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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok....someone jump out and say April Fools!!

Everytime I fix one thing I end up finding something else screwy or damage it myself.

Today while working on the dreaded headlights, I went to check the high beams by flicking the turn signal lever, and the metal it screws into , breaks. Just breaks and now is dangling there. Is this not metal? I don't know what I have to replace now. Possibly the whole steering column. Does anyone know where to purchase this piece???
 

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God, I understand. I go to replace the solenoid the whole mess has to be redone...not to mention my car has ghosts....things turn themselves on and off....oye.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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:D

So one day, I'm driving to meet friends for a movie. Someone stops suddenly in front of me and I'm forced to slam on my brakes. The pedal hits bottom, car is slowing, I feel a little 'click', the pedal sinks lower but the car stops slowing! And the engine dies. Pull over, restart engine. Push on brakes, car dies. Start car, drive home without using the brakes, which, by the way, no longer have power assist. Disconnect vacuum hose to booster and plug it. Car doesn't die when I step on the brakes anymore. Missed the movie. It was only the Mummy 2. Although that meant that I missed Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas.

Anyway, drive up to the 'bad' part of town to take the booster off my old GT. Comes off, no problem. Driving back home, I turn on the turn signal. Signal stalk falls out of the steering column. With a big chunk of the aluminum part it screws into AND the wire!

Clip and tape wire for now. Switch booster without opening brake lines :D . Another fine job accomplished. Start car. Brake pedal sinks down and brakes lock up. But wait! I didn't touch the pedal! :confused: . Disconnect vacuum hose. Send old booster to Vanco (in CA. Did a fine job for $125 or so. Repainted too).

Root around in parts supply. Did I mention I have the 69 turn signal stalk? The one with the little button on the end. Drive back up to storage place (following weekend) and remove column from other car. switch steering columns. Do some rewiring (69 and 72 have a couple wires in different places in the white and black column connectors) and I'm good to go. Disassemble old column. Piece together a good, correct but stripped down aluminum assembly. Switch out columns again. Everything is right with the world.

Oh, wait a minute. I forgot to mention that ever since I bought the car the steering column felt 'odd'. About a week before all this took place, I had taken the column out, disassembled it, and found that someone else had cobbled together some ignition wiring and put the key cylinder in one notch off. When the key was in normal on/running position, the column lock was oh so close to dropping into place. That was the 'oddness' I was feeling. It was catching a little now and then. Not locking, but just barely. And of course that was something I would feel when driving. And I replaced the wiring on the back of the switch and investigated the inside of the switch since I was in there (don't need any steering column fires, right?).

And of course this was my daily driver with no back up car.....
 

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Yeah, I know how that stuff is. I fixed the starter and solenoid last week, then the battery is fried (and it was new :() and then I meant to replace the fuel pump today and so I take the opel to take my moms cat to the vet because my sister has a beauty padgent meeting and because I was supposed to be trading my truck for a 280zx (however, the guy forgot the lein release) and the whole messgoes haywire. I am trying to give it gas and it takes in short sputters so then it dies and the battery is kaput again. So I threaten the precious with sale for parts (totally kidding) and call the best tow place in town. Meanwhile I pushed it a half a mile and then annoy the mormon bike riders who assume that i need help to be miserable. Its hot as hell out (it was like 90 today here in AZ) and I am sitting on my black car waiting for the stupid truc that is stuck in traffic. I thought I just fixed this opel.....its never done. If it isnt one thing its another. I just pray that it is my fuel pump like I think it is rather than the whole engine.....
And yes this is supposed to be my daily driver, now if the guy who thought it would be good to trade me cars for the one i am selling wasnt such a flaky schmuck.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whosh

Glad to see I'm not alone.

Today I fried something in the steering wheel column, it goes through the car to the starter/solenoid and bam, instant fire.

Does anyone know if the red/white wire to the starter with the fuseable link will have to be replaced or just put on a new fusable link???

Every cloud has a silver lining. RIGHT??
 

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Detritus Maximus
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The cars just need 'sorting out'. I used to have a couple of Mustangs (70 - 73) and let me tell you, you haven't seen cobbled, bodged, mis-repaired, poorly maintained, owner had his head up his %$#, don't want to spend the money to fix it and I don't want to learn how either, cars until you go look at at a few dozen of those. Opels aren't too far behind. For a long time, Opels (especially GT's) were the car for those that wanted a cool car but didn't have the money to afford one. They could buy them cheap and they usually ran ok enough to park in the front yard while you got it going well enough to pass a 'forty dollar no holler' inspection. then they drove it a couple times til something gave up (can you say 'Solex in hot weather') and parked it. Until they got it running well enough to drive a couple days til something else failed (usually another minor issue, but no money or brains kind of gets in the way).

I'm not really on a diatribe here. I'm just saying that we have to 'undo' the sins of the past to move on. I like that part, 'move on', fitting isn't it? Anyway, there are not that many things to fail on the Opels. No more so than any other 30 year old car. Certainly fewer potential problems than, say, a 15 year old rotary engined RX7 (guess what my current driver is). And they can be just as reliable as a newer car. Just not as nice.
I bought a 74 Opel Manta in '92. 154,000 miles. In the next seven years I put on another 70,000. Hard driving (three sets of tires, lots of brakes, two clutches, one head gasket, one water pump, one new exhaust system right when I bought it). It left me stranded twice. Broke a lower ball joint. Fixed it in the Mobil parking lot and lost only one hour of my evening. Never had to tow it. the only time it wouldn't start was due to a flooded floorboard that shorted the seat belt interlock that wouldn't let the car start.

As I said, they can be dead reliable. Just make sure that the repairs are done right and try to anticipate the typical things and the ones that are particular to Opels.

Opelgal-
Sounds like the ignition switch fried. That was the part I had to mess with in the post above. One of those things to take care of BEFORE it happens. It's not really that hard to do and Opel GT Source rebuilds them, I think. They also might have new ones to replace the burned one.

And yes, dark clouds have silver linings. But every year, thousands of people get struck by lightning.:p
 

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No I get that I am going to have to slowly rebuild that car...I mean I think any opel owner that didnt buy theirs as a show car kinda has to for the most part as most of them are rotting away before we rescue them. It is just that somedays it is disheartening to fix something and then have the next thing go instantly wrong. The key is to remember that you go through this crap for the love of the car and somedays you need a back up car that is nice and reliable. Ask iowncalculus, his truck had something die every three days until he replaced a lot of it....that is the nature of something mechanical and thirty something. So you replace it as it dies and someday it is a "new car" essentially.
Wiring should be redone right off the bat and kept up on....we all know that a fire extinguisher is a wise thing to have in an opel.....
 

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Detritus Maximus
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I used to work on old Alfa Romeo's and our customers would bring in nice restored cars that didn't run/drive right. Reassembling and getting a 'restored' or 'show car' to start and drive is not the same as sorting it out so that it is a pleasure to drive. By 'pleasure' I mean that you aren't worrying about the 'next thing'. I figure, what's the use of having a car (beater/showcar/toy) that you can't just get in it and drive. Without having a towers business card in your pocket.


Fixing one thing and having to fix something else a week later is ok.
Fixing one thing and having to fix it again a week later is bad.

Usually, when working on old cars, if you mess with something, you will have problems with whatever else you messed with/moved. Things are happy where they are. Disturb them, they disturb you. But it is an easy thing to anticipate. Replace any rubber item (hoses/belts/boots) that is old and you have to remove/move to do a repair. Even if it is not related to whatever your currently fixing. And many things can be done at the same time: water pump goes out. Replace hoses/belts, front timing cover seal, have radiator cleaned, check lower radiator mount, check and replace alternator mount bushings, and clean. Clean everything. Since so much has to come out to do the water pump, the rest is just time and some extra parts. This is also something to consider if you are paying someone else to do the pump. Why pay someone to pull it apart two or three times for little things?
It takes a bit of planning and foresight to do this. And a little money. I'm lucky enough to have many spares (new and used), but I still buy certain seals, gaskets, hoses, just to have them on hand, rather than have to go get them/wait for them when I go to do something.
Another example is the clutch. If it is old and worn or getting weak, start buying the parts now. Get another flywheel and have it resurfaced ($40 last time I did it, less down time if it is sitting there ready to go), new throw out bearing, new pilot bearing, front/rear trans seals, new bolts for pressure plate to flywheel and flywheel to crank (at least two of each, never know what you'll find when you take it apart!), new seal for the speedo fitting. And while the trans is out, that's a good time to do the shifter linkage seals (requires a very simple modification to one shaft, but not possible in the car), thereby reducing the number of places you can leak.


All this rambling is me just trying to say that if you take care of something that you know is a problem before something happens, you will save time/money/mental anguish in the long run. And you feel even better about the car.
 
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