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Red top conversion Help!!,,,


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Hi folks as title states I'm looking for advice and knowledge from anyone who has complete a redtop conversion.
My car is 85 Opel manta 1.8 all standard.
Was thinking of using a calibra as the doner car.
 Ideally what I need is a list of what I need and what I can use from my 1.8 engine.
All advice and suggestions greatly appreciated .

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Hey Ross

Never done one in a Manta but i'm sure someone will be along shortly with a list, there was at one point a complete kits for sale. I'd say your best bet is if you join the club then you'll be able to find every single piece of info you require for this conversion



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It will depend on if you have a dispack or distributor and how you think on mounting it (if distributor) as you may have to modify the bulkhead and maybe loose the standard heater fan (for cabin). You could modify the distributor of the 1.8 to run it of the exhaust cam on the XE.

Best to have your ECU in the footwell so will have to modify the loom on the XE to facilitate this. There are only four cables needed to connect the engine loom to the car loom.

Sump, dipstick and pump suction pipe are needed of the 1.8 engine for the XE to fit the manta.

Don't know if the flywheel can be used of the 1.8, but the XE one has to be the earlier flat type to suit the Manta gearbox.

Engine mounts are from a Ford Capri/Escort? (can't remember).

Uprated clutch kits, there are a few members who can put you in the right direction for those.

Are you going to update the brakes and suspension? very sensible if uprating the engine.


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the 1.8 engine is the block that became the 20 xe engine.

use your existing 18 gearbox .if you have the later 1.8 gearbox the later xe pot flywheel can actually be used and is quieter but heavier.  

the later dispack xe engines don't have the better earlier xe cosworth head and had trouble with oil porosity although this can be fixed, make sure there is no trace of oil in the xe rad before you buy.. google this problem.

with a bit of modding and welding the xe exhaust can be used.

you may need the replacement aftermarket air plenum 

its well worth doing and actually quite easy, i put one in my opel gt


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All this info and much more can be found in the members section as it has been discussed many times before.

Also the Coscast heads were only on some of the dizzy engines but not all. So doesn't matter if its a dispak or dizzy it may not have a coscast head (infact most don't). The porous issue is not that much to worry about, if it hasn't failed yet then it probably isn't going to. Remember the youngest of these engines is about 23years old now.............

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