Are Optispark Issues Really Worth Worrying About Anymore?

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Optispark

Corvette Forum members weigh in on one of the most talked about trouble areas on LT1 powered C4s.

Liquid above electronics. This sort of thing is viewed by most people as a bad idea, but to LT1 owners, it’s a fact of life. Optispark has caused headaches in the past, but there’s an imbalance of stories when it comes to failed units versus those that have stood the test of time. So what does that mean for someone who’s looking at an LT1 Corvette as a daily driver?

A threat in our forums addressed this. 2MANYPROJECTS asked “Thinking of buying an LT1 for a daily, are Optisparks still a big problem?” Any serious doubts seemed to be quickly dispelled by members who’d either owned, or still own an “Opti” equipped Corvette. As noted by many members, the LT1 and Optispark weren’t just used in Corvettes, the same system was also used in Caprice taxis, which regularly saw several hundred thousand miles.

Instead, the issues would come from a number of factors that may be easy to overlook. “You get what you pay for” is very much one of those factors. While it may be tempting to buy an inexpensive replacement, be aware of what you are buying. Sometimes things are cheap for a reason. That might be obvious, but as forum member PuckDracon pointed out, there’s some other small things that may be overlooked as well.

You can’t imaging how many people I have seen install no-name optis, LEAVE THE VENT TUBE PORT OPEN, then complain when it dies in 6 months. Or not use loctite on the tiny rotor machine screws and grenade the rotor at 6k RPMs.

Also, many members say even if the unit does fail, it’s not so difficult to replace. Sure, it might not have the same access as a traditional cap and rotor, but it can be fixed in an evening. You just have to make sure you fix it in the right way if it’s going to be a daily driver.

What are your thoughts on this? Join in the discussion on our forums.

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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