Modified Mustangs & Fords
Electric Fuel Pump System Install - Fueled Up
Easy how-to on swapping to an EFI engine system
Fuel systems are fairly basic. Whether it is carbureted or fuel injected, the delivery system is comprised of a fuel pump (mechanical or electrical), filtering media of some sort, delivery lines, and a fuel pressure regulator to keep the system's pressure in check. Today's fuel injection fuel delivery systems can get a bit more complicated as the OEs try to find the best fuel economy, driveability, and performance while also keeping costs in line. One way this is accomplished is with a "returnless" fuel system. The typical returnless system uses a fuel rail pressure sensor, along with other typical engine sensors, to work with the ECM and a fuel pump controlled by a fuel pump driver module. What all this techno-speak means is that a computer varies the voltage to the fuel pump to control the fuel pressure and volume. As the computer sees an increased throttle input, the fuel pump voltage is increased to deliver the increased fuel needed to the engine.
When swapping in one of these modern EFI engines, like Ford's line of modular V-8s, either in crate engine form or from a donor vehicle, the returnless fuel system can be quite complicated to integrate into a classic Ford project. The good news is that early in the modular engine family's life, the engine was indeed fed by a more traditional return-style fuel system (separate feed and return lines). There's nothing to physically change on the engine itself to run a return-style fuel system. You run a standard pressure and return line, with a bypass-style regulator, and reprogram the engine's ECM to utilize the return-style fuel system. Better yet are Ford Racing's new line of modular crate engines that are wired using Ford Racing's separate Control Pack wiring kits. Our 4.6L Three-Valve modular engine uses just such a kit and Ford Racing's current 5.0L "Coyote" crate engine has a similar wiring harness Control Pack available as well. So the last real question is: How do you plumb the system and fit your classic Ford with an electric fuel pump, filter, and lines?
We recently showed a typical EFI fuel system in our "X Marks the Spot" (Nov. '11 issue) X-302 crate engine install. In that three-part series, we used a traditional EFI-pressure-rated fuel pump externally mounted on the car's framerail. While this setup can work well when the tank is high enough to gravity feed the inline fuel pump, like in the Ranchero we dropped the X-302 into, the typical classic Mustang tank isn't quite as high and fuel starvation can be an issue, especially with spirited driving. An in-tank mounted fuel pump, similar to what is in your modern daily driver, is the preferred way to mount an EFI-style fuel pump. We've seen people modify their fuel tanks by welding in late-model Ford pump mounting areas, or purchase expensive fuel cells just to run an in-tank pump, but now you can keep costs down and still have an effective performance EFI fuel system thanks to the efforts of two companies—Aeromotive Inc. and Tanks Inc.
Using Tanks Inc's line of stamped steel replacement tanks with integral fuel pump mounting flanges and internal sumps, Aeromotive has been prototyping drop-in EFI fuel systems for a variety of muscle cars. Thankfully, the popularity of the classic Mustang means that we're near the top of that list. Aeromotive's classic Mustang fuel system features its new 340 Stealth fuel pump (which as its name states, outputs 340 liters per hour), an inline 10-micron fuel filter, and an EFI bypass regulator. Aeromotive also manufactures its own braided fuel hose and a full line of black anodized fittings that will go with any color scheme you can think of. We begged Aeromotive to hook us up for Project Generation Gap and we were so impatient that it actually sent us its one and only prototype system it had; right from the testing lab. Don't worry, by the time you read this Aeromotive and Tanks Inc. should be ready for your project build too.