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EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-02-24 11:50 AM (#3345)
Subject: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Howdy,

Picked up an HT413' (with a 727 trans & park-brake ass.) and am considering a fuelie (EFI) upgrade along with it. The engine/trans reputedly has under 7000 miles on it. Compression numbers 130 - 140/lbs are favorable and I was able to buy the works for under $600/USD.

This engine swap is on the back burner for a while but I would like to map out a fuel strategy that will further compliment the 413's superior mpg's over the 440'.

I've been learning about the inherent inefficiencies of carburetors and after my parts guy quoted me over $500/CAD for a new Holley 1850 (600 cfm), I began to look more seriously at EFI. I know you can buy a reman carb - or DIY if you know your stuff - for much less, but you still end up with a carburetor.

There's newer generation of 'self-learning' EFI systems out there from the likes of, Holley (Terminator), MSD (Atomic), Edelbrock (Pro-Flo), and FAST (EZ-EFI) that all seem to
run around $2000/USD including a fuel-pump in most cases. All these kits boast the capacity to make 600 - 1200/hp which - IMHO - is WAY overkill for my application.

Then there's these guys (Fitech) that are offering a 400/hp - #30003 (835-cfm) unit for $795/USD at several major parts retailers (Summit, Jegs etc). You supply your own or buy one of their externally or internally mounted fuel-pumps (min. 55-psi required for the system).

http://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/fif-30003/overview/

This is a fuel-only solution with no timing or spark-control capacity which suits me fine as I'll be upgrading the 413' to the Chrysler electronic ignition & distributor. I am planning to run the stock 727' trans to minimize labour and cost. Beyond pulling the heads - to verify internal engine wear and install new gaskets and headbolts - and installing new gaskets, belts and hoses, I'm going to leave the engine bone-stock. I agree with Bill S. that they - "...got it right." when they designed this engine.

It's also been brought to my attention that the GM 88'-95' (?) TBI system can be easily adapted to run on a Mopar big-block and you'd have easily replaceable parts.
Unless I'm missing something - and that's not unusual - it strikes me that by the time you assemble all the parts (Megasquirt or other ECM solution, wiring, distributor mod's, etc.) you end up with an old-school mess of wires and 'yesterdays' technology AND, if I'm not mistaken, you'd still need to hook it all up to a laptop to set it up. Read: Mechanic that knows his sh#t! Seems, by my cursory estimates that by the time you assemble all the parts and buy what you need to make it all work, you'd still be spending $1000/USD or more.

These newer systems on the other hand are 'plug & play', suffice that I actually believe (me, a carpenter) that I could install the system myself and make it work. The Fitech system, like some of the others in its class, only require and temp sensor and wide-band O-2 sensor. The rest of it - the TPS, IAC, fuel pressure regulator, MAP sensor, ECM, etc - is all built into the throttle body. Simply enter a few parameters in the hand-held LED programmer and go drive it.

The Fitech system is new and obviously won't have the track record - nor brand name recognition - that Holley and Eldebrock etc have, but I am very interested in their stuff and thus far, reviews (and Youtube videos galore) seem to be positive. Their considerably-attractive pricing strategy don't hurt me too badly either.

Objective: to further demonstrate and possibly improve upon the already well known strengths of the Chrysler HT413' (durable, fuel-sipping, low RPM torque-monster) as a practical alternative to a diesel conversion.

In addition to the known benefits of EFI - easier starting, smoother throttle response and more torque off idle, superior A/F mixture control at all elevations etc - together with the improved economy of the 413', I'll be targeting a 3 to 4/mpg improvement in overall economy. (1 - 2/mpg from the engine swap & another 1 - 2/mpg from the EFI)

Factor in the 413's additional 30+ HP and 100/Ft.lbs torque under foot - thank you Old-school Chrysler engineers! - and this alternative to a diesel conversion begins to shine a little more.

So, any thoughts, opinions or 'real-world' experiences any of you care to share with me (us) would be much appreciated.

Fuel-on!

Terry
#846
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BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-02-24 1:34 PM (#3346 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?



Elite Veteran

500100100100252525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
As you know, I ran the Edelbrock Pro Flow system on my 440 for a number of years. I really liked the system for positive starting every time - one revolution and it was running even after sitting for a couple of months. The other primary benefit that I saw was the increased torque, especially at elevation.

What I did not see was a significant change in fuel mileage. Edelbrock said that a 10% increase would probably be the most that I would see and that is about what I experienced. Others may have had a different experience, but I would be cautious with my fuel mileage expectations from a fuel injection system. The other benefits are worth the change in my opinion.
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hemi354az
Posted 2016-02-24 2:02 PM (#3347 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: RE: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Terry, What is this for ?
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fif-40003/overview/
Lou #120
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-02-24 2:24 PM (#3348 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
I hear you Stephen. Indeed, I'm probably aiming high on the 1 - 2/mpg improvement from the EFI but who knows, maybe with the ignition improvements etc, I'll see the 3 - 4/mpg overall better.

Lou: I think this is one of the more expensive fueling options out there.

Not to take anything away from it, or you, but I'm thinking one of any of several available external units (55/psi) with a return feed to the tank could be done satisfactorily for less than 1/3 of the cost.

Money is a huge object for this project and the idea is to frame it up in an attractively affordable light for guys like me who don't have such deep pockets.

Terry
#846
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-02-25 8:05 AM (#3349 - in reply to #3348)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
These guys have a good reputation:
http://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com/product/mopar-tbi-complete...
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-02-25 11:34 AM (#3350 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Thanks Lenny.
Good link.

Been on their site before but hadn't gone through their Q & A section, which I just did.
Learned a TON about EFI and am now reconsidering on my previous - fuel only - strategy.
Adding spark-control, which is included in their price, could step up the overall efficiency (read: economy) by a worthwhile margin.

Yes, Lou, I can hear you ("...told ya so!". Lou is also an advocate for this system and again, after reading more about it I am now taking a harder look at it.

Fuel control, spark control, OBD-1 diagnostics, mostly readily available GM EFI parts - good after sales support - almost a no-brainer.

I sent these guys an email on my proposed project - with engine and coach specs etc - and will share with all of you what their response is.

They obviously know their stuff.

Anyone else with thoughts/experiences on this EFI stuff, please chime-in!

Terry
#846
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jonrac
Posted 2016-03-09 2:24 PM (#3359 - in reply to #3350)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Contributor

25
Wow so after looking through the site I'm very interested in this kit. Going on a summer long out west tour this year. Looking forward to seeing what they tell you Terry.
Jon #94
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-03-09 5:07 PM (#3360 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Hey Jon,

The Pres of AFI and I tossed a couple of emails back and forth and in the end I was a little disappointed. I had mentioned that I was also considering the Fitech #30001 system (fuel-only; no spark control) for $795.00/USD but the GM TBI system of their's (with a custom distributor/spark control) was also in the running:

http://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com/product/mopar-tbi-complete...

After seeing the website and the 'Mopar Complete Kit' pictured with the fuel pump, distributor and all the other gizmos for up to $995.00 USD, I figured what the hey, fuel & spark-control for a little more.

Then he got back to me to say that I had misunderstood the AD and that it was actually $1200/USD or more, depending on what other 'Add-ons' I wanted. He also advised he was a Fitech Dealer.

So, what could be argued was misleading advertising along with the horrific Canadian dollar these days has the ole' Holley #1850 (re-manned w/12 month warranty) for about $160/USD looking mighty fine these days.

Hope this helps.

Terry
#846
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byegorge
Posted 2016-03-12 7:24 PM (#3374 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

100
Location: Olympia, Washington
And I thought I was the most 'frugal' coach owner.
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-03-12 7:27 PM (#3375 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Hey George,

"Frugal"? I sense you're being gentle with me.

Terry
#846
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-12 9:11 PM (#3376 - in reply to #3375)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
If you're set on a "kit" then you're going to pay a premium. There are many DIY forums for Fuel Injection that can help you source the piece parts and software support that would allow you to do it for a good bit less money, but, you'll do a lot more leg work/research and fabrication/installation work yourself.
There's no comparison between F.I. and carbureted, not even a well tuned high quality carb'd engine comes close. The real time, adaptive fuel mixture and timing curve adjustment to compensate for environmental changes can not be matched by a carb and conventional vacuum/mechanical advance distributor.
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jonrac
Posted 2016-03-15 1:59 PM (#3383 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Contributor

25
So I'm going to pull the trigger on this kit. It's $1210 plus shipping. From what I could find this would be the adapter plate that I would need to order with it to mount the stock manifold: Spread bore 4 barrel (bolt pattern) 5.65"x 4.25"
The ECM is not weather tight so maybe I put it in the Ski compartment.
Jon #94
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-15 4:38 PM (#3384 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
What were the "add-ons" that drove the extra $215?
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jonrac
Posted 2016-03-15 4:51 PM (#3385 - in reply to #3384)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Contributor

25
Here's the breakdown:
MOPAR/CHRYSLER Complete TBI System
Please Select Your Engine: MOPAR 7.2L 440ci V-8 ($60.00)
Please Select Your Transmission: Torque flight 727/999 Automatic
Distributor options: Include ECM controlled distributor (recommended) ($185.00)
Harness Length: 48" ($30.00)
Adapter Plate: Spread bore 4 barrel (bolt pattern) 5.65"x 4.25"
Would you like a fuel pump?: yes

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jonrac
Posted 2016-03-17 10:19 AM (#3386 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: RE: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Contributor

25
I spoke with Norm at AFI today and while he has the parts for the kit I ordered he recommends a kit with this throttle body http://fitechefi.com . He says the advantages are its self learning and the ecm is built into the TB. He did not have an ETA on when this new kit will be available. The cost is $300 more. We are going to talk again next week when he will hopefully have an ETA on the new system. I like new but I don't want to be too new as in working out bugs.
Jon
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-17 1:33 PM (#3387 - in reply to #3386)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
The Fitechefi parts appear to be well refined and probably work well; and I think $1500 for the package is still reasonable with the benefits you get from going FI. But...you are trading up to a vendor specific TB and computer that are new to the scene...and may or may not be around when you have problems 5yrs from now. The GM TBI/ECU based AFI system makes for cheap replacement parts and a vendor that has been around for well over 10yrs...
Something to consider..
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andy1canada
Posted 2016-03-17 7:55 PM (#3388 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Hey Jon,

As I mentioned earlier, if a fuel only solution works for you, you might consider this: http://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/fif-30003/overview/

I did, then wimped out and ordered a Holley 600 cfm (#4160) for my HT413 project.

Terry
#846
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hemi354az
Posted 2016-03-18 1:06 AM (#3389 - in reply to #3387)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Len Barron's (LCAC Man) consideration can be expressed another way . . . Never buy the First Model Year anything.
Lou #120
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B. Sitton
Posted 2016-03-18 8:28 AM (#3390 - in reply to #3389)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Ignacio Colorado
Lou #120 is first year production. Just sayin! I guess after 40 years, 1st year doesn't matter so much.
Bill
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-19 8:48 AM (#3392 - in reply to #3390)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Good general info on GM TBI DIY installs:
http://www.gearhead-efi.com/gm-ecm-pcm-conversion/tbi-efi-conversio...
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jonrac
Posted 2016-04-09 9:25 AM (#3414 - in reply to #3345)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Contributor

25
My EFI kit came in yesterday and I posted a picture of it in the gallery. It came with an installation CD which I browsed though.
I think I'll cut a motor access hatch to allow for an easier install. Also in the install instructions it said that you can leave the mechanical fuel pump in and add the FI pump after it. This allows more flexibility in the pump placement. They also call for the ECM to be mounted inside the coach and not in the motor compartment. I did order it with 4 feet of harness so I would have options. Any suggestions are welcome.
Looks like a fun project for the next few weeks.
Jon #94
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hemi354az
Posted 2016-04-09 5:04 PM (#3415 - in reply to #3414)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
AFI install on a 454 Chevy in a Barf . . . http://www.barthmobile.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3431087061/m/31739738...
Zoom ON ! Lou #120
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hemi354az
Posted 2016-04-09 5:10 PM (#3416 - in reply to #3414)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
AFI install on a 454 Chevy in a Barf . . . http://www.barthmobile.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3431087061/m/31739738...
Zoom ON ! Lou #120
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LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-04-11 7:06 AM (#3417 - in reply to #3416)
Subject: Re: EFI CONVERSION - THOUGHTS/OPINIONS?


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Good choice on the GM TBI based system. I'd remove the mechanical fuel pump, it's a power sucker that doesn't need to be there. I'd consider removing the radiator vice cutting the access, good time to take it in and have it boiled/flushed and it gives you great access to the engine for the install.
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