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Thread: HP EFI Issues

  1. #1

    Default HP EFI Issues

    I have the HP 550-412 (I think it's the 412) setup with an MSD 8366 billet TPI distributor, a TPI replacement square coil on a BBC 454, closed chamber heads, flat top pistons, dual plane intake, with manifolds into a single exhaust. I put the bung straight vertical close to where the tubes in the Y-pipe meet so I get the full stream, not just one bank. The cam is stock to stockish, I think I pull around 16 inches of vacuum or so last time the engine was together.

    I have a few issues, and I am not sure why I am having the problems. I had all of this on the same engine before, but with different heads, intake and long tube headers instead. No issues or problems at that time.

    One issue I have is that I updated my firmware, but I cannot get the V2 software to sync with the ECU. I did not overwrite the previous directory, so I can still use the older version as I was not sure I wanted to get into the new software yet. But then I thought it may help with my problem so I upgraded the firmware and I can still sync with the old software, so I am very confused. If troubleshooting this has been covered, I just missed it. I have been reading here as much as I can for the past few days with posts that seen similar to mine.

    Secondly. I have read, then re-read the ignition timing notes here, I am fairly sure I have that locked down. The timing light is showing exactly where the EFI is commanding on the damper. I even tuned the Inductive Delay and when I rev the engine, and have the timing set static, it holds very close to the commanded number. I also got my IAC position around 4-6% and then I TPS AutoSet. I get an OK after that.

    My issue is driveability. I have a 3 speed in the truck and had a 6 speed with the engine in the other car when I didn't have problems. After it warms up, I can't even drive it down the street in first gear. I get part way down, maybe 100 feet or so, then it starts to run very rough, then will stall. It also seems to have no power. It will still stall even after I push in the clutch, then when this happens it doesn't want to re-start and will almost not run at all. Sometimes when it does start it will buck very hard a few times, then stall again. I haven't been able to get it to run very long to get it to learn any tuning at all except at idle. It will idle and have no issues at all sitting in the driveway. I did notice that the Learn Table, even at idle, keeps swinging back and forth past 0. I had sent the Learn to base once before, and then while it was sitting in the driveway it was changing the other direction. I'm wondering if this is an WBO2 sensor problem, but I have tried to drive it without being in closed loop and it does the same thing, but I haven't gotten much Learning done, so I'm not sure this is a true test. I have read in other posts about sensor fouling, I did use some ultra copper on my manifold to Y-pipe connections, but the package said sensor safe. Does anyone think the WBO2 sensor could be bad?

    I have also read that the MSD module in my 8366 distributor can be a problem because it's not a GM unit? I'm not sure what the issues are with one of those, I haven't found an explanation what the issue is with them.
    I also have one of the Holley transducers on the TB at the pressure port and the pressure is fairly constant, between 20 and 21 PSI.
    Thanks with any help or insight.
    Last edited by notchbackgta; 07-17-2014 at 02:10 PM.

  2. #2

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    I just saw the post about testing the WBO2 with the rag, I will try that tonight when I get home.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by notchbackgta View Post
    I am wondering if this is an WBO2 sensor problem, but I have tried to drive it without being in closed loop and it does the same thing.
    If you temporarily disabled Closed Loop (to ignore the WBO2 sensor), you must also clear the Learn Table, because it may very well be corrupted from it. The Learn Table must be cleared, or you must load the last "known to be good" Global Folder.
    http://forums.holley.com/showthread....ension-Harness (WBO2 Sensor Info - Read "Wideband O2 Sensor Notes")

    I also have one of the Holley transducers on the TB at the pressure port and the pressure is fairly constant, between 20 and 21 PSI.
    The fuel pressure is properly adjusted, but ensure the "Actual System Pressure" is accurately entered in Engine Parameters.

    I have also read that the MSD module in my 8366 distributor can be a problem because it is not a GM unit? I am not sure what the issues are with one of those, I haven't found an explanation what the issue is with them.
    Defective ignition modules - common problem with MSD 8366 distributors.
    Replace the ignition module with a genuine GM ignition module.
    (This same rationale applies to Ford TFI distributors too.)
    ‒ Ignition module for MSD 8366 Pro-Billet Distributors:
    GM 19179578
    ACDelco D1943A
    http://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,cata...CO_D1943A.html
    http://www.msextra.com/doc/ms1extra/...EI_modules.jpg
    ‒ I'd also verify the GM HEI module polarity is wired correctly:
    http://www.msdignition.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15
    http://www.megamanual.com/ms2/GM_7pinHEI.htm

    ‒ Apply heat sink (thermal conductive) paste on the bottom of the module before installing it.
    Often times, dielectric grease is wrongly used and will lead to an overheated (failed) module.


    Is the Fuel Graph smooth? Are there any RPM Errors? Use what applies to you below:

    Typical Idle/Running Issues:
    Are you using the latest EFI software & firmware versions?
    Is the main power harness connected directly to the battery terminals?
    Has the Learn function finished self-tuning the idle area?
    Is the Base Timing Table advance flat (same) in the idle area?
    Is Idle Spark control enabled and the Target Idle Speed (RPM) set?
    Has the idle speed screw been adjusted to achieve an IAC Position of about 2% at hot idle?
    Perform another TPS AutoSet, whenever you adjust the idle speed screw on the throttle body.
    Is the proper "Advanced Idle Control" & "IAC Type" selected in the Idle ICF? "Slow" may be best.
    Try blocking off the IAC passage to see if it stabilizes the idle. If so, it may be IAC related.
    Is the "Enable Closed Loop" and "Base Fuel Learn Enabled" parameter check marked?
    What's your Ignition Type and how are your Ignition Parameters configured?
    Is it possible that the ignition timing isn't synchronized with the ECU? (Link)
    Using a timing light for misfire detection works well (watch for consistent flashing).
    Is the fuel pump running on a consistent +12V? Is the alternator/charging system working?
    Is the fuel pressure regulator adjusted to proper psi? Is the fuel pressure consistent?
    Is this a naturally aspirated engine and are you using a naturally aspirated base calibration?
    Ensure the Learning isn't working because of repeated "RPM Errors", causing repeated ECU "syncing".
    If you don't have an electronic transmission, remove the Transmission ICF from the top Toolbar.
    Are there any exhaust leaks upstream of the WBO2 sensor? Is the WBO2 sensor near the end of the pipe?
    Large duration (race) camshafts will exhibit a fluctuating AFR/false lean condition at idle & low RPM.
    Have you tried manually tuning the idle in Open Loop? (Disable Closed Loop in System Parameters.)
    If it runs right in Open Loop, you could have a defective WBO2 sensor or a wrong setting in Closed Loop/Learn Parameters.
    http://forums.holley.com/showthread....e-Tuning-Notes (EFI Idle Tuning Notes)
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/3000 RPM converter, FPP aluminum driveshaft, FPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & MT 245/45R17 tires.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    If you temporarily disabled Closed Loop (to ignore the WBO2 sensor), you must also clear the Learn Table, because it may very well be corrupted from it. The Learn Table must be cleared, or you must load the last "known to be good" Global Folder.
    http://forums.holley.com/showthread....ension-Harness (WBO2 Sensor Info - Read "Wideband O2 Sensor Notes")
    Thanks for the reply. I sort of had a good known Global Folder when I had the engine together before these heads, but I had the same issue, so I stated fresh. I chose all the proper items when I created the new Global Folder, I'm certain I did not choose improperly.
    I also read what you linked there. I tried to avoid the canned answers by listing as much info as possible,

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    The fuel pressure is properly adjusted, but ensure the "Actual System Pressure" is accurately entered in Engine Parameters.
    I did change the setting from 21 to 20 in the proper field, but that didn't make a difference. Fuel pressure changes a little at idle, but only by that 1 PSI, but I would think that wouldn't make that much difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Defective ignition modules - common problem with MSD 8366 distributors.
    Replace the ignition module with a genuine GM ignition module.
    (This same rationale applies to Ford TFI distributors too.)
    I read that several times already, but what is the failure you get with a non-GM sensor? The engine ran with this module before. I am not opposed to changing it, but I would like to try to avoid throwing parts at this problem without knowing why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Is the Fuel Graph smooth? Are there any RPM Errors? Use what applies to you below:
    I do not get any RPM Errors that I know of. Fuel Graph was smooth from what I could remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Typical Idle/Running Issues:
    Are you using the latest EFI software & firmware versions?
    I read all of this and either they do not apply or I have already checked them.

    I am running a newer firmware, but I can't use the newer software for some reason, the software will not sync with the ECM. I cant find a troubleshooting guide for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Has the Learn function finished self-tuning the idle area?
    It seems that it did and I "Transferred Learning to Base", but then later it was changed again ~9 in the Learning area it was in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Is the proper "Advanced Idle Control" & "IAC Type" selected in the Idle ICF? "Slow" may be best.
    I don't remember seeing that. It is what ever it is for the stock setting for the TBI setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    Have you tried manually tuning the idle in Open Loop? (Disable Closed Loop in System Parameters.)
    I am not really sure how to do that yet. I bought this because I don't know how yet, and I wanted to ease into it all after the Learning had been completed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by notchbackgta View Post
    Fuel pressure changes a little at idle, but only by that 1 PSI, but I would think that wouldn't make that much difference?
    I agree, just wanted to ensure it wasn't way off.

    I read that several times already, but what is the failure you get with a non-GM sensor? ...but I would like to try to avoid throwing parts at this problem without knowing why.
    RPM signal errors.

    I am running a newer firmware, but I can't use the newer software for some reason, the software will not sync with the ECM. I cant find a troubleshooting guide for that.
    If it was able to connect "Online" before (V2 software), you may have a conflict with having two EFI software versions.
    If you were using an earlier version of the V2 EFI software before, then you won't necessarily have to learn anything new.

    Try completely removing the Holley EFI software from the "Control Panel", "My Documents" (Holley folder) and the
    "C:Drive" (Program Files, Holley folder) and install a fresh EFI software download. Save your Global Folder somewhere.

    Software & Firmware Versions:
    Software: click "Help" tab (top toolbar) & "About Holley EFI".
    Firmware: click "Sync With ECU" & "Get ECU Info" (Key-on/USB connected).
    The latest software & firmware can be downloaded here:
    https://www.holley.com/support/resou...Fuel_Injection (Holley EFI Technical Library)
    https://www.holley.com/document/tech...9r10546rev.pdf (HP & Dominator Quick Start Guide)
    https://www.holley.com/document/tech...g_firmware.pdf (How To Update ECU Firmware)
    Before updating firmware, ensure the current Global Folder is saved somewhere, since it will be erased from the ECU.

    The latest V2 software can be downloaded here: https://www.holley.com/support/resou...Fuel_Injection
    Read the 199R10632rev5 PDF document for a "V2 Software Update Overview" (in "Holley EFI V2 Instructions").
    Be sure to successfully install the new V2 software, before installing the ECU firmware (read "V2 Update Instructions").
    Ensure the Holley EFI software is not open and the ECU is not powered on/connected when installing the new software.

    EFI Software Help Information/Instructions:
    ‒ On the top Toolbar, click "Help" & "Contents". This opens all Help topics.
    ‒ When navigating the software, click "Help ?", drag it to any parameter and click again.
    ..This automatically opens the definitions for that specific parameter.
    ‒ Tuning information can be read by clicking the F1 key, when you're viewing any screen.
    https://www.holley.com/document/tech...10555rev16.pdf (Holley EFI Wiring Manual)

    It seems that it did, and I "Transferred Learning to Base", but then later it was changed again ~9 in the Learning area it was in.
    The Learn Table is constantly changing, but when finished self-tuning, it shouldn't be making significant changes.

    I don't remember seeing that. It is what ever it is for the stock setting for the TBI setup.
    It's in the Idle ICF.

    I am not really sure how to do that yet. I bought this because I don't know how yet, and I wanted to ease into it all after the Learning had been completed.
    It's in the Closed Loop Parameters screen (System Parameters).
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/3000 RPM converter, FPP aluminum driveshaft, FPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & MT 245/45R17 tires.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    RPM signal errors.
    I'm not getting errors. I see the RPM changing constantly, and as I think I should be seeing them. Is it recommended that I change it anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    If it was able to connect "Online" before (V2 software), you may have a conflict with having two EFI software versions.
    OK, I'll try removing them both and starting over.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    The Learn Table is constantly changing, but when finished self-tuning, it shouldn't be making significant changes.
    Is a 9 in a cell a significant change?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    It's in the Closed Loop Parameters screen (System Parameters).
    I understand where, but I'm not really sure what I'm doing there is what I meant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by notchbackgta View Post
    I read that several times already, but what is the failure you get with a non-GM sensor?
    Just so we're clear, the pickup sensor or the reluctor isn't the problem; it's the ignition module itself. You probably already knew this, I just wanted to ensure we understood each other.

    Is it recommended that I change it anyway?
    Personally, I'd never use the MSD ignition module.
    MSD (Ford) TFI and MSD (GM) HEI distributors are notorious for having inferior ignition modules (and cranking is the worst aspect).
    Just like GM owners who should use a genuine GM ignition module, Ford owners should use a genuine Motorcraft ignition module.

    Is a 9 in a cell a significant change?
    Yes, if the Learning had finishing self-tuning that area when you Transferred Learning To Base.

    I understand where, but I'm not really sure what I'm doing there is what I meant.
    You'd just uncheck the "Enable Closed Loop" box. However, the Fuel Table would have to be tuned already (self-tuned or manually tuned).
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/3000 RPM converter, FPP aluminum driveshaft, FPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & MT 245/45R17 tires.

  8. #8

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    I'm still troubleshooting, but I think my problem may be RFI related. I had a similar issue when the system was in my car. I had made a wire to go from the coil to the distributor, after that the car would idle fine forever, but as soon as I closed the hood the car would run like crap and sometimes stall immediately. I wasn't pinching or touching anything with the hood, so I changed the coil wire and my problem went away. Last night I changed the WBO2 sensor with no change in my problem. I got to the end of the street when cold, but as soon as I tried to turn around it wouldn't run properly. I got it back to the driveway, and was going to check again for vacuum leaks with a small propane bottle & a hose with a shut off. As soon as I would stick my hand near the throttle body the engine would stall, even before I started with the propane. It did this 3 times or so, before I gave up for the night.
    I'm going to pull out the MSD small cap distributor and put in an old big cap HEI that I have, and see if I have any changes and maybe change the wires again. I'm in the process of making new ones, but maybe I screwed them up somehow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by notchbackgta View Post
    ...and maybe change the wires again. I'm in the process of making new ones, but maybe I screwed them up somehow.
    If you want to check for spark leakage, and the overall condition of the ignition's secondary side components, try this test:
    Using a spray bottle or garden hose, lightly mist water on all the ignition wires, spark plugs and the distributor cap. Then in the dark, with the engine running, look for a glowing discharge from any components or any stray sparks shooting for ground. Don't laugh, this test works incredibly well. You can't always see them during the day, but they show up like fireworks at night.
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS TW 11R 205 heads, 11.8:1 comp, TFS R-Series intake, Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger/1x cam sync, 160A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans/3-core Frostbite aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust/off-road X-pipe/shorty headers, S&W subframe connectors, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/3000 RPM converter, FPP aluminum driveshaft, FPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & MT 245/45R17 tires.

  10. #10

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    OK, thanks. I will try that tonight.

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