Atomic EFI install

Discussion in 'High Tech for Old Iron' started by gs_jimmy, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. 1973gs

    1973gs Well-Known Member

    The tach terminal on a HEI ignition is not a good signal for EFI. , I would highly suggest a MSD box. They aren't that expensive and it could save hours of trying to diagnose problems with the EFI system.
    ceas350 and Harlockssx like this.
  2. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Weekend progress: Got a bunch of work done over the weekend. So far I have my EFI installed onto the engine. Will be reworking the cable bracket/return spring mount. Too much tension and some slack in the cable. Ran the numbers on the current alternator. It is a 63 amp HD unit. I did pick up another 80 amp model, only to find out that it is wrong (non-10SI case) so I guess we start with what we have on hand. Laid out the wiring and made some of the connections. Will be working on that for the rest of the week.

    I then ran the fuel line and wire, mounted to the frame with plastic clamps. This is where I hit my first issue. When I got to the rear of the car I was unable to route the line further than the rear control arms. Hitting the hot parts and moving parts. So, how are others doing this routing? Wondering if I should drill hole in the frame cross member and add a grommet to pass everything through. Or if there is a different routing path I should use? I can't pass over the frame. I also need a good mounting point for the fuel pump. I could go inside the frame rail, but that seems rather far from the fuel tank. Need some input on this.

    Last thing was setting up the new fuel tank for install. Have it ready to go in, just need to get the other issues figured out!

  3. BillA

    BillA Well-Known Member

    I followed the original steel fuel line from the tank forward. In my case I used the factory line as a return and ran EFI rated hose as a feed running parallel to the factory hard line. Keep it tucked away the exhaust and control arms with clamps or zip ties if necessary.
  4. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Hey Bill, I'm running down the pass side frame rail. Same as a Chevelle. To go down the other side would have the line looping around the EFI and under the brake booster. Where did you put the fuel pump?
  5. BillA

    BillA Well-Known Member

    I'm using an Aeromotive in tank pump. The fuel lines run along the frame on the drivers side then up the firewall behind the brake booster and then along the inner fender. The filter is on top of the inner fender. I then route the feed line from the filter 90 degrees to the throttle body. The return follows the same path going into a regulator on the inner fender then back to the tank.
  6. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Weekend progress: We got the majority of the install completed! I finally found a routing for the fuel line over the frame & between the body. No kinks or rubs (Think Chevelle routing). Still want to add in 1 more cushion clamp to keep the route away from the LCA on the passenger side.

    Under hood wiring and plumbing is all but done and I was able to weld in the O2 sensor (may still have to get the muffler shop to look at the weld job for leaks). All of the wiring was done by an electrician, everything was soldered and heat shrunk.

    Still have 2 things left:
    1. WHAT IS THE PURPLE WIRE FOR????? Driving both of us nuts. My thought is that the wire is to run the nitrous (don't have it) so this should be rolled up and hidden.

    2. Need to build fan relay. I have a 16" electric fan to replace the direct driven WP Fan. According to the directions, the fan needs to be on a relay. Need to pick up a relay still. Since this is a single fan system, it should be driven from the FAN 1 wire. I believe that the FAN 2 wire would not used and should be hidden away under heat shrink to avoid any grounding issues. Let me know if this is correct.

    Still TO DO: need to build a mounting plate for the fuel pump. Found the mounting position Above the rear end, this will require that the post filter gets moved forward on the frame. I'll be mounting it in the C Channel of the frame near the door opening/rear passenger window area. Also, should the fuel pump trigger wire (heavy orange) be run inside of the car in the body wire channel, under the carpet? Right now it is run along the fuel line and zip tied in place.

    I also need to refoam the air cleaner and weather strip the trunk opening (known exhaust leak). I will move the tailpipe mounting on the passenger side to the correct place on the frame (that just bugs me that the pipes are hanging funky). Should also block off the stock fuel line at both ends.

  7. Harlockssx

    Harlockssx Brother Graw Mad

    If you're still intent on running the 63A alternator, you're going to have a bad time using an electric fan as your primary cooling fan in addition to running your system. Few off the shelf single electric fans are truly able to cool down a warmed over street driven BBB, especially if you run AC. A mechanical fan with shroud greatly outflows them. If it were me, I'd run twin electric fans in a shroud instead of one, and at least a 100A alternator. Good luck!
  8. Swagon

    Swagon Well-Known Member

    What im using on my car is a alternator from a 95 roadmaster, look up one wire alt swap from mad electrical. and im also using dual fans from like a 90's Taurus, fit the stock radiator perfectly.
    Harlockssx likes this.
  9. BillA

    BillA Well-Known Member

    I would seriously consider upgrading that alternator. Also, make sure you use a fuse between the battery and fuel pump and fan relays. I prefer the weatherproof fuse holders that use the new style blade fuses. Use good relays too and make sure they are matched(at a minimum) to the current draw of the item you are powering. Keep a few spare fuses in the glove box too.
  10. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Progress: Well since I last posted got a bunch done. Fan relay is wired and done, O2 installed (we'll see if I got it sealed up), fuel line is run, fuel pump bracket made, installed and the pump is mounted, wiring to the FP is done (everything is away from moving parts & exhaust). Both the pre and post filters are in. Last night I was able to turn on the key to verify that the pump runs.

    So tonight I will see about installing the fuel tank, making that hose connection and putting in some gas.

    BTW - before finishing the fuel system I was able to program the basics into the EFI system. Mild cam, 455 displacement, FP type and so on. Super easy to do. Just the fuel tank install and she runs!

    Taking everything into consideration regarding the previous comments. Found a 105 amp alt if needed (most likely will need this), Corvette regulator to make the fuel system a return style, keeping in mind the MSD box if my tach signal is funky.

    I also picked up a MC SS steering box. Going to tighten up the steering & handling on the car. Also time to wire in a real car stereo. That will go into the glove box, out of sight. Lots of little "projects" to take care of. Still waiting for that big gully washer rain storm to clear off the salt & sand on the road.
  11. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Got the fuel tank in last night, everything wired. Then found out I need 4 more FI clamps and a 90* radius. Fuel line kinked on me.
  12. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Saturday's progress: Made a trip to the parts store. Got the 4 hose clamps I needed, they don't make a 90* radius with a bubble flare on each end (thought I'd ask). Parts girl just looked at me. Had to get help with finding the FI clamps too. Go back home, work until lunchtime, fuel system is fully functional now. Crawl back under the car to change the trans filter and fix an annoying "hunt" for the gear situation. Was able to get the nut lock tightened and fully seated (guess we'll see how that goes).

    Walk back over to the bench and get the new filter, thinking "gee the box seems small". The kid at the parts store gave me a TH350 kit, not the TH400 I asked for. So, time for lunch and.......another trip to town. Get there and tell the asst. manager that they gave me the wrong part. Parts kid then pipes up; Did I sell you the wrong one". Me: "yeah, you screwed the pooch on that one". The look was priceless. I then showed him the different parts diagram showing the gasket configuration and filter shape.

    Back to the house, again. Loc-tite is now fully set-up and I can go forward with the install. I had no more issues here and got it buttoned up. Refilled the oil, no obvious leaks.

    On to the good part, I now added gas into the tank, my shoes, pants leg........

    OK, once I had a coupe gallons into the tank I checked for leaks, none found. Turned on the pump, no leaks. This just might work, hit the key to the start position and......CLICK, er, Dead battery. Figures. So on goes the battery charger, had like 9 volts in the battery. I had set the battery on the concrete, guess it discharged some. Go and eat dinner.

    Go back out to the garage a couple hours later. Battery says near full charge. OK, so I put it on the start mode, and go hit the key. Now it start. Hmm, try again, mind you it is now 6:30 at night, 35* and I'm standing next to the car. Attempt #2: briefly cranks and VROOM! She is running! So now I'm excited, go and check the hand held controller. A/F ratio, 12.9 - Volts 12.9 to 14.4 - RPM 750. All is good with the world. Ran it for about 3 min, then recranked, immediately fired up, this system is awesome

    So now we finish up checking for leaks and double checking the routing of the wiring and lines. This brings me to another question. What is everyone doing with the hand controller? Do I punch a hole in the firewall and pass it through. Do I unplug it and put it in the car? Funny, I didn't see anything about this in the instructions.

    300sbb_overkill and Harlockssx like this.
  13. Harlockssx

    Harlockssx Brother Graw Mad

    If possible, I think routing it through the engine bay grommet location would be a great idea, then sticking it into your glove box. You could access it on the fly if needed, and make any changes while behind the wheel.
  14. Ken Warner

    Ken Warner Stand-up Philosopher

    Not sure how large/small the MSD handheld is but this is what i use for the fitech:

    Turn It 90deg and clamp to the center vent. Easily Installed OR stashed depending on your mood that day! As for the cable, I enlarged a hole in the existing passthrough in the firewall. If they use some big clunky connector you may need to get creative.

    Curious how your off the shelf fuel injection hose works out. I started out with braided rubber and It allowed the garage to WREAK of gasoline. Swapped to braided PTFE and all has been well since.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  15. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Ken, I am using the MSD hose from the kit. At this point no seep through or vapors in the garage (still on the stands). I'm guessing that I will need a pass through on the firewall. Don't think that the hand held controller port should be left open (no supplied cap or cover). Getting ready to put the fast ratio box on it next, then take it for a test drive. Finally got some rain up here to wash the road off from the tons of salt.
  16. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Well, I am knee deep in the fast ratio steering swap. (Winter returned). Picked up a rebuilt 12.7:1 box for a '87 MCSS. Direct bolt on there. But (always a butt), found that the MCSS box is a 3/4" input and the GS is a 13/16 input. No prob, just got get the MCSS steering coupler ($40 plus shipping). Get home and....problem. While the new rag joint goes onto the input shaft of the steering box, it does not line up with the steering shaft (68/69 Buick GS, SBB). So in the morning I will be on the hunt for a lower steering shaft from a later G-Body. I'll pull the measurement from firewall to steering box, then see if that will solve the interference issue at the rag joint. (Pin spacing and general shape are different) To use the existing would require redrilling and reshaping the shaft end. Thinking that this can be solved by the later shaft or a bit of cut/weld to the shaft to put the later end on the existing Double D shaft section. Anyone else run into this problem?
  17. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    BTW - the MSD FI is working great. Can't wait to get it on the road and really test it out
    Harlockssx likes this.
  18. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Small hiccup cured. Seems that I had reversed the BAT and Tach wires to the distributor while finishing up the wire routing (DUH!). Ended up replacing the coil, radio suppression condenser and had to get the module tested. Ran the plug wire sequence 3x. came down to the operator being stupid. Oh well, fixed now. Of course now I have snow on the ground, so the wait continues...........
  19. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    So last night I was finally able to drive the GS. What a difference! Goes well, starts fine, steering is great (a bit messy to bleed out). Shifting is good, fan comes on like it should. Most likely will still add the 105 amp alt to the system this summer. All in all this was a great project. Going to finish up the engine compartment and route the controller properly. Then it's ready to drive & enjoy!
  20. gs_jimmy

    gs_jimmy Well-Known Member

    Had the car out a couple times (shake down, leaks that kind of thing). Need a quick input. The EFI Dash screen is showing that I am generating 38# of FP, it goes up with the RPM to about 48#. But the volts still show 13.9-14.2 when I check it. This is still the 63 AMP external charging system. So the rather obvious question, is this the "brown out" that was previously discussed? I can get the 105 AMP alternator and change to internal regulated easy enough. But before buying more parts, figured I'd ask.

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