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Old 04-25-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
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need help, lt1 optispark !!

we just got a 94 z28 with the lt1 , the optispark is bad and i have not done one of the swaps yet and am clueless on the job, i have heard so many different things about it , we are going to buy the msd kit, i can do whatever to a traditional sbc , but a little confused on the lt1 , they say if you turn the optispark before you install it will mess it up ?? need some help from the people who know ! give me some tips so i dont screw up ! Jim
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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Unless the opti is forced, it will only go on one way.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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The 94 opti is not vented and will have a different interface than the vented opti's. The non vented opti will have a small spline shaft that you will need to align properly. Here is a photo, courtesy of shbox:

http://shbox.com/1/93-94_opti.jpg

You can upgrade to the vented opti, but it takes a few parts and a little time to do correctly.
The vented opti's are typically cheaper. You'll need to lengthen the dowel pin in the cam, 95-97 timing set, 95-97 timing cover, vent hoses, opti harness adaptor.
It is a lot easier to align the opti correctly with the vented opti's.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 94zgreenmachine View Post
The 94 opti is not vented and will have a different interface than the vented opti's. The non vented opti will have a small spline shaft that you will need to align properly. Here is a photo, courtesy of shbox:

http://shbox.com/1/93-94_opti.jpg

You can upgrade to the vented opti, but it takes a few parts and a little time to do correctly.
The vented opti's are typically cheaper. You'll need to lengthen the dowel pin in the cam, 95-97 timing set, 95-97 timing cover, vent hoses, opti harness adaptor.
It is a lot easier to align the opti correctly with the vented opti's.
so if i buy the early msd kit which they say is right for the car do i have to buy other parts also like some wire kit to install or does it come with the right parts to install, i think i can handle the job if i know some more details before i get started, i am so busy in the shop i am not sure if i want to do it, i may take it to another shop in pensacola that does this stuff all the time , triple x motorsports, i am gonna call them monday, whats the normal cost for a shop to install ?
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by birdsandbowties View Post
so if i buy the early msd kit which they say is right for the car do i have to buy other parts also like some wire kit to install or does it come with the right parts to install, i think i can handle the job if i know some more details before i get started, i am so busy in the shop i am not sure if i want to do it, i may take it to another shop in pensacola that does this stuff all the time , triple x motorsports, i am gonna call them monday, whats the normal cost for a shop to install ?
If you buy the kit for the correct year/car, you should have everything you need.
By MSD kit, I assume you mean the cap/rotor kit, right?
Don't know what a shop charges. I do my own wrenching.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:33 PM   #6
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If you buy the kit for the correct year/car, you should have everything you need.
By MSD kit, I assume you mean the cap/rotor kit, right?
Don't know what a shop charges. I do my own wrenching.
i dont want to give any $ to a shop either i always work on my own, but if i dont know what i am doing, then i have to, but i looked at the delteq kit and it looked to be pretty much a plug and play kit and seems failry easy to do, anyone have that kit or know anyone who uses it ?
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by birdsandbowties View Post
we just got a 94 z28 with the lt1 , the optispark is bad and i have not done one of the swaps yet and am clueless on the job, i have heard so many different things about it , we are going to buy the msd kit, i can do whatever to a traditional sbc , but a little confused on the lt1 , they say if you turn the optispark before you install it will mess it up ?? need some help from the people who know ! give me some tips so i dont screw up ! Jim
If you can "do whatever" to a SBC, an optispark replacement is nothing. Just follow the manual.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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How is the "opti bad"?

What MSD parts are you looking to buy? The whole opti has proven to be less reliable than stock, the cap and rotor kit seems OK and will actually add vent lines to your unvented setup.

Delteq NEEDS A FUNCTIONAL OPTI BASE only thing it will resolve is a worn out cap and rotor($150 or less). Not to mention the owner became ill all service and sales ended and then a lot of guys have problems and needed parts they could not buy.

The splined shaft is a PITA but long as you do not use force will only go in one way.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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When you remove the old opti pull it straight out and mark where the keyed spline is. Turn the shaft on the new opti to match your old one and it will be easy to slide the new one on correctly. The opti is easy to replace, it's just a pain because you have to remove so much to get to it.

If you're unsure about how to do it the best thing is to get the factory shop manual from Helm. It's expensive but much better than the the other manuals and you will have it for any other work you do on the car.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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How is the "opti bad"?

What MSD parts are you looking to buy? The whole opti has proven to be less reliable than stock, the cap and rotor kit seems OK and will actually add vent lines to your unvented setup.

Delteq NEEDS A FUNCTIONAL OPTI BASE only thing it will resolve is a worn out cap and rotor($150 or less). Not to mention the owner became ill all service and sales ended and then a lot of guys have problems and needed parts they could not buy.

The splined shaft is a PITA but long as you do not use force will only go in one way.
after the car warms up in about 10 miles, it has a bad miss and throws the service engine light, took it to the dealer and they said everything was good on the car but the optispark was bad, funny too because once the opti goes bad and starts missing the a/c wont blow cold anymore ! weird ! all a/c componenets are new and it blows ice till the opti starts messing up!
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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Providing what the trouble code is (was) could go a long way in diagnosing your trouble.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:52 AM   #12
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.......then i have to, but i looked at the delteq kit and it looked to be pretty much a plug and play kit and seems failry easy to do, anyone have that kit or know anyone who uses it ?
The Delteq does not eliminate the OptiSpark distributor. It simply eliminates the high voltage function, but requires the cam position signal from the optical sensor in the back 1/2 of the Opti. None of that really matters though, because Delteg has, for all practical purposes, gone out of business.

Your comment connecting the misfiring to the A/C blowing cold doesn't jive with the way the engine and A/C are controlled. Sounds more like you may have a vacuum problem, or a wiring harness problem.

Before you start spending money, make sure you know what's wrong. As Shoebox said, tell us the exact code for the SES light. Then if you determine you have to spend money, don't just assume that the MSD parts are better than stock - do some research before you start playing "parts replacement roulette".
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:06 AM   #13
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well, we took it to mckenzie motors in milton, its a gm dealership, they had it all day ( i only build the older ones and dont have any computer tools) they did all the diagnostics and came up with a bad optispark, at least thats what they told us, i tried to reset the computer by taking battery terminal off, it runs awesome for about 9-10 miles then starts popping through the exhaust and intake and a/c quits working as soon asd th engine light comes on ! the water pump had been replaced before we got it along with radiator and some other parts, so i thought maybe when the pump went out the water got in the opti then ?
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:20 AM   #14
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Take the car to Autozone or someplace that will pull the codes for free. Write the code(s) down and post the exact code.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:27 AM   #15
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i have a buddy on the way with a scanner, we will see whats up when he gets here shortly, need to get the car going , its the wifes car and she just got it and you know how that is !!!! she is getting a little antsy !
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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