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The ever present carb Vs. Efi debate...

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Hey guys, i just thought i better ask your opinions on carb Vs. Efi.

 

I have been umming and ahhhing between the two of them for ages now, doing all the research, but now i want

some personal opionions and experience to settle the matter.

 

Firstly what i have;

260z 2 seater

L28

Fuel Injection gear (stock 280zx ecu)

Air conditioning (I would love to keep this if its not too much of a hassle)

 

What i want out of my car;

Basically i want everything that a modern day sports car offers. The ability to hoon around and have lots

of fun in it. But doesn't cause too many ongoing issues and can be used as a semi daily driver. So from

this point of view, i need the car to be;

 

1. Pretty reliable

2. Not too harsh on fuel (if i could keep it around 12L/100km it'd be great)

3. Have AC that doesn't make the car idle like crap

 

Now on the other side of the debate... I really love the sound of carbs, but i have no idea whata well set up

fi car sounds like! Sound is quite important to me, not loud and blaring, but rumbly and raspy.

 

I figure the cost between the two will be quite similar. Seeing as though i would like to pull a few more ponies

out of the engine i realise i would have to go for an aftermarket ECU. (I plan to get some mild/ moderate cam work

done, decent exhaust, etc.)

 

What is everyones opionion?

 

 

 

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Mate there are too many positives to just have a simple debate about EFI v Carbs.. It all comes down to what YOU want and what THEME you want your car to have. We all agree a well tuned L series with tripples has basically the best sound you can get out of a car. However EFI is reliable, modern and has a massive range of potential in which to start tuning from - the skys the limit.

 

The best thing to do is ask a few question; what do i want out of the car? what will the car be used for (track/daily/once a month)? Budget? Expectations of car -run 12's, good all rounder etc?

 

Once you have a theme and idea of what you want, the rest should fall into place. But on a personal note, throw in a RB and you wont wipe the smile off your face. I did and its almost twice as powerful (stock form). and gets almost twice as fuel economy (almost 550km per tank). Plus its start and go, no tunning carbs, rubbish idle etc.... 

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day240z makes some good points, comes down to the theme you are going for. If you already have EFI though, probably best to just stick with it.

 

Im not sure on the 280zx EFI particulars, but a lot of EFI systems also control the dizzy/timing, which gives greater control again than a mech advance system. You can get things like MSD programmable timing controllers, but that is just more added cost and complexity.

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By the sounds of your post, you're looking for a more modern take on the s30? If so, just keep the stock efi setup for now and save up for an ITB setup as Dimitri said. I'm not sure that putting carbs on will really work with the more modern sportscar theme.

 

Actually, if you are aiming for a more modern sports car, then you're nearly better to move on the the L series as well and move to an RB or the like, depending on how much more modern you want to make it.

 

Cheers.

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I can definitely second what everyone is saying already. It really depends on what you want from the car itself. I myself wanted to go with triples in my ZX, and whilst I love the sound, the smell and the raw power band given by them, I have to say a decent EFI setup would be a LOT nicer as a daily driver and the power delivery would be more reliable (and cheaper). My setup hasn't been tuned in god knows how long so that might be half the problem. But take into account what you want from your Z, that'll make the decision for you.

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or you can do what i done and turbo the L28 keep the efi and get more power and still good fuel economy, as long as you dont drive with a lead foot the fuel economy is actully better but when you want to move it realy moves much better then the rb i thinks  ;D

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Why I chose the ITB EFI path is because of the "set and forget" nature of the injection; but you still have all the common maintenance of any vehicle to stick to but you also get the same induction noise of a set of triples. You have the best of both worlds; you can drive a car with a rather large cam on the street and putt around and when you put your foot down, no popping and farting and flat spots, just acceleration and induction noise! I'm sure if you have your carbs set well, you wouldn't have any of those issues but with the ITB's, after installation, a good tune on the dyno, you are set! Quite a few of the parts can be obtained second hand so saving a fair bit of cash, as this type of setup can get a bit pricey. Shop and look for bargains, and you will have everything you need before you know it. 

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Robbie, with your uber-tight budget just leave the factory injection on it!

It'll be hassle free (if it's wired up correctly) run perfectly fine & give you good fuel economy.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day mate - concentrate on getting the body straight & rust free. Worry about mechanicals later!

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Robbie, with your uber-tight budget just leave the factory injection on it!

It'll be hassle free (if it's wired up correctly) run perfectly fine & give you good fuel economy.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day mate - concentrate on getting the body straight & rust free. Worry about mechanicals later!

 

Good advice from Lurch mate, use what works well now without spending lots of cash and make sure the body is great, you can 'tinker' from there!

Rev.

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EFI will be better. But will cost more.

As the 2 bozos above said. Spend your money elsewhere if you're budget conscious!

First port of call, brakes, coilovers, adjustable suspension, exhaust and rust repair of course. 

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Simplest improvement to stock L28ET system?

As it is, run it up on a rolling road dyno, note the torque and hp graph points.

Get rid of the stock fuel pressure regulator, and replace with a more accurate one, ie Malpasi, then get it onto

Run it up again, but this time, using accurate four wire Lambda sensor, adjust the pressure reg.

Note increases to graphs.

 

Up to 20hp at wheels improvement. Nothing else done.

Dont fall for the slick mechanic type who will promise the world.

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nothing comes close to itb set up with a good ecu and the sound is incredable , and so is the drive and hp over carbs ,, but there is the cost ... carbs will cost half ,, its all about what you wont and can pay for

post-2089-14402370323_thumb.jpg

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nothing comes close to itb set up with a good ecu and the sound is incredable , and so is the drive and hp over carbs ,, but there is the cost ... carbs will cost half ,, its all about what you wont and can pay for

Here's a quick question..........

What did you fit to Jakes 3.6L monster? ???

 

Go for a drive in Dimitri's ITB Z, then come for a drive in my triple Mikuni Z.

That will make up your mind..... Maybe!

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Once again, annoyingly... Lurch brings me back down to earth!

 

Think about this shit later when the car is ready for that stage.

 

Unfortunately I'm a little tied up with my daily driver at the moment, getting it into proper working

order before i spend all my cash on a car that wont be running for years...

 

But thank you everyone for the insightful replies! I love how everyone knows so much about these

cars! It makes me want to get my car to the stage where i can start thinking about this stuff.

 

And once again, thanks for prodding me back in the right direction Lurch, i do let my head wander in

the clouds...

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Simon jakes is a 3.4 and it got 50mm webers ,, it would have been 20hp better with EFI  and so much better to drive , the carbs can never match EFI ,,, never  there is never a dead spot with efi when there sorted and tuned right , carbs need the air speed to draw the fuel and thats a problem if your engines not on the cam , like i said its all about the price .

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Simon jakes is a 3.4 and it got 50mm webers , like i said its all about the price .

And that, there, is my point!

That's a quality build. Yet has carbs over EFI.

Yes. Itb's are going to be BETTER.

But carbs ate BETTER BANG FOR BUCK!

 

Sorry about getting capacity wrong.

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Cost wise it's not that far off; Whats a good triple Weber setup worth, then the larger amount of dyno time needed to set them up added? Around $3-3.5k? My setup with mainly new parts was near $5k.. Buy some parts like ECU and reco'd injectors second hand and you will save even more. Also do some work yourself and save even more. Dyno time is around a few hours and its done. Even quicker if you can find somebody with a similar map to start off with to make it easier for your tuner.

 

But firstly, get your zed drivable with a good set of 240 Hitatchi's then worry / save for it later on!

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with the amount of dramas i have had on mine, id definitely say go with the carbs, but my EFI isn't exactly standard.....

 

EFI.

Pros:

reliability. (so long as you dont cut corners)

better tuned powerband.

better overall economy.

easier starting in a greater range of scenarios/environments.

easier to modify later for more power, especially forced induction.

maintenance. much easier to maintain than carbs.

somewhat self adjusting to temp/elevation changes

potentially easier to get rid of/limit the 'fuel smell' so common with our cars.

 

Cons:

cost. overall it costs more to set up the ENTIRE system, eg, fuel pump, upgraded hoses/clamps, pressure reg, injectors, sensors, ect ect.

ease of tuning. basic tuning needs to be done by a pro on a dyno, its very easy to mess it up or not have any idea at all.

installation of the supporting electrical system can be very daunting or confusing to someone of limited experience.

 

 

Carbies:

Pros:

much simpler to fit/adjust

stock option readily available.

can sound a LOT better

 

Cons:

simple tune points, limited range of tuning.

winter performance/driveability can be poor.

higher constant maintenance needed. Can lead to higher maintenance costs overall.

 

 

this is all my opinion, not gospel, dont take it like that.

I also didnt mention anything about what looks better, because its pretty subjective.

personally i think the stock 280zx efi looks like junk.

the stock SU's look a bit better, triples look better again, custom built efi better again and ITB EFI looks horn.

as for the overall sound of the motor, mine sounds like a RB skyline engine.

But i have a big diameter intake, turbo and large bore exhaust.

If i take the inlet off (running N/A) it sounds awesome.

I can imagine how awesome ITB's would sound, and triples are just orgasm for your ears.

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if you plan to keep your car long term then follow your dream. dimitris car is what inspired me to go itb injection  took me five years to gather the parts and do the planning  eg. injector size; fuelpumps; reg; ecu; air filters; fuel rail; lines;ignition;tacho;thermo fan; etc etc it is a job not to be taken lightly and must be done right the first time.  took me and my brother six weeks in our spare time to fit it and get it running we made our own fuel and ignition maps and tune it on the road,car is running great and we are able to improve the tune after driving by cheching the data log. do it right dont cut corners and you wont be disapointed

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I've had several carb equipped vehicles over the years, including my 240Z, and in every case but my Honda Prelude, I converted to EFI, if they weren't already, and noticed a great improvement in reliability, ease of starting, fuel economy, and sometimes power. I say sometimes power, only because I have to exclude times where forced induction was also added at the same time, of course power was added then. ;)

 

In my cases I have used Delco ECMs for the conversions, a couple times because those were what would have been originally equipped in those vehicles, other cases, such as my 240Z, I wanted to prove that it could be done and cost effectively, along with also being familiar with the hardware and tuning software that is used. They are robust, extremely reliable and plentiful. I have only had one failure over a couple decades of using them and that was due to some water getting on it, in a heavy rain storm. If I had had the correct MEMCAL in the ECM for Limp Home Mode, I would have been able to drive it home, unfortunately I didn't, and had to have my GF bring me an ECM that then got me home. I've since tested with the correct MEMCAL and now LHM works just as it should.

 

In every case where there are no rules that need to be met (racing classes) or other restrictions that would eliminate the possibility, I will recommend EFI in every case.

 

Just as a point, other than the Turbo EFI system from the ZX, the factory EFI does not control ignition timing, on the L-series.

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Hi All,

I am not going to give away to much now but soon there will be a product

that looks identical too a DCOE but is a billet block with injectors on the inside

and the fuel running to the injector through the same spot as a DCOE. Injector

plug comes out the bottom. Bolt patterns the same as DCOE. So EFI with the

look of 48 DCOE.

 

Cheers

Paul

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HI Agno,

I love the look of Weber's but also love the push button start and drive ability

of EFI.

I hate the shity cold and driving of Weber's but also hate the Plenum or ugly billet tube

ITB that look like they are an ion cannon on the deathstar.

So for me the look of Weber's with push button start hot or cold, fuel efficiency and driveability is

well to say the least perfect.

Trust me mate i will put up a big write up when I'm can. the pics i have received look fantastic.

And yes they will bolt to your existing Weber manifold and use your existing trumpets etc.

cheers

Paul

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