Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

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melford72
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Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:36 pm

Been having some intermittent issues with my Sniper. Sometimes it will run flawlessly. Then other times it will start popping, misfiring and swinging back and forth from lean (25.0+) to rich (9.0). The engine sputters and sometimes dies. Does it cold, warm, at idle, or on the freeway — just totally random. And then as quickly as the problem starts, it starts running fine again.

I've tested a bunch of stuff, and at this point I strongly suspect the Hyperspark control unit is going haywire. So I'd like to plug in an MSD 6A (have access to a used one) to see if that eliminates the problem. And I found this: https://forums.holley.com/showthread.ph ... 6AL-series

Anyone know if they are actually the same?
70 Custom Special
Not running at the moment, but LM7/4L60e in the works! :mrgreen:

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:26 pm

To answer my own question, they actually are basically the same — just in case anyone else ends up asking. But (interestingly) the MSD unit is slightly more expensive. So this is one time that Holley's product actually might save you money.

I'm going to replace the control module and see if that gets rid of the problem. Hopefully, it will.
70 Custom Special
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 1979bettywhite » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:09 am

I guess at this point there is no reason to go back to a basic duraspark unit? Mine has been running fine with a stock style distributor. Although without the ability to control timing. Have been considering going to the hyperspark, but with no issues so far, I am hesitant to add more electronics to the mix. Have you called and talked to Holley? Maybe send them some data?

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:55 am

Well, it wasn't the control unit. I've talked to Holley and bunch of times and sent them datalogs. They are as stumped as I am. From their perspective, everything is working as it should.

I'm thinking maybe something is messed up with my mechanicals that I'm just overlooking or maybe I've got an intermittent short somewhere. But I've been trying to figure this out for months now and I'm no closer. Might just sell the sniper, switch back to a carb and just be done with it. It's not like the Sniper was improving my fuel economy anyway...
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by KJ Ryu » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:27 pm

Have you talked to Chris at EFISystemPro? He seems to know more about the Sniper than the people at Holley.
Ron

2005 KJ, Hit-n-Run, 2am 6-17-2012, Totaled. :mad:
1977 SJ J10, 4v360, T18, D20, 37x14s, SOA & SF on tons, still ugly.
1978 SJ Wagoneer, 4v360, QT, 33x12.5s, lift by Sawzall :-bd NOT Running :(
1977 SJ J10, SniperEFI 401, QT, D44s, 31X10.5s :fsj:
2006 KJ
Mars wrote:One man's trans leak is another's penetrating oil :D


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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 1979bettywhite » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:46 am

I know that my sniper system is very sensitive to voltage. If I drop back below a constant 12V it will shut itself down. I have to be careful when rolling up and down my back window. As that tends to draw me down to 12V or so. Usually run a constant 14.1 or so. Have my idle set to 700. Any lower than that and my alternator doesn't do a great job charging the system.

Was at home depot the other day. Thought I would roll up the back window as I started through the parking lot. Nope, sniper shut us down. Had power to everything but the sniper was not having the low voltage. Started back up fine when not pulling extra volts.

Have thought about moving to a better charging alternator just for the sniper system.

But I somewhat understand your frustration with electronics. There is something very pleasurable about my CJ-5 with basically no electronics anywhere. Cranks every time and I know where to go looking if it doesn't.

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:37 am

1979bettywhite wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:46 am
But I somewhat understand your frustration with electronics. There is something very pleasurable about my CJ-5 with basically no electronics anywhere. Cranks every time and I know where to go looking if it doesn't.
Hahaha. I understand that feeling. If I was you, I wouldn't bother with timing control (as I didn't experience much more in terms of better mileage, etc.), but lot of people on here will disagree with me that you aren't getting as much out of your EFI until you have timing control. All I know is that my truck was running great before the whole Sniper/Hyperspark debacle. And it's obviously just a matter of me not being able to figure out what's messed up — but now my truck is generating a ton of stress. (Did I mention it's my daily?)

I'm going to actually take a lesson from you and try running it without timing control before I abandon the throttle body. I'm 95% sure it's just a matter of the timing not syncing correctly — not like a mechanical problem at all — because the problem seems to come and go so much. Hopefully, that will make it work. Will post an update.
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:38 am

KJ Ryu wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:27 pm
Have you talked to Chris at EFISystemPro? He seems to know more about the Sniper than the people at Holley.
Have not talked to Chris about it, but a good recommendation for a next step. Thanks.
70 Custom Special
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by DARREN LILLY » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:02 pm

Hi Melford72 did you resolve the problem, I got mine back from the mechanics & not happy so far as it broke down 3x first day each time after about 15 minutes running. Does the ignition module need a heat sink, nothing under mine. I have a spare msd 6AL did using one of these fix it. Probably have less than a hours running time since installation is maybe the system still learning. The mechanics didnt install the lcd info screen will this cause issues? Thanks
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 1979bettywhite » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:41 am

The LCD screen and all the sensors it shows will certainly help to diagnose any issues there may be with the system. What are the breakdown symptoms? Does is misfire etc.? Or does it just shut down? I have found that the sniper system does not like much in the way or electrical interruption. Meaning it likes to have a full 12V. Running other things and drawing down the voltage certainly can make it unhappy. Also, slight modification may need to be made to your pickup tube in the tank if it does not reach all the way to the bottom. Others have kept the stock jeep mechanical fuel pump and added a surge tank to combat the fuel starvation/slosh issue. You can read about those via search function. You can also go with an in tank pump from Novak, although you need to make sure that one reaches the bottom as well if you have an MTS poly tank.

I would either take it back to the mechanic for more test and tune, or find another mechanic that may have more hands on time with the sniper system.


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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by DARREN LILLY » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:23 pm

My first failure was after turning off the engine & it wouldnt restart, after waiting 10 minutes it started, next time it just stopped no indication of a problem same deal waited 10 minutes restarted it turned around to take it back home & it broke down again about 200 meters from home. I put a new battery in after the first failure but I could of gone a bit bigger one but wasnt available at the time. I can operate the power window when idling as I read about this robbing power from the system & no accessories were being used at the time. I am running a command centre 2 for the fuel, I read bad reports about the first cc model but have heard nothing on this one? mounted next to the radiator left hand side. 1/4 tank of fuel. Tried keeping the original fuel pump but the plumbing was a bit messy. This is the first one the mechanic has installed & I or he have no problem in taking it back just be good to hve a few ideas on what to check. What size battery & alternators are you all using. Thanks
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by KJ Ryu » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:20 am

I run stock alternator on mine. Battery is a high amp agm but it's getting old.

My guess is the command center isn't preventing the fuel from foaming. Just out of curiosity though, are you waiting 4-5 seconds between "key-on" and "start"? If you have the handheld lcd screen, I highly recommend routing the wire for it. Even if you primarily keep it in the glovebox, it has a lot of nice info like an actual number for water temp, etc. And once the screen is on, then you know the ecu in the Sniper is on, as well.
Ron

2005 KJ, Hit-n-Run, 2am 6-17-2012, Totaled. :mad:
1977 SJ J10, 4v360, T18, D20, 37x14s, SOA & SF on tons, still ugly.
1978 SJ Wagoneer, 4v360, QT, 33x12.5s, lift by Sawzall :-bd NOT Running :(
1977 SJ J10, SniperEFI 401, QT, D44s, 31X10.5s :fsj:
2006 KJ
Mars wrote:One man's trans leak is another's penetrating oil :D

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:17 pm

DARREN LILLY wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:02 pm
Hi Melford72 did you resolve the problem, I got mine back from the mechanics & not happy so far as it broke down 3x first day each time after about 15 minutes running. Does the ignition module need a heat sink, nothing under mine. I have a spare msd 6AL did using one of these fix it. Probably have less than a hours running time since installation is maybe the system still learning. The mechanics didnt install the lcd info screen will this cause issues? Thanks
Update: I finally got sick of it all and just ripped the entire system out.

I tried a new control module ($$$) and that did not fix the problem. Then I removed the timing control altogether and went to a normal dizzy (more $$$) and that also did not fix the problem. Then I took the truck to a local shop that has experience with the Sniper. They told me that they'd wished I had come to them BEFORE I'd bought the Sniper and that they'd seen nothing but problems. There's a local guy with a Ford Bronco that they're working with that's on his 4th Sniper throttle body.

They tried to figure out what was going on and spent some time on the phone with Holley too, but it seems that there's just something going haywire inside of my throttle body — or maybe it's mechanical — or maybe it's a Voltage drop thing — or maybe it's something else entirely. Who knows? According to datalogs, my Sniper appeared to be working fine. But when it died pulling away from a stop sign, I can tell you that it clearly wasn't running right.

So... I could have spent more time trying to figure out why this system refuses to work — but I'm just done with it. I've got bigger fish to fry (commitments to family, work, etc.) and dumping MORE energy into this nightmare didn't seem like a smart idea any more.

So now I'm back to running an MSD distributor with mechanical advance and an AVS2 Edelbrock carb. (My first non-Holley carb, but I wasn't about to put Holley ANYTHING on my engine at this point.) And my truck is running great again. :banghead:

The silver lining of this all is that it gave me time to assess what I really want out of my truck and let me come to some conclusions.

1. I've spent a lot of time and effort on this engine (new cooling system, new fuel system, headers and exhaust, ignition and charging, plus other stuff that I can't think of right now...)
2. Even after all of that, it's never going to give me the reliability or mileage I'd want to be able to take my son fishing in the central sierras. Even when my Sniper was functioning correctly, it never got more than 10 mpg.
3. I don't really want to undo a lot of the work I've done on this truck, so it's time to sell it and let someone else enjoy what I built.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago I picked up a 1970 Custom Special with a blown Buick 350. It was just too much of a coincidence to ignore. My best friend from high school texted me a pic one afternoon. The truck was sitting in his little sister's garage — and she was looking to get rid of it. The exterior is rough, but the interior is really amazing and it's a perfect starting point for me. So now I'm planning a LM7/4L60 swap, and I'm actually going to come out with something even better in the long run. :-bd
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 78 WIDETRAC » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:41 pm

What did you end up doing with the sniper system? sold it or ?
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:05 pm

Nothing yet. In a box in my garage with the hyperspark distributor, coil, and two control units. If anyone is interested, PM me and make an offer.
70 Custom Special
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 78 WIDETRAC » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:15 pm

Message sent
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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by 1979bettywhite » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:20 am

Sorry to hear that Melford. Other than a couple minor issues with mine (mainly due to fuel starvation from a short pickup tube) it has really worked pretty well.

As a side note, I know a lot of us are running the Sniper here without issue on the stock dizzy. Some for quite a while and with many miles. I don't have a ton of miles on mine yet, but so far so good.

But I am in the same camp as you in regards to a reliable driver for longer trips. Sadly with the lift etc. I am averaging around 7-8 mpg. I don't think it's in the cards for me to make many long trips with the Cherk. But I do plan to hold onto in for the foreseeable future as they are pretty rare around here.

Good luck with things moving forward.

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:12 am

1979bettywhite wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:20 am
Sorry to hear that Melford. Other than a couple minor issues with mine (mainly due to fuel starvation from a short pickup tube) it has really worked pretty well.

As a side note, I know a lot of us are running the Sniper here without issue on the stock dizzy. Some for quite a while and with many miles. I don't have a ton of miles on mine yet, but so far so good.

But I am in the same camp as you in regards to a reliable driver for longer trips. Sadly with the lift etc. I am averaging around 7-8 mpg. I don't think it's in the cards for me to make many long trips with the Cherk. But I do plan to hold onto in for the foreseeable future as they are pretty rare around here.

Good luck with things moving forward.
Thanks! And I know there are lots of people that haven't had any problems with the Sniper. But I've always kinda been that guy that if EVERYONE in class was at a party, I'd be the one who would up getting caught/arrested. :lol: Knowing that about myself certainly factored into my decision.

You can get in trouble making grand assertions from one data point and my experience is only my own. And I hope my story doesn't scare others away from trying Holley's TBI setup — or any of the others on the market.

And it helps to know that I've already started my next one. (Changed my avatar last night too.) Someone else will get to enjoy my 72 and all of the work I did. So I guess since we're gonna add another FSJer to the ranks here in SoCal, that's a win. :)

For some reference, here's the starting point for the new build. Probably need to start a build thread once I can tear into it properly.
Image59270541057__ADE34AA0-E369-4925-9746-75DB5B205462 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

Image59270542583__3CD3B6C1-D754-410E-928C-5328460453AA by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr
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Carbed, Cammed, and Lifted


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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by Mreuther12 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:10 pm

melford72 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:12 am

And it helps to know that I've already started my next one. (Changed my avatar last night too.) Someone else will get to enjoy my 72 and all of the work I did. So I guess since we're gonna add another FSJer to the ranks here in SoCal, that's a win. :)
Not to mention that makes three 1970's in SD
1970 Wagoneer
- Buick 350 Dauntless V8, TA Performance Stage 1 Intake, 4bbl Edelbrock Carb, HEI Distributor, Electric Fan, Aluminum Radiator
- D27 Front/D44 Rear

WT Conversion in progress...

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Re: Holley Sniper/HyperSpark CD vs MSD 6A

Post by melford72 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:04 pm

Mreuther12 wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:10 pm
Not to mention that makes three 1970's in SD
Yes! Charles was telling me that. Are you up in Enc? I lived up there for years.

We need to get the 1970s all together one of these mornings. Mine is still in Central California ATM, but it'll be down here hopefully sooner than later. And in the meantime, I'm having fun with my 72 now that it's running properly. We need to start a SDFSJ club. :-bd
70 Custom Special
Not running at the moment, but LM7/4L60e in the works! :mrgreen:

Previously, 72 Wagoneer
Carbed, Cammed, and Lifted

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