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Opeler
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:confused: I have done some searching on the site regarding the problems associated with the ignition switch. The consensus seems to be: a. it is a weakness of the Opel, b. people have devised ways to preserve the fragile switch (eg the Otto Start) and c. it is the second most hard part to find.

Has anyone done any work toward finding a donor switch that might be both compatible AND readily available? I have noticed that many out there have installed "starter buttons" My previous owner did this (rather :eek: badly) due to a fried switch. I would like to go back to a conventional key start and would not mind doing some experimenting along the way. But I seek the advise of the wiser Opelers who may have pursued this before. Is this worth the effort? Has anyone already checked into this and determined it a futile serch? :confused:
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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1,960 Posts
not sure ..but

i think its a rather standard wiring for the 70's. red wire to black wire for ignition and then momentarily touch to the red/black wire for starter turn over

i think you could use a MG key , but I think you would lose the column lock feature.these are availible new.. no i havent searched for one,as you would probabably spend more on trial and error expenses

solution 1- get a whole opel salvage column....50-125 or so seems the going rate

solution 2- ogts rebuilds them for 50

you might be able to rebuild it yourself...there is not much inside of one...there is a little spring and an ear that breaks inside of the switch..mine failed mechanically ..not electrically...i later found a salvaged column
 

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Senior Contributor
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Rebuilds

I believe Gil at OGTS rebuilds them as long as they aren't totally fried out.
rk
 

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Your Noble Friend ;-)
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4,725 Posts
starter switch

I don't wanna get you all mad at me, but I got one on German E-bay for 9 Euro (12 US$) - a brand new old stock part.
Keep your eyes open for them!

Dieter
 

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OttoStart

gtmax said:
:confused: I have done some searching on the site regarding the problems associated with the ignition switch. The consensus seems to be: a. it is a weakness of the Opel, b. people have devised ways to preserve the fragile switch (eg the Otto Start) and c. it is the second most hard part to find.

Has anyone done any work toward finding a donor switch that might be both compatible AND readily available? I have noticed that many out there have installed "starter buttons" My previous owner did this (rather :eek: badly) due to a fried switch. I would like to go back to a conventional key start and would not mind doing some experimenting along the way. But I seek the advise of the wiser Opelers who may have pursued this before. Is this worth the effort? Has anyone already checked into this and determined it a futile serch? :confused:
OttoStart, or other units like it, will NOT WORK with a totally failed (no starter click even) ignition switch.

BTW, I have one left whose funds I'll donate to this site. Anyone need one?
 

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Pic your poision

I have been reading and talking to other Opler's about the Otto start or similar relays for the starter switch in the column. If your switch is old and you put the relay in, then yes, it will keep from burning the switch out, but the switch still can go bad ( 40 yr. old) and when it does, it can feed power back to the starter due to the relay and will allow it to run, either when you first turn the key to the run position before you turn it all the way to the start position or it can come on at any time the key is in the run position as your driving the car. Mine gave me both of these warning signs,:banghead: so I disconnected the relay until I can replace the starter switch. As far as I can tell, why would you put the relay on an old switch, wouldn't it be better to have the switch fail then to fry the starter and flywheel and who knows what else ???
 

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Über Genius
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I have been reading and talking to other Opler's about the Otto start or similar relays for the starter switch in the column. If your switch is old and you put the relay in, then yes, it will keep from burning the switch out, but the switch still can go bad ( 40 yr. old) and when it does, it can feed power back to the starter due to the relay and will allow it to run, either when you first turn the key to the run position before you turn it all the way to the start position or it can come on at any time the key is in the run position as your driving the car. Mine gave me both of these warning signs,:banghead: so I disconnected the relay until I can replace the starter switch. As far as I can tell, why would you put the relay on an old switch, wouldn't it be better to have the switch fail then to fry the starter and flywheel and who knows what else ???
I don't know that you understand the purpose of the relay in the configuration.
Relays are used for the purpose of NOT feeding power back into a circuit. They are electrically controlled on/off switches. When the relay gets power from the ignition sitch, it turns the relay ON. When the powere is taken away the relay goes to OFF. There should be no feedback unless the relay is fried or installed incorrectly.
 

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Super Moderator
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Ah, Sunday . . .

I have been reading and talking to other Opeler's about the Otto start or similar relays for the starter switch in the column. If your switch is old and you put the relay in, then yes, it will keep from burning the switch out, but the switch still can go bad ( 40 yr. old) and when it does, it can feed power back to the starter due to the relay and will allow it to run, either when you first turn the key to the run position before you turn it all the way to the start position or it can come on at any time the key is in the run position as your driving the car. Mine gave me both of these warning signs, :banghead: so I disconnected the relay until I can replace the starter switch. As far as I can tell, why would you put the relay on an old switch, wouldn't it be better to have the switch fail then to fry the starter and flywheel and who knows what else ???
. . . so lets briefly discuss discuss your described 'ignition switch with relay' potential failure causes for a moment, as that appears to be what you're asking, right?

First, let's just take the just any typical Opel ignition switch of that era and analyze the causes of the start switch 'burn out', i.e. failure to start engine, as that is the purpose of that 'start-switch bypass relay'.

Any 'high-current switch' contact points may electrically fail due to those points being eroded by the very 'high-current' they switch by no longer making contact when switched 'ON' (closed) . . . consider older engine distributor 'points' failures with many, many more 'ON-OFF' duty cycles than any 'Start Switch'.

When a 'high-current-bypass' relay is used to switch that load from the 'start-switch' contacts to the relay contacts, the 'start-switch' contacts current changes from Amperes (high) to milliamperes (very low, 0.001Amp). The starter-solenoid high-current now only passes through the relay contacts whose low-current coil is now only switched by the ignition-key 'START-switch' contacts.

To the best of my knowledge over the last twelve years or so, there have been no ELECTRICALLY-caused starter failures with these Opel 'Start' bypass-relay installations.

That said, there have been two 'Starter staying engaged' failures after 'OttoStart' installations that mimicked the ones to which you alluded in your post, so let me briefly explain the actual causes discovered after the fact. It was discovered that the cause may occur with or without an 'OttoStart' installed and was entirely MECHANICAL in nature.

The Opel Ignition-switch key is returned from the 'START' to the 'ON' position after the engine starts by a small circular spring inside a cast tube along the circumference of the Ignition-switch assembly. The 'START/ON' return spring tends to rub inside that cast pot-metal tube arc and flake off metal powder/grit over time to make the key stick intermittently in the 'START' position! . . . likely also the real cause of your problem described above.

Thought I had a failed ignition switch depicting this problem still laying around somewhere . . . can't put my hand on it somehow.
 

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Ya, they are 59.00 plus shipping, I'm debating on the combo set they have. The new starter and switch for 189.00 save 20.00. Great deal. I have a good used one, but when I go thru the trouble to install it, I will use a new one. Don't want to do this again. I'm sure it will be fun, but until then she stays in the garage :banghead:
 

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. . .

When a 'high-current-bypass' relay is used to switch that load from the 'start-switch' contacts to the relay contacts, the 'start-switch' contacts current changes from Amperes (high) to milliamperes (very low, 0.001Amp). The starter-solenoid high-current now only passes through the relay contacts whose low-current coil is now only switched by the ignition-key 'START-switch' contacts...
:yup:
IMO you'll be crazy NOT to remove the solenoid current from the ignition switch.
Yes I've checked the current draw of the solenoid it's over 4 amps continuous and
peaks at over 32 amps!

Text Line Yellow Font Screenshot


To the best of my knowledge over the last twelve years or so, there have been no ELECTRICALLY-caused starter failures with these Opel 'Start' bypass-relay installations.


The Opel Ignition-switch key is returned from the 'START' to the 'ON' position after the engine starts by a small circular spring inside a cast tube along the circumference of the Ignition-switch assembly. The 'START/ON' return spring tends to rub inside that cast pot-metal tube arc and flake off metal powder/grit over time to make the key stick intermittently in the 'START' position! . . . likely also the real cause of your problem described above.

Thought I had a failed ignition switch depicting this problem still laying around somewhere..
Yep I've also seen the return spring break in non-opels.
 
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Yes I've checked the current draw of the solenoid it's over 4 amps continuous and
peaks at over 32 amps!
That explains why even 30A relay failed. I replaced it with 40A relay. Five minutes and $12 job instead of hours needed to replace ignition switch (after waiting a week or so for the replacement one) at the cost close to $100 for new one including tax and shipping.
 

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Brad
I will leave it to others to come up with the reason for the problem you describe. I have had the same issue on the last two GTs I have owned. In both cases I was told the relay most likely was wired wrong. I did not think so at the time nor do I now. Funny thing was in both cases the system worked fine for a short time. First time was on my 73 GT and the starter engaged as I was driving down the highway. Unhook the relay and I'm okay. Put a relay on the 72 GT after I bought it and works fine. Wife drives the GT to work and about Quitting time I get a call the starter engages the minute the key is turned and won't shut off. Undo the relay and we are back to normal, have not tried to put one back on since. Glad to see some one else post on this so I know it's not my mind playing tricks.
I have since been told it may be the carbon build up in the ignition switch allowing a bleed by. I know when I took the switch on the 72 apart to rebuild it the spring was fine. Probably should have put the relay back on after I did the rebuild but felt like Timothy Leary's brother, Really Leery. Rebuild now starting to fail again, OY!
 
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