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Author Topic: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install  (Read 4499 times)

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Offline jwinker

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My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« on: November 02, 2019, 02:47:42 AM »
After nearly three months of baby-stepping my way into WAY more work than I originally needed to do, I have finally finished my epic Holley SniperEFI install. :occasion14:

Then promptly took the dash apart to clear the mouse nest from the vents, and haven't put it back together yet.  And what I mess I did find there!!!! :-\

First, I have to say, the Holley SniperEFI kit is FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC!!!! The car runs amazingly well now. It starts perfectly every time, even as the temp is dropping here in Minnesota. It idles at stop signs when cold OR warm, not one-or-the-other like the BBD. I think my mileage may be lower, but I'm also having a great time making the new exhaust sound off, so I'm not 100% ready to call that one yet.

Steps for the install:

1: Back in September, I ordered the Holley SniperEFI BBD Master Kit (550-858K). It is listed for a Jeep CJ series, but Holley assured me there isn't a hard-no for my 1984 Eagle Wagon. They were mostly-right. Mostly. The master kit comes with about 25' of very nice Gates high-pressure 3/8" hose, which is slightly less than I needed for my install. That's OK, because I had a VERY NICE section of Earl's 3/8" fuel line to supplement. More on that later, but safe to say, if you order the Master Kit, you're going to need at least a little more fuel line.

2: The Holley Master Kit comes with a very good Holley in-line fuel pump. I had previously considered using my VERY GOOD Hyperfuel 40019 in-tank retrofit pump, but eventually decided to stick with the Holley in-line . . . right up until I dropped the fuel tank and found it to be completely rotten along the front edge. I ordered a replacement tank from Rock Auto, and delivered it to my local kick-butt welders who gleefully modified it for the Hyperfuel pump. And it turned out INCREDIBLY beautiful! I also coated the tank with two layers of "Raptor" bedliner, and replaced the straps & hanger bolts while I was at it. Of this ENTIRE project, I am most proud of the kicksplode tank.

3: The Holley SniperEFI uses a Holley O2 sensor. I decided to use the original location at the exhaust manifold to install the new O2 sensor, rather than drilling the pipe, trying to clamp in the bung, or have it welded in, etc. Well . . . sorta . . . I ended up having to cut the pipe to get the manifold out of the car, then remove the manifold studs & nuts on the bench, then have the pipe sleeved & welded back together later at the exhaust shop (who cut me a FANTASTIC deal on the pipe work, since he got to work on an AMC Eagle for the first time in 20 years).

4: "While I'm at it" became a siren's call for this project. Since I was replacing the rusty tank, I might as well install the big-nasty fuel pump. Since I was doing that, I might as well replace the fuel level sender (Bosch SP0F000013), which (supposedly) requires the Bosch gauge (Bosch SP0F000056), which kinda matches the console gauges. Since I have the exhaust manifold off to install the new O2 sensor, I might as well replace the intake & exhaust gaskets, catalytic converter, muffler, and rusty exhaust pipe. I might as well replace the spark plugs, radiator hoses, all the rusty hose clamps, coolant, heater bypass valve . . . what could POSSIBLY go wrong??? (It's November 1, and I'm still reassembling)

5: With the new tank installed, lines run, wiring connected, and winter approaching, I fired it up for the first time . . . and it didn't work. What??? My super-fancy fuel pump in my custom-welded tank had the wrong hose clamps on the little piece of hose between the pump & the bulkhead. I had purchased a pair of 5/16" clamps for THIS VERY PURPOSE, but used the wrong ones when I put it together. Holy crap!!!! I had to drop the tank again, replace the little piece of now-ruined 5/16" hose, and 3/8" hose clamps with the right stuff, and put it all back together.

5a: Now . . . I don't know how many of you have ever installed a 1/2-full AMC Eagle Wagon gas tank, but let me give you some advice: Don't. What a STUPID idea that was! Starting with approximately 10 gallons of gas, I ended up with about 4 in the tank, and the rest soaked into the back of my head. What a dumb, dumb, dumb plan that was. Just empty the tank, it will save everybody a lot of sadness.

6: With the tank in again, I plumbed everything back together and . . . one of my fancy-pants Earl's 90-degree elbows blew fuel like a vaping teen. After 3 days of trying to get it sealed, I called Holley tech support and talked to a guy who HAD THE SAME PROBLEM ON HIS PERSONAL CAR THAT WEEKEND!!!! They sent me a replacement for free. Dramatically overpaying for your AN fittings & super-cool hose gets you that kind of service!

7: With everything reassembled, I started the car for the first time. It's AMAZING!!! I kid you not! It's a completely different vehicle with the SniperEFI. The BBD was impossible to tune with 1/2 the emissions missing. This thing is brilliant. I cannot speak highly enough. My only regrets - I wish I had ordered the Bronze finish rather than chrome, and I wish I had broken my gas tank before ordering the Master Kit, since I basically spent an extra $250 for some really nice fuel line, leaving a good fuel pump leftover in my parts bin.

8: Now that the car was running right, and once the exhaust leaks were patched, I decided "while I'm removing the console to install a fuel gauge, I should make them all match (Bosch SP0F000054), and the next logical step is to find & clear the mouse nest. SO . . . last weekend I removed the dash and heater box.  And if I'm taking the gauge pack out, I might as well take the dash apart and replace the instrument cluster lights that are burned out, clear the mouse nest, fix the AC, and eliminate excess vacuum lines & wiring. Because that makes total sense now that it's 33 degrees & snowing outside.

9: Upon removing the heater box, I found the gigantic mouse nest, which prevents the heat flap from moving back & forth. I also ordered an electric heater core bypass valve, because I have absolutely ZERO confidence in my old one.
10: With the instrument cluster out, and parts on the way, I have installed the SniperEFI 3.5" touch screen in the old tach location. My tach was long-dead anyway, so this was a non-destructive place to put the screen. The fit is actually VERY good. I had to bore a larger hole in the steel backing panel, then filled in the tach recess area with some foam strips, same I used for the heater box seals. I cut a hole in the front plastic to access the touch screen, and I have some plastic edge trim on the way to cover the rough cuts.

11: And that brings us up to today. My goals for this weekend are to remove the AC evaporator - trying to find a blockage in the freon lines, and might as well bleach the crap outta all the ducts "while I'm at it" and get rid of the mousey smell once and for all. Then I can start reassembling the dash and hopefully get some awesome Minnesota winter pictures with my rockin’ AMC Eagle Wagon.

no spare time, no free time, no downtime, all you got is lifetime - GO!

Offline RallyEagle

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Re: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 08:32:58 PM »
What a great read and project!

Offline jwinker

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Re: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2019, 10:08:45 PM »
Getting closer - If it weren't so darn cold here, I'd be done by now!
no spare time, no free time, no downtime, all you got is lifetime - GO!

Offline Run-AMC

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Re: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2020, 10:21:03 PM »
I am elated that you shared this topic with us. I'm currently combing the forum for any and all swapping details. Very good read terrifically executed! Thank you!
1982 Eagle Wagon Limited in Super Brown

More young men should work on old cars.

Offline djm3452004

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Re: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 07:54:18 AM »
Hi there, JWinker --

If possible, could you please provide an update as to how the the Sniper system (hopefully) continues to be working for you?

I am looking to do the same upgrade and was hoping it was still working out well.

I also did have an additional question -- how did you create/modify your throttle linkage for the Sniper throttle body?  Asking because when I went to the 2-barrel Weber carb setup, I had a heck of a time adapting the factory throttle bell-crank bracket assembly to the Weber, though I finally did make it work.  I retained the bell-crank because I wanted to keep the factory trans kickdown and cruise control functionality, which was why I went through so much effort.

(image of bell-crank attached for visual reference)

Thank you in advance for any thoughts --

Current Project: 1983 Eagle Wagon 258
Past AMC Project(s):  1979 Spirit Liftback 232
                                1968 Ambassador 287

Offline Billman

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Re: My Epic Holley SniperEFI BBD Install
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2021, 02:48:29 PM »
I'm needing to upgrade my ignition system ( because I said so ) and wondering if get the sniper's ignition in first with the anticipation of adding the fuel system later, would it be functional as a stand alone?
1982 SX/4
1983 SX/4
1983 wagonProject
1984 wagon DD
1996 Jeep
2007  Caliber
2004 Silverado


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