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Library Tech Library Tech => Tech Articles/Sticky's Section => Topic started by: mighty mouse on August 17, 2009, 12:00:26 pm



Title: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: mighty mouse on August 17, 2009, 12:00:26 pm
This Tech Article will outline the "How To's" of using a Ford EEC/TFI distributor in a "blowthru" carbed application.  

Normally a person would pick up a good aftermarket distributor for a carbed application, but as many projects have a tendancy to do - the little things eat up a large portion of the budget and can leave us scrambling to get the project running while being low on funds.  That is where the stock EFI distributor comes in.

A good aftermarket distributor is hundreds of dollars and requires one to "recurve" the unit and pull all advance out of the distributor in a "blowthru" application.  I decided to try the readily available, very inexpensive and extremely reliable stock Ford EFI distributor which had a few benefits:

1. It was cheap;
2. Replacement parts and reman units are cheap and easy to find at any parts store;
3. The factory ICM is pretty damn reliable (all things considered) and offers good spark in stock form;
4. The factory EFI distributor is extremely accurate and reliable at the RPMs turned in a typical "blown" application;
5. By coupling the ICM and the Mallory buzz box I gave my self a backup if one or the other craps out; and
6. I didnt have to take the time to pull apart a distributor and "recurve" or "lock it out" as the EFI distributor has no advance built in already.

Perfect for a "blowthru" application!

As my project was an 86 Mustang I chose to use the distributor from an 86-93 Ford Mustang as it had the roller cam compatible gear already installed.  One should source a distributor for your particular application however.

All you need to do this setup is a good condition EFI distributor and a ICM pigtail.  My EFI wiring harness was long gone, and I needed the pigtail harness to plug into the Ignition Control Module located on the distributor.
(http://351winsor.com/joel/Ignition_Systems/TFI_Mod_Pinout.gif)

After some searching, and actually finding a parts guy willing to open a book, I located a new pigtail (as every used one I found all suffered from frayed wires going into the harness plug).  The Help book described the product as "Ignition Module Socket Gray" and has Conduct Tite (Motor Mite - HELP) part number 85130.

Because no ECM is in the car only the three lower wires on the pigtail are used.

The bottom wire I simply grounded.

The second from last wire I ran to the "green wire" from my Mallory box. On an MSD box I belive you would use the white wire.  If no buzz box is being used you would hook this up to the negative coil wire (green with a yellow stripe).

The third from the last wire I simply ran to the switched 12v power wire on my Mallory Box (which was tied into the red wire with the green stripe on my factory harness as located on the drivers side firewall harness section).

Now you have an extremely reliable setup for next to nothing.

Happy Motoring!
Nathan Moonen "MM"


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: gmatt9858 on August 17, 2009, 12:58:42 pm
Thanks for posting this. Please correct me if I'm wrong. You could use this set-up N.A.(with a carb) by adding a 'timing control box'. I hope I'm right because I'm converting from efi to carb and I've already got a 6AL and the stock efi dist. I'm thinking the efi coil could be used also, no?


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: mighty mouse on August 17, 2009, 01:01:35 pm
As long as you have an external electronic way of controling timing it should work, yes.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: gmatt9858 on August 17, 2009, 02:07:23 pm
Thanks again Nathan, this has been extremely helpful.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: Big Worm on August 18, 2009, 11:53:11 pm
I don't know how the hell I found this article, some sort of Google search to a link on corral and then a link to here from corral, this is almost like winning  the lotto, I'm in the middle of doing a carbed 351w right now.


One question, does anyone know what car had the 351w and had the TFI that takes the pigtail mentioned, all i keep finding have the pigtail on the dizzy and not on the TFI module, id assume I could just use the wires coming out of the dizzy instead of the TFI module but id prefer to do it just like the write up !

Thanks in advance !
 
 (http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/wcsstore/CVCatalogAssetStore//218/full/18630008_a1c_302891_main.jpg)

1994 lightning dizzy pictured


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: Big Worm on August 18, 2009, 11:59:04 pm
nevermind, I finally went back to a 1990 e250 and found the correct unit, I guess I have pre-mature postulation  ;D


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: 84302 on September 08, 2010, 07:01:14 am
So a stock duraspark II blue connector box will work as the timing control box for a N/A application?  No need to power up the computer?  Can the computer act as ignition control? 


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on September 08, 2010, 12:14:24 pm
So a stock duraspark II blue connector box will work as the timing control box for a N/A application?  No need to power up the computer?  Can the computer act as ignition control? 

This isn't a Duraspark, its TFI. The TFI module performs the same function as any other ignition module, the computer isn't used. The only issue with this is that there is no timing control. Not that its a bad thing, many of us run our distributors locked out (full timing), even with N/A applications.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: 84302 on September 08, 2010, 02:13:05 pm
That'll get me running.  Thank you.  "pops out relay for EEC".  Then wire that puppy up to switched twelve volts and blow thru carb.  I did order a super vic and an 800 DP holly that needs rebuilt.  Good deals.  Pick them up tomorrow.  JEEEEEEEEGs.  Here I come.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: grslms51 on September 10, 2010, 09:13:47 am
i did this to my car..locked out timing..it is so simple and works great..complete tfi's are in junk yards and swop meets for a song....no need for a start retard unless you have a lot of compression.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: mxracer652 on May 29, 2012, 12:03:20 pm
Question:  Can I use a "regular" coil or do I need a TFI one with the extra plug?  Stupid EVTM manual hasn't come in yet & I'm flying blind.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: mighty mouse on May 29, 2012, 12:08:38 pm
any coil will work...


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: mxracer652 on May 29, 2012, 12:19:32 pm
10-4 thanks brother!


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: jayh on July 08, 2012, 08:48:39 pm
so dumb question but can you confirm how the coil is wired? does it get the wire from 2nd bottom terminal on the ground side of the coil and thats it? and then the positive side of the coil gets the same ign 12v power source as the terminal 3rd from bottom on the tfi?

for some reason it seems like the coil needs a signal from the module?


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on July 08, 2012, 09:02:51 pm

for some reason it seems like the coil needs a signal from the module?

The coil negative gets the signal, just like points and hei.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: jayh on July 08, 2012, 09:58:41 pm
so how is the coil wired?  :hmmmm:


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: liljoe07 on July 08, 2012, 10:07:21 pm
12v and a pulsed negative, from the IDM circuit. Its a stand alone system. Once there is a pip signal, the TFI will still fire the coil. Look at the TFI wiring diagram. I think is the 5th wire down that pulses the coil.

Its a simple hookup.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: jayh on July 08, 2012, 10:47:21 pm
just a brain fart lol it makes sense now. it is going from the tfi to the coil, making the coil on off on offf. so I power the + side on the coil and the terminal 3rd from bottom on tfi to 12v key on power?. I just use the same source correct? it made sense at first but then got me thinking. Im overthinking it as usual. this is for the falcon and just want it right



Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on July 08, 2012, 11:10:14 pm
So, i power the + side on the coil and the terminal 3rd from bottom on tfi to 12v key on power?. I just use the same source correct?


12V, ignition on. "Key on" will die while cranking. There are a few ways to do this. The easiest would be to trigger a relay with the factory coil positive wire. The relay would ensure that the coil and module had plenty of power.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: jayh on July 11, 2012, 12:58:05 pm
part of the problem is I dont think he has the complete engine harness. so I can fire those to curcuits off the factory coil feed then right?


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on July 11, 2012, 02:56:37 pm
part of the problem is I dont think he has the complete engine harness. so I can fire those to curcuits off the factory coil feed then right?

Yes. I would still use a relay. 60s wiring wasn't known for being the best.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: jucaan on September 29, 2012, 01:46:44 pm
Hey All,

It's been a while since I worked with my car and in part was because I coverted to carb and had a pos HEI distributor that never worked  :bang :laugh.  I read this and tried the TFI and finally the car started like a champ.

Thanks for posting articles like this!


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 16, 2016, 11:13:26 am
I know this an old thread, but can someone who's done this give me a little more guidance on how to properly wire this using an MSD 6AL box. It'd be greatly appreciated!


Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 16, 2016, 05:21:20 pm
I know this an old thread, but can someone who's done this give me a little more guidance on how to properly wire this using an MSD 6AL box. It'd be greatly appreciated!


Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

On MSD, its the white wire instead of the green wire on a Mallory.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 16, 2016, 06:02:51 pm
I see the original diagram is missing now. Bottom three wires: switched 12V+, ignition coil negative (to MSD white), and 12V-.

(http://sbftech.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=20574.0;attach=52967;image)


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 17, 2016, 07:30:14 am
Thank you, sir! Gonna try to wire it up this morning.


Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 17, 2016, 12:17:11 pm
Keep in mind that the switched 12V+ source for the distributor and MSD box needs to be "ignition switched", not "accessory switched". Otherwise, they won't get power during cranking.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 20, 2016, 10:39:56 pm
Got it all wired up and works great. Thanks again!


https://youtu.be/hcCAzK_0n8U


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 23, 2016, 10:52:21 pm
I have another question for you guys. I'm wanting to eventually ditch the carb and go with FiTech fuel injection. The instructions say you have to use a 2 wire distributor in order to utilize the timing control function of the unit. Can the tfi distributor be made to work in this application?


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 24, 2016, 01:41:59 am
I have another question for you guys. I'm wanting to eventually ditch the carb and go with FiTech fuel injection. The instructions say you have to use a 2 wire distributor in order to utilize the timing control function of the unit. Can the tfi distributor be made to work in this application?

If I read the instructions correctly, their timing control function will only work with a magnetic pickup such as a Duraspark or MSD.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 27, 2016, 03:10:42 pm
I have another question for you guys. I'm wanting to eventually ditch the carb and go with FiTech fuel injection. The instructions say you have to use a 2 wire distributor in order to utilize the timing control function of the unit. Can the tfi distributor be made to work in this application?

If I read the instructions correctly, their timing control function will only work with a magnetic pickup such as a Duraspark or MSD.

Well, that sucks. Do you know what my options are?
I bumped the timing to 20 degrees today and the car runs a lot better. I'm sure it would like more, but the idle follows the bump in timing. What I mean is, idle has gone up along with more timing. I backed the idle screw all the way out, but the idle is still high. I'm guessing somewhere between 1000-1500 rpm. I don't have a tach hooked up, so I'm just judging by sound.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 27, 2016, 03:21:36 pm
Options on what? A magnetic pickup distributor? A MSD would be the most common and easiest to work with.  You could also modify a Duraspark or use a MSD type crank trigger.

You need a tach and need to figure out why your carb won't idle down.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 27, 2016, 09:34:01 pm
Options on what? A magnetic pickup distributor? A MSD would be the most common and easiest to work with.  You could also modify a Duraspark or use a MSD type crank trigger.

You need a tach and need to figure out why your carb won't idle down.

I had a Summit distributor in it, but had to use the tfi because the Summit one's shaft does not reach the oil pump shaft and won't spin it.

Here's a short video.

https://youtu.be/-b-qsAcbv8c


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 27, 2016, 10:22:46 pm
I had a Summit distributor in it, but had to use the tfi because the Summit one's shaft does not reach the oil pump shaft and won't spin it.

Carbureted 302s used a longer oil pump driveshaft. The shaft on most distributors is long enough to reach the efi length driveshaft, but I guess the Summit brand isn't.

However, a carb length driveshaft is too long to use with an efi length distributor. It will bottom out and can damage several things.

So, pick your poison and use the appropriate parts for it.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 29, 2016, 08:25:43 pm
Since I'm using the EFI distributor and need timing control, I went ahead and ordered an MSD programmable 6AL2 today. I'm going to keep the carb for now instead of going efi.


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Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 29, 2016, 11:28:34 pm
I went ahead and ordered an MSD programmable 6AL2 today.

It wouldn't have been my first choice. The serial port connection is known to have compatibility issues when used with newer computers and adapters.

I would have likely recommended a Daytona Sensors timing control in conjunction with your 6AL, or even a MSD Grid controller with the 6AL box.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 30, 2016, 06:53:48 am
I went ahead and ordered an MSD programmable 6AL2 today.

It wouldn't have been my first choice. The serial port connection is known to have compatibility issues when used with newer computers and adapters.

I would have likely recommended a Daytona Sensors timing control in conjunction with your 6AL, or even a MSD Grid controller with the 6AL box.
Well, I'd never heard of Daytona Sensors until now. That would have saved me a few dollars, but we'll see how it goes. I looked through many reviews on the MSD and didn't find anything negative.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on December 30, 2016, 02:16:49 pm
Well, I'd never heard of Daytona Sensors until now.

From what I gather, its many of the same people who worked for/designed Crane's ignition systems, which had a really good reputation.

In recent years Crane and the ignition lineup have changed hands a few times. Comp Cams currently owns the ignition lineup and is selling it under the FAST brand.

I looked through many reviews on the MSD and didn't find anything negative.

Connectivity issues with the serial port is the most prominent issue that I read about when I was considering switching to that box.

I'd actually recommend finding a older laptop to use for programming, one that won't be connected to the internet all the time . MSD software has been known to have issues after driver or software updates. You may luck up and find one that actually has a serial port too instead of using USB adapters.

Its not just MSD, most professional racers that I know of have separate, non-network computers that they use for efi, ignition, data logging, progressives, and boost controllers. They only update or connect to the internet when necessary.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on December 30, 2016, 02:28:21 pm
Well, I'd never heard of Daytona Sensors until now.

From what I gather, its many of the same people who worked for/designed Crane's ignition systems, which had a really good reputation.

In recent years Crane and the ignition lineup have changed hands a few times. Comp Cams currently owns the ignition lineup and is selling it under the FAST brand.

I looked through many reviews on the MSD and didn't find anything negative.

Connectivity issues with the serial port is the most prominent issue that I read about when I was considering switching to that box.

I'd actually recommend finding a older laptop to use for programming, one that won't be connected to the internet all the time . MSD software has been known to have issues after driver or software updates. You may luck up and find one that actually has a serial port too instead of using USB adapters.

Its not just MSD, most professional racers that I know of have separate, non-network computers that they use for efi, ignition, data logging, progressives, and boost controllers. They only update or connect to the internet when necessary.
Ah, I thought they're box looked a lot like Crane.
I may just look into picking up an older laptop. I have a new one, so if there's issues, I'll try an older one. Thanks for the heads up and help!


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on January 03, 2017, 10:57:35 am
I went ahead and ordered an MSD programmable 6AL2 today.

It wouldn't have been my first choice. The serial port connection is known to have compatibility issues when used with newer computers and adapters.

I would have likely recommended a Daytona Sensors timing control in conjunction with your 6AL, or even a MSD Grid controller with the 6AL box.
Ok, so as luck would have it, my order for the MSD unit was cancelled. Tried calling Daytona Sensors and the lady gave me a cell number for a guy named Dennis. I just wanna make sure they're timing control is all I need. He didn't answer, so I left a message.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on January 04, 2017, 05:56:01 pm
Talked with Dennis today and he isn't sure their unit will work. He said I'll be the first to try it with the tfi distributor. I went ahead and ordered one. Found it for $153, so if it doesn't work, I won't be out much cash. If it does, I'm golden. I'll let yall know once I get it installed.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on January 04, 2017, 06:39:46 pm
Talked with Dennis today and he isn't sure their unit will work. He said I'll be the first to try it with the tfi distributor. I went ahead and ordered one. Found it for $153, so if it doesn't work, I won't be out much cash. If it does, I'm golden. I'll let yall know once I get it installed.

The TFI module's negative coil lead should trigger the module input.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on January 06, 2017, 01:53:53 pm
Talked with Dennis today and he isn't sure their unit will work. He said I'll be the first to try it with the tfi distributor. I went ahead and ordered one. Found it for $153, so if it doesn't work, I won't be out much cash. If it does, I'm golden. I'll let yall know once I get it installed.

The TFI module's negative coil lead should trigger the module input.

Right. I told him how it was wired, but he just hasn't tried it with tfi. Hopefully, there'll be no issues.


Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: ponie1992 on January 20, 2017, 11:45:24 am
Got the TCS-1 wired up the other day and everything seems to be working great! Glad I went this route. Thanks for the suggestion!

(http://i1032.photobucket.com/albums/a409/ponie1992/83%20Coupe/20170118_122003_zpsjnn2giyr.jpg)

https://youtu.be/kUWjlud32yo



Title: Re: Using an EFI Distributor in a Blow Thru Application
Post by: juiced coupe on January 20, 2017, 01:49:30 pm
 :thumb: