Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

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Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Holden202T » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:36 pm

I know what your thinking, another issue with his cruze, i know right!! :roll:

so around the end of 2018 my cruze started having a bit of a 3 cylinder issue, and the DTCs were telling me there was a cylinder misfire, #4 from memory .... as i didnt want to go out and spend $300 on a set of coils till i was sure, so i swapped injectors and plugs to the other end of the motor to see if the DTC would move to that cylinder, it didnt, so i was about as confident as i could be that all that was left was the coil pack.

Now im sure this stupid bit of engineering is purely for cheaper manufacturing or easier to fit into the motor or whatever, the short story is its a shit design for diagnosing or replacing a coil.

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so this coil pack goes in the top of the tappet cover in between the two cams and as you can see the coils go down onto the top of the plugs

so anyways i bit the bullet and got a new set of genuine coils $300 .... didnt want to risk ebay specials! (this will come back to haunt me)

a few weeks ago it started missing only on low rpm high load mostly, was perfectly drivable if you worked it properly but very annoying .... so i put the old spark plugs in it (that were replaced only because the log book said to) and i knew they were ok, it still did it, more so on hot arvos than cooler morning.

this time there were no DTCs probably because it wasnt constantly down a cylinder.... at this point i was pretty pissed off thinking my genuine coils were fucked.... so i did the $85 ebay special thinking that 1. if it fixed it theres a strong possibility they'd outlast the genuine one, and 2. if it wasnt the issue or didnt last too long then its not $300.

So the ebay coils have been in for a week and so far so good, didnt gain the up to 11kw on the paperwork that came with the coils, but non the less felt normal again :lol:

in the mean time i had a thought of using LS1 coils, and did a bit of research and it looks like the wiring to my coils is 4 x coils, power and some grounds, a quick crank over with the scope on a pin and sure enough it looks like its got a 5v square wave trigger, should be perfect for LS1 coils.

so i sourced a set (8) for about $150 delivered and im in the process of working out a patch loom to connect the LS1 coils to my original wiring connector (so i can revert to stock if i ever sell it)

IMG_4248.jpg

I got the orignal failed coil pack and cut the plug off the end of it, and set about finding the lugs to solder some wires to.

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a bit of hack sawing and i found the pins

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so the plan is to make a wiring setup for it, and i'll use some of the FX's igniton leads to prove that it runs with these coils, assuming all that is fine, i will make a mounting bracket and get some proper leads that will go down into the head with a cover at the top and then terminate them with LS1 ends...

all going well the LS1 coils should outlast the rest of the car, AND i'll have 4 spares if they dont!

and yes, if you got the feeling i was expecting the currently installed set of coils to fail too you are dead right!

not quite at 220,000kms and its been through two coil packs, fucking dodgy!

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Gareth » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:01 am

I love reading you write ups, please keep them coming :thumbup:

I understand your pain in having to replace parts that are fitted from new that clearly aren't the best suit for the application, but....

I think your expectations are off (just like a ton of my customers), the car you have was built with engineered redundancy, it was designed to last the warranty period only - that is a fact. You state that you had to change two coil packs in 220000kms, that shows that you exceeded the expected life span of those coils by a considerable amount. I'll use NGK as an example - https://www.ngk.com.au/technical_info/diagnosis/ they state on their website that the expected life span of their coils is 60k - 80k, NGK are well reguarded in our industry as being leaders in quality ignition parts.

Holden, like most other makers of vehicles have built a vehicle to a price, this comes at the cost of reliability.
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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Charlescrown » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:29 am

Interesting conversion. Lets know the outcome.
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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Holden202T » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:15 pm

you wouldn't offend me, i have no expectations of anything made the in the last 20 years, things arn't what they used to be!

Holdens reputation in the last 5 years is a clear indication of what people think of te direction they are going in!

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby immortality » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:07 am

It is a very pathetic design putting 4 coils into one assembly. Very symptomatic if the throw away society we seem to live in.

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby j_ds_au » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:43 pm

Gareth wrote:the car you have was built with engineered redundancy

Errr, no it doesn't. That would mean it had backup coils built in, to take over if the primary set failed. ;-)

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby pman92 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:37 pm

j_ds_au wrote:
Gareth wrote:the car you have was built with engineered redundancy

Errr, no it doesn't. That would mean it had backup coils built in, to take over if the primary set failed. ;-)

Joe.


No it means the car is no longer useful or needed because you are meant to buy a new one. It is engineered redundant.
You're thinking of for example aviation, where they might have 2 flight computers. If one fails it is no longer needed because there's a backup, hence it's no longer needed = redundant
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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Charlescrown » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:14 pm

I call it "life expectancy". I suppose in the big picture if you get a fairly good distance it's not that expensive compared to a lot of other cars. It's manufacturers burying the plugs deep down in the head that has led to theses problems but if your in the repair industry it's good. A coil used to cost about $20 so $300 is a bonus for some.

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Holden202T » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:46 pm

Planned obsolescence I think is the term your looking for!

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Re: Holden Cruze coil pack reliability.

Postby Holden202T » Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:43 pm

Massive progress on this!

spent a fair bit of time slowly cutting away the plastic/resin to find the pins without damaging them! so now i have a spot to solder wires onto!

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Tinned with my 100w soldering iron :twisted: ready to take some wires!

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IMG_4441.JPG (173.69 KiB) Viewed 2644 times

hopefully now the rest will be pretty straight forward, just need to look at some wiring diagrams and plot out cruze coil pack -> LS1 coil pack pin outs.

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