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-   -   The Great EFI Debate (https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/vintage-mustang-forum/1108962-great-efi-debate.html)

JonnybravoM3 01-29-2018 12:21 AM

The Great EFI Debate
 
As I'm busy ordering replacement parts online for my classic, i constantly find my finger hovering over the Holley EFI kit... don't know why I'm itching.

I love the idea of an easy reliable turnkey system, but I'm new to this carb game and have yet to really experience it.

Am i missing out? If i board the EFI train will this kill the classic car experience?

What are the experiences of members who have done this and for those who have not, why haven't you?

Im in no rush, so far the car has not given me any issues and she's a once or twice a week kinda gal (not a DD). So rather than adding the kit to my shopping cart, it's been added to the wish list.

Happy Monday!

JB

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Kelly_H 01-29-2018 12:50 AM

Thing is, a carb is really reliable when it's properly tuned and you do even a little tiny bit of maintenance to keep it going (you know, things like making sure the floats are good and the filter's clean).

The thing that a lot of people don't consider about fuel injection systems is that "the cost is not the cost". That is, the price of the throttle body itself does not usually include the price of all the lines, the fittings, the filters, the pump (most end up modifying their gas tank and putting in an in-tank pump to keep it quiet and happy), the extra vent for the gas tank, etc. A lot of ticky tack little stuff adds up and can get you in a thousand bucks deeper if you're not watching it.

In the end, there are 3 things that throttle body fuel injection systems do better than a well-tuned carb:
1) Start more quickly (not any more reliably, just more quickly)
2) Adjust to a number of driving conditions, most notably altitude, without you having to mess with it
3) Overcome heat soak

I have fuel injection on my car because I desired all 3 of these things. The first was less important to me than the other two since my Holley carb always started the car just fine with one pump of the gas pedal or so. The second item is important to me because I take my car all over the country and I don't want to screw around tuning the fuel system for performance between 14,000 feet and sea level. And the third is important because my car is a daily driver in Texas, and it gets hot as hell, and I get real mad if my car's heat soaked when I get back from grabbing food because the fuel's been boiling in the engine bay to the tune of 115*F ambient temps.

The EFI train can be a real PITA sometimes. It's expensive initially, and it can be annoying trying to sort out things like gas tank venting (which is something I'm still not happy/satisfied with, 4 years after the initial install). It is truly awesome though when you just need convenience and reliability. So whether you should go EFI or stay with the carb should probably be based on what you need from your car. For a car that's already proven reliable with a carb that's not a daily driver, I'd say that you have no reason to make the swap unless you really just want the convenience of a quick start every time.

tx65coupe 01-29-2018 12:50 AM

I've also been considering and now wanting to do an EFI conversion. The 2 I narrowed it down to were Holley Sniper and FiTech. I've all but completely decided on the Holley setup, if I do it. I do not think it will ruin the classic car experience as you say. I suppose for purists that have a completely original car, it might. Other than that, I can't see it doing anything besides making the car nicer to drive, provided it is operating correctly. I'm looking forward to the idea of wearing less "Mustang Cologne" after being around the car with it running too much. I'm in no hurry since my carb is in great condition right now. Knock on wood.

Tallguy 01-29-2018 12:56 AM

I don't have an answer but I'm in a similar spot. I feel like I "should" put a carb on mine and learn how to tune it, but I am pretty sure I'll end up with the Holley Sniper kit as well. You might already know this, but don't forget to add an EFI style fuel tank, high pressure pump and likely need for a fuel return line to your "cart". Also maybe the Holley Dual Sync distributor so you can utilize the timing control feature.

Looking forward to others replies...

JonnybravoM3 01-29-2018 07:34 AM

I'm also looking at 115 degrees summers where I'm based! Will this be an issue with my carb engine? What would happen? I don't want to neglect the car all summer!

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zray 01-29-2018 08:11 AM

some carbs requires more maintenance than others. Do you like to open the hood and fuss over of the engine ? If not, keep the Autolite carb or get the Summit Autolite look-a-like. The Autolite can go years without a bit of fussing over, maybe decades. That's if you will driving the car on a regular basis. You can't just park it for months or years either. Not going to drive the car in the winter ? Then at least adde some Stabil or even better, drain the gas.


If you're not willing to do things like that, then start modernizing the car. You WILL be diluting the classic car experience, but the pure classic car experience is like drinking Tequila straight outa' the bottle.

Exhilarating, but not for everybody.


Z

JonnybravoM3 01-29-2018 08:18 AM

I've upgraded from my stock 2bbl to an Edelbrock 4bbl with electric choke. Guess this replacement would make things more efficient somewhat.

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Driver 01-29-2018 08:36 AM

I was in the market for a new carb on my stang and ended up with the fitech(watched fitech at hot august nites two years ago put one a 289 in the parking lot of a hotel and it ran great!) Anyway i am very happy with great start ups and a lot cleaner smelling garage.

JonnybravoM3 01-29-2018 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Driver (Post 9618154)
I was in the market for a new carb on my stang and ended up with the fitech(watched fitech at hot august nites two years ago put one a 289 in the parking lot of a hotel and it ran great!) Anyway i am very happy with great start ups and a lot cleaner smelling garage.

So you did not convert to EFI?

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Boom 01-29-2018 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonnybravoM3 (Post 9618162)
So you did not convert to EFI?

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Says he ended up with Fitech which is a TBI EFI system.

I have a Fitech set-up on the coupe and a Holley HP MPFI on the fastback. Fitech is used daily, no issues, quickly adjusts tot he crazy temperature swings we've been having lately. Wasn't even a thought to use a carb on the fastback build.

In my opinion carbs are like front drum brakes, sure you can drive the car with them, but why would you want to. If you plan to actually drive the car, why not make it more enjoyable/easier/reliable.

I'm sure somebody is going to comment that carbs are awesome and front drum brakes were used on the Saturn V rocket to go to the moon...these are just my opinions.

gregb 01-29-2018 10:30 AM

I would go efi in a heartbeat and not look back. I did my 'cough' orange engine vehicle (Fitech) and couldn't be happier. I don't think it took away any experience from the drive, unless you consider smelling like exhaust part of the package (still there a touch, but nowhere near as bad after a couple hours of cruising, it's a convertible so you get it all.) The easy starts if the car sits for a couple months are another bonus, and the tune on the fly is a great touch also. I have a Holley Terminator in the trunk of my Mustang waiting for a couple good weekends to install. It's not quite a bolt on and go, the rest of the fuel system needs to be modified, pump, return, etc, but I think you will be happy with the results. I grew up with carbs, I can tune one, but after the initial install I find the EFI stuff much better to work with. 60 degrees out? No problem. 95? Still no issue. Quick mountain cruise? Still runs the same. Sits for 6 months? Turn key, let it prime, start the vehicle, drive away if you want. That's really my favorite part.

GT289 01-29-2018 11:21 AM

I went FI on the '68 back in 2003 before all the really easy systems
available today were on the market. It's the original Edelbrock Pro-
Flo. I got it not long after its appearance at the SEMA show.
Resonant chord regarding the additional money Kelly mentioned
to get the system installed exactly like it needed to be. Out of the
box, the plumbing for the return was a joke. (like rubber hose the
entire length of the car, etc) Didn't like the braided hose under the
hood...... stuff like that.
I was happy once my FI install looked like something that could have
come OE from Ford. That took some doing though.
The wife drives this car and doesn't like setting chokes, etc. FI fixed
that issue. I wanted "set it and forget" and the FI does well here too.
The FI squeezed it the last little bit to 20 mpg highway, so it equals
the best the car got when my folks picked it up in 1968, no mean feat
since the rear tire hp is considerably more than the original flywheel hp.
(now through a small block C6 and 9" no less)

cougar70 01-29-2018 11:34 AM

EFI isn't just about high performance anymore.

https://images.holley.com/hero17339.jpg

rbohm 01-29-2018 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zray (Post 9618114)
some carbs requires more maintenance than others. Do you like to open the hood and fuss over of the engine ? If not, keep the Autolite carb or get the Summit Autolite look-a-like. The Autolite can go years without a bit of fussing over, maybe decades. That's if you will driving the car on a regular basis. You can't just park it for months or years either. Not going to drive the car in the winter ? Then at least adde some Stabil or even better, drain the gas.


If you're not willing to do things like that, then start modernizing the car. You WILL be diluting the classic car experience, but the pure classic car experience is like drinking Tequila straight outa' the bottle.

Exhilarating, but not for everybody.


Z

interesting analogy Z, and probably pretty close to accurate.

OP i have two classics that i am working on, a 64 falcon with the inline six, and a 66 mustang with the 289. both are keeping their respective engines, the six will definitely get EFI of some sort though, but it will be far more challenging than the 289 to put EFI on since there is no bolt on kit for that engine.(perhaps there is a market there...........)

unlike Z however, i dont think adding EFI to a classic is diluting the classic car experience, if that is all you do. but after adding four wheel disc brakes, modern 17" wheels, tubular suspension components, aluminum radiators, modern sound deadening, and many other modern upgrades that we all like in our modern daily drivers, THAT is diluting the classic car experience.

that said, you still get that experience, you just have to remember that you added orange juice and grenadine to your tequila. you still get that hit of the tequila, you just take a bit of the edge off the unmodified hit.

the choice is yours, carbs are just fine for the most part, though they tend to be less flexible than EFI is, but EFI does have its share of issues as well. mostly the tuning of the system for your vehicle, and modern ones are self learning. carbs are easier to troubleshoot, but EFI is more reliable overall. carbs are less expensive, but require more service overall.

but both can be made to run for many years with little attention.

panabax 01-29-2018 03:24 PM

I pieced together an EFI setup on my 65FB. I am using a Microsquirt controller and an EFI FAST throttle body I got on flea bay. I still had to add a crank sensor, coolant sensor and wideband O2 sensor in addition to the sensors already in the throttle body (MAP, TPS and IAT). I also swapped in an EFI tank and ran new fuel supply and return lines. It's a lot of work and it adds up.

The Microsquirt is not plug and play. It requires quite a bit of initial tuning. However, you have 100% control over all aspects of the tune, including ignition timing (I am running wasted spark with no distributor). I now have it pretty well dialed in and it is amazing. It starts right up no matter the temperature outside. No more permanent gas smell in the garage. Finally, it runs like a bat out of hell. While I am sure that my carb could have been tuned for the same high end power, there is really no way to tune it for the same overall drivability. You basically get to set the AFR and timing for any condition your car will encounter. This means I can get a stable low and cool idle, terrific throttle response, great cruise millage and super high output performance. I also dumped my dual plane intake for a single plane and it works great. I do not think I would get the same idle and low RPM response with a carb and the single plane intake that I do with EFI.

That said, I am not willing to put a comb over modern factory type efi on my car. When you pop the hood on my 65, it looks like it should until you notice that the distributor is missing and there is a fuel pressure regulator. Still, those differences are subtle and do not distract from the overall look and feel. Also, my car had a modern (circa 1992) drive train (302 roller and T5). If it had been the original 289 and 4 speed Top Loader, I would have been more hesitant. But, as they say, it's only original once and that ship sailed before my car ever came my way.

So I say, unless you want to maintain originality, there is no reason not to go efi.

Baxter


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