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Thread: Idle Issues

  1. #1

    Default Idle Issues

    First of all, I'm not a mechanic and I'm trying to install this myself. That being said, I lack the knowledge & understanding many of you have here. So, if anything I say is stupid, please be patient & kind. I realize the entirety of my problems probably come from my ignorance; I wish I knew what you guys do about engines.

    I installed the Sniper EFI and ran through the startup sequence. My timing was off, so I played with the distributor until I got the truck to start. It starts now (sometimes I have to pump the gas a little to get it to start) and idles really rough and sounds like it could die anytime. I have a lumpy cam, so I'm not really sure how much of the rough idle is due to the cam or my current setup.

    I turned the idle screw clockwise until it was almost completely seated on the tension spring. Turning the screw seemed to smooth out my idle, but about a minute after I turned the screw in the idle ran away and the engine revved extremely high until I shut it off. It seems really rich, but I can't even get it to run long enough to get the temp over 160° to adjust settings.

    Here is a video I took after the runaway idle. I turned the idle screw counterclockwise to the point I needed to pump the gas pedal a little to get it started in this video. It's a little hard to see, but the exhaust is putting out a decent cloud of white smoke.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Connecticut
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    17,667

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2B32 View Post
    My timing was off, so I played with the distributor until I got the truck to start.
    Is this an ECU controlled timing application? If so, is the ignition timing synchronized? Either way, you'll need someone to help you.
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    '78 BRONCO: 508" stroker, TFS heads, 11:1 comp ratio, Dominator MPFI & DIS, cold air induction, Spal dual 12" fans/aluminum radiator, dual 3" exhaust/Magnaflow mufflers, Moroso vacuum pump, Accusump, engine oil & trans fluid coolers, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, A/C, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/2500 RPM converter, 3:1 Atlas II, modified Dana 44/60-lockers-4.10s, hydroboost/4-disc brakes, ram-assist/heim joint steering, Cage long radius arms, traction bars, 4" Skyjacker lift, 35" mud tires

  3. #3

    Default

    No, it's currently running with a GM big cap distributor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Middle River, MD
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    249

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2B32 View Post
    No, it's currently running with a GM big cap distributor.
    Did you ever set the timing with an actual timing light yet? Has the engine been running BEFORE the EFI?

  5. #5

    Default

    It was running before, but I had to pull the distributor because I cracked my intake. It turns out the timing light I have doesn't work, so I haven't been able to set the timing with a light yet.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009
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    Connecticut
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    You must properly set the ignition timing (with a timing light) before continuing with this!
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    '78 BRONCO: 508" stroker, TFS heads, 11:1 comp ratio, Dominator MPFI & DIS, cold air induction, Spal dual 12" fans/aluminum radiator, dual 3" exhaust/Magnaflow mufflers, Moroso vacuum pump, Accusump, engine oil & trans fluid coolers, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, A/C, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD/2500 RPM converter, 3:1 Atlas II, modified Dana 44/60-lockers-4.10s, hydroboost/4-disc brakes, ram-assist/heim joint steering, Cage long radius arms, traction bars, 4" Skyjacker lift, 35" mud tires

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Cabral View Post
    You must properly set the ignition timing (with a timing light) before continuing with this!
    I agree with Danny on this one. I had some idle issues when I tried to rush myself to install the unit. I set the timing, now the truck runs amazing and idles very good. Another note is the hot idle setting will have to be set above 160°, to achieve an IAC setting of I believe it's 2%-10% on the monitor, with no foot on the pedal. But first things first, get yourself a new timing light and go from there. It will save your time, frustration and your engine in the long run.

  8. #8

    Default Update

    So I got a timing light and got the timing set the best I could. My timing line is WAY off; it's at 12 o'clock when the #1 cylinder is at TDC. I put tape and a new line, and still had the same poor idle quality. I went back through the startup Wizard, cycled the key, and for whatever reason the problem was solved. The engine came up to temp and I did a test drive. The handheld froze up about halfway through my test drive, and the truck seemed to run like I was in too high a gear, but it never died (it didn't do that before the handheld froze). After I parked it, I turned the key on and the handheld worked properly again. A little fine tuning and a couple more days of test drives, and I'll install the Holley Dual Sync to get everything running together.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Middle River, MD
    Posts
    249

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2B32 View Post
    So I got a timing light and got the timing set the best I could. My timing line is WAY off; it's at 12 o'clock when the #1 cylinder is at TDC.
    A little fine tuning and a couple more days of test drives, and I'll install the Holley Dual Sync to get everything running together.
    I would VERY STRONGLY SUGGEST that you find out WHY the timing mark is WAY OFF, before even considering installing the Holley dual sync distributor and enabling timing control. The timing mark on the balancer must be correct, or everything you do as far as using the Sniper's timing control and its settings, will be wrong.

  10. #10

    Default

    In doing some research, I found this: "You could have a balancer/timing tab mismatch. GM put the timing tab in one of two positions: 12:00 (straight down behind the water pump) or 1:30 (peeking out under the driver's side leg of the water pump). The line on the balancer was in a different position to match the timing tab location. The difference between the two is about 40°. Very common when somebody swipes the balancer off an original 70s/80s era 305 carbureted or TBI engine (usually 12:00 position balancer) and then shoves it on the front of a motor with a timing tab over in the 1:30 position. You end up reading about 50* advance when it's timed for good performance. It's not actually that advanced it reality, but that's how it reads when you put the timing gun to it."

    That would explain why my marker is reading at the 12 o'clock position. My timing isn't necessarily off, it's just not lining up with the timing tab that is mounted in the 2 o'clock position. My engine is an '83 SBC 350, so based on what I'm reading the timing tab should be set at 12 o'clock. Someone at some point must have added the 2 o'clock timing tab for some reason.

    I was originally having issues because I thought the timing line was supposed to be lining up with the 2 o'clock tab. With the original marker at 12 o'clock the tape and line I added now, lands on the timing tab at 2 o'clock and everything is running as it should.
    Last edited by 2B32; 03-23-2017 at 11:18 AM.

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