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How long to swap an Opti?

Old 07-21-2017, 12:06 AM
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Tom400CFI
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Default How long to swap an Opti?

I think I've said that it can be done in 2 hours or less. Tonight I removed mine. I need to put the new one in tomorrow or this weekend, but here's how it went, time wise:

With the car on the ground, I started at 8:30 -see the "Corvette" clock above the messy work bench? Now I cheated a little bit, by staging my jack stands. That may have saved me 00:00:30 or so.

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Here it is, out of the car, @ 9:15. 45 minutes....

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.
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Last edited by Tom400CFI; 12-09-2017 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:29 AM
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I agree, the difficult of this job is overblown by a lot of people. Did you drain the coolant from the block, or just let it come out at the pump?
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:36 AM
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Opened the drain petcock on the radiator, then let the rest fall out of the pump.

I probably didn't even need to raise the car.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:41 AM
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That's how I did it too. I got a little unhappy with the amount of coolant that spilled on the opti (which turned out not to be my problem!!!). But I think these things are more waterproof than people give the credit for being. And in your case, you already know it's bad, so who cares? The only reason to raise the car is maybe to drain the radiator, and to make it easier on your back!
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:18 PM
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Probably the biggest variable is whether or not (or how badly) the damper is rusted/seized to the hub. That can really slow down the progress.

Live well,

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Old 07-22-2017, 12:13 AM
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Possibly. The first time I did mine, the damper was stuck pretty good. Strategic beating w/a bar and hammer got it fairly quickly though...it probably only added 10 minutes to the job. That time, I painted the hub and damper flange with never-seize, and this time, it came right off like butter.

The biggest time-suck this time was sorting and hooking up the plug wires (I should have labelled them when removing), and gasket scraping.

Started gasket scraping tonight at around 5:00....

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Here it is, running.

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So that was 2 hours working at a pretty leisurely pace. Labelling the wires and just dumping all the coolant from the pump removal could have saved a 1/2 hour.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:49 PM
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Will do.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MatthewMiller View Post
That's how I did it too. I got a little unhappy with the amount of coolant that spilled on the opti (which turned out not to be my problem!!!). But I think these things are more waterproof than people give the credit for being. And in your case, you already know it's bad, so who cares? The only reason to raise the car is maybe to drain the radiator, and to make it easier on your back!
if i'm not mistaken...the problem with the opti is more the corrosiveness of the antifreeze than the water itself ? something to do with an eye and adhesives ?? does that sound right? (i dont know, have never dealt with a bad one in any of my 4 LT1's)

and thanks for the thread...it is encouraging! people seem to fear this job

i actually cant wait for one of mine to fail so i can tackle it!!

Last edited by mark970; 07-27-2017 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mark970 View Post
if i'm not mistaken...the problem with the opti is more the corrosiveness of the antifreeze than the water itself ? something to do with an eye and adhesives ?? does that sound right? (i dont know, have never dealt with a bad one in any of my 4 LT1's)

and thanks for the thread...it is encouraging! people seem to fear this job

i actually cant wait for one of mine to fail so i can tackle it!!
If antifreeze gets inside your opti, you've already got problems regardless of the type of antifreeze you use!
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:29 AM
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Just out of curiosity, did you change the three seals while you were in there or did you feel it not necessary.
Great write-up,
Thnaks
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mark970 View Post
if i'm not mistaken...the problem with the opti is more the corrosiveness of the antifreeze than the water itself ? something to do with an eye and adhesives ?? does that sound right?
I don't think so. First, antifreeze isn't corrosive, it inhibits corrosion. That is one reason we use it rather than straight water.

Second, this particular opti never got water (or antifreeze) in it as you can see in my pics; it's pretty spotless inside for a 5 year old unit -not even carbon dust from the arcing.

No, it it my theory that the problem with water in the opti is that it contaminates the lenses of the optical unit itself. I believe this because I've "saved" two "bad" opti's previously, that had gotten wet, by doing nothing more than cleaning the lenses w/tissue paper, brake cleaner and Windex.

I don't believe that contaminate killed this (NAPA) unit as it's so clean inside...and the nature of the failure: cruising along and BAM! Tach would go to zero and engine would shut off. W/the scan tool hooked up, both low and high res signals would instantly go to "0". 10 minutes later, it would start right back up and run fine. That is not aligned w/contamination. Contamination would foul the eye(s) and they simply wouldn't work until disassembled and cleaned. As was the case w/the opti's that I cleaned and got working again.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:33 AM
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It's only been a couple days, but the new AIP opti is working flawlessly so far. Starts instantly, runs great....I'm DD'ing it at the moment so it's getting miles put on it. So far, so good.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by woody3882 View Post
Just out of curiosity, did you change the three seals while you were in there or did you feel it not necessary.
Great write-up,
Thnaks
Nope. They were fine. When the original opti died 5 years ago, I removed it and power washed the front of the motor. It was still clean (enough) to convince me that the seals are working just fine....so I left 'em.


Here is "front of motor" after 5 years/~30k miles...

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Last edited by Tom400CFI; 07-27-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:48 PM
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thats some great info Tom, thanks for teaching me something i know little about...eventually i will need to perform this on one or both of my cars and knowledge is power!!!

enjoy the rest of your day
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:12 PM
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It is an overblown job as far as difficulty but whenever I do one, there are moments where I curse....

Espc removing/installing the outer water pump bolt on the drivers side (I use a short swivel socket and go thru the power steering pump pulley to get at it).

If you have converted over to an electric water pump getting it out is a real PITA because of the AC line and accumulator. Gotta take the electric motor off the pump housing first, snake it out, then you can removing the housing.
Will
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SJW View Post
Probably the biggest variable is whether or not (or how badly) the damper is rusted/seized to the hub. That can really slow down the progress.

Live well,

SJW
This.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:40 PM
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Been a year and two months. This thread just came up for a search I ran so I thought I'd throw an update. A year and two months....about 7k miles or so....still running great. I talked about it in another thread, but I DOUSED IT when my upper hose blew...it quit working, but I took it out, cleaned it and it's continued on running perfectly.



.

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Old 09-17-2018, 09:18 PM
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I have a long punch bit for my air hammer. No stuck balancer can stand up to it.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:19 AM
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Thanks for posting this thread.

It puts perspective on the opti paranoia that makes people so scared of them. It shows it is just a part and if it fails it can be replaced in a couple hours.

While I still hope I don't have a failure and have to do the work, it shows it is only and evening (or afternoon) job to fix it and therefore something that is not really a big deal to me.

I am sure my time is coming. I have had 8 opti cars (still have 3) and have put several hundred thousand miles on them without an opti failure even when two of these cars had water pump failures and dumping on the opti.
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:40 AM
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It's an annoyance...not a "tragedy".
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