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  #1  
Old 01-13-2013, 09:20 AM
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Mr. Goatman Mr. Goatman is offline
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Howell Question

Long story, I'll make it short. I've been working on a GW for many years. I rebuilt the engine, had the trans done and am currently trying to finish up an SOA/SF so I can get it back on the road. It currrently has an Edelbrock 1405/ Performer. I want TBI. I bought a Holley projection system several years ago and could never get it to work very well. So, I pulled it and reinstalled the carb. I have all the parts for a DIY TBI sitting in a box and that was my plan. I recently bought a Howell system from another member here. It is missing the VSS and O2 sensor. Can I use a wide band O2 sensor with the Howell in anticipation of future upgrades? What does the VSS do in this system? I called Howell and the guy would only say that if I was not on the street in California I did not need it. The Howell system looks just like stock GM parts so I guess when I'm ready I can just change the ECM and start programming. I would like to eventually have the ECM control the timing. I need to get this rig on the road by the first of May (fuel only) so I can put some miles on it to work out the bugs with the goal being to take it to Ouray in July. I have wanted to go for years and this IS THE YEAR!!!
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2013, 09:28 AM
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jaber jaber is offline
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Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
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The Howell kit is the same as a GM, I have installed 2 kits on 2 different 258s.
I do not have a VSS on any of my systems and do just fine without.
I am not sure on the WBO2, but will be watching to see what the masses say.
If you are going to control timing also, dont wait. IMHO it is easier to do it when you first install, then to come back and add it.

Hope I helped...
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2013, 10:36 AM
Bill USN-1 Bill USN-1 is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Nov 11, 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, Wa
Posts: 360
The VSS isn't "needed" but does help with a daily driver. It allows the system to use the DFCO-decell fuel cut off mode so it reduces the fuel as you let off the gas.
It also allows for a more stable idle speed as you slow to a stop.
On occasion, some guys experience a stalling when coming to a stop. This is normally with manual transmissions when you decell and the IAC closes and then you push the clutch in and the IAC is still closed and the throttle is closed. If the Initial set up put the min idle to low the engine can stall.
DFCO can increase the MPG slightly.
Highway mode is also avail to be played with if you have a VSS. It allows the AFR to be increased during a steady light throttle cruise and raises the timing a few degrees. Keep in mind that with a heavy brick moving through the air...there isn't a lot of light throttle cruise! And if you tune your timing for your vehicle then the timing is already adjusted for light cruise in the main timing table.

It also allows for computer controlled EGR. So yes, in places where you have emissions you need the VSS.

Timing control...IIRC was already addressed in a thread here. it only takes a couple wires. Most of Howells system are fuel only so they don't have to do any tuning when they sell a system. The fuel only has to be close because the system self tunes as you drive.
But you lose a lot of the benefits of the EFI by not running the timing control, provided the fuel and timing are tuned for your engine.
Howell uses an electronic filter inline on the B5 wire between the neg side of the coil and the ECM. This allows the ECM to receive the tach signal so it will still fire the injectors but no wiring is installed to send the timing signal back to the ignition module. Without spark you have no fuel! that's the safety feture...not the oil pressure switch which is only there to take the load away from the relay contacts.

A wide band O2 can be used in simulated NBO2 mode if wanted but since the WB sensor is about $150 and the NB O2 is $10...I would install 2 o2 bungs and run the NBO2 for normal use and just use the WB for your initial tuning.
A direct WB input is not used on the older 7747 ECM. Some code has been written to use it in the later 7427 PCM.

You are not going to be tuning and watching all your sensor every time you drive.
You install, tune and then just use it and enjoy it.
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Hamilton Fuel Injection
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Last edited by Bill USN-1 : 01-13-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2013, 11:22 AM
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Mr. Goatman Mr. Goatman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaber
The Howell kit is the same as a GM, I have installed 2 kits on 2 different 258s.
I do not have a VSS on any of my systems and do just fine without.
I am not sure on the WBO2, but will be watching to see what the masses say.
If you are going to control timing also, dont wait. IMHO it is easier to do it when you first install, then to come back and add it.

Hope I helped...

I am looking to get back on the road ASAP. Since I know nothing about tuning I bought the Howell to get me going. As I learn about tuning I can pull the Howell ECM and put on my "tuned" one. If I screw something up I can just put the Howell ECM back in place and still be able to drive. Once I figure all that out I will Mod the Dizzy and play with the spark control. Once it is all done and working I can sell the Howell system and recoup my $$$ (I hope)
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2013, 11:31 AM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Colorado
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The VSS will help a little bit, but I don't know if your Howell system's chip has the VSS enabled. If it doesn't, adding the VSS will not do a thing. Does your Howell harness had the wire for the VSS? If so, the chip might be expecting a signal.

You can not utilize the benefits of a wide band O2 sensor on the '7747 ECM. It uses a narrow band sensor. As mentioned, adding a WB sensor and using the simulated NB O2 output would be pointless.

I would recommend going with a heated O2 sensor, however. It will help you go into closed loop faster as well as keep the O2 hot enough when at idle or during cold temps or driving in snow/rain.
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2013, 11:57 AM
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I believe it does have a connector for the VSS sensor. The guy at howell told me it was needed in California but otherwise not to worry about it.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2013, 12:09 PM
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babywag babywag is offline
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Pretty sure it'll just throw a code, should still run ok?

You'll need an O2 to match your connector.
Should be 3-wire, but could be 4-wire depending on when it was built.
I'd stay away from the cheap 1 wire o2 sensors.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2013, 12:51 PM
Bill USN-1 Bill USN-1 is offline
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Nothing wrong with having a 3 or 4 wire O2 but if you think about how the system works, it's really more for the emissions testing than anything else.

If the system is tuned then even in open loop like when you start your engine every time, the output will be based on the tune.
Where a heated o2 helps is in the cold fuel adder tables for open loop. The faster it goes into closed loop the faster it will turn off the added fuel whith a cold engine.

But, once the engine is at operating temp, even if the sensor cools down at a stop or in winter, it won't affect the output if the fuel is tuned...and keep in mind that the ECM is always learning and adjusting the fuel tables while you drive. Those corrections are still being applied even in open loop.

Now the make of the O2 will have an affect on it. Most prefer the delco AFS series over the cheaper Bosch sensors.
But then a lot use the bosch WBO2...so whatever you pick, if it works it's good.
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Hamilton Fuel Injection
75 scout XLC 345/727/JPD300/3.73's/33's/4wdisc/hydroboost/EFI/OBA/OBW
1977 Innocenti 1001 (Italian Mini)EFI 1275/DIS
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:45 PM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
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Location: Colorado
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A heated O2 sensor will also keep it from getting too cold when either the ambient temp is really low or you're driving through snow, slush or rain. AMHIK.

Yes, it's also a benefit for emissions. I guess that's why my 401 passed the e-test with numbers less than half the legal limits. ;-)
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:28 PM
Bill USN-1 Bill USN-1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSJ Guy
A heated O2 sensor will also keep it from getting too cold when either the ambient temp is really low or you're driving through snow, slush or rain. AMHIK.

Yes, it's also a benefit for emissions. I guess that's why my 401 passed the e-test with numbers less than half the legal limits. ;-)

Yes it does keep it hot but as i mentioned, once the engine is up to temp it is running off the corrected VE table so it make no difference if the O2 is used or not short term. It obviously will affect it if you continue to drive as the filter gets dirty and the conditions change.
As you play with these more you will find that the best mileage is obtained in open loop...like highway mode when the AFR can operate higher then the 14.7 stoick.

I have many DIY guys and customers in CO running 1 wire and pass with no issues.

Just means you have your system tuned.
Now if your test station let the vehicle set in the cold for a long time and then started it right up and began testing...it would be affected no matter what O2 you ran. But they aren't supposed to do that. The vehicle is supposed to be at normal operating temp.

Here's a little test...
Just unplug your O2 and drive.
If your tuned I bet you won't even notice.
Hook up your WB and drive with the NB O2 disconnected....that will tell you how well you are tuned.
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Hamilton Fuel Injection
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1977 Innocenti 1001 (Italian Mini)EFI 1275/DIS
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