Very rarely have I come across a product, of any type, that is “as advertised.” That’s especially true of automotive parts. From the moment I first heard of the FiTech EFI system, and after all of the research that I did on the product, it almost sounded too good to be true. A self-learning EFI system that can be used on engines ranging from 250-600HP, installs easily and doesn’t require a laptop or professional tuning. See what I mean about too good to be true? WE had to get our hands on one and see for ourselves. After installing one on our ’79 Bronco and having driven it in both carbureted form and fuel-injected form, I can truthfully say the FiTech EFI system is as advertised.
Average install time will vary based on vehicle, installer skill level, fuel delivery method used, etc., but I’d say to allow 4-5 hours for the install. The installation on the Bronco was very simple. We opted to use the FiTech Fuel Command Center to supply fuel to the EFI throttle body. The fuel command center allowed us to retain the mechanical fuel pump and it meant we did not have to modify the existing fuel tank.
The first step of the install was to find a place to mount the fuel command center. Mounting location will vary by vehicle and installer preference. With the command center mounted, we removed the carburetor and installed the EFI throttle body. It really was that easy.
With the throttle body in place, the next step is to plumb the system. We found this to be the most time-consuming part of the install, and this is also dictated by vehicle application and installer preference. The Bronco is a meticulously restored vehicle, so we took special care to make the hose routing as clean and inconspicuous as possible. This required a couple trips to the parts store for the desired hose end fittings and tee fitting for vent line. We made a total of three lines; inlet (mechanical pump to command center), outlet (command center to throttle body) and vent line (from command center to fuel filler vent hose).
Next step was to feed the harness for the display screen into the interior of the truck. Once again, vehicle application and installer preference will determine final mounting position of the display, but there is ample length of harness to meet your needs. With the display mounted, we could install the two external sensors (all other required sensors and the ECU are mounted internally in the TBI unit). The headers on the Bronco already had an O2 sensor port and the intake manifold had four-corner water port access. This made installing the oxygen sensor and coolant temp sensor as easy as removing the current plugs and installing the sensors (included in the kit).
The last step of the install was to make the few wiring connections required (BATT+, keyed 12V+ and ground) and prime the system.
From the moment we started the Bronco after installing the FiTech EFI, we immediately noticed improvements in its cold start/idle manners. No pumping the accelerator pedal to prime the engine, no sticking on fast idle setting when cold, and no more erratic/searching idle characteristics. It fired right up, held a smooth high idle setting till it seamlessly backed itself down to normal idle as engine temp came up. Those are the behaviors that we’ve learned to love from our daily drivers but weren’t usually attainable, for varying reasons, when referring to your classic truck.
So far so good, but we still had to pass the road test. This was the true test. Would the unit really be able to “self-learn” and supply us precisely the fuel needed, based on what the sensors were telling it? The answer is a resounding yes. Whether from a dead stop or on the roll, light or heavy pedal input, the FiTech EFI delivered crisp, smooth throttle response. The FiTech EFI also eliminated the trouble/worries with hot restarts. Seriously, all you need to do is turn the key. After having driven this vehicle before and after the FiTech EFI install, the improvements in drivability/performance of the Bronco are like day and night. Due to the current ignition system (HEI) in the Bronco, we are only using the FiTech EFI for fuel control. You could install an ignition conversion system to allow the FiTech EFI to also manage timing control; you could then realize the full benefits of the product and further enhance the performance of your vehicle.
A self-learning EFI continually adapts to your engine’s needs, whereas a carburetor provides static inputs based on its size (cfm rating) and mechanical settings. It’s no secret that fuel injection is the much more efficient and preferred method of fuel delivery. Up until now, the big obstacles to making the upgrade to fuel injection were the cost of the components/kit, degree of difficulty of install and ease of tuning/performance. FiTech EFI has developed a system that delivers all of the benefits and conveniences of modern fuel injection at a price that is substantially lower than any other EFI unit currently on the market.