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Discussion Starter #1
So Ive been told an opti should be changed/rebuilt or something every 100k miles at least...Well heres the question, What would you have to to do the new opti to make it work with your car? I mean do you have to time it or anything?? Or do you just unbolt the old one and put the new one on??? BTW the reason i ask is, My car is starting to idle a little funny sometimes like 50 to high or 50 to low so the opti will be the first thing i change in a month or so.
 

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you're absolutely right, 100,000 miles is too long for an opti to go unserviced. many people would just run them till they fail completely, but it might be good to change it out.

a rough idle definitely could be a toasted cap/rotor, but who knows until you open it up.

optis time themselves if you install them correctly. they're keyed to the right position

changing the opti itself takes 5 minutes. removing the stuff to actually get to the opti takes hours your first time around. it's not a small job if you're a beginner, but it'll be good experience for you.

you drain the entire cooling system, remove the belt, a bunch of hoses, remove the waterpump, remove the fans from the rad for clearance..

might as well throw a new waterpump on there too.

there are guides all over the place on this stuff.

a good opti isn't cheap either. you don't want to put a knockoff ebay special on there..
 

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a good opti isn't cheap either. you don't want to put a knockoff ebay special on there..
i found this out the hard way. and ended up being stranded on Valentines Day with my date...
 

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Before running out and buying a new opti, remove cap & rotor, examine them. Then remove inner shield and examine the optical section. Oil, coolant, corrosion in there is a death sign. If it's very little, you may be able to CAREFULLY clean out the optical section. I emphasize CAREFULLY because the optical disks are very fragile and bending them is the kiss of death.
If only cap & rotor are bad, just get those parts. If optical section is toast, get a new opti.

Just be careful which you get I only recommend GM or MSD. Even though both can fail right out of the box, they don't fail near as much as the Chinese or reman optis that are flooding the market.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya im gonna do this in the next month or so. As soon as my taxes get here i will just change it to a new opti . And not a knock off lol. One from GM. Kinda nervous tho, this is different from a distributor.
 

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well its still a distributor, just in a different format than the typical small block chevy. when it was introduced it was supposed to be the future for the distributor and also supposed to give less trouble than the older versions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well its still a distributor, just in a different format than the typical small block chevy. when it was introduced it was supposed to be the future for the distributor and also supposed to give less trouble than the older versions.
Exact opposite lol, My black RS had a distributor, (U can see the car in my albums on my page) And It had 200k miles on it when i gave 650.00 for it, I replaced the Thermostat, water pump, Radiator, Brakes and also the spark plugs. (Not alot of stuff) And it ran like a new car. Only 170 hp and 240 tq, probably only 130 RWHP, and 200 RWTQ, But still it ran amazingly. I ran pennzoil ultra synthetic in it 5w-30 and had NO leaks no oil consumption, no burning nothin lol,
Long story short, IVE Never had to replace a worn out or broken Old fashioned Chevy Distributor lol =] just havent.
 

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I have put new plugs... New icm... New Msd coil... New intake elbow to replace the torn one... New pcv valve... And more... I think these dang motors just like to idle rough..... Plug wires are next... Then maybe toss a warrentied opti in there... (New Autozone). No reason not to if I have it (free)

Sent from my DROID RAZR using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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I just did a lot of work on my Lt1 a couple months ago.

I, too, was a Newbie to Lt1.

But with the fine help from the great folks here and using Shoebox's Lt1 site, I had ZERO issues doing all the stuff I did (Opti, Heads, mods, etc). I was never "lost" in what I needed to do

Using both points of Great Info the job is fairly easy and a LOT less stressful.

On a side note, I also helped a friend change a timing chain on a 97 Sentra recently. Again, no knowledge about the engine and no friendly place for information so it took us 5-6 weekends to do the job (had to wait for parts and locate information a LOT).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just did a lot of work on my Lt1 a couple months ago.

I, too, was a Newbie to Lt1.

But with the fine help from the great folks here and using Shoebox's Lt1 site, I had ZERO issues doing all the stuff I did (Opti, Heads, mods, etc). I was never "lost" in what I needed to do

Using both points of Great Info the job is fairly easy and a LOT less stressful.

On a side note, I also helped a friend change a timing chain on a 97 Sentra recently. Again, no knowledge about the engine and no friendly place for information so it took us 5-6 weekends to do the job (had to wait for parts and locate information a LOT).
Yea shoe box will be right there on my phone/laptop while im doing the job lol. Just to make sure that i do it right. like ive said before, this ( Opti spark ) (Fuel Injection) stuff is alot different then my other 3 cars, an (83 z28 v8 350swap) (87 f-bird 350 swap from 305) (90 Camaro RS 305 TBI) The 90 camaro looked amazing but i hated it was throttle body lol
 

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Long story short said:
just havent.
exactly my point, there was nothing wrong with the old fashioned distributors so why try to fix them? it was a good idea but failed
 

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The idea behind the optical pick up distributer is a good one, as it provides a way more precise indication of where timing events are.

But the actual opti, with it mounted on the front, just below the water pump, was a hair brained idea from the get go.

They could have made a low profile dist, mounted in the usual spot, at the back of the intake. It would have eliminated the plastic oil pump drive stub also, which imo was another hair brained idea.
 

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I agree, spark timing with an old fashioned distributor was far from "dialed in" throughout the RPM range. With the opti (and any newer computer controlled ignition), you can add timing right up to the point of knock from idle to WOT redline and anywhere in between. Way better than a timing light, IMHO. Just unfortunate it's plagued with it's reliability issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
WHAT IF, You constructed some kind of tiny housing just below the opti and just above if like a little piece of water tight high temp plastic? Could that pro long its life?
Like ive said when i do this, I Dont want to have to do it again for a while.

p.s. The rough idle was caused by a hose not plugged in correctly lol, gotta love my girl for trying to learn how to take off my air intake elbow.
 

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you're absolutely right, 100,000 miles is too long for an opti to go unserviced. many people would just run them till they fail completely, but it might be good to change it out.

a rough idle definitely could be a toasted cap/rotor, but who knows until you open it up.

optis time themselves if you install them correctly. they're keyed to the right position

changing the opti itself takes 5 minutes. removing the stuff to actually get to the opti takes hours your first time around. it's not a small job if you're a beginner, but it'll be good experience for you.

you drain the entire cooling system, remove the belt, a bunch of hoses, remove the waterpump, remove the fans from the rad for clearance..

might as well throw a new waterpump on there too.

there are guides all over the place on this stuff.

a good opti isn't cheap either. you don't want to put a knockoff ebay special on there..
replaced mine without touching anything on the the rad ;p
 
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