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FiTech Electronic Fuel Injection

FiTech Electronic Fuel Injection

This one’s going to be more of an opinion post than a project, as we haven’t installed our Fitech yet. There will be another post about installation and running in the near future. At the moment I just want to discuss why I chose the Fitech and why we stock it as opposed to some other units. And before anyone gets all up in arms, this is not a sales post. True we do sell them, but I don’t particularly care if you buy them or not. The profit margin on these things is so laughable that it’s hardly worth putting them in a box. Like everything else we sell, we sell them at a lower price than everyone else so that you guys get a lower price than everyone else we are not trying to get rich here. Far from it.

There are two ways to go about engine modifications. There are those who try to get every possible bit of power out of their engine and enjoy tweaking and working on it to make this happen. These are the guys who have a Caddy 500 with headers, a strong cam, multiport fuel injection, all the bells and whistles. Then there are those who modify for the sake of improvements in technology and convenience. These guys don’t need the most possible horsepower, don’t want to have to tweak and work on things, and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to gain that last little bit. They just want a solid reliable engine that’s as convenient as possible and will get them to their destination trouble free.

When I am building motorcycles or muscle cars I fall into the first category, high compression pistons, hot cams, bored, stroked etc…Hell yeah count me in.
For my motorhome I am in the other camp. I want an engine that’s powerful enough to pull me along at 80mph and get me up and down the hills and get me to my destination with no fuss, no fight, and no tweaking.

EFI has been available for our coaches (or anything else you wanted to slap it on) since the early 90’s. It’s been expensive, complicated, and a hassle. Not anymore, today (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) Tech is the forefront of everything, and someone has finally put this tech into a useful package with the Fitech. For under a grand you get throttle body injection with full computer control, self learning (this means you need not sit at your laptop trying to figure out what the hell your engine is doing), instant cold starts, altitude correction, ect. And it’s easy. A few wires, 2 sensors, bolt it on, and you’re off and running.

There are other options out there for EFI. There are LOTS of other options out there for EFI. But none at this price tag and this level of convenience . To me (personal opinion) no one needs EFI. The GMC has been doing just fine on the quadrajet and mine runs like a top. EFI is a want kind of thing. A convenience thing. A peace of mind thing. To me that’s worth 995 bucks. It’s worth that to get fast starts, correct AFR at all times (including going over the pass at 12000 feet) and the peace of mind that comes with it. It’s not however worth 2200, 2500, 3000 for the other systems out there. Again personal opinion, but that’s a big damn jump. For over 2 grand I’ll clean my carb thank you.

Those 2000+ dollar systems do offer some advantages. They have the ability to control your timing in a more precise way than the Fitech. They have knock sensors that in effect allow you to lean out the mixture at cruise and get better mileage (~1 MPG, but hey that’s 10% right), and they are more “tuneable” than the Fitech.

So there are options, when I was shopping around I asked myself why I wanted EFI, and it came down to convenience and peace of mind. I don’t personally care about the MPG boost, I don’t personally want my engine running at the edge of sanity to gain a mile per gallon, and I personally want a learning EFI that learns how I drive (maniacally) and adapts.

 

A note on reliability.

There are those that will argue that a carburetor is the ultimately reliable piece of equipment, no computers to fail, no injectors to fail, no moving parts to fail. And this is certainly true. When you get down to it EFI has a lot of failure points that a carb doesn’t have. However, this is assuming that your carb is not 40 years old, not filled with old varnished gasoline, all parts are in good shape, your float’s not sticking, your vacuum lines don’t have any holes, your throttle plates don’t have any build up, your float doesn’t have a hole in it, you don’t have any clogged passages, your fuel pump pressure is not too high, your fuel filter isn’t clogged, and it’s tuned to peak performance by someone who knows what the hell they are doing. I think you get the picture. (BTW I have personally dealt with every one of those issues on 40 yr old carburetors, and a plethora more)

When is the last time that you go into an EFI car and had to get out and use ether to get it started? When’s the last time that you had to clean your injectors? When’s the last time you ran the battery down before it started? The last time you wondered “is this bastard ever going to start?

I now ask the same question to those of you with carbed vehicles. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a few to choose from. When I hop in my 69 GMC Stepside, my fingers are always crossed as I turn the key. When I hop in the 70 chevy, same deal. When my carbed motorcycles have been sitting all winter I pray that the gods of batteries give me long enough cranking for them to get running that first time (or that my leg muscles are up to the task in the case of kick only).

Maybe you’re not like me and your carbed vehicles run exactly as intended, that probably means a few things: You’re better at maintenance than I am, you have better setup carbs than I do, and you don’t have my luck!

Anyway, this has gotten a bit long winded, so I’ll leave it here and go outside and work on the plumbing in the coach.

10 Comments

  1. Great piece. The more you talk, the more I trust your integrity… I look forward to hearing what you have to say and what and why you offer it. Thanks, Nancy

    Reply
  2. I am a very frugal person, especially when it comes to a tin box which gets moved 7-8 times per year. So I have a 2″ 454 GM TBI with injectors I have cleaned and tested, a new distributor, several ECM’s, EVERYTHING I need to go to EFI. If I didn’t want to tune this bucket of parts, I would add an EBL from Dynamic EFI which has the ability to learn, plus a huge modern lookup table, many times better than GM. My entire system cost $300, EBL will add another $450. If the FITECH had been available when I started, IT would be the choice. Even now I find it tempting. Having something you pull out of a box at a cost which is actually far less than prowling the junk yards for bits and pieces and then rebuilding and installing them, is very attractive.

    Reply
  3. I just had a FI Tech Fuel Injection installed on my 66 Corvette 327/300HP stingray. Although I’ve only had it installed a couple days I’m very impressed. Instant start whether hot or cold. Very quick response on throttle. No unburnt gas fumes in the garage on cold starts and very smooth idle. Haven’t checked gas Mileage yet but expect it to be an improvement.

    Reply
  4. Great website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

    Reply
  5. Does the adapter give enough space underneath the throttle body as well as enough clearance to shut the trap door after the air cleaner is installed? I read another posting online where someone was having a problem with it… Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Henry, the adapter gives enough space after you cut off the transmission kick down linkage on the throttle body (not needed for our application, 10 seconds with a grinder or dremel)
      As for clearance to the hatch, that will depend on your coach, on mine no it does not clear, so I will have to do something with the hatch or the air cleaner. I haven’t decided which yet.

      Reply
  6. what is the complete cost including installation ? Great info

    Reply
    • Marina,
      That will depend on who is doing the install.
      The system cost + a manifold adapter + a few odds and ends like a carb stud adapter kit + labor.
      I can’t give you a labor cost, just depends on how long it takes them to do it and how muuch they charge per hour.

      Reply
  7. Do you have a before and after install comparison you could share? Can you get ‘er going 80? Any improvement on hills? I know the mpg savings is roughly 8-10% overall, but do you notice better mpg at higher speeds? (I hate watching the vac gauge spin off the dial when I crest 65)

    Reply
    • Nick,
      Mine is in pieces still, so I have only run it up and down the road, I wont be able to supply a full review for another couple of months.
      I never had any issues going 80 (or faster) before the swap, and it definitely feels stronger now!
      I highly doubt there will be a 8-10% increase in fuel economy over a well tuned q-jet. If your carb is in bad shape then there will likely be an improvement.

      Reply

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Skills

Posted on

April 24, 2016