I pulled the distributor out of my 93 c1500 4.3 today because the module is
suspect. (Won't start hot...and recently shut down hot...re-started
The inside of the cap and top of distributor area was overloaded with
corrosion and aluminum oxide. The cap and rotor had been replaced in Jan
2001 which was only 30K miles ago. The contacts were completely corroded.
I'll measure the thickness of the crap tomorrow. The pick up coil measured
per spec but was visibly not in good shape...green copper windings, etc.
I've got a new pick-up coil, reluctor, etc to rebuild it tomorrow.
The original silicon paste was dry as a bone. I suspect everything was
running very hot and weak on spark. I didn't buy a new secondary coil...but
I will on Monday. The heat and reduced fire would promote oxide on the
I'll bet just re-pasting the module would have brought it back to life...but
I'm not running a test lab.
This time I went with a blue streak cap and rotor. The cap has copper
contacts...I'm hoping that will last longer than the Delco version I put in
The most perplexing problem I've had with my 89 k5 350, was the module.
I've always used Delco, but I hope there is a more heat resistant module
made. If you have had better performance from another brand of cap and
module, or paste, please let us know.
I'm going back with a delco module and pick up etc. Made in Singapore which
traditionally has been the finer side of SE Asia wrt pc boards, etc.
Trying to decide whether or not to replace the secondary coil...even though
it tests good with meter. Also trying to decide brand...probably delco.
Paste? ....no silicone. I'm going to use real heat transfer
paste....although not designed for vehicles. The ceramique version from
Arctic Silver fills the biggest void ....which is needed on a
not-so-well-finished distributor plate. Also polished it first with my
dremel and some polish. Got a mirror finish....niiice.
PS the module did test as failed at Advance Auto this morning. So once this
is all back together...should all be good to go.
As far as I know, the little tube of white gunk that comes with
ignition modules is indeed heat-transfer grease--the same stuff that's
used on CPU cooling fans.
For some reason, a lot of folks refer to it as die-electric grease,
which is silicon based, and has an entirely different purpose.
I bought a tube of heat sink grease at Radio Shack (about the only
usable thing that they currently sell). It was cheap and I have plenty
left over in case I ever need it.
News Skimmer wrote:
If it was the white paste...likely it is heat transfer paste. None of the
shops I checked had it nor were any tubes in the box filled with white
If it was the more clear stuff...it is a silicon variant....which, as you
say, is a dielectric grease...not specifically a heat transfer paste. It
does conduct heat better that stagnant air and cheaper than the good stuff.
I bought the ceramique which better fills the large gaps on large-faced CPUs
than the arctic silver 5 or arctic silver alumina. The module is a similar
service. Plus, ceramique is 100% non-conductive and non-capacitive. It also
has a higher steady and peak temperature rating than the other pastes. I too
bought a lifetime supply and have added it to my will for my son since he
works with circuits more than my daughter.
Two funny comments. The Advance guy didn't know what I was talking about
then became King when is tried to convince me that I needed dielectric
grease...not heat transfer compound. He also noted that the silicone paste
was highly conductive and would make every electrical connection better.
Also saw a comment on the internet suggesting the silicone grease formed the
ground bond between the bottom of the module and the distributor.
Where do people get this crap?
I'm not sure if I'm considered an "official" member of the group.....I've
been reading this group for a long time. Posted a few times in the late 90s
under a different server name. I usually read without posting unless I have
a need or am sure of advice to give. For some reason, though....I've been
addicted to watching the free entertainment provided by the abominable
snojob. Seems quite amusing to me....and no admission fee required.
I've also looked at a few of the entertaining threads over in the ford
Good thing it doesn't snow much here in Hot, Texas.
Ah yes... The good folks at Pep Boys have also tried to convince me
that the clear stuff used to seal the elements out of electrical
connections (dielectric grease) is indeed what I need for my ignition
Actually, I guess it's not for transfering heat, rather, insulating...
I like the comment about it forming a grounding bond to the distributor
News Skimmer wrote:
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.