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Thread: 1979 K5 Blazer, CA Smog Legal

  1. #1

    Default 1979 K5 Blazer, CA Smog Legal

    Hello and thank you MSD for putting together a CARB legal EFI system for those of us that unfortunately have to do emissions testing.

    I have a 1979 Chevy K5 Blazer that I would like to install the Atomic EFI system on. It has a GM crate 350 along with a TH350 Trans for now. Both low mileage. Trans may change later on but that's another project for another day.

    So here is what I would like to use with this setup.

    Atomic EFI

    87-91 Blazer fuel tank with in tank pump. Quieter and more reliable it seems.

    Regulator

    Return line

    Fuel filter

    I think that's basically all I'd need. What's a good fuel pump setup to use for this type of system? I'm not sure if the pump supplied in the kit can work or not.

    If anyone has any experience with this please let me know.

  2. #2

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    The included pump will work fine, however you need to acquire a filter sock and an install kit or fab one yourself. I used the Aeromotive Phantom kit, it was brilliant. Real simple install and comes with everything you need short of a rollover valve if you are so inclined.

    Otherwise, your list looks good to me. Of course that is assuming you have a good distributor that will accept an adjustable rotor and a CD Box so you can allow the Atomic to control timing. If not, add them to the list. The Atomic is soooooo much better when it controls timing.

  3. #3

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    The phantom kit does look nice and easy, but wow it's pricey! I'll have to see what I can come up with on the pump setup. I don't plan to rollover but I do use it offroad so I may look into a rollover valve. Know of any good ones to use?



    Right now I have a msd Hei distributor, so I'd have to get their Heat control module if I didn't change the whole ignition like you suggest and msd also suggests. I guess I have a few options to weigh to find out what I want to do.

    Oh by the way my k5 is a federal one and not CA, so it has minimal smog equipment on it. EGR valve, catalytic converter, EFE flapper in the exhaust (removed the flapper so it just looks like it's there), and that's it. No smog pump which is great!

  4. #4

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    Will I have any issues running my Hei setup with the msd heat module? Do I absolutely have to run the heat module? I know I won't get the timing control (not sure if I really need that anyway).



    What's the cheapest msd distributor I can use if I decide to change up my ignition? I don't need anything fancy, just the basics that will work with the atomic.



    Distributor

    Adjustable rotor

    6a (L?) box

    Coil



    What's the cheapest and most basic setup for these parts? Anyone have part numbers?

  5. #5

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    Well I just bit the bullet and bought all the stuff required to allow the Atomic to control my timing. Seems like every thread ends with the MSD tech recommending that Atomic control timing to help smooth out operation of the EFI. My Atomic works pretty good with my HEI and MSD Heat module, but not as good as I think it should. Still some minor idle issues that I cannot get rid of with non-stop fiddling with the IAC blades. I ordered my stuff through Summit Racing and tried to get the least expensive stuff I could. Here is the list:



    MSD Digital 6A Ignition Controller (MSD-6201) $179.25



    MSD Blaster 2 Ignition Coil (MSD-8202) $44.95



    MSD Adjustable Rotor (MSD-84211) $32.95



    MSD Pro Billet Distributor (MSD-85551) $239.97 (no vacuum advance, 2-pin mag pickup connection)



    MSD Super Conductor Plug Wires (MSD-31249) $66.57 (Didn't know if my HEI plug wires would work and I needed a coil wire)



    That's $563.69 before taxes for the upgrade. Oh well. Its just money. The Atomic better run like a swiss watch, or I will be very disappointed.

  6. #6

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    Oh wow that's what I am afraid of, a $2k system turning out to be a $3k system to make it run right.

    Thank you for the parts info.! Let me know how yours turns out when it's all together please.

  7. #7

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    EFI K5-



    Tell me about it. I also spent big money to install an in-tank pump kit with return line (Aeromotive Phantom fuel pump kit - about $500, MSD fuel return kit). Judging by the numerous other threads with fuel issues, a return style system with an in-tank pump is really the only way to go to make the Atomic run properly.



    Now down to brass tacks....I installed the MSD 6A, distributor, and coil. Pretty easy install, and wiring was pretty straight forward (although I wasn't originaly wanting any more wiring under the hood. Started right up with rough setting of engine at 15* BTDC, adjusted timing with timing light with timing "locked out" per instructions, then gave timing control back to the Atomic. It idled really nicely in park, no surging like before, and the idle RPM in park was only about 100 rpm above my target rpm now (it used to idle about 500 rpm above my target in park). Let it idle for 10 minutes to "learn". Shifted into drive, idle went down to around my target, and idled nicely. Performance has been noticeably improved. It used to stumble a little when coming to a stop after exiting the freeway. No more of that so far. It should be noted that I have changed none of my settings or adjustments from when I was running my HEI.



    Please note that the part number for the MSD plug wire set I provided was wrong. The set of plug wires fit well, but the coil wire was not correct for use with the MSD Blaster 2 coil. The coil wire provided in the set was female on distributor end and female on the coil end. You will need a coil wire with a male end on the coil side, unless you chose a coil with a male barb. I went to Autozone and picked up a loose coil wire that would work to get the truck running, but need to order one from MSD.



    So, in general, I have spent about $3,500+ on the Atomic system. I really don't think the Atomic software is sophisticated enough to make up for the lack of a return fuel system and timing control. It tries to adjust itself, but cannot always find the perfect solution. Good luck on your install.



    P.S. If you need an MSD Heat Module, I have one with about 100 miles on it. I will cut you a deal on it to save you some money if you are interested. Just post here and i can send you my contact info.

  8. #8

    Default 1979 k5 blazer ca smog legal

    EFI K5 wrote:

    Will I have any issues running my Hei setup with the msd heat module? Do I absolutely have to run the heat module? I know I won't get the timing control (not sure if I really need that anyway).



    What's the cheapest msd distributor I can use if I decide to change up my ignition? I don't need anything fancy, just the basics that will work with the atomic.





    Distributor

    Adjustable rotor

    6a (L?) box

    Coil



    What's the cheapest and most basic setup for these parts? Anyone have part numbers?



    The Digital HEAT HEI module provides a clean rpm signal that the Atomic can use. The tach signal off of the coil cover using a stock HEI is a bit noisy and can affect the performance of the Atomic.



    Allowing the Atomic to control timing helps to control the idle more and lets you "play" with the ignition timing easier to get the best performance out of the engine. Timing can be changed "on the fly" using the Handheld unit.



    To accomplish this you will need the following items:

    PN 85551 - Pro-Billet distributor

    PN 84211 - Adjustable Rotor

    PN 6201 - Digital 6A Ignition

    PN 8207 - Blaster SS Coil

  9. #9

    Default

    efi_K5
    I am in CA too you got this to pass smog ? I was told the Dizzy could not be replaced as the CARB# says "except vehicles that came from factory with an O2 sensor"
    I have an 84 El camino .

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