no spark after changing steering wheel (Page 2/3)
sledcaddie DEC 11, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I'll check for that when I get the part.
sledcaddie DEC 12, 08:19 PM
I cranked the engine, and the tach didn't budge, so I'm thinking it's a bad ICM (like you told me). The new one did come with the white "paste". Where is this supposed to be applied? I've searched the service manual, and I couldn't find any mention of it. Earlier, you said that is goes on the contact surfaces. "Contact" meaning the pins in the sockets? Again, thanks for your help.

[This message has been edited by sledcaddie (edited 12-12-2018).]

sledcaddie DEC 12, 08:34 PM
Okay. I found an old Pennock's post from 2005 explaining about the thermal paste. They said to clean off the base plate really good, then smear the paste on the plate where the ICM mounts to. The paste is supposed to help the ICM not absorb too much heat. Is this what you are saying, Gall757?
Easy8 DEC 12, 09:12 PM
That is exactly what it does. I carry a spare and the tools to chage it in the car at all times... and yes I have changed one on the side of a highway in the cold, it's ALOT easier than walking or dealing with a tow. They will go out when they want. Normally with no warning at all.
Gall757 DEC 12, 10:11 PM

Originally posted by sledcaddie:
The paste is supposed to help the ICM not absorb too much heat. Is this what you are saying, Gall757?

No....that's not what I'm saying. The ICM generates heat. The paste transfers heat to a metal plate away from the ICM. You need just a thin film on the contact surfaces.
Patrick DEC 12, 11:53 PM

Originally posted by sledcaddie:

The paste is supposed to help the ICM not absorb too much heat. Is this what you are saying, Gall757?

Originally posted by Easy8:

That is exactly what it does.

No. Just no.

It's amazing how many people have no idea that the base of the distributor is basically the heat sink for the ICM. That lil' sucker gets hot. Gall has explained it well.

sledcaddie DEC 13, 07:58 AM
Thanks to ALL for your inputs. Once again, the people on this forum provide great information to the Fiero community. It is often much clearer than what is shown in the service manuals. We all want our cars to run the best that they can. Everyone sharing their experiences helps achieve that goal. I salute all contributors.
theogre DEC 13, 10:01 AM
Pull tach filter when having ignition problems.
Heat Sink grease is good here. White is Silicon or other "oil" and Zinc Oxide. Clear is just plane silicon and works too but not as well. Don't bother w/ Silver Hype and other high dollar HS grease pushed on most PC users.
Iffy mounting screws can fake dead ICM and/or Dist's small coil. 1 or rarely both Screws are the ground "wire" to the dis base metal on most ICM for Fiero and others.

See my Cave, HE Ignition

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)

The Ogre's Fiero Cave

sledcaddie DEC 14, 05:45 PM
Just a follow-up. I pulled the cap and rotor first. Although only about 4 years old (not that many miles), all the terminals were corroded. Pulled the ICM next. The 2 screws were REALLY corroded, as were the 2 sleeves in the ICM body. Cleaned off the base with scotch bright pad (now nice and shiny). Was going to replace the 2 screws, but they are a really odd size (3.5mm X 19mm). Of course, nobody has them. As suggested on Pennock's, I tapped out the holes to 6/32", and put new stainless screws in. The new module (not GM) came with a packet of the white thermal paste. Applied that to the module plate and installed with new screws. Installed new cap and rotor, and it fired right up. I'll probably replace the entire distributor this summer. Everyone seems to believe that the genuine GM module is the way to go. When replacing the entire distributor, does that mean it should be genuine GM too? I would think that there are quality after market distributors out there (Accel or MSD). Any recommendations? I tried the Fiero Store, but their distributors are rebuilds.

[This message has been edited by sledcaddie (edited 12-14-2018).]

Gall757 DEC 15, 01:19 PM
There are new and rebuilt distributors available from Cardone, which seem to work very well. You can also rebuild your distributor with good results. There are videos available to show you how. I have not seen a GM branded distributor in years.