Hopefully you anti-fuel-injection folks have not skipped over this story due to its nature-fuel injection! Having been around the hobby for a bit, we've noticed the great divide between the fuel-injected crowd and the carbureted crowd. While both sides have learned to coexist, there are still many arguments about which method of fuel distribution is best.
Carburetors are typically easier to install and cheaper to purchase, and they're required on restored vehicles that rolled from the assembly line with one. Carburetor technology continues to flourish on street and racing applications. However, in order to keep your ride performing at its best, carburetors require frequent maintenance, as well as jet and air bleed swaps due to alterations in altitude and ever-changing weather conditions, never mind frequent choke adjustments. Additionally, carburetors usually lay low on the "wow" index.
Electronic fuel-injection systems are more on the expensive side, but include many additional benefits compared to conventional carburetion. EFI provides a broader powerband, as well as more consistent cylinder-to-cylinder fuel distribution. With various sensors giving feedback to the electronic control module, EFI can adapt instantaneously to changes in weather conditions as well as altitude. With EFI, you don't have to pump the gas pedal to get your hot rod started, and choke adjustments aren't necessary even in the coldest climates. EFI generally ranks high in the "wow" department.
We've all seen our fair share of cool stuff, and Professional Products' new Powerjection I EFI Fuel System is now on that list. How about keeping your current carbureted-style intake manifold as well as the existing ignition system while modernizing your fuel distribution method to EFI? It even looks like a carburetor for you traditionalists. Professional Products has made it easy to install. The Powerjection EFI contains two key features: a returnless fuel system suitable for engines under 500 hp, and a self-learning Engine Management System (EMS). While it is not necessary to program the EMS via a laptop computer, that feature is available for those who choose to do so.
The Powerjection system is unique because it can be bolted in place of your standard 4150-style carburetor. Its dimensions are similar to a double-pumper carburetor, and its fuel inlet kit, linkages, and air cleaner size and location are identical to the original. The Powerjection unit also allows you to retain the vintage look of a carburetor with the modern conveniences of fuel injection.
To test the Powerjection unit, we wanted a mild-mannered Chevy with excellent driveability, decent horsepower, and a tried-and-true Chevy 350 engine. After a quick phone call to our friends at Crazy Horse Racing in South Amboy, New Jersey, we were acquainted with Lenny Knell of Staten Island, New York. Lenny was a little hesitant at first, being an old-school Chevy guy (anti-fuel injection), but we talked him into letting us transform his '87 El Camino into EFI-promising him positive results, as well as less maintenance.
Let's get started with the install.