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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had my water pump replaced in my "96 Roadmaster sedan. I noticed coolant on the block when I did my oil change so I took it to a shop I trust and they said the water pump was bad.
I picked the car up yesterday and drove it home (1 mile) and didn't use it again until this morning.
Driving in to work today I noticed the car was running a little off. It seemed to get worse the farther drove it. Ok until I asked it for any power, then misfiring and popping in the exhaust. also no power.
when I got to work I looked under the hood and there is coolant where the front cover and oilpan come together and it is dripping a little.
Must be coming from the water pump. Did this kill my Optispark?. I've never driven a bad one before.
 

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I just had my water pump replaced in my "96 Roadmaster sedan. I noticed coolant on the block when I did my oil change so I took it to a shop I trust and they said the water pump was bad.
I picked the car up yesterday and drove it home (1 mile) and didn't use it again until this morning.
Driving in to work today I noticed the car was running a little off. It seemed to get worse the farther drove it. Ok until I asked it for any power, then misfiring and popping in the exhaust. also no power.
when I got to work I looked under the hood and there is coolant where the front cover and oilpan come together and it is dripping a little.
Must be coming from the water pump. Did this kill my Optispark?. I've never driven a bad one before.
It's possible.

Most shops are unfamiliar with the opti and could easily get it wet.

Could also be bad o2's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The car ran great before the water pump. I think the o2 sensors were done when the cats were removed and all new exhaust was put on one year ago.
 

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When something bad happens right after service, the obvious suspect (but of course not always) is the service just done.
Easy enough for them to have spilled coolant that eventually got into the optispark (most likely), or for the new pump to leak right out of the box (maybe), or leaking gasket (not so likely, most any shop is going to get this stage right).
Can you spot/trace/take a picture of the leak with a mirror and light? Bad news is that the WP might have to come back off to id/fix the problem, good news is that the opti might just need to be disassembled, cleaned up, and sealed.
Misfires sure sound like opti/ignition, but before pulling anything apart check nearby stuff for problems where they might have knocked something:
--leaks at hose connections
--opti vent hoses and other nearby engine vacuum lines (including the one to the rubber air intake elbow), just to be sure nothing got knocked loose/cracked in the WP job.
--loose electrical plugs
--loose/cracked spark plug wire
Hopefully it's something minor!
 

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OP, you now see leaking coolant so you have a clear problem that needs to be fixed. What likely happened is when R&R the WP the shop disturbed the fragile WP drive seal which is now leaking and that leak, along with what may have been coolant exposure just from replacing WP, got in Opti. That seal is included in the $12 FelPro Timing Cover gasket/seal kit but does need some form of "tool" to install correctly if not the GM Kent Moore tool. $20 versions are sold on ebay or a gutted Sharpie pen body will work. A search will show pics

The Opti itself can be opened up (remove C&R, reluctor wheel) and carefully clean inside of opti

Stock WP's are prone to leaking from weep hole which pisses coolant right on Opti. A gutted 90 degree zerk fitting taped/threaded or JB welded in the weep hole with a piece of 1/4" vacuum hose pointing down diverts this problem (although this problem is a bad water pump)

I went electric water pump 23 years ago and have never had this problem since....and its the same pump with about 95k mi on it now that can be replaced in minutes if needed
 

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does need some form of "tool" to install correctly if not the GM Kent Moore tool. $20 versions are sold on ebay or a gutted Sharpie pen body will work.
I just wanted to add that there is also a certain size socket that works as this "tool". Maybe somebody remembers.
 

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yes the deep socket, size, can work as can the spline coupler itself...problem with those though is the end is not tapered so that method is still prone to folding the inner lip of seal back which is instant leak. The "tapered" end aftermarket tol or the Sharpie pen cap work well

Although if you "carefully" put the seal on socket/spline coupler by twisting it as you push it on that can keep the lip of seal from folding over

IMHO 90% of "mechanics" have no clue about this seal let alone how to install it

this forum does not allow pics posted, like other forums for non paying members, so can't help with pics. One of a few fails this forum has become since some of us OG's have been on it
 

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Doh! I forgot about the seal. Here's the tool. A hair under .5" ID, so in a pinch a 1/2 inch narrow wall socket should fit over the WP driveshaft and through the seal. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone the EWP route the last time my pump failed. Handwriting Rectangle Gas Font Auto part


Here's one of several youtube videos using a socket.
 
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Water pump drive seals last practically forever if one has an electric water pump installed
 

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It's possible.

Most shops are unfamiliar with the opti and could easily get it wet.

Could also be bad o2's.
Probably just used a cheap water pump and it's leaking. Getting the opti wet isn't an issue as they are weather tight. But if your opti is giving you problems when getting wet then that's indicative of another problem.
 

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Opti's are designed to be a sealed part (aside from vent harness) ,and suspect most all of legit Opti issues arise from compromise of one (or ,both) of those systems. I'm not even sure that rotors came loose on OEM opti's ,or just on replacement rotors/cap. Never took apart a factory sealed one to locktite rotor screw ,but do on their replacements.
As well as a thin coat of dielectric grease on o-ring as well as mounting surface. Haven't had opti issues of any kind in over a decade.
 

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I agree Tom. I too have never seen an original opti with loose rotor screws.Aftermarket parts are a crap shoot for sure.
Jim
 

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FWIW I had one of 8 new factory AC Delco optis installed under warranty (yes 8) have a rotor screw come out. The noise sounded like a rod knock....it turned out to be 1 of the 2 screws. Dealer replaced it with another new AC Delco

FWIW the reason I was killing optis in 500-1k mi after the "dealership" replaced the leaking WP under warranty (they also proactively replaced Optis when that happened) is that the initial Opti change the mechanic reversed the blue/white vent harness check valve effectively killing its function allowing liquid crud to accumulate inside Opti (reason vent harness is needed). It was just bu chance when I was at a cruise night with other Impalas with hoods up I noticed my check valve was backwards. Reversed it and all fine

EWP resolved any further Opti problems to date. I do however loctite rotor screws
 

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The exact same thing happened to me when car was new. Went through opti's as if they were Pez.
Noticed blue/white thingy in backwards as I became more enlightened/educated about the car.
But ,installed a MSD ProBillet. Failed within a year. Leaving me by the side of the road (sort of)....
Limped to a Chevy dealership that installed the opti that remains on the car to this day.
 

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new factory
This is an oxymoron.

The point being made was with regard to original optis that were installed on the car when new, vs replacements.

I understand the need to differentiate between Delco and off-brand, but it's also important to be aware that a new/reman Delco that you buy today is not the same as a true original.
 
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This is an oxymoron.

The point being made was with regard to original optis that were installed on the car when new, vs replacements.

I understand the need to differentiate between Delco and off-brand, but it's also important to be aware that a new/reman Delco that you buy today is not the same as a true original.
...ah Matt...at the time my 8 "factory" Optis were replaced (under new car 3/36k mi warranty) with NEW AC Delco Optis this was 1998. "NEW" AC Delco Optis were readily available then and the only kind dealerships installed.

I still have the last Opti, now 17 years old with an MSD C&R (before the MSD C&R became crap) and also what is regarded as excellent, the Delphi units that were once available but also no longer which also has a Mitsubishi sensor

true unfortunately now there is no quality Opti available sold new or rebuilt now
 

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I just had my water pump replaced in my "96 Roadmaster sedan. I noticed coolant on the block when I did my oil change so I took it to a shop I trust and they said the water pump was bad.
I picked the car up yesterday and drove it home (1 mile) and didn't use it again until this morning.
Driving in to work today I noticed the car was running a little off. It seemed to get worse the farther drove it. Ok until I asked it for any power, then misfiring and popping in the exhaust. also no power.
when I got to work I looked under the hood and there is coolant where the front cover and oilpan come together and it is dripping a little.
Must be coming from the water pump. Did this kill my Optispark?. I've never driven a bad one before.
I had that same issue when a mechanic changed out my water pump only to get it back and experience the same issues as you stated. It ended up being that coolant got to my optispark. I’ll bet that’s what your problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Doh! I forgot about the seal. Here's the tool. A hair under .5" ID, so in a pinch a 1/2 inch narrow wall socket should fit over the WP driveshaft and through the seal. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone the EWP route the last time my pump failed. View attachment 201914

Here's one of several youtube videos using a socket.
I had that same issue when a mechanic changed out my water pump only to get it back and experience the same issues as you stated. It ended up being that coolant got to my optispark. I’ll bet that’s what your problem is.
I had that same issue when a mechanic changed out my water pump only to get it back and experience the same issues as you stated. It ended up being that coolant got to my optispark. I’ll bet that’s what your problem is.
It did end up being the Optispark. I just got the car back last night with the new Opti and it runs great. Back to normal.
But now it is leaking oil at the front of the engine. haven't crawled under yet but it is leaving a small spot/puddle when it is parked after driving it.
 
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