Shauns 3.0L 24v

I collected this car for Shaun from near Warrington and transported it up to him in Barnard Castle.

It was bought from E-Bay as a bare rolling shell after the 24v 6 cylinder engine had been removed to be fitted to another Manta.

A previous owner had fitted the engine conversion along with a BMW dashboard and a pair of bucket seats. The car had then been used for trackdays.
Shauns plans were to get another 24v engine for the car, replace the standard manta dashboard and interior before adding a 400 bodykit.


Well a couple of months after moving the shell i'll be moving it again.

Shaun has collected some of the parts he needs including a very good 24v engine.

His original plan had been to do most of the work himself. But after looking at the size of the job and his rented single garage. Plan B was decided upon.

So the shell will be heading to mine, firstly for a little welding to the chassis rail and jacking point.

Then for the engine to be fitted along with a full manta loom and dashboard (now the bmw one has been removed) an alarm with central locking and a couple of other little jobs.

Then its going back to Shaun to be finished off.

With the shell in my garage i started with a good look around the normal trouble areas. Mostly it was solid.

But there was a lot of fresh looking underseal around the NS chassis rail and jacking point. After a bit of poking and prodding the chassis rail was deemed rotten inside.

So next job was to drop the axles out and mount it on my spit for decent access

Then remove the doors and all the glass so i could rotate it easily.

With it on its side the poking and prodding could be replaced with the wire brush on the angle grinder.

This soon revealed the thickness of the underseal that had been used to cover a very poor attempt at a repair. Upto 8mm thick in places.......

The NS jacking point only had a little rust hole in the front otherwise it was solid.

Shame it was only held onto the floor and rail by 3 tack welds!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The chassis rail needs replacing from the crossmember top mount hole all the way back to the seat mount area.

The floor above needs replacing from above the jacking point forwards up the bulkhead to the bottom of the battery tray.

With most of the floor cut out and the outer chassis rail removed the inner strengthening can be replaced.

Then the new outer skin can be refitted to replace the strength to the area.

With the chassis rail fully re-built the rear floor can be replaced with fresh steel.

Rest of the NS floor removed up to battery tray.

It wasn't all rotten but there were several badly applied patches. So rather than fix each one the whole area was removed.

While i waited for more steel supplies i started on the drivers side of the car.

Previous floor patch removed, which was made easier when i found the floor wasn't actually welded to the jacking point, just stuck on with seam sealer

Outer chassis rail was only just starting to bubble and break through. But once removed it showed that the middle reinforcer had rotted away to dust and taken the upper inner part with it

With the new metal delivered the NS floor was re-built. Had to do the front section in 3 pieces because of the shape.

Just needs the jacking point replaceing and some tidying of the weld before treating the surface and then undersealing it all.

With the car on its other side i thought i'd pop the crappy old patch of the rear of the sill to see how bad it was.

Didn't take long to remove as there were only about 20 tack welds holding it on!

I do wish people would actually cut the rot out rather than patching over it. Oh and put some cavity wax protection in there after the welding.

While i was trying to remove underseal around the lower A panel. I discovered that the whole panel had been coated with the same rubbery underseal used to hide the badly applied patches.

So out came the blow torch and scraper.

Result, rust all the way up the seam between floor and a-panel. Aswell as rust up the front of the a-pillar which covers the strengthening plate for the hinges.

Not good as there is very little keeping everything in line. Good job i hadn't removed the jacking point and that the chassis rail was still ok where it attaches.

So a bit more work required to rebuild it all.

Took quite a while to rebuild the A-post. Had to cut out quite a lot of the outer cover to clean out all the rot. Then rebuild with heavy gauge steel to replace the strength. Before rebuilding the outer cover.

But with that done the floor could be replaced on the drivers side. Which completes the welding at the front end of the car.

Next up is a load of grinding to neaten things up before it all gets treated with Bilt-Hambers finest products.

Shaun brought his 400 arches down and we marked where the original arches needed cutting back to.

Before cutting the arch back i first repaired the sill. The patch to the rear wasn't welded to the floor, just stuck down and covering the old rusty panel.

It had rusted the original panel badly so it all got cut out and a new piece welded in.
Inner brace rebuilt and plug welded to outer sill all the way along.
Outer sill welded in place and trimmed at rear to follow new arch.

Inner and outer arch cut out.

Then 2 new pieces used to join the inner and outer arches together again.

I left a seam on the outer to give it more strength in this area, should be plenty of clearance for big wheels now.

So next i started chopping out the previous repair on the NS sill.

Sliced along the outer sill just above the previous weld and down the front, started cutting along the inner/outer join when i noticed it all moved!

So stopped cutting and gave it a wiggle.........

Oh look its all fallen off in one piece

Just when i think i've seen all the crappy repairs something new pops up.

The rear section was only welded to the outer sill, then just stuck down everywhere else.

The outer sill was welded over the old rotten sill and no treatment of any sort to prevent further rust.

Not sure who repaired this before but he shouldn't be working on cars doing that sort of stuff.

There's more rust in this sill than the other side, might have to go buy some more sheet metal.

Took a fair while to drill out the spotwelds and remove the rusty inner sill completely.

But its ready now to be rebuilt


NS rear inner and middle sills replaced, then new outer sill welded on.

The jacking point could then be refitted into place and welded onto the inner sill

Then the wheel Arch was cut out and plated ready for the 400 arches and some large tyres.

Whilst wire-brushing the floor to bare metal a little more rust was spotted!

The OS rear spring seat had rot spreading from underneath it.

So the seat was removed, then rot chopped out and rebuilt with new steel.

Wire brushing of the floor before everything gets treated with Bilt Hambers best.

Then a couple of layers of Zinc primer followed by 2 thick layers of stonechip

Looks better than when it left the factory.


The donor car was sourced as a good runner just for the engine and gearbox.

There was quite a lot to remove before the engine and box could be dropped out.

First trial at fitting the engine into the manta just to see how much room there was.

This showed that the gear lever was in the wrong place (we're using the carlton box) and that the carlton engine mount brackets were too big.

New engine mounting extensions were welded onto the manta crossmember after lots of measuring to position them correctly.

Standard manta rubber mounts were used at first but sat the engine too high and wouldn't let the bonnet fit.

So lower rubber mounts were sourced.

Then there followed several fittings (about 8) with minor adjustments each time to get the best height which allowed the bonnet to clear but also the most room for the sump.

Not that there is a lot of room for the sump to be squeezed in above the rack and crossmember.

Then it was sump chopping time.

I very carefully measured up and marked the sump before chopping out the section to clear the subframe and steering rack.

Next up is to get the new section welded in.

Sump all welded up with the cutout to clear the steering rack.

We trimmed almost 2" from the bottom to improve ground clearance.

To regain the capicity we lost from trimming the bottom we added a wing to the side.

A custom propshaft was needed with a slip joint to allow for the rear axle movement.

Rear disc brake converson consisting of Sierra calipers and escort discs with braided brake pipes
Had to fabricate an adaptor bracket to mount the alternator using a Manta GT/e bracket and alternator with the carlton polly-v pulley.
Sierra radiator mounted between the front chassis rails, with cosworth twin rad fans behind. Controlled by a thermo switch in an alloy pipe joiner
Engine bay getting full now with the last few additions of expansion tank, air flow meer,

The original sunroof had already been replaced with a glass one.

But we removed it and welded in some steel

Followed by a skim of filler to get the double curve back.

Other jobs included converting to a Hydraulic clutch system for the carlton gearbox, Alarm system with central locking, Cosworth 284mm front discs with calibra V6 calipers, new brake pipes, uprated front springs and dampers, copper fuel pipes run through car.

I've now finished all my jobs and the car has returned to Shaun for the 400 kit to be fitted and the car to be painted.

Hopefully it will be ready for the road later this year.


Once the 400 kit was fitted the car did make a brief return to me for some extra little bits.

I fabricated steel protection sheeting for under the arches and sideskirts before filling them with foam to give them some strength.

Well its all painted and stickered up now and does look really good. But the back end is sat too high.
There thats better, a quick adjust of the rear springs and we're looking much better.
Next up is to fit electric power steering and sort out a few remaining niggles. Then get it MOT'd