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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Feburary 5, 2013....... if you look at the date when I joined this forum & started this build thread (August 5, 2011) quite a bit of time has
passed since then. When I read what has been posted since then so many things have either been "changed" or "omitted". So much so I feel
in NEED to try & bring things into "order" and get some sense what has happened to bring me to the point I am currently at. The previously
posted text & pictures may be helpful to some or at least give you a good understanding of why I need to basically "start over" with this build
thread. (post #109)


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I am NOT only a "new member" to the GasserHot Rod.com forum but also a Gasser owner.

I am NOT new to owing "TRUE HOT RODs" (not Street Rods) ..... thus the "Milner" nickname that I was given by my drag racing buddies back in the 70's when everyone else was still riding around in "muscle cars".

Back then I had a '40 Chevy powered by a 301 ci SBC & 3 speed tranny right out of a "totaled" '57 Vette. Gasser stance - carb thru the hood - fenderwell exit headers - gutted interior - Mustang bucket seats - '57 Pontiac rearend.... Not your "Father's street rod" In fact, back then, most "street rodders" hated my hot rod. My, My.... things have changed over the years.

Currently the Opel Wagon is running a 350 sbc with a turbo 350 tranny & Ford rearend. Everything about install was done right and the welding done over the years have been by professional welders. You can see that some of the original welding (that has not been re-done or replaced by updated mods etc, etc) was done with a stick welder. Nicely done but NOT as "pleasing to the eye" MIG or TIG welding of today.

Right now I am doing a lot of looking "around" and especially "under" the car.

The Opel was built by GM using a unibody design very similar to all of its "American-Made" cousins. It was imported from Germany & sold thru BUICK dealers.

Currently the front & rear unibody frames are tied together & reinforced with 2" x 3" rectangular steel and there are "cross members" and gussets here, there & everywhere.

Just like you guys..... even though it's the middle of Summer I am making a "to-do-list" for this Winter already!!!!

This car has been together for many years & recently updated & drag raced again by the guy I got the car from. Over the Winter I would like to re-do the rear suspension & update the frame to match the 2 x 3 frame that was built for the front & mid-section of the car.... along with putting on new "coil overs" .

Up FRONT I plan to modify the rack & pinion suspension - re-position the shock mounts and also raise the car 3-4 inches. It has a transverse spring so raising the front should not be too hard to do.

For now all I want to do is at least get the car "streetable" if not "street-legal".

Currently, I am working on installing an exhaust system using "shorty mufflers" from Summit along with Bandlanz electric controlled exhaust cutouts which will be a LOT of FUN on cruise nights. Plus, I am getting TOO OLD to crawl under cars to un-hook mufflers from headers.

Also need to install some headlights, turn signals, wipers & mirrors.

Some of the "fun to do" things I am going to do NOW is to replace the tiny "for looks" hood scoop with a 427 Vette scoop .... and then add some SS badges to "really confuse" people about what this car is. Most people seem to think it looks like a "mini-Nova" .... being a station wagon really confuses them.

I am really going to enjoy working on this car & sharing it with everyone here on this forum. :cool:
 

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Awesome Car! I think it looks like a Vega wagon & a Nova.

Welcome,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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From the first time I ever saw an Opel Kadett I thought they looked like miniature versions of a 1st gen. Nova. The day you first posted a pic of your's I thought the same thing again. That's a classic body style, and a very nice basis for a gasser style ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks..... This car will be a "keeper". Have already started getting "stuff" done so we can get it back on the street and catch a few shows & cruises before the weather changes.

So far got the "slicks" off it and Mickey Thompson drag radials mounted..... also got a "temporary exhaust system" mocked up.


 

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AWESOME Car Man!.... Exhaust system? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust system! J/K... They are pretty lenient on that down here on cruise nights in San Antonio... As long as your not being an idiot. I ran my old straight 6 open exhaust for a year & never got pulled over, most everybody including cops gave me a thumbs up. The car looks great man!
 

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Open headers are pretty common at cruises, but I generally don't uncap them until I'm pretty close to the cruise areas. Cops a few miles away don't usually understand there's a cruise that's going on and will ticket open exhaust if it's not near a cruise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
[B said:
1946Austin: [/B]Open headers are pretty common at cruises, but I generally don't uncap them until I'm pretty close to the cruise areas. Cops a few miles away don't usually understand there's a cruise that's going on and will ticket open exhaust if it's not near a cruise........ Texas Rat Trap: Exhaust system? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust system! J/K... They are pretty lenient on that down here on cruise nights in San Antonio...
Cops are soooooo much better around here than they used to be "back in the day". For those of us old enough to remember we tend to reminisce about how GREAT those early days of hod rodding used to be.

Depending how old you are, and especially if you were of "driving age" during either the post World War ll, or the mid-60's/'70's great Muscle car era (or like me in the "middle" of both) you got to live the "Golden Days" of hot rodding.

Those times were exciting. But as hot rodding grew and then "exploded" as real hot rods & street driven race cars/gassers were replaced by muscle cars the street action became more & more intense. Movies like American Graffiti - Two Lane Black Top - Hot Rod (ABC made for TV movie) California Kid added "fuel to the fire".

As never before (and since) high performance cars were everywhere. On a Friday & Saturday night "it would take a tank of gas just to make the circuit". Every stoplight was a chance for "encounter" with another souped up car trying to prove would was the "fastest car in the valley".

Well the cops "freaked". Trying to curtail "illegal street racing" & what was called (on the ticket) "exhibition of speed" police (especially State Police) gave tickets for ANY thing. Any modified exhaust (headers - glass packs- tail pipe exit position etc) any suspension mod (raised torsion bars - bigger springs - air shocks) tach on the top of the dash board - hood scoops - wheels/tires extending past the fender etc etc. Every time you went for a cruise you risked "adding" another ticket to the "dash board collection".

It got so bad that cops would park on the roads leading to the local drag strip (Pittsburgh International Dragway - RIP) and stop cars on the way to race.

Fortunately for us today practically anything goes. Like what has already been said "unless you are really fooling around" police turn their head on the things that we got busted for "back in the day".

Around here police usually do not bother cars that have roof-high blowers/tunnel rams, modified suspensions, or excessively loud exhaust systems. They do EXPECT cars to have "some kind" of exhaust system..... or at least "baffles" in zoomies/headers etc.

I have opted to have "electric cutouts" for cruise nights. I am getting too old to be crawling under the car to uncap my header flanges. I really like them!!!! Especially when a young guy in a new Mustang - Camaro or Challenger pulls up next to you at a stop light and "gives the look"... I hit the "button"... L O L !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Are the rear fenders flared? Looks kinda like it from the picture. Really nice looking!
From a distance the overall "look" of the Opel is that it came this way from the Factory.

Whoever installed the flairs (no I do NOT know what they came from) did a GREAT job. They do NOT look like they were added-on. They not only fit the wheel/tire combo perfectly but also the bodywork both inside & outside shows no signs of them being added.

You can notice the that the "CenterLine wheels" (10" x 15") have a LOT of backspacing..... 7 inches" to be exact! I have never seen rear wheels with so much backspacing. They need to be!!!! The rear leaf springs are still in the stock mounting position which limits the how far the rear wheels/tires can fit under the car without making contact with the leaf springs.

For NOW.... this setup is just fine. Like the old saying.... "if it ain't BROKE don't FIX-IT"!!!!!

Eventually I plan to make a new rear sub frame and either move the springs "in-board" or to eliminate the leaf springs & convert to a coil-over setup which will allow me to use a more "standard type wheel" (with more common back spacing) and of course larger tires.

Currently the drag slicks are 10" which look OK....... the Mickey Thompson drag radials for the street are almost 9" wide & are NOT as tall so they will have to do for now.

I would like to have around 12" tires on the rear someday ...... the "SOMEDAY-list" gets LONGER EVERYDAY!!!!! HA!!!!!





 

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Especially when a young guy in a new Mustang - Camaro or Challenger pulls up next to you at a stop light and "gives the look".... I hit the "button"...... L O L !!!!
LOL.... Funny! No offense to anyone but the guys in the new Mustangs were always the worst ones. Biggest sore losers and they always looked at you like, "Look at that POS!" light turns green and your gone and they're still sittin there lookin at your tail lights tryin to play catch up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
With all of the "cooling issues" I am currently working my way through I am looking to do every major & minor improvement than I can think of.

I just ordered a 16" to replace the current 12" fan that is "NOT getting the job done". Part of the problem is the lack of venting the engine compartment and also the hood scoop (installed by the previous owner) is just on the hood "for looks".

I have drilled vent holes in the inner fenders under the scoop to get more air flowing into the engine compartment.

The hood scoop has a "very" low profile. I want to replace it with a "taller scoop" to "catch" more air to move into the engine compartment.

I have a scoop laying around collecting dust that is modeled after a Hemi Dart scoop. It has a VERY LARGE opening in the front which would be GREAT for catching lots of air to help "vent" the engine compartment.

I think it looks a little TOO WIDE for the Opel's hood...... so I plan to section & narrow it.

What do you guys think???? :confused:


Here's one of the Opel station wagon pics I found on the Internet (there are NOT many) As you can see the engine is also setback like our Opel (see the engine cover protruding into the interior). The car also has a TALL scoop to maximize air flow into the engine compartment.
 

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Too much air might cause some other cooling issues. If the fan is trying to push air in and the scoop pushes more, it might cause enough positive pressure under the hood that the fan wont be able to push against it. The result would be the engine runs even hotter.
I'd try the fan first, and if you need more air to the carb, then use a scoop set up that is sealed to the carb.
 

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John try building a small belly pan, seal it to the bottom of the radiator and run it forward at least 12 inches, more if you can, the width of the radiator. It's not unusual for the hot air to come out of the radiator at the back, travel forward, and back up into the radiator. GM had to make a small spoiler that sat under the Firebird and Camaro (possibly others) radiators forming a small wall to stop that from happening. See if that helps. Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
John try building a small belly pan, seal it to the bottom of the radiator and run it forward at least 12 inches, more if you can, the width of the radiator. It's not unusual for the hot air to come out of the radiator at the back, travel forward, and back up into the radiator. GM had to make a small spoiler that sat under the Firebird and Camaro (possibly others) radiators forming a small wall to stop that from happening. See if that helps. Mark L
Thanks for the tip ..... can't say I have ever noticed a belly pan as you called it..... I assume you mean it's a "spoiler-like" contraption that helps direct air towards the bottom of the radiator.

I have never had a car that had cooling issues before. Even my old '40 Chevy street gasser build back in the late 50's with stock radiator never had any problems. So all of this is a "learning experience" for me (who said you can't teach an OLD DOG new tricks.... ha - L O L!!!!)

I plan to do as many cooling & also updating improvements as I can to help make the engine run as cool as possible. Over the Winter I will also do the same for the transmission & especially the car's interior w/o adding A/C. It'll always be a race car at heart!

More updates later....
 

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What Mark is referring to isn't really a spoiler, it's just closing in with sheetmetal between the bumper area and the bottom of the radiator. That will stop hot air from being recirculated when you're idling. Also check the fit above between the radiator and the hood. Hot air rises, and it can be pulled back over the top when you're running slow or idling, so some sort of sheetmetal on the inside of the hood that closes off the possibility of air from above would also help.
 

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Right I forgot about above the radiator. But one of your possibly biggest problems is the tight engine compartment. If you have all of the original sidewalls in there yet it is probably a tight fit and hard for the air to flow out of the compartment. One thing you can try for an experiment is remove the hood and just see if it make any difference. If you coulod prop the rear of the hood up enough to let air out but retain the hood that would work also. Markus Couldbewrongious
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks for the tips..... I am going to do as "cooling tricks" as I can to get the car to run cooler. I'm sure replacing that 12" fan with a 16 incher will be a BIG help.

Yes I remember how guys used to "prop" the back of the hood to let head escape. It was a good old "hot rod trick" plus it looked "cool".

Nice 409....."she's sooooo fine"...... It's got the "RIGHT LOOK"!!!!

Check out the tow bar brackets. Another "old school cool" look that I see more & more hot rodders adding to their cars. The growth of interest in gassers and period correct drag cars is amazing.

A sign of this growth is straight axle kits from Speedway are STILL on back order. :)
 

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Nice to see another one...I too have an Opel Kadett wagon gasser car, more of a "tribute" car I guess...wish my stupid self could figure how to "insert picture here"..my car runs 6.80s in the 1/8th mile, 331 SBF on pump gas...
 
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