My experience with EFI on the FE - Page 2 - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 09:29 AM
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Great read, & a warning about easy, do it yourself, EFI systems, I;m sure they've come along way since I installed the Retro-tek throttle body set up,(4 years ago) now owned by Professional products, after so many issues & their Tech.help offering little or no help, finally just disappearing.
I gave up & went back to a trusty Holley!
An expensive & frustrating expierence!
You did well my Friend.
ps- I did find the Aeromotive phantom intank pumps a great addition for fuel delivery
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 04:26 AM
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Yadkin, you certainly have done some great work and thanks for reporting back so thoroughly. I do need to add though that I have not seen the challenges you have. I also feel I need to say that I will try to be academic, and if any point I sound blunt or rude, please don't take it that way, because in the end, I see the hard work you are doing and I am trying to help

First, the dual vs single plane, I have installed and tuned many throttle body kits, and I am not certain you have as much of a dual plane issue as you have a FAST EZ-EFI issue. The concept that reversion is worse in a dual plane is incorrect, although reversion "could" be worse in an intake with less plenum, the longer runners and plenum should dissipate any shock. If you look up water hammer theory or any of the Ramchargers testing of intake length (resonance) tuning, it can help you to better understand resonant intake tuning.

In the end, if you added an open spacer, even a 1/2 inch, you would change the resonant tuning. However, the concept that reversion pulsates against a booster in a carb is incorrect. If it did, it would not be able to atomize at low rpm and would only run well at a higher RPM when intake charge momentum exceeded the reversion. You would have to have a wild cam, short runners, and likely oversized ports to have that issue (and it would be worse with a single plane)

Second, EZ-EFI TBs have a couple issues in my experience, first they changed their handheld at some point because the controller wasn't allowing enough tunability. With the upgraded tuner, things got a bit better, but it still is nowhere near a real tuning capability and well behind that of Holley Sniper and FITech's offering. I have seen many guys pull their hair out with that system, and often some creative wiring to feed Megasquirt box will make night and day differences

Third, ignition control is where it's at. You are very smart to consider secondary ignition (rotor phasing and cross firing/noise) but also think about the voltage that an ECU runs on, often out Ford alternators and regulators put out "dirty" voltage, as well as grounds being adequate to control voltage for 12V systems, but not adequate for lower voltage computer systems. Sometimes alternator swaps, revising grounds etc, makes a huge difference on the supply and power provision side. After all that, a system that allows you control of ignition timing makes a night and day difference in tuning. I cannot drive that home more, although a good ignition curve can be adequate, when you have one that can modify for load, RPM, barometric pressure, even which gear you are in, it is a huge improvement. Heck, consider my system, I fire the car at 10 degrees BTDC, which also interfaces with the injector timing, as soon as it fires, it goes to 20 and adjusts based on the enviromental and engine input, you just cannot do that with the EZ-EFI

Finally, there are so many other tuning opportunities in a "real" system as you poitned out. I run an OEM based sequential fuel injection on my own FE. I can log all the parameters on a laptop and control to an incredible degree. I can delay the O2 sensor signal so it accounts for distance from the exhaust valve, for low RPM tuning I can adjust injector firing for cam events, I can adjust timing, fuel curve, injector duration, amplitude and timing and I can adjust a/f for each bank, you name it it can be done with a better system. So you are 100% correct that you can do more with more, but the punch line is the EZ-EFI programming is your biggest limitation IMHO. In other words, you don't need a sequential system as much as a better system. If you could drive their TB with a better ECU, you could do more

In fact, modern NASCAR EFI has found that the higher on the intake runner, the better for fuel atomization, now they are single plane and they don't need street manners, but a TB system if controlled well can do great things.

I would be happy to BS with you on here or privately about where to go next based on what you think needs to be improved, but in the end, I think you will find that the EZ-EFI programming will hold you back, others like FITech will too, but not nearly as much. Also, if you do not have the upgraded handheld controller, which will not be perfect but slightly better, that is an option too

Hope this helps
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

I did in fact try three different spacers on my OEM intake but the issues remained. The flow path from the TB through the spacer down to the 4 holes in the intake was just terrible. An aftermarket dual plane, that may have been a different situation altogether.

I also purchased the newer handheld unit and am well-pleased with it. I believe that it is actually made by Garmin. It's a far superior unit and I like it so much it is permanently mounted on my console.

Regarding the "dirty" voltage issue, I had a conversation with FAST tech about that. FAST insists that their system be powered directly from the battery terminals, and the reason they gave me was that they are using the battery as a filter. I have a 100 amp PowerMaster alternator instead of the 40 amp OE, and of course I upsized the cables. So I had a #6 wire from the alternator to the battery positive post. I'm no electrical engineer, but I fail to see how the battery filters out alternator noise when they are directly connected to each other. So what I did to "clean up" the voltage was to install a filter in the circuit. I've analyzed this circuit with a scope and it does smooth out the alternator current quite well. A photo and wiring diagram are below. I haven't yet revised the diagram for the new ignition system.

I also use a 100 amp fuse at the alternator to prevent a fire if the alternator shorts itself out.
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1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.

Last edited by Yadkin; 08-13-2017 at 07:48 PM.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

By the way you may notice that both the filter and the fuse holder are marine grade stuff. The fuse holder is a Blue Sea Systems, huge improvement in quality vs what I could find at my local auto parts store or online auto parts retailers.

With all the grounds that now have there is a small stack of various sized lugs on my original chassis ground location (since beefed up to a 3/8" bolt size). I just ordered a new grounding bus from Blue Sea to neaten that up. The stuff is pricey but super high quality. Apparently boat owners don't like to take a chance on electrical stuff and get stranded out in the middle of the ocean.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 04:23 AM
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Great stuff Yadkin

Question for you, are you able to log a/f during the cruise when you have the misfire/surging? Would be interesting to see MAP, TPS and A/F values as it misbehaves. If they stay stable to the original value or vary quite a bit due to misfire, I'd be looking at ignition. If they stay stable but change significantly rich or lean, then I'd be looking at EFI settings or abnormal TPS/MAP readings.

Usually start/low speed are where people have issues with the TB, so I almost wonder if at cruise the advance mechanism is pulling your rotor out of alignment and you are seeing a crossfire.

Let me know what you see, and I certainly agree an open spacer with a stock Ford manifold would be ugly. I'd probably use a 4 hole in that case. That being said, unless you have a factory CJ manifold, there is significant power in that engine waiting for you to get a manifold that breathes a bit

70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-15-2017, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Thanks My427. Yeah, I'm not able to log with this handheld. There is aa "IRM count" that logs in the system info to evaluate electrical interference. With the Pertronix system (post 12) I consistently got an IRM count of 5 or higher, sometimes in the 20's. That was with the distributor and coil feed pairs twisted and shielded with a tinned copper mesh shield on each pair grounded on one end. With the current MSD (post 13) my IRM counts are always zero.

See the videos linked from post 12 and 13 for the rotor phasing issue. Pertronix has a problem, MSD does not. I have the MSD adjustable rotor in my parts box but don't need it.

On my current setup I timed the ignition to 8 degrees BTDC with the MSD distributor alone (no box) and the vacuum advance disconnected. Adding in the vacuum from the manifold gives me 20 degrees total at idle. Mechanical adds another 18 starting at 1500 rpm and all in at 3500. Car ran fine like that; smoother than before, just not perfect.

I then added the MSD box and took the post 13 video. Then I changed out the cap and test drove. Again, smoother than without the box yet not perfect. I should also add that I was able to reduce the idle speed from 750 to 700, and increase the idle AF from 13.8 to 14.2.

Then a day later, cold start, I drove the car and got a bad misfire on light acceleration off the line. Once warmed up the problem went away. So I went to re-time the ignition- but the MSD box causes the RPM reading on my timing light to basically double. So I timed it for apparent 16 degrees instead of 8. Drove the car like that, the misfire was gone.

Next day, same issue with misfire on cold. So I timed the ignition old school, kept the vacuum advance connected, advanced slowly at idle until maximum vacuum then set it there. Idle surging slightly until highest vacuum. Not sure where it's at, I'm guessing just a little bit higher than 8; maybe 10 or 12. Car ran well like that. I also set a new tune on the EFI and will test it again today.

I have a 30 amp 4PDT switch on order to wire the system and enable me to switch between distributor only (inductive) to full multi-spark capacitive.

By "not perfect", the engine isn't smooth at cruise. But I think I've isolated the EFI and ignition out of this equation. Maybe it's the cam that I'm feeling. Maybe my engine balancer didn't do his job well enough.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.

Last edited by Yadkin; 08-15-2017 at 06:54 AM.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Last week I found a slight leak at the cylinder head to header connection at cylinder 4. I'm certain it wasn't there when they were installed, as I recall inspecting the job after it was done (I was super busy at that time so farmed the job out to my buddies at Classic Metal in Mocksville, NC). But last week after smoothing out the ignition I heard a slight noise, put my hand near to feel it and sure enough, a slight leak.

I have a pair of Sanderson headers on the car and the manufacturer recommends no gaskets, just a smear of RTV copper on the joint. After a time it must have given out and I had a pinhole size leak. Every exhaust pulse sends a high pressure wave down the tube and this is followed by a vacuum, so a leak out means fresh air and oxygen gets into the system. When that additional O2 goes past the O2 sensor, the ECU interprets that as a false lean. This explains why my fuel mileage has been so poor, about 12 mpg, and I should be getting at least 15.

For anyone interested, here is a short tutorial on tuning EFI, and it covers why leaks in your exhaust system can really mess you up. Watch all four.


I re-sealed the header, set a new tune and the car runs terrific now. I'm still running AF at 14.7 at cruise but had to richen a bit to 13.8 to get a smooth idle. Was also able to reduce idle speed to 650.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.
post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

I tried really hard to keep my original air cleaner but the MSD distributor being so tall contacted the bottom of it. I had tweaked the metal as much as I could but the cleaner was still pressed down on top of the two back wires. To tweak the cleaner more required more work than my talent alone can handle, so instead of cutting the old part then paying my body man to shape and weld a patch I found this nice looking unit from Billet Specialties.

The "Classic" theme goes with the build quite well. Intake air temperatures have been reduced by about 15 degrees F, which surprised me over the OE snorkel. I ran the car last night and it seems to run very smooth, indicating that I have eliminated electrical interference from the close metal contact.
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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

New cast badge on the air cleaner provides just the right amount of bling.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 04:49 AM
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Looks nice!

70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 01:02 PM
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Yadkin, a touch off base, but how did your Sanderson header install go? How about the sound and any adjustments to the rest of the system?
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xmas64 View Post
Yadkin, a touch off base, but how did your Sanderson header install go? How about the sound and any adjustments to the rest of the system?
The headers fit the engine nicely, but I literally have only about 1/8" clearance on both sides of the chassis. The driver's side makes contact with the steering box and I have to address that issue soon.

Also, Sanderson did not recommend any gasket, just a smear of RTV copper sealer at the head connection. I used more than a smear, and still had two tiny leaks on the passenger side. No amount of tightening took care of it. I finally pushed more RTV in at the two locations and obtained a seal- I don't expect it to last. "Hot Stuff" brush-on manifold dressing was suggested to me by an experienced hot-rodder, and I have a small jar on my shelf, along with new 12 point ARP header bolts, for when the RTV gives way.

As with any header installation, expect to have custom exhaust work to plumb the rest of the system.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadkin View Post
When that additional O2 goes past the O2 sensor, the ECU interprets that as a false lean. This explains why my fuel mileage has been so poor, about 12 mpg, and I should be getting at least 15.
On my last two tanks of gas I have been able to achieve 14.0, then 14.2 mpg. This includes mountain driving.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

After more tuning I've got my distributor set as follows:
At idle 15 degrees initial + 19 vacuum = 34 total
At 4000 RPM WOT 15 initial + 18 centrifugal + 6 vacuum = 39 total
at 3400 RPM cruise 15 initial + 18 centrifugal + vacuum = 41-45 total

My last tankful, a good mix of highway, two lane and some city driving, I achieved 15.6 mpg.

1964 Thunderbird 390 V8, AOD, F.A.S.T. EZ EFI 1.0, Victor intake, MSD Ignition.
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Re: My experience with EFI on the FE

Cold start video: https://youtu.be/PAXnmivf52Y
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