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Thread: FI Tech in '56 C cab w/ 259

  1. #1
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    FI Tech in '56 C cab w/ 259

    I did not see that anyone has posted this yet, although it dates back to last July. Looks like Fi Tech has a real winner and may be considered standard replacements on our engines:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7NY0YCj8GU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x45B_aRywrs
    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
    64 R2 GT
    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    In the install video, he said the command center vent line is same as a fuel return line?

  3. #3
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    I think he said it basically serves the same purpose so it really does not go away. I remember that the original write up said something about not needing a return line.
    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
    64 R2 GT
    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Man there is NO doubt that guy NEEDS a 700R4 all right!
    It sounds like he starts in 2nd. and then shifts to 4th. in all of the shifts there was only ONE shift, MAYBE sometimes 2, but never 3 and almost always missed a gear and ground some.

    Through all that weird shifting and over revving you could not really tell how well the F.I. worked.

    There are many Brands of F.I. Kits out there, never heard of this one, and it would not be my choice at all.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




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    Rich I guess you forgot this thread you read and commented on?

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=Fitech
    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
    64 R2 GT
    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
    Rich I guess you forgot this thread you read and commented on?

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=Fitech
    Darn Dan, you beat me to it!
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    The Chev 5 window pickup I installed the 383 a couple of weeks ago now has the FiTech on it and ready to start learning. Once the correct distributor(with vacuum advance) shows up we'll see how well it works out. I'll keep you posted to see if it works as good as it looks and the price is now under $800.00! This may be the way of the future for us hot rodders, particularly here in Arizona where the heat factor problems are eradicated with injection.
    Bill

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    The Chev 5 window pickup I installed the 383 a couple of weeks ago now has the FiTech on it and ready to start learning. Once the correct distributor(with vacuum advance) shows up we'll see how well it works out. I'll keep you posted to see if it works as good as it looks and the price is now under $800.00! This may be the way of the future for us hot rodders, particularly here in Arizona where the heat factor problems are eradicated with injection.
    Bill
    Bill, keep us posted on progress!
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Just wondering, would the 5 speed o.d trans compare to the T-98 trans. as in using/starting out in 1st gear only when hauling a good load,otherwise starting out in 2nd gear ? also would this guys set up be loads of fun with a 3 speed o.d trans or what

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
    I did not see that anyone has posted this yet, although it dates back to last July. Looks like Fi Tech has a real winner and may be considered standard replacements on our engines:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7NY0YCj8GU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x45B_aRywrs
    Joseph R. Zeiger

  10. #10
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    How long does it take to learn, and while in the learning curve wouldn't you want to be using all the gears?
    Last edited by TWChamp; 01-22-2018 at 04:44 PM.

  11. #11
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    FiTech was the least expensive add on fuel injection for a while, but now Holley and others have come down a bit. The feedback that I read on the FiTech model indicated that they had some problems with their fuel module, ( booster pump) setup, but had made modifications.

  12. #12
    President Member Corley's Avatar
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    I installed the FITech EFI system on an ElCamino (really a GMC Caballero, but who ever heard of one of those?). It works fine, but has failed three times now when there was a 'no start' condition from cold. The solution in all 3 cases was to unplug the dash mounted control panel, and reconnect it. $799 from Summit was too cheap to not give it a go. I really don't agree with using the fuel command module with no return to the tank, as it's really easier in the long run to just install the return line, and then you get the fuel circulating back to the tank and cooling (less chance of vapor lock), no 'short stop' over pressurizing, no need to find room for another sizable gizmo, one less fuel pump, etc. Ideally, an in tank pump is best, but if you go with and external pump, keep it low and as close to the tank as possible.

    HOWEVER, this $799 FItech system will not control your ignition timing. You gotta pony up for the more expensive unit for that, and ignition timing is where you can get more power out of your engine, and increased fuel economy. To do that, you probably also need a GM HEI distributor, though there are some others that will work, just NOT any standard Studebaker distributor.

    For much cheaper, you can do a GM TBI system with EBL, which allows you to do all the tuning any human could want, easily, without special prom burners or any of that mess. It is for sure more of a DIY setup, but not really too difficult, just basic stuff anyone can master. After all, I successfully installed that system on my GMC Motorhome which works great, and I've been called an idiot by more than one person in my life! If you are even more intelligence challenged than me, the FITech setup is for you, it doesn't get any easier to install EFI than that.

    But,here is something to consider: If you install FITech or Holly, or Etc. EFI, and you are on a cross country trip when the ECU fails or some other sensor fails, who ya ganna call? Not the local Napa store. With the GM TBI system, Napa has all the parts you will ever need, as does a roadside junk yard.

    JMHO
    Corley

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    Just a note on the GM vs Aftermarket TPI setups as I have one of each. One can argue that the parts are more available with the GM setup but one caution. The GM ECM needs a custom chip to take away the EGR, disable the security parameters and remove the airbag. If it goes you would need to order one so my guess is you are sitting in a motel until Fedex brings the chip or part from Holley, FiTech etc. The HEI GM dissy and TPI sensors are probably also becoming hard to find on the shelf at your FLAPS.

    Don't get me wrong the GM system is a good choice but so are the aftermarket units from the better manufactures.

    Bob
    , ,

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    President Member Corley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    The GM ECM needs a custom chip to take away the EGR, disable the security parameters and remove the airbag.

    Bob
    Bob, What you say is true for most GM EFI systems, but not exactly true for the EBL system. The EBL system replaces the "chip" with 8 EEprom arrays. Therefore, there is no need for a special "chip", but instead there IS need for the EBL addon board. The bad news: With EBL, the daughter board is soldered onto the ECU, making it difficult to do a field change of the ECU. The good news: Because it is a writable array it can hold 8 different 'versions' or custom configurations, and you can easily change any setting/parameter you like, then download a new bin file to one of those 8 locations. You can then select which of the 8 bin files you would like to run on today. Easy Peasy, to modify "prom" settings using a laptop. Plus, you can use the laptop connection to monitor everything in real time, as the car is being driven. Maybe you get the picture, I think EBL is great, but it does have that one limitation of a soldered on daughter board, so a unique ECM.

    I suppose you pays your money and takes your chances, but I've never had an ECM fail yet... Several sensors failures, but never the ECM. Of course, there is not much wrong with a good old carburetor either... Since it is all in the name of fun, your money, your choice. I just like the techy approach.
    Corley

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    FiTech

    Paul & others,
    FiTech update.
    Although I personally wasn't in on the initial fire up, here is how things unfolded.
    With the proper distributor installed, correct basic parameters entered, hookups performed, it started right up but after shutdown, refused to restart. Their helpline walked my pal through the hookups and solved the injector pulse wire power source. This is NOT the fault of FiTech, but their technician was very thorough in resolving our problem. The motor(383) seems to be very responsive and is still in the "learning" mode. More updates after I get some road test time, but my initial impression is very positive.
    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    How long does it take to learn, and while in the learning curve wouldn't you want to be using all the gears?
    I started to be satisfied with the tune after 50 miles of self tuning. And I felt it was finished with tuning around 150 miles. But remember that this is a constantly learning system. If it was 50 degrees yesterday and 20 degrees to today it will make fine tune ajustments that you probably won’t even notice but it makes me feel good.

    As far as using every gear? Yep.... I would also encourage using all the rpm range after the full 10 miles or so. It learns very quickly.

    Put it though what you are going to use it for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
    Rich I guess you forgot this thread you read and commented on?
    He he he
    1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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    OK Paul & others,
    I Road tested the '49 Chev (383 Stoker, big roller etc) FiTech experiment yesterday for about 1/2 hour. First impression is that the throttle response off idle and up to about 1/3 throttle is fantastic. Very few carbureted motors I have ever driven have been this responsive at initial use. There is still a whole lot of learning required, both on the part of the Fitech AND us, but initially I am super impressed. This could be OUR wave of the future in Studebakerland. There was some detonation as throttle was loaded which can probably be eliminated by fattening up the fuel curve and backing off some timing. I'll keep you all posted on our progress. (sure nice to experiment using someone else's checkbook!)
    Cheers, Bill

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Good reporting and feedback Bill, keep 'em coming. I'm seriously considering a FITech unit for one of my Studes. Still debating as to whether to step up to the one that controls the timing, but I'm still not sure if there is an available Stude distributor that will integrate with the FITech to do that. I keep getting conflicting information.

    The other system I'm considering is a Hamilton FI setup which is based on a GM TBI system.
    Paul
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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by what huh View Post
    I started to be satisfied with the tune after 50 miles of self tuning. And I felt it was finished with tuning around 150 miles. But remember that this is a constantly learning system. If it was 50 degrees yesterday and 20 degrees to today it will make fine tune ajustments that you probably won’t even notice but it makes me feel good.

    As far as using every gear? Yep.... I would also encourage using all the rpm range after the full 10 miles or so. It learns very quickly.

    Put it though what you are going to use it for.



    He he he
    So how many miles are now on the FI-Tech system in that truck?

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    Unfortunately progress has stalled for the weekend due to my pal going to a big car show in Indian Wells(Palm Springs). Back at her early next week. Also other issues with the truck are slowing motor/tuning progress but yes, I will post all progress. I can't help but wonder if this FiTech was mated to a Jeff intake on a properly built Stude motor????
    Mileage wise, less than 30 at this point but more due to the truck than the FiTech. I'll share a strange thing though, you have to turn the key to "on", then off, then start. I'm not sure what this cycling has to do, but when I didn't do it, it did not find the correct idle speed, only far too low loading more fuel than necessary. Once sorted I'll share our findings.
    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    So how many miles are now on the FI-Tech system in that truck?
    Eh...500-600miles ... sold it recently to get another studebaker. Running good when I sold it and started up quickly everytime. Running local erranding and such

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    There are tons of reviews out there about the FItech system, as well as others. The only one that I have read really bad reviews of is the FAST system. Bottom line this is the way to go. Only thing you need to decide is if you want to mod your dizzy to have it controlled by the unit or not, otherwise this is a no brainer.

    Here are reviews from Summit & Jeggs:

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/fif-30002/reviews/

    http://www.jegs.com/i/FITech-Fuel-In...2/-1#reviewTab
    Dan White
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    64 R2 GT
    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

  23. #23
    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    No plans for it here, but how would it work on an R2? Is it by designed sealed, or would you need to seal it?
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
    There are tons of reviews out there about the FItech system, as well as others. The only one that I have read really bad reviews of is the FAST system. Bottom line this is the way to go. Only thing you need to decide is if you want to mod your dizzy to have it controlled by the unit or not, otherwise this is a no brainer.

    Here are reviews from Summit & Jeggs:

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/fif-30002/reviews/

    http://www.jegs.com/i/FITech-Fuel-In...2/-1#reviewTab
    Interesting comments. One review said he had problems with the unit not sensing the rpm correctly with his point-type distributor. Then I came across this comment: Make sure you have a low resistance coil 0,7 to 1,5 ohm. If not, the computer can't get a steady rpm signal. 2. Measure your Hg (vacuum) in your intak manifold at idle. I had about 9, so i chosed the "3" on camshaft. Under 8 is "4". 10-12 is "2" and over 12 is "1". My car runs great now

    I guess like anything that is made to fit a wide range of engine sizes, cam profiles, compression ratios, distributors, etc, etc, it might take some work to get to the best combination. Apparently the initial settings you put into the FITech regarding engine size, cam profile, etc may need to be tweaked to zero in on the best settings
    Paul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    No plans for it here, but how would it work on an R2? Is it by designed sealed, or would you need to seal it?
    Don’t know if things have changed since I bought my set up but if you are talking about sealed as in a boosted application then you need to get the “Power Adder” model.

  26. #26
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    Yes I already inquired regarding using the FiTech under "boost" conditions and this is what they sent me:
    Go EFI 4 – 600 HP System – Power Adder

    Part No: #30004

    PRICE: $1,195.00

    Bill

  27. #27
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan White View Post
    There are tons of reviews out there about the FItech system, as well as others. The only one that I have read really bad reviews of is the FAST system. Bottom line this is the way to go. Only thing you need to decide is if you want to mod your dizzy to have it controlled by the unit or not, otherwise this is a no brainer.

    Here are reviews from Summit & Jeggs:

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/fif-30002/reviews/

    http://www.jegs.com/i/FITech-Fuel-In...2/-1#reviewTab
    Before impulsively buying, I'd recommend reading Summitt and JEGS' reviews, starting with the bad ones first. They provide real world feedback, you might want to be aware of first. As for the reviews' complaints about tech support, over the years I have read many threads over on the HFI (Hamilton Fuel Injection) web site, where folks who bought aftermarket kits came there looking for tech assistance. Bill Hamilton always helped them, but I am not sure I would have.

    Also, it is unfortunate there is nobody out there with feedback on any of the aftermarkets after several thousand miles on them. Apparently, most folks who buy them only drive them a few hundred miles at most, so maybe it really doesn't matter that much to them.

    Collectively, I have about 57,000 miles on the two GTs with HFI. They have been pretty much trouble free. When I installed the first kit, in a few thousand miles the coil went out. But it was made by an aftermarket company, designed to look like an OEM Stude coil. I learned the hard way to stay away from aftermarket parts, and just go with GM Delco. If a GM epoxy coil it does not appear, "correct" no big deal to me.

    Just my 2-cents
    Last edited by JoeHall; 02-12-2018 at 05:36 PM.

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    I have been looking for info like Buzzard just supplied (thread #27) but need to know what the installed height will be. My R2 carb bonnet just contacts the insulation liner I installed under my hood so with the AFB carb on a couple of extra gaskets for heat insulation there is actually NO more room to go up under there. I tried getting this info from the previous thread but the pictures with that info seem to have been redacted... or maybe it is my system.
    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=Fitech

  29. #29
    President Member ndynis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeNorm View Post
    I have been looking for info like Buzzard just supplied (thread #27) but need to know what the installed height will be.
    Would this help?
    FiTech Throttle Body dimensions.jpg

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndynis View Post
    This is perfect... Thanks!

  31. #31
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    Well now that there are adapter plates to fit mopar and chevy manifolds to Stude engines why not get a bit modern with the Edelbrock XT setups?? These look great and have wireless setup with blue tooth tablets.

    https://www.summitracing.com/search/...xt-efi-systems
    Dan White
    64 R1 GT
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    58 C Cab
    57 Broadmoor (Marvin)

  32. #32
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    Dan, Paul and others,
    FITech update:
    Seeing as the Chev had other issues to sort out, non-FiTech related, the computers were cleared and it was sent off with it's owner to start relearning everything. Any updates I receive I'll pass on.
    NOW,and I firmly believe this will be the closest application to our Studebakers, the new FiTech just arrived and will be installed on an old school Buick 401 Nailhead(slightly modified such as we would do) which we installed in a 1964 Buick Skylark SportWagon(no they don't bolt in but it does now).
    Seeing as I'm heading back to the snow I'll have to pass on our success (or failure which I doubt will be an option), through my buddy as he fills me in as to his progress. I'm sure it will be a lot slower due to the lack of Canuck assistance.

    More as it happens,
    Cheers, Bill

  33. #33
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    Dan, Paul & others,
    FiTech appears to be a winner. My pal stated it was the easiest install ever on the 401 Nailhead. Two cycles of the kay and it flashed right up. First road test was great, power reasonable, driveability terrific while the unit was "learning". All functions appeared to be as expected with no surprises. Now one of us has to try it on a Studebaker. If you are patient maybe that'll be me.
    Cheers, Bill

  34. #34
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Bill, thanks for the continued updates!! They are very much appreciated.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
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  35. #35
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    Now that I have my entire fleet here in Arizona the FI tech system is on my wish list. I want it primarily because the elevation here is around 5400' with many or the roads dropping down alot lower, so altering the air/fuel mixture & keeping a constant ratio really appeals to me.
    59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
    60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
    61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
    62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
    62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
    62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
    63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
    63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
    64 Zip Van
    66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
    66 Cruiser V-8 auto

  36. #36
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    FI Tech Update:
    Paul, Dan, Charles & others,
    OK I'm back in Arizona and getting back into the hot rods and of course, a certain '57 Clipper Wagon restoration.
    While I was gone this was done by my pal here unloading another friend's wallet!
    The car is a 1937 Chevrolet with a roller equipped 383 with Tri-Power Rochester 2bbls on I believe, an Edelbrock Intake manifold.
    Well to the point, FITech 2BBLs don't fit.
    So they procured a Weiand TriPower manifold which had the Holley Base patterns.
    Tight but a perfect fit (and personally I think the Weiand probably out performs the Edelbrock unit).

    DSC_1345[1].jpgDSC_1345[1].jpgDSC_1347[1].jpgDSC_1347[1].jpgDSC_1348[1].jpgDSC_1350[1].jpgSorry for the pic duplications, I guess I'm too impatient while it loads up.
    Back to the FiTech, there is no progressive linkage as it sorts that out electronically. There are throttle stops on each unit. My pal whose wallet is lighter, figures it feels like he picked up 20-30 HP over the Rochesters'(I personally think the Weiand may have helped as well as I'm using one of their "Stealth" manifolds on my 406 CID Avanti <Chev>engine). It's still just learning so an update will follow after I have road tested the car.
    Later as it happens,
    Bill

  37. #37
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    It's still in the "learning mode". Once over 165 degrees it starts, idles and runs incredibly well however at this stage is a bear to start when cold and very rich. Just more sorting out and will post here.
    Bill

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    Dan, Paul & others,
    FiTech appears to be a winner. My pal stated it was the easiest install ever on the 401 Nailhead. Two cycles of the kay and it flashed right up. First road test was great, power reasonable, driveability terrific while the unit was "learning". All functions appeared to be as expected with no surprises. Now one of us has to try it on a Studebaker. If you are patient maybe that'll be me.
    Cheers, Bill
    Hi, Bill,

    Yes, agree, a new 21st century TBI should run a lot better, more power, improved economy. I'd love to put one on with a real-time O2 sensor readout. That would confirm the self-learning and help give it a push when it seems to be slow to learn the cold start drill.

    Maybe on your current build? Give me a call at your convenience.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    A thought to keep in mind.
    I know of a three of private parties and two shops that have had difficulty with the FITech group. Their "help line" appears to be a little lacking.
    About half switched to the Holley (about the same price for a similar kit) and had better results.
    Another large shop, told me, they both work well.

    I do not have either brand at this time. If I do buy, it will be one of the Holley kits.

    Mike

  40. #40
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    I will agree with this opinion...up to a point.
    Yes, the FiTech can be complicated to 'tune'. But that is part of what makes a good EFI system. Choices.
    If you dumb down the system so the end user/installer has fewer choices, then the install may be easier, but the options are fewer.
    Maybe that's where the Holley people prosper... Knowing the limitations of their customers.
    I, too have had some issues with my FiTech. Most of my issues were self induced.
    Most of my customer service issues were because I did not know, or understand, the myriad of choices that can be made.
    One of the more humorous things to read is the brand preferences. That's OK.. My brand preference is Studebaker, so what do I know.
    I know the owner of FiTech. What most people don't know is that he owns the patents on the injectors currently run by all of the companies, Holley included.
    I agree that a good customer service department makes a difference.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
    A thought to keep in mind.
    I know of a three of private parties and two shops that have had difficulty with the FITech group. Their "help line" appears to be a little lacking.
    About half switched to the Holley (about the same price for a similar kit) and had better results.
    Another large shop, told me, they both work well.

    I do not have either brand at this time. If I do buy, it will be one of the Holley kits.

    Mike

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