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Federated52

'69 GTO problems ???

Question

Hey everyone,
I have just got a '69 GTO up & running after approx. 20+ years of storage. It starts & runs fine, but when I turn the key off it sputters & spits for approx. 30 seconds before completely shutting off. Also, the right turn signal works fine inside & out, but the left does not work at all inside & out. When I put on the 4-way flashers they all work. The last problem I have is the convertible top worked when I put it away for the winter last fall (Although a little slowly), but now it does not work at all. Any help with any of these problems would be really helpful. I know there are many smart people on here that could help so thanks ahead of time.

Thanks Again,
Todd

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Did a little more research on why the top will go down, but not up & it seems the general opinion is that the switch is bad. I pulled the rear seat completely & no leaks that I can see. Should I try a new switch, or do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks

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Sometimes it takes a moment or two to build pressure for it to go up. You should not have to pull the plug in order to do this.

Still check under your back seat for fluid leaks.

Now lets assume for the moment that you have no leaks, then you might have an electrical problem. Its possible that either the switch or the motor is failing. You can test the motor by disconnecting the switch underneath the dash. Just disconnect the red/green connection. That provides current to the motor for either up or down. Apply power to either the red or green circuit going back to the motor with a 12V source like a power probe. Test both circuits. If you hear the motor run both ways, then you know the motor is fine and the problem is most likely with the switch.

 

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I pushed the button up for approx. 30 seconds & nothing no motor sound or movement at all. Checked again for leaks, could not see any even moved the back side panels to see if there were any leaks at the lifts & nothing. I unplugged the switch & put a test light & voltmeter on the wire(s) that go to the battery & I got nothing. The leads seem semi-clean. No corrosion. I do not have a power probe.

On a good note the car is now in my name, and I should receive the tags in about 2 weeks. So at least I will be able to drive it. (On sunny days). HaHa

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You'll need to rig up your own 12V power lead running from the fuse panel to your plug going to the two motor leads (red and green) to adequately test the motor. I would definitely try to clean the contacts while I was there since you said they are "semi-clean".

Time to drive is coming soon.

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I tried reversing the wires from the switch to see if I could use the down button to make it go up & nothing. My co-worker's Dad is coming to check it out. (Me & electricity don't get along). He used to work at a Pontiac dealer in the 60's & 70's, so he should know what he's doing. I talked to him & he is 90% sure it is the switch, though.

If that is the case, how do I remove the switch?

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Posted (edited)

That's the fun part. It's tough. The switch is held in with a retaining clip that is on the front of the dash and clips or screws in (I can't remember which) on the back side.

You will need to remove the air ducts under the dash in order to squeeze your hand up between the steering column and the dash to feel behind the switch (expect to scrape your hand once or twice too). You should be able to determine by feel if it is screwed or clipped into the dash. Obviously you need to remove the retaining clip by whatever means necessary. Next follow the wires around to the two connectors -  the two-wire motor connector and single-ground wire and disconnect them. With the switch clip removed and the switch free from the dash, pull the switch out towards you into the passenger compartment.

Install the new switch in the reverse order. The new switch should come with a new retaining clip.

Before installing the switch for good, double check the electrical connections first and make sure they fit fine and everything works properly first by testing the new switch and see if the top goes up and down.

If this procedure doesn't work getting the switch out, then you have the pleasure of taking the dash apart.

Edited by Frosty

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I can lay on the floor a look up under the dash. I can see where the remote is. It looks like it is clipped in. (I cannot see any screws). It doesn't look like I have to remove any duct work. I can follow all the wires from the remote. I looks like my only problem will be figuring out how to get the rear clip off.

I bought a 3-way toggle switch, just to see if I can wire it up to see if I can work the top with that, so that I know for sure it's the switch before I remove it. I probably won't get to it till later next week. Going for a long weekend vacation. Then I a selling at a local car show next weekend. Busy week coming up. I will keep you up to date when a get a chance to work on it.

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hooked up the toggle switch, did the same thing the original switch was doing. Motor works going down, but not up. I even tried reversing the wires & did not make a difference. My co-workers Dad never showed up.

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Posted (edited)

Ok folks,

 

Good news & bad news. Good News first: I took her out for the first drive. (On the street). Ran good, shifted good, brakes are fine. (Just have to get used to manual brakes).  Bad news is it was all over the road. Do you think it is the old tires?, or, do you think the steering box is bad? I will be putting new tires on it in the next few weeks. What is the oem steering box ratio? If I read right it is 4 turns lock to lock. I do remember when I got my Camaro up & running it had the same problem, so my mechanic replaced the steering box.

Edited by Federated52

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Posted (edited)

Bias ply tires handle differently than radials but I get the sense that is not the total issue. A lot effects your steering. The stock steering ratio is 24:1. I would advise you to get a steering box from an 1985-1986 IROC Z-28. It’s the same physical unit with a 16:1 ratio - about three turns lock to lock and you can get it cheap at your local auto parts store. I’m assuming you have power steering.

 Have you mechanic check your entire drag link, pitman arm, idler arm, and tie rods for play. Also see if the ball joints, shocks, and springs are worn out. Finally see if the rubber bushing in the control arms (front and back) are shot. Check to see if the front sway bar end links and bushings are tight. Does your car even have a rear sway bar? A lot of them didn’t  You’d be surprised how much adding a rear sway bar does to the handling of an A-body.

Its amazing what a difference updating all of this stuff will do to your ride.

Edited by Frosty

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Posted (edited)

As for the top, the last thing you can do is test the motor directly by applying current to either side of the red and green leads. I’d do it in the trunk on the motor itself. If it fails, then you know the motor is bad and it needs to be replaced.

 

Congrats on your test drive by the way! It’s always a good feeling.

Edited by Frosty

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I do have radial tires on the car now, they are just very old. Approx. 10 - 12 yrs. I will look into the Camaro steering box. Yes, I do have power steering. I will check the bushings, ball joints, ect. as well. I will have to check to see if it has a rear sway bar. A friend also suggested to get a front end alignment before getting new tires. Thank You again for all the help & suggestions. Will try to check it out over the weekend, as well as trying the top motor.

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Went and got a front end alignment today. It's so much better now. No more drifting from side to side on the road. No more "loose" feeling. It drives almost like a new car.  As for the new switch I ordered, it's delayed by two weeks, not in stock. I am so glad I can drive it with confidence now. We'll worry about the top later.

Thank You for you're help & advice.

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Posted (edited)

You can remove the two bolts that connect to the top of the each the hydraulic rams and the top's folding mechanism and the top becomes a non-powered manual top. It just helps to have two people to open and close it.  That way you can still put the top up and down and enjoy it. That's what I am doing for the moment with Lucy.

I'm glad to hear that a front end alignment cleared up a lot of your issues. Did the alignment shop recommend you replace anything?

Edited by Frosty

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Ok thanks for the info on the bolts. If I cannot get it working by the time I need to winterize it I will put the top up manually.

The alignment shop did not recommend to replace anything. I'm fairly sure the would have if anything was needed. They have been around as long as I can remember & I think they would have told me if so.  They actually tightened my rearview mirror (which I was going to do when I got home) & told me that my thermostat housing area had a small leak in it. (I put a new gasket on). I still plan on crawling underneath just to check anyway.

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13 hours ago, Federated52 said:

Ok thanks for the info on the bolts. If I cannot get it working by the time I need to winterize it I will put the top up manually.

The alignment shop did not recommend to replace anything. I'm fairly sure the would have if anything was needed. They have been around as long as I can remember & I think they would have told me if so.  They actually tightened my rearview mirror (which I was going to do when I got home) & told me that my thermostat housing area had a small leak in it. (I put a new gasket on). I still plan on crawling underneath just to check anyway.

It's good to have a dependable, reliable alignment shop around that you can trust. If they've been around as long as you say, they would have told you want needed to be replaced.

Check your rear end - do you have a rear sway bar? If not, still plan on getting one someday. It's amazing how much of a difference adding one does to a car's handling. I found it amazing how much tighter Lucy handled. If you don't have one, this means you will have to replace the rear lower control arms with a set of boxed ones and they have holes drilled in them to mount the sway bar. You can usually buy a whole kit from one of the catalogs like YearOne, OPG, National Parts Deport SummitRacing, etc.

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Got the new switch, put it in & it works, but I can only push the switch  for approx. 20 seconds or it keeps blowing fuses. I do hear the motor both ways. would you say that something is stopping the top from going up, maybe bound up somewhere?   I even tried a 30 amp fuse, but it blew that as well. Thanks for any help.

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