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Thread: Opel Kadett (B) 1965-1973

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    Opel Kadett (B) 1965-1973

    Opel Kadett #1
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-21-2021 at 08:28 AM.

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    Opel Kadett #2
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    Kadett B
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    Opel Kadett #4
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    A B Coupe, An original B Rallye version, and A B 2-door sedan.
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-21-2021 at 08:29 AM.
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    Opel Kadett #6
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    The Opel Kadett B is a car that was launched by Opel at the Frankfurt Motor Show in late summer 1965. The Kadett B was larger all-round than the Kadett A: 5% longer both overall and in terms of the wheelbase, 7% wider and 9% heavier (unladen weight), albeit 10 mm (0.39 in) lower in basic standard "Limousine" (sedan/saloon) form. Production ended in July 1973, with the successor model introduced a month later following the summer shut-down, in August.

    Bodies: more choice
    Opel had built a reputation for providing stylish cars, and the simple well balanced proportions of the recently introduced Opel Rekord Series A had continued the tradition. The unapologetic slab-sided functionalism of the Kadett B disappointed some commentators. However, customers were not deterred, possibly because the simple car body enabled the car to provide an aggressively priced practical and modern car with far more interior space than the Volkswagen which hitherto had dominated the German small car market without serious challenge for more than a decade.

    The range of bodies was widened with the Kadett B. The entry level model, priced in September 1965 at 5,175 Marks, was the two-door "Limousine" (sedan/saloon). In addition, for the first time since 1940, it was again possible to buy a four-door Kadett "Limousine". In September 1967 a fast back "Limousine" model, designated as the "Kadett LS" and offered with two or four doors, joined the range.

    A three-door "Car-A-Van" (kombi/estate/station wagon) was offered from the 1965 launch, with a five-door "Car-A-Van" added to the range in 1967.

    Opel also offered a two-door Kadett coupé with reduced headroom for the passengers in the rear. The coupé body introduced in 1965 included a thick C-pillar with reduced side-windows between the C-pillar and the B-pillar. The thick C-pillar incorporated three prominent air extractor slots reminiscent of the gills on a fish, as a result of which this coupé acquired the soubriquet "Kiemencoupé" (gills coupé). A coupé body with larger side windows for the passengers in the back appeared in 1967 identified as the "Coupé F", initially only on the more lavishly equipped cars, but from 1971 all Kadett B coupés used the newer body. The newer Coupé, with an increased quantity of glass, was slightly heavier than the "gills-coupé" as well as being less aerodynamically efficient, leading to a small reduction in claimed top speed.

    Engines
    Smaller OHV engines
    At launch, and for the next two years till September 1967, all Kadett Bs were fitted with an OHV four-cylinder "over-square" water-cooled engine. The unit followed the architecture of the 993 cc engine first seen in the 1962 Kadett A, from which it was a development. Both engines featured a 61 mm (2.4 in) cylinder stroke, but for the engine in the Kadett B, generally referred to as a 1.1-litre or 1,100 cc unit, the bore was increased by 3 mm (0.12 in) to 75 mm (3.0 in), which made it even more over-square and resulted in a capacity increase to 1,078 cc. There were as before two levels of power: stated output for the standard engine was 45 PS (33 kW) at 5,000 rpm, while the "high-compression" engine, listed as the "1100 S" motor, produced 55 PS (40 kW) at 5,400 rpm. Both engine versions were fitted with a Solex 35 PDSI carburetor, but the higher compression ratio on the 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) unit necessitated the use of higher octane "super grade" fuel. There was also a "low-compression" 40 PS (29 kW) version of this engine used for certain export markets outside western Europe where available fuel came with a significantly lower octane rating than was normal for "regular" grade fuel in Germany.

    In September 1967, as part of a larger proliferation of engine and trim options, a more powerful version of the 1,078 cc engine became available, listed as the "1100 SR" motor, fitted with two Solex 35 PDSI carburetors and providing a maximum output of 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) at 5,200 rpm. The compression ratio was further raised, now to 9.2:1 and fitting the 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) unit raised the claimed top speed to 140 km/h (87 mph) as against 125 km/h (78 mph) and 135 km/h (84 mph) for the 45 PS (33 kW; 44 hp) and 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) powered Kadetts.

    However, the early 1970s saw increasing awareness of the dangers to health arising from lead being added to road fuel, and the oil companies responded to the resulting political and regulatory pressures by reducing both the levels of lead in fuel and the availability at filling stations of higher octane petrol/gasoline. High-compression versions of the Opel 1,078 cc engine were therefore withdrawn from August 1971, leaving just a 50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp) unit which used the 7.8:1 compression ratio that had been used in the base version back in 1965, delivering a reduced torque (presumably as art of a tradeoff against higher power output). Between August 1971 and July 1973 the niche hitherto occupied by the higher-compression 1,078 cc units was filled by a newly bored out 1,196 cc version of what was, in other respects, the engine much as before.

    By the time the Kadett B was replaced in 1973 there had been no fewer than six differently sized engines available for it from Opel: by far the most popular was the 1,078 cc motor that powered 89% (2.3 million of 2.6 million) of the Kadett Bs produced.

    1.2-litre (1971–1973)
    The 1.2-litre unit that, in the Kadett B, replaced in August 1971 the higher-compression versions of the 1.1-litre motor was listed as the "1200 S" motor. It retained the 61 mm (2.4 in) cylinder stroke of the original version of this engine, but the cylinder bore was further increased, giving an overall engine capacity of 1,196 cc and maximum output of 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) at 5,400 rpm.

    Only 95,000 Kadett Bs were fitted with the 1.2-litre engine which nevertheless went on to power successor Kadett and Corsa models until 1993. In the shorter term, in March 1972 this became the entry level power unit for base level versions of the recently introduced Opel Ascona and Manta models.

    1.0-litre (export only: 1972-1973)
    In 1972 and 1973 Opel produced 10,000 Kadett Bs powered by the 993 cc original version of the engine that ten years earlier had powered the Kadett A. Maximum output, as previously, was 40 PS (29 kW; 39 hp) or 48 PS (35 kW; 47 hp) according to the compression ratio selected. This engine was not fitted in cars destined for the domestic market, but was used for cars sold in export markets, primarily Italy, where annual car tax rates increased very considerably for cars fitted with engines of above 1.0 litre. Kadetts assembled in South Africa received a 997 cc Vauxhall engine and transmission.

    1.2-litre Vauxhall engine (South Africa)
    From circa 1966, General Motors South Africa built the Kadett B locally. However, to meet local parts content rules it was fitted with Vauxhall's 1159 cc inline-four as also seen in the Viva. This engine offered 56.2 bhp (42 kW; 57 PS) or 67 bhp (50 kW; 68 PS) in a high output version; the outputs are in Gross bhp. These local variants were also sold in South-West Africa (today's Namibia). From the second half of 1968, the four-door Car-A-Van model was added, alongside the updates to the rear suspension.

    Source: Wikipedia
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-22-2021 at 02:40 PM.

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    Larger Opel "CIH" engines
    1.7-litre (1967–1970)
    In 1967 Ford added a 1.7-litre version to their Ford 12M/15M range. Both the Kadett and the Ford by now took up more road space than a typical European 1.1-litre small family sedan, and in September 1967 Opel added a 1,698 cc engine to the Kadett's range of available power units. A suitable unit already existed, having been fitted in the Opel Rekord since 1965. The engine in question had been the manufacturer's second all-new engine design since the war, although much of its underlying philosophy came from General Motors developments in Detroit and from experience with the new engine developed for the Kadett A earlier in the 1960s. Opel's so-called Camshaft in Head (CIH) engine followed the trends of the time in replacing side-valves with an overhead valvegear configuration, which was no doubt facilitated by the over-square architecture of the cylinder block: the engine also carried its camshaft directly above the cylinders. However, instead of operating directly on the cylinder valves, the camshaft still operated the valves using rods and rocker arms because, unusually (except within general Motors) the camshaft itself was positioned too low above the cylinders to permit direct action from the camshaft on the valves. One reason for this may have been cosmetic. Opel's CIH engine configuration enabled a succession of Opels to feature the low bonnet/hood lines that style-conscious product development departments favoured. As on the smaller Kadett engines with their side-mounted camshafts, the "in head" camshaft on the Opel CIH engine was chain driven, a weight-saving option which reduced lumpiness and friction at higher engine speeds when compared with the gear-cogs which had been used to drive camshafts in the previous generation of Opel engines.

    The engine, known as the 1.7S or 1700S, was listed for the Kadett only for three years, between September 1967 and August 1970. The lower-compression 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) version fitted in many Rekords was not offered to Kadett buyers. In the Kadett B the engine provided a maximum output of 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) employing a relatively high 9.5:1 compression ratio. That translated, in manual transmission cars, into a top speed of 153 km/h (95 mph) or 155 km/h (96 mph) according to body type. Despite its being listed for three years, only 6,000 Kadetts with the 1,698 cc engine were produced, suggesting that the manufacturer preferred to fit engines of this size in their larger Rekord model (which between 1966 and 1971 took more than half a million of the 1,698 cc units), while persuading Kadett customers looking for more power to switch their preference to the (in most respects similar) 1,897 cc version of the CIH engine.

    1.9-litre (1967–1973)
    Also listed from 1967, and fitted in 143,000 Kadett Bs was the 1,897 cc version of the Camshaft in Head (CIH) engine. Again, only the high-compression version of the engine was listed for the Kadett, providing maximum output of 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 5,100 rpm, using a 9.5:1 compression ratio. After August 1971 the compression ratio was reduced to 9.0:1 due to the reduction in octane levels available at filling stations. In practice, though the engine was listed for the Kadett B until 1973, very few of the Kadetts produced in 1972 and 1973 were fitted with it as the focus of dealers' and customers' attention switched to the manufacturer's newer Ascona and Manta models.

    The 1.9-litre engine was fitted in the top of the range "Opel Rallye Kadett" as an alternative to the smaller high-compression 1.2-litre engine also offered for this sportingly attired variant, readily identifiable from the thick black side stripe and the black paint on the lid of the bonnet/hood.

    In Germany the "1900 S" engine was offered only in the coupé-bodied "Opel Rallye Kadett" although for certain export markets, notably the US, this engine was available in all body versions offered.

    Between April 1970 and the end of the Kadett B's model life a more highly tuned "HL" („Hochleistung“/"High powered") version of the 1.9-litre engine could be fitted to a Rallye Sprint version of the car, power further increased to 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp). "Hochleistung" cars could be purchased from Opel dealers and from at least one specialist engine tuning business, but they never appeared on Opel price lists in Germany where the cars were always rare. The 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp) powered Kadett B Rallye Sprint was less of a rarity in Sweden where a high proportion of the cars produced were sold.

    1.5-litre (export only: 1967-1970)
    The smallest of Opel's (CIH) engines never found its way into Kadetts for the domestic market, but the 1,492 cc unit was installed in 44,000 Kadett saloons/sedans and estates/station wagons destined for export between 1967 and 1970, primarily for Austria, Finland, Sweden and the USA (where it was only offered for the 1968 model year). The version fitted in the Kadetts was a 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp) high-compression unit.

    Source: Wikipedia

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    Running gear
    Transmission
    The car came with a four-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission as standard, gear selection being performed using a centrally positioned floor-mounted lever. From November 1968 on the larger-engined cars, and from February 1969 also on the smaller-engined Kadetts, it became possible to specify the alternative of a "GM Strasbourg" Turbo-Hydramatic 180 three-speed automatic transmission, available at the extra cost (initially) of 800 Marks.

    Brakes
    The Kadett B was the first Kadett to offer disc brakes on the front wheels. 238 mm (9.4 in) diameter disc brakes at the front came included as standard fittings on all but the cheapest versions, complemented by 200 mm (7.9 in) diameter drum brakes at the back. The brakes were controlled hydraulically. From February 1967 the single hydraulic braking circuit was replaced by a dual circuit braking system: this built in reserve of redundancy in the braking control system reflected a growing interest in primary and secondary safety which was becoming a feature of German auto-design in the 1960s. Whether as an option on the base model or as a standard feature across the rest of the range, where disc brakes were fitted Opel also included servo-assistance in the braking system from February 1967.

    Steering and suspension
    The Kadett B inherited its suspension from the Kadett A. Two years after launch, however, in August 1967, the simple longitudinally mounted leaf springs with a centrally connected rigid axle which till then had suspended the rear wheels were replaced with a more sophisticated set-up incorporating coil springs, trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Road holding was usefully improved. At the same time, reflecting growing preoccupation with secondary safety in the marketplace, the old steering wheel was replaced with a padded "Safety" steering wheel, now mounted on a telescopic steering column which was designed to collapse in the event of a serious collision.

    Source: Wikipedia

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    Versions and trim levels
    standard "Kadett", "Kadett L" and "Kadett LS

    The basic car was known simply as the Opel Kadett or the “standard” Opel Kadett, but for a few hundred Marks more customers could choose an Opel Kadett “L” with a less Spartan interior and a little more chrome on the outside, along with over-riders on the bumpers. When the fastback saloon was offered, between 1967 and 1970, it was identified as the Kadett “LS”.

    “Rallye Kadett”
    The “Rallye Kadett” was offered only with the coupé body, which it combined with the twin carburettor “SR” version of the 1.1-litre engine (between 1965 and 1971) or the high-compression 1.9-litre engine (between 1967 and 1973). The Rallye Kadett came with twin halogen driving lights and, on the inside, a black panel of rocker switches as part of the dash-board along with black synthetic leather seat coverings. It also came with matte black panels on the bonnet/hood (“to reduce reflection”) and black stripes along the side. Customers worried by the flamboyant look of all the black paint could order a Rallye Kadett without it, but very few Rallye Kadett buyers opted for the “understated” paintwork option.

    Limited edition "run-out" specials
    The Kadett B was in production for 8 years, which represented a longer production run than was achieved by any other Kadett before or subsequently. This freed up the manufacturer to focus new model development on the important Ascona and Manta models which appeared in 1970. The Kadett B's strong marketplace performance was helped by the lukewarm reception German buyers gave to the Ford Escort which in its original incarnation German buyers perceived as cramped, crude and uncomfortable. At the end of 1972, with rumours of a replacement appearing in the trade press, Opel nevertheless felt it necessary to prepare a series of special edition Opel Kadetts with a number of "options" included as standard features, but with little chance for customers to vary the specifications. By building large batches of identically equipped cars the manufacturer was able to provide attractively low prices to customers prepared to forego the chance to specify their Kadett "à la carte" from the colour, trim and options lists. Forty years on, some of the options listed have become standard on cars of this class, while others have fallen completely out of favour.

    The limited edition cars were built and sold for the 1973 model year, which was the Kadett B's run-out (or final) year, being:

    Kadett Sport (1973)
    Kadett Holiday (1973)
    Kadett Festival (1973)
    Kadett Grand Prix (1973)

    Source: Wikipedia

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    Mixed fortunes in the US
    The Kadett B was sold in the United States through a large number of selected Buick dealers from 1966 until Autumn 1972 (72 models were only imported by special order by the dealer), branded simply as the Opel in the 1970 and 71 model years. The U.S. models from the 1968 model year were given the front end and trim similar to the new Opel Olympia but with the turn signals put into the grille beside the headlights (as opposed to under them like the Olympia). From 1969 additional lighting changes were made to include side marker lights. The 1968 had side marker reflectors on the front fender and larger wrap-around tail lights that were unique to the US Market to meet new US regulations. The US cars also received sealed-beam headlights at the front, and the car took part in the Trans-Am Series during its commercial life. The Kadett Bs, like the predecessor Kadett A, were technically simple cars whose task was to compete with the market leader, the Volkswagen Beetle. The mainstay of the US Kadett at this time was the coupe-bodied fast back and station wagon/caravan. Sedans and specifically the four-door sedan were offered only sporadically. In the case of the four door it was only offered in the 1967 (all 1.1L with trim matching the European Opel Kadett of the time) and 1971 model years (all 1.9L and less than 700 were imported and sold).

    Roughly 430,000 Opel Kadett Bs were imported to the U.S.

    The United States car magazine Car and Driver published a highly critical test of an Opel Kadett L 1500 Caravan in February 1968, featuring photos of the car in a junkyard. Reportedly, GM withdrew ads from that magazine for several months as a consequence.

    Derivatives
    The two-seat Opel GT was heavily based on Kadett B components, its body made by a French contractor, Brissonneau & Lotz, at their Creil factory.

    Source: Wikipedia
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 11-23-2021 at 02:33 PM.

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