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EZ-EFI 1.0. Engine will not start

Discussion in 'FAST Support Forum' started by Narler, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi,
    Ran into this issue recently and just can't seem to identify what the cause is.

    Here's a brief recap. I bought the ez-efi and the dual kit back in 2012. From an operational/performance point of view it's worked great, apart from constantly dropping out of learning and that it uses an insane amount of fuel (search for my old posts for more information if you're curious because I don't want to bore you with all those woes at this time). Basically I've tried everything that was suggested and that I could think of and nothing resolved it, so I've just been driving it as is and came to the conclusion a long time ago that the EZ-EFI marketing does not match the operational reality of this product.

    For the last 2 weeks I've not been able to start the engine. It cranks over fine but just will not fire.

    Brief recap I'm running a ford FE bigblock 427cid, with dual Ez-EFI 1.0. I have a brand new 110amp alternator, a brand new CVR 4:1 starter motor and a few month old Odyssey PC2100 LMJT battery (540cca). All of this has been working fine on numerous trips.

    I have the colour hand held and it initially reports 200rpm when I start cranking and that drops to around 100rpm during sustained cranking. I also check and it reports that 6lb of fuel is being used during cranking. There are no errors or alerts shown. the O2 light is on.

    I also monitor my fuel pressure on the dash. I use AutoMeter Elite Series Analog Gauge #5671. When I turn on the key ready to crank, I hear the fuel pump spin up (not intank model) and I see the fuel pressure get to my set pressure of 45 psi. (Sender is connected to Fuel pressure regulator instead of the small supplied gauge).

    Using multimeter (and monitoring during cranking). Voltage at the battery is 12.7volts. This drops to 10.9 volts after sustained cranking (30+ seconds). The hand held though only reports 9.9 volts during cranking. This is one of my original complaints with the system. Why a 1 volt drop. I even multi-metered at the plug supplying power right at the hand held and it is close to what is monitored at the battery, so why the hand held reports a value so low I do not know. ECU is wired directly to battery as per the instructions.

    I crank the engine and it just simply won't fire. There is not even the slightest hint that it will fire. The fuel pump clearly is at pressure and if the hand held is reporting that there is 6lb of fuel being supplied then surely that must mean it is firing the injectors else why would it be reporting a fuel value?

    Spark is being delivered by a MSD 6AL and mallory dual point distributor.

    As a test I've disconnected the battery and let the whole system be without power for a bit in case there was some condition that was met. I have also had the battery on charge (using an odyssey specific charger) for a day before attempting to crank again and I've also tried adding a 600 amp LiPo4 jump starter pack as well and absolutely no difference.

    The only thing that happened on the last trip I did in the car is my dash camera blew an inline / inplug fuse (5 amp) (using cigarette lighter plug), I put in another one and that blew as well, so I just left the camera disconnected. Car started fine on that day after it had blow the fuse. I'm mentioning this just in case it may be of relevance.

    If anyone has any ideas I would be most grateful.

    Thanks for reading
    Regards
     
  2. gremlinmt

    gremlinmt Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Have you proven spark at the spark plug? Can you hear the injectors firing? Will it start cough when using starter fluid?
     
  3. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    No I have not heard the injectors fire (pre-squirt) for numerous start attempts. I think this is a side effect of the system knowing it has not started and therefore does not pre-squirt on each start attempt.

    I have no starter fluid so have not tried that. I may get some and have on hand. On the previous start attempts yesterday I could smell fuel.

    I pulled #1 spark plug today and ground it to the shocktower. Definitely have spark and while I was testing this the engine attempted to fire and indeed did (although on 7 cylinders). So I switched it off put #1 plug back in and on the next start attempt I heard the injectors pre-squirt and then it fired immediately. I idled it for about 5 minutes, switched it off waited a few minutes and tried again and it fired immediately then too.

    Totally strange. The only thing I did different this time was leave the key on to accessories and it was like that for about 5+ minutes while I worked on the car (before any starting attempt today). Normally I only key on when ready to start and key off immediately upon failure or engine off. I have no radio / sound system etc in the car so no need to leave key on accessories.

    Surely that would have had no impact on the ECU. I always wait until I get the O2 light before I attempt to start anyway.

    Thanks. So problem averted at the moment, just not sure what actually got it past the issue and considering this is the second instant it's refused to start on numerous crank attempts (thankfully on that last time it did eventually start but left me stranded in a carpark for 45 minutes while I tried to get it running), I doubt the problem is actually resolved and as this time it wouldn't start for days of trying, it seems that when this "condition" does appear it's escalating.

    Regards
     
  4. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    This sounds like a coil or ignition box going bad - heating up and then shutting down. Check the coil out good. If you have them, I would install a different (known good) coil and ignition box. If the ignition box feels warm or hot when having the problem, put some ice on it to see if the problem stops temporarily when cooled. Either of these components will get progressively worse as they fail.
     
  5. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi

    Thanks for the reply. As mentioned above I'm using a MSD 6AL. I am also using the MSD variable timing module #8680 and using a MSD Blaster 2 Coil. The coil is a few years old though.

    If it was a temp issue with the ignition box then cooling it would be a good thing to try, however the car has been stuck in the garage for 2 weeks as I've been unable to start it (ambient temp here is 31 degC at the moment). So I don't think it's a heat issue.

    I might get a new coil such as the MSD Blaster 3 and see if the issue re-appears.

    Thanks for your input.

    Regards
     
  6. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Either of those boxes could have a transistor going out. They won't always become warm to begin acting up. A sharp rap will also sometimes get them working temporarily. I would disconnect the 8680 timing control first, using only the 6AL. The 8680 isn't needed for operation and could be bad. If you haven't already, you should also thoroughly inspect the dist. cap and the rotor.
     
  7. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    After reading back in your previous posts, I see something may have been neglected. Some O2 sensors were giving false lean indications and needed replacement. Before replacement, a no learning condition could be prevalent, and F/A mixtures were being set incorrectly. Dual plane intakes also don't help with this.
     
  8. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi A A.

    Thanks for your replies and additional information. Thanks also for taking the time to read some of my previous posts and offering advice on that situation too.

    The Distributor and rotor were the first things I checked as I have experienced a failure there in the past. All good this time though, but I appreciate your suggestion to help identify the possible culprit.

    Now that it is running it's a bit hard for me to check the 6AL, but I will check the coil with a multimeter (probably on the weekend) and see if it's ohms reading is in range, but as it's quite a few years old I think i'll just buy a new one anyway. Not sure what their expected life should be, especially in situations like non-stock motors, but this isn't my daily driver and certainly not done the 100,000km's that is reported to be the standard lifespan.

    With the O2 sensor. If I'm reading what you typed correctly. If the O2 sensor is incorrectly reporting a lean condition my Ez-EFI ECU will attempt to add more fuel, so that could be why this engine is so thirsty? It's been like this from the first day of running with the EFI. To give you an idea the last tank of fuel consumed (85lt) and using no more than 15% throttle for the whole trip (engine only uses 5 - 6% throttle cruising on the highway at 100kmph. reading that % from the TPS value on the hand held) I achieved an economy of 5.93 MPG (using US gallon). If I take the average from the last 15 tanks of fuel then it is 7.14 MPG.

    I have the Ez-EFI A/F target currently set to 15.0 and watching the hand held it stays around that most of the time, until it drops out of learning then it goes psycho. Engine still runs fine even if I peg the A/F ratio to 15.9:1. The only difference then is the engine is slightly less responsive and uses slightly less fuel.

    Are there any other scenarios that could cause the O2 sensor to give a false lean condition? For example a small exhaust leak? Just trying to identify other things I can check before I start ordering more parts.

    Regards
     
  9. gremlinmt

    gremlinmt Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Yes, an exhaust leak could cause lean readings at the O2 sensor, so could not having enough exhaust pipe after the O2 sensor. We recently had guy here pressure test his headers and found dozens of pinhole leaks completely hidden by his ceramic coating. A change to a cast iron manifold solved his fueling issues. I can't imagine an engine running fine at 15.9afr. That is Prius like AFR.
     
  10. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    A very large overlap cam will drastically lower fuel mileage, but that is still a lot of fuel for light engine operation with what sounds like more of a larger street performance engine. What is your .050 cam duration? As gremlinmt said, you could have leaks.

    Since this has been going on since new, I tend to think you received a bad O2 sensor from the factory - especially with your description. This would be something to replace. If F/A readings are still off, after replacing the O2 sensor, then it would be a good time to look at your wiring and component placement. Of course, the no run condition needs attention first. Poor MAP sensor operation will also cause excess fuel usage. Key on, engine off, the MAP reading should be close around 100 at sea level to 2000 feet.

    If running a dual plane intake, it will cause issues like requiring a higher idle than 750 RPM, lower than optimum timing, and TBI mounted MAP sensor degradation. Any of which will also contribute to poor fuel mileage.

    Check your oil. Does it have a fuel smell. Does it feel as slippery as it did fresh from the container? Does your exhaust smell strong/rich?
     
  11. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi gremlinmt and A A

    Thanks for your replies.

    .050 cam duration is 253. It is a solid cam.

    Is this the correct O2 sensor to use. FAST 170408

    Component placement? I have the ECU mounted inside on the firewall (not in engine bay) and spaced 15mm off the firewall for ventilation.

    Map sensor. That is one more design flaw with the system when running Dual TBI's. There is no vacuum port on the second throttle body and that causes really erratic vacuum readings. I hooked up a gauge to the vacuum port on the primary TBI and it just about shook itself to pieces, the reading was that erratic. (yes I'm pretty sure that is a side effect of running dual plane manifold, but reality is that would have been something pretty easy for them to detect if they had tested that when they designed it). The same design flaw exists if you hook up the Fuel Pressure Regulator to the "as suggested" vacuum port on the primary TBI.

    So no balance between the two TBI's means running a MAP on just one TBI (as manufacturer intended) is utterly useless. I switched out the TBI mounted map sensor to a remote MAP. (FST-307007 MAP Sensor, 1-Bar, GM Style) 3 years ago. I feed that from a known vacuum port on the intake and I also have a vacuum gauge reading at that same location so i can monitor that vacuum reading in the cab and it's much more stable now. It didn't resolve the fuel usage issue but I'm sure that was the right alteration / upgrade to make for the long term reliability of the system.

    MAP reads 100 with key on / engine off. (I have some pictures and in those it was reading 102) I live at sea level (about 400 meters from the east coast of Australia). Idle I have currently set at 850rpm and it can sustain that but is a bit rough when the engine is cold, so have to play with the throttle a little initially to keep it smooth, but then it's fine.

    Oil feels and smells fine.

    Exhaust is rich and strong. Burns your eyes if you run the car and don't pull it out of the garage ASAP. Also leaving it idle in the garage and it leaves black stains behind each exhaust on the concrete for about 2 meters.

    I'm organizing to get the exhaust manifold on the side with the O2 sensor checked and I will order a new 170408 O2 sensor. Also I believe the no run issue is the coil so I'm going to replace that with a MSD 8222 (potted blaster coil instead of the oil filled blaster 2). No-one has stock of that locally so have to order it from interstate.

    When I fit the new O2 sensor what should I look for to see if it is reporting something different than the current O2 sensor? Is it only the A/F ratio, because as mentioned the value I set (A/F Target) versus the actual value (A/F Ratio) reported on the hand held are usually reasonably similar unless it drops out of learning. I still see - values in the O2 correction. One thing I have noticed is that sometimes while driving my A/F target changes (and no I'm not at WOT), so not sure while in cruise mode why the A/F target would change.

    I'm considering the XFI Street ECU upgrade to see if that would give me better control over fuel and I wonder if this would give me more information because it can datalog. it says it's wire/pin compatible with EZ-EFI but the FAST website is very light on details and makes no mention if it's compatible with the new colour hand held or not.

    https://www.fuelairspark.com/xfi-street-engine-management-system-retrofit.html

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  12. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Okay, your information says a lot. That is a big cam, but you can do better on the fuel mileage.

    It's good you've already converted the MAP off the throttle body. The low rise dual plane is causing several problems - especially with your cam grind.

    First, be sure you have no leaks on the exhaust before or near the O2 sensor. Then replace the sensor with one rated for EZ EFI (Bosch LSU4 Wideband). That should give you more normal O2 readings.

    Be sure your ECU is a foot or more away from a radio, radio amp., and any speaker or fan wiring.

    Due to the dual plane intake, you have timing issues. You can eliminate some of that by setting the distributor up to give only 30-32 degrees total mechanical advance with slope all-in at 4000-4200 - assuming your cam is matched for your compression and you are using a premium pump fuel. Any vacuum timing must also be set to come in correctly. This will not solve your problem of un-equal cylinder fueling. Only a deeper plenum single plane intake will solve all of that. Getting the timing set will not allow the lower idle the EZ system is capable of. Your idle will have to be high enough to deliver 10-12 inches of vacuum. Even with a single plane intake, the minimum idle vacuum requirement for EZ systems is 10 inches. Your MAP reading has to be below 65 - which is the "limp home mode" for the system. You really need a swap to a XFI Street ECU. It is a direct fit to your current wiring, has no vacuum limitation, and allows for more refined fuel mapping. The XFI Street ECU is a newer option. But, like Sportsman and other XFI ECUs, it uses the XFI handheld and must be programmed by computer. The XFI Street will overcome many of your problems, but it still can't overcome the un-equal cylinder filling caused by the dual plane.

    Until you install a single plane intake, you won't be able to increase the initial timing where it needs to be for your cam and TBI fuel injection - and best performance of your engine.

    The end to your problems, for best all around engine life, performance, and mileage, the answer is two fold - XFI Street ECU and a Single Plane Intake. You don't need the XFI handheld unless you want the gauge readings on a handheld screen. The XFI handheld can only make a few changes to fuel and does not program the ECU.

    The XFI Street ECU is a lower cost alternative ECU to XFI 2.0 and XFI Sportsman and it also overcomes any problems associated with manual transmissions and adaptive learning. Check with FAST Tech - they may offer you a lower cost swap to this ECU upgrade if you describe your problems.

    The new color EZ EFI handheld is not compatible with XFI Street. But, FAST Tech may offer a solution if moving up to XFI Street.
     
  13. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
  14. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
  15. Caprimaniac

    Caprimaniac Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    You have spark.

    What's left is to check the fuel.
     
  16. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi A A and Caprimaniac,

    Thanks for your replies.

    Here's the answer to your questions and an update on the status.

    I have ordered a new O2 sensor, new exhaust manifold gaskets (as precaution will replace these anyway when I test the headers) and MSD 8222 coil and just received notification today that my order has been shipped, so hopefully will have that by the end of the week.

    ECU is mounted on the firewall inside the cab (where the heater box normally sits, which I have removed). There is nothing close to it at all and there are no amps or speakers in the car at all. Not even a cd or radio head unit. I just like listening to the engine. The fan controller I am running ( https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/der-16789 ) is mounted next to the battery and the fans I am running ( https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/der-16831 ) to reduce cable distances as the fans draw about 38 amps. So that controller is 6 + feet away. The closest device to the ECU is the MSD 6AL and that would still be 2 foot away.

    Engine compression should be 11:1 and I only use premium fuel. Timing I had checked while running on a dyno (but this is with the Ez-EFI running as is.). Maximum timing is 34 degrees but using the MSD 8680 in the cab, I usually have it set to between 30 and 32 degrees while cruising. Distributor is a Mallory dual point and it has no vacuum advance at all.

    Manifold Vacuum. For me to produce 10 in/Hg I would need to set idle to 1,200 rpm. here are my vacuum readings for reference.

    Engine is at temperature (184 degF) and transmission is in park.

    engine off but key on MAP 100.
    at 850rpm MAP is 80 and actual vacuum is 7 in/Hg (this is my current idle)
    at 1000rpm MAP is 71 and actual vacuum is 8 in/Hg
    at 1500rpm MAP is 53 and actual vacuum is 13 in/Hg
    at 2000rpm MAP is 44 and actual vacuum is 16 in/Hg (throttle usage is 2%)

    I sent an email to FAST last week detailing my engine and my experiences plus what I have tried and the results and asked a few questions about the XFI Street and the handheld and have received a reply today from Matt. He has offered me the XFI street upgrade for the RRP price as listed on their website.

    One question I asked was about the compatibility of the 170633 color hand held and if it was compatible with the XFI street. his reply is as follows

    The touchscreen handheld you have now can be used to monitor the XFI Street ECU. You just cannot make any changes to programming with it.

    So that is something at least and maybe helpful for anyone else considering the upgrade, so the eDash is not required if you just wish to monitor in real time what's happening while driving.

    To answer Caprimaniacs question.

    I use premium fuel only and due to the consumption rate doesn't stay in the tank long, so I don't think it's a case of the fuel going bad. The economy stays pretty poor and as mentioned above, fuel consumption values have been averaged over 15 tanks of fuel which equates to over 1,200 litres. If you mean the fuel may be the issue as to why the engine did not start. The car started fine on the previous trip then a week or so later would not fire. I know fuel can go bad but that is a pretty short duration.

    Regards
     
  17. gremlinmt

    gremlinmt Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    That is very interesting information that the EZ-EFI color handheld can be used with the street ECU. I hadn't heard that before. I was under the impression that I'd have to move to a an XFI handheld.

    IMO, 7" of vacuum makes it very hard for the EZ ECU to tune itself in. You may continue to have problems even if a new O2 sensor gives better readings.

    Without vac advance, fuel economy will always be poor. I see 7 mpg with vac advance disconnect and better than 10 mpg (as high as 16mpg) in city driving. The next question you should be asking yourself is do I want vac advance? Because if you lock the distributor out and go to the Sportsman ecu and wiring harness, you can get timing control as well. That would be pretty tempting to me.
     
  18. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    The fuel is not causing a no start condition. Your premium pump gas is probably still weak for 11:1 compression - unless the octane is about 100 or better.

    Your component placement sounds good. Wiring should possibly be the only needed consideration.

    The old Mallory dual point could be the problem - even though the points have no real loading and are only used as a reference signal. You only need one point connected. Dual points only extend the dwell when connected to the coil, and that is not needed with this ECU connection. Disconnect one of the points.

    The distributor should also be using heavy springs for a slope of 4000 all-in, and the Mallory should also be set to its minimum mechanical advance settings but not locked out. I would still remove the MSD 8680 for the time being - even with the XFI Street ECU.

    I hope that was Matt Maxwell you spoke with. What others have found is their handheld has to be re-flashed by FAST to the E-dash software.

    Your findings point out the fact you need an XFI ECU. The EZ EFI ECUs will never work correctly with those vacuum readings.
     
  19. Narler

    Narler Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi gremlinmt and A A

    Thanks again for your replies and information.

    The email from FAST was from Matt Maxwell. What I'm finding in general is there is a real lack of information from FAST about their products. Even the XFI Street product page has no where near enough information on it for the average person to make an informed decision to buy it or not. If it wasn't for reading posts in this forum I would not have given that item a second look due to such limited information from the manufacturer.

    The page doesn't even list what is supplied with the ECU (other than C-Com software). I have no idea if it is supplied with the cables to connect to a laptop and/or what cables would be required. They really need more pictures and more details, especially about compatibility like the hand held.

    I read this article http://www.cpgnation.com/mean-streets-fast-efi-upgrade/ as the title seemed exactly what I was after The Mean Streets: FAST EFI Upgrade. But upon reading, that was not an EFI upgrade it was a vanilla install of XFI Street using Throttle Body vs Carby. I was expecting it to be an EFI upgrade, as in upgrading from Ez-EFI to XFI Street because the XFI Street was designed as the upgrade, sure they mention the EZ-EFI but they give no comparison information between Ez-EFI and XFI Street in their tests, or discussed any differences in the system or the configuration. Oh well.

    I think it's worth stating that I'm not a mechanic (although that's probably evident to you all by now anyway) and when I had my engine built in 1999 by a friend who is a ford big block specialist, I have in my notes that he did modify the Mallory distributor when the MSD was fitted and it only has 1 set of points in it. The reason I have no vacuum advance is there is not enough clearance for any other type of distributor with this manifold, because nothing else would fit and clear the carby fuel bowls. When I fitted the Ez-Efi myself and then ran into operational / performance issues with the system, I had the distributor tested and recurved based on the dyno data but exactly what they did internally to it, I do not know. The dyno place did not provide detailed changes, but the engine did run better.

    In a best case scenario having the engine run optimally would be great, but upgrading even further to an XFi Sportsman seems like a huge step, especially with a real lack of information from FAST as to what is involved.

    Does anyone know of any articles or videos where someone has upgraded from Ez-EFI 1.0 to XFI Sportsman? I sure would like to see what's involved and how the wiring is different before I take that leap.

    It's a huge amount of additional money assuming this is the product that I would need to consider https://www.fuelairspark.com/xfi-sportsmantm-engine-control-system.html ($1579.97) Plus I have to factor in exchange rate (1.4:1) and taxes here so without freight that is $2,433.15 AUD! The XFI Street ECU upgrade without freight would already set me back $956.48 AUD. So the Sportsman is 2.5 times the price.

    I read this forum post http://www.cpgnation.com/forum/threads/fast-ez-efi-1-0-convert-to-xfi-sportsman.26155/ where chevyk10 mentioned that his discussion with FAST said XFI Sportsman was not really compatible with EZ-EFI 1.0, yet FAST webpage for XFI Sportsman says it is compatible with Ez-EFI. Quoting their webpage

    works with a variety of multi-port systems or either generation of the FAST™ EZ-EFI® throttle body

    I don't want to be led down the proverbial garden path with misleading advertising again, like I was when I purchased the Ez_EFI 1.0 system, where the marketing clearly stated (and I quote).

    An EZ Solution For Any Setup.
    For more aggressive applications, the EZ-EFI Dual Quad Upgrade Kit is capable of supporting 1200+ horsepower engines with dual quad carburetor type manifolds.


    So if it is questionable that XFI Sportsman is compatible with EZ-EFI 1.0, am I just opening myself to even larger problems as I am running Dual EZ-EFI 1.0 Throttle Bodies. I think the XFI Street might be my only really viable option, but I welcome all comments and suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  20. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Okay. I would just do the XFI Street upgrade.

    Any fuel mileage increases using engine vacuum timing solutions is going to be marginal at best with your cam, compression, and displacement.

    But, here's the skinny on the XFI Sportsman. With some re-wiring of the pins, Sportsman will work with your installed EZ EFI 1.0 wiring harness - but it may be a lot easier to just get the correct new harness with the Sportsman (same harness the EZ EFI 2.0 ECU uses). With Sportsman, you can lock the distributor advance out as Sportsman provides an equivalent electronic vacuum curve as well as an equivalent mechanical advance. Setup will be more complicated as you will be working with fuel tables and timing values. You'll also need some professional help from a tuner like Fastmanefi - since you will be starting from scratch. He can actually program the Sportsman ECU for your engine if you purchase it from him - if you provide him with your engine information. You can contact Richard for details at his website - fastmanefi.com.

    Sportsman uses bank to bank fueling just like your Dual Quads use now. So, using your current dual quad setup is no problem - unless you run a dual plane intake.
     

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