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 Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1

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boojum



Posts: 2028
Join date: 2009-01-21
Age: 27
Location: NH

PostSubject: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:39 pm

Twice before I had problems with a LT1 knocking, pinging and loss of power only after the car warms up.
Twice I have replaced the optisaprk and problem solved.

Now I have the same problem with the Camaro only worse. This car has the nonvented version of the opti. So is it the cap or the electronics gone bad? To play it safe I plan to take the MSD cap from the spare engine and the base with electronics from the Z28 parts car. Now the unvented optis cost around $100 more than the vented version and have about 1/10th the lifespan.You can modify the unvented optis to vented with a couple fittings, a drill, and some glue.

OK now the trouble starts. Smile I decide to replace the water pump shaft seal 'casue it's much much more difficult to replace the opti in the F-Bodies and I really don't want to have to do this again for a long time. Now I've replaced this seal almost as many times as Bill's Nephew has installed trannys without any trouble. Not this time I wreck the seal twice. So after three trips to the parts store I get the seal installed correctly.

Now the real trouble starts. I take the two opti halves and put them together to make one. Mod it to make it into a vented version. Put everything back together, fill 'er up with coolant and try to start the car. It won't start. WTF! I scan for codes and get a DTC 16, no low resolution signal. Now it can't be the cap because it shouldn't cause this kind of error. It can't be the opti base and electronics 'cause the engine it came from was running last week. I start checking the wiring and what not. I can't find anything wrong and now I'm getting really pissed. I decide it has to be the opti electronics as strange as it seems.

I'm out of junk optis and I really don't have the money to pop for a new one due to some of my recent purchases. I have a buch o' spare parts but it seems almost never exactly what I need. I decide to try the original opti base and electronics with the MSD cap. Put it all back together sans coolant 'cause I don't have anymore antifreeze. Try to start the car and it fires right up. At this point I'm still not sure the original problem it solved since I can't let it warm up. Off to Walmart for more antifreeze. As soon as I get back I find a full jug in the garage that I thought was water. Smile Fill it up, warm it up and all seems fine. Now how did the opti from the Z28 parts car go bad when it ran just last week?

From a visual inspection it's obvious the original cap was bad. I still fear there may be a problem and I won't be happy 'til I run the car for an extended period of time.

Does anyone have any personal experience with the ultra cheap ebay optis? I'm gonna need another if I try to fire up the Z28 engne.

How much do distributors cost for the LS1 engines?
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mean ss



Posts: 648
Join date: 2009-02-25
Age: 56
Location: Nashua NH.

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:29 am

how is the opti wiring harness?
opti, used 40 miles http://www.camaroz28.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707639
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Tomz9C1



Posts: 1363
Join date: 2009-01-21
Age: 51
Location: Rumford, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:47 am

boojum wrote:


Does anyone have any personal experience with the ultra cheap ebay optis?
YES! STRANDED ME ON I-895 in Charlotte,NC. July, 1st 2008! I'm not bitter though.
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Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:58 pm

I think I would like to make this a one time fix.

I would buy a brand new ac delco opti from summit or jegs.I would drill, tap and install a port so the damn thing can be vented.

I would then use the msd cap and rotor if it fits, and purchase a new vent harness and opti harness, and never look back.
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boojum



Posts: 2028
Join date: 2009-01-21
Age: 27
Location: NH

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:53 pm

mean ss wrote:
how is the opti wiring harness?
opti, used 40 miles http://www.camaroz28.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707639

The harness is fine. I tried another just in case.

Hey you can see through that opti!


The GM unvented opti form Summit is $400!

I modded the previous opti to be vented. The vented caps fit just fine. I might just see if I can get something cheap (used Gm) and order an Accel cap from Summit. I could always change the cam.
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Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:02 pm

I have never seen the internals of an early opti. I am only aware of the drive and vent differences. Could you use the magnetic pick up from the newer style? What else about it could fail? Just put the late pickup in your old style opti body, and not buy a whole unit.

I have come to the conclusion that the optispark, 4l60e, heating system, and intake gaskets were designed at 4pm on a friday befor a long weekend. scratch
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Tomz9C1



Posts: 1363
Join date: 2009-01-21
Age: 51
Location: Rumford, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:18 am

IMPALADAKID wrote:

I have come to the conclusion that the optispark, 4l60e, heating system, and intake gaskets were designed at 4pm on a friday befor a long weekend. scratch
Not to mention grade "5" Exhaust manifold bolts.
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sdstick



Posts: 4076
Join date: 2009-03-21
Location: Revere, MA

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:44 pm

I dont want to tell you something you already know but the temp sensor on the waterpump will stop that vehicle from running when its hot
It'll start when you MAKE it but it'll sputter & miss whenever it decides.
Cheap fix (especially when there's no antifreeze in there Laughing )

_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke the 4L60E
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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boojum



Posts: 2028
Join date: 2009-01-21
Age: 27
Location: NH

PostSubject: Re: Dr. Optispark or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LT1   Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:22 pm

Just for fun today I replaced the new opti seal that was leaking. I should have left that one alone too since the original wansn't leaking. Smile

I think I should start saving for a LSx.
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