Lotus Elan

Which EFI and why

PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:41 pm

I've been considering EFI for awhile now.

What system or collection of parts would you use to do your car?

What would you say the total cost is, and what are required upgrades to make it work? (Tank, etc.)

Is it worth it?

Thanks in advance for your help and ideas.
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PostPost by: Vic » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:43 pm

Russ,

My personal preference is to use an OEM computer from a similar size/h.p. production car, to save both programming time and cost. I've worked with several aftermarket and OEM computers. My biggest complaint for aftermarkets is the lack of backup programming to keep the engine running when a sensor fails. I could tell you horror stories (some funny) of how an aftermarket computer responded to faults. The OEM manufacturers spend lots of time on fault modes as well as warm-up and altitude corrections that would be very time consuming if even possible to program into an aftermarket. My personal preference for an OEM computer is pre-1996 GM passenger cars, but would not be opposed to using a Ford computer system (I've also used Bosch with a piggyback). I can get more specific (GM/Delco 1227747), but suffice to say they are cheap ($20 used) and easily programmable. I use a Moates chip reader/burner/emulator/data logger. I use a wide-band oxygen sensor for my data logging and have access to dynamometers, but typically data log/tune based on street driving. I only re-program the basic fuel/ignition maps and leave the fault modes intact.

The biggest expense are the DCOE throttle bodies. It is possible to adapt motorcycle throttle bodies, but direct bolt-on DCOE flanged bodies just look nicer. I visited with a vendor at the SEMA Show (http://www.eightstack.com) that is working on Weber DCOE replicas that hide the fuel injectors in what would have been the float chambers. TWM (now owned by Borla) and Jenvey also make throttle bodies.

A high pressure fuel pump is required and you have an option for fuel return. Now days most manufacturers are using returnless fuel systems and this is now available as an aftermarket add-on. An aftermarket fuel pump controller eliminates the need for a fuel return line. I'm gathering parts to fuel inject my 1978 Esprit and will use a returnless system on it. My street Elan (not my GTS cars) will have a return style fuel injection system, requiring a fuel return fitting at the tank.

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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:59 pm

Vic,

I knew of the Jenvey and Borla throttle bodies. I'll have to keep an eye on the eight stack and possible see them at SEMA this year. You mentioned using an ECU from a similar size and HP engine. Just a thought, but what about the early MX5 ECU's with the 1.6 engine?

I know what your saying about aftermarket ECU's. I programmed a Haltec one time, and doing the fuel and ignition wasn't too bad. It's all the other stuff that needed programing that drove me crazy.

Still in the thinking stages and looking for the best solution. I see it as an advantage living and driving through different elevations. I would be driving from sea level to approx 7500 ft most of the time and as nice as the Webers are I would think tuning them for that range of altitudes would be a challenge. Mine are currently tuned for lower elevations and are running somewhat rich where I am. I need to get a bung in the exhaust so I can hook up a wide band and see what I'm actually running.

I see this as a good solution for me anyway, and hope to make it happen at some point.
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PostPost by: PeterK » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:33 am

I'm currently adding a fuel system to my Plus 2 (Zetec) and have chosen after-market ECU. My concerns were trying to find the correct software and tools to re-programme an OE ECU, and getting a 3D starting map for fuel and ignition. I do have a spare Lumenition ECU (with loom) that is driven from a distributor, so if injecting a twink, I would probably have used this as you then only need to worry about the fuel map

The Emerald ECU was supplied with a base map for my engine, so should start and run well enough to get onto a rolling road. As the ECU is current model and there is a reasonably user base, help should be available if (when) needed.

It's still work in progress, but what I'm doing is ...

Standard tank is sound, so I've added a 1 litre swirl pot, gravity feeding a high pressure pump with pre& post filters. Stainless braided PTFE pipes join these together and to the 8mm (5/16) copper pipe feed and return pipes. Jenvey throttle bodies, fuel pressure regulator up front and all controlled by an Emerald K6 ECU. I'm fitting a wideband sensor so can check that fuelling is close enough, but probably won't run closed loop control.

I managed to get the TBs second hand, c/w fuel pump, reg, throttle linkage, manifold and injectors for ?450. The rest (Cu, flexibles, ECU, wiring, sensors, air filters, etc.) has been bought new for around ?1200. If I'd had to buy everything new, I estimate ?2.5k

On nice 'feature' of the Emerald (similar available with other makes) is the optional 3 position map switch. My plan is to map this for my normal use, 'other drivers' and MOT (minimum emissions at the emissions test rev range)

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:31 am

Peter

Do they check emissions on old bangers?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: PeterK » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:51 am

Good point - isn't the MOT supposed to do engine checks based on the age of the engine (1998 in my case) ?

John - Zetec engine manufactured April 1998, the car's 1968 registered
Last edited by PeterK on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:09 pm

I think it's the age of the vehicle,surely not 1998 for a plus2..more like 1968...

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PostPost by: elanman999 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:05 pm

Russ,
I converted my Elan last year and went the Jenvey/Emerald route. All new kit because I did not want to be working with worn parts. Emerald offer good email backup both before and after purchase but for you in the States you may wish to choose a locally made ECU. In fact most after market ECU's will run a T/C so you may like to find a good mapper first and then see what ECU's he likes.
The cost is going to be in the 2.5 to ?3K mark. It's all the little extra's that mount up, like PTFE pipe and fittings, electrics, mapping etc. Try to avoid the rubber (ish) pipe as it's permeable and will make the car stink of petrol. In and Elan you either need a new fuel tank with built in swirl pot or lift pump and swirl pot.
If you do not have an alternator then you need to think about fitting one.
Benefits? No more peak power but with more mid range torque, instant starting hot or cold, much better driveability and few more MPG.
As you require your car to cover a large altitude change you will need a baro sensor, Emerald has one built in.
I think it's worth it but others may disagree.
Most of the UK ECU manufacturers have web sites with good details on. You can also down load the software and have a play.
Edit:- On a T/C you will also require some means of putting the water temp sender before the thermostat, either drill the head or as I did make a sandwich plate to fit the sensor.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:31 pm

Everyone,

I have an alternator already and have a new(ish) tank, so a swirl pot will work in my case. It all seems rather straight forward except choosing the right ECU and being able to MAP it.

Interesting on having the temp sensor before the thermostat. I never would have thought of that. Not wanting to drill into the head can someone show me a picture of how you did it?

This is all very good info. Knowing what specifically is involved on a TC is important. I don't want to go down a path thinking I've got all I need, only to find out I made the wrong choices.

What do you all recommend for the best ignition source?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:34 pm

Russ
Fit a T piece...

[attachment=0]stat housing.JPG[/attachment]

John :wink:
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:39 pm

Russ,
You could use JohnC's suggestion or mine.
Here are some pics. An old one of the sandwich plate (it's not been drilled for the sender yet) and trigger wheel and another of the plate installed on the car. If you want a .dxf file of the profile so you can get it CNC machined let me know.
For ignition, more or less any (4 Cyl) wasted spark coil pack would do. When you have chosen the ECU ask the manufacturer which coil pack they recommend. I use a Valeo coil pack but I could have used a Ford one.
IMG_0189rs.jpg and

temp_h_trigwh_rs.jpg and

Cheers
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PostPost by: memini55 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:03 pm

Russ,

I have done two conversions, one weber head and one stromberg using Megasquirt 3 ECU's.
Best thing I have done to the Elan's as no disy issues and perfect fuel flow. What more could you ask for?

The weber has TWM and RC injectors, Bosch pump and stock tank with a return line. Running wasted spark coils and a Mallory fuel regulator. The stromberg runs Extrudabody with RC injectors.

Now you ask for why run this stuff, well no drift in the ignition and predictable fuel flow. Cold start enrichment, warm up idle circuit and tons more stuff. I have both tuned to E85 right now and working on one with an E85 sensor so I can vary the tune for all forms of fuel since E85 is more of a mid west thing.


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PostPost by: Tahoe » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:44 pm

Mark,

More good encouraging info. I need to put a list together with a budget and shoot for next Winter to do this. I can't imagine this being a very big project at all except the money. With as many people doing this, hopefully a base mapping will be available when the time comes to shorten up the programming time.

Mark,

Editied this to ask you what size the injectors are? I've used RC in the past with no complaints.
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PostPost by: memini55 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:52 pm

Russ,

There is a huge learning curve to this but once to that point it all falls together nicely. With a Megasquirt you can do this in pieces such as spark side first to learn that path then as funds are available you can move to fuel or any other way you might wish. Base tune is an easy one to share to get you started. The new Mega3
and Tuner Studio allows for an auto tune feature, so along with the share of a base tune then a warm engine and auto tune you can get really close to the point of driving. I stopped at that point and went to a tuner with a rear wheel dyno as that took all my guess work out of the picture.

If you put it in action give a shout for help.

Mark
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PostPost by: Bud English » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:52 pm

Mark - I think that the VE Analyze Live feature of Tuner Studio will work with the Megasquirt II system as well. Everything I've read points to that. I hope so, I'm pretty much counting on that as my closest chassis dyno (the left hand drive version of the rolling road) is about three hours away.
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