One of the joys of being mechanically inclined is being a hot rodder.
My beloved Biscayne SS is not a Biscayne at all.
She started out in March of 1990 as a Caprice Classic with a 170 hp 305 cubic inch LO3 small block V-8. In a 3,995 lb. car, that's not much motor. Especially since it was a TIRED engine, probably barely made 130 at the end.
Because I am a rodder, I yanked that engine and replaced it with a 350 cubic inch LT1 out of a '96 Impala SS. 290 horses, 330 foot pounds! No loss in mileage. Win win?
The dark side of hot rodding is mutant engine swaps. When something goes wrong, you own it. It's not something you can take to someone because they don't know what you did and there's no book explaining it.
I tried to document it all, but there's huge gaps for another mechanic to figure out.
Well, she's been dead for a few months because I am past the limit of my knowledge. It started as an occasional miss or sputter. It seemed fuel related because she sits so much gas going bad seemed a possibility. I think, now, it's the distributor.
On an 92-97 LT1, that's called an Optispark™. The opti is the source of much angst in the Chevy world. It's mounted low on the front of the motor above the crank and behind and below the waterpump. It's driven directly by the front face of the camshaft. And they die. They're supposed to be good for 100k miles, but sometimes barely last for 15,000. When they die they don't give a code to the computer to help you diagnose the problem. Your car just starts acting funny, or dies.
It's easy to blame an opti for a fuel problem. It's easy to blame a fuel problem on an opti.
You don't really know which until you've pulled things apart and swapped in new pieces.
Did I mention that a new AC-Delco® Optispark™ is a $350+ part? You can buy a cap and rotor, but that never seems to fix it.
Thankfully I have great friends and one of them took pity on the poor Biscuit and bought me a new opti. THANKS MARV!
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