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Opel Rallier since 1977
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OP, one possible source of the #7 fuse blowing is the damage to the rear around the license plate lights. You could have a wire pinched there or one that has been lying on a metal edge and finally chafed through the insulation. So that is a good place to look.

That 49A pin on the flasher is the output from the flasher, which carries all the current to the turn indicator lamps on the front and rear. That same current flows into 49 from the 12v source into the flasher relay (which is through the hazard flasher switch). So excessive current overall would seem like to effect both 49 and 49a. It may just be that the contact on 49a got corroded and heated up, or the contact inside the flasher that connects to 49a got burned and hot. Either of those matters would put heat on contact 49A alone.

BTW, here is a simplified diagram of the connections to this flasher relay, just to help visualize the circuit. Hope this link works:
 

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That 49A pin on the flasher is the output from the flasher, which carries all the current to the turn indicator lamps on the front and rear. That same current flows into 49 from the 12v source into the flasher relay (which is through the hazard flasher switch). So excessive current overall would seem like to effect both 49 and 49a. It may just be that the contact on 49a got corroded and heated up, or the contact inside the flasher that connects to 49a got burned and hot. Either of those matters would put heat on contact 49A alone.
This appears to be the conclusion that I am getting to as well. I have been looking for the possibility that an unfused supply wire somehow was improperly connected into the circuit, but I cannot find anything save for the red wire from the ignition switch to one side of the turn signal switch (that causes the front and rear parking lights to go on when the T/S switch is thrown left or right with the ignition switch in the "off" position).

The flasher unit is a thermal switch and it is not unreasonable that the internal contacts could weld shut, in which case the flasher internally will get warm and this could transfer down to one or more of the connector prongs. It would seem that this should draw enough current to take out the fuse. But still, in the absence of a better explanation, this would seem to lead to the conclusion that the repair is nothing more complicated than restoring the flasher base to good order and replacing the flasher.

I see OGTS is selling a flasher that requires wiring modification. This one should be a direct replacement At the most, the connections for pin #49 and the ground might have to be reversed.

The double-flash problem is indeed a sign of a defective flasher. I seem to recall that defective signal lamps will also result in the double-flash syndrome.

One thing that does stick is the OP mentioned the hazard switch did not operate smoothly. I wonder if something is hanging up internally so that both of the circuits connected from fuses #2 and #4 are being combined. The way the hazard switch works is that, when the hazard switch is off, the black-red wire from fuse #2, eventually connecting to pole #15 of the hazard switch, powers the turn-signal circuit. When the hazard switch is activated, pole #15 is disconnected internally and pole #30 is connected, bringing power in from fuse #4 and powering the four-way flashers. A system check on this switch may be in order.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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And if the hazards are engaged, then all of the turn indicators are drawing current, just not one side. So the current draw through the flasher is doubled. Just another possible way in which the current on 49a could be increased at some time in the past.
 

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One other thing -- Carl (Will I Finish) has a good point with respect to the issue with the brake light - gas gauge -- tachometer question. Voltage regulator may be a good thing to look at. I'm working on that next.

I edit: And then again, the voltage regulator may have nothing to do with it. According to the 1970 FSM, the #2. fuse powers the following
1. Stop-lamp switch
2. The turn signal indicators, powered through the #15 terminal of the hazard switch
3. Oil gauge, Temperature gauge, fuel gauge
4. Indicator lamp -- Oil pressure
5. Brake failure warning lamp switches
6. Tachometer

There are two possibilities for the situation that you describe, various gauges and the radio "cutting out" when you press the brake pedal:
1. The flasher's failure-in-progress could have been putting such a load on the #2 fuse circuits that adding brake lights could be causing a voltage drop. I do not think this is the problem.
2. You say the problem is "fixed" when you manipulate the fuse in its socket. Perhaps the fuse itself is no good or the terminal ends of either/both fuse and socket are not making good contact -- carefully bend the prongs on the ends of the fuse socket.

I will add this: In the accountant's vernacular, the 1970 schematic in the FSM (page120-42) and the fuse chart in the1970 Owner's Manual (page 52) do not :foot and tie! The Owner's Manual indicates that the radio is powered from fuse #2, while the wiring schematic clearly shows it connected to fuse #3. Fuse #2 is correct. Subsequent to 1970, the radio was powered by a red wire from the center of the fuse panel and included an in-line fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks so much for the analysis. I think I need to take a hard look at the flasher switch. It may be the root cause. I will work on it this weekend and report back.


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If the hazard switch proves to be bad, you can bypass it by pulling the two black-red wires from the switch and connecting them directly (they are connected internally when the hazard switch is in the "off" position). You would then want to disconnect the 16-gauge red wire from terminal #3a from the switch (this wire is getting power from fuse #4) and tape it off so that it does not short to a ground. This will leave you with working turn signals but the 4-way flasher capability would be inoperative.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Finally got a chance to install the new plug base and new flasher in the GT. Mixed results. Looks like the key switch, which might have been the root cause of the turn signal issue finally gave up completely.

After finishing the install, the key didn’t start the car. Troubleshooting the key on the steering column, I think I must have bridged the leads on the ignition switch with my test light or provided a good ground or something and the car fired up. The turn signals both worked and dash lights seemed to work. The flasher speed looked normal, not fast like before. No blown fuses. I let the car run for a couple of minutes.

After I shut the car off it would not start again. I tried to repeat getting the car to fire but had no luck getting it to start again.

Thinking it might be the ignition relay, I swapped it for a new one and it made no difference. I tested the ignition switch leads on the steering column and was only getting about 4.2 Volts on the red, red/black and black lead depending on the key position. I checked the resistance at the white plug between the red and black/red wire at the fuse box and got infinity, so I am pretty convinced the switch is toast.

I was able to hot wire the car by using a lead to bridge the red and red/black momentarily but could not get it to stay running. I am assuming this is because the coil wire is not functioning because the key switch is bad and will it let the car “run”. Is there a way get the car running to at least check to see if the turn signals are functioning properly?

Thanks in advance.

Matt


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Opel Rallier since 1977
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It won't stay running as you are only simulating the START function. The starter has an extra solenoid connection that puts 12v directly to coil+ when cranking. That enables the coil only while cranking.

Put a jumper between the red and black; that will simulate the ignition switch in the RUN position. You can test the blinkers in a non-running state at that point

If you want to test running, with the alternator purring out higher voltage, then touch a jumper red to red/black to crank and start the engine, then 'untouch' it when it starts.

BUT....... Your 4.2v symptoms are not 100% clear as to what you are finding where. But if, in the RUN position, you are only getting 4.2v on the red lead (which is the supply to the ignition switch) and the same on the black lead, then you have a bad connection upstream from the ignition switch, like where:
  • the red lead connects in and out of the black steering column connectors
  • or in the fuse block in the central wire nut connections
  • or in the ammeter
  • or in the fusible link and heavy red/wihite wire from the big lug on the starter
  • (or there is a bad short somewhere on the black lead.. but you are not seeing smoke or blowing fuses so that is not at all likely)
If you have a bad connection in that path from the red lead on the ignition switch to the battery, then the added jumper between red and black on the ignition switch is not going to make it run.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Put a jumper between the red and black; that will simulate the ignition switch in the RUN position. You can test the blinkers in a non-running state at that.
I went back and checked and I think it got a bit weirder.

I jumped red to black at the white plug. At first only OEL warning light and gas tank gauge worked. No headlights or taillights.

About 30 seconds later the rest of the gauges and dash illum lights came up, headlights and taillights turned on. Left turn signals worked just fine, with normal rate. Right signals did not function and no noise could be heard from the flasher.

After unplugging and replugging the black to red jumpers everything came back up with no hesitation except right turn signal.

Matt



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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
BUT....... Your 4.2v symptoms are not 100% clear as to what you are finding where. But if, in the RUN position, you are only getting 4.2v on the red lead (which is the supply to the ignition switch) and the same on the black lead, then you have a bad connection upstream from the ignition switch, like where:
  • or in the fusible link and heavy red/wihite wire from the big lug on the starter
  • (or there is a bad short somewhere on the black lead.. but you are not seeing smoke or blowing fuses so that is not at all likely)
If you have a bad connection in that path from the red lead on the ignition switch to the battery, then the added jumper between red and black on the ignition switch is not going to make it run.
Checking the upstream issues, I think issue may be either the fusible link or heavy red white wire or the black wire. Months ago, when I let the batter run way low, I jumped the car directly to the starter to try to get it to start. There was a nasty puff of smoke from the steering column. Figuring I torched the entire electrical system, I pulled the steering wheel and cover but didn’t see any issues except the little stub red wire with the vinyl cover over the connector was crispy. I think the wire is for later model years that have the key buzzer. On my 69, it was not connected to anything, just tucked away in the column. Everything seemed fine otherwise so I removed the little wire and thought I was good to go. Could this be the issue? Could there be unseen damage inside the wire within the column? I suppose my next move is to pull the ignition switch and see if there is more damage.

I looked at the red/white wire I see a spot very near the stud that has some missing insulation that might have been melted. The wire looks okay though and the bare spot is not touching anything so I don,t think this is the culprit.

Matt


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I went back and checked and I think it got a bit weirder.

I jumped red to black at the white plug. At first only OEL warning light and gas tank gauge worked. No headlights or taillights.

About 30 seconds later the rest of the gauges and dash illum lights came up, headlights and taillights turned on. Left turn signals worked just fine, with normal rate. Right signals did not function and no noise could be heard from the flasher.

After unplugging and replugging the black to red jumpers everything came back up with no hesitation except right turn signal.

Matt



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Best guess... there is an erratic/loose/corroded connection and it just somehow got better with some time....maybe due to current flowing through the bad connection, causing heat, and expanding the metal which makes the connection better. But it is not going to stay better. IMHO; start moving and wiggling things vigorously all along the path in question while watching a powered circuit. Keith (Opelspyder) has explained how the lug connections on the fuse block get hot and melt the plastic a bit which causes looseness which causes more heat.. it's a self feeding problem. All the current being supplied through the ignition switch to various circuit, plus the charging current, flows through those lugs.

The fusible link is a few inch piece of 'floppy' wire from the starter's big lug and is soldered to the red/white wire. The 'melted insulation spot' could be where it has been burned through and is making an erratic connection.

The smoke from the steering colunm wires could be in any of the connections or wires. Was that red stub wire heading towards the turn signal switch? Maybe the power connection to the Euro parking light function....
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks for this. I will start playing with it. The melted spot on the red/white at the starter lug is where I will start. I will get that fixed with a new fusible link section or an entirely new wire and see what happens.

If nothing presents itself, it may be time for a complete rewire. I have been thinking about doing it for some time but was always able to get the original system working well enough. Now I may have no choice.

Matt
 

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With the recent behavior, I think the main casue of that sever voltage drop will come out pretty easily.

50+ year old car with wiring getting ratty? Check! Cracked insulation allows in moisture which corrodes the copper and so on and so on.... Examine that fuse block at the central lugs; that seems to be an 'Achilles heel' reported in the GT's. Keith makes, or can get, new ones IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Alright, getting close to the issue. I replaced the suspect fusible link with a section of 12 gauge wire. At first nothing. No lights, no ignition, no dash etc. after about 30 seconds everything popped on, headlights, ignition and both turn signals worked normally.

I started playing around with the back of the ammeter to see if something was loose or touching. I then noticed the ammeter stud with the red white striped wire at the B+ stud was incredibly hot. Almost too hot to touch and the entire ammeter housing was warm.

Do I replace the red/white between the ammeter and the fuse block? Does the ammeter itself have some sort of fault? Is it the fuse block itself the issue as MR suggested?

Thanks in advance.

Matt


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What is the AMP rating of your alternator?
Alternator AMP rating greater than 65 AMP could overheat Opel ammeter.

 

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Opeler
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More Information, but read the discussion from the beginning:
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks. This is good info. I didn’t know about the bypass option, I will try to do it.

My alternator is stock, and probably original. I think the issue is I might have fried my alternator jump starting the car, so bypassing the alternator will help me get it on the road again.

Matt


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The terminal could be loose on the ammeter but often the insulating washers around the terminals gets burned up or brittle on the inside and outside, and there is no way to tighten the connection on the outisde without risking crushing the brittle insulating washer to powder, and causing a short to the ammeter case and direct to ground! If you want the ammeter function, then you have to disassemble the ammeter and inspect the terminals, insulating washers, and everything else in there.

Ammeter bypasses are common on cars of this era. Ammeters in these cars are not expensively built and so they commonly have terminal issues after 40-50 years, and wiring fires are not unknown from these. I would remove the ammeter, and perform the bypass to see how the rest of the system now behaves, and the decide if the ammeter is something I want to keep.

Voltmeters are now the common way to provide a diagnostic indicator on the electrical system; ammeters were a carryover from the days when generators were used in cars, before alternators became common in the 60's. So you could get a voltmater to drop in where the ammeter set, and just make a branch connection from that main wire feed to the voltmeter + terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Spent the morning working on my turn signal issue.

As suggested, I was working on the ammeter bypass when I discovered the red wire to the alternator stud was also fried. What Looked to be a 12 gauge wire section standing in for the fusible link looked okay, but was totally brittle and cracked once I touched it. The ring terminal itself was black.

Once this was replaced all systems seemed normal so I did not bypass the ammeter. Both turn signals flashed with an audible click of the flasher, all lights, including the dash lights worked, engine cranked and fired vigorously. The only issue was the right indicator light in the dash did not work. Left indicator light worked fine and more importantly the signals worked. I figured this was good enough and I could finally get the car back on the road.

UNTIL... I pushed the dash back into place.

Once the dash was back in place all systems worked fine except the blasted turn signals. Both dead, no flasher sound, no indicator lights nothing.

Pulling the dash once more, I ran the following test on the flasher base (see post #3)

  • Measure the resistance from each of the flasher socket prongs to ground to see if there is a shorted wire; which would be indicated by 0 ohms or very close to 0 ohms. If the turn signal is in the center (off) position, then you will find some low resistances (a few ohms) to ground on one or more prongs, like the black/yellow wire and perhaps the black/white/green wire too. But you should not find 0 resistance to ground on any prong.
  • The black/white/green wire ought to show a drop in measured resistance to ground if you select either the L or R turn signal. But again, it should not show 0 ohms to ground when either turn signal is selected.
Using the 73 wiring diagram (my 69’s colours are a bit different, but using the 73 for simplicity) here are the results:

Terminal 49 (black red) wavering 3.9 to 4.0. No change when signal lever moved

Terminal 99a (dbl black/white/green) infinity at off. 1.2 signalling left. 1.2 signalling right

Terminal 31 (brown) 0.6. no change when turn lever moved

Terminal C (black yellow) 9.8. no change when lever switched.

I bypassed the hazard switch and there was no change. Same measurements.

Multimeter scale setting ohms to 200.

I swapped in the original aluminium flasher and got about a half dozen rapid clicks (it was known to be going bad) before it stopped. I was not able to tell if the turn signals actually lit before it stopped.

I tried testing the new flasher (manufactured by DNI) but it was inconclusive as I couldn’t for sure understand the wiring diagram. I tried a number of combinations but nothing lit the test light. I tried power and ground to 31 and k1 and test light to 49 and 49a.




Here it is, if someone can guide me where to put the power, the ground and the test light.

I do not really have a theory, but this is what I am thinking is the next move. Order a new DNI flasher and bypass the hazard switch. I was hesitant to do this as the colour coding has faded and I was worried about pulling the wrong wire. The red and one red/black is clear. The other red/black is hard to tell.



Sorry for the long post. I am hoping for input on the following:

1. Does the multi meter reading confirm the flasher base is okay. Are the readings normal?
2. How do I test the new flasher that i suspect is bad?
3. Can someone confirm the wires I need to connect from the hazard switch?
4. Is the plan to replace the flasher and bypass the haz switch sound? Or could there be something else comprising the flasher and I may burn up another flasher?

Thanks in advance.

Matt


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