By Chirag Asaravala. Photos and all
the hard stuff by Thomas
In his book The Republic, ancient Greek philosopher
Plato writes, "Necessity is the mother of invention."
While clearly Plato was not pondering the plight of man and
automobile, he unknowingly shed tremendous foresight into
the today's Ford muscle enthusiast. Let's face it, in this
hobby getting what you want out of your project often times
requires invention and innovation. Perhaps there is no better
example of this than Thomas Tornblom's desire for a fuel-injected
351 Cleveland. Okay, you're saying an EFI conversion on a
Cleveland, while not commonplace, certainly doesn't warrant
any special accolades. Well hold on.
Throw in that Thomas' Cleveland is in 1985 DeTomaso Pantera,
and that he lives in Sweden. Now all of a sudden we
begin to see where he may have to think "out of the box."
In fact, if the box is the hobby as we know it in these 50
states, then Thomas has never had the luxury of being in the
box. He cant just throttle down to the local wrecking yard
to pick and pull a EEC-IV harness and computer. There aren't
local automotive classifieds in his country advertising stock
5.0L mass air meters and computers. Nope, as you'll see Thomas'
innovation encompasses not only how to affordably put EFI
to an originally carbureted 335-series motor, but also on
how to obtain the parts in a country that never had them originally.
Forget Local, buy Global
FordMuscle readers span the globe, we know it by the addresses
that come in on the subscriptions, as well as the much appreciated
emails we get in languages we aren't remotely fluent in (thanks
for online translators.) We can only suspect however that
being a Ford enthusiast in any place outside the US, and perhaps
Australia, has got to be tough. You may have imported a T-Bird
to Finland, but where the heck are you going to find so much
as a bolt for it? We're so spoiled here knowing that even
for the rarest of production vehicles we can eventually source
the part we need. It's not even a point worth discussing for
mass production vehicles such as Mustangs, where wrecking
yards, specialty dismantles, and reproducers are abound with
plenty of stock on hand.
Fortunately though the Internet, ala eBay, has globalized
the trade in automotive parts. Since these trades are done
consumer to consumer, enthusiast to enthusiast, the guy in
Norway only pays the going rate in America for the part he
seeks. This is a vast change from the old-world economy where
something like a stock 5.0 HO EFI intake manifold, next to
worthless in the US due to abundant supply, could cost a weeks
pay in another nation to lack of supply and higher demand.
However it is not all without downsides. The overseas shipping
costs are so exorbitant that they far exceed the cost, and
value, of the goods being purchased. And of course the risk
of eBay frauds and scammers when you are an overseas buyer
is all too prevalent.
Thomas utilized eBay to procure the majority of the EEC-IV parts
needed for this conversion. He also had no shortcomings in the
pitfalls we all face with virtual sales, where the buyer and
seller never meet to physically inspect the products before
committing to the transaction. Thomas' winning bid on a "complete
takeoff Mustang EFI system" quickly turned sour as he discovered
the harness sent by the seller was in fact from a Speed Density
vehicle. Fortunately just as quickly as eBay spoils it saves,
and he picked up a SD to MAF conversion harness through another
eBay pitfalls: Auctioned
as a take-off mass-air EFI assembly, Thomas Tornblom discovered
it contained a speed density engine harness. Later, 30lb
injectors he bid and won arrived as stock 19lb versions.
Making it Work
In order to appreciate what Thomas Tornblom did to adapt an
EFI system designed for a Windsor motor onto a Cleveland, you
have to understand why he did it. The Cleveland motor in the
Pantera was originally carbureted. Not a fan of carburetors
amidst today's more advanced fuel metering technology, his mindset
was only solidified by the fussy 650 double pumper the previous
owner had installed. The chokeless Holley did not make for good
starting in Sweden's cold weather. Besides, with his
background in engineering and electronics, Tornblom wasn't about
to settle for anything less than electronically controlled fuel
injection in the car he planned to drive as far south as Italy.
When it comes to EFI, he could have gone any number of routes,
including the more readily available (at least in Europe) Bosch
EFI systems found on Porsches. Rather, he studied, and concluded,
the Ford EEC-IV system would be the best suited. Afterall, he
rationalized that "Ford had spend millions developing this
system to be adaptive in everyday driving conditions."
If it was good enough for millions of cars and all levels or
driving and performance, it was good enough for him. Furthermore
Thomas felt the adaptability of the EEC-IV was a major draw.
With his background in engineering
and electronics, staying carbureted was not an option.
Intake Manifold Modification
In an EFI system fuel is added directly to each cylinder via
individual fuel injectors mounted in the end of each intake
manifold runner. Because a fuel injected manifold does not have
to provide the signal to the carburetor for proper air-fuel
metering, fuel injected manifolds have different design objectives.
However it turns out single plane carbureted manifolds and fuel
injection manifolds are fairly similar in design; both use individual
runners drawing off a common plenum. Thus many guys converting
to fuel injection opt to simply modify their carbed single plane
intake for injectors and then run a modified "four barrel"
throttle body to fit the carburetor flange, or an elbow that
allows the use of a late-model Mustang throttle body. The drawback
however is the single plane has significantly shorter runner
length, which will hurt bottom end torque. While not a concern
in a high rpm application, it certainly could put a street car
at a disadvantage.
The simplest intake manifold option for a fuel-injection
conversion is a modified single-plane carbureted manifold.
Shown is a 302 Victor Jr. modified for injectors by Mass
Flo EFI. They can do this on a Cleveland manifold
as well. We'll be using their system in our own EFI conversion
It is for this reason that Tornblom just wanted a true long-runner
EFI intake. Most of you are going to look at the route Thomas
Tornblom convert his Cleveland to EFI and conclude that it
is simply not worth the trouble. However we think it is interesting
how Thomas did the legwork in adapting a 351W manifold to
a Cleveland block
Shown is a 351C carbureted manifold (this happens to be
a Holley Street Dominator.) Note, unlike on a Windsor
block, the Cleveland manifold does not have a thermostat
housing cast into the front of the intake. The manifold
is also a bit narrower due to the Cleveland's shorter
Trick Flow 351W EFI (lower manifold shown). Note the horizontal
manifold bolt holes and thermostat housing. Windsor engines
route coolant through the front of the manifold (and rear
on some). The manifold is also .300-inch wider than the
Adapting a Windsor manifold to a Cleveland
block turns out to be less of a nightmare than it sounds like
it should be. First is the issue of manifold width. The Cleveland
deck height (crank centerline to top of deck) measures 9.206"
compared to 9.503" for the 351W ('71-'95). The wider
Windsor manifold needs to be flat-milled approximately .150-inch
along the sides to fit between the Cleveland heads.
On Windsor engines coolant flows through the
front of the intake and cast-in thermostat housing. Cleveland
manifolds do not have water flowing through the intake and
the thermostat is mounted in the block. The Windsor manifold
this needed to have the front thermostat housing chopped off
and welded up.
Placing the stock Cleveland intake valley pan on the Windsor
manifold shows where the manifold needs to be modified.
Similarly, at the back of the Windsor manifold, the PCV location
needs to be cut out to match the contour of the Cleveland's
intake valley and also allow clearance for the Cleveland oil
pressure sending unit.
The underside of a Cleveland intake manifold. Note the
shapes of the end rails and lack of coolant ports at the
ends of the intake.
The Windsor manifold will require hacking off the rear
PCV and baffle along with the front thermostat housing.
The end rails will be reformed.
The rear of the Windsor manifold has been cut and modified.
Extra aluminum is TIG welded, shaped to match the Cleveland
The thermostat housing has been cut off the Trick Flow
manifold and a new front rail shaped. The manifold is
then milled to ensure a flat sealing surface.
The rear of the manifold now clears the oil pressure sending
unit and seals properly to the Cleveland block. Also note
the horizontal bolt bosses on the Windsor manifold have
been ground down and drilled at the angles necessary to
mount to the heads.
The front of the modified TFS 351 Windsor manifold now
clears the Cleveland's existing thermostat housing location.
Thomas used the Cleveland's valley pan as a porting template
for shaping the Windsor's rectangular ports into the oval
shape of the Cleveland head.
The final steps of converting the TFS Windsor intake for
use on a Cleveland are to address the ports and bolt holes.
Both engines use twelve manifold to head mounting bolts, and
the center four on both the Windsor and Cleveland manifold
are horizontally oriented. However the remaining ten are angled,
and the angle is not the same between the two engine types.
Thomas solves this by grounding down the bolt hole casting
bosses and then re-drilling (See image 9.)
The final step is to port match the Windor's rectangular ports
to the oval ones on the Cleveland head. Thomas used the intake
valley pan as a guide. The TFS 351W lower has plenty of material
to enable the ports to be opened
up to the larger Cleveland shape.
With the intake manifold completed the challenge of coming up
with an EFI distributor for the 351C is comparatively easy.
Because the Cleveland was only produced in the US from 1970
to 1974, pre Ford EFI days, there never was a drop-in EFI Cleveland
distributor. However, Cleveland enthusiasts know that the 385-series
motors (429 & 460 big blocks) use the exact same distributor
as the 335-series engines. In fact, a 351W distributor can also
be used so long as you swap over to a 351C gear. Since a large
number of vehicles came equipped with EFI 460 engines, the TFI
(Thick Film Ignition) distributor from these engines is well
suited for a Cleveland EFI swap.
460 EFI distributor (left) and 5.0L distributor (right).
Note the harness from the 460 distributor and lack of
a TFI module - it would have been remotely mounted.
Tornblom ordered up a 460 EFI distributor from a USA based
auto dismantler. However when he got it in his hands he realized
it was not quite plug and play if you are using the Mustang's
EFI harness. The TFI module on most 5.0L and 5.8L Mustang
distributors is mounted right on the side of the distributor
housing. However Ford had problems with the modules failing
due to heat, and thus mounted the module remotely on some
vehicles, particularly heavy-duty vehicles which are prone
to getting hot -such as trucks with the 460 EFI engine. Since
Thomas didn't want to fuss with sourcing or building a pigtail
harness to connect from the 460 distributor to a remote mount
TFI module, he simply modified the distributor to accept the
Mustang style distributor mounted module.
The 460 EFI distributor (left) utilizes are remote mount
TFI module, even though it has a TFI mounting pad cast
in the housing, similar to the 5.0L distributor next to
it. Even the screw holes are drilled but not tapped. Note
however the lack of a cutout in the distributor base for
the TFI pins to connect to the Hall sensor module.
Using a drill and file Thomas cut a window in the 460
housing. This will enable the TFI module to mount right
on the distributor as in a Mustang application.
TFI module mounted to the
modified 460 distributor. The internal Hall Effect sensor
(arrow) is from the 5.0L distributor, it allows the TFI
module to plug right in whereas the sensor from the 460
has wires for remote mounted TFI.
The Easy Stuff
The remainder of the EFI conversion consists of plumbing
the high-pressure fuel system and installing all the EFI sensors.
Finally the processor is mounted and harness connected. All
of this is straight forward and without significant challange.
Thomas tells us that the Pantera is running stronger then ever
and he considers the EFI conversion a success. He has since
spent considerable time tuning the EEC-IV, and in fact he developed
his own EEC-IV
programmer - would you expect anything less from Mr. Törnblom?
He's using a BBK 5.0L Cold Air Induction kit. A longer
silicone duct is used to connect the throttle body to
the BBK chrome tube.
The mass air meter and conical air filter reside in the
rear wheel well area of the Pantera.
Thomas uses the Pantera's fuel drain as the supply for
the Bosch 128-lph fuel pump. The original pickup line
in the tank became the entry point for the return line.
Bungs were welded into the collectors of each header and
O2 sensors installed.
The A9P processor and relays are mounted behind the passenger
seat in the cockpit.
A view of the completed conversion could fool anyone into
thinking the Pantera's came from the factory with a 351C
As you can see converting a 351C to EFI is achievable even with
the constraints of living on a continent where facilitating
such a swap is a bigger challenge than the swap itself. Sure
there are easier ways to do it, but where would the challenge
lie in that? Thomas Tornblom is an innovator in the true spirit
of Ford Muscle. Perhaps Austrian economist and social philosopher
Ludwig von Mises said it the best:
"What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter,
the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the
traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and
ideas for old ones."
Thomas and his GT5 on a Pantera club
rally in France. You can bet his is the only EEC-IV Cleveland
in the bunch!