Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bolt-on EFI for the Classic Chevy Tri-Five

Bolt-on EFI for the Classic Chevy Tri-Five

-Alan Arnell

Complicated installation, cost and parts incompatibility keep most classic car owners from switching out that old carburetor to step up to an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) fuel delivery.  However, in the last few years aftermarket EFI dealers have learned a thing or two to make for an easier installation for the average Twenty First Century classic car hot rodder.

For example, the folks at Edelbrock know a thing or two about electronic fuel injection and have offered port-injection setups.  Here is what they say:

Available for engines originally equipped with a carburetor... Edelbrock's complete line of EFI systems gives you several options to choose from when deciding to upgrade your engine to modern electronic fuel injection. Our EFI systems provide excellent throttle response throughout the RPM range along with smooth engine operation. They also offer the potential for improved fuel economy by making the engine more efficient. Edelbrock E-Street, Pro-Flo 2 and Pro-Flo XT EFI systems are the most complete systems available on the market, giving you everything you need to add powerful and efficient fuel injection to your vehicle. All of these systems are dyno-tested to deliver proven-performance results. Finally, Edelbrock offers a dedicated support staff to assist you and answer any questions. Edelbrock EFI systems offer you the most value for your dollar!

E-Street 2 Throttle Body EFI puts the emphasis on simplicity. This universal EFI system is easy to install and includes self mapping fuel technology - making it ideal for use on any V8 engine application equipped with a standard square-bore intake manifold. These systems are ideal for novice hot rod enthusiast desiring the benefits of EFI.  Advanced Throttle Body Fuel injection. No tuning experience required - System provides self-mapping fuel technology to continually monitor and adjust fuel calibration
Ready to run right out of the box with pre-loaded calibrations Supports fully programmable Ignition Control to optimize performance and fuel economy Accepts traditional round air cleaners and maintains same hood clearance as a carb Easy to use E Tuner App that communicates via Bluetooth wireless for ECU setup and engine tuning adjustments.  Capable of adapting to limitless engine and camshaft profiles.
Available with or without 7" Android Touch screen device with pre-loaded E Tuner App


When Classic Chevy enthusiasts think fuel injection conversions, their minds often visualize the popular late-model Vortec or LT engine swaps with their long runner manifold, port fuel injection setup with fuel rails, and a countless numbers of sensors and wiring. All those wires and hardware to many many a down to earth Small Block Chevy purest does not seem quite right. To me anyway, the installation headaches appear to be too great for my average Joe-ness, not alone trying to trim down the factory 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 SBC or BBC engines surely have something in the way of the underhood bolt-in components.

The solution I believe is 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 International Space Station is to use a throttle body–based system that bolts on to replace 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 slightly warmed-over 283 or a rip-roaring-fire-eating 454ci engine.  Your Chevy motor is match with the ever dependable Edelbrock square-bore carburetor as is the EFI. So they say, one of these EFI throttle body kits will bolt right on in an afternoon, but never in my case.  Even 5 minutes take 10 minutes when I work on a car.  Sorry, I digress.  The 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, which helps further the illusion of a carburetor and its dual feed fuel inlet.

Here is a link to an Installation Instructions PDF for the Pro-flo2 EFI:  http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/misc/tech-center/install/3000/35300.pdf

I would love to have one of these Bolt on EFI systems for my 1957 Chevy, however I can’t get past the two-grand average price tag, but not everyone has my “Sad-Sack-Poor Alan” Problems.

Here is a link to Edelbrock E-Street EFI Systems:  http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/mc/efi/

Example of an online ad.

E-Street EFI installed in the engine bay of a classic Corvette.

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