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ive heard some bad htings about the optispark system on the LT1's have any of you had problems or do you have any other info to share about them?
 
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johntom said:
ive heard some bad htings about the optispark system on the LT1's have any of you had problems or do you have any other info to share about them?
Who hasn't had problems with an optispark? LOL. THere's two parts to the opti. THere's an optical cam position sensor. This part is a Mistu build piece and is VERY accurate at reading cam position and delivering timing signals, but its very moisture sensitive.

The other half is the high voltage section where the rotor conducts the spark just like any other distributor. This half can also be affected by moisture and also over time the high voltage creates ozone inside the cap that corrodes the contacts.

They can be reliable if you keep them dry, which can be hard when its mounted on the front of the motor under the water pump. The upside is they are not hard to replace, a little messy with the w/p removal, and they are only about $200 a pop brand new from GM. If maintained properly you shouldn't have to replace it too often.

One mistake a lot of guys make is they add an MSD box onto the ignition. The multiple spark errodes the contacts inside the rotor very rapidly. MSDs have been responsible for lots of opti failures, particularly on boosted cars.

There are some nice options out there to eliminate the opti all together now, including just taking the high voltage side offline and continuing to use the cam sensor part. With the voltage removed from the opti the cam sensor section can live a very long life. Same basic sensor is used on lots of other vehicles out there minus the distributor half.
 

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junk it and get Deltech coils. thats all i have to say about that. WORST IGNITION SYSTEM EVER!
 

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Just had mine replaced. Cost was a house a car and a leg.

There not cheap and Ive had many mechanics quit on me after doing little things on this car. But you never let on that that is the case. You just smile and wave at the people who stand and drool as you drive by.

Its all worth it in the end.
 

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People play out opti problems a lot more than they should be. A lot of them are actually due to owner error, like a batched installation.
 

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I've had exactly two problems with opti's.

I powerwashed the engine bay of my black car right after buying it, before I knew better. BIG mistake. Fried it.

Second problem was some corrosion on the harness.....DTC 36, new opti and clean harness fixed it.
 

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Fastbird said:
I've had exactly two problems with opti's.

I powerwashed the engine bay of my black car right after buying it, before I knew better. BIG mistake. Fried it.

Second problem was some corrosion on the harness.....DTC 36, new opti and clean harness fixed it.
LMAO,I did the same thing :p
 

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I have 149,000 miles on my original opti and have washed the engine a few times, ran it thru a car wash with the under body wash several times and even had a leaking water pump for several months and have never had a problem. The opti gets blamed too much but I think it's hated mostly due to the pain it is to change out. As far as the cap and rotor, it's basically the same thing as the old school stuff and you do have to change them out every now and again, they don't last forever.
 

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A couple of years back when I purchased my 1995 LT1 Corvette I ran into an expensive issue with the optispark, though it sounds (and sounded at the time) like nothing new to these pages - the car started crapping out on me randomly and a ridiculous sum of money and a new ignition system later it was all better. Though I no longer live in the rainy/snowy region I used to, Hawaii has its fair share of rainstorms and I have not had any problems since the fix. My problem originated with a worn down water pump and voila, I was in debt a short time later! But I still love the car (just not the not-so-reliable-OPTI-spark)
 

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my 94's opti took a crap on me and me being young and dumb at the time i took it to the dealership... after it was all said and it cost me 1500... now a few years later and a lil bit wiser i know that it can be fixed for alot less and it can be upgraded.. so if my 95 takes a crap.. im ready... they are a pain but they get a bad rap
 

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make sure it is your opti... i thought mine was going last week but after closer inspection i found a burnt wire... so give evrything a close look...might save you some money
 

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no its the the opti....i had my coil and ignition module replaces with some other stuff and the coil was just covered in white crap so...pretty sure my plugs and opti look like that too
 

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contraststriker said:
I've heard high RPMs hurt the opti's...I'm at 141k on the original optispark, consistently shifting at 6-6.2k, and it's doin' fine! :cool:
Sometimes the rotor separates at high rpm.
 

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Also if you do buy a new opti be sure to take the cap off and make sure the screws are tight on the rotor, maybe even loctite them. I've heard of several instances of the screws not being tight.
 

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I've had exactly two problems with opti's.

I powerwashed the engine bay of my black car right after buying it, before I knew better. BIG mistake. Fried it.

Second problem was some corrosion on the harness.....DTC 36, new opti and clean harness fixed it.
Damn I did the same thing
 

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i have a 96 t/a lt1 just got a full tune up (water pump and thermostat, fuel filter, wires plugs and the whole distributor thing) and i took my ride on the freeway and drove like i had stole it and suddenly the car started backfiring real loud like gunshots, so it left me stranded on the highway, got i towed back to the shop and they said my opti spark had melted inside i got it back today with a new optisparkand same thing happen drove all day on the street, until i got on the freeway same syptoms backfiring and stalling lucky me that made it home this time. . . . anybody has any ideas ??? before i took the car the for tune up it was fine, i just wanted to get everything new cause i just bought the car . . . by the way all the parts are from oreilly any help is greatly appreciatted
 
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