View Full Version : TBI Fuel Injection Installation

09-04-2008, 04:40 PM
My trip home went well, and I was soon reunited with my TR6. I had some nice driving for a week before I took it to my mechanic to have the TBI fuel injection installed. I had hoped it would be a three-day job, but we had some trouble shooting to do and I didn't get it back until the last two days before I left. There are still a few minor kinks, but all-in-all, it is running much better than the Webers.

So, while I made a side trip to Kansas City, my mechanic did the installation, but couldn't get it to run at all. He found that he had the fuel pump in backwards, but there was no direction of flow indicated on the pump so it was just a 50/50 chance for bad luck. Next, he could not get it to idle and that called for diagnostics provided by the system's computer module. Not being a computer geek, he had to wait for me to come to his shop to hook up my computer. After installing the drivers and software with company help, the company also helped us troubleshoot the system. It came down to changing the size of the injectors and cranking the pressure beyond the recommended PSI. So, I was able to take it touring for a day, but it still needs some tweaking. I am uncomfortable with running it at higher pressure, and I wonder if we need to further trace some vacuum leaks. I'll take some time reading about other peoples installations over the next few months and hopefully learn more. I have another chance in November to work it out.

All-in-all, the system installed easily, but required some company hand-holding because neither one of us understood how it should work. This was a great learning process for me, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have waited until winter.


09-04-2008, 04:51 PM
Did you get Rick's system?

09-04-2008, 05:32 PM
Yes, I have Rick's system. It was nicely machined and complete.

09-04-2008, 05:38 PM
You need to talk to Bobby D. your after me, I'm waiting for him to reply to my question first :jester:

09-04-2008, 05:44 PM
Lol. Okay, It's bedtime here. Gnite.

09-04-2008, 05:45 PM
It's not even 8:00 in PA

09-04-2008, 07:38 PM
We are in the middle of a rather long and laborious TBI installation as well. The answer always seems to be "turn up the fuel pressure" and/or "you have a vacuum leak" What pressure are you running at? We had seen 12lbs in some mentions then 15 and now we are being told 17-20 lbs which makes me very uncomfortable with the whole thing.Have you found that the regulator tends to migrate? We set it to 15 and next check it's at 17( or 14 or whatever it feels like). When did you receive the system?-I wasn't aware that they were changing injector size. Did you get away from the minis? Do you have stock numbers for new and/or old? We have been figuring it out on our own pretty much but seem to be getting through it finally. AFI is apparently just hooking up with Patton and there are some growing pains to say the least.
Thanks for any info you can share.

09-05-2008, 08:48 AM
Well, the stock gauge blew out, and so we ordered another that wasn't to be used with F.I., so we have ordered yet another. We did use the gauge we ordered not fr F.I., and it bounced quite a bit. We had to extrapolate where we thought the pressure was. Yes, I am running at about 25 PSI with the next size up injectors, but couldn't tell you the cat. number. It also makes me nervous, but perhaps it's okay. It's running pretty good at about 75%. I can imagine how it will run when we have the glitches resolved!

Getting through for help can be a challenge, but the guys are knowledgeable and the attitude is just part of their schtick of paying heck for their time. get through that and they will be a huge help. Yes, the instructions are vague and you are referred to manuals, web sites, other people installations to collect instructions and information, but you know what, it's worth it. At some point, somebody will put this together properly.

I received my system at the end of July. If I were you, I would definitely check all my hoses and connections. We also opened the gap on the spark plugs to 35 thousands. The vacuum sensor needs to be mounted so that there are no dips or bends, with the connector side down. Hope that helps.

09-05-2008, 09:00 AM
We too blew out the gauge ( and found it difficult to read bouncing all over ).We replaced it with the same brand but in an oil filled version for about $30. and it is much better.
What numbers are you getting for vacuum? Don't get too caught up in a wild goose chase they might send you on-if the TBI is causing the engine to run too lean it will create low vacuum numbers where there is in fact no leak.Seems to be much easier for the help desk to send you chasing phantom problems than to look at all the info and figure out cause and effect.We are staying around 15-16 lbs and getting it to work correctly.

09-05-2008, 09:05 AM
I couldn't tell you about what numbers on the vacuum. That is on another computer, but when i get it I'll let you know.

Yes, I agree that running it at about 15 psi is the goal. I just needed to drive the car a bit before heading back to Switzerland. It's my heroin.

09-05-2008, 09:51 AM
Glad to hear you're up and running. It's always good to have a mechanic who's willing to admit he's in an area he doesn't understand. That was probably my advantage when I installed my system. I didn't understand anything, so anytime I ran into a problem or was even unsure if I was doing the next step correctly, I'd ask a question. Where possible I'd even supply Rick pictures of what I was doing or how I'd already done something. Not being a "mechanic", I never took the position of......"I know what I'm doing and I did everything right so it's fault". That a trap that you can fall in to. Simple things like making sure you've run all the proper sized hoses so that you get good fuel flow. Making sure there's no vacuum leaks which can really mess things up. Installing the TPS correctly....I kept getting an error code....Rick told me he's never seen a TPS fail out of the box but he replaced it.......same error code....lots of head scratching....turns out I hadn't pre-loaded the TPS on to the adapter plug correctly. The TPS was fine...I installed it wrong. Then I couldn't get full throttle and it turned out that the throttle linkage was hitting the bracket (picture below). And so it went but I was doing this as a winter project and knew there would be bumps along the way. Rick is great to work with as long as you're willing to work with him and listen to what he tells you. I know he takes great pride in these systems and really wants you up and running with no problems.


09-05-2008, 10:34 AM
Yes, I understand little to begin with, and he is a carb man from way back. This was his first installation of an F.I. system, and certainly, I had to learn a lot about it, too, to give him my two cents worth. The real upside is that I am beginning to understand how this all works - scary. That alone was worth putting the system in, and also having the opportunity to work with my mechanic for few days on this together. It feels like I have some ownership of the project, and that's a great feeling.

Thanks for the tip on the TPS. I'll look at that when I am back in November. I don't remember anything catching. As far as proper sized hoses, that could really be a problem, couldn't it? Maybe that's why we have to screw the pressure up so far? I hope you have the hose sizes on your site... I'll take a look at it this weekend. It seems that there is some variability in the installations, and perhaps some of these things you mention are the variables. Another was that he had to rewire some stuff because the harness was too short. We installed the computer module (ECM) under the passenger seat. If the kits included all of the hardware and more specific instructions, I bet it would be plug-and-play. It just wasn't that hard to install - the devil is in the details. You know, somebody could have a nice little business flying around the country/world installing these in TR6's and other Brit cars. For somebody that knows what they are doing, it's a two-day job I think.

As far as Rick goes, he really worked hard to get the unit to me by the end of July so we could get it in quickly. I gave him two weeks lead time, and he was on vacation!! And I can't say enough how impressed I was with the machining, and the entire concept, really. I need to send him a thanks this weekend, and to the guys at Advanced, too. We ate up way too much of their time.

09-05-2008, 11:17 AM
Dan......Here's the hose sizes that I used. My regulator is different but I'm pretty sure the regulator to carb adapter is the same. One fellow had used braided AN sized hoses and found that they were too small and not delivering enough fuel. BTW...Yesterday I checked my timing for the first time in 2-1/2 years and it's still dead on the 14 degrees I originally set it at. Just make sure you disconnect that timing plug when you set or check your timing.


09-05-2008, 01:49 PM
Aha, we used braided lines! That could very well be it. Hey Bob, thanks so much! I am really excited to get back to it now. I know it is something stupid like that because the system did work right out of the box. I think it could be it. The only downside is that I need to wait until November to check it out.

09-05-2008, 02:04 PM
Didn't realize you only got to visit your car for rare treats-by all means get out and enjoy it. On the throttle range you might also look at the travel of the bell linkage between the carbs by hand vs the amount it travels in response to the pedal. We found there is a lot of wasted to and fro/up and down to no avail. Have ordered the RATCO replacement linkage and it looks like it should work fine with the TPS on Pattons system.

BobbyD Great news-Rick has promised "to post the unvarnished resolution" once the problem is fixed so you will no longer need to take shots in the dark trying to solve the problem for them. I am glad your system works well and I look forward to enjoying mine when we get it all sorted out.

09-05-2008, 07:22 PM
FWIW - Bob's referring to my use of braided lines. I used 4AN lines from the regulator to the throttle bodies. The ID is smaller than the needed 5/16 rubber hoses that are supposed to be used. This caused the car to surge and barely keep running. Switching to 5/16 rubber made a big difference. But those braided SS lines sure were purty...

09-05-2008, 08:45 PM
One more thought on fuel line size. I was looking at Rick's site, and see he now calls for one 5/16 line from the regulator that is then tee'd to each throttle body.

Mine is like Bob's shown above with two 5/16 outlets.

I wonder if it would help to change the main line and regulator fitting to 3/8, then branch off with 5/16 lines?

09-06-2008, 06:32 AM
Thanks, Dave. I'll file that information away for November. This seems to be a trouble point that would never had occurred to me.

09-06-2008, 09:00 AM
David......I didn't realize that about the regulator only having 1 output. In any case, you should make sure the regulator is mounted as close to the injectors as possible. It ideally shouldn't be any further then 18" away. Having said that, mine measures 12" to the rear carb and 21" to the front one. I would imagine that if the regulator is mounted too far from the injector fittings, the longer hose run might require the higher pressure being recommended? I'm going to ask Rick and see what he says.

09-06-2008, 01:08 PM
Bob, keep us posted to what he says.

09-06-2008, 06:01 PM
Bob, why the close location of the regulator?

Fluid engineering wise it really shouldn't matter, If the fluid supply lines are large enough.

Only reason I can see to have it mounted so close to the injectors, might be that the supply hoses are too small and regulator location needed to overcome possible pulsing...

09-06-2008, 07:10 PM
Rick got back to me and stressed how critical it is that the fuel lines be properly plumbed and sized. That's why he includes the correct hoses and fittings with the kit. The braided hoses with AN fittings are more restrictive then the brass hose barbs that come with the kit. They'll be OK at idle but not enough flow for acceleration. So Dan, that's why you're running higher pressure and larger injectors. No one evidently knew you had changed from the hoses supplied. BTW, the regulator actually has 3 outputs but one is adequate when using the correct hose. However, Rick's now going to recommend using two outlets and either 5/16" rubber hose or 3/8" braided hose. In any case the regulator should ideally be within 24" of the injectors. When I did mine, John Wilson wanted it 18" but he was supplying a different pump and regulator. As to a fluctuating pressure gauge, the most likely reasons are:
1) Low fuel level in the tank causing the pump to pick up air.
2) Dirty fuel filter.
3) Fuel lines too small or restricted. A collapsed or kinked suction hose from the tank.
4) Fuel return line not properly plumbed to tank.
5) Fuel pump improperly located- must be near tank and below itís level.

And I have to tell you that I spent the most time on my installation running the fuel lines. I redid them a few times to avoid any sharp bends on BOTH the supply lines and the return line. What I thought would be a simple task turned out to be a PITA. I also replaced all of the short rubber hose sections on the existing fuel lines, blew out the steel lines and had my tank professionally purged, cleaned and tested. I did not want to have any fuel delivery OR fuel return problems.

I even sent Rick pictures as I went along to make sure I was doing it correctly. Dan and Elysium....you might want to consider taking pictures to help with any future troubleshooting. And you should both do a data logging session. It's part of the kit price and it tells them exactly what's going on with the car. I did 3 of them the first year and got 2 new chip profiles based on what they saw.

Ron.....I don't know the engineering reasons for the regulator location other then to ensure proper fuel delivery at the recommended pressure for the injectors.

09-07-2008, 08:21 AM
Okay Bob, I'll check it out in November and thanks for the advice. I see now that the fuel lines are very important to the job and I will check all of the above before contacting anybody at Advanced. I did do one data logging, but when I tied to do another right before I left, I couldn't get any data. I have no idea what happened, ad need to trace that down as well. I was going to take pictures of everything before I left, but I was also selling the TR7 and had that disaster that distracted me from getting that done.

09-08-2008, 12:28 AM
My mistake Bob, we did use all the lines supplied in the kit. I'll need to find another ghost.