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  #1  
Old 08-12-2005
Mark Forbes Mark Forbes is offline
Big Ugly Truck
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 3
IH 304 V8 project--advice?

I have an old '65 IH pickup, and I'm tired of getting 8mpg. I've read the
FAQs and I'm intrigued by the Megasquirt DIY project. I'm thinking that
converting the old beast to TBI and electronic ignition would be cool, and
likely to improve my mileage somewhat.

The engine is a 304 cu in. V8, with a Crane high-energy ignition. Stock
otherwise, and my goal is fuel economy and smooth operation, not
ultimate horsepower as many folks seem to crave.

I have some simple, basic questions:

1) I have a Motorcraft (Ford) 2 bbl carburetor on it now. Is there a specific
make-and-model vehicle that has a TBI which bolts up in place of this carb?
I reckon anything above about 300 CFM would work fine. I assume that
the carb has been replaced at least once; the beast is over 40 years old,
after all. Not being a tuner myself, I don't know if carbs have a standard
hole pattern for mounting, or if there are several standards, or what.
I don't know if I need to fabricate an adapter plate. Advice?

2) It has a standard vacuum-advance distributor. I intend to strap the
advance weights down and use the electronic controller to manage spark
advance. Any experience with doing that, pitfalls and so forth?

3) Has anyone implemented the Megasquirt controller who could comment
on fuel efficiency improvements? (Or lack thereof?) What's the range of
real-world improvement among those who have FI-modified this engine?

Pictures of the beast are here, in case you care...

http://www.vvhga.org/images/Starthis...lyTruck-01.JPG
http://www.vvhga.org/images/Kiwanda03/UglyTruck.JPG


Mark G. Forbes
mgforbes@mindspring.com
Corvallis, Oregon
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2005
The Anti-riced The Anti-riced is offline
Got EFI?
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 34
Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

You should be able to use a TBI from a 305 v8 Chevy, and an adapter such as Holley 17-47 or Transdapt 2204. The " What parts do I need?" sticky at the top of the forum gives a list of what parts you'd need. It would also help to read the stickies for converting your distributor to see if yours can be converted. Not sure how much help this forum will be for Megasquirt as most here run the GM computer. Fuel efficiency should improve as EFI is a lot more accurate than a carb. By how much on a 304 I can't say.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2005
C.T. C.T. is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 197
Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

I am not familiar with the 65 pickup, but 8 mpg with a 304 seems quite low especially with a 2 bbl. Are you sure your odometer is correct? I also dont know anything about megasquirt, but I do like the parts availability of GM system. The DIY is alot of work, but we are very glad we did it. Our Scout is running great even with a stock GM computer chip. We are taking a 700-1000 mile trip this weekend I will post how the fuel efficiency has improved next week.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2005
Rastus's Avatar
Rastus Rastus is offline
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Posts: 139
Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

I hate to be the one to say this, but EFI does not mean that your fuel mileage will increase. It does mean that it could increase.

If you have a well tuned system already, there is not going to be much the computer can improve on. If you system is not well tuned, then yes, the computer can help, but only if said computer is tuned!

When I bolted on my EFI, my MPG decreased. There was a reason. I had a decent running system that I replaced, and without tuning the EFI, it was not set up for my motor as well as the carb was. After tuning, I did pull some improvements out and EFI ended up being better for fuel economy. With correct knowledge and time, I may have been able to get the carb/ignition system setup to the same performance, I just don't know.

The only reason I bring this up is that you have a '65 pickup. The overall setup of this pickup may be set that without gearing changes you will not get much better. I don't know this for a fact, just throwing this out.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2005
David - WI David - WI is offline
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Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

Personally, I think you would be way ahead if you start with a thorough tune-up of what you already have.

Spend a little money (or time if you have the tools) to get a compression test, a cylinder leak-down test, have the carb rebuilt (if needed) and work up a proper ignition advance curve.

My reasoning is that I think your truck should get better than 8 mpg if the carb is working properly and the vacuum & mechanical advance mechanisms are working. If not, then it may be geared way too low, the engine may be tired, or you're driving it too fast!

We had an IHC 392ci, 2-barrel, four-door, long box, 4wd pick-up that got 12 mpg in "normal" driving... but it had a 5-speed overdrive transmission, too. That's not great... but it's 50% better than what you're reporting, and it was a bigger truck.

At least, before you start, can you say what rpm's you would be running at say 60 mph on level ground? Manual or automatic transmission?

I will try to log some data off of my '00 Silverado tonight... mpg at different engine rpm's. The big gains in fuel economy didn't really come from adding EFI (although emissions are a lot better) but from the overdrive transmissions and lock-up torque convertors (along with better aerodynamics).

I think the biggest "mileage" advantage to you (with EFI) would be that it's "tuned-up" all the time. If you remember "back in the day"... it was not unusual to get a "tune-up" every year; I think people forget that these days.

Anyway, in my opinion, a "properly tuned" carburated vehicle should get very nearly the same fuel economy as the same vehicle would with EFI.

On the other hand, a 2 mpg improvement would be 25% for you! : bonk :
(Sorry, at $2.60 per gallon... that's not terribly funny!)

Just some thoughts. I love EFI... but I don't think the mileage improvement alone will justify the cost of converting.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2005
Mark Forbes Mark Forbes is offline
Big Ugly Truck
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 3
Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

Thanks for the good advice so far.

1) I did an engine rebuild about 20K ago, and a set of carb gaskets a few
months back. New exhausts last fall, new tires this spring.

2) If I keep it to 55mph and draft behind a semi I can just break 10mpg.
That's accurate; speedo reads a couple mph high, but the odometer is
right on. I have onboard GPS and I log odometer miles and accrued GPS
track miles. They're usually within a mile or so at the fill-up limit of 131
miles. The tank holds 17.4 gallons, but I've run out enough times at 131
that I consider that the "fuel now" limit. I carry a five gallon jerry can
for limp-to-fuel backup.

3) I rarely drive it above 60mph on the freeway. It just doesn't sound like
it's happy churning along at that higher speed. I'm turning a smidge over
2500 rpm in 4th gear at freeway speed. I'm not too interested in major
drivetrain work, such as re-gearing the differentials.

4) Exhaust smells "fuelish". I think it's running a little rich in some regimes,
but changing that means re-jetting the carb and if I have to go that far,
I'd rather do something that's software tune-able. I'm an electronic product
designer by trade (google IGT Advantage Casino System) and I was
considering designing my own FI system until I started looking around and
found the Megasquirt....which is what I would have done myself in my
Copious Free Time (tm). One benefit of FI is the closed-loop feedback of
the oxygen sensor in the exhaust stream; if nothing else, at least I'll *know*
that the lousy mileage is not a consequence of dumping 5mpg out the
tailpipe in unburned hydrocarbons. :)

5) Vacuum and mechanical advance appear to work fine, timing is set to
just-on-the-hairy-edge of pinging using 87 octane fuel at near full throttle
around 1500 rpm.

I recently sold my 1989 Volvo sedan, and it had multiport FI. While there
were an assortment of interesting problems (related to solder joint fatigue
failures in the control relays) the basic FI system worked great. I just
wished that I had a user interface to see what it was doing and monitor
the sensors. (Megasquirt accomplishes that.) The current daily-driver is
my 1966 Volvo wagon, which I just finished an engine swap on a few weeks
ago. Drove it around for fifty miles to check for leaks, then took it off to
Salt Lake City and back. Anyone for a 2500-mile break-in run?

I've had it for about 21 years, and it's just turning over 700K miles. If
the IH conversion to FI proves successful, I'm thinking of doing the Volvo
too. It's currently equipped with a Weber 32/36DGAV, replacing the dual
SU carbs it came with.

The IH I've had for about seven years, but it's my hang gliding truck so it
doesn't get driven near as much. I haul a 16 foot Prowler trailer with it,
and that knocks the mileage down a little...but not all *that* much.

MGF
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2005
Tom Mandera Tom Mandera is offline
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Location: Helena, MT
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Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Forbes
Thanks for the good advice so far.

3) I rarely drive it above 60mph on the freeway. It just doesn't sound like
it's happy churning along at that higher speed. I'm turning a smidge over
2500 rpm in 4th gear at freeway speed. I'm not too interested in major
drivetrain work, such as re-gearing the differentials.
MGF
Might be that you're not running it *fast enough*, RPM wise.

While the SV engines are a "low RPM" design engine, the "3900rpm redline" of a 304 is "max continous operation".. and they were OFTEN run at 3900rpm loaded down to the GVWR.

Sometimes spinning the engine *faster* results in better fuel mileage. :)

Regardless..

One thing you could do is install an O2 sensor *NOW* (You'd need it for the fuelie conversion anyhow) and hook up a DMM to it and monitor the voltage output of the O2 sensor.

That would help you decide if it's running rich, lean, or what, and under what conditions.

Sadly, if it says you're running "stoich" all of the time, there's probably little a fuel injection conversion would do for you, mileage wise.
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2005
Mark Forbes Mark Forbes is offline
Big Ugly Truck
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Posts: 3
Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

Quote:
One thing you could do is install an O2 sensor *NOW* (You'd need it
for the fuelie conversion anyhow) and hook up a DMM to it and monitor
the voltage output of the O2 sensor.
Good idea. I'll do that, both exhausts, and see what I find. I wonder if
locating it at the collector junction is sufficient? It's got custom headers
on it, after the cast iron exhaust manifolds got so mangled they just
wouldn't hold a seal any longer.

MGF
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2005
Tom Mandera Tom Mandera is offline
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Location: Helena, MT
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Re: IH 304 V8 project--advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Forbes
Good idea. I'll do that, both exhausts, and see what I find. I wonder if
locating it at the collector junction is sufficient? It's got custom headers
on it, after the cast iron exhaust manifolds got so mangled they just
wouldn't hold a seal any longer.

MGF
They sell header collector/reducers with O2 bungs already welded in 'em, if you wanted to go that route.

It's a common spot to plug the O2 sensor into.
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