[Lumps!] Considering Fuel Injection 86 VDP

When I converted a couple of years ago, I went with a Chevy
crate engine from Phoenix engines. The block and heads are
re manufactured from an 89 caprice 5.7 liter. I then added
a March performance serpentine kit. I decided then to use a
carburetor vs FI. I’m considering converting to FI now. I
was hoping for some input from the group here. I just
started looking into this and basically want to determine an
approach and then price the option. I’ve seen several multi
port set ups for sale on ebay. Will they fit? Is clearance
an issue? I’ve seen a few direct bolt on TBI options (uses
existing manifold. Any recommendations on where to begin?
Ideas, random thoughts welcome and appreciated. Anything
from stripping off a donor car to buying a kit, experiences,
things to avoid etc. Thx–
Sean W
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In reply to a message from Sean W sent Mon 31 Aug 2009:

Sean:

I wouldn’t mness with TBI. It is Outmoded.

There are several stand alones on the market. I can’t recomend one
over the other. Just don’t know.

My LT1 with OBD I is really great. Dragged two late Bimmers for the
on ramp. I turned inside them and poured on the coal. I held the
tight radius and left them in the dust trying to hold the outside
radius. All this by a 26 year old Jag. I wonder what the were
thinking as I jusrt motored down the freeway ticking just a little
over 7k and running off.

I would be tempted to get the whole car and rob it as necessary for
the intake, harneass, sensors, MAF, senssors, PCM, fans and
possibly the radiator and more.

OBD II sounds interesting.

Carl–
The original message included these comments:

When I converted a couple of years ago, I went with a Chevy
crate engine from Phoenix engines. The block and heads are
re manufactured from an 89 caprice 5.7 liter. I then added
a March performance serpentine kit. I decided then to use a
carburetor vs FI. I’m considering converting to FI now. I
was hoping for some input from the group here. I just
started looking into this and basically want to determine an
approach and then price the option. I’ve seen several multi
port set ups for sale on ebay. Will they fit? Is clearance
an issue? I’ve seen a few direct bolt on TBI options (uses
existing manifold. Any recommendations on where to begin?


Carl Hutchins 1983 Jaguar XJ6 with LT1 and 1994 Jeep Grand
Walnut Creek, California, United States
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In reply to a message from Sean W sent Mon 31 Aug 2009:

I converted a 383SBC from carb to EFI last year - used the holley
commander 950Pro MPEFI set-up. The ECU and the software is
outdated but the hardware is good. Holley are updating the system
for release this year I think. I used New Zealand made ECU so I
had local support. Fitted a crank trigger so I could use computer
controlled timing and coverted the distributor to sync pulse and
went full sequential. Overall the EFI conversion was about as much
work as the engine conversion, but I enjoyed it and would now not
go back. Once you have the car running, 20% of the time will get
you 80% good on the tune, then it takes literally ages to get real
OEM driveability perfection from there. If you’re up for a
learning journey and a challenge you will enjoy it - otherwise I’d
seriously consider upgrading the conversion to an LSX complete with
ECU and loom.

Cheers, Andrew Robertson, New Zealand–
The original message included these comments:

carburetor vs FI. I’m considering converting to FI now. I
was hoping for some input from the group here. I just


Andrew Robertson
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In reply to a message from Andrew Robertson sent Mon 31 Aug 2009:

Sean:

I have looked into them all, from the conversions that let you use
your manifold and just add the throttle body and sensors to
exchanging for wrecking yard TPI stuff.

My choice will be the Mass-Flo Efi system. It received good results
in their various magazine tests and does what I want and you can
drive it without a lot of tuning. In fact, driving it hard is what
does the tuning for your! The only problem for my early S1 are the
return lines and I have two very good choices now. Cost is about
$3300.00, including the lines , plus your labor.

My S1 LT1 conversion project was purchased to see the actual
differences in FI vs carb and to learn to debug the problems. I can
start up the LT1, it idles and then stops fine. The fuel economy is
better than the carb (even with the high octance required) and it
peforms well all the time.

The LSx conversion would be great, if you want to pull out the
nearly new engine. If you do not already have an OD and 2:88 gears,
changing out the old SBC might be the best choice. You need the
lower IRS gears and OD to get the best economy (if you care?).

My QJet carb is finely tuned but when the weather changes, I have
to fiddle with the idle mixture to keep it running ‘‘perfectly’’. It
is feeding a larger engine with more HP, but works ‘‘adequately’’.–
The original message included these comments:

go back. Once you have the car running, 20% of the time will get
you 80% good on the tune, then it takes literally ages to get real
OEM driveability perfection from there. If you’re up for a


'71 XJ6 383/200R, '72 XJ6 LT1/700R,'74 XJ6 383/700R
Glendora, CA, United States
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In reply to a message from Roger Mabry sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

If you want a turn-key TPI you can buy one complete from Arizona
TPI for a little less than $3000 (aztpi.com)

I’ve seen them on ebay and other places for considerably less but
you have to piece them together. There are still lots of people out
there that can tune the 747 PCM.

There is a book on how to do it by Mike Knell- (who also wrote a
manaual on how to convert the Jag to V8 power0

Here’s one on ebay-

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BEST-COMPLETE-CHEVY-TPI-TBI-ENGINE-
SWAPPING-
GUIDE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem3a4fb4e69
bQQitemZ250445358747QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

You can go TBI too. There is a company that sells it complete too-

http://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com/index.php?
id=24&title=Chevy+Throttle+Body+Fuel+Injection

I would stick with a factory system made to work as stand-alone.
Going one step further, I’d encourage you to do it yourself and
take the money you save and have it tuned professionally on a dyno.

You will be very happy with the results–
Phil Dooley
Phoenix, AZ, United States
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The TBI setup is the easiest way to go. As the best value, you could just use a 350 TBI setup from an 88-93 Chevy pickup, Suburban, or big blazer. Use all if it- intake, distributor, wiring, throttle body, computer and so on. The harness is virtually standalone right from the factory. And if the 350 you;re putting it on is basically a stock setup- near factory cam, compression, etc.,., very little tuning would be needed. This way you’ll have a factory setup that can be maintained using a GM factory manual, a factory parts. You may even be able to squeak by using your current intake and an adaptor for the throttle body. All the TBI would need in that case would be the temp sensor somewhere in the cooling system, like maybe at the rear of the right head (a usually unused position…)

They’re ultra reliable, make great torque, and the mileage is pretty good too…

I hope that helps

Andrew
www.JaguarSpecialties.com— On Tue, 9/1/09, Phil Dooley pdooley6@cox.net wrote:

From: Phil Dooley pdooley6@cox.net
Subject: Re: [Lumps!] Considering Fuel Injection 86 VDP
To: lumps@jag-lovers.org
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 12:29 PM
In reply to a message from Roger
Mabry sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

If you want a turn-key TPI you can buy one complete from
Arizona
TPI for a little less than
$3000 (aztpi.com)

I’ve seen them on ebay and other places for considerably
less but
you have to piece them together. There are still lots of
people out
there that can tune the 747 PCM.

There is a book on how to do it by Mike Knell- (who also
wrote a
manaual on how to convert the Jag to V8 power0

Here’s one on ebay-

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BEST-COMPLETE-CHEVY-TPI-TBI-ENGINE-
SWAPPING-
GUIDE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem3a4fb4e69
bQQitemZ250445358747QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

You can go TBI too. There is a company that sells it
complete too-

http://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com/index.php?
id=24&title=Chevy+Throttle+Body+Fuel+Injection

I would stick with a factory system made to work as
stand-alone.
Going one step further, I’d encourage you to do it yourself
and
take the money you save and have it tuned professionally on
a dyno.

You will be very happy with the results


Phil Dooley
Phoenix, AZ, United States
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[forums.jag-lovers.org]–
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In reply to a message from A sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

Andrew,

Sort of my thought also, in spite of Carl’s dissing on the TBI.
The quickest and easiest way to go, great driveability, and worlds
better than a carb. A bit limited on top end breathing, but is
that important to the person doing the conversion? Might have to
re-drill the two TBI center manifold bolt holes on each side to
match up with the heads, but it depends on which heads he has.

The GM TPI would be the nest step up, and a bit more to do.
Excellent driveability. Better on top end than TBI, but still
somewhat limited in stock form. Maybe the same deal on the TPI
center manifold bolt holes.–
lockheed
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Alan-

The minute I let that Email go I remembered the center 2 bolts. Not too much of a problem, but would have to be done.

On the TPI, the 85 model year manifold base would fit early heads with no mods…

Andrew

son doing the conversion?

Might have to
re-drill the two TBI center manifold bolt holes on each
side to
match up with the heads, but it depends on which heads he
has.

The GM TPI would be the nest step up, and a bit more to
do.
Excellent driveability. Better on top end than TBI,
but still
somewhat limited in stock form. Maybe the same deal
on the TPI
center manifold bolt holes.

lockheed
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In reply to a message from lockheed sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

Guys, thank you for the ideas, experiences and input. I
have to noodle on this while I save up some $$$ (got to keep
this from the warden… I mean wife).
Fuel economy and lack of maintenance are my primary drivers
for considering the change. Maybe I just need something to
do:)

When I completed the conversion I think I was yearning for
the good old days where I could literally fit inside the
engine compartment of my 64 Impala and work on the ole 283.
Carbs were simple and easy to understand but as I drill
down on FI, it’s not incredibly complicated either. What
I’ve conveniently forgotten was that with the extreme
climate changes in Minnesota, the Edelbrock 1406 seems to
require quarterly tweaking. And of course, the engine bay on
my VDP is much smaller, the motor and owner are a bit bigger.
Anyway, I appreciate the ideas.–
Sean W
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In reply to a message from lockheed sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

I did some research over the past week and eliminated MPFI
due to cost. Like I mentioned, my primary drivers are
smooth performance and improved mileage, the TBI should give
me both. Power would be nice but she’s already plenty fast
for me:)
My set up is the 89 350 block and heads, 340 HP, TH350 Tranny.

I think I will go with aftermarket TBI as Phil suggested. I
looked at a few of options out there. All options I
considered bolt directly on to my Edelbrock intake manifold.

I reduced TBI to the following aftermarket ‘‘complete kits’’.

Retrotek Powerjection 3 which houses the ECM inside the bolt
on unit. $1750
Pros: Self learning, standard carb air filter, fuel pump,
filter, regulator.
Cons: No A/C wire coming from the unit to regulate idle if
the A/C is turned on. Will need fuel line and fittings.

Fuelairspark Fast EZ-EFI $1899
Pros: Self learning, standard carb air filter, fuel pump,
filter, regulator, A/C wire connection to ECM, fuel lines
and fittings.
Cons: A little pricier than the Powerjection 3 and the cost
of lines and fitting doesn’t offset the difference with the
projection, but also has the A/C wire. I think this unit
ships free.

I steered away from the AFI option. I found the install
manual a bit lacking. The chip is not self learning or
adjustable by the end user.

I’ll drill a hole the heat riser to mount the O2 sensor.
I’ll need to replace the distributor as well since mine is
non computerized.
Feedback/ input is always appreciated.–
Sean W
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Wow, those aftermarket options are VERY expensive!!!

If you have a basically stock 89 350 block and heads, what’s stopping you from using a stock 88-95 GM truck system, including the truck intake. It would cost FAR less tjan these aftermarket systems, and likely be more reliable and easier/cheaper to maintain.

Is keeping your current intake in place the motivation for going aftermarket?? If so, is it really worth it?? I mean, you’re going to have to switch distributors and so much else on the intake as well, you’d be 905% of the way there to being able to remove it anyway. Just a few screws.

I’ll bet that by going with factory pieces you could cut that cost in half, perhaps even more…

Andrew

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Sorry, I meant “…95% of the way there to being able to remove it anyway…”

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In reply to a message from A sent Mon 7 Sep 2009:

If cost is your primary consideration, what Andrew is suggesting is
your best bet - a GM TBI fuel injection system

The prices you mention earlier in the string are pretty high
considering what you get. You will pay a very high premium for what
is a turn-key system, and when you finish, you’ll still have a
unique system that isn’t factory. If anything goes wrong, you have
to go back to the kit supplier. (Think John’s Cars) Why not use
factory parts that you you can get almost anywhere?

I’ve bought fuel injection setups for as little as $150 that
included the MAF, plenum, injectors, rail ECU and harness from a
junkyard.

The pull-it-yourself junkyards around here are full of cars and
trucks with the vintage of FI system Andrew suggests. I’m sure
there is something similar near you. If you want it to come to your
door in a box, start calling yards on car-parts.com and tell them
you want the complete fuel injection TBI for the vintage of car
Andrew suggests.

The biggest PITA will be the harness. If you don’t want to rework
a factory harness to run stand-alone you can buy one from Painless
Performance - it is part number 60101

Good luck–
Phil Dooley
Phoenix, AZ, United States
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In reply to a message from Sean W sent Mon 7 Sep 2009:

Annd, check this stuff:

e-bay #290346422670

e-bay #280392073151 - the whole works + engine with serp belt set
up. Use what you want, sell the rest!

e-bay #130329103021

e=bay #140344183356

e-bay #250495348471

Just do e-bay and look for ‘‘tbi’’ or ‘‘tbi 350’’, etc… Quite often a
complete take-off system including the manifold and ECU, sensors,
wire harness and all you need will show up for around $200 - $350.
That way, you don’t have to an engine of what you need and get rid
of the rest. Of course, the engine package may have some other
goodies that you want - like a serpentine belt setup or other stuff.–
lockheed
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In reply to a message from Roger Mabry sent Tue 1 Sep 2009:

Roger didn’t go into detail about the advantages of the MassFlo EFI
setup. This is one of the better aftermarket EFI systems out there
IMHO (admittedly also one of the priciest) as it doesn’t require
any expensive or hard-to-do post-installation tuning as long as you
inform them what your power package will be before purchase.

One, it’s a true SEFI mass-air system, so it’s not affected by
large cams (a problem with speed-density systems) and as long as
you don’t make gross changes in the motor it will ‘learn’ any
changes you may make. Even if you make big changes, upgrades are
fairly easy to do. For you big-motor guys, a true plug-and-play.

Two, it uses mostly off-the-shelf 5.0 Mustang electronics, so
repair parts are as close as the nearest parts house. That’s not
true of most of the other aftermarket units. And there’s a HUGE
amount of electronic afermarket goodies for the Mustangs, so for
any future power upgrades the sky’s the limit. The big cost of this
system is the custom intake/throttle body/fuel rails.

True, if you’re running a stock or near-stock motor, it’s a lot of
money and you’ll get probably the same results with a OEM setup for
less. And I’m not sure how it would interface with the later
electronically-controlled trannys.

Of particular interest is the fact that the MassFlo can be fitted
to ANY V-8 motor as long as a single-plane aluminum intake is
available.–
The original message included these comments:

My choice will be the Mass-Flo Efi system. It received good results
in their various magazine tests and does what I want and you can
drive it without a lot of tuning. In fact, driving it hard is what


Steve Ellingson '83 XJS V-12, '83 XJS LT1, '86 XJS parts,
Yelm Washington, United States
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In reply to a message from Why? sent Tue 8 Sep 2009:

I looked into the Retrotek unit and it is a good compromise if you
are near stock HP. Should be easy to install and had good reports
for what you pay for it and is ‘‘modern’’ stuff.

For my high torque over 400 HP SBC engine, I want more and the Mass-
Flo unit is the one for me. Should install fine and not need the
constant fiddling that other add ons need.

I have the fuel return line problems with the Series 1 and the dual
tank switch under control now and it will all happen soon. Gas is
going up again and my only step left with the carb is to change to
the 2:88’s.–
The original message included these comments:

large cams (a problem with speed-density systems) and as long as
you don’t make gross changes in the motor it will ‘learn’ any
fairly easy to do. For you big-motor guys, a true plug-and-play.


'71 XJ6 383/200R, '72 XJ6 LT1/700R,'74 XJ6 383/700R
Glendora, CA, United States
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In reply to a message from Roger Mabry sent Tue 8 Sep 2009:

Roger, I was thinking the same thing. I also like the
retro look with that unit. Resembles the Holley 3310
design. I use a 14 x 3 inch air cleaner and it recessed so
it sits lower. The powerjection unit is 11 1/4 inches and
some 4 inches wide so I might have clearance issues with it.
(Width not length). The manufacturer said they basically
pound out the lower piece of the filter housing to force fit
it so it sounds like they’re aware of the clearance issues.
I also like the 4 injector design of both the EZ EFI and
powerjection (retrotek) units. I’'ll need to take some
measurements to determine what I can use and hopefully keep
the retro look. If not, I’m leaning toward the EZ EFI.
When I mentioned cost was an issue, I should have been more
specific. I was referring to cost comparison of aftermarket
units. I’m definitely going the aftermarket route. I
definitely got the help and input I was looking for.–
The original message included these comments:

I looked into the Retrotek unit and it is a good compromise if you
are near stock HP. Should be easy to install and had good reports
for what you pay for it and is ‘‘modern’’ stuff.


Sean W
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