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SVX coil pack replacement
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BCgee
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:21 am    Post subject: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Crawled under the van last night to strategize SVX coil pack and plug replacements; realized the hardest part may well be detaching the pack connectors at the engine rear.

Any advice, tips or tricks for separating the coil pack connector? Is the goal releasing the top tab? My size 10 hands, dirty connectors, and small space constraints means this could be a bear of a project...

Photo of new coil pack connector below for reference. Thanks in advance!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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gears
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

For something so simple sounding, it's a PITA job, for sure. After having a couple coils fail on me in rapid succession, I now keep each strip of 3 connectors held in place with a small tie wrap for easier access. Unplugging the individual connector requires a small screwdriver to simultaneously depress the clip while carefully prying the male end out. I now keep one of each coil (along with other spare electricals) in the vehicle at all times.
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9.36 @ 146 in '86
'90 Syncro Westy SVX
'87 Syncro GL 2.5

Needed: Stock 14" x 6" Syncro steel rim
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BCgee
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, Gears. Sounds like I'm on the right track; will work on my dexterity and maybe have a beer or two on-hand.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Returning from Syncro Solstice some weeks ago, I had a coil fail in northern Nevada, quite literally in the middle of nowhere. The O'Reilly's Auto in Boise had a couple coils in stock, so we headed there with the fuel injector connector of the affected cylinder disconnected. (It's amazing how little this affected the vehicle's ability to keep up with traffic!).

Anyway, as it turned out, the aftermarket O'Reilly's coil had a connector that looked the same, but had several subtle differences that precluded using it. I ended up cutting the connector from the failed coil and soldering it to the wiring on the new coil.

Conclusion: If your replacement coil has the same problem I had with mis-matched connectors, you will not have to use your gorilla mitts and will instead just be soldering. I say this as someone who also has gorilla mitts that would make Donald Trump blush.
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BCgee
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Appreciate the insight, Howesight! Your SVX and Syncro knowledge here has turned the tide for me more than once.

Luckily - or unluckily for my wallet - I have a new full set of plugs and packs on-hand, so after a quick family trip this weekend I'll be diving into full replacement per Gears' suggestions.

Onward!
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flomulgator
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Yeah it sucks a bit, but still better than anything below the intake manifold. I replaced a few on the D-side because high heat from the exhaust caused excessive wear on the wiring but in retrospect they weren't causing my issues. I'm curious how do you tell the symptoms of a failing coil from a failing injector? I thought my rough idle was due to the former but it turned out to be the latter.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

It is much easier to detect a failing coil in a turbocharged vehicle. When the vehicle is hot and ambient temps are hot, a Coil On Plug (COP) ignition system will reveal a failing coil by causing a noticeable miss under high boost, especially at lower rpm's where the miss is easily noticed.

In a naturally-aspirated engine, it is much harder to tell and, in fact, a marginal coil can still ignite the mixture. often at full load too. The high-boost scenario creates a very dense fuel-air combination that requires higher voltage to allow ionization to start. A weak coil (by which I usually mean heat-damaged with shorts in the windings which reduce voltage output) can still ignite the average fuel-air mixture in a NA engine, so you don't know the coil is weak and you only experience symptoms once coil death occurs.

To suss out which coil is failing, I let the engine idle and disconnect (and then reconnect!) one fuel injector at a time until I find the cylinder that does not cause an idle drop. I did not have my cross-reference table of Diagnostic Trouble Codes with me on the road, so had to go cave-man on this. Otherwise, you can pull the codes to check for a failed coil. With a failed injector, it might be hard to use the DTC approach because the ECU is looking for oxygen sensor outputs that are calibrated for the factory exhaust system and might not work with our aftermarket headers.

A humorous memory: When I installed my replacement SmallCar header, Mrs. Howesight asked me "Is that the blower?"

I am certain that she was trying in earnest to show interest in my nerdy garage time.
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flomulgator
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

Thank you Howesight for that excellent education in coil pack diagnosis!
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gears
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: SVX coil pack replacement Reply with quote

More great insight from Howesight ! Those coils seem to outright fail at the most inopportune time .. like at the beginning of a long upgrade, with no place to pull over .. Keep some spares in your vehicle, and they'll never fail ;^ )
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aka Pablo, Geary
9.36 @ 146 in '86
'90 Syncro Westy SVX
'87 Syncro GL 2.5

Needed: Stock 14" x 6" Syncro steel rim
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