Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 4, 2012

When vintage Mustang enthusiasts think fuel injection conversions, their minds often visualize the popular late-model 5.0L engine swap with its long runner, two-piece manifold, port fuel injection setup with fuel rails, and a myriad of sensors and wiring. The look just doesn't seem right to many and the installation headaches can be migraine in nature with trying to trim down the OE wiring, getting the stock computer to work in a car some 40 years older than it was designed for, and so forth. Even the underhood packaging can become an issue, as the stock 5.0L induction path often interferes with shock towers, shock braces, and even the location of the battery and other underhood bolt-in components.

The solution we've found to having all the benefits of electronic fuel injection without the installation hassles or having the engine bay look like an electrical sub panel for the space shuttle is to use a throttle body–based system that bolts on in place of your carburetor. These systems can range in ability from near stock to upwards of 1,000 horsepower. So there's certainly a system that will feed your engine, be it a lightly warmed-over 289 or a 427-cube stroked Windsor. If your Mustang is running a 4150/4160 Holley-style bolt pattern intake (pretty much any aftermarket intake ever designed for small- and big-block Ford engines), one of these kits will bolt right on in an afternoon.

Best of all, with the 4150 flange mounting configuration, these EFI systems feature a standard 5-1/4-inch air cleaner mounting base as well. You can easily reuse your stock air cleaner or any aftermarket air cleaner assembly and keep those retro "carb'd" looks.

There are several companies offering throttle body–based fuel injection, and each system has its own set of features and tuning abilities. Not to mention, some kits are more inclusive with their sub system parts. Finally, some of the available throttle body–based systems require a traditional fuel return line to the fuel tank, while others feature a more modern "returnless' fuel system that requires but one high pressure line to the throttle body (akin to the '99 and up Mustang fuel system), which helps further the illusion of a carburetor and its dual feed fuel inlet.

We've gathered up the currently available systems and gone through their feature sets, options, pricing, and more to offer our readers an easy-to-understand buyer's guide that will help you choose the right EFI system for your vintage Mustang. Better cold starts, increased fuel economy, more horsepower, and a smoother idle awaits you.

Edelbrock E-Street EFI

The folks at Edelbrock know a thing or two about EFI and have offered port-injection setups and even EFI crate engine packages for many years. Just as we were wrapping up our story, we heard about Edelbrock's latest foray into fuel injection, the E-Street EFI system, a 4150 square-bore flange-style EFI that bolts on in place of your existing carburetor. Edelbrock's system is designed for V-8 engines and will be available in both a traditional return-style fuel system as well as the newer returnless EFI setups we're seeing from the OEs. Some of the features Edelbrock designed into its new system include progressive throttle linkage, wideband oxygen sensor for accurate fuel control, and an industry first 7-inch tablet that allows easy tuning and control of the system via wireless Bluetooth connectivity. The tablet will also allow full manual tuning for those versed in EFI tuning and it also features a dashboard function to display your engine's EFI parameters. Eventually Edelbrock plans to offer systems tuned for four- and six-cylinder engines as well as the popular "dual four" look with two throttle bodies on one intake manifold.

System Specs:

  • 4150-style cast 1,000-cfm throttle body with 60 lb/hr fuel injectors and fuel rails
  • 600 horsepower capability level
  • All sensors integral to throttle body (except wideband O2)
  • Separately mounted ECU
  • Wideband O2 sensor and weld-in bung
  • Dynamic fuel control that self- adjusts the fuel curve
  • Wireless 7-inch tablet with touch screen for tuning
  • Optional electronic ignition control (requires external coil driver or CD ignition box)
  • Optional fuel system components to finish installation will be available
  • Price TBD (available Q3 of 2012 according to Edelbrock)

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