Chevy Impala SS Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm putting together a shopping cart for stuff to service the car. Went looking for Optispark distributor caps and I found whole distributors on Amazon for less than $50.

So what do I need to know about these distributors? I mean, they're asking less for the whole thing than other places are asking for just the cap. What's the catch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,390 Posts
provide link to said $50 opti.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,389 Posts
You have a supposedly 39,000 mile car. Don't replace the Optispark.

But if you do, I'll buy your old one for that $50 + shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You have a supposedly 39,000 mile car. Don't replace the Optispark.

But if you do, I'll buy your old one for that $50 + shipping.
I was more thinking of robbing it for its cap, but not sure it would be a 100% compatible fit. Just weird to see whole distributors cheaper than a single part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Like you, I have a good original optispark. I have never touched it except to replace plug wires and it has 180,000 miles on it. I would leave it alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,002 Posts
You will come to regret messing with an opti that was functional.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SoCalChlln

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
You will come to regret messing with an opti that was functional.
Right now I haven't done anything. Got a mess on the front of the motor though, so going to pull it off to replace the three seals in the timing cover. Got another thread about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,390 Posts
The new optis first. I read all reviews, questions and specs. Well what there is available to read anyway, and with the varying degrees of un-detail and reverse specificity we've come to look for. Funny that as too typical some reviews appear unrelated to the product. The cap pins 'appear' to be copperish, and everything is nice and shiny. BUT, folks state receiving incorrectly fabricated or mis-assembled units, clearly returned units, dirty units, waiting on a replacement. There MIGHT be the long hoped for upward curve on quality after so many years of outright reject quality and using buyers as guinea pigs. But no way things will have improved so rapidly to support the plummeted prices as this. Buyer beware. Buyer be really beware. lol

Next, at 39k would look objectively at business case for just a tune-up on the oem, but only left installed in place. The only reason to risk effing things up forever with removal is if it's PROVEN all the leaking is coming from just the opti seal. Which I doubt. As mentioned above you still run the risk of having to do a do-over in a short while if you haven't studied the 1/2 dozen good threads on quote 'blueprinting' the opti as part of re-assembly.

MAYBE a good trick using th opti for just its tune-up parts. But, beware one of the many issues with past crap aftermarket has been real thin caps that get sucked in and grind up the insides, along with outright missing and damaged parts.
 

·
Registered
1996 ImpalaSS WX3
Joined
·
514 Posts
I second the advice of 1slow96...
Don’t change a working original GM OptiSpark for anything but another ACDelco or Delphi distributor, both of which are rare to find and very expensive ($300+)...
I can’t say the ACDelco/Delphi’s are worth the extravagant price, but I can tell you this, if you buy a dirt cheap bargain brand, you’re going to get what you pay for here.
Do not install a cheap off brand opti, you will in all probability be replacing it again either immediately or in less than 3 months.
It’s not a quick and easy job to begin with, especially if you’re doing the timing cover seals, and the Water Pump seal
The timing cover one is very tricky to get in without ruining it, always go with Viton seals, I freeze the Timing Cover opti seal overnight in my freezer to get it to go in easier.
That’s all I got for ya bro.!
Best wishes and good luck...
 

·
Registered
1996 ImpalaSS WX3
Joined
·
514 Posts
I fell under the “needed to” category at 140k miles on the original. I don’t recall where I ordered it from, but it was an ACDelco I replaced it with.
it’s been a couple years now with no further problems.
If or when you do NEED to replace your opti, make sure you read the threads about using Loctite on the rotor screw and waterproofing the unit.
It will save you $ and headaches later on down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,605 Posts
OP

If you have "front engine" leaks there is a likely chance that some of that has entered the Opti. Since you are pulling it to do front TC seals than, on a bench, remove the C&R and inspect inside. If you do have some oil in it just carefully clean it out with Q tip & tissue. Use blue loc-tite on rotor screws and a skim coat of dialectic grease on the large O ring in the cap
 

·
Registered
1996 ImpalaSS WX3
Joined
·
514 Posts
There’s also a 3M product I believe that you spray on the entire unit to waterproof the opti.
Read the opti threads and you’ll find all the relevant brands of sealant, as well as the exact procedures to waterproof the opti...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,620 Posts
Definitely don't use FlexSeal - I sprayed this on an opti in the fall and three months later it had split around the case edges; this was just sitting in an unheated garage, no engine heat at all. RTV smeared on from here on out.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top