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5.0 Ford engine- carb vs injection?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rprince, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Rprince
    Joined: Feb 13, 2012
    Posts: 14


    I have a 1990 Mustang 5.0 engine that I'm installing in a Model A pickup. Not sure if I should keep the injection or replace with a carb. I don't have the computer, wiring harness or mass air flow sensor, so I'm have to spend some more money either way. Any suggestions?
  2. Unless your never going to open the hood........... put a carb on it.
  3. Are you building a street rod or a traditional rod. That will make your answer to come by.

    I would use a carburetor it myself. But I am not interested in building a street rod.
  4. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,017

    26 roadster

    your looking at $600 plus to keep the non traditional FI. intake, carb and distributor can be pick at a substantial savings. If you are retired I am sure you can drive one without all the bells and whistles. (know how to "set" a choke)

  5. If you change to a carb with the HO cam it will idle weird but run ok on the higher rpm's If you are going to be putting any kind of millage on it i would go with the injection, better millage and torque then the carb. you can get a complete harness ready to put on, with just 3 wires to hook up for 300 bucks on ebay, and a mass air for 50 bucks. carb and manifold will cost about the same. but that is my .02 worth.

    PS i am on my second injection install, first was my 64 Ranchero and the latest is my 49 F1.

    5.00 a gallon and going up several times a day should be another reason.
  6. 49SUPER6
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 297


    I'm running a 91 302 with the stock HO cam and 1.7 rockers with an RPM intake and a 600 vacuum secondary carb. Only thing done to the shortblock is going .40 over with nice forged pistons. Behind it is a T-5 and an 8" with 3.25 and I can knock down 23-25 mpg at a steady 70-75 all day long. The factory EFI intake sucks and is ugly as sin.
  7. Unless you drive a new new efi better mileage is a myth. It is just a matter of tunning. The new ones are not even getting what they claim as a rule.
  8. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    I'm not clear on exactly what your question is. There is no reason you can't put a carb and conventional distributor on the engine. Some of the EFI engines don't have a means of mounting a mechanical fuel pump. Obviously, the EFI engine doesn't look as traditional as one with a carburetor.
  9. Rprince
    Joined: Feb 13, 2012
    Posts: 14


    Thanks guys...this is the kind of feedback that I was looking for. I agree that its ugly, and there isn't much clearance between the intake and the side of the hood. I was leaning toward carb and different dist. Just wasn't sure what my options were for this engine.
  10. theres an article in engine masters, I think november or december, it has a big 427 cammer on the front, with a budget 302 build. It talks about what you need to go from computer to carb. It was simple enough I understood it.
  11. cbillelder
    Joined: Dec 17, 2010
    Posts: 720


    My project last winter was pulling a carburated Buick motor out of my '38 coupe and putting in a 5.0 EFI motor. Wiring wise, it isn't that tough. There's lots of websites out there with schematics and info. The nicest part is the car can sit for a few weeks and will start right up without a lot of cranking. The amount of ethanol blended in gas is bound to get higher in the future, which is going to make it tougher to get a carb to run right. Stay with the EFI and be ready for the future.
    My two cents worth.
    Just thought of something else to add:
    You can get around the narrowness of the engine compartment by finding an intake elbow from a '96 (ONLY) Ford 5.0 explorer or Mercury Mountaineer. It has built-in EGR porting so you can get rid of the current EGR spacer plate. The '97 and later elbows don't have the EGR feature built in and used an external tube from the exhaust manifold. This elbow will allow your throttle body to be mounted pointing forward and eliminate the interference problems with the right hood side panel. Worked like a champ in my '38 Ford coupe which has an engine compartment no wider than your Model A.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  12. larryj
    Joined: Jan 21, 2011
    Posts: 122

    from Madison AL

    I have a 5.0 HO from a '91 Mustang in my '34, box stock except for Edelbrock Performer manifold, 600 cfm Holley with vacuum secondaries, and a ProForm HEI distributor. It doesn't idle weird, and runs as good at the low end as my wife's Mustang.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  13. 64ONEOFF
    Joined: Nov 30, 2011
    Posts: 378

    from Md.

    CARB. You are missing to much. Also with injection you need a fuel pump High pressure, Complete gas lines with a return. The harness is the key. Everything else is pretty much easy to get. For injection.. What year is it. 88-92 are forged. 93 -95 are hyper U CRAP IC Pistons. If you go with a carb , just change the lower manifold and just go... MUCH cheeper and less aggravation... good luck man:D
  14. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,481

    from South Indy

    I'm doing the EFI to carb swap right now. All of the EFI stuff will most likely end up stuffed in the trunk when I hall the donor to the scrap yard. I just wanted the benefit of the hydraulic roller lifters and the AOD.
  15. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620


    1. PCV valve needs to be addressed - add to valve covers or drill back of carb manifold; there is a vent in the oil fill tube for half of it.

    2. Put a bolt in to cover the EGR ports in the back of the heads, assuming you are eliminating the smog pump.

    3. Practically any 289/302 carb manifold will do. Start with a 600 CFM or smaller carb.

    4. Make sure you get the right distributor gear and don't chew up the cam gear. Roller motors get a different gear type - I forget the details but look it up. I think the 1985 (only) Mustang GT distributor is the one you want, or something aftermarket.

    5. AOD? If so, a Lokar carb-to-transmission cable is probably needed.

    6. Sounds like fun! Pictures of the install are desired.
  16. caseyrod
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 138


    you have to think about $ and how much driving your are going to do with it & how far from home do you drive and if it breaks down and how easy or cheaply it would be to get back on the road?
  17. t5stang91
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 300


  18. bbr
    Joined: Feb 26, 2009
    Posts: 150

    from Missouri

    hei distributor on ebay for ford,like 50$ to do the conversion....i have a (OT)91 mustang coupe that i carb'd with one of those and also used one on my dads 50 ford with a 70s model 302. run great with no issues. i am leaving my injection on my motor for my 46 but i pulled apart a running and driving mustang and kept all the engine harness and ecm. its all in what YOU want. i want a traditional appearence with the modern drive train.
  19. gilles d
    Joined: Nov 20, 2011
    Posts: 238

    gilles d
    from winnipeg

    i did a carb swap on a 87 5.0 h.o out of amustangand used a dist. from a 74 302 with a bronze gear,edelbroke manifold with edelbroke 600 cfm carb also they have reverse rotation water pump with serpentine belt,i used a 74 302 timing cover and pump/v belt set up
  20. I'm running an Edelbrock Performer intake with an Edelbrock 600 carburetor, manual choke, on my otherwise stock 1988 Lincoln 302 (roller motor).

    I got it running a couple months ago and it was fine. I haven't run it on the road yet, but I expect good things from it based on some similar conversions that I've been following.

    It was mentioned above in this thread, but you'll need to perform some other modifications as well, like getting some early 302 valve covers that have provision for a PCV valve.

    As a generalization, you're better off with as many early Mustang 302 (circa 1968) parts as possible. However, you do need to be sure that you're using the correct gear on your distributor.

    I also suggest that you contact HAMBer JeffB2. He's got a ton of part numbers and tips related to using a late model 302.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  21. Any of you boys that have any fuel injection stuff let me know i will take it off your hands!!
    I have 2 edelbrock manifolds with carbs and dist. for sale or trade if anyone wants one.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  22. hey rodhotz... i gotta FI intake, valve covers, & timing cover from a 92 T-Bird...

    That said,
    i put the long block from said '92 in my 54 and used all the stuff from the '68 motor that was in it. cast intake, 2 barrel carb, cast exhaust, etc. idled like a dream, responsive and economical. it was one of the best combos i've EVER had in one of my cars.

    as a full time professional mechanic who deals with late models all day long, unless you want to become an expert at trouble shooting late model systems, don't mess with it. trouble shooting is a whole other deal. not that its outside the realm of the average guy, but really. i would MUCH rather go with a FAST EFI system or Edelbrock or whatever than mess with retrofitting.

    just my opinion. everyone has their own take.
  23. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I've converted two 5.0's from injection to carbs mainly because I can fix a carburetor but when something goes wrong with injection I am at a loss.

    I ran a 5.0 in my Jeep pickup for 5 years, pulled the injection off, put a Mallory Unilite distributor, Edelbrock Performer intake, and 500 cfm Edelbrock carb on it and never had any problems with it whatsoever.

    The engine in my 27 was originally a 1990 5.0 (now a 331 stroker) and I am also using a Unilite, but two 600 cfm Edelbrocks on it.

    I'm just old fashioned and stuff like computers and injection are way over my head. :eek:

  24. DadsBlueFord
    Joined: Oct 2, 2011
    Posts: 472

    from Hayden, ID

    That engine looks awesome like that! What valve covers are those? They're sweet!
  25. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    I'm on the fence on this one as I have a fuel injected 1994 GT 5.0/AODE combo in my 1940 Sedan Delivery and I keep the hood firmly shut, so this thread is of particular interest. My question is how do you control the AODE if you go to a carb?

  26. millersgarage
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,127


    True, the Ford EFI is ugly, but it works. I kept it on my 5.0 in my Model A. It takes some creativity to get it underhood.

    Lots of great info on
  27. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Lokar makes a kit for it.

  28. 6t5frlane
    Joined: Dec 8, 2004
    Posts: 2,382

    from New York

    The 1985 Mustang's came with HO cam and a Carb right from Ford.

  29. Very Well said BuiltFerComfort, you've done this before.

    I just finished putting a HO302roller from a 1990 Mustang into my 40 pickup, and I tossed all the injuection stuff.

    Mine is now running a Edelbrock 600 & a Edelbrock intake, HEI distributor, mechanical fuel pump, AOD tranny.

    It runs great, I put it on the road last weekend in August last year and put over 8,000 miles on it before putting it away for the winter. Its comming out soon. And at 22-25 MPG its not too costly to drive.

    As stated above number 2 and 4 are the most important! I don't run a PCV valve, I just run a hose from the oil filler tube to the front of the carb. I had to change the timming cover and add the eccentric to the end of the camshaft to run the fuel pump.

    Send me a PM if you have any questions or want to see any PIC's.


  30. Different cam.

    Polished the EFI looks pretty damn good.

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