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I Just got my first GT yesterday and need some experienced help with a roll over problem. When the lights are rolled open they lock in place normally, but when I roll them back the passenger side rolls too far, sometimes it overshoots by as much as 45 degrees. When I manually push it back into place it feels like something is "slipping"? until it gets to the normal position and then it lets off. I looked at the cross bar to see if it was tight and it was. Has this happened to anyone else? I want to fix this when I do the wiring, but need some help as to where I should be looking. The buckets on both sides have a little rotational slop. Are there bump stops to adjust as well? Thanks for any help with this. I had the car out today after going over it last night. MAN this is a Kick A-- car!!! I can´t wait to get it fixed up.
 
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Well I think that I have found the problem. With the cover and bulb assy removed, I noticed that there were only one of the three bolts in place at the point where the wiring harness passes through on both buckets. This seems to account for the side to side play and the passenger light "slipping". How hard are these screws to get? I have not removed the entire bucket assy yet to inspect the holes, but I´m guessing that the old hardware has been broken off in place. Is this a reasonable assumption and how hard is it to fix if so? Thanks for any help or advice.
 
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We feel your pain, Pheel. We have all been where you are now. Welcome to the GT Headlight Aggravation Club. Those little bolts have been called evil, gnarly, & worse, & you are unlikely to find them at the local hardware store . . .but many of have them stashed away, & feel free to contact me if they´re what you need. Recommend that you search the Classicopels Vault for the excellent articles about the GT headlight system you´ll find there. The more you know about ´em, the better off you´ll be. Hope that those two missing bolts "walked" out through vibration, & didn´t break off . . . let us know how it goes.
 
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GT Headlights

This is a common problem with the GT headlights, but unfortunately only one of several that come up. The bolts will almost certainly be broken off inside the retractor gear hub. You need to remove the retractor and drill out the bolt holes, then re-tap them with a tapered tap. The tricky part is to drill them out, since they are steel bolts in an aluminum housing. I suggest you use a drill press to keep the holes straight and true.

There is a very good written description of headlight repairs available on this site. Look at the Opel GT home page in the lower right hand box titled "Top Downloads" and download Wayne Torman´s article: "GT Headlights" or go directly to:

http://www.classicopels.com/wbb/portal_database.php?action=view&fid=2&cid=2&styleid=1

On the classicopels site (I believe under the "Files/Technical" section) this article is reprised (well, it actualy originated there) and it is accompanied by an article I wrote, which gives some additional procedures on trouble-shooting, but more importantly a much needed method to re-install those broken bolts. I believe the address is as follows, but Yahoo is down right now, so I will just copy it into this text. Sorry for the length.

Wayne´s article is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/classicopels/files/ %
20Technical%20Information/Headlights/Headlights.doc and is very comprehensive, and is the best place to start. Look that up first, but try these ideas as well.

The GT headlights are quite complicated, and several things can go wrong, and problems can be the result of simultaneous faults. Which makes fixing them very interesting. Wayne suggested looking at the "ear" on the swivel plate. I think he is referring to the locking tabs on the retractor that holds the swivel plate in place
(both open and closed). This is very possibly the problem, which requires replacement of the retractor. Or it can be broken swivel strips (the thin spring steel strips that connect the bucket to the swivel plate). Or it might be loose or broken bolts (stock bolts are
7 mm heads, 5 mm bolts, but only replacements available are 8 mm head) that fasten the plate to the mechanism. If the plate is loose, the "dog" on the plate won´t properly engage the "ear". (Don´t you LOVE these fancy technical terms!) But if one or more of the three bolts on each side are broken, the only alternative (to replacing the retractor) is to remove the retractor and drill and re-tap the holes. I have done it, but you are drilling out steel bolts in an aluminum piece, so be VERY careful. My advice is to use a drill press to keep the holes centered and vertical. Bolts should be
available from your local hardware store, but the heads wil be larger than the stock bolts. This can work, but try to get original bolts and dress the threads with a thread die before you re-use them. Also clean out the threads in the retractor with a taper tap before you
install the bolts. Make sure the bolts tighten against the plate BEFORE they botttom out in the retractor holes.

Unfortunately, you can only see these with the buckets removed, which is a bit of a chore, so my advice is to start with the stuff you can see. Probably won´t be it, but at least you can eliminate some of the potential problems. Look at your lever; make sure all the retaining bolts, two top and one side, are in place and tight. Make sure that there isn´t anything restricting the lever travel. Katheryn´s car had a very nice new carpet underlay that had worked it´s way into the lever slot, stopping it before the end of the travel. Look at the cable attachment under the hood to make sure that
it hasn´t come loose. Try adjusting the cable at this location to increase the distance that the rod moves forward in the "open" motion. If it now latches "open" but won´t latch "closed", look again at the lever travel. Make sure all of the retractor bolts are tight (two in each wheel-well behind the cover plate, one just below
the hood lip. The drivers side is nicely hidden behind the master cylinder!). If all this fails, read Wayne´s article again, because you are about to remove the buckets!

One last piece of advice not in Wayne´s article. When you are about to re-install the buckets, bolt on the swivel plates and the swivel strips to the retractors (with the 5 mm bolts) FIRST, with the bucket fastening bolts inserted through the strips pointing towards the
front of the car. Then, when the buckets are manuevered in place, you simply (HUGE understatement!) hold the bolt heads with a small 10
mm wrench (between the strip and the plate) while you attach the nuts from within the buckets.

HTH and good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Well said, Keith. . . and, Pheel, you do have yet another option available, if the repair procedure looks kind of daunting--replace the gear assemblies with good used ones. This could save you hours of frustration. I´d be willing to bet that at least half of the members of this group have spares that they´d sell you cheap. GT owners tend to accumulate spare parts, to say the least (some would call it hoarding, but that´s not what I´d call it--it´s investing in the future), & would be happy to help. The gear mechanisms need to be cleaned & lubricated every so often, so this might be a good time to address ALL your headlght issues--re-wiring, bucket alignment-- & be done with them, hopefully. One further tip--mark the position of the bolts (one underhood, two behind the access covers in the wheel wells) before you remove them. This will help greatly when the time comes to reassemble everything.
 
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AND good luck. Remember. . . We´re HERE, because you´re THERE. :D Wish I´d had this group for advice/caveats/dire warnings the first time I had to deal with these damned headlights!
 
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Thanks for the help. I was hoping that all I would need to do with the lights was to re-wire them. I have been looking at the light assemblies on the car for the last two days trying to figure out exactly what needed done so I could do this one time. Nothing´s worse than finding out after you "finish" a job that something else was missed requiring another tear down.

In the course of my current lighting delima I have found the following: The lights will lock in both the up and down positions and the cable, as well as the handle, seems to be moving freely Once in a great while the lights fail to turn on or flicker out but will come back on if I toggle them from bright back to dimm, close and re-open them or a combination of both. The "lid" on the driver´s side has a small dent in it at the front outside edge. My wiring looks good, but also looks to be stock, so that will need to be replaced. The swivel strips look good from what I can see of them.

Is the length of the bolt the only issue when replacing the 5mm bolts? I have a ton of metric hardware if head type doesn´t matter.

Thanks again everyone.
Phil
 
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Faced this problem 17 years ago

I definately feel your pain. It´s amazing. My car car has been in storage for 14 years (Im getting it out on the 23rd) and before I even read your post, I know exactly what the problem was.

If you are missing those bolts, then your problem is easy to fix. However, if you are lucky enough to have my problem, broken off, then your in for a real treat. I had to drill the old bolts out and then retap the hole and then insert more bolts. Talk about a day from hell. It only took me 7 hours to do it. That was fun....NOT X(
 
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Oh Boy!
Yes if only I had these resources back in 1984 when I first got my GT. One of the headlights had been totally removed by the original owner. Had to make my own "swivel strips" and learn how it all went together by disassembling the intact one. Yes many hours of time can be spent on those "cleverly" designed units! No wonder only two production cars ever made, as far as I know, have ever used rotation. Makes me wonder what the assembly line process looked like!
 
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I just got off the phone with Gil of Opel GT source. I was asking about some of the things he has done with his red GT and brought up my light problem. Gil told me that his "trick" for getting the bolt out was to get a fairly sharp reversed drill bit so that as soon as it catches the remaining stud it will unscrew itself. One side benifit of this is that it will unscrew me in the process. I had not yet seen this tip so I thought I´d share it with everyone else. I´ll post how everything goes once it´s finished. The support here is great.

Phil
 
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