Reverse Light Delay
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Thread: Reverse Light Delay

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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Reverse Light Delay

    Okay I have searched all the related threads pertaining to the reverse light and could not find an answer to my issue. So I'am starting a new thread asking for help. After getting my 1971 Opel GT over four years ago, I'am just now completing the restoration of the reverse light. The PO had removed the wires from the switch at the transmission, which was leaking and bent (I assumed because the fuse kept blowing). I replaced the switch when I first got the car to stop the leak, but never finished the hookup of the wires until now. I completed the wire cleanup and hookup from the switch to the rear light assembly. Using my voltmeter, verified current to bulb.

    Now comes the issue:

    When I engage the gearshift in reverse, there is a 5 second delay before the light activates. I know you may be asking why do I care if there is a delay, just be happy the light works Just curiosity more than anything. Maybe the switch is suppose to have a short delay before the light activates. My curiosity is what other Opeler's know and experienced.

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    Opeler Yellow73GT's Avatar
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    I was never standing behind my Opel when it was put in gear. I was always in the drivers seat. Have NO idea if it delayed, or if they ever came on to be honest. Didn't care. Sorry, no help mate.
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    Your Noble Friend ;-) G.v.Mainberg's Avatar
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    There should not be a delay. The mechanism inside the gearbox, or the switch itself, might be a little stuck and need a little vibration and a few seconds of time to get activated.

    Dieter

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    Member guyopel's Avatar
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    Contacts in the switch would be the area to look at, it may get better with use. Check the ground wire at the backup bulbs, as a poor or weak ground can cause a problem or delay also clean bulb sockets.
    HTH
    John
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Not a bad question at all Dan I'm having an issue with mine as well I repaired some bad wiring while I had the fuel tank out and realized I had no ground going to the light, found a stray ground back there not hooked to anything so I assumed it was for the reverse light. I hooked it up but still no light. I will address it though when I pull the trans for leak repairs as the switch is covered in fluid. I think I would have to second guyopel a delay sure seems like some sort of bad contact. I think I would start at the switch and see if the delay is present here first,(would seem unlikely since it's new but sh$$ happens) if not then you know you need to look back to the light or ground I had the same issue with one of the running lights and found the bulb was loose in the socket . I may address mine as well sooner if I'm at a stopping point with the front end and let you know
    Last edited by tekenaar; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:39 PM.
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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who gave input I was pretty sure there wasn't suppose to be a delay and more than likely its the contacts in the switch, even though its a new one from OGTS. Also, as we all know the ground on those cars are notorious for issues. I'm confident I have addressed any ground issues. Fortunately it does work, just a short delay. Maybe as it gets used more it will respond more appropriately.

    I tested it several times and each time it was the same consistent time delay of 5 seconds. I would think that would be more of a switch problem than a ground problem. My experience with a ground issue, is it either will work or if you wiggle the connection or move the car, shut a door, etc. you get a contact.

    Anywho, I was just curious if anyone else has had that issue or if Opel did make a delay
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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrylewisac View Post
    Not a bad question at all Dan I'm having an issue with mine as well I repaired some bad wiring while I had the fuel tank out and realized I had no ground going to the light, found a stray ground back there not hooked to anything so I assumed it was for the reverse light. I hooked it up but still no light. I will address it though when I pull the trans for leak repairs as the switch is covered in fluid. I think I would have to second guyopel a delay sure seams like some sort of bad contact. I think I would start at the switch and see if the delay is present here first,(would seem unlikely since it's new but sh$$ happens) if not then you know you need to look back to the light or ground I had the same issue with one of the running lights and found the bulb was loose in the socket . I may address mine as well sooner if I'm at a stopping point with the front end and let you know
    When I rewired my Gt, I had had such a problem with grounds, I ran a dedicated ground from the ground wire, down the passengers side, and put a ground to the rear lights, and stopped. So long and short, everything goes to a dedicated, soldered ground. The main grounding wire is a 12 gauge wire. Remember, this car is 49 years old, a 1972.
    Take care, Jarrell
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    Assuming it's an incandescent light, it could be drawing current right away but, if the current is low, it will take some time to warm up to full brightness. It's probably just a grounding and connection issue. If you clean all the connections and grounds it may start working as expected. Doesn't hurt to put a little dialectric grease on those connectors to keep oxidation away.
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    1000 Post Club jlthunder's Avatar
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    If it is the "newer" style switch, which screws directly into the transmission, pull the wires off of the switch and connect them together. If the light comes on immediately(ignition on), then the problem is in the switch. If it is still slow, then you have a wiring problem.
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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeff didn't think about that. I will try it and respond with the results.
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    Member OrangPeEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlthunder View Post
    If it is the "newer" style switch, which screws directly into the transmission, pull the wires off of the switch and connect them together. If the light comes on immediately(ignition on), then the problem is in the switch. If it is still slow, then you have a wiring problem.
    ...wiring problem...or just integrity issue with the reverse bulb and socket itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangPeEL View Post
    ...wiring problem...or just integrity issue with the reverse bulb and socket itself.
    Totally agree. A bad connection is a bad connection. There’s nothing different about the negative connection than the positive connections.
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    1000 Post Club tealcarver's Avatar
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    I don't really think it is all the things that others have brought up. I believe your GT has gremlins. They do all the things mentioned, but they are still around after you "fix" the problem. Contact a good exorcist, and get rid of the gremlins. Oh, wait Halloween is over........nevermind.

    Bob
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    Opeler runs5k's Avatar
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    I have a 1970 GT and one of the first things I tackle was the back up light. The back up switch on the 1970 is located on the exterior of the shifting arms side of the transmission and is activated by the shifter. The switch was pretty dirty so I cleaned it up. It seemed to be working but still no backup light so I checked the input wire for power and it was good. I then jumped the switch and joined the the two wires...still no backup light. The next step was to dismantle the backup light. It had only the power wire so I deduced that the body of the back up light and the screws that held it in place would complete the ground. After cleaning up the bulb socket and buffing the attachment screws on a the grinder wire brush I reassembled everything. Low and behold I had a backup. In other words check the ground.
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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    So I did what Jeff suggested and remove the two wires at the switch of which my switch is a screw into the transmission style and directly connect the two wires. The reverse light activated instantly. I reconnected the wires to the switch and retested only to have a five second delay. The problem must be in the switch itself. The switch is brand new from OGTS, however, just because a part is new doesn't mean it will be defective.

    You are all correct about the ground issue. I thoroughly cleaned all the wire connections to include grounds. The reverse light only has a power wire and the ground is the screws that hold the light housing to the body. I did find the screw holes had paint around the holes, so I removed the paint so the screws touched bare metal. I thoroughly cleaned the light socket as well. When the light is activated, it is very bright and no flickering thus good contact.

    One thing I did change and that was the wire connections to the switch. I replaced with protective wire connections in order to help prevent and/or reduce dirt and grime from collecting on the connections. Before I started the cleanup, the two wire connections were completely filled with dirt, oil and grease thus creating a bad connection.

    Bob I would agree with you, I think the switch is infected with some sort of gremlin and needs to be purged

    When I started this process, I was fairly confident the issue was either a wire connection, ground or the switch. I was just curious to see what other Opel owners have experienced. Thanks to all for sharing and for any who care to continue to share experiences. This is how we all can learn and adjust to future dealings with our Opel's
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity were you having similar issues with the old switch?
    Without raining on the victory parade I think I remember reading somewhere about something internal not making good enough contact/or lining up properly to fully energize the switch.
    I hope I'm getting this confused with something else for your sake.
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    Senior Member Timbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrylewisac View Post
    Just out of curiosity were you having similar issues with the old switch?
    Without raining on the victory parade I think I remember reading somewhere about something internal not making good enough contact/or lining up properly to fully energize the switch.
    I hope I'm getting this confused with something else for your sake.
    Kind of along these lines, I was wondering when the switch is in the circuit are you starting out with the car in reverse and turning on the key or do you turn on the key and shift into reverse? If you are turning the key and then shifting, there would be a mechanical issue in the mechanism that pushes the button internally. If you start out in reverse and turn on the key then it would be the switch.

    Can you unscrew the switch and manually push the button? It seems strange that a sticking button would be so consistent
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    RunOpel dpre's Avatar
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    Tim I'm turning the key to on and then shifting to reverse. I wondered that as well, but if so, what would be the cause mechanically in the transmission. I have had no issues with my transmission thus far. Terry the old switch was bent and leaking oil, so I don't know if it actually was functional. The PO had disconnected the wires. I never gave it a chance, I just replaced so the leak would stop. That was a few years ago and until recently, I just hooked the wires up and discovered my dilemma

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    Senior Member Timbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpre View Post
    Tim I'm turning the key to on and then shifting to reverse. I wondered that as well, but if so, what would be the cause mechanically in the transmission. I have had no issues with my transmission thus far. Terry the old switch was bent and leaking oil, so I don't know if it actually was functional. The PO had disconnected the wires. I never gave it a chance, I just replaced so the leak would stop. That was a few years ago and until recently, I just hooked the wires up and discovered my dilemma
    I would try putting it in reverse and then turn on the key. If the delay is still there, it would be an electrical issue with the switch. If not, then there is a mechanical issue and I would try to test the switch by itself. I'm no expert on what is going on inside the transmission but I'm sure others do and could better explain what could go wrong inside.
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    Maybe your issue is different, but I noticed with mine that you have to push the gear shift forward nearly as far as it will go for the reverse light to come on. If you just put it in reverse until it holds in place, and don't push it forward a bit, the light doesn't come on.
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