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EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

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  • EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

    First, I am still a newbie to EFI but since my stuff is now running....I have some experience. So since there hasnt been any posting to this section in a while, I thought I would chime in by giving an honest summary of my experience with setting up a EFI conversion. Now my conversion was one of extraordinary difficulty (injectors above the blower only (wet-system), E-85 fuel, converting from mechanical FI to EFI using Megasquirt) so it was tricky. But, I am convinced that anybody can take an off-the-shelf EFI system and convert a carb to EFI. It just takes a little time and money. You dont have to be a computer and/or electronics whiz (although it doesnt hurt to at least be computer savy). However, if you have a high performance application or challenging conversion, I highly recommend you get an expert like Matt, Scott, Peter, Richard or the like. Believe me, its worth the money to pay for their expertese. I found Megasquirt to be fairly simple on both the hardware and software set up. I have no experience with FAST, Bigstuff, holley, etc. so it would be unfair to rate them but I am sure they all have strengths and weaknesses. Next, do your homework. You need to read up on manuals, web-sites, forums, books, other resources. Ask a lot of questions. I looked back on some of the questions i have posted here and cant believe how stupid some of them were, but how patient the folks on this site were to answer them and help me along. EFI means more wires, an ECU, sensors and the like. The set-up is undeniably more complex and expensive than a carb. But, I am convinced that tuning is more simple. The great thing about EFI is that you have more control. The bad thing about EFI is that you have more control. There are a lot more variables and that provides a lot more information and tunability but that means there is also more that can go bad too. A bad sensor, wire, etc. can drive you crazy but when everything is working, its really cool to be able to tweak the system at all RPM levels. Lastly, be willing to learn. Read the manuals and play with the variables. Dont be scared to tweak things. You are not going to damage anything unless the motor is under a load so start out simple and progress through it by following the manual and recommendations.

    BlueCuda340 and Russell like this.

  • #2

    Re: EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

    Great Post, I am jumping into the EFI world over the winter. I already have built and tested my MS3X ECU and have played around with it a lot using the stim boards. I need get drag week behind me before I start on the car side. It will take the car down for awhile but it will be worth it in the end. I have a good handle on my carb stuff and the car runs well and gets good MPG for what it is.......I just really want EFI!
    1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S 340 with a 360
    1997 Jeep Cherokee off road toy/driver. lifted, lockers, stroked 4.0


    • #3

      Re: EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

      Oh yea I forgot to mention the incredible benefit of using the stim board too. I purchased my ECU and relay board from DIY pre-assembled as I am not that great with the board assembly side but you can also save a lot of jack by doing the assembly yourself with the megasquirt package and checking everything with the stim. Dont get me wrong I still luv my 750 double pumper but I am hooked on the EFI!


      • #4

        Re: EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

        I've been driving the Thunderbird the last few days and already thinking of converting it back to EFI, lol. But with an aluminum FE intake with injector bungs and multiport. Problem is those dang FE intakes are $$$ and need the injector bungs installed.
        Escaped on a technicality.


        • #5

          Re: EFI lessons learned and advice for newbies

          Here are some tips, lessons, etc that came up either in my own projects or recent customer projects.

          1. You CAN stuff a modern in tank pump into a '60s era gas tank through the stock opening. Without baffles, though, it tends to get uncovered on hard turns if the fuel is too low.

          2. Independent throttle bodies need to be synced just like carbs on an independent runner intake.

          3. You can spot a pinched MAP sensor hose in a data log by looking for a lag time between throttle changes or engine shut down and MAP sensor reading changes.

          And if I were to offer one big key tip:

          The wiring is the foundation an EFI installation sits on. Bad grounds, flaky connections, and other problems are like trying to build a house on a cranked foundation; everyrhing else can come apart because of a mistake at the lowest level.