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Old EZ with new handheld is possessed!

Discussion in 'FAST Support Forum' started by potvinguy, Jul 4, 2017.

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  1. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    I'm writing this so you can think about it and maybe see something I haven't. I have the EZ-EFI 1.0 with the color handheld. The SBC engine has multiport injection, 8 each 36# injectors. But there are two problems, maybe related, maybe not. 1) The engine seems to miss often at cruise. I suspected the EFI didn't like the tach signal it gets from the Mallory Max-Fire distributor. Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    Does this appear OK for the EZ to handle?
    But here are other snaps:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Note the spikes! Could these be upsetting the EZ and causing the missing?

    2) The other problem is the handheld resets a lot, and when that is happening the engine really isn't happy; stumbling at cruise, dying at idle. Here's the system info:
    [​IMG]

    Does that all look correct?

    And the settings of the system get scrambled! The fuel enrichments change, the injector size, the number of injectors, multiport gets changed to throttle body. What could cause such behavior? Do I have a bad handheld or a bad EZ? Do I need an exorcism?
     
  2. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Are you using 40-50 Ohm per foot spiral wound sparkplug wires? Check the wires and boots for leaks and proper resistance.
     
  3. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    AA, I 'm using a Mallory MaxFire distributor and typical coil. Wires are resistance spiral, Taylor ThunderVolt 10.4mm. I'll check the ohms of each and look for any leaks, etc.
    But I'm not expecting much. The ECU is about 4 ft from the engine (behind my seat) and well grounded, etc. And what could possibly make the ECU change user settings? For example, I'll set the fuel enrichment for acceleration to +2, and later I'll find it's changed to -6. That doesn't make any sense. I hope FAST reads this and responds.
     
  4. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    There's not much luck here with FAST employees lately - I haven't noticed any responses from them since January. Don't know what that's about. Lance could probably take care of this quickly.

    Interference is normally the cause with a handheld getting its data scrambled. With the EZ 2.0 handheld, it can usually be eliminated with an added 82 Pico Farad mica or ceramic capacitor to the ECU ignition switched input wire, but I've never known of the added capacitor fixing this problem with the EZ EFI 1.0 handheld. Be sure to check the CD ignition in the distributor - that could be the cause of the spike on I see on your screen. That spike looks similar to when a CD ignition transistor has started malfunctioning.

    If you can't find an interference issue, it is likely there is an ECU or handheld issue requiring repair at FAST. Taylor makes good wires and I believe yours are 40 Ohm per foot - which is within spec if they are good. I would be sure to check the plugs for any fouling or glazing also, but I'm betting they all will be good even if they are race plugs. I have seen an alternator cause interference issues.

    As a side note - there is a new EZ EFI 1.0 replacement 4000 series ECU that allows using a computer and also turns off the self learning that causes problems with manual shift cars (it still has no ECU timing control). I don't know if this would be of any real benefit to you since you have also purchased the color handheld. But, the price runs around $600 and it would allow you to make your own fuel maps using the software it comes with. The only two benefits of getting one would be if you have no warranty on your EZ EFI ECU and or run a manual transmission. If you have a wiring, or ignition related problem, that still wouldn't help.
     
  5. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    You might try updating the software on the ECU even though it appears you have the current version installed.
     
  6. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Thanks, AA. I have new plugs in the motor and they look fine. I can add the cap at the ECU and can make a filter for the tach signal to clip the spikes and output a pristine square wave. I've already tried all manner of shielding on the handheld cable with no help. If noise is getting into the ECU and messing it up, I could add small caps to the sensor inputs, too. Coolant, air temp, TPS. Toyed with adding a big cap (10 or 20 farads) across the battery, but that's a long shot too. I wonder why people make stuff for cars that can't work in a typical car. This isn't rocket science.

    I sent the ECU to FAST a few months ago for the latest software. No help.
     
  7. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    You're right - rocket science it's not. But, it would be a big help if they would publish a complete diagnostic check procedure list.

    Since sending the ECU in was of no help, it could be a problem with the handheld itself. Try resetting everything, and then run the engine without the handheld.

    Check operation with the alternator disconnected. Also, I've seen some weird things like dash fan motor circuits affect the handhelds. One of mine sometimes reboots if I turn the airconditioning fan off with the engine running - but none of the handheld settings change on that one. The engine runs great all the time, so I haven't bothered to eliminate that problem.
     
  8. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Good ideas! I have disconnected the handheld and it seems like the engine runs OK. Maybe the handheld is messing with the ECU. I got one of the first color touchscreen units and it could have bugs.

    I will try the alternator disconnect. My radiator fans are controlled by a Painless PWM unit which varies their speed to maintain temp; maybe the PWM bugs the ECU. I can easily test for that, too.

    I'll post my results. Too bad FAST customer support seems to have vanished. That seems to happen when companies get swallowed and the bean counters take over. Try to get Mallory support now that MSD owns them. I have an expensive MaxFire that is an orphan now.
     
  9. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    I know the feeling. I still have a lot of Mallory parts on vehicles - fuel pumps, filters, regulators, magnetos, and other ignition parts. I never had any problem with them, and was sad to see the line gobbled up by MSD. Now, you have to hunt through new MSD part numbers for replacements. Crane HI-6 is now the FAST HI-6. It has happened to a lot of parts lines I relied on since the 60's. MSD has also dropped a lot of their old product lines that were always excellent - so that makes the problem even worse in my eyes. I once had a DAT spring loaded four-speed shifter on a drag car. Hurst bought the rights and there was never another one made that I know of. You only used the clutch off the line. It was a great shifter. I also once used a lot of Fairbanks transmission parts and still run one Fairbanks turbo 400. Even a lot of the businesses I had custom grind cams for me are gone.

    Since the ECU doesn't need the handheld to run, that should make the RMA to FAST a little easier. I do recall some of the early color handhelds being bad from posts on these boards. Even some of the later 2.0 handhelds got mixed up with them. At least one fellow overseas got a bad EZ EFI 2.0 color handheld not that long back.

    You may be on to something with the Painless fan controller also.
     
  10. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    My MaxFire was the only completely programmable ignition made in America. Now I can't get parts or info or help from MSD; it's like it never existed. But I just got a deal on one for a Holden V8 (Australian car!); I'm thinking some of the parts may be interchangeable someday.

    I have a B&M 250 blower. Perfect size for a SBC. Drive it 33% over with a 2" Gilmer belt and get instant response. But Weiand bought B&M, then Holley bought Weiand and now the 250 is long gone. Gotta wonder what these people are thinking.
    [​IMG]
     
    A A likes this.
  11. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    I ran GMC blowers and turbochargers... but they were on my OTR trucks. Even raced some of them. Had some local blower guys and specific injection shops I dealt with for parts. None of those shops or people are around any longer. There is only one local drivetrain shop now - where there were numerous ones. If I want anything truck related now, it has to come from over the counter factory service inventories - and the older parts aren't available. Glad I sold off all my tractor trailer trucks years back. Watching them go down, unrepairable, would not have been anything I wanted to see. When I needed a truck length driveshaft recently, I could only find one shop that could do it, and almost had to beg them to do it. I can tell you it wasn't cheap, but I got what I needed. Good machine shops are almost non-existent here now. Almost everything is built to be disposable these days. There aren't even any junk yard parts sources here anymore to speak of - unless it's buried or hidden somewhere in someone's overgrown property. The EPA doesn't want any older guys, like myself, around building anything - that would outlast the new disposable junk.

    BTW, nice photo!
     
  12. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    I've talked to FAST. They are stumped, but want to see both units, so I'm sending them for FAST to test. Stay tuned.
     
  13. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    If the engine ran okay without the handheld, I don't understand why they would want both parts when they already checked the ECU - unless they have since identified a problem within some ECUs using the color handheld. Hope the turn around for you happens quicker than the usual two weeks or so.
     
  14. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Yes! The car seems to run great without the handheld. But connecting the handheld coincides with changes to the user settings. Since these settings should only be changeable via the handheld, it would seem that the handheld is buggy. I'm not surprised, since I got one of the first ones when it came out. But I will send both units to FAST, along with all the info we've discussed. I'm hoping they'll send me a new handheld.
     
  15. VettenDK

    VettenDK New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Location:
    Denmark
    Any news about this?
    Is curious because I have encountered the same problem with my setup.
     
  16. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    FAST found no problems and sent my units back to me. I'll reinstall and see if anything has changed. Stay tuned.
     
  17. A A

    A A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Well, back to the drawing board with a fresh box of chalk. Did you ground one or both ends of the previous shield you used on the handheld cable? Only one end should be grounded. Other than the ECU, fan and ignition equipment grounds should be directly to the engine and not the chassis. You might also want to shield the ECU power wires. Move any primary wire cables as far as possible from the distributor.
     
  18. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Put the units back in and it runs OK in the garage; no resets. But I'm stuck for a few days while the city is repairing our curbs and we can't get out. Then I will do a test drive and report.
     
  19. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Well. Went for a 30 mile drive tonight and no problems. No resets and no changes to user values. I was beginning to wonder if FAST had fixed something but didn't want to tell me. I checked the system info screen. Same firmwares, but the ECU tune version now reads 005. It was 003 (see pic in my first post above) when I sent the units to FAST. Did FAST just make a routine update to the latest version? Or was there a problem with 003?

    VettenDK, check your ECU tune version. If it's not 005 I would return the ECU and have FAST update it.

    I'll continue to monitor and report any findings.
     
  20. potvinguy

    potvinguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    AA, I only ground one end of any shield. All shield grounds and other grounds go direct to negative buss, which is connected with a heavy short wire to the battery. None of the shielding or other tricks had any effect. See my post above re the ECU tune version; it may be the smoking gun.
     

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