Another electrical problem
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Thread: Another electrical problem

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    Member OPELFIEND's Avatar
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    AngryAnother electrical problem

    Here's the scenario:

    72 GT, modified with 2.4 L FI engine with all the accoutrements. The one in the avatar. Typically, the ammeter reads well into the positive area when driving the car. I've owned this car for about a year with no problems at all. Never thought much about the ammeter reading into the positive area, as this motor I'm sure was done correctly by OGTS. Gil himself told me he has driven the car. Also, when it comes to electrical issues, I'm pretty much lost. The car has always fired up instantly.

    Anyway, I'm driving down the road, look down and notice the ammeter is reading into the negative side with the idiot light dimly lit. I was a fair distance from home, and at dusk of course, but managed to make it. Of course during the trip all the lights were going dimmer and dimmer.

    Would this be a bad ground, a short, or a voltage regulator problem? It gave no warning and happened without the lights, blower, wipers or anything on at the time. Is this the way these things typically happen? Is there a way I could easily diagnose the problem given my limited capabilities? Help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by tekenaar; 01-01-2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: acruetrements

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    Southern Red Neck My location BQS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPELFIEND View Post
    Here's the scenario:

    72 GT, modified with 2.4 L FI engine with all the acruetrements. The one in the avatar. Typically, the ammeter reads well into the positive area when driving the car. I've owned this car for about a year with no problems at all. Never thought much about the ammeter reading into the positive area, as this motor I'm sure was done correctly by OGTS. Gil himself told me he has driven the car. Also, when it comes to electrical issues, I'm pretty much lost. The car has always fired up instantly.

    Anyway, I'm driving down the road, look down and notice the ammeter is reading into the negative side with the idiot light dimly lit. I was a fair distance from home, and at dusk of course, but managed to make it. Of course during the trip all the lights were going dimmer and dimmer.

    Would this be a bad ground, a short, or a voltage regulator problem? It gave no warning and happened without the lights, blower, wipers or anything on at the time. Is this the way these things typically happen? Is there a way I could easily diagnose the problem given my limited capabilities? Help would be appreciated.
    I think your alt may have failed, or possibly the wiring to/from the alt. The reason your lights were getting dimmer as you drove is, you were running off the battery which is not what the car is supposed to do. It runs off the alt when the car starts, the alt charges the battery for the power used to start the car, then switches to running the car. That's where I'd concentrate.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    No....its not a Buick.... My location yellaopelgt's Avatar
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    How old is the battery???Could be as simple as that.Since you've owned the car for only a year there is no telling how old the battery could be.(unless you yourself put a new one in) Next I would clean up all the grounds and battery cables, could be a connection issue as well. Start with the simple things first and work your way up. The alt could be pulled and tested if the other solutions failed. (battery could be tested as well) I'm not familar with the 2.4 so not sure if the voltage regulator is internal on the alt,but that would be my next step....
    HTH
    Joe
    What ...we got here...is........failure......................... to communicate....
    Some men,you just cant reach...so you get what we had here last week...which is the way he wants it.
    Well, he gets it...I dont like it, any more than you men...


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    5,000 Post Club My location namba209 (R.I.P.)'s Avatar
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    Unless Gil or Dennis changed the alternator for a GM one-wire it should be a stock alternator. Best bet is to charge up the battery and drive the car to your nearest auto parts store. Most of them have the capability to check the battery and charging system. They could tell you if the battery is going bad or the charging system is failing. If it's the charging system, (regulator or alternator), I'd change the regulator first, it's cheaper than an alternator, and there are the newer solid-state ones available. If you have to replace the alternator, I'd go with a swap for a GM one-wire alternator. It has more charging capacity than the stock one. You can search the threads here on how to change it out. Of course I'd be for checking all the grounds and power leads, plus the connections first as was stated previously. Oh yeah, check the fluid level in your battery too. If it's low, use only distilled water to bring the cells up to the correct level. HTH.
    Ron
    72 GT 3.4L V-6/T-5/ZF posi - almost done - Just need AC installed.
    75 Chevy monza 5.7L/TH350/Auburn 3.08 posi - Next

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    101st Airborne 1/327 Inf Site Supporter My location MICAH1's Avatar
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    Autozone Testing

    Not sure about your neck of the wood, but the Autozones will test your battery, and alternator for free. Good way to start without killing the wallet!!! Do it!!!!!
    Thomas

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    Old Opeler My location GTJIM's Avatar
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    Easy First ...

    Start with the easy things first - it could be as simple as a loose fan belt.
    GTJim
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    Copyright © 2000-2009
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    Thanks for all the input gentleman. You guys are the best. This narrows it down for me. I tend to be a pramatic optimist: hope for the best but expect the worst.

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    alt test

    Simple Alt. test with any steel object( screwdriver wrench,etc.) Right after you start up and the alt. should be retopping the Batt. Put a steel wrench or screwdriver at the back of the alt. When the fields are energized( Alt charging) the steel will be attracted to the alt case by the magnetic field. If the alt. doesn't have field (no attraction) right after starting, no charging is happening.

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    be careful

    Quote Originally Posted by OPELFIEND View Post
    Here's the scenario:

    72 GT, modified with 2.4 L FI engine with all the acruetrements. The one in the avatar. Typically, the ammeter reads well into the positive area when driving the car. I've owned this car for about a year with no problems at all. Never thought much about the ammeter reading into the positive area, as this motor I'm sure was done correctly by OGTS. Gil himself told me he has driven the car. Also, when it comes to electrical issues, I'm pretty much lost. The car has always fired up instantly.

    Anyway, I'm driving down the road, look down and notice the ammeter is reading into the negative side with the idiot light dimly lit. I was a fair distance from home, and at dusk of course, but managed to make it. Of course during the trip all the lights were going dimmer and dimmer.

    Would this be a bad ground, a short, or a voltage regulator problem? It gave no warning and happened without the lights, blower, wipers or anything on at the time. Is this the way these things typically happen? Is there a way I could easily diagnose the problem given my limited capabilities? Help would be appreciated.

    i just joined and wanted to post a note specifically to let you knwo that opel apparently has some electrical problems, my friend in Hungary has an Opel, had it serviced one week prior to almost losing his life in an accident caused by an electrical problem, and the car could not be controlled by the driver. he has been hospitalized for a month now. here is a pic . http://ideafrag.hu/pcar.jpg

    please be careful.
    Last edited by tekenaar; 01-01-2008 at 01:30 PM.

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    Non Civilian My location opelwasp's Avatar
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    Good thing we drive 30+ year old Opels and not new ones with loads of electronics in them.
    Arguing online is the same as racing in the Special Olympics;
    no matter who wins, you're both still retarded.

    1971 GT (Opelwasp)
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    1973 GT (junker)
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