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Technical Starting Hilborn Mechanical Fuel Injection

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Prescott, May 19, 2015.

  1. Prescott
    Joined: Dec 28, 2014
    Posts: 17

    Prescott

    My family has just acquired a 1937 Ford Coupe with a 354 Chrysler Hemi with Hilborn mechanical fuel injection. As mechanical injection is not a street fuel delivery system, how would I go about starting it? The engine has not run in at least 20 years, but will turn over (I've put a wrench on the crank bolt). Is there a basic procedure for starting mechanical fuel injection? ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1432075394.682251.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1432075424.446551.jpg
     
  2. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    The plan is to turn it over, throttles wide open, ignition off, for a while to pump fuel into the cylinders. Then close the throttles, to act as a choke, and turn on the spark. Crank again. Or squirt some gas down the tubes. Is this set up one with a blade type pump driven off the distributor? If so or even if not, you may want to have the pump flowed to see if it is much good.
     
    Countn'Carbs likes this.
  3. Just a little bit jealous here.

    Better carry a squirt bottle with you wherever you go.
     
    texkbc and Jade like this.
  4. richfox is right on. just make sure the fuel shut off is not turned off. it needs to be open to start and run.
     
    Countn'Carbs likes this.

  5. Prescott
    Joined: Dec 28, 2014
    Posts: 17

    Prescott

    The engine has a magneto, so no distributor here. Also, the mechanical fuel pump opening on the front cover is covered up, so the pump is either in the fuel cell or somewhere in between.
     
    Lone Star Mopar likes this.
  6. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    It needs a Hilborn positive displacement pump driven at half speed by the engine. That is part of the metering process. An electric pump will not work. I assume there is a fuel line going into the metering block. Where does the other end go?
     
  7. tylercrawford
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 726

    tylercrawford
    Member
    from Buford, GA
    1. S.F.C.C.

    Use a primer bottle . . . no sense in wasting battery/starter when some squirts of gas will get it going a ton faster.

    But like RichFox said, you need a positive displacement pump like a hilborn or an enderle.
     
  8. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    I see that you are 17 years old and this system must be very new to you. You might want to go to the Hilborn web site and see if there is a drawing showing how the thing works. They used to sell a pretty good booklet on getting started with Hilborn Fuel Injection. Might find one on Ebay. And by the way. A magneto is a distributor that generates it's own electricity. So that is still a good place to look for the pump. Other wise it would need to be belt driven off the crank. Some drive straight off the cam, but I can see that yours is not that way. I will try to show a picture of a crank driven pump. You can just see it at the bottom of the picture
     

    Attached Files:

    Countn'Carbs likes this.
  9. Jade
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 120

    Jade
    Member

    It will never work properly. Hillborns are terrible, and the Hemi is no good either. I suggest you send it to me, so I can dispose of it properly. I'll even GIVE you a SBC with a Quadrajet, so your car will run, and drive with no hassles. Because, well darnit, I'm just a nice guy. ;)
     
    Prescott likes this.
  10. Jade
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 120

    Jade
    Member


    I'm all kinds of jealous... that thing is badass!
     
    56don likes this.
  11. Hot Rod 50
    Joined: Jul 30, 2007
    Posts: 498

    Hot Rod 50
    Member

    That's some bad assness right there man. good luck getting it to run and post a vid of it.
     
  12. Rustridden31
    Joined: Oct 9, 2003
    Posts: 246

    Rustridden31
    Member
    from Denver, CO

    Since we're all drooling can you at least post some pics of the whole car? Please?
     
  13. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,191

    afaulk
    Member

    If it's been that long since it last ran I would make sure the entire fuel system (including the pump and nozzles) is as clean as a whistle. The rubber lines need to be replaced. Probably a really good idea to have it looked at by somebody who knows this type of system and can help you with the basics. Good luck!
     
    Jade likes this.
  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,267

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Are you sure that it ever ran with the injectors on it ? Like others have said, I don't see how the fuel pump was driven. As Rich questioned, does it have a distributor or a magneto, and what is the access like to the rear of the engine ? Here is a shot of a right angle pump drive that sits between the magneto and engine, and what the pump should look like. Good luck with that project, it looks like fun !!!!!!!!!!! P7310007.JPG IMG_5614.JPG
     
    afaulk likes this.
  15. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,212

    oldolds
    Member

    I would find an intake with a carb and put it on to get it running. Even a 2bbl will do the job.
     
  16. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member Emeritus

    I was thinking the same thing. Is there a return line back to the fuel tank? Maybe the injection was just bolted on the motor and never ran?
     
    Andamo likes this.
  17. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,369

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    There's just something special about the eye opener of looking into an engine compartment that has a vintage Hemi (with injector stacks to boot) shoehorned into it!
    It's on the level of looking down a blouse stuffed with a nice set of jugs. Some of life's simple pleasures...
     
  18. Prescott
    Joined: Dec 28, 2014
    Posts: 17

    Prescott

    It has run before, my dad saw and heard it when he was a teenager, haha! But this was back in the 60's... It has a magneto, and the access to the rear of the engine is very limited. If you can't tell, the back two stacks and the magneto are somewhat hidden behind the old firewall so priming the oil pump would also be an issue...
     
  19. Prescott
    Joined: Dec 28, 2014
    Posts: 17

    Prescott

    Here's a few more pictures of the car! ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1432090597.835042.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1432090626.363510.jpg
     
  20. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,267

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Prescott,
    That is about as cool as they come, perfect stance, headers and slicks. My Brother had a '37 back in 1958, he was about your age at the time. Keep us posted, there are plenty of us on here, willing to share our knowledge. 2014-12-31 110755.jpg
     
    Prescott likes this.
  21. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,680

    1934coupe
    Member

    Talk about your "sleepers" I would never believe there's an injected hemi in that. Real nice!

    Pat
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,279

    oj
    Member

    Wow, that is quite a project Prescott, somebody has had that thing tucked away and taken care of it. I love a '37, they're special.
    What is that line running up from the front of the motor? Is it running from the stock fuel pump up to the distribution block for the injectors? Like a temp line to get things running maybe?
    I would get somebody to give you a hand, maybe a sprint car guy - they have both magnetos and fuel injection and he can explain how it all works. Mechanical injection and magnetos aren't something you can read about and then operate, when everything is brand new and perfect they'll act right, but those are ancient and somebody with lots of experience needs to be involved.
    We need more pictures, how about an interior shot of how the firewall is set back and another showing the headers. Do you know if it was run in 'gas' or 'altered' - that will give you clue as to what fuel to fire it off on, if 'gas' then gasoline, if 'altered' then alcohol.
    Congratulations, that is a keeper!
     
  23. the nozzles are stamped with a number. if its a 9 thats gas if its 20 its alch. above that 22,24 etc. its a nitro mix. very cool car. as posted above we are here to help. good luck.
     
  24. TBone69
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 828

    TBone69
    Member
    from NJ

    That is Bad ASS!, looking forward to the updates, keep them coming. Good luck and have fun!
     
  25. Please don't consider starting the engine,as is. As already suggested,find a manifold and carb to test fire. The Injection will need a good going over. The lines are most likely ruined from age, the injectors will need the screens inside them cleaned. The pump should be tested. A very clean fuel tank also.
     
  26. Degenerate
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 239

    Degenerate
    Member
    from Indiana

    Sitting around with fuel of any kind left in it I'm sure its not a free flowing system anymore. If you do try to run this system on the street (after cleaning and proper set up) you will find it not user friendly. I ran one on a small block chevy for a month just for kicks, the fuel was methanol and I carried around a squirt bottle of gasoline and a friend to prime the injectors every stop we made. They are a blast to drive when they are set up right but my real experience with this type of system was in sprint car racing where they work beautiful.
     
  27. Prescott
    Joined: Dec 28, 2014
    Posts: 17

    Prescott

    Thank you all for the awesome comments, I will try to answer your questions as soon as I can!
     
  28. Hey, Prescotts brother here. I posted about the car a few weeks ago. The man who had it before us drained pretty much everything before he stored it so I do not think it was sitting with gas in it. We were just trying to figure out how to start it to hear it run, because we are going to rebuild it and it may never be the same. We did not plan on driving it with the Hilborn, just starting it and hearing it run.
     
  29. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    revkev6
    Member
    from ma

    I would suggest NOT doing that. you never know what sort of mouse nest is hiding in that motor. you could really do some damage. no point in trying to run it just to run it when you are already planning to tear it down.
     

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