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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-08-2005, 06:58 PM   #21
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Well, I went ahead and did some looking on GMpartsdirect.com. Looks like the ICM is the exact same model number on all 3800 applications. The coils on the other hand may actually be different on the SC. They list two part numbers:

10477602 (Series II SC, apparently) $32.xx
10472401 (Everything else, apparently) $30.xx

Looking at the pictures I took earlier, I see an entirely different model number on the bottom of my coils, 10482928. But GMpartsdirect doesn't recognize that number. Not sure what'* up with that, since they're stock GM coils. They supposedly came off a '95 lumina though, and if you look up the coil for a '95 lumina, the model number listed is 10472401, same as the "everything else" 3800 coil. But whatever, they work.

So maybe there is some advantage to looking for some Series II SC coils?

Personally, I'm just happy to be with the modern system. I may have noticed a slight improvement in performance, but then again it had been a long while since I'd really opened her up. The performance did suprise me though, which is something I don't recall it ever doing before.

Now here'* a question: Should the plugs be regapped to the specs of the '92-up models, since I have the newer ignition? It runs fine now, of course, but if it will run better with a bigger gap, that would be better. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:17 PM   #22
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And you doubted me .

Personally, I would never stick used, stock coils in my car. I bought a set of used Acell coils off of eBay for $30 [for three], and I couldn't pass that up. Going from my shot to hell ignition [2 cylinders only ran at 50% of the rest of the cylinders, if at all, and the spark was weak in all of them, anyways] to my high output stuff, was a HUGE improvement. I flooded the car [on purpose] before putting in the new ignition, and the car would barely start with the old stuff, put in the new, revved her once to 3k, all cleaned out. That'* even with horrible plugs and wires!

For the plugs, with stock heatrange, it'* .060" no matter. One heat range colder, is .055", and two heat ranges colder is .050". If you see the pattern. Personally, with the new ignition, and a CAI, i'd go after some plugs one heat range colder. That'* just me, though.


-justin
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:35 PM   #23
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Well, I'm on a budget as well, and I got my three coils for $8, shipped. Yeah, they're used, but only 50k miles. Lots of life left in them, probably more than the rest of my car. And with the money I saved on coils, I bought an honest to gosh mounting plate, so as not to ghetto-rig anything.

Looking at the Haynes manual again, I see that the gap is indeed .060 for all 3800'*. For some reason I thought it was only .045, but I see that is only on the '86-87'*. Well, that takes care of that.

I've never heard of changing plug gap in relation to the plug heat range, but no matter, I don't intend to change heat ranges. Much of my driving consists of stop and go around town, so I don't think that going colder would be a good thing.
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theJMFC
Well, I went ahead and did some looking on GMpartsdirect.com. Looks like the ICM is the exact same model number on all 3800 applications. The coils on the other hand may actually be different on the SC. They list two part numbers:

10477602 (Series II SC, apparently) $32.xx
10472401 (Everything else, apparently) $30.xx

Looking at the pictures I took earlier, I see an entirely different model number on the bottom of my coils, 10482928. But GMpartsdirect doesn't recognize that number. Not sure what'* up with that, since they're stock GM coils. They supposedly came off a '95 lumina though, and if you look up the coil for a '95 lumina, the model number listed is 10472401, same as the "everything else" 3800 coil. But whatever, they work.

So maybe there is some advantage to looking for some Series II SC coils?

Personally, I'm just happy to be with the modern system. I may have noticed a slight improvement in performance, but then again it had been a long while since I'd really opened her up. The performance did suprise me though, which is something I don't recall it ever doing before.

Now here'* a question: Should the plugs be regapped to the specs of the '92-up models, since I have the newer ignition? It runs fine now, of course, but if it will run better with a bigger gap, that would be better. Any thoughts on this?
Ya there is something different on the 2 (N/A and */C'd) motor'* coils. My coils went bad, so I got some N/A'd coil packs from work and the car burned them out within 15 miles.....Then I got another set out of an SSEi and there hasn't been a problem yet. I dunno what the difference is between the two....but there is a difference.
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:27 AM   #25
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i've got an 87 with the crappy magnavox ignition on it. There are a few things about mine that'* different i think from the 88 and ^*. First, mine has the coil (one unit not 3 individual ones) mounted behind the intake on a stand or something, not ahead of the alternator. How hard would it be to put the delco ignition on this application? Also, earlier inthis post someone showed their wiring harness missing one pin? Well mine has all the slots filled. Any information about this would help.
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Old 01-09-2005, 01:01 AM   #26
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I like this discussion. It'* answering alot of everyones questions. I know this mod is going to help me greatly. My car doesn't start when it'* wet out, it'* that bad. The engine floods and it takes a couple minutes (with breaks on the started obviously) to get her going...and I HATE doing that.

theJMFC: In your old thread, you mentioned that you had to crank and crank to get her going. Has that been improved/eliminated?

So...I SHOULD get coils from a Series II w/SC for best performance? (but others will work...) Are Series II coils no SC the same, or not as good?

I called a wrecker that was close to my place today. They were nuts.

Me: Hi, I'm looking for the coilpacks and ICM from a 92+ Bonneville
idiot: Thats the 3800?
Me: Yes.
idiot: Are you looking for the magnovox or the one with the 3 seperate coils?
Me: 3 coils, the Delco.
idiot: That will be $225
Me: What?
idiot: $225 for the coils and ICM.
me: Are you quoting brand new prices from a GM catalogue or something?
idiot: No, these are used parts.
*i hangup*
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:18 AM   #27
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Okay, '87 had the Delco ignition. Actually the LG3 had the Delco ignition, so some of the early '88s had the Delco ignition too. Alec_b: all you can do is upgrade your coils. The electronics are different in '87, and the LG3 ignition will NOT work in any other cars than itself. So, if you buy a delco ignition, make sure it isn't from an '87, and Alec, you are stuck with what you have, other than upgrading the coils [MSD, Acell, 97+ SSEi, etc..].

The one pin thing, was already discussed, I forgot what it was for, but just read up in this thread, it'* there.

Captainmiller: The best coils that rolled off the GM Floor are the 97+ [SII] SSEi coils, they will give you the best spark, for STOCK coils. All the coils from any 92+ Delco ignition will work with any 92+ ICM. There are no compatability issues beyond that.

Also, for your flooding issue, GM has implimented something you will like. When the engine floods, put your foot to the floor. This shuts off the injectors, but keeps the ignition on, so you can burn of the extra fuel from when you flooded the engine. Once you crank for 10 seconds or so, let off the pedal, and she should start. But, yes you do have a shitbox ignition, and you need to replace the ICM, Coils, Plug wires, and Plugs. Sounds like it'* been a while since your last tuneup .


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Old 01-09-2005, 11:52 AM   #28
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There are actually four ignitions but only two for the 3800 (before 1988 they were 3.8s). The 3.8 (GN, etc.) used a single band crank sensor, 3800s use a dual band. The keying of the ICM to the 15 pin connector is different for each, they will not interchange.

First 3.8s used the three individual coils but I believe the very last may have used the Magnavox (from some pictures I saw on "American Muscle Car"'* segment on the GNs, T-Types, and GNX).

The 1989 turbo Trans-Am used the 3.8 not the 3800.

There were some FWD Turbo 3800 prototypes built by GM but they never made production. The first supercharged 3800 was the Buick 1991 L-67 (Vin code "1")

Vin code "C" 3800s (1988-1991) all used the Magnavox ignition. The first triple individual coil ignition for the dual band ignition was on the 1991 Vin Code "L" Buicks. Pontiac received it a year later.

Around 1995, the base plate used on the "L" ignition changed from a flat plate with three studs like the Magnavox to a more complex bracket.

The ICM harness connector does not seem very reliable after R&R'ing a few times. Either that or the pins used in the ICM are not a good match to the connector.

added
Standard 91-up coil is the Delco D555. Around 1995 they added the D576 for supercharged applications (Vin code 1) so there is a difference, I just do not know what it is. Same ICM is used.

When the Rapidfire spark plug first came out AC recommended the #3 with an .045" gap for the Magnavox. I would not go larger. With the Delco ignition I use the #14 with .060" gap. YMMV.

The Delco units I have bought at yards (complete sets) have ranged from $25 to $40. I would not pay any more for a used one.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:44 PM   #29
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Tuneup? Yes, it'* been awhile.

The only new parts this car has recieved since I got it was a 180 thermostat, new blower motor, air filter, oil filter, battery, and a rear vent window. The ignition hasn't been touched. I plan to get this car in tip-top shape in the summer.

For the plug wires, would something like this work in my application? (I know its for a V8, but I can just keep to wires around as spares) Or should I be looking for wires for a newer Bonneville because of the new coils and ICM?

For the spark plugs, what brand/model would you recommend? Should I go with Ac Delco like the ones here?

Oh yea, the guy on ebay has the mounting assembly I'm looking for...
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:48 PM   #30
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alec_b: I have to take issue with OSGuy once again on this. From what I've read, it is possible that you have what you say you have, the magnavox ignition. Yes you can upgrade, but in your case, you will need the ICM from a vin 3 ('86-early'88 ) application. The later 3800 units won't work. Coils, however, will interchange without trouble. I would expect that the correct vin 3 ICM will have that extra pin, if it'* needed. Other than those differences, the upgrade should be very similar.

captainmiller: I see you were reading the other thread... I wasn't going to bore people with too much informatnion, but since you asked... Actually, it takes just as long to crank before firing. It'* not excessive like what you describe, only about 2-3 seconds. The other theory (posed by Don, so he'* probably right), is that it'* fuel pressure related. I've got a fuel pressure gauge coming, so we shall see.

Personally, I'd do what padgett suggests for plugs, or stay with the stock R45LTS6. He knows his stuff.

For the plug wires, best to get a set fitted to either your model and year, or perhaps a set cut to fit the delco ignition. Just keep in mind that they changed intakes around the same time they changed the ignition, so you'll have to make sure they actually fit (or you can return them if they don't). Let me know if I missed anything... dinner calls.
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