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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in need of help, I thank all of you for calling me a big dumby in advance. so here it goes.

My old war buddy sold me his 1995 Impala SS. While it was in a rough appearance, it ran like a champ minus the spongy brakes.
Saturday June 13th, after fresh fluid changes, hoses and belts inspection, fresh 93 octane. I drove 2 and half hours to Orlando, FL.

Monday June 15th, I took it to Pep Boys for a brake flush. Ggt the car back, brakes were fine. the ride to and from Pepboys was 2 minutes.

Tuesday June 16th, was driving out of orlando to Columbia, Md where I live. 30 minutes into the ride, temp gauge shot up, the upper radiator hose broke free of the radiator. Took it back to Pepboys.

Wednesday June 17th, Pepboys called and told me cooling system was shot and needed to to be replaced. I paid $1,351.00 to have it done.

Thursday June 18th, Picked it up from Pepboys. engine started sputtering and intermittently shutting off. Took it back. They said a hose was lose in the back and they had it running. Tried to start the car it wouldn't start, had to wait for Area diagnostic mechanic (only one in the area). The diagnostic Mechanic stated that coolant got into the opti-spark harness and the distributor and the harness needed to be changed. I requested all my parts back btw. I never got the harness, this was fall ( I was late to get back to work in Maryland so I was stressing)

Friday June 19th, the impala was driveable. not as good as it was before taking to Pepboys, but hoped i can make it back and do the work myself (been taking Auto Technology courses at the VocTech). Drove to Gastonia, NC before car cut of on the highway. Had towed to the Pepboys there. told had to wait till Monday for Master Tech

Monday June 22nd Master Tech installed a fuse that popped, I would of done it but I was stranded on I-85. course CHarged $110 for a fuse. Bought a small tool kit also at Advance Auto near by. 20 mins on the highway, fuse blew, i replaced it, Impala still wouldn't start. Towed to Pepboys in Charlotte. They said that the opti-spark harness was busted, the opti-spark was shot, I had a brown out on the fuel pump, Paid $1,343.00

Tuesday June 23rd drove the car 4 hours into virginia, made a stop for gas, praying to any god out there. The car wouldn't start. once it did, a loud pop and black smoke came from under the hood. I freaked out. but the engine was still good. Had it towed to Pepboys in Petersburg, VA. I called it in and had my fiance pick me up. (Lost my job by now).

Wednesday June 24th, called the pepboys, they said their master tech won't be in till Tuesday June 30th. BUT someone said the fuel pump blew. now they are trying to check my story about the chain of events that has happened.

My question is will a damaged opti-spark harness cause the engine to misfire and ground other electrical systems along the line? Will coolant in the socket cause issues with spark in the ignition system (sputtering while driving)?

I really don't want Pepboys touching my Impala. but if i can get it on to the back of a trailer, I will replace the parts myself. Btw, now Florida Pepboys are saying they never agreed to the harness to be replaced. So i have a claim with corporate and BBB about it. I just need help, I'm a Marine vet so losing the job isn't much of a big deal but it got me out the house. Thanks to all that read my post. I'm still learning and I thank you guys for giving me a lesson about my idiocoracy.
 

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Honestly you're fortunate that a shop was even willing to work on a 25 year old car of unknown history, and multiple shops were able to troubleshoot an LT1 at all.

Optispark harness definitely can cause problems; they are cheap on Ebay. It is the seal on that harness that I believe is the main culprit for letting stuff into the optispark. The factory fuel pump wiring and sending unit have lots of weak points, all of which you can read about here on this forum and fix yourself pretty cheap. Same with the ignition system. Shops simply can't do that; they need to troubleshoot, replace parts and move on.

I think your idea of towing it to your house is wise. I rescued a '96 Impala SS a few years ago and after taking several days to completely go through the car, drove it 450 miles home. After disassembling it, I'm shocked I even made it. I would have been far smarter just to have it transported.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Honestly you're fortunate that a shop was even willing to work on a 25 year old car of unknown history, and multiple shops were able to troubleshoot an LT1 at all.

Optispark harness definitely can cause problems; they are cheap on Ebay. It is the seal on that harness that I believe is the main culprit for letting stuff into the optispark. The factory fuel pump wiring and sending unit have lots of weak points, all of which you can read about here on this forum and fix yourself pretty cheap. Same with the ignition system. Shops simply can't do that; they need to troubleshoot, replace parts and move on.

I think your idea of towing it to your house is wise. I rescued a '96 Impala SS a few years ago and after taking several days to completely go through the car, drove it 450 miles home. After disassembling it, I'm shocked I even made it. I would have been far smarter just to have it transported.

Definitely wished I had towed it back. When i do get it back, my plan is rip out the pepboy parts and replace each one, also the sensors and harnesses. I read somewhere on here, around 2010, that coolant in optispark can cause electrical issues and ignition issues. Thats why I asked if its possible for it brown out other electrical parts. Either way, I'm know I'm coming out of pocket on this, but better me to do it then them is how I see it. Thanks, at least I know i was on the right track to change out some of the auxiliary parts to the electrical, fuel, ignition, and cooling systems.
 

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You should buy a set of Factory Service Manuals. They are fairly cheap, and have many diagnostics in them.

I am not trying to make you feel bad, but Pep Boys is probably the last possible place I would take my car to for any maintenance.

You may have experienced a series of unrelated consequences, but the cost is staggering.

Where in Florida are you?
 
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Just remember that this is a 25 year old car and rough. But parts are cheap enough that you could literally replace the entire ignition system (including coil and ICM), fuel injectors, upgrade the fuel pump wiring, cooling system and have a reliable car for less than two car payments if you're doing the work yourself.

I second the idea of getting a factory service manual set. Get all three volumes, volume 1, 2 and the supplement.
 

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I'm bothered by this.

1. Someone does a bit of prep on an old car for a long trip home.
2. Pep Boys resolves spongy brakes so he can get rolling.
3. Problems keep popping up on the way, and Pep Boys keeps fixing them.
4. The 900-mile trip takes two weeks, he loses his job, and his car is still at the last Pep Boys it went to.

I'm sure almost all us have at least stopped to check/help a disabled car, or told someone a tire was low, or said "follow me" when asked for directions, or brought gas. Some have done more if needed and able.

It seems nobody at ANY of the Pep Boys said, "Hey, here's someone starting a old-car trip, or in the middle of a slow, expensive one. It's a little out of our normal range. Maybe we go over the car after work today and fix or prevent some things. Maybe we call a GM dealer to find an expert who'll come for pizza and beer, or maybe we use the pizza and beer to borrow a rollback and haul the car the rest of the way. Maybe we just take 60 seconds and google 'Chevy car club' for our town. Not just because our website says something about honoring Armed Forces (maybe we don't know this customer's a vet), not just because the customer has already paid our stores a lot of money, but because it's the right thing to do and it's not even hard for us to do it."

What does the forum think--did Pep Boys fall short here?
 

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I relied upon the OP being truthful. If it is proven that it is a scam, I was duped. I do not even know if the OP is real.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just remember that this is a 25 year old car and rough. But parts are cheap enough that you could literally replace the entire ignition system (including coil and ICM), fuel injectors, upgrade the fuel pump wiring, cooling system and have a reliable car for less than two car payments if you're doing the work yourself.

I second the idea of getting a factory service manual set. Get all three volumes, volume 1, 2 and the supplement.
Thats was literally the initial plan, brother. I am planning on using my techs shop this semester and do it all on my own time..I have a plan to do a swap for a LS3, if im reading from right, I will have room for the a.c. unit and its the most cost effective engine I can do in the next 2 years. Can you or someone direct me to a place I can get the service manuals?
I'm bothered by this.

1. Someone does a bit of prep on an old car for a long trip home.
2. Pep Boys resolves spongy brakes so he can get rolling.
3. Problems keep popping up on the way, and Pep Boys keeps fixing them.
4. The 900-mile trip takes two weeks, he loses his job, and his car is still at the last Pep Boys it went to.

I'm sure almost all us have at least stopped to check/help a disabled car, or told someone a tire was low, or said "follow me" when asked for directions, or brought gas. Some have done more if needed and able.

It seems nobody at ANY of the Pep Boys said, "Hey, here's someone starting a old-car trip, or in the middle of a slow, expensive one. It's a little out of our normal range. Maybe we go over the car after work today and fix or prevent some things. Maybe we call a GM dealer to find an expert who'll come for pizza and beer, or maybe we use the pizza and beer to borrow a rollback and haul the car the rest of the way. Maybe we just take 60 seconds and google 'Chevy car club' for our town. Not just because our website says something about honoring Armed Forces (maybe we don't know this customer's a vet), not just because the customer has already paid our stores a lot of money, but because it's the right thing to do and it's not even hard for us to do it."

What does the forum think--did Pep Boys fall short here?
The Pepboys in Union Park, FL were the only ones that have been deceitful. every other Pepboys I went to has been really helpful and did what they can do. The Pepboys in florida told me they would change the harness. in my dumbness and haste, i didn't check to see if they had did, among other things. Up the road, they denied that they agreed the work to the other locations.
Every Other Pepboys did what they can do to the best of their abilities. The Pepboys stores in Charlotte and Gastonia believed me over the florida location about the harness. Right now the fuel pump busted. its under warranty so no "more" cost. still gonna change it out.

My friend had been driving it up to when he sold it to me. It drove fine before I had it sent to FL Pepboys. He even gave the money back and said keep the impala, saying he will help me with anything else. So I'm pretty getting paid to get the car.

I understand that Pepboys is franchise. some are better than others. Yet the issues didn't occurred till the upper radiator hose slipped loose and the cooling system repair. I should of took better precaution. lesson learned.
 

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I relied upon the OP being truthful. If it is proven that it is a scam, I was duped. I do not even know if the OP is real.

Oh, I'm real alright. all what I'm saying has transpired. This is my first chevy in over 20 years, minus my my dad's '80 cheyenne truck. I'm just looking for answer as if the coolant issue could of affected the electrical system when it got into the opti-spark harness.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You should buy a set of Factory Service Manuals. They are fairly cheap, and have many diagnostics in them.

I am not trying to make you feel bad, but Pep Boys is probably the last possible place I would take my car to for any maintenance.

You may have experienced a series of unrelated consequences, but the cost is staggering.

Where in Florida are you?
I was in Union Park, FL. its a pepboys on East colonial drive. They are not even registered in the BBB. I'm thinking it was a shop Pepboys had bought out. There are several along that road in area that were know as another shop before it was "Pep Boys". Only reason I took it to them because if something happened along the way, i had some sort of insurance....Yeah, Should of trailered it. There was alot going on at this time too, but its a personal family thing, so my mind was on 2 things at once. Very stressful and unpredictable.
 

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I'm very glad to hear they were helpful. I wasn' thinking the OP wasn't genuine. I was kinda bummed by the idea that a car repair chain didn't really step up to help a traveler. A friend of mine paid a brake shop in the mountains a lot of money for a thorough brake rebuild, and found out a year later--going downhill--that they hadn't done anything but replace pads. I'm sure there are worse stories, and many positive ones too about people doing the right thing.

About your question--coolant in the ignition system can cause misfires, but it shouldn't spread electrical problems to other systems. Fuel systems age, and the tank wiring/sender is a known trouble spot.

Good luck with it, and keep the questions coming.
 

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Thank you so much. I'm planning on a tear down, system by system. Not expecting any Fast&Furious montage on this build. I like to take my time and learn new things. , I should definitely take a look at the ignition and charging systems. I know. The engine is a LT1 from a 96 SS around 80k miles when bought about a year ago. Was dropped in at a shop in Spring Hill, FL. My friend drove it only on weekends. Got a bug to get a 80's firebird or trans am, (I wouldnt even think about those). Had offers for $3-$4k. But sold it to me for $1,000 just because I joked about buying it for one cent. can't beat friends like this. But thank again, with all the info i'm getting. I am starting to know where to start at least. Thanks for the well wishes. I hope to learn alot from everyone.
 

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You definitely will learn a lot here. I've been watching this forum for years. These guys know their stuff!
 
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