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Thread: Installing FI TECH EFI on a 289..... UPDATE: FIRST DRIVE VIDEO....need driveshaft

  1. #121
    Champion Member Bill USN-1's Avatar
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    Doesn't look like you read through all my FAQs on Binderplanet. ;-) There's a lot there.
    Technology is a wonderful thing and advances all the time.
    I do all you do with the EBL, with the stock GM system. I just don't have the flash programming permanently installed. I have it in a separate ECM and then swap it for a factory one once the tune is established. There is really no need to constantly change the tune, that's why these have always been self correcting (self tuning)
    Which brings up the next big point.
    Due to all the advertisement hype, people have this misconception that any system is or isn't self tuning.
    None of the new systems are self tuning. They all require base line inputs and then you drive and it tries to self correct the AFR based on the o2 feedback.
    Notice no mention of optimizing the timing table! Because it doesn't.

    The factory system have been self correcting since the first ones were placed in service.
    So to try and separate the factory system from the new auto tune ones is false.
    They all auto correct the AFR based on the input parameters.
    Where the factory shines is in the software and parameter tables. The factory has many more adder/subtractor tables for fuel and timing to enhance efficiency and performance over the after market.

    As for the HUD-heads up display, I have a simple little Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the factory ALDL port and allows me to monitor all aspects of the engine operation. Some have even integrated it into their dash in place of their instrument panel.
    Just like guys with later OBDII.
    I display an entire instrument panel on my 7" droid pad and even my phone. I can even log data and tune all from the pad.
    Check out the ALDLdroid app.
    But I still prefer my laptop.
    I'm old and need a larger screen!!!!

    Now if you want to play with power adders, then EBL will be faster then me tuning on a factory GM system, But I do that too.
    Throttle body injection, MPFI, boosted, DIS-distributorless ignition, electronic trans control....etc, All with the old OBDI TBI systems!
    But I only sell factory based systems to customers. No 1 off modified parts that can't be picked up at the local parts store.

    I started playing with these way back while I was still in the Navy. EBL, Megasquirt and many others weren't even created yet. But I did chat with all of them during their development.
    They are all much smarter then most of us.

    I took my vehicles all over the world so I couldn't afford to have one break down in the middle of Europe and not make it back before leave expired!!
    So I use that approach with everything I build.
    Bill Hamilton

  2. #122
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I for one very much appreciate your insight and comments on this subject. They have been very helpful to me.
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

  3. #123
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Agree with you Paul (r1lark).
    Bill is the go-to guy for many folks, when it comes to EFI. Matter of fact, I have read on the old HFI Forum where, it was obvious to me, several other EFI systems' sellers had referred their customers to Bill for tech info. Bill is always ready to help anyone with their personal EFI project but, I have heard recently, he kinda got tired of being used by his competition that way. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when they began cutting and pasting his info over to their own tech support sites. LOL

    (Bill please correct me if I am wrong about the above.)

  4. #124
    President Member Corley's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I also appreciate your incites and comments. Just to clarify a couple of things that may have been confusing, and ignoring timing for just a minute, basically tuning = updating/adjusting the tables to match the engines/environments requirements. There are two major aspects to tuning. The initial tables, and the adjustments which are learned as you drive the vehicle in real time conditions. As Bill pointed out, all of these systems use feedback as you drive to update the VE tables. However, they can only tune within certain boundaries, and can't automatically adjust for major differences in environment, which means the initial table values need to be pretty close to correct. (This is why there are dozens of PROMs/ECUs for different engine/vehicle combinations.) These are derived from either educated guess (as is the case with some systems), or from empirical data. But assuming the initial tables are close, sampling while driving creates adjustments to these values to fine tune the A/F mixture to the optimal values. At least that is the theory. (Timing is a bit different, some would say more involved, and that is partly why cheapie systems pretty much ignore automatic tuning of timing.)

    Simplifying things here,,, Bills setup is based upon the GM TBI factory system, with Bill personally doing all tuning outside the boundaries of the ECUs learn-as-you-drive ability, (which is constantly going on as the engine runs), with a "send Bill the saved data, and Bill mails me a new "tuned" prom" loop. Simplified, If table values are off a bit, boundaries are reached, or getting close, you adjust the VE table values to more closely match optimal. Nothing wrong with that, you won't see the results of your tuning until someone sends you more data, to verify what you decided was correct is right, but overall, you should be able to make fairly accurate adjustments this way, and the self tune ability will handle any minor differences as the user drives.

    The EBL setup I mentioned is based upon the same factory system, with me doing the tuning that is outside of the self learning, right now, in a semi automated fashion, with no mail-it-to-me turn around time. In addition, since I have not one, but 8 VE tables that I can specify, I can keep the old tuning values and restore them in a minute, if I have gone non-linier somehow. Or, if I'm a racer, and want to see what a little more fuel at this RPM/MAP setting might do for me, I can give it a try on the spot, as an example. (I have a couple of those bluetooth adaptors, and a couple hard wired ones too, using the ELM chips, and I can attest that there is really no comparison between what you get with an phone/tablet app and one of those dongles, and the WUD software that comes with EBL. They are not even close.)


    Now for the cheapie... The FITech setup is based upon their own simplified system, with the installer doing some of the tuning (initial setup), and the ECU trying to refine it on the fly, as does the GM system. (Only the FITech system is a more simplified ECU, so it can't do as much, and will never be quite as close to ideal calibration. You have way less control over things. It is really that simple.

    I mentioned that timing is a more difficult item: Well, not really all that difficult, but you just have to have a more in depth understanding of engine operation, loads, engine design, etc., to know how to get the desired effects. Someone like you, Bill, is qualified to mess with timing, and is not likely to blow up an engine. Someone like the average DIY guy, really should avoid trying to optimize timing, unless you have very deep pockets, like to wrench, or have some really good guidance. In fact, if you are not willing to jump in up to your eyeballs into studying EFI, timing, engine design, etc., I would really recommend leaving it to an expert such as Bill. The risk of damage is pretty great for a novice.

    Of course I defer to the expert (that's you Bill) on all things EFI, as I know nothing but my own experiences and research. I've had successful results with my own projects, and those of friends, making me only a semi educated user, not a producer of product, nor an expert. One thing I think you and I MAY be able to agree on is that Holley's first attempt, their "Pro-Jection" setup is a really poor substitute for a good efi setup, and not worth a person's time to mess with. If you own Pro-Jection, I recommend that you throw it away. Another thing I think we can agree on is that in-tank fuel pumps (and a return line) are the best answer to vapor lock, which is really becoming an issues with these older vehicles.

    Bill, in agreeing with most of what you have written, it seems from your responses that I may have offended you. I only wanted to share my experiences with the systems I currently have installed and I sincerely apologize if I have offended you or your products in any way, I assure you that was not my intention. We all can learn from sharing experiences, and as I mentioned, we all like what we know and have experience with. For me, EBL was the way to go on my GMC MH, and the FITech was a cheap replacement for a crappy Edlbrock carb on the ElCamino. However, as I also said, I recommend your products to anyone who would like to plug-n-play EFI on a Studebaker, with your support they should have a much better running Studebaker with a longer service life than a carb. can provide. A carburetor can be tuned to make it run pretty good, but EFI can make it run better and much longer.
    Corley

  5. #125
    President Member Corley's Avatar
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    Something I SHOULD have mentioned about the FITech fuel injection, but I forgot. As you are probably aware, most modern cars have a lot of parasitic drag on the vehicles battery. (Drains the battery when the car is just sitting.) I have found that the FITech EFI setup is really bad for this, and if the car sits for 3 weeks, the battery will be totally flat. (Very hard on batteries, and a big disappointment when you just want to get in and go!) So, on a car like a Studebaker that is driven infrequently, if you install the FITech fuel injection, plan on hooking up a battery maintainer pretty much every time you park the car for a week or more. It can be a pain in the butt. (Of course a battery cutoff switch could also solve the problem.)

    The GM based setups (such as the Hamilton, Howell, EBI, etc.) don't seem to have as much parasitic drag, but still, they will run your battery down in a month or so of sitting idle. (For example, my C-5 Corvette kills the battery in about 2 weeks of sitting, and my Mercedes ML430 kills the battery in 3 weeks of sitting, so parasitic drag is to be expected with new cars. On the other hand, I have a tiny lawn mower sized battery in my Model A hot rod, [no efi], and it has never been run down when I go to start it after sitting for several months.)
    Corley

  6. #126
    Champion Member Bill USN-1's Avatar
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    I haven't had that problem on my vehicles with the GM based systems(10+).
    I haven't found the draw any more then the memory of a modern radio that you lose memory when you disconnect the battery.
    Some set over 6mo without use over the winter.
    When I get a chance I will measure the draw on my 49 Hudson.
    I did a dual 1bbl conversion in place of the Twin H carb set up.
    No modern radio, just 12v conversion to run the EFI. The rest of the car is still 6v.

    But it does bring up an interesting question, will the FITech lose the base line settings if it sets too long with the battery disconnected?
    I don't remember reading anything about that in the manual. And I shipped the system I bought , back before I could do any long term testing.
    I would assume they are programmed into a flash programmable chip, so should be good for a long time with no battery.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    As for the self correcting of the GM system addressed above, I drive my vehicles just like the GM factory intended and designed them to be used.
    From sea level to 14K ft in CO. And have taken my vehicle all over the world while still in the Navy.
    You note that it only does "minor" corrections, I can't think of any more corrections possibly needed then what I do.

    My tune isn't based on what I decide it "should" be. It's based on the BLM-block learn mode(long term fuel trim) data provided by the computer as the correction factor required to maintain the 14.7:1 AFR.
    I tune the system for the specific engine and location it operates. Then the ECM takes care of any mechanical or atmospheric changes as you drive.
    That's how it's designed.
    GM did not know where a car was going to be sold or driven so the system had to be able to perform any where in the country with just the initial baseline tune.
    I provide the specific, custom, baseline tune for every system I sell.

    Oh, I don't get offended having an intelligent conversation.
    There's no emotions in typed words.
    But I do find discussions on Face Book very frustrating.
    Too many "experts" to deal with that read a post from a buddies cousin.
    Bill Hamilton

  7. #127
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    Bill, do you have a plan in place for tech help if you suddenly "kick the bucket"?

  8. #128
    Champion Member Bill USN-1's Avatar
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    Kerry,
    The nice part is my system is based off the factory GM EFI system. So there are no secrets. You can look up any information for something like a 1990 Chevy 1500 and use it to support my system.
    Same with trouble shooting.
    Pull into autozone or any repair shop and they can hook up a standard GM scan tool, that is if you don't want to use the provided data cable, software and trouble codes I provide with each system.
    But all you really need is a paper clip to get the system to blink the trouble codes.
    Bill Hamilton

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