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New to optispark, whats the story?

This is a discussion on New to optispark, whats the story? within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey all, I'm a newbie so to say, just aquired a 97 Bird LT1 A4 etc etc. Been lurking here ...

  1. #1
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    New to optispark, whats the story?

    Hey all, I'm a newbie so to say, just aquired a 97 Bird LT1 A4 etc etc. Been lurking here for a while, but anyhow, What gives with the optispark thing? I'm not so sure that im aware of what gives? Whats the story, what happens, why are they such a Pain in the A and why do people hate it so much? Links/stories appreciated

    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/699166/6 theres a link to the thing.

  2. #2
    LT1 Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapper2003 View Post
    Hey all, I'm a newbie so to say, just aquired a 97 Bird LT1 A4 etc etc. Been lurking here for a while, but anyhow, What gives with the optispark thing? I'm not so sure that im aware of what gives? Whats the story, what happens, why are they such a Pain in the A and why do people hate it so much? Links/stories appreciated
    the seals between the 3 pieces wear out and alow water to penetrate the internal parts. the water ruins the optical sensor the takes timing signals off the optic disk. the real pain is the fact that it is located behind the water pump. you have to remove alot of other things to get to it. they are also extremely sensitive to corosion on the conecting pins. minor corrion causes server signal degredation. and lastly when you start to have any miss fire issues like fouled plug or burnt wire the point system in the cap quickly becomes carbon tracked allowing for the spark to jump pins or to ground wich causes more miss fireing and so on. its really a horrible cycle. but on the other hand when they work they are bullet proof and give great voltage acruate advance and so on.

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    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    In less technical terms, the opti has a poor location. Its under the water pump. So if you have a leaky water pump, chances are, you're going to get water on the distributor. Its an expensive jewel as far as parts and access it tightly restricted. Re-routing plugs can be a bitch too.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Alright, so that pretty much explains that.


    What kinds of prices do these run for (stock replacements)? I see you mention they're pricey, how bad is bad?


    Also, what can be done to keep them in good shape once they DO go bad and you put a new one on? Change the pump at the same time, i'd assume? I read somewhere about people siliconing them, i'd imagine just cover the whole thing as good as possible, or can you get too crazy with doing that?


    As far as knowing when they're gone, the way i understand it, the car will pretty much just fall all over itself and run like shat? If i notice a miss in the engine, should plugs/wires be changed as to help rule-out the opti before pointing straight at it to be the culprit?

  5. #5
    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    I think a complete optispark replacement unit runs around $450. But some places sell a simple cap and rotor kit for ~$150. But the way I look at it is, if you are going through all that trouble to get to it, you might as well replace the whole thing.
    Some people do replace the water pump, but you can just check it and make sure its not leaking or have weak seals.
    If an opti does go bad, you'll have bad misses. But not necessarily a bad idle. When my opti went out, it only missed at a certain throttle input. At idle and WOT, it was fine. But partial throttle made it miss like crazy.
    But if you do discover that it has a miss, yes, changing the plugs and wires narrows down the problem to the source. Plus, its easier the change plugs and wires than the opti.

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    1 bad mofo socal's Avatar
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    the h2o thing yes but the heat from the fire kills the sensor so that means no msd for longer life. They need to be replaced about every 50k -75k or just get the ltcc kit and save a headack it pulls out the fire to coil packs best buy ever for my 97 ta a4

  7. #7
    Pathelogical Liar BlackLT1Z28's Avatar
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    If you can afford one. Don't they go for around a grand brand new?

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    1 bad mofo socal's Avatar
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    ltcc best buy ever

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackLT1Z28 View Post
    If you can afford one. Don't they go for around a grand brand new?
    http://www.geocities.com/reilym/LTCC/

    http://www.bailey-eng.com/

    the ltcc kit is about 399 or something and you supply the ls1 coils but that price variey i got mine for free from a friend and xtras here and there but it fixed alot of problems i had and i run cheap 30 dallor lt1 wires from autzone oh and i spent 30 dallors on some stainless steel to make brakets to mount them on my valve covers nice and clean like.

    http://www.delteq.com/products.htm

    http://www.dynotech-eng.com/products.htm

    these are some other options to look into
    dynotech offers an all billit opti to help shield the heat and protect the sensor and i think converts non vented (93-95) to vented
    Last edited by socal; 12-11-2006 at 09:51 AM.

  9. #9
    Paid 2 Post Daycrew SexOnWheels's Avatar
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    Don't forget the opti's being offered from Accel and the newest from MSD which lets you actually adjust the timing:

    http://www.msdignition.com/1media.htm <---then click on Pro-Billet LT1Distributor

  10. #10
    Senior Member Z06-Goose's Avatar
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    When I had my LT1 I installed a rebuildable Optispark made by Dynaspark
    Never had a problem with it, and it actually fixed a little chug it had.
    I think I paid like $599.00 comes with warranty, and like I've said, it has a rebuildable kit.
    A friend of mine had an LTCC set-up on his 94 Z28, and it worked real well for him.
    Goose-
    2007 Audi RS 4

  11. #11
    Member Chad97z's Avatar
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    I wouldnt fix it if it aint broke.. If you have a 97 model car, your opti is vented and that pretty much solves all the problems except for the location aspect and you're not going to get away from that. But again you won't really have a potiential problem unless your water pump starts leaking. But still thats not a guarentee it will foul the optispark because I have 91k on my LT1 and all is fine. And I replaced my water pump with an eletrical pump. And I had water running everywhere! Opti was drentched. But I didn't run it when it was wet. And it still works fine. But yet I am thankful but I wasn't thankful until I read so many comments about the opti in this forum and others.

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