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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to apologize in advance for the long post. It's just that my problem seems similar to others I've seen discussed, yet drastically different at the same time. I want to get all the facts straight the first time.

I just got my '73 GT out of storage after about 4 years. It was with my father-in-law, and he did run it occasionally (like twice a year or so). He didn't do anything at all to it as far as mechanical work though. Before I left the car with him, the turn signals and hazards always worked just fine. Now, however...


With the original Hella flasher unit installed:

- When you flip the left or right turn signal, both of the dash indicator lights flash very rapidly. More rapidly for the right turn than the left for some reason. The exterior turn signal bulbs do not flash at all though. The ammeter and oil pressure lights do flash however (???). I realize that it is a feature that when a bulb is burned out, the signals will flash at about twice the normal rate, but mine is flashing *really* rapidly. Plus, as I explain below, all the exterior bulbs are brand new and functional.

- When you flip on the hazards, occasionally the fuse blows, but usually the flasher unit just clicks so fast that it literally sounds like a bee. The dash indicator lights flash along with the ammeter and oil pressure lights, but nothing from the outside bulbs.


What I've tried so far:

- Replaced every exterior bulb on the car, including the headlights. It did need one headlight and a couple of side marker lights, but I decided to just put fresh ones in all the way around because of the turn signal/hazard problem. Oh, and I thought it was a good excuse to upgrade to clear-blue halogen headlights...but I digress ;) As I replaced the bulbs, I also cleaned the contacts to try and make sure there were no grounding issues there. This had no effect at all.

- I did a lot of research on this board and other websites, and saw that people had problems with the dash indicator lights both flashing regarless of turning left or right. The solution I found for this was to clip the black/yellow wire from the flasher unit and ground it. I tried this, but again no change in symptoms.


So, today, as a last resort, I actually found a 4-prong Tridon/Stant replacement at Pep Boys (I verified that all the terminals matched the original Hella). Ironically, I was actually looking for a 3-prong unit, since the above mod allows me to use one. They just didn't happen to have one. Anyway, with new 4-pronger installed, I get the following symptoms:

- The left and right turn signals actually flash on the outside, although they may be a bit slow. I can't say for sure...maybe it's just the design of the flasher. However, they definitely seem dimmer than they should be. Inside, the ammeter and oil pressure lights still flash with the turn signals, although it's less pronounced than when I had the old Hella unit installed. The dash indicators do flash individually, however they are reversed. When the outside left light is flashing (which is correct), the right dash indicator flashes, and vice-versa.

- When you flip on the hazards, no lights flash anywhere inside or out (except the stupid ammeter and oil pressure lights :p ), but the flasher unit still buzzes like a bee. Plus, it seems to get a bit warm.


By the way, with the new Tridon unit still installed, I tried undoing my mod of grounding the black/yellow wire, and this had no effect at all. So, I put it back to the state is was after the mod, i.e. grounding the black/yellow wire.


So, here I am, not sure what to try next. I know so many of these weird Opel electrical issues are due to grounding problems. I've tried to rule out all of the ones I know about. It seems that the dash indicator lights should be properly grounded because of the mod I made to directly ground the black/yellow wire from the flasher. And it seems all the bulbs on the outside should be grounded, since at one time or another, I have seen them each illuminated. Plus, the front lights, which are combination turn signal/parking lights, work just fine as parking lights. Since the turn signal/parking light share a ground, I would think that if there was a grounding problem, I'd see a problem with the parking lights.


I'm sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I included all the details, 'cause this is kind of a weird one that I haven't seen described anywhere else.

If anyone has any advice at all, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm at the point now where if I knew of a good Opel mechanic in the L.A. area, I would give up and take it to him. I know about Opels USA in Temecula (San Diego area), but right now I have no way to get the car there. It has some suspension problems, and I don't trust driving it 100 miles on the freeway. Otherwise that's where I'd be headed, cause I'm stumped on this one.

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Have you checked the fuse panel and connections for corrosion?Check for rodent nibbling on your wire bundles? It sound like a poor contact (Hi-resistance) or bare wire contact problem which usally happens when something sits still for an extended period.
My 2-cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look at the fuse block. After studying a wiring diagram someone posted awhile back, I just realized that the triple-connectors at the far right side (where there is no fuse) are for all of the turn signal bulbs. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It's been awhile since I read a schematic, but it's coming back to me now.

I'll also visually check the all wiring harnesses that I can find. Rodents? Wow, I didn't know they liked plastic. ;) I guess someone must've experienced this before, huh? The car was stored out in the country...hmm...

Thanks again,
Scott
 

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Pack-rats and mice are notorious little buggers for that. You just don't know what fun is until you have a pack-rat boucing on his hind legs and charging to get you away from HIS car!
:D country living.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lessons Learned

Just an update on my problems. It seems to be a "30 year old tired wiring" issue as opposed to the problems I've seen that others had with turn signals.

I did the mod where you ground the black/yellow wire that goes to the flasher, which didn't fix my problem, and caused the indicator lights to be reversed. I didn't realize that this was a known issue, and that the fix was to swap the indicator lights, as bucky just pointed out. Thanks, that problem solved.

http://www.opelgt.com/forums/showth...erpage=20&highlight=turn signals&pagenumber=2


After the car got dumped on by a broken water pipe in my apartment's garage, I couldn't get any proper flashing with either flasher unit...just rapid flickering. Plus the front signals didn't flash at all anymore. So it got worse before it got better. I've narrowed it down to somewhere in the front turn signal light wiring. If I disconnect the left front turn signal wire at the fuse block, the left signal works. Same with the right side. Since it's not confined to one side, I'm guessing it's somewhere in a ground or common wire between the two front bulbs. For now, I'm fine with just disconnecting the front signals. Thanks Old Hippie for the pointers. Probably is a short or ground issue. Haven't found any rodent damage, but I'm not ruling that out ;)

At least now I have turn signals and flashers inside and in the back. I was most worried about the back, since I live in L.A. where people drive like maniacs. I was mainly afraid of getting rear-ended while waiting to turn or if the car died. With this car, you never know when you'll be creeping along due to some malfunction. That happened to me already when the throttle cable came loose. I didn't realize that's what it was at the time or I would've just pulled over and fixed it right there. I could only go 5 MPH, and couldn't use my hazards. I was only about 4 blocks from home, and was determined to get home even if I had to crawl. About 4-5 people flew right up to me, honked, passed, and flipped me the bird :mad: And this was on a 4-lane residential street, with not much traffic, and with plenty of room and opportunity to get around me.

So, that's why I was so eager to get the hazards and signals working.

BTW, I just installed a 3rd brake light for added safety, and I'm thinking about moving out to the suburbs ;)
 

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Everything will work if you do it right.

Write for a free drawing of the Turn Signal System and suggested mod. to eliminate the "double-green flashing indicator lights"
(3) ways to do this mod are called out. One way shows how to do it without cutting ANY wires. Technical advice can be thrown in on a limited basis; as I am not psychic, but I can help.

eMail: [email protected]
sMail: P.O. Box 2537, Stuart, FL 34995


--JJ Wheatley
 

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Please send me your POSTAL mailing address so I can mail you one of these drawings, as they are already stuffed into
mailing envelopes.

eMail me your POSTAL mailing address and I will Snail-Mail you a copy of this drawing and tech tip.

JJ
 
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