By Dave Fiedler
Corvette began its usage of (Option K66) Transistor Ignition (TI) in 1964 along with full-size Chevrolets and intermediates. Just for the record, Chevrolet was not the first GM Division to use the TI system. In 1963, Pontiac introduced TI to the automotive world as an option on the full-size Pontiac. The part number on the 1963 Pontiac amplifier was 1115002 and is one of two TI amplifiers that is substantially different and will not work on Corvettes. In 1964, the amplifier used across the board (both Chevrolet and Pontiac) was GM part number 1115005. This amplifier continued to be used on Corvettes until a part number change in 1/68.
There are three (3) noteworthy versions of the 005 amplifier. The first version can be identified by a cover plate that has "curved edges." This style of cover plate used a "formed in place" gasket material that was used in an attempt to waterproof the electronics. In actuality this type of seal failed on many units, which led to a redesign of the seal (version number two) in January of 1967.
This second version was the same as the first except for the cover plate and gasket. The new cover plate had "straight edges" and was used in conjunction with a die-cut rubber gasket. This cover design continued to be used all the way to 1971 -- the last year for TI.
The third version of the 005 amplifier was a unit manufactured for service use. The only distinguishing feature of this (service) amplifier is the part number. The previous two versions used the full seven digits of the GM part number followed by "12V". These numbers were indented into the housing on a triangular protrusion designed to mount the amplifier. This third version identified the part by using only the last three digits of the GM part number, plus 12V and a date code. These numbers were hand stamped into the side of the housing.
In January of 1968 another design of amplifier, GM part number 1115343, was introduced. In terms of electronics, it was identical to the 005 amplifier. However, for the electrical plug, this new design used a "molded on" weatherproof connector attached to a 27-inch "pigtail". This type connection was used until the last application in 1971. The 343 amplifier came in two versions -- one with the full seven digits of the GM part number on the mounting boss; the other with only the last three digits stamped into the side of the housing.
Another amplifier of interest is the 1115006 unit. Outwardly it appears identical to the 1115005 amplifier. However, this amplifier is for an entirely different ignition system and is the second amplifier that is not compatible with the Corvette TI system. It can be identified by not only the part number, but also by the Delco-Remy label which states "Primary Amplifier For CONTACT CONTROLLED Transistor Ignition." In contrast, the label on Corvette amplifiers reads "Primary Amplifier For Magnetic Pulse Transistor Ignition."
There are two other amplifiers for 1965 and 1966 Pontiacs that are also very similar to the Corvette amplifiers. They can be identified by part numbers 1115007 and 1115008 that were indented into the mounting boss and by the label that reads "Ignition Pulse Amplifier For Deltronic Transistor Controlled Magnetic-Pulse Type Ignition System." Both these amplifiers have very long (54-inches plus) pigtails terminating in a non-weatherproof type connector.
Most original equipment amplifiers were date coded by an ink stamp on the back cover using the standard Year/Month/Day method.
A quick summary of 1964-71 Corvette Amplifier similarities include:
Summary of major differences include:
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