Howell TBI: 258 to 304 Conversion & Tuning Help - Page 2 - JeepForum.com
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post #16 of 29 Old 07-13-2015, 10:37 AM
gmakra
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johnson30 I would talk to Troy at Howell and see what he says about the ECM being able to learn how to deal with 40 cubic inch increase.

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post #17 of 29 Old 07-13-2015, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Might not have made it clear in earlier posts, but I called Howell long ago to order the GM 305-sized injectors, 304 chip and intake manifold adaptor plate. During the phone order we talked about the cam and the engine specs and they said they felt like the stock 304 chip would be ok. Obviously it's close but not 100% correct based on the datalogging.

They can burn a new chip for me, but I need the data to send them and just want to confirm how to proceed without destroying anything in haste or ignorance.
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post #18 of 29 Old 07-13-2015, 11:37 AM
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I'm leery of driving it on anything other than 128, but I have limited knowledge on the subject.

Daniel (Dadamsnv) on this board might be able to shine some light on your situation. He spent a couple/few months dialing in his tune, got pretty familiar with the system in doing so. Knows a heck of alot more about tuning it than most around here. When I start getting into tuning I'm going to refer to his tuning info in this thread:

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/ju...9/index21.html

Might try PM'ing him.

You also might try poking around on this board:

http://www.thirdgen.org/forums/tbi/

Alot of good tuning info to be had there.

Here's some I found relating to your BLM behavoir. The guy spent alot of time looking for exhaust leaks and checking valve lash before he went into tuning, but then he talks about the tuning. Seems he was more concerned about getting BLM correct in order to pass emmission, wasn't worried about destroying the engine.

http://www.thirdgen.org/forums/tpi/5...nt-creeps.html

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post #19 of 29 Old 07-16-2015, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Great advice. I struck up a conversation with Dadamsnv and he gave me the answer I was looking for:

The BLM number indicates that the computer sensed a lean/rich condition and then had to add/subtract fuel to correct it. So the computer is helping you out by modifying the fuel output that the chip fuel table says to do under circumstances where the computer senses that the fuel table instructions are not accurate.

Dadamsnv used a rifle analogy: a rifle with the sights at zero is the same as the stock fuel table. Shooting a rifle with the sights at zero will likely not hit the target dead center- some adjustment to the sights is required to get it dialed in. The sight post adjustment is analogous to the BLM feedback changing the fuel output. Unlike a rifle, however, the chip can then be changed based on that feedback and our "rifle" could be made to shoot the target dead center with the sight posts at zero adjustment.

His caution about BLM is that it has upper and lower limits and that if you get too far out of it's adjustment range then you "run out" of adjustment. This is why the fuel table must be centered so that operating conditions that actually require on the fly adjustment can be utilized.

Since my BLM numbers look like they might be hitting the upper limits of adjustment (lean), I'm doing nothing until I can get the laptop plugged into the ECM and make adjustments. I have a Moates emulator arriving today and I'm going to need to de-solder the chip holder to accommodate the new flash chip first.

I'm hopeful that I can get my numbers to look better after some tweaking.

tbichips.com has what they call a "Stage 2- Level 5 chip" that they will burn for you ($200). They say: "

Level 5 is the biggest you can really run with the TBI system. 208-214 intake duration @ .050 like Summit K1103, sealed power CS1105R or comp cams CL12-256-4"

My cam is [email protected]" and [email protected]", 112 LSA, 0.530 valve lift so I suspect that the engine is breathing heavy and the stock 304 chip is just nowhere close to being able to accommodate. When this engine runs, it is not lumpy and the idle is smooth. The cam specs say 1000-5000rpm range. The cams suggested above in the Level 5 category indicate a 1,600rpm start range, so I do think that while this roller cam is much more aggressive than stock, it won't prove to be unreasonable and I'm hopeful I can make some progress in dialing the fuel in.
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post #20 of 29 Old 07-21-2015, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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So I got the autoprom from Moates and was able to finally put the binary file from the Howell 304 chip onto the autoprom and I got the chip adaptor soldered into the ECU.

All of that out of the way, I was able to successfully emulate the "stock" Howell 304 chip using only the autoprom. Then I started adjusting the VE table. Based on the datalogging feedback that at idle (Map 50 and RPM 800) I was getting a 160 BLM. So I adjusted the VE table by increasing the value at that intersection in that cell, just for experimentation. I eventually raised the entire table by 4 points, but for the purposes of my question, I could never get my BLM to come down and stay down off of that 160 figure. I got some temporary 145s and 135s, depending on how much I had adjusted the VE number up at the 50/800 intersection, but then after a few minutes the BLM value would be right back at 157 or 161. Any explanation for the lack of BLM response? The engine is definitely happier with more fuel. Seat of the pants says it runs smoother and the throttle response is better exhaust note sounds better and it doesn't try to stall when getting on the clutch etc. like it did before.

Any ideas? Should I drive it more to get a longer-term BLM, or should I just keep going up on the VE table numbers until I get 128 BLM numbers after short test drives?
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post #21 of 29 Old 07-21-2015, 05:36 PM
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Paging Daniel..... Paging Dadamsnv....

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post #22 of 29 Old 07-21-2015, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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I sent him the same question!

He suggested the Base Pulse Width needed to be adjusted. I looked up mine in TunerProRT. It is 123 in most places on the "EGR on" table and 135 for "EGR off" (scalar).

The quick math I found was:

BPW = 11600 * ( 5.0L / 8cyl / 45lb-hr injectors)
BPW = 161

So since that's above what mine is set at for both EGR circumstances, I'm going to try playing with that number tomorrow and see if it yields any better numbers.
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post #23 of 29 Old 07-22-2015, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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I adjusted the BPW up from 135 to 161 and I finally got the BLM numbers down from 160s across the board to a range of 133-137 for the cells that populated.

The engine started and did a very reasonable warm up idle speed with slightly rich 02 readings, then fell off to the requested idle speed of 850. First time it's done that correctly. I watched it go to closed loop, then I started getting great numbers for BLM and 02 and INT.....basically everything got better. The 02 swings were not as extreme and the BLM numbers just parked at that 133-137 range.

So now I need to do some VE table tuning, I suppose, to sneak the numbers down. Since this yielded such a good result based on actual computer feedback, I'm certain I'm barking up the right tree here.

Any of this progress was based on information I got from Dadamsnv, so I have him to thank for getting this sorted out.


An unscientific observation is that the exhaust note is no longer dry and scratchy- it's much more throaty.
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post #24 of 29 Old 07-28-2015, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Very positive progress.

1) I've been able to easily record data from the ECM and make changes to the emulator and see those changes impact the engine running conditions.

2) The Moates emulator works great for its role in this process. The ZIF chip socket now sticks out of the ECM and the stock chip cover can't be put back on. Since this is in a CJ, I'm hoping I can arrive at a solution that results in a sealed ECM box.

3) The TunerPro software is easy to use once you learn how to use it, and it's fairly intuitive after some frustrating trial and error. I used a lot of forums to teach myself how to use it. The more you mess with it, the easier it gets.

4) Increasing the BPW to adjust my global fuel mixture brought the across the board 160+ BLM numbers way down to within 6 points of 128 at most RPM/MAP combinations. This is the advice that I was given and it is also now what I've read in several threads. I can't find two sites with the same GM injector flow rate information. My math equation worked to correct my BLM numbers, but the flow rate I used might not be correct. Skip the math: The bottom line is that adjusting the BPW will globally raise or lower your BLM numbers and cure a global fueling issue. Once you are able to get the BLM numbers closer to 128 by way of the BPW, then you can fine tune individual cells in the VE tables.

5) The Howell TBI is working fine and I'm not displeased with how it runs this engine. However, since this is a modified engine, it has taken a significant amount of nonsense and expenditure and downtime to get this engine running correctly. A stock engine with zero modifications might be the perfect candidate for the Howell system and their stock engine chip, but If I had to do it again, I think I would spend the money it took to get me to this point on a self-learning system (I'm thinking the Holley Avenger TBI). It really came out about the same and with the Holley system you also get spark advance control and it is always learning so it constantly tunes.

If you own a Howell or junkyard TBI system, it's worth your money and peace of mind to at LEAST buy that $80 ALDL cable from Moates and use WinALDL. You can see everything the ECM sees and I went from guessing to knowing what was going on under the hood.


End result: took the jeep for its first real test drive today and it runs like a dream. Still adjusting, but the drivability is comparable to any other passenger car and as a bonus it's scary fast.
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post #25 of 29 Old 07-29-2015, 03:25 AM
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Good for you I went through the same curve some years back.
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post #26 of 29 Old 09-03-2015, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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More Updates: IAC / BLM / Engine Mounts / Air filter sizing

I previously said the jeep "drove like a dream"......and that wasn't inaccurate compared to how it had been behaving, but I have more insight to share that will hopefully help someone else. And now it really does drive like a dream.



Symptom 1: blipping the throttle resulted in a quick stumble that sounded like the engine was going to die momentarily (no more than a second in length) then it came back and revved up. Opening the throttle more slowly did not produce this problem.

Solution 1: I had set reset the IAC several times, but I didn't grasp before that you wanted to set the throttle plate idle (IAC disconnected) below the desired engine idle. The computer is supposed to control the idle speed by way of the IAC, you are not setting the desired idle speed by way of the throttle plates. The objective is to set the throttle plate engine speed (with the IAC disconnected and reset to 0) below the desired engine idle speed, so that when the computer is on and the engine is running, it will add IAC counts (open it) to bring the idle up. I've read that the desired IAC count is around 40 at idle, I ended up at around 30. After setting the engine idle speed to about 600 with the IAC unplugged, I then started the engine again with the IAC plugged in and the engine started out at 600, then slowly found its way to 800, where I had set it on TunerPro. The stumble was completely gone.

All of this requires you to have WinALDL and a laptop or something that gives you realtime engine data.



Symptom 2: I realized that WinALDL has the ability to see longer term averages for the BLM feedback. I was using recent and unaveraged data so I kept dancing around the BLM value of 128 with my tuning adjustments. On the BLM tab on WinALDL, there is a box at the bottom right that allows you to choose between recent and averaged data. Check out this page for all the explanation you could want in an easy to understand format: http://winaldl.joby.se/aldlscreen.htm

Solution 2: After tuning using the long term average, I got much better BLM numbers the next time I drove with that updated tune.



Symptom 3: The engine felt smooth at all RPMs, but the body had an unpleasant vibration to it at 1200-1600 rpms. It was unacceptable and made the jeep unenjoyable to drive. Not that it was that bad, it just didn't seem right and so I was worried all the time that something was wrong....that the engine was out of balance.....that the fan was out of balance...that there was a fueling issue....a timing issue....that I had wasted a bunch of money...you know how it goes.

Solution 3: The engine mounts. I had a set of M.O.R.E. polyurethane mounts added to this build up in place of the stock rubber mounts that I still had. To clarify, this was the entire mount from frame to block, not just the isolator. I used the MORE mounts on my 258 and they were a vast improvement (when I bought the jeep, the transmission shifter tower was beating up the tunnel cover because it was moving so much). But when I used them on the 304, they seemed to transmit a resonant frequency to the body more readily. I've read that the straight 6 is the superior design as far as balance goes, anything else has some inherent vibration. Without getting into it, there is a bunch of engineering that supports the previous statement. At any rate, on a hunch, I took off the MORE mounts one at a time and replaced them with the stock rubber mounts and my vibration was gone by half....then entirely. This thing is a real joy to drive now because it feels like a newer car; you can't feel anything from the engine besides the power it's putting down to the road. Score.

I'm not blaming Mountain Off Road Enterprises, but I just wasn't willing to accept the way the mounts transmitted vibration for this engine. If you are just starting to read here, this was a rebuilt 304 that I watched get balanced and that runs incredibly smooth through all rpms. It is comparable to my 3.4L tacoma engine, if not better as far as running the throttle up with your hand on the engine block goes for comparison.



Lastly: I still had the air filter from the 258 on the new engine. I saw a random thread in internet world that suggested a clogged air filter could cause vibration at 12-1600 rpms.....blah blah blah. So some more searching yielded that there is a calculation...yes, MATH! that tells you what size filter you need for engine displacement. Needless to say, mine was a little too small so I had to go to autozone and get a sweet chrome Edelbrock filter cover and 10" x 2.5" filter that the math said was the right surface area for my engine. The website that gave me the information was: http://www.onallcylinders.com/2013/1...r-size-engine/

and K&N's website has some slightly different math that I didn't use.
No idea if this was a ever a problem, but there's no chance of it ever being one now.



So after all these changes, I'm really happy with how the jeep drives and sounds and the WinALDL data proves that the computer is happy with what it is seeing. Always room to improve but these last few changes really made this project turn a corner.
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post #27 of 29 Old 09-03-2015, 07:58 PM
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You sort of took the long way around but good to see you got it running.
For future reference, EVERYTHING you need is already provided in the injection forum on binderplanet.com.
From complete DIY install to the basics needed for tuning.
Reading through this thread there were quite a few misconceptions noted and I must say that no one should buy a tune from anyone that does not require actual logged data to make the proper adjustments.
Any thing less is just a guess.
The Howell system is fuel only so they don't really need to TUNE. It just has to be close and they let the system self correct.

The GM based EFI system came from the factory with fuel and timing control and that's how it should be run on a conversion(unless you have an odd fire V6).

I would like to see the BLM and data logs from winaldl to see how they look.

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post #28 of 29 Old 09-04-2015, 11:24 AM
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I wish you would elaborate on the misconceptions you noted in this thread and expand on your thoughts right here. Wouldn't take you long to set things straight. Clear things up so we don't further perpetuate myth and ignorance. People that find this thread later will benefit from that.

Coming into this thread now, after the OP sorted it out on his own and saying blanket statements about misconceptions and taking the long way around is not useful. Oh I forgot, you did say we should just go over to binderplanet and get schooled proper rather than get schooled right here in our own Jeepforum. If I was going to seek knowledge outside of here I'd prefer Thirdgen.org anyhow.

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post #29 of 29 Old 05-01-2016, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I don't really know how to address Bill's misguided effort at providing assistance on this subject, except to say that it is my opinion that the benefit of a site like this should be to gain obscure information from those who have experience in a subject and to do so in a way that doesn't invite the frustrated impatience of those who believe their own inherent brilliance allowed them to bypass any learning process in their lives.

The BLM numbers are several hundred miles perfect now.




As a follow up to the technical discussion from this thread- I was continuing to have an engine vibration that I didn't like (I was still doing very short test drives). Background that no-one would have: the engine was rebuilt and balanced using the stock harmonic damper. Last minute, the stock damper was replaced and match balanced by the builder after the balancing had been done. On a hunch, I pulled the new balancer and replaced it with the stock balancer. Boom- smooth as silk. So my engine got externally balanced (as it is from the factory as an AMC engine) and then we introduced a small imbalance after the fact. Not kidding- I can now barely feel the thing at 3k. I was beyond pleased to have that problem solved. So only then did I go out and take it on a few long distance road trips to properly break the engine in. And I've since been on some off-road weekend trips and this motor is amazing. I was concerned a V8 would have a higher power range, but the low end on this motor is amazing. It wouldn't stall while crawling. I told the builder I wanted a stump puller and that is precisely what he build for me.

I had never rebuilt an engine before, so this was also an awesome learning experience. If I did it again, I would know exactly what to do and ask for and make sure happened in the process. Luckily, the end result was excellent, but as with many things of this nature, I went in with a little bit of faith and tried my best to be educated. Some things you just don't know until you've experienced them.
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