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RIR18

1986 Manta Coupe Restomod

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Last week, my good friend and I took delivery of a 1986 Opel Manta Coupe. It has some rust to sort but thankfully limited in the most part to the underside whilst the bodywork itself is in pretty good condition. Our plan is to restore and build the car so it drives like a modern one: that means increased power output (actual engine model to be decided) backed by a suitable 5/6 speed transmission, uprated brakes and a fully sorted suspension and steering setup both in terms of geometry, spring and dampers rates and ultimately improved handling. This sort of work is what we do with our day jobs but decided we wanted our own project! On the inside the interior will be completely custom to match the theme that will run through the car including paint and wheel design.

I won't attempt to explain the appeal of a 'restomod' as this is well documented elsewhere but suffice to say the Opel Manta will be our project car to develop into something very special. Although we may be upgrading or swapping parts (engine) we intended to keep as much as possible with the GM family. Photos to follow..
 
 
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I 'm guessing by looking at the pictures it has been started by someone else? You can buy front swan neck sections of the chassis or are you planning on making your own, i'll look forward to see what you have up yoursleeves for the suspension, steering set up etc.

Keep the pictures coming!

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Thanks for the quick replies!

Yes the car has been worked on already and yes we got it from Carl. He kindly sorted us out with a load of extra parts to put it back together as well (still minus engine and gearbox) and delivered it down to Devon. We're about to start renting a small unit beginning next month then we can move the car there and get stuck in.

We've spoken to the guys at Retropower about replacement panels but a lot of them are on a long back order unfortunately, would be keen to hear if anyone has any other suggestions? There seems to be many companies on the continent that say they can supply but I can't imagine shipping would be cheap.

We plan to document everything so there will be many photos during the build. One of my first tasks is to accurately measure the front and rear suspension geometry so we know what we're starting with, should be interesting!

 

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The words Manta and Devon are rarely used together so it'll nice to see one down here. Do you mind me asking which part, I'm in North Devon.:thumbup

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No problem, the car is in Whimple at the moment but will soon be moved to Honiton. Yes a Manta is a rare sight nowadays, especially around here!

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Hello ian , good to see you starting a thread 🙂

Looking forward to seeing the car progress !

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15 hours ago, RIR18 said:

No problem, the car is in Whimple at the moment but will soon be moved to Honiton. Yes a Manta is a rare sight nowadays, especially around here!

If you can come along to Powderham Castle over the weekend of 8th -9th July you'll see lots of Mantas on our club stand  :thumbup

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Out of interest which panels are on back order?

Also have you tried tjm motorsport for stock ?

 

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Lierdinger tuning are good for panels, only charge 20€ postage/ package.

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Good luck with the project guys, I am looking forward to learning some new skills from this thread.

Above all else, enjoy!

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Powderham is a good show, been there before and really enjoyed it, hopefully see some of your there! Thanks for the suggestions on TJM & Lierdinger, will try them too.

This is the reply we had a from RP earlier this week:

Manta/Ascona B panels

Sill left £27.00 Out of stock
Sill right £27.00

Rear wheel arch left £26.00 
Rear wheel arch right £26.00

Front floor pan left £79.44  Out of stock
Front floor pan right £79.44 Out of stock

Front jacking point left £31.00
Front jacking point right £31.00
Rear section front chassis leg £29.00
Rear section front chassis leg £29.00
Spare wheel well £42.00 Out of stock
Chassis leg ‘Swan neck’ outer skin repair £26.00 Out of stock
‘A’ panel left £65.00 Out of stock 
‘A’ panel right £65.00 Out of stock

Manta GTE front valance £62.00

 

We are now out of stock of quite a few things.  The floor pans I should be able to get more of in the next 2-3 weeks or so.  The other panels will be longer – at least 6 -8 weeks possibly longer apart from the left sills which I haven’t been able to get hold of for over a year now.

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5 hours ago, TheRealExile said:

Which weirdly is retropower? Maybe it's allocated for online sales?

14 hours ago, MrCarlos said:

Hello ian , good to see you starting a thread 🙂

Looking forward to seeing the car progress !

Hi Carl by the way 😆 - where are my manners?! We're looking forward to getting on with it - our work space isn't vacated yet, so champing at the moment 😁

7 hours ago, Mickfrad said:

Oooh, hadn't seen those 👍

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14 hours ago, Rapierdave said:

If you can come along to Powderham Castle over the weekend of 8th -9th July you'll see lots of Mantas on our club stand  :thumbup

Added that one to the diary :thumbup

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 So we've had a few issues surrounding where we were supposed to be moving the manta to start work on it (the place caught fire!), which has slowed progress somewhat! However we've now started prepping the shell for recieving it's new front floorpans, chassis legs and sills! Started by leveling the car up it's axle stands so it keeps everything nice and square as we cut the old metal out - happily managed to get it within 2-3mm side to side! Then we got busy...

https://imgur.com/a/Obi2MwW

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Posted (edited)

Got some more progress in this weekend, removed the front wings, doors (which took hours - very seized roll pins!), front suspension uprights/arms, steering rack and brake master cylinder/servo 
Found some 'interesting' previous repairs on the inner wings! Nothing too bad though, wing mounting rails need some repairs and the rest we will cut all that out and start again methinks.......

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Edited by RIR18
Better pics!
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Got some good progress in over the last couple of weeks, just been a bit busy to post it up! Tackling the drivers side front inner wing/washer bottle tray/a post area at the moment, plenty of historic repairs here going on which needed removing - also a lot of underseal! Some pics of cutting out to see what we're left with -

https://imgur.com/a/URAf8cb

Cutting out the washer bottle tray, used what was salvageable to make a cardboard template, to then fashion a nice new non rusty version -

https://imgur.com/a/2hwEQLu

final form of the tray, templated + made a small repair section that boxes the tray in, then welded in

https://imgur.com/a/xmzTUuh

outside view of inner arch repair section and some small repair sections going in around the brake servo mounting area. Also made a satisfyingly large repair piece to link the tray back into the servo mount, but ran out of time and didn't get to weld it in :(

https://imgur.com/a/IAa80E8

 

 

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Away from the restoration the manta needs to get it structurally sound again, we've also been giving the suspension package some thought - bearing in mind we have plans to make our old opel a match for much modern machinery of today, we're toying with the idea of making a new tubular front subframe and suspension arm package, incorparating much improved geometry that would not otherwise be possible with the standard parts - plus it will look cool B) :lol: . We very much want to make it a 'bolt on' upgrade piece using the four original mounting points in the car, which should keep the finished item as accurate as possible - that way we can make a jig to construct it off the car, making sure everything stays where it should when it gets welded together. Some autocad pics of what we've come up with so far - 

https://imgur.com/a/N9uO3ON

 

 

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The washer area looks familiar! Mine was exactly the same when my dad had the car and covered it in underseal. Seem to remember it took an age to clean it all up and the battery tray area was covered in it as well!

 

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10 hours ago, RIR18 said:

 we've also been giving the suspension package some thought - bearing in mind we have plans to make our old opel a match for much modern machinery of today, we're toying with the idea of making a new tubular front subframe and suspension arm package, incorparating much improved geometry that would not otherwise be possible with the standard parts - plus it will look cool B) :lol: . We very much want to make it a 'bolt on' upgrade piece using the four original mounting points in the car, which should keep the finished item as accurate as possible - that way we can make a jig to construct it off the car, making sure everything stays where it should when it gets welded together. Some autocad pics of what we've come up with so far - 

https://imgur.com/a/N9uO3ON

 

 

Interesting. Can you explain why this will be an improvement on the original?

Is it simply that you will include some screwed adjusters?

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7 hours ago, IanMc said:

Interesting. Can you explain why this will be an improvement on the original?

Is it simply that you will include some screwed adjusters?

We did consider just making some tubular arms that were length adjustable, fitted to the standard subframe, but that would only have given static adjustability - it wouldn't have changed how the wheel angle moves dynamically during suspension movement (castor/camber gain is what we wanted to change) - and you can only do that by moving the inboard pickup points on the subframe, hence why we're going to make the whole package anew. We could cut the old frame about to acheive the same thing, but where's the fun in that?! :lol: Also being tubular it is stronger, lighter and better looking than the open 'u' channel as standard, so will stiffen up the front end nicely. 

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