Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can a Small Block Chevy Be Built for Economy? Part 2


Can a Small Block Chevy Be Built for Economy? Part 2
Al Ritter

The FAST EZ EFI has thrown me for a real loop. Thankfully Bryan Pitcher in tech has been working with me to wring out all the bugs. Initially the system was constantly logging O2 codes and stalling……then restart when hot was very hard sometimes up to 40 seconds. Bryan had me enter into the “info” screen and tell him what the “RFI  “ count was….it was 102 which said there was RFI interference the code should have read 00. Bryan explained that the wires needed to be replaced, so I replaced them with Spiro wrap Taylor wires and that remedied the problem, but the stalling and code logging persisted. The next conversation revolved around trying to increase the voltage to the pink wire while cranking. The Camino was actually going as low as 7.9 volts while cranking when hot. Surprisingly enough the starter speed was still fast, so this caused mixed signals. Bryan told me that the system actually needs 10 volts on cranking at a minimum, other-wise the system would act confused and throw codes and have erratic idling.
 
Begrudgingly I replaced a battery that was originally rated at 535 CCA and replaced it with a 700 CCA model. Sadly the suggested fixes by FAST haven’t made much of a difference. I have now spent over $300 to rebuild an alternator, replace the ignition wires, replace the cap and rotor,  and to replace the battery. Bryan Pitcher has suggested many things to fix a “radio interference” problem that even the computer doesn’t see anymore. I have done everything he has suggested and yet the car still stalls and sets an O2 code every time after exiting an expressway. Finally I have elected to send the ECU back to FAST to have it checked out, even though Bryan tells me that he’s certain that nothing is wrong with it. 

When looking for an electronic fuel injection management system for my last car I called FAST and asked if I could purchase a FAST XFI ECU and connector to have my fuel injection guy make a harness for my car. At the time they explained to me that I would have to buy their harness because it was RFI protected and wrapped. Now I have purchased their complete system in the EZ EFI kit (complete from fuel system to ECU and harness, and yet somehow they have not protected THIS harness from radio interference. Maybe I’m being cynical here but I have made every change they have asked for. Originally I spent about 15 hours installing the system, and now I have spent another 15 hrs making changes that they required. In addition to that I have spent over 10 hrs on the tech line with Bryan trying to fix something he insists is the vehicle’s “fault.”  

The EZ EFI comes in two forms, the 1.0 as FAST calls it which is the one I have, and the 2.0 which is a few hundred dollars more. Supposedly the 2.0 is more sophisticated but before I purchased I looked online for reviews of both systems. I virtually found no bad reviews on the 1.0 system. The 2.0 was another story as it has a small port in the ECU that accepts an SD card. This is the port for you to download a software update from their website to upgrade to the latest software. As of December 2013 there had already been 5 updates for the 2.0 system and the reviews were anything but flattering. I decided to purchase the 1.0 instead even though there is no way to update the ECU unless you were to return it to the factory and have it reflashed. My unit had not been sitting on the shelf at a speed shop as the software had been installed just days before I received it. I have been messing with this system now for 8 weeks to no avail, hopefully when the ECU comes back it will work. 



Unfortunately the return of the ECU has shown no improvement. It has been a tough decision but I have decided to remove the fuel injection. Repeated tries have yielded nothing in a positive way. Atlanticspeed.com has shown a real commitment to help me with this problem, as they were the original dealer that I purchased the FAST system from. They have agreed with me and have credited the entire system and supplied me with the new carburetor and associated parts for the changeover. I am disappointed in the treatment I have received from FAST on the tech end. Repeatedly they have claimed the problems are being caused by RFI interference even though the logging system built into the unit says otherwise. I have replaced the plug wires, the battery and the alternator on Bryan’s insistence all to no avail. If this IS an RFI problem, I have to wonder why this whole system doesn’t have shielding built into the harness rather than to blame the vehicle for the erratic behavior.


removal of defective EZ EFI by FAST
 


 
I have heard multiple times that “We have over 10,000 units on the road trouble free.” I feel insulted every time someone says either that or “We have never seen that problem before.” We have all heard this from time to time when talking to a company about a problem we are having with one of their products, and honestly I expect more from Comp Cams, a parent company of FAST.  Also a deciding factor in this removal is……..What if something were to fail in this system 300 miles from home? Which would be easier to fix, a car with a carburetor or a car with an aftermarket fuel injection system?
 
Only thing left is patching holes in the floor and firewall
 
Because the new owner of this car is not all that fuel injection savvy I am opting for the removal of the fuel injection and the addition of an Edelbrock #1400 carburetor. This carburetor is calibrated for fuel economy and comes with an electric choke. In the next few weeks I will update the pictures and continue with the technical aspect. Stay tuned!

 

Part 1 
http://alspoliticalview.blogspot.com/2014/05/can-small-block-chevy-be-built-for.html
 

 

 

 

5 comments:

Bob Eckline said...

You know, after reading this article I started looking at forums online about this EZ EFI system by FAST, and it seems you aren't alone in your problems. To watch all the TV shows you'd think this is a fool proof system when in fact the opposite seems to be true! And they tell them the exact same thing RFI problems!

republican patriot said...

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who runs a near by dyno that I have used numerous times on different projects. He overheard my conversation about my EZ EFI installation and was curious. He told me that a customer had wanted to use an EZ EFI 2.0 on his engine, so he brought it with him to dyno his engine.

So intent was this customer that he had then continue dyno times in hopes of fixing the problems with the 2.0. Sadly the tech staff at FAST told them the same thing they told me "RFI interference."

After 91 hours and a dyno bill alone of $12,000 it was finally decided to switch over to a carburetor. Final results were obtained within 30 min. and the session had ended.

The dyno operator was told the same thing as me by FAST tech people...."we have over 10,000 of these units on the market."

It appears someone is lying!

pat t said...

Have you heard anything about the MSD Atomic version of a bolt on carb replacement?

The new Edelbrock E-Street version looks pretty cool too, any word on these?

republican patriot said...

If given the choice between three possible choices, Murphy's law would dictate that I would pick the only one that DOESN'T work....lol......no I haven't heard much from the others so far. Maybe the readers can chime in here

Anonymous said...

We also bought the EZ EFI 2.0 system for a 2002 LS1 (using our factory multipart injection set up - came with ignition module, ECM and harness. After setting it up and giving it time to learn it ran flawlessly for about 1000 miles - then it started running rough, would not idle, died upon stopping, etc. - no error codes in the ECM - also told we had RFI interference even though the car had run perfectly for 1000 miles and 4 months - tested everything from wiring, grounds, all the sensors, etc. and no problem found - had to be the ECM but FAST provides very little support - they are rude, condescending and don't seem to care about standing behind their products. If they have 10000 of these on the market where are the satisfied owners at - hiding? afraid to speak up? The 2.0 system for the LS1 has very little technical support online - for a system that is supposed to be easy we haven't yet discovered the easy part. Fortunately we bought this from Summit - we had bought 2 units - this one and one for a 1965 Oldsmobile which had not been out of the box - they were supportive at Summit and are taking the second unit back for a refund and trying to help us out with the one we installed - should get the new ECM this week to test. If this doesn't work it is coming off and a factory GM unit installed. Won't be able to manually tweak it but apparently FAST hasn't discovered how to do that either. Would publish with my name but we are still trying to fix the problem and don't want retaliation from FAST.