Chevrolet Opala – defects and problems

Chevrolet Opala – defects and problems

The Chevrolet Opala is one of the most respected vintage cars in Brazil and one of the longest-lasting classic cars in the national market, having been launched in 1968 and discontinued at the end of 1991.

The first car manufactured by General Motors in Brazil, the Opala was a combination of Opel record and Chevrolet Impala with old mechanics, based on the engine launched by GM in the USA in 1929.

This was an in-line six-cylinder engine that, in a vehicle that combined the names of Opel and Impala, an American sedan with a similar profile, produced the Opala in two-door coupe and four-door sedan bodies.

Shortly after, the Turkish version appeared, the Opala Caravan, thus closing the family of cars that would still have a version with an inline four-cylinder engine, this one being a derivative of the six-piston engine.

However, the design of the Opala was not compatible with the presented machines, producing many defects and problems that affect almost all available units.

Manufactured in São Caetano do Sul, the Opala appeared with an outdated engine in early 1968, which gave it 200 kg extra weight over the four-cylinder Opala.

With control on the block and the cast iron head, the Opala 4.1 engine forced not only the chassis spars, but also the suspension and body work, as well as leaving the rear free.

Even with the small engine, the Opala had vibration problems and the set itself had to go through several late updates, which did not improve the car and today it is a frequent defect and problem.

High vibration and use

In the engine, Chevrolet Opala has many defects and problems, which can give headaches to owners, especially those who postpone their decision.

One of the biggest complaints from Opala owners is the high consumption of oil due to the old engines, whose design dates back to the 30s and there was still a motivating factor of high weight.

In addition to the 4.1-liter inline-six, there was also a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which had an excessive vibration that many people do not like, it was emphasized in a version of 153 cubic inches, which was later reduced to 151 cubic inches. , but it did not eliminate the problem, it only reduced it with a change in the diameter x of the piston.

Low carbohydrate food

Another defect in the mechanics of the Chevrolet Opala is the bad supply of the carburetor, but given by the collector, which did not serve the second and fifth cylinders well, something that has never been solved by GM.

This caused the pressure in these two cylinders to be lower compared to the others, but by strengthening the mixture to compensate for this, the engine does not work correctly.

On the other hand, the mechanics and converters modified the mass with internal fins to improve the flow of the air-fuel mixture in these two cylinders, the solution being known as the “liter engine”.

Another error was when starting the engine due to the rotor not fully entering the Opala flywheel rack, which makes many owners agree with the mechanics to turn the teeth on the mass flywheel to avoid its replacement.

Starter motor falling off and leaking oil

It is also common for the starter to fall due to its upside down mounting bolts. Some modify starters from other models to improve starting.

Oil leakage is another problem of the Opala and the fault is a gasket (sealing wick) of the crankshaft near the flywheel, of poor manufacture, which caused pools of oil where the Opala stopped, even joking about the problem, it was just solved. and GM at the end of the model’s life.

The design of the 4.1-liter Opala engine was so old that the cylinder bearings did not use bushings, but gaskets, printed fabric materials to absorb lubricating oil, preventing leakage from the engine compartment.

Cracks and wheels are coming out

diplomat opal 4

Chevrolet Opala suffered from the weight of his heart and also from a low car that could have taken another path, lost in the currents of the road of life …

In the first case, cracks in the spars of the body appear due to the large difference in weight between the 4 and 6 cylinder versions in the line, and in the second even distorting the steering wheel, if that is the effort of the chassis to support the engine. six cylinders 4.1 liters.

In addition, the front suspension bushings were frequent changes and defective rods that caused the wheel to break, and could cause accidents and death.

In the same way, the rear wheel also came out and took the inner half-axle of the solid axle with it, because of the poor quality of the elastic gasket sealing the axle from Braseixos, which would have broken and allowed the wheel to come. the outside of the car revolves around the elements. .

The problem was solved by the Dana variant, which had a set fixing flange, which is more stable and avoids the serious and dangerous defect of the Braseixos set.

Rust and the back that floats

Chevrolet Opal

High corrosion on the Chevrolet Opala is well known, with poor treatment of metal plates and water entering through the rear windows of the coupe version, which fell off like the front ones, as well as the trunk lid, whose rubber was of poor quality.

The rear float is also another problem for the Opala, as it is lighter than the front and causes a lot of vibration when driving, where owners add weight to the trunk to reduce this unusual movement of the car.

General Motors, near the end of the Opala’s life, built a lower stabilizer bar into the rear axle suspension to reduce power, but it only reduced the problem.

Bad horseshoes are another problem that allowed other keys to open doors, and also caused the key to break inside.

There were problems with the door linings which, over time, shrink and clog the rubber, an easily broken blinker rod was another defect, as was the starter base which is permanent in all Opals that start on the steering column.

An early cast inner roof (91/92) and outer side skirts were also part of the package…

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