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Old 11-15-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
tekctrl
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Default EFI on Vortec heads?

Just wondering about the possibility of putting EFI on our 9.5:1 383 with Vortec heads. Has anyone put EFI on Vortec heads since they have different bolt pattern for the intake? We're currently using a Q-Jet on an aluminum Edelbrock dual-plane Performer intake and measured 24MPG's (when I keep my foot out of the carb) on the hiway. However, if the car sits for more than a few days it becomes very difficult to start. As though the carb had no gas at all in it. I've checked and it's not leaking, though. Maximum gas mileage and easy starting/idle are the primary concerns here, though adding a few more horses under the hood would not be unpleasant either. :-) I'd really hate to lose the Vortec heads as we're very happy with them. However, I also know that we're going to have to change a lot anyway; new tank, fuel pump, add a return line, and add a few sensors and a controller. The rebuilt '75 HEI should work with an EFI controller I'm guessing.

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Old 11-15-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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Edelbrock, for one, has Vortec manifold EFI kits including distributor. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/e...make/chevrolet
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:02 PM   #3
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There are several ways to do EFI on Vortec heads.

Simplest and cheapest is to use one of the TBI throttle bodies that will bolt to your manifold. Holley Sniper, FiTech, Summit, MSD, FAST EZ, Holley Terminator. All these have injectors built into the throttle body, and most have the ECU and most sensors in the throttle body. Some of these have ignition timing control in the ECU, but you don't have to use it, or could add it later. Some of these systems are pretty new, and are having "teething problems". I also think that since these systems are much more affordable, some people are buying them that are in a bit over their heads, so they have problems that are not necessarily the product itself.

Another way to go is multiport injection with an intake manifold that has 8 injectors, one in each port. The ECU is a separate box. Holley, Edelbrock, and FAST have these type systems, though I'm not sure FAST has a manifold, but you can buy an Edelbrock or Holley manifold separately and use it. On these, a dry 4 barrel throttle body is used that looks like a carburetor. They all have ECU controlled ignition timing. The Holley is probably the most used and has the widest support. The new Edelbrock Pro Flow 4 is considerably cheaper than the others. Another thing that Holley and Edelbrock offer is a manifold with a forward facing throttle body. Holley's manifold is a tunnel ram with a plenum and front throttle body. Edelbrock has the Pro Flow 4XT which is similar but has shorter runners.

Also the GMPP Ram Jet 350 has a manifold with forward facing throttle body. You could run it, and use any controller.

There's lots more to discuss, and some systems I didn't mention.

I'm kind of intrigued by the Edelbrock Pro Flow 4 because it's a sequential multi-port system with an attractive price.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:11 PM   #4
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Rick hit the nail on the head. I would do the Edelbrock Pro Flow 4 setup due to it being SFI.

Tons of ways to do it, but best bank for buck as far a technology and system the Pro flow is nice in the end. Not sure how easy it is to tune?

Has pretty much everything but a fuel pump.
https://www.jegs.com/i/Edelbrock/350...CABEgJaX_D_BwE
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Not sure how easy it is to tune?
I've been reading up on the Pro Flow 4 as I'm considering it for my Nova (which has Vortec heads too).

Tuning is done on an Android tablet. You can buy the system with one or supply your own. I've never used it, but from my reading it is very similar to tuning a Holley Sniper. It has self learning fueling, you set the AFR at idle, cruise, and WOT. It has tunable acceleration enrichment, tunable cold start/warmup fueling, and idle tuning. Ignition timing is electronic, but unlike OEM systems and Holley (except Sniper), you tune the timing by setting idle timing, maximum timing vs. rpm, and how much timing to add under vacuum conditions. Much like you would with a distributor. What you can't do that the systems with a spark map can do is put a dip, a bump, or a flat spot in the map to deal with conditions that come up with a big cam, etc. The Holley Sniper is very similar to the above except it uses a hand held programmer device (which is in a way a dedicated tablet).

The main thing that's lacking on the Pro Flow 4 is that it doesn't have data logging. (Holley Sniper does.)
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_L View Post
I've been reading up on the Pro Flow 4 as I'm considering it for my Nova (which has Vortec heads too).

Tuning is done on an Android tablet. You can buy the system with one or supply your own. I've never used it, but from my reading it is very similar to tuning a Holley Sniper. It has self learning fueling, you set the AFR at idle, cruise, and WOT. It has tunable acceleration enrichment, tunable cold start/warmup fueling, and idle tuning. Ignition timing is electronic, but unlike OEM systems and Holley (except Sniper), you tune the timing by setting idle timing, maximum timing vs. rpm, and how much timing to add under vacuum conditions. Much like you would with a distributor. What you can't do that the systems with a spark map can do is put a dip, a bump, or a flat spot in the map to deal with conditions that come up with a big cam, etc. The Holley Sniper is very similar to the above except it uses a hand held programmer device (which is in a way a dedicated tablet).

The main thing that's lacking on the Pro Flow 4 is that it doesn't have data logging. (Holley Sniper does.)
I can tell you that any detailed tuning on a tablet is a pain in the butt, the screen just aint big enough to do everything efficiently. been there done that . I prefer my 17" laptop for tuning.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:31 PM   #7
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Hotrodg726, I appreciate what you're saying. But there's more to it than just screen size. From what I understand of their stuff, all you can do is get on a certain cell and raise or lower it with + or - buttons. They do have smoothing too but I think their philosophy is that since it's self learning, and it's a less expensive and less featured system, that self learning after setting target values is all you'll need. So you don't need to see the whole map and you don't need to make major changes. Not to say that's right but that's their philosophy. Same with the timing. You provide a start point and an end point and they calculate everything between. Then they overlay a "vacuum advance" function over that. No need to see or tune a map. And again the same with not offering data logging. Just keep it simple and minimize software to develop and support. They also don't support boost or nitrous and that makes the job easier too.

The above is probably great if everything works as intended and the engine configuration is similar to what they built it for. If not you're probably screwed and are going to need something more powerful.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BO185 View Post
Rick hit the nail on the head. I would do the Edelbrock Pro Flow 4 setup due to it being SFI.

Tons of ways to do it, but best bank for buck as far a technology and system the Pro flow is nice in the end. Not sure how easy it is to tune?

Has pretty much everything but a fuel pump.
https://www.jegs.com/i/Edelbrock/350...CABEgJaX_D_BwE

Isyou must use a special distributor to tell computer number 1 cylinder.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Isyou must use a special distributor to tell computer number 1 cylinder.
Pro Flow 4 comes with an optical distributor that provides that.

With the Holley systems, you must buy a "dual sync" distributor separately that provides that function. Unless you don't want ignition control at all on the Holley. This is one of the cost advantages of the Pro Flow 4.

Either one allows you to use an MSD-6 or something equivalent, so they are the same there. To their credit, Holley now has a Holley brand CD box that's reasonably priced compared to MSD-6.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:27 PM   #10
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With the Holley systems, you must buy a "dual sync" distributor separately that provides that function. Unless you don't want ignition control at all on the Holley. This is one of the cost advantages of the Pro Flow 4.
this is not a true statement. holley efi works very well with a gm small cap hei like used on a tbi/tpi engine. the only benefit to using the dual sync distributor is the availability if sequential fire instead of batch fire. personally with only a single O2 sensor batch fire is fine for most street mild applications.
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