Installed EZ-EFI in my 1977 Camaro


I decided to ditch my carburetor and install the EZ-EFI fuel injection system by F.A.S.T.

While my carburetor worked well, there are so many compromises involved that I wanted to change it.  For one, with no choke, it was a bear to start and to run until it warmed up. Secondly, the idle speed would change depending on the weather, the engine heat, etc.  And, in the summer when I wanted to use the AC, I had to set up the idle by a couple hundred RPM to keep it running.  If I turned off the AC, it idled high.  This is what it looked like with the carburetor in place.

The EZ-EFI system uses a throttle body that replaces a carburetor but still uses the same intake manifold.  It is run by a computer that controls the air/fuel ratios and the injection of the fuel.  It comes complete with all of the cables, the throttle body, the control unit and the computer.  I also purchased the fuel pump kit that includes the fuel pump, a post fuel filter, the wiring harness, the connectors, the hose, the fuel regulator and the fuel pressure gauge.  The best part is that the system is self learning.  As you drive the car, the computer is continually adjusting the settings to maximize the output of your engine.  It does not control ignition.  I already had a very good CD box installed so that was not an issue for me.

I removed the carburetor, the mechanical fuel pump and the fuel lines in the engine compartment.  I then installed a block off plate where the mechanical fuel pump had  been.  I got the new system late in the day but could not resist installing the throttle body.  Since I already had a F.A.S.T. dual wideband air/fuel gauge in my car, I already had O2 sensors installed.  I simply used one of them for the fuel injection.  Now I was ready to begin the installation.

First up is installing the fuel lines, the fuel pump, the fuel regulator and the fuel pressure gauge.  Fuel injection systems require a return fuel line to the tank and they require a high pressure fuel pump.   Since I had a 1/2″ braided fuel line that was in good shape, I used that line for my return line.  When I installed my new fuel tank last summer, I also installed a McRobb billet fuel sender that had a return input.  At the tank, I simply switched the braided line from the outlet to the inlet line.

Next up I mounted the fuel pump.  It needed to be mounted as near to the tank as possible and lower than the tank.  I found a place next to the rear frame rail in the rear seat area.  I drilled two holes in the floor pan and mounted the fuel pump with the clamps that came in the kit.  The kit came with an insulator to wrap around the fuel pump to quell the noise.  In addition, I placed a 1/8″ piece of rubber between the clamps and the floorboard.  On the inside of the car I already had insulation under the seat so I used big washers under the nuts.  There had been reports that this fuel pump was noisy, but, so far, it has not been bothersome in my car.

Next up was running the input fuel lines.  I ran the line from the tank to the fuel pump.  This meant threading it over the rear axle and down to the pump.  The fuel line provided was 3/8″ PTFS teflon cloth braided line with barb fittings.  The recommended way to install the lines over the barbs was to place the hose in boiling water for five minutes, lubricate the fitting and the line and push like hell.  FITTING THESE LINES TO THE FITTINGS WAS A BEAR!!!  I had a blister on one finger after doing the first line!!  And I can’t remember the last time I had a blister.  It was all I could do to get these lines on.  In fact, I never was able to push the line all the way to the little rubber cap.  I could get it over the two barbs, but no further.  While they said hose clamps were not necessary, you will see a hose clamp on each fitting for further insurance.

Now I had to figure out where to put the fuel distributor.  My previous one had been on the fuel lines above the valve cover.  Since I have solid lifters and have to occasionally adjust the valves and need to remove the valve covers, I wanted to mount it somewhere else.  My fuel lines from the rear came up near the firewall on the passenger side.  I found an existing bolt there that could be used.  After going through my pile of steel parts, I found a bracket I could modify and use to mount the regulator to the firewall.

Now I could run the fuel line from the fuel pump to the regulator and then to the throttle body.  This meant more pushing on the fuel lines.  I was glad to be finished with this portion.

Now it was time to install the electrical part.  After doing some test fitting, I decided to place the ECM (the computer)  in the glove box.  After cutting a hole big enough for the plug, it fits there snug as a bug.  Since it will not move around much anyway in the glove box, I plan on using velcro to hold it in place.

Next up was drilling a 2″ hole in the firewall.  I chose a place on the passenger side just below where I mounted the fuel regulator.  I purchased a two piece grommet to seal this area.  Before feeding the harness through the whole, I decided to re-do a part of it as there were four loose wires that need to go back into the engine bay.  After opening up the convoluted plastic cover, I tucked those four wires in with the others and then taped everything back up as FAST had done originally.  I also tie wrapped the fuse block and two relays that would also end up inside the car.

After feeding the harness into the engine bay, I hooked up all the connectors to the throttle body.  I then had to run some wires.  F.A.S.T. recommends running the battery 12v and ground directly to the battery.  Since my battery is in the trunk, this meant running those two wires the length of the car.  I also had to run a power line to the fuel pump and install a ground wire for the fuel pump.  This took up the better part of a day by the time I routed the wires, tucked them into the protective tubing, wrapped some of the tubing in heat resistant covering where they ran near the exhaust, and tie wrapped everything in place.

The next day I hooked up the wires to the radiator fan, the AC compressor clutch and 12V ignition.  Now I was ready to see if it all worked.

I called my buddy Reese to see if he would assist me in getting everything set up to start the car.  Since he is in the process of installing this same system on his ’38 Chevy, he was only too glad to help as I am sure I will help him when he is ready.

With Reese sitting behind the wheel, we began the procedures.  First up, we had to set the fuel pressure to 43PSI.  The instructions were to turn on the key to let the fuel pump build up pressure.  Once pressure was starting to build, I checked for fuel leaks.  Happily, there were none!!  To protect the fuel pump, it will only run about 10 seconds if you don’t start the motor.  And you have to wait about 10 seconds or so after it shuts off before you can try it again.  It took about 10 cycles for me to have time to adjust the fuel pressure.

With that done, the next step is to set up the paramaters for the engine on the control display.  You have to set the cubic inch, the number of cylinders, the target idle speed, single or double system (for high horsepower motors, you can run a dual intake manifold with two systems), and the throttle position at closed and open.  In the picture at left you can see the F.A.S.T. a/f guage mounted under my radio.  Since the control display is the same size, I am going to remove the a/f gauge and mount the control unit there.

Now is was time to start the engine.  After about three or four seconds, it fired up in an uneven idle.  Reese had to play with the throttle to keep it running.  However, after a minute or so, it was already idling on its own.  For engines like mine that do not develop much vacuum, F.A.S.T. recommends letting it idle for about 5 minutes before you drive away.  We backed it out of the garage and let it sit there.

Soon the temperature gauge was reading 180, which is my thermostat setting and the temp that the fan should kick on.  As the temp neared 200 and the fan had still not kicked on, we knew we had a problem.  The fan is also supposed to kick on when the AC is on and that did not happen either.  We were done for now until this could be remedied.  Reese left to go back to installing his system.

I had called F.A.S.T. the previous day to ask them which of the wires from my Painless wiring relay to hook up to their fan wire.  After explaining what I had, they recommended the wire off my old sender that ran back to the relay.  Obviously, that was not working.   I called Painless first and they said when they make up a wiring harness for a computer controlled fan, they always supply one wire to go to ground.  I called F.A.S.T. next and a different guy told me that the computer is looking for a ground and that I should have hooked it up to the ground wire.  It only took minutes to switch the wires as I had left the other wire run to the back of the engine.  I started it up and, before it came up to temperature, I switched on the AC to see what would happen.  Voila, the fan came on and stayed on with the AC off and the temp above 180.

Now that I was good to go on that, I went to the advance settings and made a few changes.  I called my son to let him know it was running and to see if he wanted to meet for lunch.  Since FAST advises to drive the car to begin the learning process, the 30 mile drive to Mooresville was a good test.  I picked up Matt at the Red Bull NASCAR shop where he works as the simulation engineer for the #83 car.  He drove it to the restaurant and thought it ran well although I was having a bit of an idle issue.

After looking at it, we found that the throttle on the throttle body was touching the bottom of the air cleaner.  One section of the air cleaner had been cut out at the rear so we rotated that area to the throttle area and solved that issue.  The other issue is my throttle cable.  It was on the car when I got it and it is a little too long with a bend in it.  That bend was causing some binding in the throttle which I had not noticed on the carburetor.  I have a new Lokar cable at home which I had not gotten around to installing.  I will be installing it now to clear up this issue.

Other than those slight problems, it ran like a champ.  Great throttle response and, judging by the seat of my pants, it is making at least as much, if not more, power than with the carburetor.   It starts right up when you crank it and shuts off without dieseling.  And no gas smell in the garage like you have with a carbureted car.

I have decided I will drive it as is for awhile to let the computer learn my engine.  Eventually, I will dive into the advanced settings to fine tune it if necessary.  Other details I am going to address is the installation of two heat shields.  One will be between the header and the fuel regulator.  The other one will be between the muffler and the fuel pump.  I did not have many choices for the fuel pump installation and the muffler is close.

I also have an issue with some wiring that runs near an exhaust pipe.  I wrapped the wiring in that area with a heat resistant covering.  My son and I are going to pull the engine in a couple weeks so I can replace the oil pan seal that had begun to leak.  We are also going to replace the rear main seal.  While the engine is out, I will take out the transmission crossmember and run the wires above it to get them away from the exhaust.  That should fix that area.  I am also going to install the two piece grommet on the firewall for the fuel injection harness at that time as it will be much easier to get to it with the motor out of the car.  Cleaning up the firewall and the frame rails are also on the agenda.

All in all, it was a relatively painless installation.  The instructions were very good and both times that I called F.A.S.T. for help, I was able to get to someone immediately.  It took more time than they say it would but most of that extra time was spent making sure the wiring was wrapped and protected.  And I must have use over a hundred tie straps in bundling the harness to make everything look organized.

If you are interested, you can view the engine specs at the “1977 Camaro Specs” tab above.

One job done!  Now on to the next one.

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5 Comments

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