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bendy

Bendy's XE power 400 project

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Stunning work, know how you feel with the roof bendy, I bought a shell with a plated roof, never looked right, it set me back a month cutting it off, but i was glad I done it.

I cut the skin off the spare roof by cutting out the internals, leaving the roof skin only, the skin is brazed on it the top of each pillar )if you wire brush this area you will see.

Then cut the external roof skin of the car, leaving the roof structure, easy pesie, drilled holes in the 'new' skin overlaped edges and spot welded it on.

dont believe in cutting through posts, it effects the strength of the car, A skin is there for a reason, its only a skin, cutting posts is a cutandshut job.

The 400 replica I built has a hydraulic pedal box and handbrake, the front run single line and t'd of to both calibers.

The rear line runs from pedal box, through the handbrake and back to rear calibers (t'd of to each caliber)

no servo and no balance jobie, passed mot no probs,

Keep up the posts up, had a lot of help from the club, thats what were here for.

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Just drill the heads of the screws off.

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Im really just not confident about the roof at the moment, i would need to see pictures etc of it being done, it would be a nightmare if i made a mess of both roofs and im determined to do everyhting on this project myself. I was eyeing it all up last night and im going to plate it with the old sunroof panel for now and see how it turns out. Ive got nothing to lose as the spare roof is there anyway.

As for the brakes ill definately be having 2.0 litre cav/astra calipers etc up front and was planning to retain the drums for now on the rear but if i could get away with not having a seperate mechanical handbrake i would scrap it and have disks on the rear. What is a cost effective rear set up that is simple to fit?

If i drill the heads of the screws holdong the seat rail mounts down ill have an even bigger problem of studs stusk in the floor of the car rather than screws[:0]

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just an idea but if you do drill them out try to buy some LEFT HAND drill bits, trust me they work wonders!! don't think they are cheep but will save alot of hassle [;)]

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Once you have drilled the heads off and can remove everything then apply a bit of heat to the remaining stud.

Usually there is enough meat to get a pair of grips onto them to get them out.

If not you can weld a nut onto the remaining stud and get a socket on them.

000_0260.jpg

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Done a bit more stripping in the past week, been at work everyday for at least 10 hours so im not much further on.

Had some good surprises and some not so good ones too, i knew the rear shocks were spax but didnt know they were 14 click adjustables! On the downside i got the car outside last night on a rare "not raining" occasion and tilted it up to get at the underside to get the exhaust, fuel lines, fuel pump etc off from underneath and heve a good poke about in good light. The chassis leg on the nearside aint too healthy around the rear axle mounting point and its had a poor repair already.

So looks like there is maybe alot more welding than i first thought, some areas of the floors are a bit worse than it first appeared too so im a bit depressed about it all. The only way to go is goint to be get it up on its side in the shed, take the axles off and totally strip it back underneath. Theres no point covering anything up now as it will come back to bite me in the ass later.

heres the pics.

Spax surprise

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top of inner wing is almost completely gone so i will have to construct a new bit here, not a big problem as the holes on the 400 wing line up poorly with the existing ones (or whats left of them) so ill drill the new part i weld in to suit.

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Ive decide im going to weld a panel in the fuel filler and flush it over, adapt the fuel tank to have the filler in the boot. At some point ill fit a alloy tank so im just planning for the future. manta purists probably wont like me for doing this but i think it will look smoother and dont like the way the"notch" for the fuel filler is in the 400 arch.

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poor floor repairs in driver side footwell, why leave welding like that! its got new rot either side too so nothing else for it than chop it ALL out.

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battery tray area is like the day it was new surprisingly!

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This bit of the chassis leg aint too clever, looks like it will need some major surgery unfortunately.

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Doesnt look too bad around the rear of the car underneath

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Got Kendall (the misses) to take the pics since it looked like it was going to start raining and my hands were filthy. just got it dropped down and sure enough the heavens opened big time just as i was rolling it back inside. Typical. using the engine hoist seems to be a fairly good way of lifting the car up but dont know if i have the space to do it this way inside. Ill have to rollit right up onto its side to work on the underside.

strippingout024.jpg

strippingout011-1.jpg

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oops i made a mess of the chassis leg picture as you can see! This is it . . . .

strippingout026.jpg

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Love the engine hoist idea!! [:)] it still looks like a very good find does that car and is solid in all the right places from what i can see, moving quite fast too, will it be a new manta for billing 2008?? [;)]

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Billing 2008!!!!! Well my target is to have it on the road on my 25th birthday which is april next year but that could and probably will go right out the window. It costs me ALOT of money to get a car down to billing etc too with ferry fares, fuel, hotels, time off work etc. 1000 odd mile round trip. I did get the calibra to The PV show at santa pod last year though and down to knockhill this year so you never know. If i can ill be there.[;)]

Past couple of weeks have been mostly taken up with extensively seeking out any possible bits of rot and chopping and welding. The floors have been the biggest job so far, im almost finished with them but i think ill have to use a bit of filler round them to sweeten up their appearance since it will all be in view as there wont be a carpet going back in

Ended up having to cut out past the chassis leg that runs underneath here which was a bit of a pain but never mind, thought it would be stronger overlapped so ill just have to smooth it out with some filler

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Passenger side complete and looking a bit healthier, My welding is far from professional but it will hold it together. Im not trying to build a concours car in the end of the day im building this to get used as an it will take some abuse so as long as its strong and will last for a good few years to come im happy.

strippingout041.jpg

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Still got quite a parts list to get, not sure what spec im going to build the engine to yet. ill definatly be fitting ARP rod bolts so i dont have to worry about doing 8000 rpm. not sure if i should get a set of wild cams or anything yet, i should maybe leave the xe relatively standard first so i can up the power later.

Still need to obtain, calibra turbo clutch, spigot bearing, polo heater fan assembly and matrix, hydraulic handbrake, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, air/fuel ratio meter so i can keep an eye on things incase of running lean, golf gti mk2 16v master cylinder, uprated fuel pump and filter, 4 spot lights, LSD (quaiffe is £600 OUCH!) ARP rod bolts, lots of bits of coolant hose and theres probably plenty ive forgotten [:(] waiting for t

Already got 2 new seats, harnesses are here, goodridge brake lines, 2.0 vectra callipers, new centre caps for the revolution wheels, ashley RWD XE 4-2-1 manifold Full 2.5 inch job (its nice but hits the gearbox mount) waiting for a set of gunmans discs and thats about it so ive got alot to spend without thinking about £600 cam kits and the like [V]

If anyones got anything on the list i need then any help will be appreciated[;)]

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Now I like the engine hoist idea for tilting the car, damm why didnt i think of that when I spent 2 days steam hosing under the car on axle stands, Just love this Club forum at times always new ideas on how to make the job easier, Only one thing I dint like was the use of the ropes to hold the car up esp if your under it, if they snapped you in trouble [:(] a copule of chains or wire ropes would be the ticket [^]

I think all mantas wether the floor is good or not should have the floor cut above the jacking points to clean all the crap out of there then sand them down and paint them then pop the lid back on and drill 2 20mm holes above each channel in the B series so u can inject dinitrol and then plug the holes with a grommet, will be doing that with my new project in a week or 3. keep up the good work just strip away and get all the tin worm out [:D]

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I didnt get under the car when i had the rear lifted with that small hylon rope that was just to take a look. The other rope for was far more substantial and although it doesnt look like it the car was at the balance point that if the rope gave in it would of fallen over onto its side, if you look closely the rear wheels of the hoist were actually just hovering of the ground.

Im going to try and perfect this method of lifitng it up inside the garage then see if i can remove the axles and work on the underside (without killing myself) the engine hoist has a whole host of uses if you put your imagination to work[;)]

I must add that id didnt just slap the plates over that rusty crap in the box sections, i got the wire wheel in there and cleaned it down then hoovered all the rubbish out as far as i could get it in and sprayed it with some fluid film spray, its marine derived anti corrosion spray that seeps like mad and is actually made from the oil of sheeps wool. Its apparently used inside offshore marker bouys and stuff like that so im sure it will be better than nothing. as for making holes to spray something in i think there are enough holes in the bottom of the sections to spray something in, i wouldnt want anything in my floors as they will be in view but it would be a very good idea in anything which will have carpets[;)]

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Due to personal circumstances (me and my girlfriend of 5 years splitting up) theres been very little progress the past few weeks which isnt too good for my estimated on the road date!

I had hoped to have the underside done by now and the axles cleaned up and it sitting back on its wheels but ive not even finished the welding yet. The floors are done but i still need to patch a couple of little bits and pieces and chop out the wheel well and fit with a flat panel for the battery to sit on. Theres also the matter of chopping out some of the bulkhead for clearance of the XE,s water pipe. For this matter ive decided to bolt the engine up to the gearbox and fit the new ashley manifold to the engine then drop it in and see how much needs to be cut away from the bulkhead and also ill loose fit an exhaust system in 2.5 inch tube right through to the rear incase i need to weld on any extra mounting points. Dont want to endup having to weld anything to the floor when its painted inside and out.

Heres a few pics of some of the goodies ive been collecting, cobra monaco s seats, omp 4 point harnesses, new centre caps for the revolutions, asley 4-2-1 2.5 inch manifold, goodridge hoses, new anti roll bar links, fuel filter (which i ordered the wrong one, its for a carb set up max 10 psi) and gunmans discs which are just the job!

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Heres a couple of bits i have managed to finish, new top edge to inner wing as the last one was gone and newly plated bulkhead (opposite side to battery tray) it was completely gone too after i took the sound deadening off it.

partsandcalibra010.jpg

partsandcalibra011.jpg

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Sorry about the girlfriend [:(] but a lot more ladies about than mantas,[^] Some nice work going on there with the car, now that you got no distractions get wired into the car. [:)]

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Sorry about the girl but like Robbie says plenty more (although i cant find any so let me know if you do! [}:)]) cars looking mint though and seems to be coming along well too [:)]

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Women & Mantas just don't mix...... all I did was do a 16v coversion on my Exclusive Coupe and she just went......after being together 8 years [V]

Ok so I told her it would take a 3 day bank holiday weekend and it took a bit longer but hey we had a few problems......with the Manta [B)]

There is life after honest - but are you able to hang onto the house? I'm faced with mine having to be sold right now with my garage/storage facilities going with it so I may be ever so slightly stuffed very shortly [:(!]

Carl[:D]

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I may be on an island but theres officially more women on it than men[:D][:D][:D] I think ill be distracted trying to find a new one for a while[:P]

Maybe the manta did have something to do with it but ive lost alot of furniture and stuff like that, also now dont have anywhere to keep my calibra this winter or space for it anywhere so im having to sell it. Its a tough break, we had been together more than 5 years and im only 24 and shes 21 so its been most of our adult lives but never mind the show must go on[;)]

Hopefully tommorow should see a good shift put in on the manta[8D]

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Well my original finish date is now completely impossible, Works been so busy lately and of course with the split from the girlfriend ive had alot of other stuff to sort out and obviously some financial problems and having space to keep stuff has been a problem. Ive had to try and speed up the process of getting my house built too which has been time consuming. Ive got it sorted out now though and just sold my calibra so ive got a bit of automotive cash spare to get more parts. [;)]

I think having no girlfriend is worse than having one! Ive been spending time trying to find a new one but failing miserably [xx(][xx(]

Over the christmas holidays (normally with large hangovers) my cousin whos a panel beater to trade came and helped plating the sunroof, we used the sunroof panel itself to plate it up and its worked better than expected. Its turned out to be very strong and im quite pleased with it. When i get a chance ill get some photos of it and get them up. Theres been more body repairs and ive also flush plated the fuel filler. As i said ill get some pics up soon [:D]

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After a slightly productive weekend and monday night on the manta ive actually managed to make some progress. First is the pics of the sunroof plating which we made up as we went along but its made an incredibly strong roof by using the old sunroof panel, i can stand on it and it doesnt budge a millimetre so im confident the filler wont crack. We extended out the sides to meet up with the roof return edges and cut out about 60mm of metal from the roof at the rear edge of the sunroof (where they always go rusty) it was surprising how completely rotten it was inside but showed no signs on the outside, theres a peice of felt type stuff under it which i presume holds the moisture there. I must clean it all up yet and trim down some of the edges to make it look a little tidier. Obviously the filler has just had the first batch put in and sanded down, it will get smoothed out properly come bodywork time.

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Ive also flushed over the fuel filler with a metal panel as i think it will look better with the 400 arches and the tank will get filled from the boot.

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With most of the welding done inside the car i thought it was time i should trail fit the engine and ashley manifold just to see how its all going to fit and if i need to alter anything else like the bulkhead for the water pipes or the exhaust, bulkhead or floor for it to fit. I took the standard sump off the XE and bolted up the big wing and stuck on the 1800 mounts then dropped it into the engine bay. I didnt fit the gearbox as i had a fair idea the manifold would fowl the gearbox mount.

mantasunroofenginemounting017.jpg

And it did indeed end up very close if not in the way of the gearbox mount.

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I started looking into the clearance i had under the sump and wondered how much further down the engine could be mounted, heres a couple of pics of the clearance available i reckon theres a good 25mm between it and the steering rack if not a bit more.

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Just while i was pondering dropping the engine down i lifted it back off the mounts and measured them unloaded, the driver side mount is about 55-60mm and the passenger side one (pictured below) is about 70mm. Just at the right time my friend Sudds came past so i asked him for a look at the mounts on his capri, they are alot simpler seem harder and he assured me there 50mm, so i reckon a set of them can only be a huge advantage here as long as the sump clearance remains ok. The exhaust seems to clear quite well everywhere except where the gearbox mount is. Ill get a set of capri mounts and try it with the gearbox and all fitted and report back.

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here is a picture of the rear of the head and how close it is to the bulkhead, i dont think much chopping is needed here, if i remove the overhanging flange (drawn with marker pen) im sure there will be no need to start hacking the bulkhead up.

mantasunroofenginemounting016.jpg

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