Manta Montage T First Build

I picked up a Montage T about 4 months ago solely to flip for a quick buck. I brought it home and my wife absolutely despised it. I didn't plan on it being around long so she didn't hassle me much about it. That was until I turned down a reasonably fair offer from a local discovery channel show host here in Vegas. I feel I had good reason to turn it down but that's another story. Nevertheless my wife was pretty quick to point out my "mistake". Fortunately for me she has more faith in me than I do, so when I told her I was going to restore the car she semi-reluctantly agreed to let me do my thing.

I started fooling around with classic cars when the bottom fell out of the construction industry here in Vegas about 3 years ago. Before the cars I was a commercial superintendent and I quite enjoyed what I did. I have since put together a few projects that were only partially complete. A 55 olds, 69 vette, 68 firebird, and a few other misc. cars. Mind you none of these cars were fully restored by myself except the 68 firebird which is still a work in progress.

This manta will most likely be the first full build I will complete so needless to say my mechanical knowledge (automotive not HVAC) is most likely not on par with the rest of the builders on this site. Therefore any input, recommendations, or general thoughts/ideas are welcome as well as appreciated.

I will get some pics up. The car is completely disassembled, body work was completed and the paint is fresh. The tubed chassis still needs to be modified to accept the new zf transaxle along with the 383 stroker. Originally the car had a 914 5 speed mated to a 229 chevy v6. I have not yet purchased the 383 but I do have the zf. I can only complete the work as I have the spare funds to do so. Right now I have a 68 convertible vette that I need to offload in order to get the funds needed to complete the build.

This should sum up my knowledge along with the build thus far. BTW, since the new paint and body work was completed, my wife completely adores the car and she herself said it is going to be difficult to let it go.
 

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Hi Eric, welcome to the forum. The guys you will find here have a vast wealth of knowledge and are very happy to share the expertice with builders such as yourself. I'm sure after a while the knowledge gained will start to flow both ways. The Montage is a fantastic base to start with and comes from a very proud heritage, sounds like you have the right ideas with the drive train and I look forward to watching the progress. BTW, your wife hating the car is normal, they just don't like the competition. Cheers Leon.
 
Eric, nice project . Will look forward to further postings. You have with you many experts on this site who never cease to amaze. Fear nothing as this group can get you through anything. Good luck....as for the wife, thats a machine no one has blue-prints for!! :)
 
Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. I will do my best to keep the thread going. There was a v-dub option for the car but I believe that is what separates the montage from the montage "T". And yes very big booth. It was shot by a good friend of mine at his place of employment right before he retired. 4 coats primer, 2 coats sealer, 2 coats base, 4 coats clear All done in PPG. It still needs to be cut and buffed but looks very nice as is. Also the acrylic lenses I fabricated were smoked but need to be redone as they are far too dark. I could easily weld behind them. I will most likely smoke the rear lights as well. That decision has yet to be made.

Here is a question. Anyone know where I can get the bell housing to mate the ZF to the SBC? I also need to know if the ZF requires any specific clutch assembly or crank because of the nipple on the end of the spline? Here is a link to the 6 spd ZF dimensions.
http://www.rbttrans.com/graphics/6_speed_installation_new.pdf

Furthermore I would love to install a/c in the car but vintage air seems ridiculously overpriced and there is not much room to work with in the front of this car. If anyone has a link to any AC installations for the gt40 or similar mid engine application I would love to check it out.
 
Don't listen to Him Eric, he's trying to draw you to the dark side. Bruce would turn in his grave. All jokes aside, there is nothing wrong with the Blue Oval but the Montage is essentialy a M6BGT and deserves to have the correct engine. Try putting a Chevy in a GT40 and watch the backlash. Cheers Leon.
 
You are quite right, in fact if McLaren Racing had asked for double the money when Ford looked at them for Can-Am then they would have been Ford powered. But they (Ford) didn't think McLaren could mount a serious challenge for the money they wanted, OH how wrong were they!! as a resault a Ford engined car only ever one 1 Can-am race, Dan Gurney at Bridgehampton in 67 in a T70 Lola. Cheers Leon.
 
Eric,

It looks as though you have gained your knowledge from the same sources I have... "McLaren believed they could keep the price down by using a production 7 litre Ford engine."

I think Bruce MaLaren knew a little about the strength and reliability of the 427.

If you are using a ZF, I should think mating a ford motor will be much less involved as well.

Yes, I may be biased toward Ford power however, during July at Road America I saw a lot of the old Can-Am cars in action and they did run well.

Mark
 
Well right now the motor mounts are set up for chevy as far as I am aware and I dont know the bolt pattern, or engine dimensions. As far as mating it to the zf why do you say it would be easier? I dont even know where to begin that process.
 
I think what Mark is meaning is the ZF was used a lot more behind ford V8s so the adapters would be easier to find. If you look at the original M6BGT it used a ZF, you may need to adapt a stock bell housing The clutch will be no problem as any good shop will be able to build a plate with what ever spline is on the trans. I would start with the clutch set up and then move back, find a BH and check spigot shaft lenght.
If you go the Ford way then any of the GT40 guys can set you up. Enjoy the journey. Cheers Leon.
 

Brian Kissel

Lifetime Supporter
When I get back home, I can take a picture of the ZF to small block Chevy and post it. I should be home in a couple of days.

Regards Brian
 
Thanks Leon, any help is greatly appreciated. Excuse my lack of knowledge but I don't know what a BH is. This has already shaped up to be quite a journey, after 3 weeks of searching I believe I found some poly bushings for my a-arms. I had a tech from both prothane and energy suspension trying to locate it but no luck. I finally matched the original with one I found at pep boys of all places. Bruce over at suspension restoration found the application the bushing was used on, the manufacturer who supplied the poly bushing and he was also able to give me a history on that specific bushing and how it came to be. It is used on an 84-87 Fiero lower rear arm. For anyone else out there wanting the info here it is as it was very difficult to obtain.

BTW Leon, I do recall the most expensive montage I ever saw for sale was advertised in New Zealand . This link says its sold

1985 MANTA MONTAGE - JUST Cars

Here is another

1985 MANTA MONTAGE Coupe Private Cars For Sale in NSW - carsales.com.au

Am I the only one who thinks this is completely absurd?
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
Thanks Leon, any help is greatly appreciated. Excuse my lack of knowledge but I don't know what a BH is.
BH would be short for the Bellhousing...the "bell-shaped" part that goes between the engine and transaxle and holds the clutch mechanism. At times it can also be machined as an adaptor to replace the factory bellhousing, or at other times the factory bellhousing can be left as factory stock and an adaptor "plate" used to join the bellhousing to the engine.

This has already shaped up to be quite a journey, after 3 weeks of searching I believe I found some poly bushings for my a-arms. I had a tech from both prothane and energy suspension trying to locate it but no luck. I finally matched the original with one I found at pep boys of all places. Bruce over at suspension restoration found the application the bushing was used on...
I had a similar experience, difficulty finding poly-urethane bushings for the adjustable parallel 4-bar suspension on the rear of my Cobra. I had given up and had arranged for an expensive "custom machine" operation to produce what I needed, and then I found Suspension dot com:

Suspension Restoration Parts Co.

I notice they also call themselves "Suspension Restoration", so you may have already located them, and they do stock primarily Energy Suspension parts, IIRC....but they also have a "custom machine" service (you must provide the dimensions), here's a link:

Suspension Restoration Parts Co. polyurethane special order bushing page

...and, they also have a chart where you can search their inventory by specific dimensions (this is where I finally found the poly bushings I needed):

Suspension Restoration Parts Co. - 4 - Bar bushings,Fabricators page

This is a huge issue among the component car genre'---sometimes the package manufacturers provide the application information for suspension bushings, sometimes not, but you can almost count on having difficulty sourcing the right part if you buy an already built project without the factory documentation...speed shops must have an "application", as you found out the hard way (I can't count the number of speed shops I tried, all the way from the compact rice burners/tuner cars to Big Ol' Bad Ass 4-wheel drive pickup trucks).

Glad to see you're progressing.....the Montage was always my favorite of the two (the Manta not so much for some reason, I think I just liked the lines of the Montage better!).

Cheers!

Doug
 
BH would be short for the Bellhousing...the "bell-shaped" part that goes between the engine and transaxle and holds the clutch mechanism. At times it can also be machined as an adaptor to replace the factory bellhousing, or at other times the factory bellhousing can be left as factory stock and an adaptor "plate" used to join the bellhousing to the engine.



I had a similar experience, difficulty finding poly-urethane bushings for the adjustable parallel 4-bar suspension on the rear of my Cobra. I had given up and had arranged for an expensive "custom machine" operation to produce what I needed, and then I found Suspension dot com:

Suspension Restoration Parts Co.

I notice they also call themselves "Suspension Restoration", so you may have already located them, and they do stock primarily Energy Suspension parts, IIRC....but they also have a "custom machine" service (you must provide the dimensions), here's a link:

Suspension Restoration Parts Co. polyurethane special order bushing page

...and, they also have a chart where you can search their inventory by specific dimensions (this is where I finally found the poly bushings I needed):

Suspension Restoration Parts Co. - 4 - Bar bushings,Fabricators page

This is a huge issue among the component car genre'---sometimes the package manufacturers provide the application information for suspension bushings, sometimes not, but you can almost count on having difficulty sourcing the right part if you buy an already built project without the factory documentation...speed shops must have an "application", as you found out the hard way (I can't count the number of speed shops I tried, all the way from the compact rice burners/tuner cars to Big Ol' Bad Ass 4-wheel drive pickup trucks).

Glad to see you're progressing.....the Montage was always my favorite of the two (the Manta not so much for some reason, I think I just liked the lines of the Montage better!).

Cheers!

Doug
Thanks a bunch Doug. I am familiar with a bell housing the acronym just didn't click. I am hoping to use an adapter plate rather than bell housing if at all possible due to the lack of space in my engine bay.

Suspension Restoration is exactly who helped me out. I like you checked every local race shop, 4x4 parts shop, sandrail/buggy shop and all the local hot rod shops.

Suspension restoration was the only help.

I also much prefer the montage over the mirage. To me it is much more sleek than the latter.
 
Those prices are a lot more than optimistic. I think eBay will give you a better gauge on what you can expect for resale.

You may want to join this site.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Mantacars/messages


Thanks Leon, any help is greatly appreciated. Excuse my lack of knowledge but I don't know what a BH is. This has already shaped up to be quite a journey, after 3 weeks of searching I believe I found some poly bushings for my a-arms. I had a tech from both prothane and energy suspension trying to locate it but no luck. I finally matched the original with one I found at pep boys of all places. Bruce over at suspension restoration found the application the bushing was used on, the manufacturer who supplied the poly bushing and he was also able to give me a history on that specific bushing and how it came to be. It is used on an 84-87 Fiero lower rear arm. For anyone else out there wanting the info here it is as it was very difficult to obtain.

BTW Leon, I do recall the most expensive montage I ever saw for sale was advertised in New Zealand . This link says its sold

1985 MANTA MONTAGE - JUST Cars

Here is another

1985 MANTA MONTAGE Coupe Private Cars For Sale in NSW - carsales.com.au

Am I the only one who thinks this is completely absurd?
 
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