The Great EFI Debate - Vintage Mustang Forums
 67Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JonnybravoM3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 177
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

Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

Current Stable:
1965 Ford Mustang 289 V8 Convertible (Betty)
2011 Range Rover HSE (Her Ladyship)
2012 Bentley Flying Spur Speed W12 (51 Series) (Bernard)
2014 Porsche 911 (991) Turbo (Yellowbird)
2015 Range Rover Sport SVR (Brutus)
2018 Rolls Royce Wraith (Gray)
JonnybravoM3 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 12:50 AM
Senior Member
 
Kelly_H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Austin, TX!
Posts: 6,372
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.


Calamity Jane 1966 Modified Fastback - Driven semi-daily!
Wrecked and rebuilt even better
289 v8, 4-speed, 3.25 9" rear, goodies and stuff.

See my travel blog here for my adventures: http://mapandamustang.blogspot.com/
Over 50,000 miles of North American roads driven on road trips since 2014. More always in the works - stay tuned!

When I show up at a car show and my car is covered in mud, it's probably because I drove 2000 miles to get there
Kelly_H is offline  
post #3 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 12:50 AM
Senior Member
 
tx65coupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,403
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.


1965 Mustang 302, T5, 9 Inch
Instagram @a65stang

tx65coupe is offline  
 
post #4 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 12:56 AM
Senior Member
 
Tallguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: NorCal
Posts: 825
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...

66 Convertible. Full restoration in the works

Last edited by Tallguy; 01-29-2018 at 12:59 AM.
Tallguy is online now  
post #5 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JonnybravoM3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 177
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!

Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

Current Stable:
1965 Ford Mustang 289 V8 Convertible (Betty)
2011 Range Rover HSE (Her Ladyship)
2012 Bentley Flying Spur Speed W12 (51 Series) (Bernard)
2014 Porsche 911 (991) Turbo (Yellowbird)
2015 Range Rover Sport SVR (Brutus)
2018 Rolls Royce Wraith (Gray)
JonnybravoM3 is offline  
post #6 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 08:11 AM
Senior Member
Supporting Member
 
zray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: On the road in NE Oklahoma
Posts: 12,911
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
rbohm, cjhudson87, Target and 1 others like this.

zray is offline  
post #7 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JonnybravoM3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 177
I've upgraded from my stock 2bbl to an Edelbrock 4bbl with electric choke. Guess this replacement would make things more efficient somewhat.

Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

Current Stable:
1965 Ford Mustang 289 V8 Convertible (Betty)
2011 Range Rover HSE (Her Ladyship)
2012 Bentley Flying Spur Speed W12 (51 Series) (Bernard)
2014 Porsche 911 (991) Turbo (Yellowbird)
2015 Range Rover Sport SVR (Brutus)
2018 Rolls Royce Wraith (Gray)
JonnybravoM3 is offline  
post #8 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 08:36 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
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.
Driver is offline  
post #9 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
JonnybravoM3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver View Post
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?

Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk

Current Stable:
1965 Ford Mustang 289 V8 Convertible (Betty)
2011 Range Rover HSE (Her Ladyship)
2012 Bentley Flying Spur Speed W12 (51 Series) (Bernard)
2014 Porsche 911 (991) Turbo (Yellowbird)
2015 Range Rover Sport SVR (Brutus)
2018 Rolls Royce Wraith (Gray)
JonnybravoM3 is offline  
post #10 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 09:39 AM
Senior Member
 
Boom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tomah, WI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnybravoM3 View Post
So you did not convert to EFI?

Sent from my HTC U11 using Tapatalk
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.
gwstang and Bubmullen like this.

-Brett
1968 fastback 351w
1986 Iroc-Z
Boom is offline  
post #11 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 10:30 AM
Senior Member
 
gregb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Redondo Beach CA
Posts: 2,454
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.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, 5 Speed, 3.91's.
gregb is offline  
post #12 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:21 AM
Senior Member
 
GT289's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,255
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)

As the drill sergeant said, "I taught you everything you know. I didn't teach you everything I know."

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
- Douglas Adams
GT289 is offline  
post #13 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 11:34 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,116
EFI isn't just about high performance anymore.

67Modcoupe likes this.
cougar70 is offline  
post #14 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 12:14 PM
Senior Member
 
rbohm's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: tucson, az
Posts: 2,622
Quote:
Originally Posted by zray View Post
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.
Huskinhano likes this.

64 falcon
66 mustang
05 grand marquis

a man's fate is a man's fate
and life is but an illusion

fordsix.com admin
rbohm is offline  
post #15 of 193 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 03:24 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 220
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

1965 A Code GT Fastback
Rangoon Red/Black

panabax is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Vintage Mustang Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome