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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to be replacing the Optispark on this 94 FWB. Of course I'm going to replace the water pump while I'm at it. However, I've been reading in the archives here and elsewhere and I'm not entirely sure I have all the parts to complete the job. I've gotten a Gates water pump with a Delphi temp sensor, Cardone Opti (I know - but we're on a budget, got this earlier and had it in the parts bin) and a Fel-Pro Timing Cover Gasket Set. Not doing ignition wires at this time. I've been seeing people say that the Fel-Pro set, pump and Opti may not have all the seals I need. (Especially in threads like this: https://www.impalasuperstore.com/naisso/forum2009/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30984&whichpage=1 )

Here's what I have for O-rings and such. Could someone tell me if I need to go get additional seals to do the job properly?

Water pump driven spline, no O-rings pre-mounted:



Gasket packet that came with water pump:



Opti driven shaft, two O-rings premounted:


Fel-Pro timing cover gasket kit (unopened in case I need to send it back and get another):


Am I missing any other parts needed to replace the water pump and Opti? I need to be able to do the whole replacement in one session and not have to run and get additional parts or have the thing wait disassembled for parts to be sent in. Thanks.
 

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I'm going to be replacing the Optispark on this 94 FWB.








Am I missing any other parts needed to replace the water pump and Opti? I need to be able to do the whole replacement in one session and not have to run and get additional parts or have the thing wait disassembled for parts to be sent in. Thanks.

Whatever opti you bought it ain't an oem NIB AC Delco like the one in that thread from 2005. Just sayin'


Which brings us to what one must do whenever installing even a "new" opti. You have disassemble it to:


-Make sure both clear rubber gaskets surrounding the housing are first even installed, and then to make sure installed correctly. Put tiny bead of dielectric lube in the lips.
-Remove the rotor. Remove the tone ring disc. Blue locktite both.
-To get the case apart and do the above you need 2 different Torx drivers. They're teeny, and most sets don't have them. I think T3? and T5? It doesn't matter just get a whole set from T1 to T10 if you can, for any chance at all of NOT having to make a parts run.

-You may want to carefully eyeball the clock degree of the tone ring (or the rotor, I can't remember - check both) comparing new to your old take-off. There's accounts on recent opti threads that some new ones are clocked wrong. For all I know that's the reason for my P0336 fault despite my own laborious rebuild efforts rebuilding a one-year old aftermarket with an oem spare.

-Finally, if it were me I'd take the Mitsubishi sensor off your old stocker and swap it to the new one.

-Order the little filter and check valve for the vacuum hose assy if any suspect of not functioning right. You can stick a correct size sewing needle in the check valve if it's clogged.



Yes, likely void the warranty. But. Who. Cares.
 

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Black makes good points on what to do with your new Opti. I know it must sound crazy to take a new part apart but that would be smart thing to do. You can pickup an External Torx socket Kit from harbor freight for about $10 and will have all the sockets you need to take apart opti and move sensor. I also got the Viton O-ring Kit from them as well.

I think you have all the parts you need assuming the water pump kit has 2 orings and the Felpro Kit has 2 orings. If not, having the HF oring Kit will be good to have on hand. Do you also have the tool or equivalent to install the water pump drive seal? You will need to install this correctly.

One last thing I may suggest is to add a drain hose to the weep hole of the water pump. This will help protect your new opti in the event it ever leaks. This will help divert coolant from the opti. I have a thread here on this topic to help give you ideas how to do this.
 

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perhaps your not fully understanding the opti clocking ....


if the old distributor never had a resolution code then you must compare the old opti rotor / and keyed cam that it is exactly the same position .. if its wrong send it back and get another.. I also had this occur on a spectra opti ............. cam not set properly so I got the code ,, had to take it all apart and put another in but I did run the engine to check for any codes with water pump off .. that is how I do it now ,,, check for codes and it starts properly then install water pump..



prior to this resolution issue with china crap parts I only started the engine with pump off never had any idea a new opti would throw codes but now it is very common..


the cardone distributors do have caps that leak and over a few years the soft plastic will distort.. OEM caps made of an epoxy material does not distort so I also check for leaks using a hand pump .. I have found the seal around the cam leaks also as well as the cap and the poorly designed harness .. some made have sealed solid so no water runs down into the optical sensor ... if water hits the optical sensor it will fail as it runs into the sensor..


venting harness needs test for venting flow to remove the ozone gases created from arcing in the distributor..this can be checked / tested off the vehicle..


not gonna replace plug wires well you should check the wire resistance .. most likely wire #7 is gonna be bad high resistance..
much harder to replace wires with opti/pump in place...
 

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CB...

You have the O rings for both as they are on the new opti and the WP has the 2 for the spline drives

What I don't see on your list is the WP drive seal install tool. A home made version or the ebay ones (pic). Installing that seal without some form of tool will 100% cause it to leak

If the Opti you are replacing is still working and is a AC Delco I would use it before any Cardone one but I assume it is bad since you are replacing it. If not just get a MSD cap & rotor for it and do what has been mentioned about using dialectic grease on the large case O rings and blue loc-tite on the rotor screws

That Cardone Opti is a 50/50 chance it works at all or fails not long after install
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's the thread on adding a drain hose tothe weep hole. I would highly recommend you do this or similar before installing the pump. It's just cheap insurance for us mechanical WP guys. >:)

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/53-heating-cooling-hvac/1250881-wp-weep-hole-drain-mod.html

That's an interesting idea, I had been pondering some sort of water deflector but that might be a better idea. Why GM engineers thought this arrangement was a good idea....


CB...

You have the O rings for both as they are on the new opti and the WP has the 2 for the spline drives

What I don't see on your list is the WP drive seal install tool. A home made version or the ebay ones (pic). Installing that seal without some form of tool will 100% cause it to leak

I have a Sharpie marker I will be sacrificing when the time comes to make said tool. Didn't know there was an eBay version, maybe I should wait and get that.


If the Opti you are replacing is still working and is a AC Delco I would use it before any Cardone one but I assume it is bad since you are replacing it. If not just get a MSD cap & rotor for it and do what has been mentioned about using dialectic grease on the large case O rings and blue loc-tite on the rotor screws

That Cardone Opti is a 50/50 chance it works at all or fails not long after install

We suspect the Opti on this engine isn't original. The cap appears to be plastic without an epoxy layer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
perhaps your not fully understanding the opti clocking ....


if the old distributor never had a resolution code then you must compare the old opti rotor / and keyed cam that it is exactly the same position .. if its wrong send it back and get another.. I also had this occur on a spectra opti ............. cam not set properly so I got the code ,, had to take it all apart and put another in but I did run the engine to check for any codes with water pump off .. that is how I do it now ,,, check for codes and it starts properly then install water pump..


That seems a good idea to do a test start first before putting the pump back on. I'll do that. Will be sure to check the clocking before install, thanks.


pthe cardone distributors do have caps that leak and over a few years the soft plastic will distort.. OEM caps made of an epoxy material does not distort so I also check for leaks using a hand pump .. I have found the seal around the cam leaks also as well as the cap and the poorly designed harness .. some made have sealed solid so no water runs down into the optical sensor ... if water hits the optical sensor it will fail as it runs into the sensor..

The cap on the car seems to be plastic (part of why we don't think it's an original Opti). Might be why it died.



I don't know if Cardone changed their spec or their supplier, but the cap on the Cardone Select distributor I've got here appears to be epoxy coated like the original, only with black epoxy. I could be mistaken, though.













venting harness needs test for venting flow to remove the ozone gases created from arcing in the distributor..this can be checked / tested off the vehicle..

I'll check that.


not gonna replace plug wires well you should check the wire resistance .. most likely wire #7 is gonna be bad high resistance..
much harder to replace wires with opti/pump in place...

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be in the cards at the moment. If it makes a difference, the car was running fine before it stalled and wouldn't restart.
 

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the cardone opti cap in the picture is not what I had .. looks more robust stronger so that IMO looks good..


why did I say check plug wire resistance ?????????????? reason is bad wires high resistance can cause excessive arcing in the distributor ..


easy to do the resistance check now not later..
 

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the cardone opti cap in the picture is not what I had .. looks more robust stronger so that IMO looks good..


why did I say check plug wire resistance ?????????????? reason is bad wires high resistance can cause excessive arcing in the distributor ..


easy to do the resistance check now not later..
 

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Do the plug wires now. You will pat yourself on the back many times down the road.


better yet buy my LTCC unit and get rid of the OPTI :)
its in the forsale section.
 

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OP

the WP weep hole, sadly, when the seal fails pisses coolant on Opti. People have done the "drain hose" mod in various forms to divert weeping wp away from Opti. When my SS was new dealership replaced several WP & Optis. When it went out of warranty I put a EWP on. That was about 20 years ago and 90k mi. Still have same Opti, just with a new MSD C&R on it.

The Cardone may be "better" now in terms of the cap, IDK. Given you don't still have a AC Delco one and your current Opti is under warranty go with what you got. Ideally it will resolve your #7 issue

Get the Opti WP seal tool IMHO. The Sharpie pen cap may work perfectly fine but I know the tool works. You need to drive the seal in with a deep well socket that goes "over" the tool...I think the pen cap looks pretty long to allow that. Also no grease or oil on that seal. It is PTFE seal, goes on dry. Same with Opti seal

Ran across this in another thread for anyone else reading this thread about "rebuilding" AC Delco Optis. IDK anything about this guy but the post this link was in said he got his Opti done there.

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

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That's an interesting idea, I had been pondering some sort of water deflector but that might be a better idea. Why GM engineers thought this arrangement was a good idea....





I have a Sharpie marker I will be sacrificing when the time comes to make said tool. Didn't know there was an eBay version, maybe I should wait and get that.





We suspect the Opti on this engine isn't original. The cap appears to be plastic without an epoxy layer.
I've used the Sharpie case on my first install and it worked fine. Just be sure there are no burrs on the plastic case that could cut/rip the seal.

Have since bought the little tool and used it a few times and it works great.

If you're in a pinch, you could even use a socket as shown here....



As for th WP drain hose, you mentioned a shield. There was a shield that people have made that gets mounted below the WP but that just seems a little more cumbersome. As another idea to keep moisture out of the seals, member Goldmaster has a thread "condom for your opti"? that he took some kind of sealer on the Outter edge on the opti case to help seal it. Just another idea.

As for the cap, that looks very similar to the new one that GM now offers in Black. Most likely the same manufacturer that makes it for different sellers. I doubt GM does much of their 3rd tier parts supplying anymore.

Btw - if you have not seen them yet, that same member Goldmaster has a series of 4 videos that show exactly what you need to do to replace the WP, opti and seals. Yes he also mentions firing up the car just for a few seconds before installing the pump. At least you know electrically the work you did....works :nerd:
 

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I recommend installing the opti without the cap installed. My biggest problem getting a new opti installed is having the rotor clocked so it slides onto the dowel pin on the cam. If you leave the cap off while installing the opti, you can wiggle the rotor to ensure it slides on, and that there’s no play, so you’ll know it’s on the dowel correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
OP

the WP weep hole, sadly, when the seal fails pisses coolant on Opti. People have done the "drain hose" mod in various forms to divert weeping wp away from Opti. When my SS was new dealership replaced several WP & Optis. When it went out of warranty I put a EWP on. That was about 20 years ago and 90k mi. Still have same Opti, just with a new MSD C&R on it.

The Cardone may be "better" now in terms of the cap, IDK. Given you don't still have a AC Delco one and your current Opti is under warranty go with what you got. Ideally it will resolve your #7 issue

Get the Opti WP seal tool IMHO. The Sharpie pen cap may work perfectly fine but I know the tool works. You need to drive the seal in with a deep well socket that goes "over" the tool...I think the pen cap looks pretty long to allow that. Also no grease or oil on that seal. It is PTFE seal, goes on dry. Same with Opti seal

Turns out one of the vendors of the tool on eBay is actually in the neighboring city of Fort Worth and offers local pickup. I think I'll be zipping over to pick that up sometime this week.



Ran across this in another thread for anyone else reading this thread about "rebuilding" AC Delco Optis. IDK anything about this guy but the post this link was in said he got his Opti done there.

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



Yeah, I saw that in the Cheap Opti thread and passed that on to the owner. Next time I'm in the junkyard and spot an original Opti that's easily harvested I might take it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do the plug wires now. You will pat yourself on the back many times down the road.


better yet buy my LTCC unit and get rid of the OPTI :)
its in the forsale section.

On a whim after reading this I went to check RockAuto - turns out they have some Napa Belden wires on closeout sale cheap enough that I picked them up for literal pocket change. Supposed to get here Thursday; nothing worthwhile had been on sale when we checked earlier, so the plug wires will be getting done.


As for the LTCC... not at this time, I think. Good luck with sale, though.
 

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Assuming your project can wait for it to arrive.....GET IT.
 

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The car can easily wait the 90 minutes it will take to pick up. :p
Well....what are you wasting time here for, go get it. 0:)0:)

I'm a good 1 to talk. My car would not start a month ago and I have yet to get motivated enough to work on it. Just got too many things going on with other projects right now.
 
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