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Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

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Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Old 01-06-2019, 01:42 PM
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Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Well the the check gauges light came on and temp gauge was all the way up into the orange. So I pulled into the nearest parking lot which happened to be a Home Depot. HD had pre-mix on the shelf so I restarted the car and topped it off. No little bubbles - just big burps. Didn't get 2 blocks and it was back in the orange again. Did the leap frog every 2 blocks until back home. I thought it was a head gasket but forgot to look for white smoke out the tailpipe. I guess I only imagined the worst case. But before I dropped it off for testing I realized it could be a water pump though the last I had one fail it was slow and intermittent.

Good news the block and system tested good and it's just the water pump. When I asked about replacing the head gaskets the shop said nearly $1900 just in labor. I think that would have sent my Z28 with 270,000mi to the boneyard as I don't have the garage space to R&R the heads.

So now I'm thinking I should buy an new Opti so I don't have to pay shop prices for one when this one quits. I have the impression a good dowse of water from the pump usually kills the Opti.

Any suggestions? I like the Summit Opti for less than 200 bucks.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:43 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Good job on catching the overheating before blowing the head gaskets! I recently failed to do just that and got the privilege of doing a valve job on my 1995 that was a bunch of work and about $1,300 in parts and machine work. I do not have any experience that would recommend an opti change after a dousing. I do have experience with two of the Summit optis and can share that for what its worth.

I have installed two of the summit units, the first back in 2010 and then a second one in late 2013. The first ran 23,000 miles and the second ran 24,000 miles. The good new is that both ran perfectly right out of the box which apparently is not always the case. I had heard reports of OEM optis lasting much longer than the 24K mile mark so I switched away from the Summit brand. I currently am running a Delphi unit but only have 22,000 miles on it so i can't say if it will last any longer than the Summits.

I did test the sealing on the last summit unit I had installed and discovered it did not have any sealing on the input shaft bearing so the vacuum signal coming from the engine basically drew in air through the bearing as well as through the air feed line from the air cleaner/MAF.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:56 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Thx man that's good info. Who sells Delphi Opti's? I didn't see Delphi's at Summit or Rock Auto last I checked.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:21 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

I recently had to replace my Opti and I ended up having to a bit of research to find something suitable. Based on this site as well as others I narrowed the choices down to a reconditioned unit from Petris or eBay. I ended up going with one from eBay and no regrets so far;

https://www.ebay.com/str/OptiDoctor?...p2047675.l2563

I only replaced the Opti late last year so I don't have a ton of miles on it yet.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:15 AM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

cardo0,

I don't think the Delphi unit is available right now. I think pontiacstogo is on the scent with the eBay seller. Check out berrington1 feedback score on eBay and it is 99.2% and they are all happy optispark customers. From what Injuneer and others say here at camaroz28.com most of the other vendors would love to get that high of customer satisfaction!

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:34 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Of the available options, a reman "AC Delco" from RockAuto would be my pick if it is available. Hit and miss on that. The other no name brands are a complete crap shoot. DO NOT buy a MSD. Their Cap & Rotor kit is very good though

FWIW a friend went through 2 "Summit" brand ones quickly and finally sent his then bad AC Delco one to the ebay guy noted. So far so good for him. YMMV
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:19 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

What I have now is an AC Delco Opti that I bought through Summit when they were at a bargain price around $200. But rumor on line was those AC Delco units were not Mitsubishi sensor equipped.
Yes I've read only good about the Opti Doctors Opti distributors but $400 is a lot to have sitting on the shelf. I think for $400 I will try to locate an original Opti to use for donor parts.
If I had the garage space now I think I should take my current Opti off for disassembly and inspection. But the long range plan would be to have a reliable spare Opti ready for installation. $400 is a lot of overtime for me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:45 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

If you are doing a water pump you might as well do the Opti. Mine was the other way,....Opti went out so I did the water pump too.

i got lucky I guess and got a new old stock GM Opti. A local dealer had it on the shelf and didnít even know it. From investigating all but a very select few remanufactured ones are no good. They should go 100k if you donít regularly soak them. There is a TSB which I have not personally seen that goes over sealing the Opti. with silicone sealer. This also must be safe for EFI and Cats. Be sure to look on the tube.

Might as well do belts too and get the good ones. Might as well do all the filters too. Again get the best available. I forgot spark plugs, might as well do them too. Again doing research itís hard to beat the OEM. be sure to check the plug wires too. Another $75-100. But a pain if you have to do them later.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:50 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

I'm going for the Spectra unit from Rock Auto at $90. Unless someone has a better choice for that money I will say I've always had good luck with Spectra products. And like mentioned I will seal it up well but after a good inspection.

FWIW I have a positive pressure system in the works but that will only happen as I find time for it. Much more fun that way.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:34 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Cardo0, Good luck with the Spectra and post an update once you are back on the road.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:03 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Couldn't you just do the MSD cap / rotor kit for the opti you have? Worst case if you get into your current opti and it looks really bad, return the kit then go the Spectra route.

Cost wise, I bought a pre-owned Dynaspark from a member here years ago for $250, then sent it in for a rebuild for another $100. Most of the quality opti's even back in the day were $400+. I totally get the cost barrier, but since you are worried about cost, I think it makes more sense to spend an extra $200 now, versus what you would pay to have the unit replaced in an unknown (an possibly very short) time period.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:17 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

I would do an MSD cap and rotor on the current AC Delco unit once its out and I can inspect it but no shop will let the car take up space while I tinker. I need a unit to swap in or pay their price for one. The shop I'm using quoted me something north of $500 for a reman AC Delco Opti and they're on back order, Just don't have the garage space right now with a frame off in progress on another car.

And I will inspect that Spectra unit now while I have time and if it's to junky then I can look for something else while my current Opti is working. Well that's the plan for now. Spectra products are Canadian made and deserve a look though the price is to good to be true.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:23 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

We live in Vegas, so we know too well about the gamble. Even if it looks okay, it might turn up to flat out not function when it goes into the car. A question I would ask before going that route to the shop is, what is the cost for just replacing the Opti? I would be willing to bet that they would be charging 400+ labor to get that far. I hear you, but to me the risk is not worth the reward.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:51 PM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

I got a $440 quote from Imperial Auto to R&R an Opti but that don't include parts. So it's more that I read the $300 to $400 Opti's fail like junk that has me think why spend more for junk? I mean if I'm gonna get disappointed why not for less $$$$? I can always spring for the Opti Docs reman if needed. I tried a Cardone rebuild once and it lasted maybe a year (too bad I traded in my original for the core charge). But you can find a Cardone video that claims they have sealed up their reman Opti's as it was a major cause in failure. Well I can seal a Spectra to my satisfaction so why not?
I guess what I'm saying is I prefer to prove things to myself as I don't really trust the internet hearsay much. I read on the forums that the current AC Delco Opti's didn't have the Mitsubishi sensor at the time I bought my latest but w/o checking my maintenance records I'll say I have at least 50K mi on this one. And how many have just plain goofed up their Opti install then blaming it on the manufacturer??
What I need to do is get my O-scope out and take some data now while the car is running well enough. Then I will something for comparison whatever I use. And that's what I like about my high mileage daily driver it becomes a test machine for whatever I want to do with it. No warranty conflicts or aesthetic worries with this old car.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:05 AM
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Re: Water pump failed. How long before Opti does too?

Cardo...if I understand your posts you don't have garage space to do this yourself??

IMHO you can swap a Opti in the street if you have to. Assuming the old one works I would pull the old one, open it up and clean it out and install a MSD C&R. Use dialectic grease on the cap/body O rings

If you are intent on the $90 Spectra, try it. "Maybe" you will be one of the lucky ones who gets good life out of a ….cheap part. If going that route, put blue loc-tite on rotor screws and dialectic grease on O rings before install.

Keep the old Opti and replace the C&R if needed and keep as a working spare (assuming it works)
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