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Seems like you have a preferred direction to go.
My suggestion is list everything in parts both new and used possibilities, machine work, and modification to said vehicle. Then list costs associated with each and include contracted costs you need to farm out. Being honest my bet this still comes out higher than expected. I’m sure guys on here will help with anything missed or over looked. Generally the small stuff adds up quick such as special fittings, clamps, reducers, that type stuff that gets overlooked.

Keep in mind it is easy for others to spend your cash. Maybe they can help ya save some as well.

Didn’t GM have a multi port with fix position distributor in the late ’90’s?
 

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You have to drive the oil pump via the distributor hole no matter what. The cam sync, that also drives the oil pump, that I linked is $135.

You don't need a cam sync unless, as 35WINDOW said, you want to run sequential injection and 8 individual sparks. You can use something else to drive the oil pump and use a crank trigger only and that will allow for batch fire injection and wasted spark - both of which are fine. If you run an MS2, MS3, MS3X or MSPro, then you also have the option of running an 8 pin HEI distributor of the 90's era.

Making a crank trigger wheel with a DIYAutotune wheel is not hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Seems like you have a preferred direction to go.
My suggestion is list everything in parts both new and used possibilities, machine work, and modification to said vehicle. Then list costs associated with each and include contracted costs you need to farm out. Being honest my bet this still comes out higher than expected. I’m sure guys on here will help with anything missed or over looked. Generally the small stuff adds up quick such as special fittings, clamps, reducers, that type stuff that gets overlooked.

Keep in mind it is easy for others to spend your cash. Maybe they can help ya save some as well.

Didn’t GM have a multi port with fix position distributor in the late ’90’s?
Definitely feeling better about going the Megasquirt way. I got a spreadsheet of MSRP of Holley sniper vs MSRP with Megasquirt 3. Tried to get most of the big ticket items from oil pan to injectors. Ok, I left out push rods, spark plugs and wires, but all that is still up in the air. At the end of the day it looks like a wash. The Megasquirt will take more time, but on the flip side I should learn about how it all works. It is higher than expected. The range in price of things like rocker arms, there's got to be a $200+ difference from low end to upper range. I'll put the time needed to research all that at a later. I'm just trying to get a game plan together right now as to not spin my wheels and toss money away.

The pricing out of the machine work I'm still unsure of. For the most part it'll be the same with either setup. It's things like the throttle body, do I get it with all the sensors included for twice as much as one with out sensors? After a quick search on Amazon and eBay it would seem there's a nice markup on some of this stuff.
The 454 does have TBI on it (it's an end of the line Mark IV late 80s), I just don't recall if it has the distributor or not. The distributor from the Vortec 7400 has been recommended in the past.

Question time: Since I need something to spin the oil pump anyway. What performance difference is there from having the Megasquirt control timing via a distributor or wasted spark w/ coil on plug?

I completely understand about others spending my money. I'm sure there is someone here thinking that I should just put a roots supercharger with dual dominator carburetors sticking out through the hood.

I've enjoyed thing conversation (if you can call it that on a forum). I might have even learned a few things.
 

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Chucky, i'm late to the discussion, but I have to wonder about spending the money to build 496 cu in and then skimping on the injection setup. The first and foremost consideration I would want is that when completed .........I want it to be reliable. Being out on the road with a camper trailer and having some small cheap component fail in a home assembled injection system will ruin your day and your finances.

I would get a 4L80 trans and a throttle body injection and install them in your current 396 powered vehicle. Sort everything out and enjoy the learning curve. With the lower gears in the 4L80, your 396 will pull differently. Once you have everything working well and are happy with your set up, then make building a larger engine to install later a secondary project. That way you are not trying to change everything all at one time. You have solved some basic problems with the initial trans/injection swap and changing the engine out should present fewer issues to contend with later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Chucky, i'm late to the discussion, but I have to wonder about spending the money to build 496 cu in and then skimping on the injection setup. The first and foremost consideration I would want is that when completed .........I want it to be reliable. Being out on the road with a camper trailer and having some small cheap component fail in a home assembled injection system will ruin your day and your finances.

I would get a 4L80 trans and a throttle body injection and install them in your current 396 powered vehicle. Sort everything out and enjoy the learning curve. With the lower gears in the 4L80, your 396 will pull differently. Once you have everything working well and are happy with your set up, then make building a larger engine to install later a secondary project. That way you are not trying to change everything all at one time. You have solved some basic problems with the initial trans/injection swap and changing the engine out should present fewer issues to contend with later on.
I been keeping an eye on the Holley support forums. They aren't immune to O2, stuck injectors, or RFI issues either.

I didn't think I was cheaping something out. Just looking at the pros and cons of different set ups. If anything, the money looks to be about the same for the diy multiport injection vs the slap it in and go Holley. At that point it's about equal, it isn't until you add transmission control that there is a fair amount of difference.

My 396 is tired and starting to use up some more oil than I like, but I do agree with setting something up with what I got and not do all the changes at one time. Maybe I can add some MPFI to it and learn off of that.

I'm not even 100% sure what route I'm going to take to get overdrive. 4l80 or add a great venders overdrive to the t-400.

That being said, so have some time before I start this project to get it all worked out.
 

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If you decide to go with a 4L80, then be advised that it will require an ECU that run it. You can use a Mircrosquirt can bus'd to any MS, or get a Holley Term X Max. But be advised that the TC control on the Holley is rudimentary as compared to using a microsquirt, but much easier to tune. All of the Holley stuff is gearedtoward the hotrodder/drag race guy where as the MS stuff doesn't have any one specific goal in mind.

From a budget standpoint wiuth a 4L80, nothing will be cheaper than a Holley TermXMax.
 

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I am running something close to your idea (BBC/4L80E), and since Microsquirt has been discussed I'll put my .02 in for my experience with Holley EFI-I have the Dominator in my Car, controlling a 4L80e, running sequential, 8-IGN-1 Coils with the Holey crank trigger and an MSD Cam Synch. I have been very impressed with the ease of tuning (for an old guy who is semi-computer literate)-with the exception of a failed Bosch 02 sensor (I changed up to the NTK-it's the only way to go) I haven't had a hiccup with the system, and this is my second summer running it-
I am running one of the standard tunes for the 4L80e, and haven't tweaked it at all-it shifts perfectly, and I am running a paddle shifter setup that took me about 5 minutes to program in the inputs/outputs-it was very intuitive.
The initial tune was a snap to install, and, like the Microsquirt it is self learning, so my Car ran great right out of the Garage and only got better-there was a few questions I had during initial install and tuning, and the Holey EFI Facebook crew were so gracious in their assistance-I expected trouble but never had it-
 

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Don't know much about efi. I have a pro-m system on my 95 mustang and it is not user friendly but it is their old system and expect their latest version is much better. Chris Richards has been great to deal with and would because of him suggest you look into this system.

My only suggestion from reading this thread is try to not mix components from various manufacturers. It may be more expensive to purchase one system to do everything but the chances of it working right and user friendly will be greater as all of the components should be compatible and work together correctly.
Sole source responsibility, prevents finger pointing.
 

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Like most anything, as you look at adding more bells and whistles, the price continues to rise. There are many times when being frugal or cobbling something up works just fine. There are other times when its best to "bite the bullet" and buy good stuff. The thing that comes to mind most often is when the frugal guys try to convince themselves that a cheap welder is all they need .....because they are not professionals after all. Lots of cheap dusty welders sitting in the corner in garages. They don't get used because the guy thinks its his fault that the welds are lousy. Its a mindset kind of thing that many of us who grew up poor have difficulty admitting when we may be better off spending more instead of settling..... Right now I'm building a 36" homemade bead roller. I think its gonna be nice when its done, but I have more effort in it than I ever thought I would. Hope to finally get it done this week.
My point here is that even if I built one, I should have done a simpler conversion of one of the commom flat C plate ones instead of a box tubing design. Thats why I'm suggesting that if money is going to be somewhat of an issue, going with a throttle body will get you there quickly and reasonably well. Myself, I'm totally ANAL about every project I do and often end up struggling to finish it. I do finish, because I don't give up.
All of that being said, I have several auto projects I'm trying to get back to if I ever finish this bead roller. One of them is building a 500 Cad that (like you), I want to use multi-port and coil near plug ignition. My goal is to put it in a 32 Ford and make it look like it has carbs on it. The carbs will serve as simple throttle bodies. It will take a LOT of effort and my ANAL side is dominating me again. Anyway, you are doing right to ask questions, get opinions, do research........but in the end you have to decide what will satisfy YOU. My recommendation is to go with a mid-level rather than the cheapest system. Get one that can operate your trans and do throttle body or multi-point. Also, note that used systems can be found on Facebook Marketplace but they are often not the latest version. Might find something decent but its a gamble.
 

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I am running something close to your idea (BBC/4L80E), and since Microsquirt has been discussed I'll put my .02 in for my experience with Holley EFI-I have the Dominator in my Car, controlling a 4L80e, running sequential, 8-IGN-1 Coils with the Holey crank trigger and an MSD Cam Synch. I have been very impressed with the ease of tuning (for an old guy who is semi-computer literate)-with the exception of a failed Bosch 02 sensor (I changed up to the NTK-it's the only way to go) I haven't had a hiccup with the system, and this is my second summer running it-
I am running one of the standard tunes for the 4L80e, and haven't tweaked it at all-it shifts perfectly, and I am running a paddle shifter setup that took me about 5 minutes to program in the inputs/outputs-it was very intuitive.
The initial tune was a snap to install, and, like the Microsquirt it is self learning, so my Car ran great right out of the Garage and only got better-there was a few questions I had during initial install and tuning, and the Holey EFI Facebook crew were so gracious in their assistance-I expected trouble but never had it-
After using the Holley Term and HP ECU's and MS1, MS2, MS3X and micro I will say that the Holley is by far the easiest setup out there to the initial startup and tune functioning. The Megasquirt stuff is not overly demanding at all and the support forums for it are very good - I've never had an issue with support for any of my MS projects. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either to anyone.

The concern comes in the budget. You're running a Dominator, which is by far superior to all of the Megasquirt ECU's, and it should be for the cost. But man oh man, does it do everything you could possibly dream up - it's GREAT AFAIC - just a lofty price.

I actually prefer the tuning software for Megasquirt over the Holley stuff - I believe it is more straight forward and sensible, but that's me. Perhaps iI like it better because it's what I learned EFI with. The thing that irks the heck out of me with the Holley is the damn tuning cable and dashes. They are Holley specific and you pay plenty for them. And you have to use a cable. It's 2021 for love of the big man upstairs, when is Holley going to come up with a bluetooth tuning adapter and dash? There is nothing neater than to tune the car while sitting in the garage and using a dash that is an Amazon $40 tablet - both of those can be done with Megasquirt EASILY.

Either way the OP decides to go, both will work for what he's after and both have plenty of support.
 

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I am also late to the discussion, but after reading the whole thing, I have to wonder: why bother with building a 496 and then "creating" an EFI system by yourself (plus the needed stuff to run the 4L80E), when (and you even mention the 6.0 L at one point) a late model truck engine/trans combo would do the trick just fine, probably more reliably, and easier to install in your truck? Find a good combo with, say, less than 50 000 miles on it (or spend a bit more time and find a combo with less than 10 000 on it!), and you're good to go!
I of course totally understand that you want to create your own thing, but, in a way, aren't you over-thinking this?
Then, if you want more fun, and some show, add a Magnacharger blower on your engine! Can an EFI-496 beat this?...
 
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