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70's Opeler, back 4 more!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pulled my passenger side headlight rotator and disassembled it as per KWilford's advice in another thread. I had two of the three cog bolts drilled out so I could mount the Headlight bucket solidly.

Here is my current issue.

The headlight will latch closed, but will not open. I removed the rotator again to work it manually. It will work on the side that is used when the headlight is open, but it will not release from the closed position.

Any suggestions on what I should be looking for or modifications. I don't know if the gear that pushes the release mechanism is worn to a point that will not release correctly or what.
 

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Houserc, I checked my pax mechanism again to see how it unlatches. Here's what I saw: The Sector gear strikes hard the block that rotates around the pin that activates the microswitch, when the block rotates it releases the latch that's holding the overcenter locking mechansim closed. There are 3 rivets in that area and the parts have to rotate around those rivets. I also noticed there is about a 1/4'" gap between the sector gear and the block it strikes to unlock the overcenter hooks. Double check where the sector gear strikes the block to make sure it is hitting the block and that the block does in fact rotate. Here's 3 pics: The first one shows the sector gear away from the block; second pic is the sector gear hitting the block; the third is the mechanism unlocked. HTH.

Ron
 

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70's Opeler, back 4 more!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ron,

Thanks for the info and the pics.

I've modified and reattached your second picture.

The sector gear hits like you are showing, but it does not push through the release block. I can see where the block should push to the right in the picture and then release upward to unhook the latch. Mine locks tight. However, I can use the manual release to unlatch it.

It acts as if the sector gear is worn enough to not allow as much push movement to release.

Thanks
Chris
 

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Chris, the manual unlock and the sector striking the block are the same single piece. It is supposed to rotate around a pin under the shaft that actuates the microswitch arm. It is the rotation that unlocks the overcenter hooks. If that block does not rotate, that is your problem. It pivots to release and then drops down by spring tension. If you are lifting the manual ear of the block it has to rotate. Can you unlock or lift the ear by hand or do you have to use something to lever it. That could be the problem. What may be happening is the overcenter lock is not rotating, that is part of the piece that latches into the unlock release. That's directly under the point of the screwdriver in the attached pic, sorry it isn't clearer, I tried to get a closeup but it got fuzzy. I'll reiterate, the parts the rivets go through and the unlatch block have to rotate freely so the system will work. I can lock the system open or close with hand pressure, by squeezing the arm into the overcenter locks, but it takes a bunch and I can release it with finger pressure, or by actuating the rod attached to the mechanism again it takes a fair amout. HTH.

Ron
 

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70's Opeler, back 4 more!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Found what looks to be my problem.

Attached is a picture of two rotator cogs. The latch swing arm mounting holes are positioned differently on both of them.

The cog on the right came out of an assembly for the Driver side. The cog on the left came out of the passenger side assembly. You can see where the holes are shifted.

Does anybody know if this is true of the Driver vs. Passenger side, or is this a Year variation?

This tells me it is important to get the latch swing arm with the rotator to make sure it will latch and unlatch correctly.
 

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rotator

Looking at your pic, it also doesn't help that your # 1 tooth, on both gears, is about wornout either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That was the same thing the machinist told me at the shop.

The number one gear is suppose to be cut that way. It allows the sector gear to move freely after the headlight bucket is thrown one way or the other. It is part of the German magic that allows the headlights to lock and unlock.

Attached is a great view of how it allows the sector to rotate from Keith W.

As the sector gear rotates to push the release block, it has to do so without turning the headlight bucket, thus putting pressure on the locking mechanism.
 

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Houserc, I just looked at the mounting plates for the mechanism in my GT and they are angled in opposite directions, both tilting down towards the center of the car. Also, the bolt holes in the rotating arm are in different locations by a few degrees, when in the locked position. So it appears that the internal gears must be oriented for a left and right position. Like you said, that may be the cause of your problem. I don't have my camera available, it's on the way to Seattle for the weekend. But I'll see if I can explain where the bolt holes are in relation to the arm in the closed and locked position. also the open and locked position. Looking at the assemblys as they are installed in the car, using a straightedge across the two large holes in the mechanism in the closed and locked position, the top bolt is off center to the left on the pax assembly and to the right on the driver's side, both by a few degrees. In the open and locked position, the top pin is off center by the same direction and degree as the bolt heads. I hope I've explained it well enough to decipher. If not, I can take a video of it and extract a pic from the video camera that should work. Let me know if you need a pic or two.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got what you were saying.

The back plate angles up toward the outside of the car. It follows the slope of the inner wheel well.

I've got my original cog at the machine shop now for them to remove the remaining bolt and trace the threads out. The PO had already drilled out the bolts but had never extracted them. Also, he had done it while it was all assembled. The way I could tell was there was a hole drilled in the back plate and another started. :rolleyes:

Anyway, This explains why it would latch in one direction and not release, and also why it was difficult to latch the other direction. Interesting! Sometimes this learning stuff gets frustrating.
 

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Yeah, for sure Chris, but just think of all the fun you'll have later on when someone else has this type of problem and you'll be able to give them some knowledgeable insight. :D

Just remember to liberally lube the whole mess before assembly and installation.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That was one of the things I did when I first got the car. I have a can of spray white lithium grease and went to town on the rotators and the cable. Great stuff to have around.

My wife is getting tired of the smell of carburator cleaner in our garage. I've been cleaning these parts up with carb cleaner just to get behind the latching mechanisms. What a mess these things can collect.

If what you say is true, I already have my cog set for the driver's side. I noticed I have one bolt sheared off there.
 

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70's Opeler, back 4 more!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ron,

You've got a V-6 transplant going on don't you? How're you making out?

My wife and I were out at Temeccula valley sampling the various winery wares about 3 years ago. That sure is nice to have in the southern area.

Chris
 

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Well Chris, lessee, I've got the whole drive train installed, but it's coming out for a total repaint of the car, the front suspension is up soon for a rebuild, the whole interior is gutted for POR-15 treatment. The dash is at JustDashes, I've got boxes of removed parts filling up my space in the one car garage, I just got back all the chrome from the platers. I've still got to close up the holes I cut in the footwell and wiper well, and finish up the wiring integration. But all in all it's just a matter of my time to finish up cleaning all the fabric adhesive left on the interior and get the POR-15 treatment started, oh yeh and finish polishing one more wheel. When I'm done with the total interior and bottom of the car, it's going to the body shop for cancer treatment and paint, then the upholsterers for their magic. A lot to do in my goal for having it done by August for OMC. The vinyards north of me are really nice, to see and to taste, on occasion.

Rats, you've got another bolt sheared. I've heard that reverse twist drills work sometimes in removing sheared bolts, if they are not under tension. Hope that's the case and you can get it out easy enough. :rolleyes:

Ron
 

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I am quite certain that the centre gears are completely interchangeable between the right and left rotator mechanism
 

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Keith, I do not like to disagree with you, but if you look at the pics Chris has posted of the two gears earlier in this thread, you will note the threaded holes are a few degrees different in their relation to the gear teeth. I confirmed they were different by locking both my mechanisms in each position and noting the relation of the bolt heads and pins to the centerlines of the gear and sector holes in the plates. There was a difference of a few degrees left and right of the boltheads and pins to those centerlines. I know it isn't a lot of difference, but it may have been just enough to cause him the problems he has. Because I do not know the actual configuration of the center gears, I wonder if they can be put in backwards? If so, the the gears could be identical and just turning them over would make up the difference I noted and Chris illustrated in his pics. Just a thought.

Ron

Ron
 

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Ron,

Sorry, I hadn't looked closely at Chris' photo. Based on that, I would have to agree that they are different.

I still have several sets waiting for me to weld back together. I am hoping that different build dates resulted in slightly different offsets, so I will pull them apart and check. I might have mixed them up, thinking they were identical. YIKES!! Better to know now than to weld them up and then find out they don't work. I'll post some more photos.
 

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Speaking from experience there is a left and right. Just like the covers and buckets, they look the same but are a few degrees off from each other. My experience is to mark them first, or sort them out later. Another item like that is the rear side glass, looks identical but have a slight change left to right.
 

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Marks?

Has Opel marked the gears in some way to tell them apart? The headlight covers are marked "L" and "R" for instance.
The 'retractors' are individually part numbered (so must be different!) but there is no listing for repair kits or the individual gears. So they must have been serviced as a unit.
 

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Rats, Grant, I knew the headlight buckets were different but not the covers. Oh well that'll be the easy part, my buckets are stamped L & R from the factory, the covers I'm not sure of but with three screws to take them off it won't be a problem to match them after everything is painted.

Kieth, I'm glad the sector gear thing is sorted out before you welded the mechanisms together. BTW I like your pic that Chris posted of the open mechanism. It shows the latching overcenter locks in both locked and unlocked positions and how the unlocking works. In this case that pic is worth a thousand words.

Ron
 

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Ron, When you examine the headlight covers there is a "L" and "R" stamping about 10mm high on them and the drain hole above the lense (when open) is slightly off-centre. THe hole drains water when they are retracted and points directly down on each side due to the curve of the body work making each complete unit distictly Left and Right. Just about drove the body shop nuts till I pointed out the stampings on a new pair of covers that I had! We finally got them just about perfectly positioned.
 
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