88,89 SSE electronic distributor..puzzling problem?HELP - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 08-31-2004, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default 88,89 SSE electronic distributor..puzzling problem?HELP

ok,i have a 88 SSE In my yard that runs,i mean when i start it,the whole engine shakes,and when i put her in gear,and floor the gas pedal,she barely moves,but it had a brand new electronic distributor,so i put in my 89 SE and now my SE runs like that,so i switch the 2 top left plugs,and now she runs a little better,now im thinking thats the reason that SSE ran like crap,so is there a chance that the new distributor is different wiring scheme?

if so can anyone give me some clue to what i should do...
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:38 PM   #2
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Is it the delco, or magnavox style DIS system?


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Old 08-31-2004, 05:42 PM   #3
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DIS stands for "DistributorLESS Ignition System". Or ICM. Ignition Control Module.

I think at this point I'd check my plug wire locations and firing order on all 6 cylinders, then verify spark individually at all 6 cylinders.
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Old 08-31-2004, 06:12 PM   #4
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im not sure if its magnavox or delco,i mean the connnector fits fine in both of them?.

is it safe to assume taht its the same one on both cars?
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Old 08-31-2004, 07:03 PM   #5
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someone needs to point out the difference. I will try my best to explain the differences. The older delco style, which was found in the VIN3 engine, WILL not work in a VINC engine with the Magnavox unit. A magnavox unit is ONE large coil pack, which has 3 humps, and has terminals on BOTH sides. The delco unit has 3 separate coils, but if not looked at closly, can seem like one large coil pack too, the humps vary slightly, and has terminals on ONE side, particually the right side, but that depends on the angle you are looking at it from .


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Old 08-31-2004, 10:28 PM   #6
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Hoo boy. There are TWO Delco systems, both with three individual coils (even think the coils are the same).

First was used on the GN and code "3" Bonnevilles through 87 (may have been some in 88 ). The module was for the early "single ring on the crank balancer" DIS. The module and the harness are keyed differently from the later "two rings on the balancer" version first used on the code "C" 3800 in 88 and is still used today. An "early" Delco module will not plug into a "late" harness or verse da vice.

In 1988-1991, the two ring sensor was used with a Magnavox ignition having a single coilpack with thre rectangular coils in a single unit.

From 1991 (Buick) on to today (Avis LeSabre I just had in NOLA has the same system) GM went back to the three individual coil Delco type. Since the same balancer and crank sensor is used, the Delco and Magnavox will plug into the same harness and either will work.

I consider the later Delco to have a hotter spark than the Magnavox (though the Magnavox can be upgraded with a Jacobs coil) and is better able to fire a .060" gap on a RapidFire #14. For the Magnavox I use a RapidFire #3 with .045" gap.

As gone into in great detail on my web page , the Delco is a plug in replacement for the Magnavox provided you start with a complete unit (need the rectangular bottom bracket with three bolts sticking out of the bottom but not the engine bracket. This is what the coils screw to). from a yard de junque>

Have posted this before, maybe we need a FAQ.
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Old 09-01-2004, 01:48 AM   #7
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ok they are both magnavox,and im going to the junkyard to pull 2 out cars..

any other late 80'* GM product carry it?..ciera?..
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Old 09-01-2004, 04:12 PM   #8
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They changed the brackets ? All of the ones I have are the same but think the last car I got one from was a 93. You are talking about the rectangular plate that goes under the ICM and which the coil screws go in to (they go through the ICM). Know the module is the same on the late cars but never pulled one to see if the three studs were in the same place.

Do know the actual engine brackets were different but thought they all used the same mounting pattern.

Also thought the 3300 used the earlier "single ring" balancer/crank sensor/harness.
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