EFI to carb or keep EFI?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by odsysean, Feb 19, 2013.


  1. odsysean

    odsysean Member

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    I just bought an 88 coupe and i plan on making it a track car...
    Before anyone bashes, I want to explain that the EFI setup has been removed from the previous owner (Harness, ECU, upper and lower intakes and distributor)
    Since I want to make this a track car, I will be overhauling/ rebuilding this engine. I want to keep it a 302 or possibly bore it to a 306. I also plan on taking it to mustang week this year so I do want some drive ability behind it as well. I plan on getting at least 300-350 to the wheels. There may be other threads on this as well im sure but I will not search for something I don't want, so lose the frustration. But my main point is im on a budget somewhat over the next few months and im curious if I should buy a new EFI setup (don't tell me to buy a used harness) as in new intakes, new harness, new ECU, new MAF etc. or go the easy route and switch to carb. If I switch to carb, what exactly CAN I use that I still have? I would plan on running an electric in-line fuel pump so I can keep the same timing cover, I'd need the duraspark distributor, probably a 600cfm holley, maybe a 650, performer intake, all the stuff to convert to carb, since it'd be cheaper. But what heads and cam should i use that would be carb friendly? i was thinking afr 165 at the most, but most likely TW heads and a stage 2 TF cam, with upgraded rockers, springs, pushrods and lifters. I know how to tune carbs and rebuild them, so i'm not a beginner with them. Also, since I want this to be somewhat reliable so I don't have to keep rebuilding, should I spend the extra money for the forged pistons or for 300-350 horse would the oem be fine? I'm not too sure how these 302's hold up and if I do have to keep EFI it will cost more. I'm just looking for a budget build that will be reliable and easy. Please give me your inputs, thanks. AND NO YELLING!!!!
     
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  2. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    For a track only car that will not be street driven, either one will do. Just be aware of the fact that the car will not pass emissions and cannot be titled or street driven in some states. If you state isn't one of those, do what you want.
     
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  3. RsStanG1987

    RsStanG1987 I shaved all my pubes playing this game.

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    Here's what I'm running in my car it's about 330 rwhp Im using a wolverine camshaft, Holley 650 hp series, weiand stealth intake, gt40x heads,and full MSD ignition. I drive mine daily when it's not snowing and I'm not working. It's very streetable but its a pig on gas. I also run a mechanical fuel pump. Since your car was previously efi I'd stay efi. You'll endup spending more in carb parts than you would making it stock efi again.
     
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  4. elarm1

    elarm1 Active Member

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    I agree with RsStang, its not hard to get the efi going again and all those parts can be had for cheap. My vote is for Efi
     
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  5. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    If it is street driven at all, as in has a license plate, my vote is EFI.
    If it is track only, then carb.

    EFI is not really any more expensive.
    Prices on carb stuff is ever increasing, while EFI stuff is more and more affordable all the time due to market saturation.
     
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  6. 84Ttop

    84Ttop They make new pistons every day, so why worry? SN Certified Technician Mod Dude

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    YELLING!, lol sorry.
    Now that i got that out of my system. The 88' 302 bottom end has forged pistons from the factory and that bottom end will easily support the power you are looking for. TW 170cc heads and a stage 2 cam are a good start, if your budget minded procomp or professional products makes a decent intake for the money just needs to be cleaned up with a dremel a bit. Look to proform for a carburetor they are made by quick fuel for proform and are really nice for the money. Hope this helps
     
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  7. clement

    clement Founding Member

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    i recently picked up a fresh duraspark for $40 off ebay. ford reman. i got an old 302 vic jr for $100. if i were doing a budget 302/306 i would do a set of RHS 180s at 58cc, an anderson N41 cam advanced 4*, a vic jr, duraspark and an AED 650 HO. i am convinced that even the holley HPs are garbage. if you go carbureted, buy a real carb and be done with it.
     
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  8. squekster

    squekster Member

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    Just remember there were carbs before efi. Carbs have come a long way .A carb setup can pass emissions.I have had nothing but trouble with
    fuel injection. I am considering swaping out that efi pain in the ass. If its not surging its not idling right. Computer controlled cars drive me nuts. To much can go wrong.
    Put a good cam in it and the computer tries to smooth out the idle.Carb set up is much cheaper and has been proven not to decrease hp by much if at all.
     
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  9. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    If you go the carb route it may be a little cheaper at first but will require more tuning- carb, distributor, etc. as well as maintenance. IMO it is easier to get to your HP goal with any number of proven EFI setups that will be more reliable on the track. You won't have to change out jets or advance springs, etc. depending on track conditions. The computer/laptop setup for your EFI will allow you to easily adjust fuel and timing curves and a number of other variables as well as give you playback capabilities that a non computer carb setup. I remember back when the Mustang first went to EFI in 86? we all ripped off the EFI and put carbs on because of the "limitations" of the EFI. That was 27 years ago and I can't think of why you'd want to run a carb if the $$$ are anywhere close to an EFI setup.

    Just my 2 cents
     
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  10. Gearbanger 101

    Gearbanger 101 Straight Outta Locash Super Mod

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    You're making 330rwhp with just that? Ok....where's the stroker kit you're not telling us about? :shrug:
     
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  11. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    Carb is not cheaper.
    Have you priced carbs and intakes lately?
    Not to mention all the other misc stuff you'd need for a conversion.
    You could save money on a used intake, but used carbs generally suck.
    If you drive the car more than twice a year, you have to worry about fuel costs too.
    You'll lose significant MPG going to a carb.

    A carb set up won't pass emissions on the visual.
    I doubt it would pass the sniffer, and if it did, it would be a carb that would be worthless for performance.

    Carbs make more power than EFI, not less.... proven.
     
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  12. clement

    clement Founding Member

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    when i was in HS i had a 65 coupe with a 289 with a 650 holley double pumper, c4 and some 3.0 gears. it averaged 17 mpg when i drove it easy around town. most of my buddies who had stock new fox 5 liters at the time got similar mileage in town but got better on the hwy because they had overdrive.
     
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  13. squekster

    squekster Member

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    Summit racing sells a
    good carb for about $300 they also sell a good dual plane for around $180 .My trickflow intake cost me $ 450, injectors cost me $260 Throttle body and spacer another $250 maf another buck and change. fuel pump another $130. You can change jets to pass emisions go home and change them back. Besides you are at the mercy of the computer's program. in an injected engine. You can tweek a carb any way you want. Granted mpg might suffer a little, but when you build an engine for power that is to be expected.
     
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  14. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    You throw out the cheapest parts when it comes to carbs, and high end parts when it comes to EFI.
    You know as well as I do that carbs have gone through the roof while the EFI market is saturated with parts less expensive as the ones you quote. My point was that you won't get away with a carb conversion done right for less money that keeping, or even upgrading EFI.

    The emissions thing is a no brainer. If your car came with EFI, they won't pass you with a carb on the engine. Just like I said in the last post... you won't pass visual.
     
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  15. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

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    :stir:
    I have never run a double pumper and got better than 5 mpg!
    But then I have never run a DP and been able to "drive it easy"...
    What is the point of that?
    You might as well run a 1bbl carb if you are going to "drive it easy"... or better yet.... EFI!



    :hide:

    ...
     
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  16. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    Unless you have a quadrajet or some other 4bbl with smaller primaries. no way are you going to get the same MPG as with EFI. Def not a holley 650DP.
     
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  17. squekster

    squekster Member

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    I guess you can't argue with progress. Back in 72 when emissions control started to rear it's ugly head I thought that the hot rod was
    slowly dying , obviously I was wrong. The great thing about this country and the people in it is even with
    the government putting limits on auto emissions. We found a way around it.
     
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    ratio411 likes this.
  18. Illuminator

    Illuminator Active Member

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    I recall running a 65odp on a 69 351w w/massaged single plane and heads, and 750dp on 351c 4v titanium valve massaged heads w/huge custom isky solid roller dialed for a blower. Also ran 11.5:1 comp Torker setup. The Cleveland was a beast!! Broke every drivetrain part end to end even pulling motor thru hood and shattering 5-leaf leaf springs in pcs., twisting rear wheels into wells etc....sure the 4.56's and stickies had something to do with that. Yes carb's take infinite tweaking to dial in to certain mods, but most run decent out of the box depending on what you buy.
     
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  19. Gearbanger 101

    Gearbanger 101 Straight Outta Locash Super Mod

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    Please post details on what carb and intake combo you're getting for that price.
     
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  20. squekster

    squekster Member

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    It is listed in the current
    summit racing catalogue. I don't have one handy right now but I will post details
    tomorrow.
     
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