Continued from previous instalment;
Engine Management and Wiring
With the body wiring now complete, the next task is to sort out the electronic engine management system. This will require purchasing and installing a suitable ECU and all associated components and wiring.
Being old school (accustomed mainly to carburetors, distributors and mechanical fuel injection), getting grips with an electronic black box capable of infinitely controlling engine fueling and ignition has not been easy. I have to admit learning just the basics of this incredible technology has been challenging for me.
Since starting this project, I have committed a great deal of time and effort learning what I can to (hopefully) carry out a successful EFI conversion on this most odd car in Australia.
Fast forward a few years;
Much research later led me to purchasing a stand alone Elite 2500 engine management system made by Haltec; an Australian owned ECU manufacturer renowned for quality components now sold worldwide.
The Elite ECU is fully programmable and offers all of what I need to control fuel and ignition and much more. Although nowhere near the cheapest on the market, this system is very versatile and its management capabilities are just about limitless. This purchase included;
An Elite 2500 ECU,
Universal 8 foot long wiring harness with fuse box – relay assembly,
2 wideband sensors,
Dual wideband controller,
Detailed wiring diagrams, instructions and software to suit.
With these components at hand, the next task was to find suitable mounting locations inside the cabin for these parts; no easy feat due to limited room! After much experimentation I settled on mounting the ECU inside the glove box (for ease of connectivity to laptop) and the rest high up inside left foot box.
An engine management system involves much wiring; finding suitable room for routing this multitude of wires through the car turned into the next challenge
On this system the ECU incorporates 2 separate terminal plugs, each carrying a multitude of colour coded wires.
These wires connect to various sensors, 6 injectors and 6 coils.
Each coil is powered by 4 wires, each injector 2 wires, TPS 4 wires and all other engine sensors 2 wires or more each.
As well, there are 3 permanent live wires, an ignition wire, several earth wires, thermo fan wires and a tachometer wire that needs to be connected.
The fuse box assembly has 4 fuses and 4 relays for ECU, injectors, ignition and fuel pump.
The wideband controller box is a separate unit and connects to the ECU with a separate wiring loom. From this controller 4 wires need to be routed to each wideband sensor located on exhaust headers.
It is likely engine bay heat will be high on this car due to tight confines inside the overcrowded engine compartment. Over time, excess heat will degrade wiring prompting me to enclose all susceptible wires inside fibreglass high temp sleeving for protection.
Another hurdle faced in such a conversion is the multitude of different sensor connector plugs used.
These connectors are usually specific to each sensor, and each has different terminals requiring different crimping tools.
The outcome of this is much money can be spent purchasing several different tools.
After much work the installation and wiring was finally completed and I am pleased with the results.
This has been a reasonably involved job not made easier by limited room and the sheer number of wires involved. I was pleased to find the Haltec wiring schematics clear and easy to follow and their help only a phone call (or email) away when required.
The next task with this EFI is to configure the ECU for the engine to run. There are no available maps for this odd engine so several parameters need to be configured; no easy task for a first timer. This will no doubt involve a great deal more learning and research for me to accomplish.
From this experience, I can now give a few tips to those contemplating such a conversion;
Start firstly by finding the professional tuner who will eventually carry out the ECU tuning. The tuner plays an important role in such an installation, as he can advise on the most suitable system (there are several), and answer questions prior to money being spent on what is a most expensive purchase.
The selected tuner needs to be familiar and knowledgeable with the chosen system, as otherwise your money will pay for his time learning an unfamiliar system.
Once decided on which system to use, a clearer picture will surface as to the correct matching components required to complete the conversion.
It is also important to purchase an engine management system from a manufacturer (or agent) that provides helpful and easily reached technical support; this inside help is priceless during evolving progress as I was to find out on several occasions.
It is also helpful if the manufacturer (or agent) holds technical seminars for those who wish to learn more in depth.
To be continued: