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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For reference, I drive a 1969 Opel GT with a four-speed manual transmission.

As I exited a freeway offramp last night, I come to a stoplight and put it in neutral.

As I try to put it back into first gear when the light turns green, it won't go, and the harder I push the stick in to the first gear position, the more the car sounds like it's going to stall out. Finally, I just give it a hard shove in to first and it stalls out completely. Luckily, there was almost no traffic, and the guys behind me were able to just go around.

I'm able to start it up again, but the same problem occurs; when I try to put it in to first, it won't go and begins to stall as I press the stick harder.

Again, I stall out, but this time, it won't start up again.

So I had it towed to my house. This morning, I tried to start it up, but with no luck. I gave it a bit of gas, though, and it started when I did that.

If I let it idle too long, though, it'd just stall out again, and the same thing kept happening whenever I tried to put it in to gear.

There was a very loud clacking sound involved in all this that started just as I exited the freeway, and every time I try to start the car, it continues to make a loud, repeating clacking sound that speeds up as I give the car gas and slows down as it begins to idle and stall.

Does anyone have any idea what this means?

Thank you very much.
 

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Old Opeler
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Something Mechanical!

All the "clanking" indicates that there is something badly wrong with motor, clutch or gearbox - DON'T try to run it again till the problem is sorted or you will only make everything far worse than it already is!
1) Take the oil bung out of the motor, drain the oil and see if there are any metal chunks and particles that come out with the oil - this is to check if the bearings have been damaged ...
2) Drain the oil from the gearbox to check if that has ground itself to death.
3) Put it in gear with the spark plugs out and see if the car can be moved backwards and forwards by pushing it and the motor turning over while switched off. Try this before 1 & 2
4) Get some knowledgable assistance!

HTH
 

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Sounds like your pilot bearing has seized to the tip of the input shaft. I had this very same thing happen to me
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately, I don't know much (if anything) about cars in general.

I guess I should just try and get an owner's manual and work from there.

In the meantime, does anyone know of a place in the Los Angeles that works on Opels? I've called a dozen German auto places, but none of them offer service to Opels.

Thanks for the advice, though.
 

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Funny you should mention this right now. I'm dealing with the exact same thing on a 69. If the pilot bearing has siezed then you are limited to forward gears only as it is a synchromesh tranny. 3 down and dirty checks to find the problem.

1 will it roll in neutral? if not the pilot has siezed.Try it while pushing in on the clutch too.

2 Have a look at the clutch cable at the firewall for excess play.

3 pull the shifter boot and reach in to see if the lash adjusting nut has come loose at the bellhousing.

Now for the good the bad and the ugly. Your best bet is to replace the pilot and clutch all at one time. Usually when the pilot goes it takes the tranny input shaft with it. It's usually worth while to have another tranny around when you do the tear down to fix it.

The 69 used an odd gear and speedo combination. You can use a newer tranny without the 90 degree adapter but it requires changing the speedo to match whatever you put in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interestingly enough, I couldn't go in reverse either while the car was in running condition; only the forward gears work.

I can get it in to neutral, and it doesn't slip out of first (I park it in first because the emergency brake doesn't work; yeah, it's a total mess) as far as I can tell.

Like I was saying, I can shift the gears when the car is off, however it feels like there is something in the way.

For example, I'll be parked and in neutral, and I'll try to put it in first. I start to push and it won't go all the way, so I push harder, there's a small noise, and it goes all the way in. It's like there is something blocking it, but you can get past it by pushing hard enough.
 

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Rob, You have no less than three Opel shops on the West Coast:
OpelGTSource
USAOpel/OpelsForever
OpelsUnlimited
one of them may be near enough to you to be able to fix it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Turns out it was actually the clutch.

A friend of a friend (well, actually a fiance of a friend) happens to co-own a garage, and after receiving word of my problem, he offered to look at it and then fix it if possible.

I had it towed just this morning; it was confirmed that it was a bad clutch, though I'm not sure exactly what was wrong with it.

In any case, it's being fixed now, but thank you all very much for you input.
 
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