In the 1960s and 1970s, we didn’t have many options for fuel delivery in our musclecars. A bigger carburetor, better fuel pump, and maybe a nicer intake manifold could help. But the carburetor was the last means for putting fuel into the intake.
For decades, tuning the carburetor was how we dealt with taking our cars to different tracks or locations. This often meant pulling the carburetor off the engine, pulling it apart and replacing jets and metering rods. It’s time consuming, a little pricey, and can take a few tries to get the right combination.
Experienced tuners can charge quite a bit when it comes to tuning your carburetor to fit the engine it’s mounted to, and when you add in the price of the carburetor you could spend close to $1,000 for a perfectly tuned carburetor.
But what if you could spend the same amount, and get an EFI conversion that will tune itself? Does that make the thought of converting to fuel injection a little more appealing? FiTech Fuel Injection has created a system that owner Ken Farrell says is his competition for the carburetor market. “We’re not trying to compete with other fuel injection systems,” Farrell told us. “We want to compete with the carburetor market and provide an affordable alternative.”
While there are several carburetors available for low to high powered vehicles, even choosing the right size carburetor isn’t a guarantee that it will perform efficiently. For that, it would need some tuning to get the best performance and economy. FiTech EFI systems are bolt-on, right out of the box, and don’t require any additional tuning parts, because it’s all controlled by the self-learning computer.
Answering a few simple questions is all that is needed to get the basic setup for your car, but for those who want to take it a step further there are tuning options available. There are several base kits for low to high horsepower vehicles, and options to make the most of your FiTech EFI conversion.
We spent some time with the team at FiTech in Riverside, California, and they showed us a few of the systems available. Systems for vehicles with up to 600 horsepower, and up to 1,200 horsepower are available, and that includes from a basic small block to the baddest of big block engines.
The feature that makes these fuel injection systems appealing is that they are self-learning, and self-tuning. If your engine is only putting out about 300 horsepower, the base EFI system from FiTech will work with your setup because it makes its own adjustments as you drive.
Included with each system is a wideband O2 sensor that reads the air/fuel ratio (A/FR) and feeds that information back to the computer. While throttle bodies can run upwards of 1,000 cfm, because the system makes its own adjustments it does not have the same effect that a 1,000 cfm carburetor would have on the same engine.
If the thought of having to set your system up with a laptop is part of what kept you from converting to EFI, that has gone by the wayside, as well, because these systems don’t require a laptop connection. As we mentioned, they are self-tuning and that means that instead of plugging in to tell the EFI computer what to do, you simply drive your car and it will learn as you drive.
The Go EFI 4 system is the base system that will work for vehicles up to 600 horsepower. It features built-in ignition and timing control, as well as a cooling fan controller, and all of the sensors are built into the throttle body, with the exception of the wideband O2 and coolant temperature sensors. The included handheld controller allows the owner to set the system up and control a couple of parameters as we mentioned above, but it also allows much more control over the EFI system.
For forced induction engines up to 600 horsepower, the Power Adder version of the GoEFI 4 will work with up to 25 pounds of boost. For those who want to do some fine tuning, there’s a connection for a laptop as an option.
The top of the line system from FiTech is the Go EFI 8, which doubles the fuel injector count and will handle engines from 250 up to 1,200 horsepower. For those who like the look of the dual quad systems, the Go EFI 2×4 system will handle up to 625 horsepower in a normally aspirated engine, and has all the same features of the Go EFI 4 system. As you can guess, the Power Adder version of the Go EFI 2×4 will handle boost, and is designed for 6-71 and 8-71 supercharged systems, capable of up to 1,200 horsepower. There are several systems available for just about any configuration, and the line continues to expand to include new products.