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History 1957... Fuel Injection!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,731

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I have fixed a few of these units not so bad the book called for a man o meter to set them never got my hands on one of them only seen pictures of them.
     
  2. bentwings
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 131

    bentwings
    Member

    Mine ran really good. I had about everything that had been written on the things. Also bought the momometer for the Sun machine. It was vital to getting it to run correctly.

    You needed a handfull of FI drive cables. They were hard to get at times but I just had them made at a speedometer shop.

    I would think the fuels of to today with the alcohol in may make gasket life shorter. Not sure about any sliding parts. The spill plunger may have problems too. Although several people that I have run into claim they are ok. They aren't driven often. I also have spoken to several mechanicks in mueseums and they don't seem to have problems either even though they sit for long periods without being run.

    I alway wondered about the labeling on the cars. Mine I know was original and it had script labels on the fenders. I have only seen a coulpe of them this way and they are numbers matching so I would guess that is the correct lable. The replacement labels were block style.​
     
  3. DD COOPMAN
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,121

    DD COOPMAN
    Member

    Ribbed-top is '57-'59. Smooth top is '60-'62. The last (and prettiest) ones '63-'65 had the bolt-on plenum cover, as below. DD


    [​IMG]
     
  4. i know a guy that has one. he bought it in the 60's to put on his 57 hardtop that he still has. he had it chrome plated. it wouldn't run right so he took it off years ago. he keeps it in the trunk to show people. one time he looked at it and said to me, "if i hadn't had that thing chromed do you know how much it's be worth.....damn"
     
  5. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,355

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    Here is a good tech write up on rochester FI as well as a slew of other tech info at the site:

    http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/fuelinjection/fi03.htm


    i found that most people either didn't understand it, or those that did couldn't explain it to me. This write up really, i feel, helps explain it.
     
  6. 32Gnu
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 538

    32Gnu
    Member

    They had a little time to refine it ..
    My old man worked at a service station in Rochester across the street from Rochester products.. He said in 55 he started seeing the proto cars showing it off at the station..
    There's a guy here around Anderson Sc with a early fuely in his 5 window.. He has it tuned in good..
     
  7. threewindaguy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 277

    threewindaguy
    Member

    Rochester F.I.units are cool and run fine, but it's a little tougher on them with today's blend of fuel. I ran this one in my '35 Ford coupe for many years making several cross country trips.[​IMG]
     
  8. threewindaguy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 277

    threewindaguy
    Member

  9. Doodman
    Joined: Oct 6, 2012
    Posts: 11

    Doodman
    Member

    Apologies if already mentioned, Smokey Yunick did some testing in a 57 I think. Driving 2-up, they were having high road speed fueling problems. Said he opened a trapdoor on the firewall and was blown back into the seat, fueling sorted - high pressure in the bay was causing problems.
     
  10. bentwings
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 131

    bentwings
    Member

    That's probably why we ran with the back of the hood spaced up a little. I didn't know why but that's what I did.....monkey see monkey do. Actually I did it before the FI on the small motor. I couldn't prove it worked but all the big guys did it. The track inspectors made us remove all but one hood shim so we just bent the hood hinges. Also removed the hood bullets but they made us put them back in.

    The FI had a special hose and duct that took outside air from over the left headlight. I think it originally was hooked to the air cleaner but we ran without the air cleaner.
     
  11. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Updatee---been a while now--57 fuely now has about 1800 miles on it-this time around-no issues with FI unit whatsoever except the modern gas can cause a hard start issue when hot--but still starts up-just stab it a couple of times and away you go--runs very strong for what it is and will start right up every time even after sitting 2-3 months. Probably will keep this fuely til they take my license. Think about selling it from time to time but then I go drive it and that thought goes away quickly.
     
  12. bentwings
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 131

    bentwings
    Member

    Glad you have it running. Be sure to get a couple FI pump drives and a gasket kit. The new gas is still an unknown for these units.

    Sure wish I had my first one. Just to show you how dumb I was I sold it for $125 in about 65. I'm not the dumbest however, a buddy of mine sold his Pontiac one for $100 about the same time. There were probably only a few hundred of those ever made. Never seen one since.:eek:
     
  13. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    have the extra parts plus extra drive cables as well--has been on this new gas now for about 2 years-no issue--have seen a few Chevy units turn up lately for sale but mostly 62 and the later 63-65 units which are cheaper as well and also saw a complete Pontiac unit sell last year at a swap meet for $500 before I got to it.
    Interesting some prior mentioned the 4 spd allowed by NHRA-when I bought the car in 76 it had a 4 spd with a spaghetti shifter and an odd ball plate setup that allowed it to fit with the bench seat and still ahd some class win decals on the 1/4 windows. I took it out and reinstalled the orig 3 spd which came with it. Kept the 4 spd many years and no one wanted an old iron case 4spd-a guy came one time and looked at it--it was a Jan 58 dated 4 spd (rare I guess) called his buddy who flew up from Arizona a paid $5000 for it--but I kept the shifter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  14. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bentwings--mine has the air duct and scoop over the rad support--also the vacumm wiper with the elec trico vacuum pump. It runs much better with cold air coming in through the scoop as opposed to air cleaner only with no hose/duct.
     
  15. bentwings
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 131

    bentwings
    Member

    Olscrounger....I don't even want to talk to you.....you are an outright thief.... hahahah $5000 for an old cast iron 4spd that you couldn't give away back then. :eek: Just kidding.... I paid about $200 for the original cast iron 4spd and shifter which was for the car rather than the 'vette... and I thought I got raped. It had the double bent lever and white 4spd ball and a round boot with an offset hole for the lever. (58 Chev sedan I think). The shifter was a POS from day one. If you shifted fast and even slightly hard the selector pin would shear leaving you either locked in a gear or locked out of any gear. I put in hardened dowel pins and even thru hard reamer blanks, endmill shanks you name it none worked very well. It wasn't untill I finally got the Hurst shifter that it worked really well. Ironically I had one of the first Hurst shifters around as they were in short supply when they first came out.

    Now about that trans.... not only was I dumb for letting the FI go as we were building a new motor for the dragster, I let the trans and Hurst shifter as well as the original car shifter go with the car when I sold it. At least I got quite a bit more for the car than I paid for it.....small rewards :(. I actually leased the car to a couple of guys for a year of racing so I guess I came out ok for the era.

    Curious about your car. My car went to Calif about that time. It had Minn Dragway class win stickers on the rear quarter windows. We called it pink and white but it was more light salmon and white. Very popular color at the time. 210 2dr sedan with script FI emblems on the front fenders. Possibly the same car????
     
  16. DD COOPMAN
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,121

    DD COOPMAN
    Member

    OLSCROUNGER's looks like a HARDTOP. DD
     
  17. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for the reply-mine is a BelAir HT-factory black car with silver black interior--Oakland built car. Was a San Joaquin Valley car since new-can't recall the stickers-it was 36 yrs ago-bought in a little valley town from a Chevy Pts Mgr for $1100. Guy I met a while back found one in the same area-think both sold in Bakersfield. His is in need of help but an orig black BelAir sedan and a 250 HP stick car--he is redoing it now I think-came by to look at mine and go for a ride-he also has a 57 FI convert black. The guy that redid my FI also has one he drove out here from South Carolina in 66-he is a FI wizard. Interestingly in this economy FI units have been popping up for sale around here--looked at several in the last few months--a 59,62 and a really nice 65 unit. The fellow who rebuilt mine (he has done well over 100) said the 59-4900R unit is the best one and most reliable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  18. Oldscrounger,
    Where did you get your pump drive cable? Saw an NOS one on e-bay for $200!!!
     
  19. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Got it from the guy who redid my unit--$40 I think-a guy in Oregon (Gary Hodges is also a source)-can check for you. Another interesting thing on the cables. I broke a couple years ago and they would get boogered up in the housing. The FI guy told me just use the cable and no housing!! He did it on mine when he was dialing my unit in on his car. Spun it to 6K quite a few times--while running it wiggles all over--he said no issue and would never come out--good to know but would have never thought it would stay put!
     
  20. mr.32
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 77

    mr.32
    Member

    I had a couple of 57 Chevy 150's both with 57 f.i. Units. When the weather went past 95 degrees you had to head home. It just didn't want to run. And that's when gas was good.I have a 57 Vette all real f.i.now, it acts just like the old ones did.I just don't take it out when it's too hot!
     
  21. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,094

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Probably runs allot better after a good rain...
     
  22. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    no problems here-mine runs fine even in 100 plus degree weather. Mine is a real FI car too. The only issue in hot weather is when you shut it off, it will be hard to start because of the new fuel perculation-all rochester units are suseptable to perculation due to the spider location I'm told. Hold it to the floor, clean it out a bit and it is fine again. Also have been in 5 mph traffic at 100 degrees for extended time with no issues. Actually had much more fuel /hot weather issues with an orig 62 340HP car that I owned--same with my friend's 68 Shelby GT500 convert--neither of these cars were/are city/traffic friendly-in hot weather don't be in traffic--only like the open road.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  23. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,040

    JEM
    Member

    The Rochester FI is kind of a middle-ground in the non-electronic FI world beween the pill-and-throttle-position control of the Hilborn-type and the feedback pressure-controlled Bosch K-Jetronic nightmare.

    Bendix did the Electrojector then rather than develop it they sold it to Robert Bosch GmbH and the rest is literally history - pretty much every post-1985 car on the road now is fueled by systems derived (and for many years licensed) from what Bosch did with what they bought from Bendix.
     
  24. I owned a '57 Bel Air Sport Sedan 4 door hardtop with the low horse 250 hp unit
    I made some slight modifications to it then later swapped my fuelie unit for a newer unit that had been cut apart, ported, then heli arc'd back together.
    The modified Rochester was done by Bill Thomas in Aneheim.
    It was a very strong running unit and very reliable as well. The only issues I ever encoutered was rocker arm studs pulling out of the heads from my heavy right foot. I used to average great fuel mileage from it, 21 mpg hiway and 13-14 commuting to college in heavy Boston city traffic.
    I have pictures of it shot in the mid 60's but I keep getting a security token message when I try uploading them to the HAMB.
    How to I tame the securty token deal?
     
  25. Here's some shots I uploaded.

    Security Token gave me grief on the next few.
    Curses!









    Looking closely you can see the heliarc work thru the middle where Mr. Thomas ported it.
    I fooled with nozzles a bit and had it running perfectly. A Great Unit!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  26. Tyan,
    It was fairly common for the rochester injection to get removed and replaced by two 4s or even a single 4. It actually isn't a bad unit at all, it was just a bitch to tune, and not something that the average backyard mechanic was prepaired for.

    I asked the Ol' Man about it when I was in High School and he said it was a good untit if you were capable and if you were not it was the pits (actually he used more agressive language). I do know this even in the late '60s and early '70s the units could be found sitting in garages dust covered and could be had for a sonmg most of the time.
     
  27. George Miller
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 413

    George Miller
    Member
    from NC usa

    Hard staring hot was a issue with the FI. Try holding it to the floor while starting hot. My 59 FI and a 58 FI both started better cold.
     
  28. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,231

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    George--always start it hot as you suggest-always starts but sometimes loads up a little-when hot-just punch it a few times and it is all good.
     
  29. I have a friend(who will remain unnamed) who has most of the 57 cutaway FI engine from the Rochester training center. :eek: Yes, I've seen it!
    He's a tri-5 guy, so it's in safe hands ;)
    Story goes, he was at a tri-5 swap back around 1980 and saw all this weird FI cutaway engine stuff in a guys swap space. The guy asked some crazy money, like 3 or 5 grand. My friend made him a lowball offer at the end of the meet, and took it home. The swap vendor said his buddy worked at the training center and told him to 'come over this weekend, we're getting rid of some stuff'. He bought the complete engine, but couldn't get the block in his car, so his buddy said 'come back next Saturday and get it'. The next Saturday, he goes back for the block and is greeted by another fellow who says 'NO WAY you're getting the block, and furthermore, you need to BRING BACK what you bought last week!' Of course, that never happened. :p
    My friend says he's turned down dumb money, I think 25 grand, for what he has(unit, heads, etc).....no, he wants to eventually put it back together. :cool:
     

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