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 Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:39 pm

I'm posting this for my brother, I KEEP TELLING HIM to get his ass on here and introduce himself, but his computer is acting up and he works crazy hours, plus he's dealing with his car dying on him and going nuts! Laughing Laughing

Anyway, the car is a 94 Roadmaster:





I'll try to tell everything I know about the problem-
Over the last couple of months, it's been bogging out and stalling when you step on the gas. If you very, VERY, gently step on the gas, it won't do it (or won't do it as bad), but say you take off from a stoplight, right when you step on the gas, the car will cut out for about a second and a half, buck, then kick in again and take off. Once in a while it will completely stall when this happens, and is hard to restart. It stalled in traffic a few times when just idling too.

In addition to this, the car will cut out on the highway as well. It idles smooth and cruises fine. But if you're going 55 and try to pass someone, it will usually cut out. You can basically "make" the car exhibit the problem if you try.

Here is the catch, it only does this when it's warmed up. I don't know if this is a temp related issue, or if it's an "open loop/closed loop" thing.

The car was in an accident in January where it sideswiped, so the fender and door on the pass. side had to be replaced. The car sat for a few months at the back of the driveway. When the car was fixed, it ran fine for a few days but then started bucking real bad and stalling. Turns out the snorkel from the MAF to the TB was off, so put that back on, ran better, but the problem at hand was present and keeps getting worse.

As far as new parts-
I'm pretty sure the fuel filter has just been replaced. This car had a new Opti put in last year after the water pump leaked on it and ruined it (pump is new of course), and new ignition wires. A small shop near us did the distributor, and I'm not so sure they used a GM Optispark.

When it started acting up again, my brother took the car back there, but the regular guy was away and his really young nephew was in charge. Dropped the car off three times in three days and they did nothing to the car, but the kid INSISTS it had to be the fuel pump. So then the car gets dropped off again, sits there all day, my brother calls up, and the kid answers the phone by saying "I can't fix it, I don't know how..." literally!!! Shocked

Since I thought that whole situation was just laughable, for the hell of it I took the car up to another guy who works at a Buick dealer (but was a Mopar tech for the last few years mostly) and he looked the car over. He found an EGR code in the computer (OBD1, but I couldn't do the paperclip trick with the car). He checked that out, it was fine, he said he checked the fuel pressure and it was fine both when the car was idling smooth and also when it is cutting out. He thought the problem may have been the MAF, but he put a brand new GM one in there and it didn't change anything, ran fine while warming up but as soon as the car did get warmed up, it did the same thing as before. He basically gave up and said "he had three Buick guys with like 30 years of experience looking the thing over after hours last night, and they're stumped too..." This guy is cool and isn't charging us anything.

My brother is pulling his hair out over this...does anyone here have any ideas or recommendations? Maybe a junk parts store Optispark doing this? Can an Opti be tested without taking all those parts out?
The car does idle nice, so I don't know what to think...it's not even my car and now it's driving ME nuts, I have to drive the kid everywhere when he drops the car off someplace.

Like I said, I keep telling him to join here, but he's busy and not really all that great in a computer way as I've mentioned already...lol
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Needs a new opti spark! It is in limp mode and will only alow light throttle, under moderate to full it will bog and sound like a jake brake on a big rig.

And to think I have not even read past ther first sentence. Early 94s like my original ss were prone to opti failure.

This is not a cap and rotor fix. It is a brand new AC Delco opti fix.

I would also try the opti harness first as you should replace with new anyways. Just to make sure it is not in the harness. I would also replace the opti vent harness.
http://www.jegs.com/i/Accel/110/59125/10002/-1

http://www.optisparkharness.com/optisparkharness/default.aspx

http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=12558921
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:49 pm

Damn... No

I did notice that noise when I drove the car a couple of times, not quite a knocking, but it sounded like a rattling/ball bearings in a can sound for a split second. Kind of like a jake brake yea, except it was very quick.

What is actually in limp mode, the ECM or the Opti itself? Is there any way to scan for this? If it's the Opti, can one of the 95-96 updated ones be installed in a 1994 car (I know the originals had venting problems...)

This sucks! lol

Edit- didn't know about the Accel aftermarket ones, are they any good?
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:19 pm

All 94 -96 b-bodys got the updated vented opti. But the very early 94s had an issue with the vent harness itself. It was quickly discovered and a TSB was issued, as was a recall regarding it. As it would cause premature opti failure. It was also originaly covered under the 5 year 100,000 mile emission equipment warranty.
You can scan and I am sure you will find a fault code for a failed ignition signal.
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boojum



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:02 pm

I've had similar symptoms (except stalling) on three cars. Was the opti each time. First two times I replaced the whole opti. The last just a new cap/rotor did the trick.

I'd try a new ICM/coil and coil wire first 'cause they are simple to change. My bet is it's ignition related.

An EGR is easy to test with a Mityvac. If it don't hold a vacuum it's bad.

You can't jump for codes on a 94 B-body.

Now non-vented optis really, really suck!
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:24 pm

boojum wrote:
Now non-vented optis really, really suck!
Just for you Jim

http://www.jegs.com/p/JEGS/JEGS-LT1-LT4-Distributor/764013/10002/-1
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:07 am

Apparently, the guy at the dealer also swapped in a new coil, a new ignition module, and a few other things to see if they worked or not. None did the trick (put the new parts back on the shelf, of course). He said the dizzy definitely looks like an aftermarket one. He also checked out the EGR and said he ruled that out, said something else may have affected it and caused the code to come up...

The car really doesn't stall all that much. It might have stalled once or twice. It generally just cuts out, restarting by itself after less than 1.5 seconds tops. Basically a bucking/stumbling.

I never knew all 94-96 had the same Opti! I thought 94 had a non-vented one, guess I was off. Will definitely look into that. So apparently you can only scan for the aforementioned ignition signal if you have a 96/OBDII car?
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Tomz9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:52 am

It may be the infomous" Aux. battery post"! Has this been updated? it is a 94!
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:37 am

Tomz9C1 wrote:
It may be the infomous" Aux. battery post"! Has this been updated? it is a 94!

Didn't know anything about it!?! Laughing
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bammax



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:19 am

Here's the part number. The how to has gone missing.

12176639 Brass AUX Battery Post

To check it just follow the battery cable the runs up to a fuse block on the rear of the passenger side inner fender. Then pop the plastic cover off of the post the cable is attatched to and check for sings of damage or possibly even melting. If you notice any signs of damage or anything out of the usual then order the above mentioned part and replace it.
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bammax



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:27 am

I found this on another site which may be useful.

Q: My 94 Impala has intermittent electrical problems (flickering instruments or lights, engine hesitation or stalling), or the cover to the auxiliary battery connection has melted (near the underhood electrical center). What's up?

A: Under certain conditions, the battery cable connection at the underhood electrical center stud may overheat. This may cause melting of the plastic batter cable cover, the plastic stud housing, or the stud itself, resulting in intermittent loss of vehicle power. This is more likely to occur if extra electrical loads are added to the car. The fix (edit: go to link below, Technical Service Bulletin 94C59)
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:07 am

Tomz9C1 wrote:
It may be the infomous" Aux. battery post"! Has this been updated? it is a 94!
While this is something to look into as the car is a 94. (The replacement post would be brass) I think the old one was aluminum. His symptoms lead me to a failed opti.
This could be a opti harness issue or opti itself, but chances are it is the opti itself.
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Tomz9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:52 am

IMPALADAKID wrote:
Tomz9C1 wrote:
It may be the infomous" Aux. battery post"! Has this been updated? it is a 94!
While this is something to look into as the car is a 94. (The replacement post would be brass) I think the old one was aluminum. His symptoms lead me to a failed opti.
This could be a opti harness issue or opti itself, but chances are it is the opti itself.
You are correct sir.
My point is it is a 94, which means that more than likely he has the Zinc or Aluminum post which should be changed after he changes out his Opti before he has more problems.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:56 am

Another shop spent a few hours on it and determined it's the crappy Opti, the car loses spark when it cuts out (don't know what they used to scan with but the place is known for having a lot of diagnostic stuff and specializes in electrical systems).

My brother is going back to the guy who put the parts store dizzy in the car and seeing what he has to say- I hope there is still a receipt for the damn distributor around because I'd like to think the part had a warranty longer than it lasted. If they won't help I guess the shop that looked at it next may wind up replacing it
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:55 pm

Anyone know a cheap place to buy an Opti? We're gonna check out this Chevy dealer thats closing to see if they'll let one go cheap.

Saw one that supposedly is a GM one on eBay for 300, but who knows:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/GM-OEM-AC-DELCO-1104032-LT1-LT4-DISTRIBUTOR-OPTISPARK_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem27ac0f46e2QQitemZ170390406882QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

Gmpartsdirect is 338, RockAuto is 438 bucks
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:16 pm

They didn't have any in stock and they want 650, F-that!
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bammax



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:19 pm

I wouldn't be suprised to see them get discontinued soon. Then everyone will have to buy aftermarket or learn how to rebuld one from scratch.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:10 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
Anyone know a cheap place to buy an Opti? We're gonna check out this Chevy dealer thats closing to see if they'll let one go cheap.

Saw one that supposedly is a GM one on eBay for 300, but who knows:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/GM-OEM-AC-DELCO-1104032-LT1-LT4-DISTRIBUTOR-OPTISPARK_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem27ac0f46e2QQitemZ170390406882QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

Gmpartsdirect is 338, RockAuto is 438 bucks
That+ http://www.jegs.com/i/Accel/110/8136/10002/-1 should give you years of trouble free driving.
Don't forget this. http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=12555323. or this http://www.optisparkharness.com/optisparkharness/default.aspx
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:47 pm

So ya think that eBay one is a real Delco?

I noticed it said 94 1/2 Roadmasters and up. Better check the build date on this one I guess. With the harness, is the 93-94 part for a 94 Roadmaster? I thought I heard that the early LT1s in the F-body for 93-94 did not use the same Opti that was used in the 94 B-D cars.

I guess my little brother is going to have this thing put in by the guy who put the parts store one in. Laughing If anyone wants to make some cash putting it in for him with or without his help let me know and I'll pass the word along...haha
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:42 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
So ya think that eBay one is a real Delco?

I noticed it said 94 1/2 Roadmasters and up. Better check the build date on this one I guess. With the harness, is the 93-94 part for a 94 Roadmaster? I thought I heard that the early LT1s in the F-body for 93-94 did not use the same Opti that was used in the 94 B-D cars.

I guess my little brother is going to have this thing put in by the guy who put the parts store one in. Laughing If anyone wants to make some cash putting it in for him with or without his help let me know and I'll pass the word along...haha
As long as it is the one in the pic it is the one.
Here is the correct one http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=1104032 . The pic is correct and the part number is correct. So the ebay opti is ok. cheers
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:53 pm

Nice!

Gmpartsdirect makes you send them an email first before buying otherwise your warranty is void on the part. Hasn't come in yet, might just snag that eBay one.

This looks pretty decent, isn't Delphi the same as GM OEM?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/95-96-97-OPTISPARK-DISTRIBUTOR-CORVETTE-CAMARO-FIREBIRD_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14Q2el1262QQhashZitem5d2671f6e9QQitemZ400076961513QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:58 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
Nice!

Gmpartsdirect makes you send them an email first before buying otherwise your warranty is void on the part. Hasn't come in yet, might just snag that eBay one.

This looks pretty decent, isn't Delphi the same as GM OEM?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/95-96-97-OPTISPARK-DISTRIBUTOR-CORVETTE-CAMARO-FIREBIRD_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14Q2el1262QQhashZitem5d2671f6e9QQitemZ400076961513QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
Yes cheers Delphi makes them for ac delco
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boojum



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:03 pm

That eBay seller, all_ignition, has "other" optis also. I think that other forum had a thread about them.

Anybody get one from Chris recently?
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:14 pm

boojum wrote:
That eBay seller, all_ignition, has "other" optis also. I think that other forum had a thread about them.

Anybody get one from Chris recently?
Yeh
Try Chris, Matt.
Here is his info
Chris McCabe @ Banks in Concord NH. 603-410-2205
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:32 pm

I think I'm gonna get that Delphi one from eBay. My brother is nagging me and I think it's nice for the price. I went a googlin' and found a lot of good things said about that eBay seller and that specific distributor on "the other forum" as well.

It appears that dizzy comes with a cap and rotor on it, so it would appear I should be all set with that Delphi Opti, a 95-97 harness from EFI Conn. (I got some pigtails from them before for my truck when I was messing around actually) and a vent harness?
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:57 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
It appears that dizzy comes with a cap and rotor on it, so it would appear I should be all set with that Delphi Opti, a 95-97 harness from EFI Conn. (I got some pigtails from them before for my truck when I was messing around actually) and a vent harness?
What I have found is the stock and aftermarket use aluminum contcts on the cap, but Accel and MSD use brass which stands up far longer. But the MSD cap and rotor kit is more than twice the cost of the Accel cap and rotor kit. And at $60+ for the Accel, it could be the deal of the century.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:15 pm

Chris is our genuine GM parts guy. He gives us the best price you will be able to get anywhere. Cost + 10%, IIRC. It's worth calling him for. He'll ship, too. Smile

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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:36 pm

LOL, I already bought that Delphi! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:11 pm

Delphi dist, the 95+ (94+ B-body I presume) opti harness, and the 94+ #12558921 Vent & Vacuum Hose Kit from RMS are en route! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:08 pm

So this is strange, I guess last night my brother drove the car about an hour or so total with the heat on full blast, and the car didn't stumble once. WTF?

I did look at the build date on the car, it was built in June of '94, probably late June according to the date printed on the bottom of the back seat when we took it out, so it must have had the updated recall parts from new. The car does have a brass aux battery post, I just looked.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:07 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
So this is strange, I guess last night my brother drove the car about an hour or so total with the heat on full blast, and the car didn't stumble once. WTF?

I did look at the build date on the car, it was built in June of '94, probably late June according to the date printed on the bottom of the back seat when we took it out, so it must have had the updated recall parts from new. The car does have a brass aux battery post, I just looked.
I would stop right where your at and have the car scanned. It could be a faulty sensor. scratch
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:07 pm

Well, I'll call him and see what has happened today because he's been out driving the car now, and said he was going to leave the heat on.

Already ordered all the parts, and the place that worked on it after the dealer couldn't figure out said it was losing spark when it cut out and seemed to think it was the distrubutor...they did run scanners on the car apparently.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:28 pm

So apparently the vent tube harness that RMS sells has been discontinued by GM... Crying or Very sad

They sent me a refund instantly though, and even said they did a nationwide parts search of dealers for it.

EDIT: That original link posted was for a Corvette harness that I guess is no longer made, the 12555323 B-body harness is still produced. http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=12555323
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:14 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
So apparently the vent tube harness that RMS sells has been discontinued by GM... Crying or Very sad

They sent me a refund instantly though, and even said they did a nationwide parts search of dealers for it.

EDIT: That original link posted was for a Corvette harness that I guess is no longer made, the 12555323 B-body harness is still produced. http://www.rmsautoparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=12555323
I can get you one. I know Robins auto parts has the acdelco ones in stock.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:20 pm

I wound up getting one from gmpartsdirect.com, they had them and it was a few bucks cheaper with shipping. I wanted to get another from RMS because they were nice to me and refunded the money I Paypal'd them, but by then it was too late! Got an email from them not five minutes after I checked out from GMPD. Shocked

They have good service though, I'll keep them in mind if I need anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:47 pm



Very Happy

Just gotta wait for that vent harness to come in now. This is the Delphi Opti.

Rode in the car in question tonight...apparently if you keep the heat on full blast, the car doesn't do "it" as much but it still happens. Maybe something to do with the car being fully warmed up, who knows.

Happened when we were pulling out into traffic, my life flashed before my eyes as a Crown Vic taxi with faded brown headlight lenses nearly creamed us.
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:10 am

Matt Trakker wrote:


Very Happy

Just gotta wait for that vent harness to come in now. This is the Delphi Opti.

Rode in the car in question tonight...apparently if you keep the heat on full blast, the car doesn't do "it" as much but it still happens. Maybe something to do with the car being fully warmed up, who knows.

Happened when we were pulling out into traffic, my life flashed before my eyes as a Crown Vic taxi with faded brown headlight lenses nearly creamed us.
Cool! Now ditch that cap and rotor in favor of an ACCEL cap and rotor and never look back. The brass terminals in the ACCEL unit are realy worth spending the money. They won't burn away like I have seen some of the stock aluminum terminals ( similar issues with battery posts), and don't carbon up as much, equals longer lasting don't have to do it again. cheers
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:30 pm

So apparently it was the Opti causing all of this, all the new parts are on the car and it runs fine now. Figured I'd give an update for future reference... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Real weird issues with 94 LT1 Roadmaster sedan   Today at 3:30 pm

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