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Limeysore

Canadian Manta B

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Hi all, I joined the club back in November when I acquired a 1978 Manta B.  The car was for sale locally here In Calgary and I just could not resist the temptation to buy it.  Having worked for an Opel dealership in the UK from 1975 until 1979 (McGill Automotive, St Albans) I have had a thing for Opels ever since.  Opels are pretty rare in Canada with the last of the official import cars hitting the great white North in 1975, so finding a 78 B here was an opportunity I could not pass up.  The car has been off the road since 2002 and the previous owner installed a Buick V6 into it with an auto box.  I plan to replace this with a CIH unit and either a Gertag or ZF 5 speed box.  The odd thing is the car was originally a manual and when the previous owner fitted the auto box he left the clutch pedal in place!   

Today was a big day, after almost five months of waiting the car is finally in my garage, I have lots of work ahead of me and will take inspiration from the many great resto threads on this site.   Here are a few random shots of the car complete with 14" Ronal wheels which I suspect came from a Rekord E Berlina

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Looks nice - good luck!

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Ian, I have been following your Polar White thread with great interest you've done a great job and I only hope I can get my car to look as nice as yours.   I plan on starting the dismantling process after the Easter weekend so I will find out pretty soon exactly what I have to work with.

 

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Hi Chris, 

welcome on this forum, and good luck with the restoration of your Manta.

If you need advise you are on the right spot, there is a lot of technical know-how to find.

Your Manta looks ok, the normal spots that need welding. The engine has got the Varajet-carb that is used on several Opels, maybe 

the previous owner rebuilded it on the V6? The rims look nice on the car, indeed Opel rekord. 

If you are looking for a CIH engine, they were also used in the Bedford CF van's.  

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Buick V6? Think we had a hyster 6 ton forklift with that engine in years ago! Good luck with your project! 

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Hi and welcome,

i have an uncle who stays in Masset B.C. 

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13 hours ago, Limeysore said:

Ian, I have been following your Polar White thread with great interest you've done a great job and I only hope I can get my car to look as nice as yours.   I plan on starting the dismantling process after the Easter weekend so I will find out pretty soon exactly what I have to work with.

 

Hi Chris, thanks for the kind words. If my thread can help anyone, I will be a happy man.

The only advice that I would give really is break the project up into manageable chunks and then steadily work through them. I decided before I started that unless I did this the enormity of the task would consume me. By breaking it up into (for example): engine, brakes, suspension, rust/welding, bodywork etc, you always have the end of a section in your sight. This (in my view anyway) allows you to stay focused by finishing something (a section).

Oh and of course, enjoy yourself working on the car that you love and will love even more as you work on it and bring it back to life.

Herman is so right, this is just a fabulous club with great people who never fail to inspire and motivate you.

:thumbup

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3 hours ago, Mike. said:

Hi and welcome,

i have an uncle who stays in Masset B.C. 

Mike, Masset is a pretty remote spot great for those who like salmon fishing, not many cars up there let alone Opels.  According to my SatNav Massett is 1,794 km from my house which includes a 188 km ferry trip across to Graham Island where Masset is located on the north coast.  

 

3 hours ago, Sutty2006 said:

Buick V6? Think we had a hyster 6 ton forklift with that engine in years ago! Good luck with your project! 

Hi Steve, why the previous owner put this lump of iron in the car boggles the mind.  It appears to be a 3.2 litre lump that produced a whapping 105 horses when fitted in GM North American built cars.  We have a local Opel GT owners group here in Calgay that is very active and highly enthusiastic, they have a number of of spare 1.9 CIH engines one of which will be heading to my garage and eventuLly into the Manta.  I'm dreaming of a 2.4 motor with twin Weber dcoe carbs, finances and my good lady will dictate how ridiculous I go!

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I looked it up, it’s a 27 hour drive in your Manta 😁

he is retired now, but worked in the co op over there and loves salmon fishing and golf, he looks after the small golf course with 4 other lads keeping it tidy, grass cutting etc. Totem poles and woodworking is another big thing there. I intend going over to see him sometime.

your Manta looks a good base to start on, most need welding, sourcing missing parts and trim can be time consuming, welding can test your patience, but it all adds to the fun! I have enjoyed every minute of my build, that’s 3 years in now and I can see light at the end of the tunnel now. All the best with your build, it will be fun.

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Hi Herman, thanks for the words of encouragement.  I'm going to try and fire the V6 up before removing I from the car, I have no idea if anything has been done to the engine as the previous owner passed away and the car was sold as "condition unknown" through his estate sale.   So far I have been able to confirm he was a Canadian Serviceman who was stationed in Germany in the late seventies, from this I assume he bought the car in Germany and shipped it to Canada when he returned home.  If I find out any more info I'll post it in this thread.

Regards,. Chris

7 minutes ago, Mike. said:

I looked it up, it’s a 27 hour drive in your Manta 😁

he is retired now, but worked in the co op over there and loves salmon fishing and golf, he looks after the small golf course with 4 other lads keeping it tidy, grass cutting etc. Totem poles and woodworking is another big thing there. I intend going over to see him sometime.

your Manta looks a good base to start on, most need welding, sourcing missing parts and trim can be time consuming, welding can test your patience, but it all adds to the fun! I have enjoyed every minute of my build, that’s 3 years in now and I can see light at the end of the tunnel now. All the best with your build, it will be fun.

Mike, if you do head over to Masset you should plan a lay over in Calgary and see the Rockie Mountains.   I offer free accommodation, tender steaks and beer as cold as my ex girl friends heart!   

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Hi Chris, 

a 2.4 is a great engine to have in a Manta, lot of torque and don't need those high revs. Got them in both my Manta's.

Seems we had the same ex-girlfriend in the past, never thought she would move to Canada, it is rather far away.

But "C" (Canada) is on the alphabet just behind "B"(Belgium), so she tought maybe not that far away?

Those girls have a special mind on their own, but we can't miss them 😁...

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Sutty2006 said:

Mercury Marquis?  PM me with the details of the car and  list of what you need and I'll see what I can do.

Edited by Limeysore
Correct spelling error.

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I promised myself I would not start working on the my Manta until after the Easter weekend, well I lied.   I just could not resist starting the tear down.  First off I pulled the front seats out and removed the front section of the carpet so I could see what the floors were like.  They say there are two sides to every story so here are some pics to prove it 

Drivers side (keep in mind my car is LHD)

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Passenger side.

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Honestly I was expecting worse!  Tomorrows task is to remove the ignition key barrel as I have no keys to the car.  The steering wheel turns so it could be that the key is actually broken off in the lock. A chap in the Opel GT club in the US has an original Opel key cutting rig and various key blanks and thinks he can make a key up for me, so hopefully I'll soon have a key and be able to see what treasures might be in the boot!

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Posted (edited)

Continued stripping out the interior today, to my surprise the rear floors look pretty nice.   There is rust in the quarter panels behind both doors but when I prod around through the rust holes it seems solid inside.   The underside of the car has a very thick layer of under seal which has kept the car pretty well protected.  I think the areas of rust in the front floor pans is a result of moisture getting into the car (Bad door seals) and corroding the floors from the inside out.

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Edited by Limeysore
Spelling correction

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I think you may have dodged a bullet there with those rear floor sections. They normally rot out in the corners where the rear seat belt mounts are. Good news for you!

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I was busy during the day and didn't get into the garage until 7PM next thing I knew it was almost 11.   The voice is simple watch TV or work on the Manta, the Manta will win every time.

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5 hours ago, Limeysore said:

TV or work on the Manta, the Manta will win every time.

I know how you feel.

Good to know mantas rust in canada too, out of interest, do they use rock salt on winter roads in canada? 

Are you a purest or a modernist? 

43820614_183484352540018_9077501726860342750_n.jpg?_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.cdninstagram.com

 

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Hi Evo, they do use rock salt on the roads in Canada not so much here in Alberta where my Manta has resided for most of it's life.  For the most part our winters while snowy are pretty dry, the snow is dry and powdery and a blast to ski on. 

I would say I'm more to the purist side than modernist, I would like to think when my car is finished it will be a decent restomod example (how's that for sitting in the fence).

Chris

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Nice B series, as the rest on here say, seen a lot worse brought back to life, good luck 😉 

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Today I set about stripping the last of the sound deadening material off the floors.  A pair of front floor pans and jacking points required to repair these areas.  I then went to the front of the car and removed the front bumper and mounting hardware,  only surprise was a poorly fabricated home made bumber bracket on the right hand side.  I then took a deep breath, removed the left front wheel and had a poke around the body rails and swan necks.   Here's what I found....

Front section with the under seal removed, looks very nice.

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Moving back towards the Swan neck not so bad...

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Moving on down, not very pretty...

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After pealing back the onion...

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Verdict, I will be adding inner and outer left hand swan necks to my parts required list.  I'll look at the right hand side tomorrow.

Chris.

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Look at herman H-400 tread, remade chassis sections available from supplier mentioned, reckhard or something! By the looks of your problem, these will cure it. They are possible to make depending on your skills. Have a template available if needed. 

What caused this problem is from the engine bay! You will notice a hole in the corner above this area, water channel, into a doulbe skinned chassis, not smart! 

 

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They look very similar to my car. The inner steel may be more corroded than the outside but you have to cut away the outside to repair it. 

I repaired one side of mine and replaced the other side with 40x40 box section. I've still to fabricate the outer part to make it look as it did.  I don't think I would go that route again. I think H-400 approach is a much smarter job and probably a lot quicker. You live you learn as they say.

If you decide to repair them buy some 14g steel for the inner sections. I think it's only 16g from new but the extra strength can't hurt.

There's also a much heavier internal steel around the bottom subframe mount. Luckily mine had survived, looking at the pictures, yours may be ok too. You can just see it in your bottom picture.

All good fun.

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