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Unread 02-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #16
Berniebikes
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
 
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jbolty, a proper wiring harness is one off a gm 86 to 92 (and in some cases later) vehicle with TBI. You can pull the entire engine harness with connectors and all, plus the ecm. Since those engines were used on nearly every model of gm truck and car, there are literally tens of millions out there. If you don't want to pull the harness yourself, there are several ebay sellers that will do it for you and ship it to you. It will take a few hours to strip out some wires you won't use or need, and to splice any that you had to cut to get things out, but if you can follow colors and read letters and numbers it is simple and straightforward. Nearly all of the parts needed can be pulled from a single vehicle if you find one with a 4.3L engine, others are readily available at Napa, Rock Auto, Advance, O'Reilly, etc. Two things specific to the vehicle that need some sourcing are the throttle body adapter (and there are cad drawings and measurements out there if you have access to a milling machine) and the speed sensor. Many options depending on what your intake is and what connection you have to pick up speed. Generally for the speed sensor the easiest is JAGs that run (JTR) who has one that connects between the speedo pickup and the transfer case. I found everything without a hitch.

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Unread 02-02-2013, 05:02 PM   #17
Lrasser
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Thanks for the great info guys! I've been looking through all the paperwork and i have one question. What dist do you use? If its computer controled doesnt it need to get swapped out?
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Unread 02-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #18
Lrasser
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any idea if a harness, conputer and throttle body for a 94 suburban would work?
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Unread 02-02-2013, 08:10 PM   #19
NonRubicon
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The OEM 4.2L setup used the computer to adjust the timing by delaying the signal to the dizzy when needed. With the Howell TBI you can use the OEM distributor or you can swap in a HEI style. I run the OEM distributor without any problems. However, you might be able to get even better performance with a properly curved HEI type dizzy.

If you are looking to put together your own parts, you"ll want to find a throttle body system for a 4.3L TBI Chevy/GM (which is what the Howell kit is based on). The 4.3L system is close enough in displacement to the 4.2L to not require reprogramming the computer.
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Unread 02-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #20
OilfieldCowboy
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I've got a Howell TBI on the 87. It runs so rich you can sometimes smell raw gas in the exhaust when it isn't backfiring that is. Trying to track down some nagging vacuum leaks before I pursue solving the fueling issue. Have already contacted Howell and they have given me an idea on how to continue. This kit was installed in the early/mid 90's and ran great until the Jeep was parked back in 2001 or so.
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Unread 02-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #21
Berniebikes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrasser View Post
any idea if a harness, conputer and throttle body for a 94 suburban would work?
I'm thinking not, what you want is a 4.3 Liter v6 engine preferably, from about 86 to 92.
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Unread 02-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #22
Berniebikes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrasser View Post
Thanks for the great info guys! I've been looking through all the paperwork and i have one question. What dist do you use? If its computer controled doesnt it need to get swapped out?
Distributor really doesn't matter. if you do a "junk yard" tbi and use the ecm to control spark, what really matters is the ignition module you use. You can have a standard distributor, or an HEI style that you will essentially rework to remove or rewire the ignition module. You can still use the HEI coil if you want.
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Unread 02-02-2013, 10:11 PM   #23
OilfieldCowboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berniebikes View Post
Distributor really doesn't matter. if you do a "junk yard" tbi and use the ecm to control spark, what really matters is the ignition module you use. You can have a standard distributor, or an HEI style that you will essentially rework to remove or rewire the ignition module. You can still use the HEI coil if you want.
After reading back through this thread, any tips on how to set up an existing Howell kit to control spark?
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Unread 02-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #24
Berniebikes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilfieldCowboy View Post
After reading back through this thread, any tips on how to set up an existing Howell kit to control spark?
You would need to connect up wires to pins B3 and B5 of your ECM, and connect up an ignition module (easiest to use a gm 8 pin module). This assumes that Howell hasn't done anything to the chip or programming in the ECM, just removed the wires from the harness. I really have no experience with what Howell has done to the ECM. Worst case, spend $30 to $50 and pick up a new (used) ECM from a 4.3L V6 and slap it in if you find out Howell has done something to the program.

Post Edit: You will also need to disable the mechanical and vacuum advance on your distributor, reset you timing, and go back thru an initial startup procedure to get everything set up. You will also need some connectors you can pick up at the junkyard, and some wires to connect up the ICM to the coil and distributor. BTW, a new gm ignition module is only about $35. I'm guessing you could do the whole thing for under $100 even if you need to procure another ECM.
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