Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
rockbender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 799
80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

I'm currently looking at a few older Ford vans with the Pathfinder/Quadravan conversion. I know this is more of a general engine question more so than a SMB specific, but can anybody provide input on whether the 80's ('87 and newer, if I recall) EFI system was a huge improvement over the carbureted engines (pre - '87)? It is my understanding that some aftermarket carbs can be tuned for reasonable mileage, but not sure if that is a better option than holding out for a later model year with EFI.

This would be for the 302's and 351W's - I'm trying to avoid the 460 as I'm guessing even with EFI I'll be watching the fuel gauge at a rapid rate.

As far as fuel economy is concerned, I'm aware that the gear ratios and tranny selection will play as much of a role as anything else.
thanks!
__________________

__________________
Josh
2009 Express AWD, CCV Top & 50-ish home build. Daily driver/camper/kid hauler
rockbender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,597
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

EFI on my 86 Jeep Cherokee was a lot better than carbed, judging by running with other Jeeps through the same offroad trails. You get into angle and altitude problems really quickly with a carb... separate issues, but it's no fun having no power at 9,000 feet, nor having it stall when you're climbing something too steep.
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 03:52 PM   #3
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 8,873
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

I run a carb'd 351W on my Bronco, and while it runs rich at 8500' elevation, I still have plenty of power. For way out in the boonies, I prefer the simplicity of a carb.

I will say though, the mid-80's weren't exactly a stellar period for most American vehicles.
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 04:20 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Silver350's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 427
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

FWIW: My friends early 80's 300-6 with a carb got 20 MPG while my 89 EFI 300-6 got 14 MPG. Both were F150 2wd pick ups with the direct 4 spd. That's a 43% difference!

I ended up converting to propane and brought the MPG down to 12 but cost per mile looked more like 25 MPG at the time, not counting the cost of converting. I only mention the propane because I'm told it will work at any angle unlike a gas carb.
__________________
"there is neither science nor fact prevailing here" - vlamgat
Silver350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,597
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

But you can run a gas carb on charcoal if you're desperate!
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 05:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
rockbender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 799
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

Well, I was afraid that EFI was going to be the correct answer! The plan is to build a budget camper rig to use for a year or so to assess interior needs as well as 4x4 need vs. want. I may end up opting to get the straightest, best driving rig in lieu of limiting myself to EFI though just to minimize my overall investment.

If I had any common sense whatsoever, I'd get a mid 90's 2wd for the same budget but there is something cool about those old style 4x4 vans - especially if you can find one that isn't beat up too bad!

FWIW, I likely wouldn't be driving above 5000' too often and would primarily be using the 4x4 capabilities in the snow more than crazy angle wheeling. That should help curb a few limitations if I end up going the way of the carb.

I appreciate your info guys!
__________________
Josh
2009 Express AWD, CCV Top & 50-ish home build. Daily driver/camper/kid hauler
rockbender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
dhally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Washington
Posts: 801
Garage
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

I had a 1988 Econoline E150 with a high top and medium weight camper conversion. It had a 302 engine, auto transmission and really high gearing, like 3.3:1. We usually got 12-13 mpg, once or twice got 14 mpg. Had to lock out overdrive a lot! This is a combination of around town and highways/freeways. Lots of hills.

The EFI worked flawlessly, always started right up even on cold mornings at the ski area and never ran rough. That is the main reason I would prefer EFI. If you want mpg get a diesel
__________________
---------------------
2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
dhally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2011, 04:50 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Overland87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 25
Re: 80's era Econoline - EFI better than carb'd?

I just recently bought an 1987 E250 and can say that there are a lot of issues in the old smog equipment, one being they don't make some of the parts anymore and when you do find parts they usually run between $50 and $100 per part so the bill runs up quick, my code reader just said I need to replace the EGR Valve so at $100 I thought cool easy fix! so I replaced it and now it's throwing codes like a pitcher in a little league game. I just sold my carbed truck with the same motor and I prefer the simplicity of carbureted, a lot easier to work on, cheaper parts and no code reader needed! just my .02 but then again I am old school!
__________________

Overland87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.