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EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/3/18 8:09 p.m.

My $2018 challenge build was delivered last night. I am aware that I only have 4 months to get this done(ish). Big thanks to oldopelguy for delivering it, especially with the vehicle troubles he had along the way. 

It is a 1967 Opel Kadett wagon, I already have another one just like this but this one leaves more room in the challenge budget. 

It has no drivetrain but did come with a motorcycle engine to put in here. 

It also came with a comically small steering wheel. 

Here is the engine, BMW K100 1 liter inline 4, on its side. Is that still considered a flat 4?

After some measuring there are some issues that are immediately apparent. 

1. It is long. Without hacking into the firewall/drivers footwell the front of the engine will be where the stock radiator was. There should still be room in front of it to put a radiator right up against the grille. There will have to be some hacking of the front sheetmetal. 

2. It is wide. With the driveshaft centered in the tunnel the valvecover will be right against the left shock tower. The tower may be able to be clearanced slightly or the driveshaft run slightly offset. I will have to drop the engine in to see what is possible. 

The brake master cylinder will also have to go, I will probably have to mount one under the dash. 

The exhaust will possibly have to be flipped around so it exits toward the front. 

3. The engine in the motorcycle was a stressed member so the engine mounts are all near the top. I will have to find out how to make new mounts toward the bottom or bring the mounts up to tie into the stock mounting points.  


Patrick MegaDork
6/3/18 8:50 p.m.

I have a new in box honda radiator that might work nice, that a $20 bill can buy if you’re up this way.  

Antihero GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/3/18 8:56 p.m.

I have nothing to add but OLIVER!!!!!!



Probably my favorite Top Gear challenge really

dropstep SuperDork
6/3/18 9:03 p.m.

In for wagon build. 

EastCoastMojo GRM+ Memberand Mod Squad
6/3/18 9:11 p.m.

I love these! Subscribed for updates. yes

eastsideTim UltraDork
6/4/18 6:16 a.m.

Great!   An 80’s Japanese van might be able to provide you with a brake pedal assembly for an underdash master cylinder.  It’s also possible the kei vans that are turning up have something similar.

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/4/18 6:43 a.m.
Patrick said:

I have a new in box honda radiator that might work nice, that a $20 bill can buy if you’re up this way.  

That is what I had planned on using, I should be up that way sometime before I need a radiator. 

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/4/18 6:44 a.m.
Antihero said:

I have nothing to add but OLIVER!!!!!!



Probably my favorite Top Gear challenge really

That is my favorite challenge as well. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/4/18 6:50 a.m.

This should be fun to watch.  Please take tons of pictures and give plenty of information about the problems and solutions you encounter. I like learning new trica from builds like these. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/4/18 6:54 a.m.

In reply to EvanB :

I am still sitting on some MIata NA rear end, axles and driveshafts that I bought from you when you moved out of Ashland. If they would help with the Opel project I am sure I could sell them back to you at a budget friendly price.  

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/4/18 6:56 a.m.

Awesome. My mom drove one of those for quite a few years. One of my early car memories was helping my dad rebuild the transmission in it. Good times. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/4/18 6:59 a.m.

Ive got a whole na rear suspension fitted with an nb 4.30 open diff for a real good price in nc too.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/4/18 9:52 a.m.

I'll be watching as well.  I used to have a '67 Kadette wagon myself, with the 1.1 liter engine.  It may have been the rustiest car on the planet but it always started and ran, and it got me through a particularly harsh Minnesota winter.

bigeyedfish New Reader
6/6/18 7:42 a.m.

Oh man.  This checks so many boxes for me.  Looking forward to following along. 

AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/6/18 8:49 a.m.

This is going to be good!

Aaron_King PowerDork
6/6/18 9:07 a.m.

I travel up to my Dad's house in Cleveland fairy often, I could pick up the rad from Patrick if that helps at all.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
6/6/18 9:09 a.m.

Given the way the engine mounts, and an assumption that the Kadett isn't the strongest thing in the world, could you make some sort of combo engine mount/shock tower/firewall/subframe brace to tie everything together and add some stiffness to the whole deal?  Bonus being that this may allow you to cut other structural stuff up front to fit the radiator.

oldopelguy UberDork
6/6/18 9:41 a.m.

There really isn't much to the "shock towers" in a Kadett B. The front suspension is a transverse leaf spring acting on the lower control arms and all four arms and the shocks all attach to the crossmember.  All the "shock towers" on the body do is stabilize the tops off the crossmember to keep it from rotating, primarily under braking.  The body to crossmember connection there is a rubber lined sleeve sitting over and around a knob on top of the suspension crossmember.

If you center the engine and angle the motorcycle driveshaft sideways over to where the front of the Opel driveshaft would fit how much tunnel would you have to cut or hammer out of the way? I'd probably start with fitting a hanger bearing to the front of the Opel driveshaft and mounted using the transmission crossmember mounting points and see where you are.

And coming up from the top of the 4 crossmember to frame bolts with something going over the top of the engine to mount it should be easy. Just run the bolts up from the bottom, tighten the nut on top, add mounting plates,  and double nut.  Weld in engine mounting crossmember over the top of the engine to those plates. Removal of engine and mount is 4 nuts.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/6/18 10:29 a.m.

You're going to be hacking metal anyway, why not put the engine in the back seat?

eastsideTim UltraDork
6/6/18 12:17 p.m.

Are you going to have a group build day anytime soon?  

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/6/18 12:19 p.m.

I am down for another Midwest wagon build weekend!

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/18 8:11 p.m.

Today we stripped down the engine and the engine bay of the Opel for a test fit. 

Looking good so far, drop it a bit more. 

Seems like we hit a snag. The transmission is so wide that it is hitting the firewall. 

After some measuring there is no way the engine was going to fit without locating the driver footwell inward about 5 inches. After looking at it there was about 5 inches of transmission casing that I could cut away after removing the driveshaft housing pivot thing. Pictures of that to follow. 

After removing some of the transmission case we dropped it in again. It is still hitting on the clutch arm (will be modified) and the exhaust (hits the steering shaft, will be modified). At that point it was 8pm and I have to work tomorrow so I called it a day. 


EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/18 8:13 p.m.


1. Move the driver side footwell back and relocate the pedals/extend steering shaft. This would allow the engine to sit further back but the steering shaft is still in the way, more so the further back the engine goes. 

2. Make it left hand drive. The hardest part of this would be sourcing a left hand drive steering rack. 

Edit: I just realized that I said left hand drive like it already is, I would need to convert it to right hand drive. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/6/18 8:36 p.m.

Why couldn't you just flip the rack? Add a u joint or two to account for any funky angles incurred. 

EvanB GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/18 7:42 a.m.
Aaron_King said:

I travel up to my Dad's house in Cleveland fairy often, I could pick up the rad from Patrick if that helps at all.

That may be helpful, let me know when you go next and I may have you grab it if I haven't made it up there yet. 


stuart in mn said:

You're going to be hacking metal anyway, why not put the engine in the back seat?

Unfortunately the engine/trans is too long, unless I put in IRS and bolted the output straight to the diff. 

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