That old carburetor was doing its job … but was it really doing a good job? It felt like it was time for a change. EFI would be great, but we remember just five years ago when it was complicated and required many hours of tuning with a laptop computer. Sometimes it delivered more power than a well-tuned carburetor, but the hope was to do it more efficiently.
We were looking for something easy to install, even easier to tune, and gave us more power and efficiency from our 496ci big-block. The pros and cons of the available choices were weighed; ultimately, the FAST EZ-EFI 2.0 was nominated for the job. It had the ability to be manually tuned if we chose, but we wanted it for the promise of being a plug-and-play system.
The EZ-EFI 2.0 install went great and ran flawlessly for about a month. Then some issues plagued our fun. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to look back at the last part you installed before things started going wrong.
It turns out that the recently installed valve cover breathers didn’t breathe well enough for the 496 at high rpm. The crankcase pressure was forcing oil up the distributor shaft into the cap, causing a tough-to-diagnose misfire. Free-flowing breathers could have been installed easily but we took the hard route and installed a vacuum pump system and modified the distributor.
The car ran great again for a week then started to run poorly and hot! The thermostat checked out fine so we pulled the intake manifold and found a bad intake gasket. We installed a new steel-core Fel-Pro gasket, which was better for the new vacuum pump. With the new gasket installed the car ran great again … for a day.
The idle started getting erratic. We narrowed the problem down to either the old ignition box or coil, both of which had survived an underhood fire. Replacement of both was in order and all was right with the world again.
We hit some self-induced and unforeseen speed bumps along the way, but none of them were the fault of the EZ-EFI 2.0.
Overall, the kit had everything required for a simple and trouble-free installation. It could be a weekend project with some basic handtools, a 2-inch hole saw, and a Weather Pack connector crimping tool. For an ultra-clean installation, add a couple of days for hiding and trimming wires. If you don’t have a welder, you’ll need a shop to weld the oxygen sensor bung onto your exhaust pipe. Our suggestion is to have the bung installed before starting the EZ-EFI 2.0 installation.
Not only did we like the improved fuel mileage and efficiency, we also like the improved power. The torque increase is amazing. At 55 mph, a dropped shift and mashed throttle nets liberal amounts of tire spin. It never did that before so we will have to be careful when driving in the future. Overall, we like the thought of having a system that has the potential to adjust on the fly as conditions change. For instance, if we take the car from sea level to the mountains, the system will automatically adjust the air/fuel ratio. The old fuel system seemed to work well, but change is good. FAST definitely made our swap to EFI a great move.
Carb – City Driving: 3.7 mpg; Highway Driving: 10.7 mpg
EZ-EFI 2.0 – City Driving: 7.5 mpg; Highway Driving: 13.1 mpg
The EZ-EFI 2.0 data was collected early after the installation, so the mpg will change slightly as we put more miles on the system. We hope the change will improve the numbers in our favor.
FAST EZ-EFI 2.0, PN 30402-KIT
FAST Dual-Sync Distributor, PN 305005
FAST Throttle/Trans Cable Mount Kit, PN 304147
1. Before mounting your fuel regulator, consider any racing regulations that may affect where it goes. A long-standing NHRA rule doesn’t allow mounting the fuel regulator on the firewall. We won’t be racing in the NHRA so we mounted ours on the firewall.
2. We extended the harness, confirmed the reach of all the leads, and then determined the location for our ECU. To keep all the wires from noisy equipment and heat in the engine compartment, we chose to make a plate and mount the ECU to existing holes in the factory heater box under the dash.
3. Once the ECU was mounted, we found the best routing for the wiring harness. A 2-inch hole was drilled in the passenger-side toeboard for the main harness grommet.
4. With the wires pulled through the firewall, we sorted them in groups to establish where to route the wires.
5. All the wires are clearly marked with labels. FAST is explicit that you have to run the positive and negative wires directly to the battery. We routed our wires inside of the car to the battery in the trunk.
6. For simplicity, FAST pre-installed weatherproof connectors on most of the wires. We only had to get the wire crimping tools out a few times.
7. It is a good practice to zip-tie your connections to fixed objects when possible to reduce vibration of the wires. We gave a little extra loop so the wire wouldn’t be strained at a 90 degree angle.
8. The kit came with high-pressure fuel hose to run from front to rear. We typically prefer to run hard lines from front to rear, but we wanted to prove the system works out of the box. We installed a few cushion clamps to hold the fuel lines in place. We also used some heat wrap to protect against exhaust heat in a few tight areas.
9. Test-run all your hoses on the fuel pressure sensor block before drilling the mounting holes. Our perfect location was on the outside of the passenger framerail. The hoses and wires are protected by the frame.
10. Any place where a fuel hose rubbed on corners, we wrapped it with Painless Performance PowerBraid wire loom cover for abrasion protection.
11. Before ordering your EZ-EFI 2.0 kit, decide if you’re going to use an in-tank fuel pump or an external fuel pump. Our stock 1969 Camaro sender hole was too small for the in-tank pump that came in the kit so we had to get a different kit with an external pump. The EZ-EFI 2.0 kit’s fuel pump will dictate if you will need a “return” or “returnless” fuel system.
12. Returnless systems require less plumbing but are more prone to vapor lock in hot climates. We prefer return-style systems. Our fuel system had previously been set up with a return fuel system so the tank already had a fitting installed to return fuel back to the tank.
13. The FAST throttle bracket (PN 304147) was the nicest one we’ve ever installed. This would have been a great solution for our old carburetor linkage, too.
14. Our kit came with all the necessary fuel fittings. Some were straight and some 90-degree. Some places, such as on the throttle body, required 90-degree fittings for clearance, so planning was important.
15. The kit includes an oxygen sensor and a weld-in bung. DeLeon Dyno had installed a bung for a previous dyno session so this made our installation easy. The bung could be the only snag if you’re trying to do this complete install in your driveway.
16. We won’t lie. The instructions had one very important step placed directly below a data table that we missed on the initial installation. Our setup required us to source the ignition points signal from the ignition box. After many attempts to start the car had failed, we called FAST Tech Support and went through every connection until we discovered that we skipped one wire connection. Once connected, the car fired and ran amazingly well with the out-of-the-box tune!
17. Rotate the crankshaft until cylinder No. 1 is at TDC before installing the distributor.
18. Using the LED lights to assist in proper positioning, we easily clocked the FAST Dual-Sync distributor and locked it down.
19. During the initial programming setup, all the screens on the handheld display are easy to read and follow. Here, we’re pulling timing out (while simultaneously using our timing light on the damper) to get exactly 20 degrees BTDC.
20. Our valve cover breathers weren’t breathing enough, so crankcase pressure was pushing oil up the distributor shaft into the distributor cap. The distributor on the right only had 100 miles on it.
21. To combat the crankcase breathing issue, we installed a GZ Motorsports vacuum pump system. With some machining of the brackets, it fit like a glove.
22. We machined an extra hole in the distributor shaft housing (red arrow) to keep oil from pushing up the shaft into the distributor cap.
23. We added a coolant bypass hose to allow trapped air to be purged to the front of the intake manifold. This improves cooling in the rear of the engine block and heads.
24. This Koul Tools Push Lock Hose Tool was amazing. We could have used this years ago. We’ve never pressed hose on a fitting so easily and within seconds.
25. We mounted the new black-anodized FAST E6 CD Ignition Control system in the same location as the old ignition box with a bracket we made. It will be moved inside the car in the near future so we decided not to drill a new set of holes.
26. The new FAST coil isn’t a conventional-style round unit so we fabricated a new bracket to mount it in the factory position on the intake manifold.
27. The FAST instructions inform you how to drive to teach the ECU, but we went to DeLeon Dyno Performance and had them run the car through the rpm ranges on their dyno and then make a few pulls. We had varying results, but the green line was the best average. The carburetor (dotted line) ran well, so with a gain of 26 horsepower and more than 35 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm with the FAST EFI, we were pleasantly surprised. And the huge improvement in gas mileage alone was well worth it.
Photography by Tony Huntimer