Which Optispark should I buy? - CamaroZ28.Com Message Board

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Which Optispark should I buy?

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Old 07-09-2018, 01:41 PM
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Which Optispark should I buy?

Hey guys, I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm not finding a recent thread on what's the best Opti out there at this point. I'm trying to avoid putting one in there that doesn't work or breaks in 2 months (93 bolt on Z28 in signature).

What I've read from older threads is that the AC Delco ones aren't necessarily manufactured with a the Mitsubishi optical sensor anymore. Previously I've always bought a Delco replacement.

I heard the MSD ones were kinda dicey, but some people say they've improved since coming out?

I saw a lot of mixed things about the Chandler Motorsports Opti, I don't know that they are even in business anymore?


Any suggestions?

Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:15 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

I would hunt down a rebuilt AC Delco unit. Last I heard the price was around $400 with a core.

I have heard talk about Petris (https://petrisenterprises.com/), but I don't recall anyone on the board buying one and sharing their experiences.

I think the biggest advice, is that if the cost is less than $200, you are likely stepping on a bear trap hoping for the spring to be broken.
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:53 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

The MSD is still a disaster. Units produced over the last two or three years were producing erratic pulse signals, causing huge idle surges. I sent MSD a PCM data log showing them the problem. The owner of the unit that we logged also sent it back to MSD for testing.

After looking for all sorts of reasons other than their Opti, the feedback I got from an MSD customer service tech indicated they found the problem and made changes to the cap and the optical module. They rebuilt the defective unit and sent it back to the owner. He eventually removed his cheap Chinese unit (which was working fine), installed the rebuilt MSD, and the engine would not start.

Rebuilt AC Delco isn’t perfect, but seems to be about the best. But I've heard people complain they are getting harder to find.

Chandler seems to be hit or miss.... 50% OK, 50% have problems.

Avoid “AIP”.... formerly “All Ignition Products”, but their stuff was so bad guess they had to change the name. An outfit called “Sac City Corvette” resells the AIP for $100 more than AIP sells them for.

I have seen good feed back on Corvette forums regarding the Petris Opti. Might be worth a look.

https://petrisenterprises.com/collections/frontpage
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:51 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Yeah agree if you can find a "reman" ac delco that is regarded better than other brands. They can be hard to find but rockauto.com occasionally has them in stock.

Another option, I have no direct experience with, is this guy who rebuilds original AC Delco Optis and includes a new MSD C&R (those are good but not the who MSD opti). I do know a person who went through 3 "off brand" Optis (all dead out of box) and finally used this guy and his Opti works and still does

https://www.ebay.com/itm/322692854278?rmvSB=true

again I have no direct experience with the ebay service but looked promising in terms of his rebuild procedure and testing
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:00 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

I would be a little leery of any small company that "rebuilds" Delco Opti's. All you can really replace is the bearings, cap and rotor. If someone replaces the original circuit boards and/or sensors, you may as well have one from China.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:24 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Thanks, everyone for your feedback/help.

I emailed Petris to inquire about buying one of their optis and never heard back (it's been 8 days)...

So I ended up going with the ebay "rebuilt" Chimera96 posted. The optispark seems as promised, the guy sent me a video of it running on an oscillioscope, so I felt pretty good about installing it and not having it be a dud.

I installed it last night and the car cranks but won't start. I don't think the "new" opti is the issue.

I ran all of shoebox's ignition diagnostics prior to purchasing this opti, and everything else was fine (this is how I determined I needed a replacement opti). I changed the coil because there was one reading ever so slightly off on the ohm meter. Today I had the ICM tested at an O'Reilly's (guy did it three times) and said it was good. I'm kinda stuck.

The car had been sitting for a few years.

I just replaced the fuel pump and got rid of the old gas that was in the tank and most of it from the lines. I changed the plugs because why not? I've checked all the wires, connections, and grounds to make sure everything is as it should be.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:29 AM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

I ended up buying one from the guy on eBay "rebuilding" them (Thanks, Chimera96). It seemed like a surer bet than all the other options that just seem hit or miss (with the exception of Petris). I was going to buy one from Petris, but I emailed them and never heard back.

I installed the opti and the car won't start. There is progress, because before changing the opti, I had no spark. Now, I have spark. I had run all or shoeboxes diagnostics before changing the opti, and they all pointed to the opti being the problem. Since I have changed the opti and the car still won't start, I had the ICM tested at O'Reilly's and it was fine, and I changed the coil, because it's cheap. I'm sure the opti is installed properly, because the spline drive can only go on one way (double checked all the wires, they are on the proper terminals). I'm stuck.

A little background on the car: I'd let it sit for 5-ish years because it needed a fuel pump. I've replaced that (and it works), and drained all the old gas up to the fuel rails. I've checked all the wiring and grounds. My SES light isn't on. The car won't start when I spray ether into the intake. The only thing I can think of is maybe my fuel injectors are gummed up?

Thanks. I appreciate your guys' feedback in advance.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:30 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Originally Posted by Chimera96 View Post
Yeah agree if you can find a "reman" ac delco that is regarded better than other brands. They can be hard to find but rockauto.com occasionally has them in stock.

Another option, I have no direct experience with, is this guy who rebuilds original AC Delco Optis and includes a new MSD C&R (those are good but not the who MSD opti). I do know a person who went through 3 "off brand" Optis (all dead out of box) and finally used this guy and his Opti works and still does

https://www.ebay.com/itm/322692854278?rmvSB=true

again I have no direct experience with the ebay service but looked promising in terms of his rebuild procedure and testing
I bought one from this guy and have been nothing but happy with the result. I was having an issue with the original just randomly shutting off like you turned the key off. It actually caused me to get in an accident on the freeway trying to get over to the shoulder when it quit. He uses the reliable Mitsubishi optical sensor and some aerospace sealants when it goes back together. He guarantees it is the last Opti you will ever buy and I have no reason to doubt him. Read the description in the Ebay ad link above.

Last edited by LT1inaMGB; 08-20-2018 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:25 AM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

I actually ended up buying from that same guy on eBay, and yes, the opti works fine. It looked pretty well sealed and came with everything needed to convert to the vented cap and rotor on my 93. I was pretty sold when he said they were bench tested and guaranteed to work, because it seems like there are a lot of duds/mixed reviews on the other optis currently available.

I did email Petris, and never heard back.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:03 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

I bought a Dynaspark years ago. It’s solid. If you have a pre 95 the dynaspark upgrades it to vented which I think was a major issue in the 93-94 Z28’s.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:56 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Originally Posted by CanadianZ View Post
I bought a Dynaspark years ago. It’s solid. If you have a pre 95 the dynaspark upgrades it to vented which I think was a major issue in the 93-94 Z28’s.
Me too, but Fred pointed out in another thread that Dynaspark has been sold and that after that the quality of the parts has gone way down.
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Last edited by DrewHMS97SS; 08-23-2018 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:45 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Originally Posted by DrewHMS97SS View Post
Me to, but Fred pointed out in another thread that Dynaspark has been sold and that after that the quality of the parts has gone way down.
What he said.

About 5 years ago the owner of the ltxtech.com (popo8) site went through three Dynasparks in a row - the original purchase and two free replacements under warranty, and none of them worked right.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:54 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Someone on LS1Tech recently bought a Petris opti and it apparently resolved some issues he was having. I guess it would be too early to tell anything about longevity. Some people also seem to have had good luck with that eBay rebuild service.

Is Delphi no longer making optisparks? Weren't those pretty much the same thing as AC Delco?
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:28 PM
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Re: Which Optispark should I buy?

Originally Posted by BTC View Post
Is Delphi no longer making optisparks? Weren't those pretty much the same thing as AC Delco?
Based on non-availability, out of stock for any place that did list them...appears they are no longer made by Delphi

I bought one several years ago as a spare from thepartsladi.com on ebay. Using it now

part # is CZ20003
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