The only performance-oriented Pontiac V-8 ever fitted with electronic fuel metering was the turbocharged 301 and T/A 4.9 of the early ’80s. An onboard computer was fed information from several sensors located throughout the vehicle. It was processed and used to control a special electronic solenoid found within the Quadrajet carburetor that continually adjusted its primary metering rods’ position in their jets, thereby improving economy and seemingly maximizing performance in a given operating condition.

Though the system was rather effective, its efficiency wasn’t akin to that of electronic fuel injection (EFI). Where air passing through the carburetor must draw fuel from the float bowl, atomizing it in the process, the fuel within an injected system is under continuous pressurization and is delivered in a finely atomized mist no matter the temperature or operating condition. It’s this ability that allows an EFI-equipped engine to idle and operate so much more efficiently at initial startup and during the time it takes the engine to reach its normal operating temperature.

During full-throttle conditions when airflow is greatest, carburetors are quite effective. In fact, performance typically doesn’t vary greatly when comparing a properly calibrated carburetor to an EFI system on the dyno or dragstrip. EFI’s effectiveness elsewhere, however, makes it attractive to hobbyists. Retrofitting a vintage V-8 with EFI has historically been a difficult task, as the components had to be properly sized and/or calibrated for the exact application, and the tuning required to achieve smooth driveability and performance in all conditions seemingly required training just short of a quantum physicist.

When discussing the positive effects EFI can have on cold startup and driveability, Lou Rotella was immediately interested in adding such a system to his ’67 Firebird. When compared to other modern fuel-injected cars in his garage, the Firebird’s 455 is a bit cold blooded and requires additional warm-up time in cool weather operation, even with a properly calibrated Quadrajet fitted with an electric choke. He explained how he’s grown accustom to the start-up-and-go characteristics associated with EFI vehicles, and dislikes the excessive cranking and pumping that’s often required when the fuel in the carburetor’s float bowl evaporates after sitting for extended periods. He asked that we locate and install a system that would work well for his Firebird.

Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST) has gained the reputation as an EFI industry leader, offering top-quality components and complete systems for myriad applications. In 2009 it introduced its line of EZ-EFI kits for street rods and musclecars, featuring fuel injectors fitted to a throttle body that mimics the shape and appearance of a 4150-type carburetor. It also features a self-tuning computer that requires minimal input for initial startup and contains the ability to continually monitor and adjust the fuel mixture of a given engine to deliver maximum performance in every possible operating condition.

We immediately recognized from its benefits and attributes that FAST’s EZ-EFI may be a great solution for Lou’s Firebird. Further investigation revealed that the self-contained kit is ideal for engines up to 500 ci producing as much as 600 hp and generating at least 8 inches of manifold vacuum at idle. It seemed ideal for the 455, so we contacted FAST and placed an order for PN 30227-KIT, which contains the base EZ-EFI system, as well as an inline electric fuel pump and all the associated components for installation. The kit arrived on our doorstep within a few days and we began planning the installation process.

Due to space and time constraints, it wasn’t feasible that we install the EZ-EFI system in our home garage, so we sought the experience and expertise of Tim Pokorski at T&M Automotive in Omaha, Nebraska, to handle the task. T&M specializes in restoring, repairing, and modifying pre-’80 vehicles and has worked with similar EFI kits before. Tim was confident his team could install the EFI system quickly and easily and assigned Senior Technician (and nephew) Dave Pokorski to the project.

Follow along as we document and detail the EZ-EFI installation process onto the Firebird. FAST suggests it takes several hours to install when using the supplied components, and we’re confident that the average hobbyist can complete the task working several nights in their home garage during the week and/or over a weekend.

In next month’s issue, we will discuss the steps required for initial startup and compare its driveability and performance on the street and chassis dyno.

[1] This ’67 Firebird convertible was restored with the intent of driving it regularly. Its original 400 is in storage and a mildly modified 455 sits in its place. Since user-friendliness is a high priority for owner Lou Rotella, it proved an ideal candidate for a retrofit fuel-injection system.

[2] The Firebird’s 455 was assembled several years ago and contains forged Speed Pro pistons in 0.030-inch overbore, stock cast rods, and a stock-stroke nodular cast-iron crankshaft. The 400-spec 4X cylinder heads produce a compression ratio around 9.7:1 and flow about 230 cfm at 28 inches of pressure. Since its Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold accepts square-bore and spread-bore carburetors, installing a throttle-body fuel injection kit in place of the Quadrajet should present minimal issues.

[3] The EZ-EFI fuel-injection system from FAST is a complete self-tuning kit that uses a compact throttle-body and fits anywhere a traditional square-bore carburetor will. PN 30227-KIT contains all the necessary components for relatively easy installation, including those for fuel delivery, and retails for about $2,200. Professionals agree that it requires minimal tuning know-how for immediate startup and excellent performance.

[4] The EZ-EFI throttle body is constructed of cast aluminum. It contains four proprietary fuel injectors that deliver up to 88 pounds of fuel per hour at 60 pounds of fuel pressure. The throttle body also houses such critical system electronics as the manifold absolute pressure (MAP), air temperature and throttle position sensors, as well as the idle control motor. The system is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, and FAST uses readily available GM components, which are widely available.

[5] Mimicking a 4150-type four-barrel carb, the EZ-EFI throttle body contains four 1.75-inch-diameter throttle blades that deliver more than 1,000 cfm at 20.4 inches of water pressure. That’s substantially more than a carburetor with comparably sized bores because there’s no fuel-feeding booster rings to impede airflow. Since a throttle body doesn’t require high-velocity airflow for proper booster signal, it can also be made larger without adverse effects.