simplifying operating systems...

Discussion in '94-95 5.0 - Specific' started by DavidBoren, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    People shave their engine bays, and remove emissions crap, and go through great lengths to clean up the appearance of their cars. My concern is cleaning up or simplifying the function of the car.

    I like the driveability of efi so for the sake of this discussion, we will be keeping efi and not switching to carb.

    However, things like removing "unnecessary" computer controls and input would be nice.

    Can you eliminate the TFI module by switching to a vacuum advance distributor? How many computer controlled devices can be replaced with something mechanical or removed completely?

    This is purely hypothetical, just a discussion of theory. It would be nice to reduce the amount of wiring, and more importantly, reduce the number of things that can fail... I don't trust computers.
     
  2. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    I know you said stay EFI, and my short answer to that is as long as you get fuel, spark and air, whatever computer controls you need for that and no more. You can replace the timing tables with mechanical components and such, but I think it's a bit of a snipe hunt, as the those things (the tables and controls) are what lead to EFI being so reliable. With out the tables and such in the computer, there's really no point for the computer.

    Despite what you said, if you want really want to "dumb" it down, carb is the way to go (and it can be just as drivable as EFI - it's just not as adaptable). The simplest you can get with EFI, I suspect, is to take a look at a model year car that was carb, and then EFI for the next model year. What got added, that's probably your bare minimum. Depending on the car, maybe mid 80's time frame.
     
  3. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    I just beat my head at posts like this.

    No offense, but why on earth would you want to go backwards. I've been beating on computer controlled cars all my life, never had any vehicle with a carb. Well, OK a '79 5.0. And how many computer issues have I had, zero. A sensor goes bad, what $40!!! But you've saved several hundreds with the gas mileage over a carbureted setup. And the PITA tweaking all the time!

    This is not the 80s where ECU was a new horizon. It's the age where your toaster has some sort of computer control.
     
  4. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    I guess I didn't quite make my intentions clear. I am not trying to revert back to the old ways. It might be because the 95 is still pre-OBD2. I don't like the half-ass integration of the old and new. It has a distributor, and a computer. I would be just as ok with EDIS/COP. I'm not opposed to technology, it just seems like the five-oh is stuck in some shady grey area that doesn't get the full benefits of either system. You don't have this caveman simple, fix it with a hammer reliability like a carb/dissy engine... but you don't have a conveniently tuneable, smooth and efficient OBD2 efi system either. I know full well that going back to a carb is a step backwards, unless racercar.

    Maybe I don't know what I want...

    A SN95 with a pushrod five-oh, EDIS/COP, and OBD2. That. But that isn't really available. Or what I said in the original post.
     
  5. JKady

    JKady Active Member

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    Explorers used distributorless ignition on their 5.0's, so if the distributor really bugs you you could go that route, they were also OBD2. EEC-IV is IMO the best OBD1 system around, it's also extremely reliable and extremely tuneable with help from Tweecer/Quarterhorse and others. As EFI systems go, EEC-IV is really simple, hand full of sensors, 8 injectors, a dizzy and an ECU. I can't think of a multi-port system any simpler. TBI would be a couple sensors simpler and only has 2 injectors, you could go that route I suppose to clean things up, but you'd still have a distributor.

    If you wanted to megasquirt it and do some work you could have coil on plug or coil near plug (I'd probably go that route with LSx coils if I were to do it). If you have the knowledge time and tools you could make yourself an OBD2 5.0 with no dizzy and individual coils... IMO it's still going to be trying to build a better mousetrap when the one you have is one of the best.
     
  6. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    You can convert to COP if you so desire (http://www.aemelectronics.com/products/ignition-components/engine-position-module-epm). And what does OBD2 get you other than data logging/flashing? But you can easily do that with a chipped computer or Quarter Horse. If none of that floats your boat, go for MegaSquirt (as mentioned above) or an AEM standalone.

    Honestly, I'm not sure where you are coming from. The EEC-IV is pretty damn solid. Lots of support out there for programming as well. If you think this is bad, I've got an 87 Shelby CSX. 2.2L turbo. Uses a combination of computer control and "mechanical stuff" such as a dizzy and hall effect pickup, and is Speed Density. The computer is socketed, and I can burn my own chips (yes, burn). I would consider this inferior to the EEC-IV, and yet the car is running strong 27 years later. So while it's not "fully computerized" there sure isn't anything wrong with it. Is it as easy to access everything as a brand new car with an OBD2 scanner? Nope. Is the stuff I want still accessible? You bet. I just had to work a little harder to get at it. So, while the EEC-IV isn't as easy as my STI with an AccessPort, it's still good enough for pretty much anything you want to you do with it. I have yet to feel "held back" by the SN95 EEC-IV. But then again, maybe I'm not trying to do all that much with it, so maybe I'm skewed.
     
  7. kb1982

    kb1982 Active Member

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    Even when running a crank trigger setup, you still need a distrib. You need something to drive the oil pump still. Ive read about doing away with the TFI system, but that was with running a Megasquirt pcm. Dont know how well the stock pcm would like not having TFI, siince coil dwell is controlled by the TFI for cranking. After the rpms are so high, the computer kicks in and handles the functions. While the EEC IV is lacking in stock form what you can adjust with it, with the addition of a chip like the quarter horse, you have plenty of possibilities. Ive researched that option, but learning it seemed pretty tedious. In the end I went with a megasquirt PNP. When I start simplifying my car, things first on the chopping block will be the powersteering and rack, abs system, and ccrm.
     
  8. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    I consider myself relatively adept and mechanically inclined, but when I look under the hood of Tyler's mustang, all I see is a rats nest.

    And while it is very possible to do a wire tuck, all you're doing is sweeping $#!+ under the rug. And that's not how I do business.

    I don't want to hide anything, I want to delete what isn't necessary and consolidate what is.

    Things like smog, egr, power steering, power brakes, all of that would be history. I want to be able to see the engine when I look in the engine bay, ya'know?

    Mount the alternator where the smog pump was, an with no power steering pump, you might be able to see the valve covers. I hate the design of the intake manifold, so I would probably get an eddy air-gap converted to efi. That would help a lot with being able to see the engine in the engine bay.

    I'm not opposed to running a distributor, but coil on/near plug is a system I like more. I guess the only way to have my cake and eat it too, would be to get one computer to rule them all. Like an aem or megasquirt.

    Hmm... don't hate me, but it sounds like I want a 302W/LS-engine. I dig the five-oh. It's my favorite thing Ford. But when I see it in the SN, I puke a little bit. It makes me sad in the pants that it is limited to 500hp. It's hideous and doesn't look like there's even an engine under all the mess in the engine bay.
     
  9. GregT94SCC

    GregT94SCC New Member

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    I agree with the clutter being a little over the top. My kenne bell twinscrew hides most of it nicely. Rather look at that than valve covers anyway.

    I think some tweecer or quarter horse experience could change your mind. The CBAZA strategy is pretty decent. I've run the blower plus tweecer for 6 years and 23k miles with hardly a hiccup. Right over the 500hp mark too. Its plenty of power for a street driven Fairmont descendent.
     
  10. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    Remember the good old days, when no one cared about the environment? And crankcase ventilation happened via vented valve covers? I want to go back to that. Besides hippy bull$#!+ is there a reason to plumb the crankcase gases into the intake manifold?

    I get that egr helps with cold starts and blah blah blah, but the pcv valve could be removed and the hole in the manifold plugged with no ill-affects to the engine, right? What about just running the little filters on the valve covers? That used to just be the way it was done, so assuming there is no visual inspection for emissions, can I remove the majority of the pcv system?

    Seems like you could eliminate a lot of hoses. You could get rid of the vacuum hose going to the brake booster with manual brakes. You could get rid of two hoses deleting the smog pump. And two hoses by just putting filters directly on the valve covers.

    That right there is a big step in the right direction.
     
  11. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Lol I'm getting confused, so I re-read your original post. So...what exactly are you trying to achieve? I understand the question(s) you asking in the first thread, but I don't understand the motivation behind them. I don't want to be that guy that's like "just go carb'd" but I'm having a hard time not being him without understanding why you are asking what you are asking. Do you just want a clean engine bay? Do you want to eliminate things that aren't necessary because race car? Do you just want to eliminate things? Do you want a one-off custom? What are you shooting for and why?

    I find myself disagreeing with some things you say, but don't want to be a nay-sayer until I first understand where you are coming from.
     
  12. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    Ok, a big part of it is eliminating things that aren't necessary because racecar.

    But, it's also a daily driver. So driveability is still important.

    I mainly just want to streamline the operation, get rid of what doesn't have to be there, and yes, clean up the appearance of the whole system so that you can see the engine in the engine bay.

    I brought up the TFI module as an example because I see it as an unnecessary complication. A distributor has problems of its own. Then throw a random piggyback computer system at it, and I see it as just another thing to go wrong. Like the old Christmas lights, where they run in series, and if one goes out they all go out.

    At least if you only have a distributor OR a computer, you are only checking one thing when something fails. It would be different if they were redundant systems, where if one failed the other would keep everything going, but they aren't, so it's a complication I would like to get rid of.

    I bought up getting rid of as many vacuum lines as possible because they leak and cause problems. If they aren't serving a purpose vital to the operation of the engine, I would prefer to eliminate them.

    I like to just enjoy the driving experience. I like to feel the road, I like the feedback from manual steering and manual brakes, I like to take corners fast and faster the next time, I enjoy driving. So daily driver and racecar are the same for me. But I also know how frustrating it is to not be able to drive. I hate it when something is wrong and I can't figure it out. So I want to make it so that there are fewer things that you can possibly go wrong, fewer things that can keep me from driving. And when something does go wrong, because something will always go wrong, I want the number of things I have to check to be fewer. Simpler. Just a scan away. Or pop the hood, check fuel, spark, and air... done, back to enjoying driving.

    Does this make sense? Probably not. I might be retarded...
     
  13. kb1982

    kb1982 Active Member

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    Actually the tfi makes it possible to lose spark output signal from the ecm while allowing your car to still run. Should signal from the ecm be lost, it controls the coil dwell along with reverting back to base timing of the engine. If spark output didnt go through the tfi, straight from the ecm to the coil, your engine would shutoff as soon as spark output was lost. My car has the spark output bypassing the tfi all together, running straight to an msd box. This allows me to use features such as launch control with my megasquirt, without the tfi interfering with the timing retard. The biggest complaint I have with the system is that pip input signal is required by the ecm to prime the fuel pump and also to make it run. So pip goes to the ecm, ecm sends signal to the ccrm to turn on the pump, which goes through a inertia switch in the trunk. If you ever have a no start but your engine cranks condition, always start with testing the pip in the distrib because without it, you wont have fuel pressure either. If you take a look at the picture below, you can see what all the ecm controls. Alot of it isnt needed with most of our cars. If that is the case, you can seperate the stock wiring harness and delete what you dont need. Also anything that runs to the ccrm, can be rewired to individual relays to control accessories. The ecm output will ground the relay to turn on such things as the fan and fuel pump.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Ah, okay. I understand. My suggestion is this: check out a Painless Wiring harness for a Factory Five Mk IV or Type 65 Couple with a 302. That's about as basic as you can get while still maintaining the advantages of computer controlled EFI. Those harnesses are for the kit cars, so they are creating something where there was currently nothing, which means they have only bare necessities. You can expand upon the harness of course.

    I suggest using what is "available" in those harnesses as a guide for what you can eliminate electrically from your car. Putting this into practice will be time consuming and potentially difficult; it may be easier to just get those harnesses and swap out your current harness. Or rip the car apart and do the re-wiring yourself. If those harnesses still have too much stuff for you, I think that means you have landed squarely in Megasquirt/AEM land.

    Lastly, I get where you are coming from regarding wanting to remove failure points; having said that I can't help but feel like you are taking it too extreme. I get wanting to remove ancillary/unnecessary things to make it a simpler system and less error-prone, but don't lose sight of the fact that Ford spent A LOT of money in making stuff in these cars...as necessary and error-resistant as possible. Meaning, they didn't waste money on crap the car didn't need and then make it so that it failed all the time (sure, some stuff they say is necessary you don't, like EGR/Smog stuff). My point is this: if you are looking for a hybrid street/track car, remove the reasonable things. Don't kill yourself over it. If something does fail, you'll still be able to track it down decently. People do this every day on their track day cars, and it works for them. If you want a dedicated race car, well then that is an entirely different story: strip the $hit out of it, and re-wire it yourself or use an aftermarket harness.

    Edit: ultimately, it's your car, head in the direction you want. I offer my suggestions/opinions above because I believe it will save you some grief. If you don't take my suggestions, it's cool with me. After all, I could be completely wrong :)
     
  15. JKady

    JKady Active Member

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    The PCV pulling a small vacuum on the crank case actually helps the seals do their job, it ensures that you don't build crank case pressure. If the valve going into the intake really bothers you, use a push in breather and deal with oil on the engine, or pipe it into the headers if you don't plan on running mufflers. Plugging the holes will lead to that pressure finding a way out, hopefully through a seal that is easy to replace...

    You can get rid of most of the vacuum lines on these engines, need one for the fuel pressure regulator, one for power brakes if you're using em, one for climate control if you're using it and want functions other than defrost. The rest would disappear with the deletion of smog stuff and the cruise control.
     
  16. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    I would love to just get a race car harness to simplify everything under the hood. It's the right way to do it rather than pruning the stock harnesses. But those setups are not cheap. Not to mention not really for a street car. For safety stuff, all the lighting and electronic gizmos such as windows/locks, plus a pushbutton start is not real streetable.

    Not sure in OBD1, but OBD2 system can be modded to remove emission stuff or systems not being used. Then the CEL will actually function and the codes will do something for you.
     
  17. JKady

    JKady Active Member

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    The engine harness in an eec system is separate from the lights/locks etc... so you can get rid of a lot. There are right and wrong ways to thin a stock harness, properly done and re-loomed it's tough to tell one from a custom harness.

    I know the EGR can be tuned out of EEC-IV, I don't doubt that the tab/tad and evap can be done away with as well (Actually I really hope they can, I'd like to put the CEL bulb back into my de-smogged F350 some day). Of course, the check engine light in an OBD1 system almost always only comes on when something is really wrong and you've already noticed a problem.
     
  18. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    Yea, if you keep the body/engine harnesses separate. Ideally the engine harness and rest of the electrical circuits would go through a minimalist fuse box and switch panel. This would replace the body harnesses completely, have switches for lights, fuel pump, ECU, an any other necessary circuit. Again, more race car.

    I think digging into a 20YO harness to thin circuits is electrical suicide not to mention very time consuming when you look at it as the whole car. Then when an electrical issue arises you begin to doubt everything.
     
  19. JKady

    JKady Active Member

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    Either way is ungodly time consuming, there's a very good reason aftermarket harnesses cost so much. I've installed painless style wiring harnesses and it's ridiculous and other than the fuse box I always end up wishing I'd just bought a few rolls of wire. Only thing worse is trying to fix/finish someone else's install. Thinning is time consuming but IMO the way to go. A lot of people screw it up by spending too much time with wire cutters and not enough time de-pinning connectors and just removing the whole wire. Good wiring diagrams and trace twice, cut once do apply. I will be doing some of my body harness soon since the whole mach-460 system is gone and there are a lot of wires laying loose now.
     
  20. DavidBoren

    DavidBoren Active Member

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    Thank you all for the replies.

    I think that for my intentions, that a standalone ecu and a complete re-wire are the only ways to go.

    Rewiring a car is a daunting task, but it's the only way to do it right. And I would find something like that very rewarding on a personal level.

    I have a dual inlet catch can that has a vacuum hose. So that would help keep the seals sealed and not dump oil on my engine.

    It's probably not necessary, at all, for a street car. I do pride myself with little custom touches that make things mine. Mine because I did it. Mine because yours doesn't have it. It's hard to explain. Maybe I am just vane or arrogant, I don't know, but I get a great deal of satisfaction from putting in a lot of time/effort/money/work, even if most people will never see it or understand it.