Yes, Opti-spark is was a bad idea.
I've been through 4 of them within the last 15000 miles
The WATER PUMP(which runs off the timing chain, not belts)
sits DIRECTLY ABOVE IT.
So if your water pump goes bad, your opti is going to go bad
The opti-spark sits directly behind the crank pulley.
It runs by way of gear off the end of the CAM.
It acts as the DISTRIBUTOR because the LT1 supposedly
doesn't have enough room in the engine compartment.
All eight spark plug wires run to it.
The engine timing is 100% controlled by the opti-spark.
You cannot alter timing without reprogramming the computer.
There is a silver disc in the optispark with 360 little cuts in it.
There is a little black infrared reader that reads the disc.
The little reader is made by MITSUBISHI, it even has the three diamonds on it, making this car 1% Japanese.
The computer uses these little cuts to determine when to fire.
In the 92-94 LT1 there was no air suction tube to the optispark,
so when a little water got into the opti, kiss it bye-bye.
In 95 there is a tube running from the opti to the intake, sucking all the water that gets into the opti and sending it into the engine instead (good thing there's not a lot of water)
As for dealers, I think they fired all the old mechanics, cause I brought the car in 5 times to get it to run enough to move.