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New EFI system on market may be good for Avantis...


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MSD now has an electronic fuel injection unit that fits onto any square-bore intake manifold and may well be a great addition to Avantis...particularly with the Studebaker engine. Appearance-wise, it looks to be more of an electronically controlled carburetor but I'm no expert on that. I have no connection to MSD (my Avanti has Edelbrock EFI), but it looks to be a great alternative to anyone wanting EFI for their car. It looks to be far more self-contained than most aftermarket systems I've seen, and you can use the stock distributor and coil, a great feature for Stude engines. It does appear that all of its features aren't available unless you use an MSD distributor, but that can be dealt with by manual setting of timing.

Retail cost seems to be about $2000-$2300 depending on which kit is used.

I'm not endorsing the system...just throwing it out for consideration and discussion. It just seems to me to be a good thing for non-GM/Ford/Mopar make cars.

MSD Atomic EFI

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I'm looking hard into which EFI unit I'll use on my 74. As some are aware, my 83 has a Holley HP EFI setup that I'm quite happy with but I like the MSD unit due to the compactness of the installation.

I'm going to add an addendum to strongly consider buying a unit that has the ability to control timing. If you have a Studebaker it will take a modified dissy but with the SBC's you can use either use the MSD disrtibutor or the OEM small cap distributor from the early 90's.

My rational is when I had a Holley Carb and HEI large cap dissy on the 355 in my 83 I was never totally happy with the performance across the board. Adjusting one variable always helped but at the cost of other variables.

I finally bit the bullet and installed the self-learning Holley HP setup. It ran instantly better that the carb/HEI setup. After driving it for a hundred miles or so I downloaded the tables from the computer that it was using to control timing and other variables. I was amazed at the amount and initiation of the timing curve. It was much more than I had ever dealt with. Not total but initial and how fast it came on.

My recommendation if anyone is going the EFI route is to either purchase a system that controls timing or find a shop with a dyno to be sure you system is optimizing the timing curve. It also goes without saying that you should buy one of the newer systems that has a wide-band oxygen sensor so it can control with the fuel/air ratio.

For the Studebaker guys, Silverhawkdan on the Racing Studebaker site is thinking about modifying a Studebaker Distributor for use with an OEM Mopar system.


Edited by Avanti83
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I fully agree with using a distributor that controls the timing, but with the Studebaker engine that's pretty much a non-starter. Having someone with a distributor machine and a dyno is definitely the way to go in that case.

The Edelbrock EFI in my car isn't as programmable as newer units (including the unit that has superseded mine), but I'm happy with it and I don't want to follow the old adage "If it ain't broken, fix it 'till it is!" I've done that all too many times over the years. It runs great and why mess with a good thing?

Saying all that, I also like the compactness of the MSD EFI. It makes for a much cleaner installation...fewer fuel lines, cables, etc. For an Avanti with a Studebaker engine, being able to use your original intake manifold unmodified is a big plus. That also makes it reversible if one likes.

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I was studying the EFI's and planning on the MSD unit for my 75 Avanti after they get a few out. Andy Bolig (tech editor AUTOENTHUSIAST mag) was visiting in Nov and had high marks for the MSA.

I did a AUTOENTHUSIAST mag article for one of my old Corvettes comparing the my old 2 x 4 WCFBs vs. new intake with Holly 750 vs. Holy EFI. Doug the Holly EFI engineer, stayed at my house a couple of days.

Those two guys do this stuff everyday and have high confidence in these NEW EFIs. MSD seems to be easier than the Holly although the Holly is pretty simple to plug and play.


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The MSD unit looks pretty good for a Stude engine since it requires no permanent modifications to the intake manifold or anything else from what I see. For the GM engine in later Avantis there many ways to go if someone wants to go the EFI route. It just seems a great altenative for those with a Stude engine in particular to update. Whether it's cost effective in the long run is another issue and is up to the individual. After seeing others try to fabricate fuel rails and injectors and everything else from other systems to Stude V8, this just seems to take most of the grief and headaches out of it. It may not be truly plug 'n' play in the most basic sense, but it's as close to one as I've yet seen for a Stude engine. That it's from a major performance supplier rather than a hodge podge of mixed parts is a big plus.

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