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Conversion from carburetor to fuel injection.

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Old 03-12-2018, 12:50 PM
darmento
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Conversion from carburetor to fuel injection.

Would like to get the community's advice on a conversion I am thinking about. I currently have a 1978 F-260 with a Cleveland 351 engine in it. I am thinking about doing a conversion from carburetor to fuel injection. The main reason is just reliability. In the cold weather this truck has trouble turning over. In warm weather it turns over just fine. I also plan to keep this truck for a while, and I think it would be better off with a fuel injection system. Here are my questions....

Has anyone in the group ever done a conversion to fuel injection?
Was it successful?
Are there any fuel injection kits that would be a good fit for this truck?

If anyone has any first hand experience that would be awesome. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!!!!


 
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:25 PM
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Nice truck!!!

Is it really a Cleveland? Or is it a Modified? There is a difference, the most notable one I can think of is the smaller bellhousing bolt pattern on the Cleveland.
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:26 PM
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Hello, just thought id share my experience. I have a 1979 f159 4x4 , 351m c6 . I have conveted to a fitech system using the 30003 and 40003 throttlebody and fuel command center. I've had the set up for about a year now and find it reliable, always starts. It still has a mind of its own occasionally (the odd stumble) but overall i am very happy with it. A couple things to note, It will work best with a single plane manifold or a throttlebody spacer with a dual plane. And a slight mod to the command center , (float /needle and seat removal, there is a video on youtube)
Good luck
Brent
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:35 PM
darmento
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You might be right. Here is the link to the Wikipedia info on it..... They are saying that in 1974 the 351C was replaced with 351M interesting background here..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_3...e#400_and_351M I had my mechanic xray the block and he said it was totally solid, no cracks. so that is good.... thanks for any advice on this..... in the winter the engine turns over and then conks out, or won't turn over..... it does not like cold air..... I think I should put fuel injection on it to get rid of the problem....
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:37 PM
darmento
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Thanks for the info on the conversion you did....can you tell me the name of the kit you used to do the conversion, and how much it cost? thanks
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:50 PM
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I just did this conversion recently using the Holley Sniper and in-tank fuel pump. I also went with the Holley dual sync distributor for computer controlled timing as well. It is running awesome now and I couldn't be happier. See my build thread in my Sig for details - it's near the end of the thread.
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:26 PM
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I did this years ago with a '78 F-150 and a 300CID six cylinder. It needed an engine, so I found an '86 fuel injected engine. I found a harness, PCM, and a fuel tank at a junkyard. The truck needed a new tank since the original leaked. It ran SO much better with the fuel injection than it ever did with a carb.
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:00 PM
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Did this last month and posted about it here:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...n-77-f150.html
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:48 AM
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not sure adding fuel injection is going to change what sounds like slow-cranking in cold weather...so you may have some troubleshooting to do.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by darmento View Post
Would like to get the community's advice on a conversion I am thinking about. I currently have a 1978 F-260 with a Cleveland 351 engine in it. I am thinking about doing a conversion from carburetor to fuel injection. The main reason is just reliability. In the cold weather this truck has trouble turning over. In warm weather it turns over just fine. I also plan to keep this truck for a while, and I think it would be better off with a fuel injection system.

Why do you think your truck will be better off with a fuel injection system?


What carburetor are you running? If your truck has trouble turning over in cold weather, that means there is something wrong. Probably the choke circuit. Why not fix it? That would be a whole lot easier and cheaper than swapping to EFI.

Functioning correctly, your carbureted truck should start up just as good as any fuel injected vehicle, even in cold weather:

 
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by darmento View Post
...in the winter the engine turns over and then conks out, or won't turn over..... it does not like cold air.....
Let's get our terminology on the same page so we're all sure what's going on. Some of us use the phrase "turning over" to denote simply the engaging of the starter. Same use as "cranking" is for many of us.
Others use the phrase to denote the actual starting of the engine as it fires up. Is this what you're saying, or are you using the first definition?

While most of us can agree that cranking is more likely to define the starter spinning (or turning over!) the engine, the phrase "tick-over" is used in Britain to describe the moment the engine fires up and starts.
So there is some precedent for turning over to mean starting. While many of us still think that turning over is simply what the starter does to the engine while spinning. Same as cranking.

Originally Posted by darmento View Post
I think I should put fuel injection on it to get rid of the problem....
If it's not cranking fast or starting easily, this may not be the carburetor so EFI may not fix it. But if it's actually cranking fine, but not starting easily, then yeah, EFI is likely to make that better. Or at least more consistent.
'Cause yeah, like was said, a well tuned carb and ignition and a starting system that doesn't rob too much power from the battery while in use should equal an easy starting engine even in the dead of winter.

But I'm not trying to talk you out of it by any means! Just stating some other points of view. Lots of carbureted engines starting just fine in the winter. Of course, I'm not much of a judge of winter, being in the flatlands of CA!
But other than sometimes having to block the choke open in the high-country snow, I've never had an issue running a carb in the cold.
That said, I'm a huge EFI fan but still remember resisting the temptation to upgrade to the dreaded "black box" ignition back in the early '70's!
I've got Ford MPFI from an Explorer in my '68 and have a TBI system going on the '71 and probably the '79 too, because I just rebuilt a 400 and don't want to swap in a 5.8W to make it easier to go MPFI.

Are you contemplating a throttle body style, or a port injection setup for your truck at this point? I realize you just started asking for opinions and experiences, but do you have a preference yet?

Good luck!

Paul
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:31 PM
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Agreed that there's a lot of things that can make a '70s pickup temperamental in the cold, might not be fuel necessarily - that said -

Seems like Holley Sniper and FITech are the most common swaps around here, anyhow, with a handful of low-buck Chevy TBI swaps (and lots of advice against them). I'm seriously considering a swap on a 400, partly for driveability, but also just for laziness - no tuning, better when sitting with ethanol fuel (I'm told), maybe more power with a better cam, etc........
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:01 PM
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OP is from Georgia where terminology is sometimes different.

"It got down to 45 last night - so cold my trunk won't crank!"

"Crank" means there what most would call "Start", where in other places "crank" or "cranking" refers to the engine turning over, with regard to it actually running or idling. He used "turning over" in a similar way I betcha. The starter itself cranks the engine.

Good cold weather starting, er, cranking depends on a good hot ignition and spark at plugs. Poor grounds and worn out plugs, weak charging system, or defective starter can be culprits. Remember the starter itself draws maybe 200 amps so everything has to be straight or there will be a lot less juice available for the ignition.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:04 PM
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I forgot something else darmento... Nice truck!

Wanted to make sure I mentioned that before I forget again. Pretty clean getup for sure.

Paul
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:08 PM
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donate it to me and buy yourself a efi truck.
 
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