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I am the owner of a 1986 CJ7 I had everything rebuilt carburetor generator radiator blah blah blah put in a rebuilt motor I purchased. Wasn’t happy with carburetion so I added a Howell electronic feel ignition system . Now it runs great spontaneously it will start acting like it’s starving for fuel, check engine light coming on permanently or flashing at different times I can pretty much always do the speed limit and drive it but it will not always perform well

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Sounds like an effort to get better performance and reliability, Jsmes.  This is a well tested EFI  conversion. 

You have a fuel supply issue.  The Howell kit, fortunately, has a provision for getting a code from the ECM.  Bill Howell designed this system after a GM TBI setup, and it uses off-the-shelf OEM/stock replacement parts—presumably for the 4.3L TBI V-6 engines.   This makes the system more reliable, and you can find replacement parts in an emergency.

I would start by checking for stored trouble codes.  This is simple enough with an inexpensive code reader from Harbor Freight or a trip to your local AutoZone.  They will read codes for free.  

See what code has been thrown.  It sounds like a fuel supply or pump issue.  Check over the routing of your hoses, including the EVAP system.  See whether there is a vacuum issue.  Check the wiring for your EFI system, especially to the fuel pump.  If you used butt connectors for important wiring splices, this can be a source of trouble.  EFI is sensitive to voltage, and resistance or opens at connectors can produce erratic performance.  I always use rosin-core solder and double up on heat shrink tubing at these splices.

You can also check the fuel pressure and flow at the TBI end of the system.  A pressure gauge and Tee/hose to a steel can can measure the pressure and, equally important, the fuel volume or flow.  There could be a restriction of fuel flow, anything from a clogged pickup sock in the fuel tank to a bad fuel filter or kink in a hose or line.

If you have stored trouble codes, share them.  We can go from there.  This is a reliable system that can be dependable when operating properly.


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  • Moses Ludel changed the title to Jeep CJ-7 4.2L/258 Howell TBI Conversion Trouble

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