Brown EFI Owner’s Manual
For the Chevrolet Corvair
This Owner’s Manual is designed to explain the basic concepts and the component functions of the EFI system. You should read this manual and the Installation guide fully before starting your installation. Both are a work in progress and constantly updated…. so check back often.
This kit was designed and built with 3 major objectives:
• Increase performance, dependability, and driveability of the Corvair.
• Completely reversible
Background: Fuel injection has always been costly for the Corvair mainly because port injection requires costly welding and the use of low production parts. The Throttle body was chosen for the dependability and simplicity and uses mostly GM production parts to keep the price low. The dual throttle body has been used before, but was fragmented and used a costly computer to run. EFI Temp input was always a problem for Corvairs and due to the wild temp fluctuations of the Air-Cooled engine, but we have solved this using our temp sensors. The First Generation EFI used mostly used GM parts, but as time has passed, these parts (Throttle bodies and ECMs) have become difficult or impossible to locate. We designed the 2nd Generation of EFI to use mostly off-the-shelf or manufactured items so the supply of parts will not end. The 2nd Gen also uses more Corvair specific parts to reduce cost and allow the use of factory linkage and air cleaners.
We hope you find this one of the most well thought out, economical and dependable kits ever produced for the Corvair and should provide years of trouble-free service. This EFI system is a DIY system with many pre-made/adapted parts to aid you in the successful installation of your system, but it relies on your skill and knowledge or Corvairs and EFI. If you doubt your abilities, hire an installer or friend/club member to help you with this install.
Theory: Carbs and points that control the conventional Corvair and all engines of that era are a compromise. The Carbs give the best fuel mixture only under certain loads and airflow due to their design. Distributors can’t compensate for Temp and use flying weights to control the timing… good, but again a compromise. Fuel Injection along with electronic timing applies the best fuel mixture and timing for that RPM, Load, and Temp at all times to provide the best performance.
What should I expect?: Ease of starting, good all-around performance and better fuel economy. This will not make your worn out engine a good engine. It does not fix burned valves, leaking heads, cracked pistons, etc…. its fuel injection. It maximizes the amount of fuel and spark for the best all-around performance and economy based on external factors which a traditional Carb and points can’t do. During the initial cold starting, the engine will run rich to aid in cold start and run. The reduction in cylinder wash (from manual chokes) and better fuel rations will extend the life of the engine, plugs, wires and associated electrical items. Starters will last longer due to reduced cranking and make the earth a little better place to live due to lowered emissions.
Just because you can does not mean you should: Fuel Injection will allow you to start the engine and drive very soon after starting, even in cold weather. Today’s engines have close tolerances which allow them to run cold without damage. The Corvair engine was never designed to nor meet designed clearances until after its warm. Yes… you can drive your vehicle immediately after cranking, but it is advisable to do lightly so until the engine has warmed and proper clearances have not been obtained.
What do I need/have to purchase that does not come with the kit:
1 ea External/External Fuel Pump
5/16″ Fuel return line (FPR to fuel return)
Misc Bolts/Screws to meet customer desire
Laptop (Optional, but highly recommended)
I want to tune my car for more performance/fuel economy: This system can incorporate the use of a Wide Band O2 sensor and is recommended for an upgrade to your EFI. It is difficult to use Tuner Studio’s Autotune feature without the use of a WBO2 sensor and you may do more harm than good. Extra care should always be exercised in tuning to avoid running an engine too lean under load. The Corvair does not like lean conditions even under normal circumstances and will “sputter and spit” when taken to far. The WBO2 sensor, like Innovate’s LC-2 is a perfect upgrade for anyone wanting to control their AFR (even the daily driver).
Early Model (EM) vs Late Model (LM): 61-63 EM and low HP 64’s did not come with a Harmonic Balancer (HB). When a harmonic balancer is used, you must also switch the rear engine mount to a 64 model or shim with washers so the belt to have sufficient space for a fan belt change. The timing wheel/harmonic balancer combination will not fit on the FC without shimming the rear bracket.
ECM: Under ECM control, the fuel pump will operate for 5 seconds when the ignition is turned on. It will resume operating when you start to crank the engine, and continue running when the engine starts. ECM uses the sensors and programmed info to run the engine at near-best performance. Normally the engine will go closed loop after the oxygen sensor reaches 600 deg F. With all of the above connections made, your engine should start right up. The ECM controls the idle based on an RPM table and sensors. It monitors vacuum (load), Throttle position, temp and engine speed and to command the injectors to send the proper amount of fuel and timing to the engine. Those are the basic functions of the ECM, but it will do so much more. TunerStudio software (free) will open up a world of opportunities to better control your engine.
Control Panel: The control panel mounts the ECM, both Relays, MAP Sensor and wiring harness reduce the overall “footprint” of the computer/components and simplify the installation. Late and Early models have different mounting locations. You will need to remove components and drill holes in the plate to secure your control plate to your body. use of self-tapping may be easiest, but do not over-torque screws and bend the mounting plate. After control plate is secured, re-attached the components to the panel. On late models, it is recommended to drill and secure the control panel to the existing holes from the external regulator which should already been removed.
Engine Temp Sensor: The engine temp sensor is installed at the shroud bolt hole sensor at the #4 cylinder location. The engine temp sensor takes the reading from the #4 bolt hole and tells the ECU if the engine is cold, warm or hot. It is not designed as a warning system or to indicate exact engine temp for the user. It has a snap-to-click connector with a lock to prevent accidental disconnect. If disconnected, the ECM will default to a fully warm condition to allow continued operation without producing a cold (choke) condition. If a rich condition does occur after the engine is at normal operating temp and disconnected, the temp sensors need setup and calibration with the TunerStudio software.
Throttle Bodies: Throttle bodies are supplied and marked as Driver’s side (TPS) with the fuel inlet point to the front of the vehicle. They are equipped with modern, off-the-shelf, high “Z” injectors and manufactured for long term durability. They are powder coated to prevent rust when built, but other colors or professional powder coating can be applied. The driver’s side TBI is equipped with a GM TPS that is fully adjustable to prevent binding. If you ever need to replace the TPS, it will need to be modified before installation. The passenger side TBI is equipped with the Idle Control System (ICS) to provide good idle, higher idle when cold and a momentary rise in RPMs during starting. Injector stand-offs are used to prevent over-tightening of the injector assembly to prevent damaging/crushing the injector.
The first models have the mechanical cold idle advance and are adjusted in the same manner as the Corvair Carburetor except there is no choke butterfly valve. During cold temps, the Corvair spring pushes the Cam to open the throttle slightly which advances the idle. When the engine reaches approx 160F, the spring will pull the idle cam where it does not affect idle. Later models (Produced after July 2019) use an idle air control (IAC) valve mounted on the passenger side TBI. A hose is routed from the IAC valve to the 3/8″ Tee” provided in the kit and spliced into the PVC hose. When the engine is cold, the ECM commands the IAC valve to open which creates an idle leak and in turn increases the idle. This will continue until the engine is warm and the ECM turns off the IAC valve. On Automatic engines, he ECM senses the temp and or low RPM and adjusts the IAC to maintain good operations during cold weather (Choke emulation) or during stops/prolonged idle. Kits produced starting Sep 2019, use a Corvair Carb choke pull-off and solenoid to control the idle. This solenoid controlled pull-off idle control using vacuum to control the idle during startup, cold and when the idle drops below 850 RPMs when warm. This can be “tweaked” using the Laptop/software to adjust the ECM for your particular engine/weather conditions.
Inlet and Return Line Planning (Lines Not provided): You have two choices on return lines…. installing the Fuel Pressure Regulator (FPR) at the front or rear of the Corvair. If installed at the rear of the vehicle, both (feed and return) fuel lines should be routed down the tunnel (Car) and exit near the front of the vehicle. Care should be taken to ensure no moving parts come in contact with the lines and allow enough slack for rubber fuel line connection. The rubber hose will allow for movement of the engine as not to bend/break/vibrate steel line over time. Rubber Fuel Lines should be tightened, secured and located to prevent leaking or damage. Nipples should be placed on lines if you have the availability to ensure there is no slippage of the hose under pressure. With the FPR located at the front of the vehicle, this will require less work and a shorter return line. The FPR has a removable mounting tab and ground for securing to the body and also is supplied with quick release nipples for ease of hose installation. ALWAYS use proper sized screw-type clamps on all hoses with EFI approved hose and minimize use of rubber hose where the steel line make more sense.
Trigger Wheel: The Trigger wheel tells the ECM what speed of the engine is rotating and the missing tooth is used to indicate when the engine is at TDC. It is bolted to the front of the Harmonic Balancer using 3/8″ bolts with a spacer between the HB and the trigger wheel. The trigger wheel is mounted with the engine at 0 degrees and the open slot at approx 10 o’clock position 50-60 degrees ATDC (to the left of the degree indicator).
Pickup/Crank Sensor: The Pickup sensor senses the tooth as the tooth of the wheel passes and generates a small amount of voltage that the ECM detects and adds that to a register to that determines the RPM of the engine. This type of sensor is an AC wave-type sensor (know as VR) and can be tested by voltage meter as the engine rotates. This system was designed so that the pickup sensor and bracket does NOT have to be removed or adjusted during normal belt replacement.
Fuel Pump/Tank (General): Just because it holds fuel does not make it a good tank for EFI. Unless your tank is new, we recommend using a tank sealer system, like POR-15 that cleans, preps and seals. One of the big reasons we don’t sell and/or warranty pumps is due to rust and sediment in unprepared tanks that will eventually ruin the pump.
Fuel Pump Internal: Bosch #69225 or equivalent should only be used. A new fuel sock, (Bosch #68001) is also required as any trash entering the pump will destroy it in short order. The sending unit must be modified with a bulkhead connector for the fuel pump and ground and can be accomplished with instructions from some Corvair websites for electric fuel pump conversion. This bulkhead connector from Revolution Electronics is recommended for an easy conversion. It is highly recommended to place in bump on the sending unit line so that the fuel hose does not slip off under pressure inside your tank (don’t ask me how we know about this).
Fuel Pump External: The Airtex E2000 or equivalent should only be used. This series of pump is a “roller vane” type pump. Do not use solenoid/diaphragm type pumps as these are cheaper, but will NOT provide the pressures needed that an HP pump produces. A new fuel tank is recommended, but if you use your used fuel tank, it should be free of dirt, rust, and particles as these will destroy the pump. You can use the diaphragm type pump as a suction pump and then to the E2000 high-pressure pump. We do not recommend external pumps due to noise.
Engine Fuel Lines: The fuel lines to the TBIs are 1/4″ steel with double flare ends and connect to our fuel injector adapter. We use steel in the engine compartment to minimize accidental damage from a belt throw, etc and does not degrade with heat over time as rubber. The lines are pre-bent to accommodate routing and can be bent slightly for ease of installation or customer preference.
Fuel Return Return: A fuel line return is required for this type of install. The return sends excess fuel (fuel over 58 lbs) back to the tank and is recycled back through the pump. If the fuel line becomes blocked, this would create excess pressure and cause the injection system to run outside its designed limits.
Corvair Distributor: The Factory modified Corvair distributor has all the guts removed and locked down to be an ECM controlled distributor. Only the rotor and cap are necessary and all other components can be removed to extend the life of the bearings. Phase the distributor at 20-24 degrees BTDC on the #1 plug wire and lockdown with a 9/16″ wrench. Once the phase has been set, no other changes to the distributor should be made. We recommend placing the coil at the rear of the engine on the cowl support as this will keep the coil cool and out of the way. It can be placed on the engine as shown, but will wick heat from the head and reduce the life of the coil. A special coil wire is provided with the kit that will reach between the coil and the Corvair distributor.
GM Smart Distributor-less Ignition (Smart DIS): This is the newest GM DIS which allows the coils to be controlled through logic signals supplied by the ECM. These are widely used on late model GM V6 engines and have an excellent durability record. The Smart (logic) DIS Coil Packs and older coil pack are not interchangeable. Smart DIS requires the use of a 36-1 trigger wheel which is included in the kit. DIS to Corvair plug wires provided and are sized for your Corvair with the DIS module in the normal position. See the attached pics for suggested routing and ensure you protect the wires from scuffing as many moving parts. These are special made cables and are not available in different colors.
O2 Sensors: Your O2 sensor senses the amount of oxygen in the exhaust stream and trims the fuel-rich or lean. A Narrowband O2 (NBO2) and only read 14.7:1 Air to fuel ratio (AFR) and works well for most applications, but the ECU cant use an NBO2 Sensor to command the engine to burn at a certain AFR. If you want to control your AFR for more power or economy, you will need a WBO2 sensor. Dual O2 sensors (Wide or Narrow Band) can be connected to the system, but your wiring harness will need to be modified. If you want to use a wideband, TunerStudio software has an autotune provision which is table/cell driven and will auto adjust the engine to match the AFR setting in the table. we recommend the LC2 of Innovate Motorsports. https://www.innovatemotorsports.com/products/lc2.php
Wiring Harness: Your wiring harness has been produced using all new parts and all connections have been soldered/shrink or use GM/Packard crimp tools and connectors. Ends have been marked with stick-on tags to add-in installation. Relays and relay holders are 30/40 amp 5 pin standard and available at any parts store electrical shelf. If you remove the relay for test, etc… pay particular attention when re-inserting the relay not to push the relay connector from the bottom of connector housing with may cause failure or intermittent failures.
Battery wire: The Red 14 AWG wire must be connected to a fused 12VDC constant battery source. We include a circuit breaker type of fuse that will allow the system to short and reset. YOU MUST USE A FUSE to protect your car and your life.
Switched wire: The orange 18 AWG wire marked “switched 12V” should be connected to a switched (12-V with key on and 0-V with key off). If you use the existing resistor coil wire, you must tap very close (within 2″) to prevent voltage reduction. If you are using the Smart coil or DIS, you will no longer need the resistor wire and is the preferred method to power the switch wire. The ECM and relays must have 12V from the switched wire to work properly.
Ground wires: Two (2) Ground ring terminals are provided in the wiring harness for grounding. Grounds are very important to the proper and reliable/consistent operation of the system. Lose or disconnected grounding will shorten the life of the system and will damage the computer, wiring and other components.
Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve (Before Aug 2019): The IAC valve is used on models of Brown Injection Systems kits built until Aug 2019. The IAC valve is controlled by the ECM and creates a vacuum leak to up the idle when commanded (ie: Cold idle advance, Automatic transmission in gear). When the ECM no longer signals the IAC to advance the idle, it will reduce the vacuum leak to maintain idle at present levels.
Idle Control System (Sep 2019-Present): The Brown Idle Control System (ICS) is used to maintain idle control on all models from Sep 2019 on. During cold or heavy loads at idle (ie: automatic transmission, electrical) When the ECM detects a load and the reduction in RPMs, the ICS solenoid opens the ICS vacuum pull and opens the throttle until the RPMs are at what the ECU commands. The solenoid control is mounted on the passenger side TBI and is connected to the ECU through the wiring harness. The ICS uses the Corvair choke pull-off for simplicity, availability, and ease of replacement and connected by 3/16″ tubing. Testing of the ICS is can be done manually or through the use of diagnostic tools in the Tunerstudio program. Adjustments to the rate/speed of reaction to RPMs are possible for different applications.
Air Conditioning: Use of the Air Conditioning will require a special modification to the harmonic balancer and will requiring sending the HB to us for that modification. This ECM does NOT support A/C compressor control or operation. The ICS will try to correct the idle when the compressor engages, but because the IAC valve has to first sense the load, this can take time and may allow a rough idle or stall until the ICS corrects it. You may have to make some adjustments to make this work for you. Note: A separate Idle advance purge valve could also be used in conjunction with the ICS to maintain and supplement the idle levels during compressor engagement. This valve is NOT controlled by the ECM, but by the 12VDC supplied to the compressor.
Forward Control/Wagon: . If you use a harmonic balancer on this engine, you will not be able to use the bolt-on timing wheel unless the bracket is shimmed or a 64 rear engine bracket is used. You may also need to trim back the bracket “pan” to ensure you can install the cooling belt without interference. To use the timing wheel on the low horsepower pulley, DO NOT use the spacers behind the timing wheel.
Air Cleaners: Owners have different ideas about air cleaners, we leave that to the end-user. The TBIs will accept Corvair Factory Air Cleaners (2″ inside diameter) but may require modification for “hold downs” that secure the cleaner to the TBI based on the air cleaner used. Many aftermarket air cleaners that will attach to a 2.25″ outside diameter will also work.
Idle: 800-850 – Balance TBIs by using “just closed”, adjust throttle rod between the TBIs and then open idle screw until smooth idle achieved in Neutral.
Spark Plugs: .35-.40 gap
Timing: Call Brown Injection for correction.
Fuel: Premium is recommended for all Corvairs, but mid-grade may give good performance at lower cost in cooler climates.
Check Timing with a Timing Light: During warm idle, GM mark on harmonic balancer should align with bolt within 6 degrees either side. Timing will be moving back and forth approx 6 degrees as the ECM using the timing and ICS motors to maintain idle speed. Center of bolt is approx 26 degrees and would emulate a running distributor w/vacuum advanced connected.
Make sure you have a good starter. A starter that misses engagement spins a creates a high-frequency signal across the entire vehicle. The ECM may sense that signal as engine RPM and will start injecting fuel and cause a flood situation. On EFI, if a flooding situation ever occurs, press the accelerator to the floor (past 70%) and this will stop of flow of fuel while cranking.
Normal Readings/observations to be used as a guide
• Timing – Approx 20 degrees at idle
• MAP Sensor KPA – 50 @ idle out of gear 60 in drive (+-10)
• Head Temp Cold – approx, 80 degrees
• Head Temp Hot – approx 220 degrees
• Fuel pump will run for 5 seconds after key on
• Fuel pump pressure for TBI is 58 (+-5) lbs
• Crank sensor to Harmonic Balancer .020″-.040″
Troubleshooting (EFI system only):
We recommend a Laptop running Tunerstudio software (Free) and a Diagnostic Cable (included with kit) before you start troubleshooting!!! It will drastically reduce your troubleshooting time. MOST ISSUES OF THE EFI ARE CAUSED BY VACUUM LEAKS OR LOW/NO COMPRESSION.
Engine will not start:
• Does ECM have Power? Switched and battery?
• Do Relay’s Click and transfer power? (Use voltmeter lead under relay housing)
• Does the Fuel Pump run for 5 Seconds then turn off?
• Does the fuel pump have a minimum of 60lbs of pressure when energized? • Check Crank Sensor
• Does the DIS/Coil spark when the engine is cranked?
• Check Relay system
• Check Relay ground
• Check switch power and ground to relay system
• Check 12V Battery to Relays
• *Check RPMs on Computer when cranking
• Use jumper to Test power with relays removed
Hard Starting (Eventually Starts/runs):
• Fuel Pump Failure – Check Static Pressure
• Fuel Pressure Regulator Failure (Check running Pressure)
• *MAP Sensor disconnected/malfunction (also check vacuum line)
• 1 or more of the injectors disconnected
• plug wire disconnected
Rough Idle (under load):
• ICS Vacuum line disconnected
• Solenoid not connected/functioning
• Vacuum Leak
• Mechanical Idle Advance Binding
• ICS Vacuum pull malfunction
• ICS solenoid bleed valve blocked
No Power when Accelerator is pressed:
• TPS disconnected (*Rotate to verify 0-100%)
• MAP sensor disconnected/malfunction (*Should read 100% with engine not running)
• Low fuel pump pressure (less than 60 lbs)
• Injector Connector disconnected
Appears to be running extremely rich:
• Low MAP sensor vacuum (disconnected)
• Engine Temp sensor failure (If engine not reaching operating temp (>180f), remove connector from temp sensor (this will put indicate 180 degrees for testing)
• High fuel pressure/Return line blocked/Lines Reversed
• Timing low
My engine will not turn off when key off position is selected:
• Relay is being powered through “Gen” light and needs Diode installed
No spark on Cyl 5 & 6. (Smart DIS ONLY)
• The TPS/MAP uses the same Vref +5 that Smart DIS uses to fire Cyls 5 & 6. If the TPS/MAP shorts or malfunctions, then these Cyl may not fire until the TPS/MAP issue is resolved. Use Tunerstudio to diagnose TPS/MAP.
*Computer needed for Diagnosis
Wiring Diagnostic Notes:
- Power to Relay #1 & #2: (Power Feed to both Relays are from Battery 12VDC wire)
- Power to ECM/Relay #1: Switched 12VDC Powers ECM and activates Relay #1
- Power to Fuel Pump #2: Switched 12VDC Powers Relay #2 and activated by ground from ECM.
- The Main Red wire provides 12VDC to the rear terminals of the relay block. Switched power energizes the ECM and terminal #1. The #1 relay provides power to all injectors, DIS/Coil and idle control valve. The #2 relay 12VDC (+) is provided by the switched 12VDC, but the ground (which energizes relay #2) is provided by the ECM. If the ECM does not receive RPM information within 5 secs after initial power is applied, the #2 (Fuel Pump) relay will be disengaged and power to fuel pump will cease.
- The Idle Control Solenoid controlled by Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) from the neg (-) wire of the ICS solenoid wire. ICS should have 12VDC at the plug with the switch on.
- TPS and MAP should have +5VDC on the grey wire.
Wiring Pinout Chart – Download here in PDF
Brown Injection Systems, LLC. assumes no responsibility for the function or suitability to task of any kit or parts. This kit and parts are DIY (Do it yourself) parts to aid you in the installation of fuel Injection of the Corvair. Brown Injection Systems, LLC. Warranties this product against manufacturing defects for the period of 90 days from date of shipping. This warranty covers all parts, but does not cover outside labor to diagnose or repair without specific prior approval from Brown Injection Systems, LLC. This warranty does not cover any failures caused by misuse, accidents, or shipping incidents. Warranty failures will be repaired or replaced at the discretion of Brown Injection Systems, LLC. and has the final decision. Any damages that may have occurred during shipping should be reported immediately to the shipper and not Brown Injection Systems, LLC., Inc. Brown Injection Systems, LLC is not responsible for any damages to equipment and possible liability injury that could result from the use of the product. Brown Injection Systems, LLC. Maximum total liability under any conditions is the repair or replacement of the product.
PART TROUBLESHOOTING: If you feel a part is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced, we will do so with the following guidelines: 1) Troubleshooting is provided for 90 days after shipping date, 2) Send part to us, we will test and if part if found defective, we will give you a credit for future parts purchase at the lowest shipping rate (FedEx) to us. If part is not found defective, you will be invoiced for actual shipping costs incurred by us.
PRODUCT RETURN POLICY: Most products can be returned for credit within 30 days of shipping. All returns must be as new for maximum credit and free of modification and scratches. A 15% restocking charge will apply to any returned parts except for failure. All returns shipping must be prepaid. If you paid using PayPal, we will deduct the transaction costs from any refund.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: Technical assistance over the telephone can be obtained from Brown Injection Systems, LLC. at 864-617-1776 between the hours of 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. We may be assisting others, so leave a message and you will receive a callback.