81 Vette Choke Heater Control Relay - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:47 AM
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81 Vette Choke Heater Control Relay

With the engine running, the Generator Charge Lamp is dim but definitely illuminated on the center instrument panel. The Choke Heater Control Relay located in the center console, driver's side, abeam the gear shift area, makes a buzzing sound. The "choke" light on the driver's instrument panel illuminates intermittently, especially after the engine is at normal operating temperature. Power to the Choke Relay at the carburetor also checks good.

The alternator has been recently rebuilt. All components are new and bench checked twice for proper output/operation. Voltage Regulator also new. Battery checked and passed for good. Only a year old and fully charged. Continuity checks good between Alternator and Battery systems. All fusible links check good. All grounds from Alternator and Battery systems check good. I removed the Choke Heater Control Relay, popped the plastic housing to inspect wiring and contact point and found no visible maladies IE charring or breaks.

The Choke Relay is original - it has never been replaced. The buzzing sounds like a relay electrically failing. I'm a notice vette wrench. Should I replace the relay or look elsewhere for the problem? Thx for your help. Cp

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Last edited by ckpena; 11-03-2008 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:21 AM
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Vette problems

I have worked on many a corvette, having worked for Chevrolet for about 12 years. The alt. light being on dim sounds like a bad diode trio in the alternater, the alt. will still charge if this is bad, but this is usually the cause of the light being on. Your choke light staying on is another issue. In the early 80's GM hooked the choke light in conjunction with the oil pressure switch. If your light comes on after the engine is warmed up, at idle, you could have low oil pressure. Next time the light comes on, raise the RPM slightly and see if the light goes out. If it does, you'll have to chase a low oil pressure problem. Hope I have helped, Hotrodhill.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:45 AM
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81 Vette Choke Relay

I'll pull the alternator and have the diode trio checked. I'm pretty sure that was checked but I'll check it again. You didn't mention the Choke Heater Relay. Do you think I should replace it or is it doing what it's supposed to do?

You described the choke vs. low oil press situation perfectly. Given the age of the car, the oil pressure switch has never been changed. I'll turn my attention to that once I've got the word re. that diode trio.

Generally, the car has about 85K miles on it. It's always been garaged and I've always adhered to recommended GM maintenance schedules. Putting less than 1000 miles/year on the car doesn't help, I know.

Thanks VERY much for your direction and experience. I really appreciate it.
R/Cp
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:14 PM
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choke heater

As long as the choke is opening fully after it warms up, I would leave it alone. Any help I can be, e-mail me, Thanks Tom.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:12 PM
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Problem solved

Yo Tom, you were exactly right - the diode trio was bad. R&R'd with new and all opps are normal.

Thanks again.

Chris
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:36 AM
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vette issues

Glad to help a fellow rodder, Hotrodhill
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