It was the bodyshop that use the red lead and they have done loads of restorations, I’m guided by them. That’s right there is high build spray filler to apply, then guide coat, then  blocking and sanding. Once that is done the spray filler is easy to rub down but is slightly porous and would attract moisture so it’s then given a 2k primer all over including underside once the bodylines are correct and true, this seales it all up. I’m delighted with the job they have done so far. I bought the under light trim from MrCarlos a few weeks ago, i think it looks better with this on rather than the original gap, again it fits spot on.

Edited by Mike.

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Another vote for the trim piece. A perfect fit too. It closes up what is generally a glaring gap. Are you leaving it black or painting it body colour? I only ask as it was black on GTE's but is generally body colour on Exclusive's when fitted. 

Interesting about the red lead. The company that I work for coat all the pressure parts for power station boilers in that stuff. Have done for as long as I can remember (45 years plus) so must be good. 

Edited by Monaco Blue

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I took in all gutter, door and rear quarter aluminium trim pieces today and they are going to paint them all in satin black along with the under light trim and inner boot at the same time. Try and keep to original spec as much as possible. I like the contrast between the black trims and polar white paint.

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 the nose cone trim piece has one issue, there are no attachment points under the quad lamps, i have seen this trim strip cut short so it fills the gap under the four slots but stops short of the quad lamp surrounds.

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I told the bodyshop guys that there was two holes each side of the four slot grill making four holes and one hole on each irmscher bezel making six holes in total. Working with the car and bezels at different times I just observed this, I hope I haven’t put 2 and 2 together and came up with 5. It’s the metal framed quad lights with the irschmer bezels and they have a rectangular shaped tab on the underside I presumed to hold a self tapper, could be wrong though.

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the self tapper is for the attachment of the black headlamp bezzel bar mike they look good 

cheers wullie

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Youve the right set for the trim then, as the original all plastic ones had not, maybe thats why some exclusives didnt have trim from new, said it before opel where a bit laxy daisy screwing these cars together, and not anal or ocd at all, etc! 

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The gte side skirts and rear arch sections trial fitted before spraying. The rear arch sections are the original Opel ones but the straight skirt sections are from Smith and Deakin, they did require a small amount of work to fit perfectly but we got there in the end.

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This is the result of two years work, this being my first ever attempt at a classic car restoration, I initially thought I would complete it in 18 months, looks like it’s going to be a 3 year project. I’m getting there slowly,

Finally into spray booth,

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Masking up,

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High build primer/Undercoat first, then guidecoat, the guidecoat is sprayed on over the top of the spray filler in order to help the bodywork guys get the body lines accurate when blocking and sanding, any black still left on indicates a low spot,

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I see new lower front valence is now fitted, I kept original tab off the old one which had this on it from the factory it had a plastic bell shaped thing on it which stored all the build details, the photos below is the high build spray filler before the guidecoat was applied,

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A step in the right direction at long last, still the boot, engine bay and underside to paint before I get her home to start the rebuild,

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only the engine bay, boot and underside will be finished at this stage in the spray booth, I will get her home, fit the fuel and brake lines, fuel tank, subframes,  gearbox, engine and exhaust then back for final paint.

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The original tab on the old lower valence before I removed it. It serves no purpose now but I still wanted to keep this feature on my restoration.

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Edited by Mike.
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It's to look the mutts nuts mate. I would just paint the whole shell and be careful on assembly! I think I know who wI'll be respraying mine when I need it.

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I am tempted to get her all sprayed in one go but I would only be tempting fate, there will be a lot of hard work, awquard jobs, engine cranes, trolley jacks, axle stands etc on the go, I couldn’t imagine my pain if one afternoon I found a ding!!! :huh: even in the primer stage it would be annoying but at least it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

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