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 Tune-up - Optispark troubles

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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:37 pm

I'm working on doing a tune-up on my 96 RMW. I finally got everything dismantled and removed the Optispark. The distributor cap was cracked and I have a white powder coming out one of the vacuum ports when I shake it. I don't have the tool to open it, but I'm guessing the Optispark is toast. I can't spend the $400 on an AC/Delco unit right now. What is the best budget option? I saw a post somewhere that recommended Spectra brand.

Also, I broke one of the vacuum hoses when trying to get it off. The one that you can see from the front. There is a hard blue connector piece inside the hose that snapped. How do I repair that?

Lastly, I have oil leaking from behind the Optispark. Is that the front main seal? What other gaskets should I replace while I'm in here?
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Eds rmw



Posts : 59
Join date : 2016-06-29
Location : Piedmont sc

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:02 pm

I bought a cheap one on ebay . 59.00 or so. It lasted about 4 k miles. The optical sensor failed. I replaced the sensor with the original one from my Delco opti. Works great. I would recommend buying a cheap opti, and using an original optical sensor in it. You will get a new cap, rotor, seals, bearing and housing. Cheap. Reliable.

Ed
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:48 pm

I just ordered a cheap Opti. Now I need to get my hands on an original optical sensor. I'm guessing with a cracked cap and a coolant leak mine is most likely no good.

Does anyone know what size the inverted torx bit size is?
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Rev Bob



Posts : 196
Join date : 2016-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:55 pm

"Does anyone know what size the inverted torx bit size is?"

Use one of the screws that hold down the blank plate on the top of the throttle body.
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Eds rmw



Posts : 59
Join date : 2016-06-29
Location : Piedmont sc

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Your sensor is probably fine if your car is running. If not , a junkyard sensor. From my research here, I found the original optical sensors were from Mitsubishi. They are marked .
I found the pull a part junkyard also a good source for the vacuum line harness.
Any local parts place can get the Front seal kit. Mine was a felpro. No need to pull the Front cover. All 3 seals can be replaced pretty easy.

Ed
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:24 am

Does anyone know if this is the part number for the vacuum harness? 12555323. Seems like an expensive mistake I made by breaking this thing, at $70.
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jasonlachapelle

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Posts : 1101
Join date : 2011-01-24
Age : 34
Location : CFB Bagotville, QC.

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:55 am

It`s an E4 reverse torx. Apply a thin bead of permatex 2 (or equivalent) to the outside before resealing, and red loctite to the 2 small screws that hold the rotor.

you can get a cap and rotor kit as well to rebuild an ac delco.

You probably needed to replace the vacuum harness anyway, considering it's 20+ y/o. It's generally pretty hard to tell if they are still serviceable, and a faulty one will zap your new opti in short order.

The opti has 2 o-rings on it the shaft. Ensure they are replaced. Some new optis come with them installed. Fel-pro timing kit TCS 45956 has the gaskets you need, but the o-rings are for the waterpump shaft. GM p/n 10474278 for the opti o-rings, or use the ones from the fel-pro kit. They`re the same size.
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Rev Bob



Posts : 196
Join date : 2016-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:45 pm

The vacuum harness comes with a tiny check valve and an in-line filter. Not a bad idea to replace them.
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:58 pm

Thanks guys for all the tips. I've ordered all the parts and they should be here in time for the weekend. I'm hoping to get it done before the really cold weather sets in.

One more question though. I started this project by putting the car on ramps. I had not considered how to replace the spark plugs and wires. I found some posts that recommend doing it from underneath and through the wheel wells. With the car on ramps and the front part of the engine disassembled I won't be able to back it off the ramps. Is it possible to do the plugs and wires from the top and bottom without access through the wheel wells?
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turnofftheradio



Posts : 91
Join date : 2016-08-19
Age : 39
Location : Dearborn, MI

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:10 pm

Haze5736 wrote:
Thanks guys for all the tips. I've ordered all the parts and they should be here in time for the weekend. I'm hoping to get it done before the really cold weather sets in.

One more question though. I started this project by putting the car on ramps. I had not considered how to replace the spark plugs and wires. I found some posts that recommend doing it from underneath and through the wheel wells. With the car on ramps and the front part of the engine disassembled I won't be able to back it off the ramps. Is it possible to do the plugs and wires from the top and bottom without access through the wheel wells?

I just did them in my driveway. on jackstands. Had to turn the front wheels a couple of times. There are a couple of retainers for the plug wires that are tricky to get to without massive frustration.

If you need it off the ramps why not just jack it off of them and pull the ramps?
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:59 pm

I'm not sure if my jack goes that high. I may have to muster up some wood to build up the base.

In the meantime, I got the water pump drive seal off. Is there supposed to be any play in the water pump drive shaft? I have probably 1/16 inch of play.
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Eds rmw



Posts : 59
Join date : 2016-06-29
Location : Piedmont sc

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:11 pm

Some play is normal.

Ed
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:28 pm

Are you guys replacing the wire loom when you change the spark plug wires?
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jasonlachapelle

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Location : CFB Bagotville, QC.

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:52 pm

I just transfer the stock one to the new wire. You don't actually need to use it.
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:54 pm

OMFG! This is insanity. I got the passenger side done in about 5 hours. I just spent about 1.5 hours on the driver side. Guess how many plugs I got done? 0! I can't figure out how to remove the spark plug wire channel. I started with the bolt I can see, toward the front. I tried a 10mm wrench, too big. So I tried a 9mm wrench, too small. WTF! So then I tried some SAE sizes, no luck so far. What's going on here?

About two years ago I changed the plugs and wires on my Chevy Astro. That was a huge PITA but was nothing in comparison to this. The cold weather is coming and I need to get this done. Please help.
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phantom 309

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Age : 108

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:43 pm

Haze5736 wrote:
OMFG! This is insanity. I got the passenger side done in about 5 hours. I just spent about 1.5 hours on the driver side. Guess how many plugs I got done? 0! I can't figure out how to remove the spark plug wire channel. I started with the bolt I can see, toward the front. I tried a 10mm wrench, too big. So I tried a 9mm wrench, too small. WTF! So then I tried some SAE sizes, no luck so far. What's going on here?

About two years ago I changed the plugs and wires on my Chevy Astro. That was a huge PITA but was nothing in comparison to this. The cold weather is coming and I need to get this done. Please help.

what can we do to help,..?
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:59 am

How do you get the two spark plug wire channel bolts out? Are they metric bolts? If 10mm is too big and 9mm is too small what does that mean? I can't see the bolt very well, does it mean they are damaged? Is it some special size? How are people accessing them? Do you just do it blind? There's no room for a socket in there, is the only option an open end wrench? These are pretty small sized wrenches in a really tight spot, how do you get enough torque on anything in that tiny area?
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:44 pm

i think the 3/8 stubby box end works,.you need to be laying under the car head and feet parallel with the crank shaft,.
Methods i have done personally

I have cut the wires out, then put in wires that needed the ends crimped on,.use vaseline to slide them thru easier,.

another time i cut #7 wire out,. and use the slide over top heat sleeve and forgot about the factory loom,.

I have also unpinned the dr side motor mount, and jacked the motor up,. it comes up and rolls to the pass side a bit which gives you more room,.

I live in a rust belt area the little bolts get compromised after a few years,.

The rear bolt doesn't need to be completely removed,. the loom has a slot which makes install easier relatively speaking,. lol
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Eds rmw



Posts : 59
Join date : 2016-06-29
Location : Piedmont sc

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:23 pm

I found it easier to do the drivers side with the exhaust manifold removed.

Ed
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Haze5736



Posts : 98
Join date : 2016-08-12
Age : 44
Location : East Syracuse, NY

PostSubject: Re: Tune-up - Optispark troubles   Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:50 pm

I ended up using a 3/8" wrench that I bent since I didn't have a stubby and didn't want to lose time searching for one all over town.

15 hours start to finish over the course of two days. But not just for the plugs and wires, however everything else had to come out anyway. So I did the following: plugs, wires, opti (swapped original sensor into cheap opti), water pump, water pump shaft seal, opti shaft seal, thermostat, t-stat housing bleeder, fan clutch, serpentine belt, fan belt. I didn't flush the cooling system, just refilled because it got dark and the temp went from a high of 69 degree to 38 by the time I finished. I'll do a proper flush in the spring or if we get a really warm day.

This was the ultimate test of patience. I don't know if I would do it again. Although I imagine it would cost an arm and a leg to have all that done by a shop so I may be forced to again some day.

I got the low coolant light after running the car. I'll give the tank a whack tomorrow and see if it goes off any time soon. I won't be driving it in the winter so it may have to wait till spring.

There was a small, maybe 1/4" to 5/16" inside diameter, vacuum hose that is crumbling that I don't remember disconnecting and can't figure out where it goes. It comes off the air pump hoses just to the right and slightly to the back of the air pump. If I remember correctly it comes off near a t fitting running up and down. Anyone know what it's for and where it goes?

Thanks everyone for the help getting this job done.
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