Derek's EFI-L18 4 Door MEGATHREAD

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inline4
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Post by inline4 » 18 Aug 2006 00:05

hahahah dude I jsut realized... i rode in that car a few days before you bought it

Derek
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Post by Derek » 22 Aug 2006 14:04

Were you test driving it, or did you know Michael (the previous owner). Anything about the history of the car you'd like to share? I didn't get to talk too much to him about it aside from its pre-sale condition. It is a very different car now :)

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inline4
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Post by inline4 » 22 Aug 2006 14:39

Derek wrote:Were you test driving it, or did you know Michael (the previous owner). Anything about the history of the car you'd like to share? I didn't get to talk too much to him about it aside from its pre-sale condition. It is a very different car now :)

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no sorry. I came up and bought his old head off of him because my cyl #3 was shot. I rode in the car though, since he mentioned that he was selling it and some dude from canada was going to drive it back.. from what I remember the car seemed to be in good shape except fro the banged up front fender. at least it made the drive back :)

Derek
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What's this? A project update???

Post by Derek » 24 Aug 2006 12:57

Lookie here -- a project I first made motions on in the fall of 2003 is finally nearing completion.

As a reaction to not knowing how to tune carburetors, BC’s strict emissions testing, my electronics background and my fierce car nerdery has led me to converting my car from carburetion to EFI using a Megasquirt DIY fuel injection system.

Old engine bay photo:
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Since EFI manifolds for 4 cylinder L series motors are rare, and the OEM manifolds are limited by tiny ports and other issues, I bought a manifold from a fellow 510’er back in spring 2004, which was a converted dual side draft unit with big ports, and injector bosses welded in. Along with the manifold I got a bunch of other parts necessary to complete an EFI swap – 240SX injectors, 200SX ECU and wiring harness, a narrow band O2 sensor, a custom plenum with a 300ZX throttle body, a 200SX cable style gas pedal and a pile of other bits and pieces. The original intent was to run a 200SX ECU and MAF but early 80s EFI tech isn’t exactly cutting edge, and I heard about issues regarding 200SX MAF sensors and lumpy cams, so I ditched that plan and went to a programmable setup.

Having all the bits was nice, but for some reason they managed to take up bench space for a couple of years before I got back to the project. Other things got in the way (rebuilding the motor, painting the car, rear suspension project).

Finally this spring I sold a bunch of old robot parts on eBay and dropped a bunch of money at http://www.diyautotune.com. Soon after, a Megasquirt V3 kit, relay board, an Innovate LC1 wideband O2 sensor and a bunch of wires landed on my workbench.

Assembling the MS was the easiest part of the project. I had the cases anodized black to blend into my interior.

I had to do some more work on the manifold to get it in running shape. There was no fuel rail, nor any provisions for holding it down. So I bought some dash 6 fuel rail extrusion and machined it to fit the injectors and CNC’d up a couple of mounting parts, one bolted to the fuel rail, the other welded to the manifold. While I was at it, I machined O-ring grooves in the space flanges so I didn’t have to use gaskets between them and the manifold and plenum.

The plenum is pretty sweet – built by some place called “Raver Motorsports” (I had to take off their on top since the name was too much to bear), it has internal velocity stacks and provisions for mounting up a “ghetto-ass” auxiliary air valve. I installed mine with a baby K&N filter to avoid having to plumb it into the intake (which I don’t have yet). I also got rid of their tubular vacuum line attachements and replaced them with a single ¼” Pisco fitting to serve the fuel pressure regulator and the MAP sensor. One more 3/8” NPT hole for the intake temp sensor (a standard GM part), and the manifold was ready to go.
Completed manifold, plenum, fuel rail, injectors and throttle body:
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Detail of fuel rail attachment parts
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With that set to go, I got down to mounting the computer and relay board in the car. With a sweet unoccupied spot picked out in the engine bay for the relay board, I machined up an aluminum mounting plate and mounted it using rubber grommets for isolators. Almost everyone who has seen the relay board has commented that it looks really exposed to water, but I’ve never heard of an MS user having problems with that. I coated the bottom of the relay and MS boards in Krylon clear coat to ward off these sorts of problems.

Relay board:
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One of the most expensive parts of running a Megasquirt is the need for a laptop, which I don’t have. After watching eBay for a while I gave up on buying one when I was tipped off to the fact that you can replace almost all of the laptop’s functionality with a Palm Pilot. I scored the best compatible model (the Zire71) on Amazon’s used section for $60, and a pair of cradles for a $1 each on eBay. One cradle was rewired to do in-car RS232 communications with the MS and the other is used at my desktop to download datalogs.

Here’s the Palm hooked up to my stimulator run MS on my bench. This is the real time display screen of “PalmTune” a handy little program that allows you to change fuel maps and other parameters. Other programs I will be using are PalmEdit, to change constants and PalmLog a datalogging program.

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I took the ashtray of my car and the in-car cradle and got hacking, melding the two together so that my Palm would have a proper home when in the car. It is working OK at the moment, but I need to find a better way of retaining the palm as it has fallen out a couple of times now while driving. You can also see where I mounted the MS unit under the glovebox and an empty radio slot begging for gauges.

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The cable that runs between the relay board and the MS is fat, and has a large connector on the end. Basically you need a 1-1/2” hole to fit it through and then a funny grommet to protect the wires from the metal. Since I wasn’t keen to cut a hole that big in my firewall, I reused the old hole from my now gone parking brake and machined this two part pass through that clipped over the cable and mounted using existing threaded holes.

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To get coolant temps to the ECU I needed to mount a sensor. The easiest way to do this was to use a waterneck/thermostat housing from an EFI Z car, which bolted right on. Thinking the fan switch was the temp sender for the dash gauge, I ended up drilling, re-tapping and plugging the correct hole for the dash temp gauge sender, so now my dash temp gauge isn’t working. Oops. I plan on finding another one of these waternecks, and not wrecking it before I change over to my hi-po cylinder head. Luckily PalmTune keeps me up to date on the temp of my motor now.

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On to the actual fuel delivery system, where I am at right now. This is one of the more difficult and expensive parts of this project. Many people when doing an EFI swap in 510s just mount a high pressure pump, reuse the hardlines and call it a day. I wanted to do it right though, and make sure I wasn’t going to fall prey to high g-load fuel starvation, pump cavitation, or undersized lines. Plus my car come with a return hard line, so I would have to install one anyway. After much discussion, research and shopping, I finally had a plan and all the parts to make it happen.

Here’s my fuel system diagram, which my girlfriend claims to be Jason Mclean-esque.
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The idea is to use a low pressure pump to feed a surge tank, which will provide a very rock steady supply of fuel to a high pressure pump, which will feed the fuel rail, which runs to a regulator and then returns back to the surge tank for recycling.

MSD EFI fuel pump mounted on some $$$ rubber isolators I took off my Battlebot
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NAAAWSSS brand adjustable fuel pressure regulator from Summit Racing. Plumbed with AN/JIC fittings and a fuel pressure gauge. Lines running right head to the fuel rail, and running down will lead to the 3/8” stainless steel hard lines to the back of the car. I ran the feed line bulkhead through the mounting bracket behind the regulator to simplify things. Pro-tip: Lordco wanted $90 for an Autometer fuel pressure gauge, but instead I got a gasoline compatible pressure gauge for $15 from the industrial supplier (Greenline Fittings) I bought my steel JIC bits from.

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Surge tank built by local 510 good guy Bryon Meston. From top: vent port, return port, feed from low pressure pump, feed to high pressure pump.
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Surge tank placed in its spot in the trunk. Fits in well!
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Over the last couple of days I have managed to get a bunch of the parts mounted in/on the car. Here’s the low pressure pump and filter that will be fed by the line out of the bottom of the gas tank. The line passed up through the grommet into the floor of the trunk right by the surge tank.
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High pressure pump and filter, mounted under the car where the rear seats are.
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So that’s where I am at. I’m hoping to borrow flaring and bending tools this weekend to get busy with my 40’ of 3/8” stainless hard line that I have and finish up the plumbing. That will be a big step since it will require the removal of some of the rear suspension, the gas tank and once I get started pulling parts off, the car won’t move again unless it is under EFI control.

Updates to follow….
Last edited by Derek on 08 Apr 2009 21:37, edited 2 times in total.

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msaunders
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RE: What

Post by msaunders » 24 Aug 2006 13:09

Cool.
Are you going to do a fuel only MS setup, or are you going to get into the timing control as well?

Derek
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RE: What

Post by Derek » 24 Aug 2006 13:12

I eventually plan on getting to spark, but for the moment I will be ecstatic to getting running under fuel only. I would like to do a ford EDIS distributerless system eventually. I am running Megasquirt 'n Spark Extra code in my MS so it is setup to handle it when I am ready.

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supersportsedan
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RE: What

Post by supersportsedan » 24 Aug 2006 17:44

Wow Derek, the eternal project keeps getting better. I love how you think everything through so well, and come up with ideas that you don't see everywhere. Very ambitious, I'm impressed!

Derek
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Re: RE: What

Post by Derek » 24 Aug 2006 19:38

supersportsedan wrote:Wow Derek, the eternal project keeps getting better. I love how you think everything through so well, and come up with ideas that you don't see everywhere. Very ambitious, I'm impressed!
Is that's a nice way of saying I take a long time to do something? :)

To give credit where it is due, Byron filled me in on the fuel system design and Rob France gave me the Palm Pilot tip.

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McShagger510
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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by McShagger510 » 24 Aug 2006 22:28

Looks real slick Derek, good job!

Rob, get your ass back home, he's ahead of us!!!!!
Nothing ventured, nothing grained! - Benjamin Franklin

'72 2dr. 510 Turbo
'73 240Z all stock
'71 2dr. 510 stock......for now
'91 Nissan truck
'78 Kawasaki Z1-R
'84 Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo
'99 Kawasaki ZRX1100

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icehouse
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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by icehouse » 24 Aug 2006 22:45

that's one way to make a L series sexy haha
"People don't like it when shit doesn't match their rule of thumb." Sam

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supersportsedan
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Re: RE: What

Post by supersportsedan » 24 Aug 2006 23:20

Derek wrote:Is that's a nice way of saying I take a long time to do something? :)
That's not really what I was trying to say, but even so, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to do something. It's what comes out on the other side. You're more likely to have better results when you take your time and think things through. But you don't need me to tell you that. The proof is in the pudding. 8)

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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by 510rob » 25 Aug 2006 04:00

don't worry James, we'll just distract him a little bit to throw him off his obviously furious pace...

HEY DEREK, CHECK THIS '74 SKYLINE OUT - I KNOW YOU LIKE THESE ONES!!!

click here

there, that will slow him down for a few seconds...

PORKCHOP SANDWICHES!!!

Derek, you are way in the lead on this seemingly eternal bench race, and actually close to realization of something we have all wanted in our 510s for years. Good to see.

James, is your shop ready to accept the 510 yet? I see he's beating us, it's quite clear from the pictures! He is beating us, and doing it with elegant little CNC pieces too - I was doing bandsaw machining!!!

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McShagger510
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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by McShagger510 » 25 Aug 2006 18:41

No, the shop is not ready. Moving - has somewhat distracted me from continuing on the Valiant, for now. GGGGRRRRRRRR!

James
Nothing ventured, nothing grained! - Benjamin Franklin

'72 2dr. 510 Turbo
'73 240Z all stock
'71 2dr. 510 stock......for now
'91 Nissan truck
'78 Kawasaki Z1-R
'84 Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo
'99 Kawasaki ZRX1100

510rob
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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by 510rob » 26 Aug 2006 04:11

Derek, if your Palm is similar to the old IIIxe I picked up for datalogging, you might need to throw a software patch into it to disable the auto-off, otherwise it turns off after a few minutes without screen input.

this site explains it better than I can

http://home.vrweb.de/~jswi/SoftPalm/AutoOff.html

here are a few older freeware versions of the same patch...

http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/autooff.shtml

http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/autooffdas.shtml

and no PDA should be without this piece of software...

http://www.djajic.com/downloads/dopewars.zip

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Byron510
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RE: Re: RE: What

Post by Byron510 » 26 Aug 2006 11:57

Eh Derek,
Finally had a chance to read your thread. Looks good. Were you able to pick up all of my tube cutting, de-burring, bending and flaring equipment from Malcolm?
I do like the PDA approach to data monitoring and logging.
Keep us posted.
Byron
Love people and use things,
because the opposite never works.

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