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Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 74 Sportwagon has been motoring about nicely ... until this week. First I noticed that when the ignition key was in the ON position and the car wasnt started the red 'engine' light no longer came on. Then when I started the car the light came on. This is just the opposite of its previous behavior and not what I think should happen. But everything was still working (lights and running) and I wasnt too concerned - i thought Id take some time on the weekend to hunt down the problem.

Then last night when I left work I had a hard time starting the car and noticed that the tach was not functioning, nor the fuel guage. I got it started but just barely then turned on the headlights. The tach jumped into action and the fual guage moved up and the 'engine' light got brighter. I turned the headlights off and the car died. Wouldnt start. Turned them back on and it starts and things look good. Then I pushed the brakes - the 'engine' light got very bright and the engine stumbled. could keep it running but poorly.

I suspect that my ignition switch is kaput or I have a short between my lighting system and my ignition (probably the hot coil wire).

Anybody had a similar experience , or a suggestion?
 

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Opeler
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60 Posts
Hey Surfer dude,
I am a long time 74 Sport Wagoner and I live in Sherman Oaks.
I would check to make sure you have not bumped one of your fuses, or unplugged or jarred the plugs that go into the side of your fusebox.
Also check carefully for rust/corrosion/water damage with a strong flashlight up there under the fuse box and the bottom of the battery box INSIDE the car.
Feel free to email me.....I'm a 32 year opel veteran but new to this site.
[email protected]
 

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tomking
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2,498 Posts
I only wish mine were on the road and I could have such problems. But one reads lots and lots on this board about GROUNDS. Your problems sounds a lot like you have a grounding problem. Check your ground wires...
 

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Super Moderator
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14,065 Posts
This has happened to me on numerous occasions, definitely check for grounds and for bad fuses. Sounds like you're getting backfeeds.
 

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Member
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88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys!

Yea, I thought when the 'engine' light started working opposite of its previous function that there was probably some opportunistic electrons runing through the circuit backwards (little bas#*rds). Its good to have a few extra brains thinking with me before I go tearing things apart.

I think I'l start by seeing if the coil hot lead is grounding, then isolate it to the column wiring or the Box-to-everything else rats nest.

But thanks to your advice I'll definitely look for the obvious bad connectors , rubbing loose wires, and bad grounds first.

I'll let you know how it goes!
 

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Member
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88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well... well....

Had a bit of time to look into the electrical problem between downpours (lots of rain the last week or so) and started with the fuzebox. Sure enough I had two fried fuzes. Im surprised the car even ran at all and dont really understand how the lights were working. So i went looking for a short that could have caused this and found/repaired two possibilities. First was a bad ground in the dash and this was quickly remedied. The second was terminated oil sensor wires. I purchased the car without a working oil guage and soon found that the wiring was not there for the existing sender. Im currently using a capillary/ mechanical guage and didnt care about the fact that the sender wires were gone ... until the wet weather found one of them and shorted it.

Im still not certain that this is all of it but things seem to be working correctly right now.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
 

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Member
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Great! Love to read success stories!!!

This forum is a Great place to fix these sort of problems, for sure! A lot of experiance here at our site!

I noticed when I had my engine steam cleaned that water got in around the fuse panel, not good! Sugguest you maybe check where any wires and or cables come through the firewall as seal them up with some silicone to prevent farther water damage as well!

Regards,
Rick
 
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