Building a fuel system for a classic car is nothing new, and there is a myriad of choices when it comes to doing so. Whether you have a stock carbureted 289 or a 700hp blown big-block, there are components readily available to support your needs. In looking for a fuel system for a '68 restomod coupe, we surfed Mustang Plus' website and found just the right setup to meet our needs.
Mustangs Plus carries pretty much anything you need for a fuel system, and we set our sights on the Ron Morris Performance EFI Fuel System Kit (PN 13714). This kit fits '65-'68 Mustangs and includes everything you will need (short of tools, water, and a microwave oven) to install it. It also uses a number of factory components, which makes maintenance a bit easier and inexpensive down the road.
With a whopping 205hp and 280 lb-ft of twist coming from the '96 vintage Thunderbird 4.6L V-8 that this restomod we will be using for propulsion, we didn't have a massive requirement for fuel. The EFI powerplant does run at around 40 psi, however, and we intend to bolt on some horsepower-improving parts later; we wanted a system that could support the increased power level as well. The RMP system includes a 155-lph electric fuel pump that should be up to the task.
Mustangs Plus was also able to accommodate our '70 Mustang fuel tank that the car's owner, Rusty Gillis of Gillis Performance Restorations (GPR), had picked up for his coupe. The 20-gallon capacity will provide added cruise range for those longer trips, and Ron Morris Performance simply substituted the longer '70-model pickup and sending unit to complete our kit.
We had GPR's Brian Gillis handle the installation (between all of the company's ongoing projects) so we could snap the pictures and hang out beneath the car on the creeper. As far as modifications go, it's something the average gearhead could do with the ordinary handtools. Check out the captions to see how easy it is to put your EFI engine in a high-pressure situation.
Whether you have a stock carbureted 289 or a 700hp blown big-block, there are components readily available to support your needs
1. The first thing you need to do is slip the fuel pump into the foam insulator and then bolt it to the mounting plate with the supplied hardware. You’ll also need to know where the fuel lines are going to run so you know which way to point the fuel pump.
2. The pickup/sending unit slides into the tank next. As you can see from the picture, we are using a ’69-’70-spec unit to work with the fuel tank of the same vintage. It’s a 20-gallon tank that will extend the cruise range, and while the stock ’68 sender will work, it won’t be accurate due to the different lengths of the float arms.
3. With a completely new and dry fuel system, using a brass punch to secure the sending unit isn’t really necessary as there is no fuel in the tank or vapors emanating from it. However, it doesn’t hurt to make it a regular practice.
4. Gillis mocked up the fuel pump bracket to the trunk floor, marked the holes, and then used a right-angle drill to open the holes. If you can’t fit your drill behind the rearend, you can always use a center punch to mark the holes and then drill from the trunk side. The bedliner material in the trunk of the car didn’t really lend itself to that in our situation.
5. We opted to mount the included fuel filter to the inside of the passenger subframe connector. This hid it from outside view and put it in an easily accessible place for maintenance. We did tweak/bend the bracket a bit to get it to sit up higher. When choosing a suitable spot, you’ll want to consider heat from the exhaust, where the lines will run, and anything else that may cause an interference issue.
6. To get the fuel lines from the pump to the filter, we routed them across the trunk floor and turned them forward where they would pass through this bulkhead before descending down to the framerail. Gillis used a step bit to open the holes and then we inserted rubber grommets to isolate the fuel line from the metal.
7. As we are now ready to start running the fuel lines, we need to install the pump side fittings. To do this, you’ll need to boil some water and then soak the fuel line in it for a solid two minutes. Then quickly push the line onto the fuel fitting going past the two barbs. Be careful not to kink the tubing or you’ll need to start over. Working the line onto the plastic fittings is probably the most difficult part of the install, but you should have enough fuel line to mess up a few times and still get the job done.
8. Gloves are a good idea as the tubing gets a bit warm and you’ll be gripping it tightly while marrying the two components. Here you can see the fuel line properly installed on the fitting.
9. In looking for the right size grommets to fit the bulkheads beneath the car, we had no luck with any of the local auto parts stores or home centers. Tech editor Houlahan opened up his Del City (www.delcity.net) catalog and we subsequently found the grommets we were looking for. Sold in packs of 10, grommet part number 5158 offered a ½-inch inside diameter with a 1⁄8-inch groove width. They’re also fairly thick, which helps prevent the grommet from pulling out or through when running the fuel line through them. We are running the supply and return line together and used four grommets to pass the lines through the bulkhead.
10. As the lines descended down from the trunk floor, we needed to remove this section of the parking brake cable bracket as the lines will mount to the framerail right above it. You can always add a plate to the bottom of the bracket to triangulate and strengthen it should it start bending from use.
11. Next, Gillis measured and cut the supply line and then inserted the appropriate fitting.
12. We ran the return line right above the fuel filter, and utilized some heat shrink tubing from the local parts store to keep the fuel line from chaffing on the bracket and floor. Make sure you take note of the fuel flow direction (marked with an arrow on the body) of the fuel filter when mounting it to the car.
13. The fuel lines crossed over top of the subframe connectors and then were routed through the front torque box using rubber grommets. To get the fuel line through the grommets, use a length of coat hanger wire and run it through both grommets. Then run the fuel line up on the wire and push both through and out the other side.
14. After determining where we wanted the fuel lines to enter the engine bay, Gillis drilled the necessary holes in the inner fender apron and fitted them with more grommets. We didn’t want the lines too high for aesthetic reasons, but we also wanted them far enough away from the exhaust headers—both things to consider when planning out the fuel line routing.
15. Included in the kit are these trick clamps. You drill a small hole and then push in the rubber insert, which has a threaded fitting inside it. Put the lines in the clamps and then run the screw into the rubber insert and as it tightens, it spreads the insert, holding itself in place.
16. We used a number of the included clamps to keep everything neat, tidy, and immobile.
17. At the engine side, the fuel system includes factory Ford EFI fittings. These use spring-loaded locks to keep them together, and the smaller multi-barb design is easier to run the fuel line up on. The larger fitting is the supply line that feeds the fuel rails; the smaller fitting comes from the regulator, which is on the backside of the fuel system and maintains the proper pressure in the fuel rails. As you can see, the final installation has a clean, factory look to it.
18. After hooking up the return line to the tank fitting, all that is left to do is run power and ground to the fuel pump and you are ready to fire that beast up. Make sure you run a proper relay and the correct wire to ensure adequate voltage to the fuel pump.