Opel GT Starting issue checklist -- Not sure what more to do or what to try next...
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Thread: Opel GT Starting issue checklist -- Not sure what more to do or what to try next...

  1. #1
    Opeler
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    Opel GT Starting issue checklist -- Not sure what more to do or what to try next...

    Hi there -

    Got a "new to me" GT and had intermittent starting issues. Car has 45k original miles, mostly had all original, untouched everything in the engine bay except for a Weber carb swap.

    Had intermittent starting issues, so I went down the list and:

    - checked and replaced the battery
    - replaced both battery cables
    - made sure all the grounds to the cables were good.
    - replaced the engine ground strap and made sure connection to body was good.
    - Replaced the starter with the new OGTS one.
    - Distributor is new

    After all that the car, for about 2k miles (its a daily driver for the moment) started great. Easy-peasy. Then, yesterday, the intermittent starting returned. Exact same symptoms as before. Specifics:

    - the solednoid clicks upon key turn but nothing else
    - amp meter goes down/shows engagement on key turn so I assume that the switch and electrics in the steering column are okay (column has never been opened up and I know that the switch is vulnerable to failure).
    - basically I get the engine to turn over 2 -4 times in a row and nothing is wrong. Then it clicks on the 5th and maybe sixth time sometimes 7th. Then I do absolutely NOTHING, try it again and it will turn over fine, again a few times in a row turning off and on the engine before I get just the solenoid click.
    - tried it with the engine cold, hot, etc. That makes zero difference in terms of whether it wants to turn over.

    So...what could it be? Could it be that the ignition switch is starting to fail? (or does it simply just work until it doesn't, ie, no warning or intermittent failure before it goes)? Could it be something else entirely?
    Thanks!

    Sean
    Opel GT 1973

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  3. #2
    Bikini Inspector Frozen Tundra GT's Avatar
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    ignition switch or starter solenoid.

    Probably be best to replace solenoid regardless. And also the ignition switch if it is old.
    First opel 1981 likes this.

  4. #3
    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Opel GT Starting issue checklist -- Not sure what more to do or what to try next...

    Seconded. You almost certainly need a new ignition switch (they all do). Also you can try hitting the solenoid with a wrench or hammer whenever it stops working. If it’s a bad solenoid this will magically make it work briefly.

    If it’s the ignition switch just replace it now. I waited before doing mine. Eventually the dang thing failed, briefly caught fire and then locked itself in the start position while I was driving.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT Working ARA AC, European 2.0L and Midikit
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa, Welded Doors, Rhinolined

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  6. #4
    Bikini Inspector Frozen Tundra GT's Avatar
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    forgot to mention that the new heavy duty starters from OGTS (prior to a possible recent update) had suspect solenoids from new. many of us reported failing solenoids on new starter. Some members have mentioned replacement solenoid form OGTS. Your starter may be of new batch however.

    Airtex 1M1251 or ss348 are perfect replacements. search these numbers on ebay or amazon, or your local parts store.

    https://www.opelgt.com/forums/1a-sta...ml#post1384463

  7. #5
    Member ejota's Avatar
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    Sounds like the solenoid. Mine did the same thing and replacing the switch didn’t fix it. A new starter from OGTS did. I’d recommmend replacing the switch and adding a relay to protect the new switch along with a new starter and/or solenoid.
    First opel 1981 likes this.

  8. #6
    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    You can almost take this next comment as gospel. Many don't and many chase their tail.

    If you get the loud click, at the solenoid, and the grounds are good, then the solenoid is bad.

    A solenoid is a relay. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Sure, there's stuff attached to it for the bendix to pop but if the starter isn't spinning, randomly, then the relay part isn't making contact.

    Cheap electrodes in a solenoid will cause exactly the symptoms you describe. Since you said it was an OGTS starter, and they are known to have solenoid issues, then there's where you need to START and not what you need to get around to.

    Others will almost always say to replace your ignition switch. That's if you aren't getting the bendix click (almost all the time).

    If your ignition switch does fail, just jump between the positive terminal on the battery and the spade connector on the non-engine side of the solenoid. You can also try this is you get stuck as it's easier on the ignition switch than using the key.

    Either way, add an Otto start to the system as long as you're fixing things.
    m610 likes this.
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    Member opeljohn's Avatar
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    First off, do as First Opel suggests. Take a long screwdriver and short between the Hot lug at the front of the solenoid and the spade lug on the drivers side of the same. This should turn the motor over, if so the problem is most likely your ignition switch. If that is the case you can set up a quick starter button by running 2 lengths of wire thru the firewall, attach alligator clips to the ends in the engine bay and a cheap starter button to the ends inside the GT. Attach one clip to the hot lug and one to the spade lug. Turn the key on and hit the starter button, off you go until you can take the column apart and replace the switch.
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  10. #8
    Detritus Maximus opelbits's Avatar
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    Get one of these:

    http://https://www.amazon.com/Actron...a-572172822137

    Use it as an alternative to the screwdriver and wires OpelJohn talked about. It will seem a little less daunting than sticking a screwdriver into something electrical....I was always warned about that as a kid, for some reason.

    If you get one, use it to test the starter. If it works everytime, then it's the switch or connections, if it still acts the same, then the solenoid.

    Plus, it's handy when working on the car as you can start it while still under the hood and if you keep it in the car, you always have a way to start the car if the ignition switch fails. (Still get the Otto Start!). Heck, you could use it to start the car all the time and never wear out the original switch.
    Last edited by opelbits; 1 Week Ago at 11:15 PM.
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  11. #9
    Bikini Inspector Frozen Tundra GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opelbits View Post
    Get one of these:

    http://https://www.amazon.com/Actron...a-572172822137

    Use it as an alternative to the screwdriver and wires OpelJohn talked about. It will seem a little less daunting than sticking a screwdriver into something electrical....I was always warned about that as a kid, for some reason.

    If you get one, use it to test the starter. If it works everytime, then it's the switch or connections, if it still acts the same, then the solenoid.

    Plus, it's handy when working on the car as you can start it while still under the hood and if you keep it in the car, you always have a way to start the car if the ignition switch fails. (Still get the Otto Start!). Heck, you could use it to start the car all the time and never wear out the original switch.
    that is neato! like the trigger. Lookes to be heavier duty than the one I use ... https://www.harborfreight.com/12-vol...tch-35448.html

  12. #10
    Opeler
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    Link in Post #8 will not launch. Presume that it is a heavy duty starter switch?

  13. #11
    Bikini Inspector Frozen Tundra GT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsay View Post
    Link in Post #8 will not launch. Presume that it is a heavy duty starter switch?
    https://www.amazon.com/Actron-CP7853.../dp/B0009XQUKW

  14. #12
    Detritus Maximus opelbits's Avatar
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    Thanks James. Not sure what happened there, it worked then it didn't.

    Edit:
    Maybe the Amazon page renewed or something. Let's do this so it never gets lost....
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    Last edited by opelbits; 1 Week Ago at 05:39 PM.
    "No, it's not fiberglass."
    "No, the motor is not in the back."
    "No, your friend in high school did not 'peg' his speedometer."

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