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How-To Section: Fuel Inject your Escort


How do you fuel inject an Escort? Well this will try to relate to all Escorts, 1100, 1300, 1600 2000, and twin cams. Lets start at the rear of the car, and one place where immediate difficulty will appear for road car escorts.

The fuel tank on a Mk1 for example has only 1 fuel out connection. On an efi car, you definitely require at least 1 fuel out and one fuel in on the tank. The fuel out, as you would guess, needs to be at the bottom of the tank, but I was informed that the fuel return MUST be into the top of the tank. I guess to stop a full tank of fuel from flowing down and filling up the surge tank. So how to fix this problem. Perhaps put a Mk2 drop tank into the Mk1. I believe this has a fuel return line incorporated into it, but I'm not sure it is at the bottom so this may not work. Another other option might be to put a T piece in the fuel filler neck. I haven't done this, but as a thought you could try it. Trying to buy a later model tank, and modifying the floor of the escort boot to fit it is an idea. Probably the best and easiest idea is to install a plastic or aluminium drop tank in the boot in place of the standard drop tank. This should have an upper and lower point for pick up and return. I guess for a road car you should see the relevant people about the legality of this.

From here we work our way towards the front of the car. You must replace all of the fuel line in the car from the standard crap stuff(a good idea on all escorts) to other fuel hose. In this instance you will need to use the high pressure efi fuel line, not the standard stuff. Ensure that you also use the high pressure non cutting style hose clamps on the connections. You also need to purchase a few other items. Namely a high pressure efi pump, capable of at least 45psi. Bosch sell a few that will do the job(such as the VL Commodore efi 6 turbo one). You will need a low pressure pump also, something like a Holley blue or a Carter that pumps about 5psi would be fine. Next you need a good EFI fuel filter, you can perhaps get a non efi filter as well. Lastly for this section, you need to purchase a surge tank, this should be something like 1 litre, with 4 connections on it.

To fit all this stuff, try this for an escort. Mount the Holley blue fuel pump under the boot floor, behind the rear axle, along side the leaf springs. Run the fuel out from the bottom of the tank to the inlet side of the Holley blue. Put a fuel filter between the tank and the low pressure pump (we just put a high flow efi filter here instead of having 2). Mount the Swirl pot securely in the boot, keep in mind how you intend using the boot in the future when deciding placement. Run the out side of the low pressure pump to one of the upper inlets on the surge tank, buy running the hose through a hole drilled in the boot floor for the hose to run through. Ensure you use a grommet to seal the hole and protect the hose. Run another hose from the top return line on the Fuel tank directly to the other upper outlet on the surge tank. This is the return to the tank for when the swirl pot is full.

Next mount the High pressure pump somewhere in the boot, maybe in the wheel well. Run the fuel hose from the bottom connection on the swirl pot to the high pressure pump inlet side. Now run the fuel line back under the car up to the engine bay, leaving enough length to attach it to the fuel rail. Whilst doing this, you might as well run the return line from where the fuel rail would end, back to the top of the swirl pot for the return line. That should be it for the rear half of the system. We look at wiring later...

You will now need to look at throttle bodies, fuel rails, fuel regulators, and trumpets. There are many different throttle bodies, basically separated into three categories. Factory ones, Carby style ones and custom throttle bodies. On an escort, there are a couple of useable factory items.

  • On a pinto you can use the sierra throttle body. This is a multi point setup, but has only one throttle body, and requires mods to the head to allow for the nose of the injector.
  • On a Sierra Cosworth head, you have the standard factory turbo inlet manifold. I believe it would be possible to use this on a non turbo application for cost reasons if you had to.
  • On a crossflow, I don't think there is any factory style systems that would fit(I don't know much about the Kent engines)

The next way is the most used. This is where you get a twin webber manifold for your engine. You can then choose from a large selection of throttle bodies that will bold on to a webber manifold, such as the quad throttle body setups from Speed Technology, Lumination, Motec, and others. These are all above $1000 and up to $2000, but give great performance not available from the factory manifolds.

I wont go into any detail about custom manifolds, but at the name suggests, they are custom made for your engine, and are the ultimate in throttle bodies, and in cost also.

Most will use the quad throttle bodies that bolt onto a webber manifold, as on a cost/performance, it is hard to beat them. Choose your injectors depending on your desired maximum engine power. Look at the flow of the injector and the max power per injector to get the one that suits your needs best. For high flow applications, Bosch 803 injectors are in common use. See Wolf's web site at for a list of injectors and flow rates.

Now you need to buy an ECU. This is the point where the costs of your system, as well as the performance can be decided. The bottom end systems work well enough, but lack many of the features that make the higher cost systems better for race type performance. Options to look for on ECU's include

  • Just Fuel, or Fuel and Ignition (including Timing)
  • Data Logging
  • Sequential injection
  • Auxiliary in/out such as shift lights out, turbo controls, fan controls, A/C controls etc.
  • Increments of Ignition/Fuel Maps
  • Method of setting up ecu (laptop, led screen, hand held unit etc)
  • Change parameters, such as warm up enrichment's, and over temp rev limits
  • Closed Loop capabilities (self tuning as you drive to keep co readings right)
  • Self Tuning on dyno for setup of engine
  • Backup and warranty
  • Ignition triggering methods
  • Traction Control

You may not need all of these features, and some are race only options, so choose only what you Must have, as the more options you get, the more the cost... Here is a list of commercially available ECU's in Melbourne Australia. The review on them is a personal review, determined whilst investigating the ecu we purchased for our car. Some of these systems I have never used, but you can ring them directly for a more definite list of features. Parts of this were also compiled using ads for some the ECU's.

Wolf 2d/3d $900-$1300

Wolf is Australian (I know the guys), well made, great after purchase
support, and very well priced. It does not require a laptop, just a supplied hand held unit for updates. No sequential injection (though
importance of this can be argued), fuel/ignition control, closed loop
capable. great medium priced ems. Easier to set up than autronic and
Motec, but less features. Min/Max datalogging only.

Haltech $ 795-850
Ignition and fuel control, MIN/MAX data logging. Real low end
machine, probably ok on a road car.

micro tech

Lap top required. I don't know much about this one, doesn't appear to
be widely used, Closed loop capable, shift light, idle speed control.
Seems like a low end ems, don't know price but expect it to be relatively cheap.

Autronic $1600 up

V8 super car use. Full featured, sequential injection, crank triggered
ignition available, datalogging, temp controlled rev limits, warm up enrichment, closed loop capable, aux outputs, etc...etc..etc.. Requires laptop... harder to use than Motec, doesn't not have all the features that Motec has, but has some of its own that Motec does not. Motec Dash-Logger compatible.

Motec. $2000-2500 up

Also used by V8 super cars. Top of the Price range. Similar features to Autronic, but Windows based software is easier to use. It has more add ons such as dash and datalogging available. Expensive but very good. Debatable if it is any better than Autronic except for user interface

Once you have chosen your Ecu, it is time to have it installed, or to install it yourself. To have it wired into your car should cost from $200-500 from anyone experienced in doing this work. Gary Rowe Motorsport Electrics in Melbourne are experienced in doing this work in Victoria, outside of this state I am not sure who would be good to get to do it. Why did I not do it myself... I have wired the rest of the car myself, and it doesn't seem too hard. Well looking at $200-300 to wire up just the ecu, I doubted that I could do it cheaper when you include the price of the injector connectors, the other sensor connectors, relays, fuses, and shrink wrap. To save money, wiring it yourself would not be too difficult. Most ECU's come with their own loom, so it is not like starting from nothing.

How to control the Ignition. Well this changes depending on the ECU. But I will talk on my experience. We purchased the exorbodently expensive chopper wheel from Motec ($120 for a small wheel with little tabs on it) and had it carefully installed on the front of the crank. I modified this wheel so that it had all but two opposing tabs removed from it (so that it has 4 pulses per four stoke cycle). Each of these pulses tells the Ecu when TDC on A cylinder has passed. This is used to get the timing of the Ecu synchronised with the engine, then after 2 cranks, it fires the cylinder pointed to by the rotor button at the time. This can be replaced by firing of coil packs, but we needed to keep the dizzy for the sequential injection anyhow, so it is a cost effective and reliable solution. (If you are doing this on a cossie, Use a Peugot 90deg Dizzy cap to get the leads away from the inlet manifold). So once you have the chopper wheel in place, you need mount the crank angle sensor (available from Autronic/Motec about $50). Custom make a mounting bracket for this, and ger the clearances accurate.

As for running the Sequential injection, you need to tell the ecu when you are at the firing pulse for cylinder 1, so that it can synchronise the injectors. With an Autronic system, you can use a hall effect sensor setup with a vaned rotor. We purchased a non working Camira Dizzy for about $30 so that we could get the parts. This dizzy was disassembled, and we mounted the bits we needed into a gutted and locked escort Dizzy (ie removed both the mechanical and Vacuum Advances).

These bits were wired up to the ecu, and this controlled the ignition and injectors. The final but to do is to is to mount the throttle bodies, Throttle Position Sensor (onto a throttle body),fuel lines, regulator, throttle bodies, and hook up the accelerator. This is all just bolt up, but ensure you put the out from the efi pump to one side of the fuel rail, then the regulator on the other side, and from the regulator, the return line back to the swirl pot. The accelerator cable is a custom fitting, so you will have to make that up as you go. Just make sure the butterflies are going from full close to full open. You may also have to hook up a specific temp sender (separate from the gauge one) to tell the ecu what the engine temp is. It can also be advantages to change to a HEI type ignition system at the same time, such as Bosch HEI or MSD etc.

I guess that is about it. It is a lot more involved than many expect, but certainly not out of the realms of the back yard tuner. Also remember to add to all this the cost of dyno tuning, the only way to really set up the engine and new efi properly. This is really a must.

(C) 1999




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