Ford MAF w/C&L 76mm housing

Rxbandits

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I'll start by saying I'm pretty new to these cars so bare with me.

I inherited a 90' lx hatch that's been fairly modified (vortech v1 with supporting mods). The past owner is deceased so Ive got no way to ask wtf is going on. I've got a stack of service records, but they're a jumbled mess. I've been working on figuring out what exactly is on the car.

My question is about the MAF specifically. Currently it's running with 30lb injectors, 70mm throttle body, gt40 intake manifold, and the C&L 76mm MAF housing with a Ford MAF sensor (AFH55-03b. My understanding is the C&L is junk, but I'm trying to find out if the ford maf sensor is the wrong part entirely.

From what I've read that Ford MAF sensor is the stock unit for the 19lb injectors. Is that right? The sample tube has no color on it and I believe it should have the purple tube. Do I have a 76mm MAF housing that's set up for a stock motor? I'm assuming at a minimum I'll need the right sample tube and different sensor, but I'm trying to decide if I even bother with that or get the pro-m unit. Any input is appreciated.
 
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revhead347

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Great question. You have something that is not used much anymore, and information is limited. C&L MAFs were a lot more popular 20 years ago, like back before the internet really caught on, so Googling it isn't much help. They use the factory electronics, and everything is adjusted by the size of the sample tube. So it does have the correct electronics in it. I have personally never used one, and I can't tell you what color tube you need. Even with the correct tube, the C&Ls aren't terribly accurate.

The factory electronics are not blow through capable, meaning you can not mount a MAF with factory electronics after the supercharger, it has to be before the supercharger. The C&L should not work if it is mounted between the supercharger and the intake.

Things that would be helpful before we make a recommendation. First off, does the car have a chip in it? Is it running poorly? If so, did it run well before with that MAF in it? Where is the MAF mounted?

Kurt
 
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Rxbandits

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IMG_20200108_170259303.jpgIMG_20200108_165849332~2.jpg

Thanks for the reply.
Funny that you say it's an older set up. The vortec kit was originally installed in 1992 according to the service records.

I haven't had a chance to drive it much yet so my info is a bit limited. It gets idle surge when it's first started, but once it warms up it idles pretty well. It cruises at partial throttle fine. I've only made a few WOT pulls and it misses once its above 3k. It still pulled to redline, but not ideally. It smells rich and the plugs get pretty black.

I have no idea about a chip. I see it's the a9l eec4. Do I need to pull it from the kick panel to see a chip or would it be obvious?

Looks like the MAF is correctly on the intake side of the s/c.
 

revhead347

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1992 is definitely old school. I think it's pretty cool you got your hands on a car that was modified that long ago. We definitely had to learn things the hard way back then.

The MAF is in the correct place. A tune chip would plug into the side of the computer. It would be pretty obvious if it was installed, as it would not look factory at all. It was common to tape it to the OEM computer to ensure good contact. Back in 1992, no one used tune chips, so, I doubt it's there. Cold idle surge on a modified foxbody without a tune chip, or a poor tune chip is pretty common. Let's assume that it worked well before, since this car has been on the road for over a quarter century with the current mods. I also assume you don't want to spend a whole lot of money on it.

Before going crazy, try a few simple things. Missing above 3K is typical of a car with old warn out spark plugs that are gapped too large. The supercharger ups the combustion pressure a lot, and that increases the resistance between the spark plug electrodes. It's commonly referred to as "blowing out the spark." If the fuel does not ignite properly, it's going to build up on the spark plugs which is why they look like the car is running rich. I would try a new set of spark plugs gapped to about .030" for starters. You want a regular copper spark plug, nothing fancy like Iridium, or Platinum. Get the cheap plugs, they work better on performance applications. Autolite and NGK are the preferred brands. The MAF also tends to collect debris on the elements over the years. That can lead to all sorts of drive ability problems. You can clean it with MAF cleaner. It comes in a spray can on the chemical aisle of any parts store. Just follow in the instructions.

There are also a few basic maintenance items that can be done. The car probably needs a basic tune up. Obviously new spark plugs like previously mentioned. It also probably needs a new distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires. I prefer Accel brand, but that's my personal preference. I would say that a basic tune up is not wasted money, since the car is likely overdue for it anyway. Stay away from MSD. It stands for "makes spark disappear."

I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass. That old school setup is cool. However, if you really want to drive it everyday and not get lost in the search, doing a fresh tune up, and putting that car in the hands of reputable tuner with a Pro-M MAF is going to clear up your problems. It will come at a price though. A capacitive discharge ignition, like an Crane Hi-6 also helps a lot with the higher rpm performance. I understand all of those things get expensive quick.

Kurt
 

Rxbandits

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Thank you for the detailed responses. That's given me plenty to think about. I put new auto lite 25 spark plugs in gapped to .033. Would a step colder be better? I'll do a proper tune up and see where that gets me.

A proper tune from a tuner is definitely on my list of priorities. I'm currently installing a wideband (innovative mtx-l) to get some reference, and some data logging.

I've got $1k to spend in parts to try and set myself up for a proper tuning. What things do i need to have in line for a quality tune? I guess it's probably best to contact a shop, but I'm interested in people's recommendations.
 

Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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I'm assuming you have the MAF unplugged checking it out? Just checking because the pic shows unplugged. I ran the C&L 76 on the best running engine I ever had with no problem. It wasn't supercharged during that time but I did log plenty dyno time running it and I watched the MAF's real-time numbers as it was running and no problems. I like the setup you have as well.
 
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Rxbandits

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I had all the intake parts pulled apart to measure everything and I just slapped it together to snap a picture real quick, none of its tight or plugged in.

What kind of MAF sensor was on your c&l? I've noticed they sell without the sensor. Sounds like they're used with the stock sensor and corrected with a certain sample tube? Correct me if I'm wrong. What kind of set up did you use for data logging and tuning? I'm still kind of in the research faze looking to see what works for others.
 

Steel1

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I can tell from your pictures that the fuel is being controlled by an fmu (round unit mounted to shock tower behind maf).
This increases fuel pressure as boost increases via a rubber diaphragm inside the fmu, thus making the injectors act
larger under boost. Definitely old school but can still be effective , if the car had a tune/chip you most likely wouldn't
have an fmu.

Be curious to know what you have for a fuel pump, given this appears to be an old school set-up you may have the stock pump
with a boost-a-pump installed.
If this is the case I would also consider changing to one larger in-tank pump, like a 255lph or higher depending on boost.

All that being said there is nothing wrong with what you have as long as it's functioning properly. Like revhead347 suggested
do your tune up , pull codes and see where your at.
 

Wayne Waldrep

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I had all the intake parts pulled apart to measure everything and I just slapped it together to snap a picture real quick, none of its tight or plugged in.

What kind of MAF sensor was on your c&l? I've noticed they sell without the sensor. Sounds like they're used with the stock sensor and corrected with a certain sample tube? Correct me if I'm wrong. What kind of set up did you use for data logging and tuning? I'm still kind of in the research faze looking to see what works for others.
It used the stock sensor and the sample tube to match my injectors. I didn't data log other than while I was on the dyno tuning. Then burned a chip and done. All of it was done at Panhandle Performance.
 
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Blown88GT

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See my signature. The C&L works fine if it is plumbed correctly. I've used it in a blow-thru configuration well before the Megasquirt. In a draw-thru you get too much surge. Mass is mass, doesn't matter where you measure it.
The voltage limit of the sensor is the problem.

I talked to C&L a number of times before he retired & sold the company to MAC Performance, American Muscle bought the web name & is a dealer. Calibration tubes can be purchased directly from MAC.

Lee Bender is a very talented person. Cathy Bender is his wife. Thus C&L. His flow bench was used by NASA for their rocket engine analyses. Both were located in Huntsville, AL. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is the origin of all USA rockets, Von Braun & all the rocket guys from the German V-I & V-II were there after WW2. Lee probably got bored & started another business.

He holds many patents.

Many thought there were junk because they did not understand the intricacies of air flow.

 
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Rxbandits

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@Blown88GT after reading that article I think I'll stick with the c&l and get the correct sample tube, but how do I know if the sensor I am using has the correct voltage limit? Also, if I want to get away from using the FMU what do I use in its place? A chip is all that's needed? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm still learning.

I'm planning on replacing the fuel pump. I have no idea what's in there currently. And there is no external pump. From what I can gather a 255 lph should be enough to get me to 400ish whp right? Are there brands that are better than others? I read a post earlier saying walbro produces the vast majority of other brands pumps. Is that true?
 
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Steel1

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I ran a TRE 255lph pump w/42lb injectors anywhere from 5-10 lbs. boost for years with no issues.

Controlling fuel on a s/c set-up is important as well as timing (and other things), not sure if you currently have a boost retard control in the
car, that would usually go hand in hand with an fmu.

You have some better options for controlling the tune digitally, some more $ than others and some that require more time committed.

1- Bring your car to a dyno and have a custom chip burned for your current set-up. No flexibility when changing set-up, need re-tune.

2- You could try to find an old school PMS tuning device which is limited in it's ability but easy to use,
I ran one for a while and had fairly good results.

3- Probably the cheapest option is to buy a Moates quaterhorse chip from a company like
Power Adder Solutions. You give them your specs and they will set the chip up for you,
then you install it in the J3 port of your current ecm. Now this device is diy tunable but I
found the learning curve to be steep. Ran one for a few years and the base tune was good but had a few small issues.

4- Imo the best solution with the most flexibility but probably the most $ is to get some type of
diy tunable ecm i.e., PimpXS, Megasquirt , Holley etc.
All these will replace your current ecm ,( in Holley's case the harness too) but usually come with a
base tune and allow you full tuning control. You then fine tune these with the use of a laptop and
some sort of tuning software like Tuner Studio, the tuning control is basically endless.
There is definitely a learning curve so you will have to invest time in learning to tune but I find it
quite rewarding. We have a tuning master on this site who is more than willing to help anyone out @a91what

Keep in mind the current set-up you have has worked for many people over the years, if everything is functioning properly
it 's a simpler option. All depends on what you want out of the car, what your willing to tolerate and what your future plans are for it.
 

a91what

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Soo... let's talk budgets and what we want the car to do overall.. also need to be sure that emissions testing is not a concern, the car will pass emissions but if they attempt to pull codes a standalone will not produce them.
 
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Blown88GT

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@Blown88GT after reading that article I think I'll stick with the c&l and get the correct sample tube, but how do I know if the sensor I am using has the correct voltage limit? Also, if I want to get away from using the FMU what do I use in its place? A chip is all that's needed? Sorry if these are dumb questions, I'm still learning.

I'm planning on replacing the fuel pump. I have no idea what's in there currently. And there is no external pump. From what I can gather a 255 lph should be enough to get me to 400ish whp right? Are there brands that are better than others? I read a post earlier saying walbro produces the vast majority of other brands pumps. Is that true?
The 4-pin sensors are all the same, the part numbers may be a little different. It's very simple but effective device, 2 precision resistors.
With the EEC-IV, you need the FMU. It only comes into play under boost.
255 lph is what you want, larger ones create other problems. They are all Walbro or fake Walbro's. They offer many different 255's.
 
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Rxbandits

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Soo... let's talk budgets and what we want the car to do overall.. also need to be sure that emissions testing is not a concern, the car will pass emissions but if they attempt to pull codes a standalone will not produce them.
You guys are very helpful, thank you.
Right now my plan with the car is to have a somewhat "reliable" street set up. Just to cruise around with the fam, drive to work sometimes, and occasionally drop some panties haha. I don't have a drag strip or anything near to do track stuff.

I don't have to worry about emissions testing where I am in Utah so that's a plus. I'm somewhat limited on a budget right now. I've got $1k to spend. I actually imported the car back from the UK. It had been there for 25 years, my brother had it for about 6 years before he passed. It cost a fair amount to get it here so sadly I have to keep my costs down for a bit. I'm putting a new 255 lph pump in and doing the tune up that was suggested as well as the correct sample tube.

I haven't priced out any Dyno time and a chip locally yet, so I don't know what that will cost. Anyone know of any good shops in Utah around SLC? I guess my question is, what's the best use of my limited funds? Is $1k even close to get a standalone ecu setup? I'm assuming a tune and a chip will cost about the same?
 

revhead347

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I haven't priced out any Dyno time and a chip locally yet, so I don't know what that will cost. Anyone know of any good shops in Utah around SLC? I guess my question is, what's the best use of my limited funds? Is $1k even close to get a standalone ecu setup? I'm assuming a tune and a chip will cost about the same?
Dyno tune costs vary from place to place. I definitely don't think you will be just fine using a chip on the stock computer. The easiest stand alone is the diyautotune. They have one that plugs into the factory harness for around $900. You still have to get that tuned though. There is a guy that does a complete tune on the dyno for $550 fixed price including the chip. It's not uncommon for them to charge by the hour though.

Kurt
 

7991LXnSHO

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C&L not good? Who’s baloney have you been reading???
@Blown88GT already said most of what I was going to say. I ran through Three BBK’s in a few miles, and they warrantied the first two before I said something NSFW. When they ran, they had to be clocked right. Then they quickly tested bad. I went new with a new C&L meter and a new Delphi sensor (I am leaving the stock MAF alone for testing), and it now runs with street manners, besides slipping ores (or the clutch) under full power.
Just because the product or idea is newer does NOT mean it is superior. New tech and old tech do not always play well together.