Ownership Verified: Meet Karl - 1974 Opel Rekord

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
11,711
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
S203 M271 and a ton of crap




The Finnish Connection has been secured!

I picked up a 1976 Rekord with the 1900 engine and four-on-the-floor Sportschaltung yesterday. It was not very expensive and it's also not pristine: the front wings are patchy as hell and the bodywork needs an all-around reassessment due to a few dents, scrapes and surface rust, but so far it feels like a solid buy. Apparently it hasn't seen winter use in ages, there's a good amount of underseal and proper rot seems to be limited to the front wings. We drove it home for 100km yesterday with no problems except a sore need for new wiper blades, which was sorted out immediately. The drivetrain is good, the gearbox and clutch work well and the interior has been partially well preserved.



The initial impressions were of a slightly dodgy runner, but it seems the drive home blew out some cobwebs. This morning the Rekord was easy to start and it runs well on the country roads here, no matter if it's damp or cold. The carb tune isn't all over the place. We will do some basic maintenance and fit studded winter tires, but it's now insured and registered and legal til August if needs must. An oil change is in the cards and getting some winter-proof coolant in the system sounds like a good idea.
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
14,028
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
So, good thing is that the rear end actually is the same between manual and automatic meaning we don't have to swap that!

On the other hand, for me it looks like the gearbox tunnel will have to be swapped since the shifter hole is further back for the auto. So out come the angle grinder and welder.

So, preliminary swap list:
  • Engine and Gearbox (obviously)
  • Pedals
  • Clutch cable and related mounts/assembly
  • Top of gearbox tunnel
  • Center console
Plus maybe:
  • Rear gearbox mount
  • prop shaft
Of course, while the engine is out it makes sense to open it and rebuild it.

Then, Kimi (as I have christened the Finnish Rekord) needs some work to be ready for inspection:
-De-Rust and rattlecan replacement fender
-De-Rust and rattlecan rear damage

(and that's hopefully it)

Oh wait, there's also Slushmeet maintenance to make Kimi ready for the drive home:
  • Install Lightbar (we will test fit with Karl)
  • Install points elimination kit (I got one here and it's a quick job)
  • Set valve clearances
  • Set timing
  • If I am getting ambitious, change broken bulbs in dash lightning.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,737
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
So, good thing is that the rear end actually is the same between manual and automatic meaning we don't have to swap that!

On the other hand, for me it looks like the gearbox tunnel will have to be swapped since the shifter hole is further back for the auto. So out come the angle grinder and welder.

So, preliminary swap list:
  • Engine and Gearbox (obviously)
  • Pedals
  • Clutch cable and related mounts/assembly
  • Top of gearbox tunnel
  • Center console
Plus maybe:
  • Rear gearbox mount
  • prop shaft
Of course, while the engine is out it makes sense to open it and rebuild it.

Then, Kimi (as I have christened the Finnish Rekord) needs some work to be ready for inspection:
-De-Rust and rattlecan replacement fender
-De-Rust and rattlecan rear damage

(and that's hopefully it)

Oh wait, there's also Slushmeet maintenance to make Kimi ready for the drive home:
  • Install Lightbar (we will test fit with Karl)
  • Install points elimination kit (I got one here and it's a quick job)
  • Set valve clearances
  • Set timing
  • If I am getting ambitious, change broken bulbs in dash lightning.
On this episode of roadkill! :D
 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
11,711
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
S203 M271 and a ton of crap
I would wager the trans tunnel would have pre-stamped holes for both manual and auto shifters, especially since the car was also available with column shift. But I could be wrong.
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
14,028
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
I would wager the trans tunnel would have pre-stamped holes for both manual and auto shifters, especially since the car was also available with column shift. But I could be wrong.
Once the carpet is gone, we'll see.
 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
11,711
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
S203 M271 and a ton of crap
Yeap. I'm not ripping anything apart for fear of damaging the precious, hard-to-get parts.
 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
11,711
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
S203 M271 and a ton of crap


The tires on the Finnish car are old and/or dry rotted, so I'm getting studded tires swapped on the original wheels. For the time being, I fit some GTI Teardrops on the Rekord as the bolt pattern, center hole and ET match. It looks kind of funky, doesn't it?



While doing the tire change, I checked out the jacking points and undercarriage. All four jacking points are solid and in good condition without bodges. The rear ends of the rockers also appear fine, with no permanent temporary fixes that I could see. The underbody probably has a couple of soft spots, but the frame rails seem solid and I didn't have second thoughts jacking up the car. As well as everything being undercoated, the front wheel housings have aftermarket, Finnish-made inner fenders to protect the bulkhead, and that seems to have limited rot to the fenders and the ends of the rockers. Only disassembly will tell, but so far, so good. Front windshield cowls are fine, as is the engine bay in general. Regarding the external appearance, there's minor bubbling here and there and the paint job is probably Earl of Scheiß quality.





I also took the time to do an oil change on it. Haven't changed oils on a car since I had the Sierra, but I figured this would be a good occasion to do it again. Everything opened nicely and while the old oil was certainly black, nothing worrisome came out of the engine in it.
 

public

Has been known to shou emousshiöns
DONOR
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
11,711
Location
Causticity
Car(s)
S203 M271 and a ton of crap
I'll also see about sorting out the lack of audio. Luckily I have a NOS German radio cassette deck still in its original orange packaging :D
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
14,028
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
I'll also see about sorting out the lack of audio. Luckily I have a NOS German radio cassette deck still in its original orange packaging :D
What goes around, comes around :D
 
Top