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  1. #1
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    Default FITECH 39001 - The Learning Difficulty EFI

    I recent fitted a Fitech 39001 to my Ute - love affair is now over (I posted about how I like the system based on first impressions). There were some minor issues with idle speeds and lack of engine braking but got the vehicle to the point where felt comfortable to drive it on a long run to let it do its things and "learn".

    Well I am literally just back from approximately 150 km drive - self learning, my unit must have a learning dificulty; I don't think it could have passed kindergarten! This has to be the most frustrating, unreliable, unpredictable and erractic "fuel injection" there is.

    I started a drive this morning, with the issues mentioned above, but the vehicle drove. At around 80km (50 miles) into the drive it started. Idle was all over the place when you came to a stop. The thing hesitates when you try to pull away, it floods then, it cuts out. Wont start, then will start, blows black smoke drives but only at constant throttle once you nurse the thing over 5 miles an hour.

    I managed to limp/nurse the car home. I even tried resetting the tune on the side of the road, made absolutely no difference. I had to push the car up the drive when I got home. It is like tap, jazz and ballet dancing on the throttle to even get the vehicle to move off. It will then drive fairly smoothly but if you must throttle off for any reason the vehicle hesitates, floods, revs, dies - if I could guess how it will behave I should buy a lottery ticket.

    Really really really fed up with this system.

    The only thing at this stage assuming Fitech 39001 units are not complete unreliable wastes of money, is that the O2 sensor has failed for some reason? Would that be plausible? I will see if I can get a replacement 02 sensor, and if that does not cure the nonsense then the only fix I can see is to buy a Sniper unit or go back to carbs.

    I tried to data log but the car wont even stay going long enough now to get anything useful, 4 or 5 starts to just pull away from a stop - it's a juggling act to get the vehicle moving to a point it will stay going and I could get home.

    Thank you for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Sure why not? 76lxhatch's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the "self learning" systems, but from your description I'm not sure I would blame the unit for everything, it does sound like there is a fault somewhere. A fuel delivery issue, faulty TPS or MAP sensor could easily cause your issues too and you'll never get a reasonable output from tuning when part of the system isn't working.

    I would work through and test/diagnose things systematically rather than just swapping out parts blindly. Check fuel pressure/pump, make sure injectors are all working and flow appears even, electrically check each individual sensor is giving output in the range it should (I imagine they are GM sensors or something generic that you can look up specs on if Fitech doesn't provide them). The oxygen sensor is a bit more difficult to test but if you can datalog (even at idle) for a minute you should be able to get some idea whether the readings make sense or not.

  3. #3
    Part of the furniture Deuce.'s Avatar
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    Wideband O2 sensors can die:
    1) from age
    2) driving with it un-powered
    3) dropping it on the ground
    4) letting it get hot (pre-heat) and then start car to shock load cool it.

    I recently killed one from #2. Not cool

  4. #4
    Not the Kingswood! hq308's Avatar
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    Iíve had a Fitech on my 308 for a couple of years now and while itís a little quirky itís been very reliable. Start with the basics, make sure it has no vacuum or exhaust leaks and that the ignition is up to scratch. One other quick thing to check is that the (blue?) tach signal wire isnít routed to close to any of the ignition leads as it could be getting some interference which will show up on a log as an erratic idle speed.

    As far as logging goes you can start the logging before you start the engine as long as you have the ignition on. As mentioned above preheating the O2 sensor before starting the engine can damage the sensor so donít use this method on the first cold start, try to get some heat in the exhaust first.

  5. #5
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    Like hq308 said, start with the basics. Voltage supply and grounds, vacuum leaks and exhaust leaks will display symptoms like you mentioned.
    O2 sensor in the correct position.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the pointers.

    After the initial install, I thought maybe the switched +12v may have been causing some of the idle issues - the fitting instructions say not to use the coil source if you are using an external ignition box - I am not so I used the coil feed. Checked it and it is battery voltage. But having read the Holley material they say DO NOT/NEVER use this source. So I rewired and now run a battery feed through an ignition controlled relay for the white wire switched +12v. That certainly smoothed out the idle when I did that.

    Before the long learning drive i went through all the connections, fittings and checked for vacuum leaks. All were good. I had an all stainless exhaust fitted connected to brand new ceramic coated headers. The O2 sensor is fitted after the collector about 8 inches down stream. All new gaskets have been used, and even fitted a new fuel tank sender unit - not that that has anything to do with the EFI really but as I was at the tank checking fuel lines and returns and had one on the shelf I thought what the hell

    The weird behaviour came on very suddenly after what was big smile inducing drive for the first 50 miles. The hand held was on during the drive and the readings appeared to be constant- if that makes sense - right up until I pulled up at a stop sign then the idle stumbled, then the car drove like crap since.

    I had a 320 Mercedes back in the mid 2000s and suffered a similar failure bringing a friend to to the airport. All was perfect until I went to pull away from the departures drop off point and then the car behaved in a very similar manner. Turned out that was a faulty O2 sensor. This is why I thought it may be the same for my retarded Fitech.

    Before the silliness the car was driving nice. A little rich at idle when cold, but drove nice. The idle when warm was hovering just either side of the programmed value. The IACs were steady 2-3 with the occassional bump up to 7-9. The acceleration was smooth and the car pulled well. It did hang slightly on the decel but the rpm dropped back to idle after a couple of seconds. I believe could adjust that on the loop down setting, but given the rest was going so well I thought a good driving mix of city and highway would hopefully see that "learnt" out.

    But no!

    I am not familiar with all the intricacies that go with EFI and it is a steep learning curve to get my head around the terms and adjustments involved.

    I have ordered a new O2 sensor, will fit some new E3 plugs and see how we go.

  7. #7
    Not the Kingswood! hq308's Avatar
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    What sensor have you ordered? A Fitech one or a VW one? The genuine Bosch VW one is the best way to go, should be easy to come by in your neck of the woods.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Bosch-Ox...-/251255392093

  8. #8
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    Yes, it is the Bosch one. I read on a couple of forums and the one in your link is the one that all say to use. Thanks for link, had I not already bought one of those I would be getting that one

  9. #9
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    They only self learn to a degree. The self learning is only really good for a totally stock engine. If it's had work done you'll need to make tuning adjustments yourself.

  10. #10
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    Make sure the orientation for the O2 sensor is correct, never horizontal or below.

  11. #11
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    Fitted shielding on the tach (blue) wire. Soldered an earth to the shielding and earthed it through the cylinder head. Fitted an earth to the unit. Renewed all vacuum lines. Checked all connectors, renewed a couple (just to be sure they were as a good as I can make them). Set of new E3 plugs.

    Still needs some throttle to start but does idle smoother. The IACs are not in the range given but I ignored them and went for a short drive. Racked up 30+ kms with no silliness from the system. Idle was a bit erratic - sometime sits high 850 to 950, other times sits where it was set - 750 ish. Thankfully not stumbling, stalling, surging, spluttering. Did not need to restart once for the whole drive. The drive was city and motorway mix.

    Tomorrow if the weather is good I will do a 100+ miles of mixed driving which should give it opportunity to learn and settle.

    Its tomorrow (adding this the following day) - epic fail. Same BS about twenty minutes into the "learning drive". It has one more chance to prove it is a reasonable system and that is when the new O2 sensor arrives. First sign of any of the previous silliness and it's the bin for Fitech.

    The question then would be do I go back to the carb- the vehicle ran beautifully on the carb, a bit of a pain in the butt on very cold days having to wait for it to warm up, but it drove great. Or do I go for a Sniper unit?

    I do like the thought of EFI but not if it's as finicky and unreliable as the Fitech one is turning out to be. I am beginning to think it may be well suited to 200 - 300+ hp engines, but not my stock little 202. The fueling from this thing is sooo rich I may as well have slapped on a 900 cfm carb.
    Last edited by dubvalman; 07-01-2019 at 01:01 AM.

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