Don Roy
March 1, 2009
Photos By: Courtesy the Manufacturers

Fuel Injection Conversion
Last time around ("Fuel Injection Conversions," Dec. '08 Modified Mustangs & Fords) we looked at some of the history and background of fuel injection in modern engines. There are many benefits versus carburetion, and these can include improved performance, both as higher horsepower and torque, better gas mileage, easier starting, and the potential for reduced emissions.

When dealing with an older Mustang, making the switch to fuel injection involves more than just swapping engines or adding aftermarket EFI induction parts. There's a variety of sensors to be changed, along with their associated wiring, and you'd better bring along the ECU (electronic control unit, aka "computer") or your new installation is going to be brain dead.

Beyond this, there are extra considerations if you are going to add a blower, change cams, or get into other performance enhancements. Some generations of ECU are not easy to reprogram, nor do they like adapting to the changes you want to make. Still, if you do your research, you will find the appropriate shopping list of parts to do the job. It is probably going to take time to get them all, shopping around the Internet and local swap meets.

A Better Way
However, if you want to get going right this minute, there are commercial fuel-injection kits that you can pick up and install. If you have to keep the "lefty-loosey, righty-tighty" thing in your mind while working on cars, you should probably enlist the help of a good shop to do the conversion for you.

The single biggest benefit of using a commercial kit, such as the FAST XFI Electronic Fuel Injection we're going to work with today, is that everything you need comes all in one package. There is no need to go looking for this little bit or that other piece. You get it all in a kit that is designed for your particular engine.

To get our education underway, we're going to hang with the guys at Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma, California. These guys know horsepower and they have the dyno facilities to back it up, whether the motor is in or out of the car. One of the more interesting things about using an engine dyno, like the Superflow {{{900}}}-series units these guys have, is the extra information you can get. This includes airflow, air fuel ratio, exhaust gas temperatures, fuel flow, spark curves and BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption).

Remember what we talked about that last time? BSFC is a key piece of information to check for appropriate sizing of your fuel injectors. There are "rule of thumb" numbers and there are real numbers, if you can get them. This kind of engine dyno tells you exactly what the real number is.

For our hands-on work, we'll be using a 302ci small-block engine, but the XFI installation steps are just the same, whether it's a Windsor, an FE, or a Cleveland. Let's get started.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery