(Words and photos by Mike Brooks) – Part 1 in this series of articles covered the install of the new fuel system in the truck. Part 2 will go over what those new parts will be feeding. When the Holley Sniper EFI system was revealed at SEMA 2015, I knew I had to have it. It’s designed to be a simple and affordable way to upgrade from a 4bbl carb to a modern fuel injection system. After further development and refining the system was re-launched at SEMA 2016 and ready to hit the consumer market and has been taking it by storm since.
Here’s the deal –
The self learning 4-injector units start and under $1000 and support up to 650hp (8 injector/1250hp units will be available soon). For those who don’t already have an electric fuel system, master systems complete with fuel pump, filters, fittings, and hose are available starting at $1,249. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Not good at computers?, intimidated by wiring?, don’t have much space for ECU’s and multiple sensors?. No worries! This unit is compact and simple enough where you can install it yourself at home without a laptop or special tools.
Here’s what it’s getting bolted on to. My ’86 C10 was originally equipped with a V6. Within 24 hours of purchasing the mill was kicked to the curb in favor for a Cadillac 500 I had laying around. The engine received a simple “dingle ball” rebuild with fresh bearings and rings. Upgrades included a larger cam, minor cylinder head porting, an adjustable billet shaft mounted roller rocker system, aluminum intake manifold, and headers. The 800 cfm carburetor served the truck well, but I was ready to ditch it in favor of a modern system that improves day-to-day drivability.
What’s Included –
The kit I purchased (part #550-510) features the shiny finish (black and gold finishes are also available). The kit includes the throttle body, color touchscreen controller, water temp sensor, oxygen sensor complete with a clamp on bung, ignition timing control and coil driver (for the option of integrating it with an aftermarket ignition box), and all the necessary wiring and hardware.
The install –
The compact throttle body bolts right on to the existing 4bbl intake using the supplied hardware and gasket. The cool thing is that the ECU, map sensor, throttle position sensor, air inlet temp sensor, and fuel pressure regulator are all fully integrated in the throttle body. This really simplifies installation. Once you bolt it on and connect your vacuum and fuel lines, you’re practically halfway there. The only things you need to connect is the handheld, O2 sensor, and water temp sensor. I had to ditch my current water temp switch that controlled my electric fans to install the temp sensor for the system, but it’s no problem at all. The fans can be connected to the ground trigger outputs and controlled with the handheld touchscreen.
The oxygen sensor comes with a clamp-on bung. Simply find the proper location, drill your hole in the exhaust pipe, place the gasket and bung over the hole and clamp it on. No welding is required. The sensor threads right in and the other end plugs into the throttle body. Done!
Wiring is super easy. Only 4 wires need to be connected to get up and running. Simply connect the proper wires to the battery positive and ground. tach signal, and a switched 12v source. The harness features nice weatherpack connectors and the relay and fuse are pre-installed. Additional wiring is included if you want to run a CD ignition box, fan and nitrous relay outputs, as well as fuel pump and tach outputs. Just connect what you need and tuck away the rest. Premium ring/spade terminals and butt connectors with heat shrink are also included.
Now that I’m all plumbed and connected, it’s time to power the system and set the base tune with the 3.5″ touchscreen unit. All I had to do was enter the engine size, cam type (stock, street/strip, or race) and the target idle rpm in the setup wizard. Once all the info was saved the system was ready to fire up and start learning. I double checked all my connections, took a deep breath, turned the key on to prime the fuel system, and hit the stater. It fired immediately! Mind you, It’s the middle of winter in Western NY and my garage was a balmy 28 degrees when I lit it off for the first time. There was absolutely zero issues with start up and idling, I never touched the gas pedal. I couldn’t believe I did it all myself and it actually works!
A couple weeks later there was finally a brief break in the winter weather. I was finally able to test drive the truck with it’s new EFI setup. The truck fired right up and I let it get up to temp to start the self learning process. As I drove the truck it performed flawlessly. The throttle response is way better than before. The hesitation I used to have with the carburetor is gone. I love the fact that i don’t have to guess if it’s tuned correctly. Everything is automatic and I can monitor all the sensors via the touchscreen. I can’t wait for spring and summer to finally arrive so I can start driving this thing regularly again! This upgrade is a must for your hot rod, musclecar, truck, jeep, or whatever you have that currently has a 4bbl carb. It’s all about improving drivablility and performance, making your ride more enjoyable. It’s a no brainer!
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Anyone have an idea when the 8 injector version will be released? All emails and phone calls to Holley unanswered. They have been advertising it for over a year.
Hey Brian what about the fuel pump? How many psi of fuel pressure does this system require? And is an “in tank” pump necessary?
The system requires a minimum of 60psi. The in tank system isn’t necessary, it’s just the route I went with. The Sniper unit is available in a master system that comes with a frame mounted inline pump, fuel hose, filters, fittings, and clamps.
Looks like a really great set up and price too. I have a 60 Comet project gasser project im working on and just picked up a 69 500ci motor yesterday that im going to give a rebuild on, nit that it needs it because its a good running motor but fresh is best. Any idea how much more hp you got out of this system yet?
Well at least you don\’t have one like mine dumping fuel all over my new engine! Sent it to Tech Kevin at Holley they sent it back the next day and it is still leaking! Their QC department sucks! Good luck.