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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 at 2:37 AM
  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.
     

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