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Old 03-22-2004, 08:42 AM
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Carb vs EFI

I was just curious to know what you guys prefer...carb or EFI
The reason I ask is that hopefully this summer i'll be starting to build up a third generation Camaro, and I could go either way. I could go TPI, maybe if i could find a good deal on eBay, a SuperRam or StealthRam intake for it, dont really wanna do an LT-1 swap.....or I could go carb. I assume that EFI will give me better MPG, but if its only 1 or 2 MPG more, if EFI's gonna be slower than a carb then i'd say screw EFI.
I hope to be somewhere in the 400-500HP range, possibly supercharged (in which case it would be carb'd) eventually, what do you all suggest? Thanks
-chris

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Old 03-22-2004, 12:10 PM
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Well, if you have the money and are interested in doing the research, I would suggest an EFI turbo motor. TurboS10 has had really good results with this, I would talk to him about it. Fuel injection is definitely going to be the future of hotrodding, and the superior fuel distribution capabilities of efi are much better suited for super and turbo charging than a carburetor. The simplicity of a carburetion system is what continually makes it the choice for hotrods, but with aftermarket efi systems becoming more readily available and cheaper, you'll be seeing a lot more of them in the future. If I were you though, I would do some research and formulate your own opinions. It's always better to know a little about what your getting into before you make a decision. Just my .02$

If I were you, I would search the knowledge base and previous posts. Lots of info there.

Last edited by SAATR; 03-22-2004 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:46 PM
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Hello Chris,

I was faced with a similar decision this last summer. I have a 1953 GMC and was ready to drop a crate engine in it. I had my heart set on a Ram Jet 350, until I discovered that it needs a minimum of 90 octane fuel to run well.

My truck is an every day driver and I drive a lot. If it was only a weekend warrior, I would have gone with fuel injection. I ended up going with a HO 350 with a carb.

I believe that for 99% of driving demand, EFI is better. For pure power in the 1/4 mile, I still think that carbs have a little edge if they are properly tuned but the gap is quickly closing.

I was in Alaska last summer and at a Shell station I noticed that they were offering 85, 87, and their premium was 89 octane. I don't know if this is a glance of what is headed our way, but it got me thinking.

EFI offers better cold running and better fuel economy and I think it looks cool. Carbs have been around forever and require some input from your brain to get them properly tuned.

Tough choice. Good luck.

Tom
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:15 PM
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After just finishing my first EFI build up I can honestly say that it is superior to carb in my opinion. While some of the off the shelf systems that make EFI bolt on like a carb may not make as much power, a custom tunable EFI will make just as much if not more power and will always get better mileage than a carb. If you go with a "real" EFI controller that is 100 percent tunable, you will be in for a long hard learning curve. I have just about gotten over the hump and am starting to get really confident in EFI. I will not build another carbed engine for myself I dont think. Being able to tune from a laptop while driving down the road is just as good as it gets. Of course there is alot more tuning to do and you stand alot more chance of engine damage while tuning since the EFI will not cover for driver ignorance like a carb will.

Enough rambling. My vote is EFI

Chris
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:16 AM
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OK so EFI is more fuel efficent than carb, its possible to make more power with EFI (with the right tuning), but carb is less expensive, easier to tune, and easier to hook up, correct?
Now for EFI, would something like a TPI setup be OK or should I go with an aftermarket setup? For a smallblock chevy, what ones are there and how much should i expect to spend on one? Are EFI setups something that you could buy off eBay for a good price, clean it up and then not worry about it? Are they rebuildiable like carbs? Thanks
-Chris
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:30 AM
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stay away from OEM TPI and TBI, they are great for OEM engines but a biach to modify. id say to modify your existing intake for injectors and bolting on a holley style throttlebody was about the same money as a good tpi setup and alot less hastle. for the controller id go with a megasquirt or simmilar they are cheap as dirt and are supposed to work great and are easy to tune

a cheap throttlebody could also be an old "electrified quqadrajunk" you know the SMOG ones with a TPS on the side and some pollution limmiting black box wired to it.. if you removed everything but the center housing and the buttreflies youd have a 20$ efi throttlebody so it doesnt have to cost a fortune.. infact i think that you could complete a setup from used parts for about the same price as a good carb shop holley.

and anyine whove ever tried driving a retrofitted efi on a warmed over v8 will swear to the throttlerespons and mid range pull. i think top end power is about the same, but the area under the torque curve is NOT
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:23 AM
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The OEM TPI setups are not great, but on a budget they will work. I would suggest getting a tunable controller if you decide to go that way. I am using a controller that branched from Megasquirt in quest of more power and options. It works great, but it is alot of work and you will have alot to learn. Depends on whether you want to spend time or money.....

The EFI adaptation to carb type intake is also cheaper and better than the TPI, but is also alot of work. You can pick up an edlebrock pro flo system on ebay for between $1000-1200 dallars. It will have everything you need and you can upgrade the ECU if you want to really be able to tune it. That is what I did.

Chris
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