Msd atomic on fresh rebuilt sbc

Discussion in 'High Tech Retrofits' started by Chevyjay, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. Chevyjay

    Chevyjay New Member

    Jan 25, 2018
    hello all, I’m about to take my 350 sbc out and give it a freshen up and new 274 cam, I’m also thinking of getting an efi system as it’s a daily driver. I’m swinging towards the msd atomic or maybe a fitech but have heard a few negatives on the fitech,

    My question is for running the cam in do I put the idle speed to 2000 and let the cam run in varying 2000-2500, but this can be tricky making sure everything else is ok timing etc on such a high idle.

    I know you set up static before but as I’m new to Efi do I just set the idle high on the msd?

    If Anyone who has fitted one of these stand alone efi’s have any tips on first sart that would be great

    Cheers Jason.
  2. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Ringgold, GA
    Welcome to NastyZ :)

    I'm in the process of installing a new engine in mine and EFI is on the table, but later down the road. My reasoning is the mentioned EFI systems need to learn what the engine needs and I don't want that happening on a brand new engine break in. Mine is a roller cam setup so it's not that critical but I don't want to chance the EFI going lean on initial run. I have a known good carburetor, so I'll be using it until I'm satisfied everything is good to go. I know companies sell high performance engines with EFI already installed but these guys know the calibration need for a safe start up. GM does thousands of these each year but then again, they have the system programed.

    I'll likely go with FiTech, or maybe the Holley Sniper. Reason you've heard more negative about FiTech is there are simply more of these units out there, hence more good and bad comment. A good deal of guys who write the negative comments are the cause, and wouldn't write a good comment if everything went perfect on the install.

    Good luck with your project. Hopefully someone will come along that has done a new start up with a new self learn EFI system.
    largestar likes this.
  3. Chevyjay

    Chevyjay New Member

    Jan 25, 2018
    Hey Corky, thank you yes that’s the same reasoning I’m a bit worried on a new cam break in, I didn’t think of using a good four barrel for break in that’s something I could consider

    Good luck with yours too
  4. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    North Bay, CA
    As for an EFI unit do a search on this site. There is a lot of info that has been posted on the subject. Welcome and good luck with your project.
    Chevyjay likes this.
  5. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

    Oct 31, 2004
    Head over to the Holley forums and start looking over some threads.

    I have a Holley system and like it a lot
    largestar likes this.
  6. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

    Oct 31, 2004
    Also you going to find more negative comments in anything because people are more likely to report dissatisfaction than positives.
  7. redriderjf87

    redriderjf87 Veteran Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Quad Cities, IL
    I have a FiTech and am overall pretty happy with it, overall it is a solid product and . Fought a tuning issue for a long time with the Decel fuel cutoff that would lean the motor out when cruising, once I figured that out (aka turning that feature off) it's been working great.

    My overall thoughts: If I had to do it over again, I would probably go with the Holley/MSD due to several annoyances I have with FiTech (rant warning):

    Support: Fitech's support absolutely sucks. There are a couple forums and youtube channels that are extremely helpful, but plan on getting all support through those channels. FiTech doesn't respond to any of my emails and call hold times are always 30+ min. And even then, unless you get the right person (Bryce), you probably won't get any helpful troubleshooting. Not to mention, their PC software works for all systems, but they only give it to you if you buy one of the higher end systems. Just another thing that rubbed me the wrong way.

    Software: Although FiTech's learn tables work well, I found out Holley's system does have a higher resolution of storage for your fuel trims. Also, the Holley / MSD systems use a standard CAN bus, which gets you access to more data, say if you add Dakota Digital gauges later or something like that.

    If you are starting from scratch, I'd take a strong look at their port injection systems instead of TBI (depending on price difference but I think they're getting cheaper now).

    I was going to comment on the first start as you mentioned, but I think if you have a 4 barrel laying around, like others mentioned that's probably a safe bet.
  8. WASyL

    WASyL LS1 Bandit

    Nov 9, 2013
    Warsaw, Poland
    Breaking cam on lean does not hurt the engine its only about 30-40% of TB open with out any load, lean condition at WOT is what kills an engine. I would go MSD as it has easier and ready to go spark control system. Jusy lock out your mechanical distributor system, deattach vacuum, connect dist to MSD and your ready with full fuel and spark control. That display and controler with buttons on MSD Atomic Efi looks rather like toy then proffesional system but it does the job right if You know what You are doing.

    best regards

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