1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500

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1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500

Post by Moe » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:52 am

Finally after many years of gathering parts, planning and attempting to fuel inject my 1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 I have succeeded!!!!

1500 Engine modified as follows:
Engine bored out by +40thou with new pistons.
Con rods lightened.
Balanced crank.
TriumphTune fast road 83 cam.
TriumphTune stage 3 unleaded cylinder head (gas flowed, enlarged inlet valves, bronze guides, stainless steel valves and unleaded valve seats).
Tubular push rods.
Stainless steels four branch exhaust manifold modified to accept lambda sensor.
Techedge wideband lambda sensor.
TriumphTune Weber inlet manifolds.
Weber Alpha 40mm throttle bodies (choked down to 30mm with custom made nylon chokes).
Bosch fuel injectors and Weber Alpha fuel rails.
Custom made vacuum manifold with mounting for Ford Ka Idle Valve.
Custom made mounts to accept K&N air filters.
Adjustable fuel pressure regulator.
Bosch fuel pump fed from swirl pot topped up by facet electric pump mounted in the boot.
36-1 toothed wheel mounted onto the back of the crank pulley wheel.
Ford EDIS4 ignition system.
Megasquirt II on a V3 mainboard.

I had originally tried to trigger the Megasquirt from a distributor that I had modified to give static timing but I could not get it to work reliably. At this stage I was just trying to get the ignition side of the Megasquirt running as a first step with the carbs still doing the fuelling. Car was then put back onto normal carbs and dizzy to reconsider options.

Found a complete EDIS4 system on eBay with the wiring loom intact, only cut where it needed to be cut to remove it. Purchased a 36-1 trigger wheel and got a local machine shop to mount it onto the back of a spare crank pulley wheel I had. Fabricated up a bracket to mount the crank sensor. Connected power to the EDIS system and tried starting the car. Car started and sat with a rock solid 10 degrees advance. Connected EDIS to Megasquirt and all worked fine, Megasquirt being reliably triggered and could adjust the advance from the Megasquirt.

Hooked up the injection system. Started a couple of times briefly but there was very little vacuum. With MOT test looming I put the carbs back on and ran them with the EDIS/Megasquirt combination. Ran the car like this for about a year, what a difference the programmable ignition makes even when ran with carbs. Car pulls so much better!

Thinking back to my lack of vacuum I got a friend to make me up a set of chokes out of nylon on his CNC mill, to choke the throttle bodies down from 40 to 30mm. Weber DCOE40 carbs when fitted to this engine would normally run with 30mm chokes so thought this was worth a go. Reinstalled the rest of the injection setup with the chokes and with a flat fuel map with the same VE for all load sites I tried starting again. Again got it started a few times and played about with throttle linkage and idle screws and started to get the vacuum up. Then car would not start any more. Pulled out a spark plug to find them pitch black, running a tad rich I think! Cleaned the plugs, backed of the flat fuel map a bit and car started again. More playing about had the car started and running more reliably. Installed an Innovate LC-1 wideband lambda sensor, setup a guessed fuel map and started the car and waited for it to warm up. Ran the Tunerstudio VE Analyze software and sat and watched amazed as it adjusted the fuelling figures, I had the car running so rich especially around idle. Feeling brave I took the car out onto the street outside my house and went up and down the hill a few times with the Tunerstudio software analyzing, wiring and pipes hanging everywhere. Was well happy it seemed to be working, just as well as didn’t fancy trying to push it back up the hill to my house.

With the system basically working I set about tidying up the plumbing and wiring. Decided to remove the Megasquirt relay board. It was great for quickly wiring up for testing but didn’t look great under the bonnet and I found if you pull too much current through the fuel pump circuit like by running two pumps strange things happen like effecting the injectors or the pumps just would not run. Caused me no end of confusion that one! I also changed the Innovate LC-1 wideband lambda sensor for a Techedge one. I found the LC-1 messy to install, too many wires coming out of it and it kept going into an error condition that required a power cycle when my cooling fan shut off despite all my attempts to filter the power to it. Techedge one much neater to install and so far immune to cooling fan. All the wiring now tidied away in conduit and all connections soldered right back to Megasquirt unit. Distributor was removed and blanked off. All the fuel and vacuum pipes neatly installed.

Other problems I ran into while trying to get system going. A fuel pressure regulator that didn’t work, another one that would not stop leaking. A second hand idle stepper valve that would not move no matter what way you wired it. Bought a new one which worked straight away. You can buy second hand parts cheap on eBay but you can’t be sure if they work! You can spend hours trying to get something working thinking you haven’t got it configured right only to find out the part is faulty and not know until you bite the bullet and buy another one!

Car has now done around 400 miles on the injection with just the basic tune from running up and down the street a couple of times. Seems to be working quite well, pulls cleanly and idles quite smoothly. A quick look at the spark plugs shows them to be a nice biscuit colour so fuelling can’t be too far off. Only problems noticeable at the moment are it sometimes takes a couple of attempts to start from cold and am getting a bit of pinking at times under certain load conditions. Need to get an inverter sorted to run laptop in the car to do some further tuning.

One gremlim I still have is the tacho. It is a Smiths tacho that I currently have connected using the three diode approach but it only works at some revs. The diag signal out of the Edis does not work ether. I have heard removing the third zener diode can sometimes help but haven't tried it yet.

The other members of my local Triumph club are quite impressed with it and awarded it Best Modified car at our annual show. I was very pleased!

Some pics of the install below:
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