GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 Repair Guide

Electronic Spark Control (ESC)


See Figures 1 and 2

The Electronic Spark Control (ESC) system can be found on most 231 V6 TURBO engine 1981 and later. The system was also used on all engine in 1984 and later vehicle. The ESC system is a closed loop system that controls engine detonation by adjusting the spark timing. There are two basic components in this system, the controller and the sensor.

The controller processes the sensor signal and re-modifies the EST signal to the distributor in order to adjust the spark timing. The process is continuous so that the presence of detonation is monitored and controlled. The controller is not capable of memory storage.

The sensor is a magneto restrictive device, mounted in the engine block that detects the presence, or absence, and intensity of detonation according to the vibration characteristics of the engine. The output is an electrical signal which is sent to the controller.

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Fig. Fig. 1: The detonation sensor is mounted on the intake manifold-231 V6 turbo engine

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Fig. Fig. 2: View of the Electronic Spark Control (ESC) module