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By Chirag Asaravala. Photos and all the hard stuff by Thomas Törnblom.

Background

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.

EFI
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.
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 auction.

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.


With his background in engineering and electronics, staying carbureted was not an option.
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.
(Innovating the available parts)
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In This Article:
We take a very detailed look at how one Pantera owner's innovative conversion of the 351C engine from carbureted to EFI.

   
 
While this image looks like a poster that might hang in a teenage boys bedroom, in fact this immaculate specimen is Thomas Törnblom's 1984 DeTomaso Pantera GT5. The backdrop is his home land of Sweden.
   
 
Many have considered the Pantera a perfect sports car; blending Italian beauty with brute American force.
   
 
The mid-engine placement of the 351C motors made these cars handle on par with the Ferraris and Lamborghinis they were sold against. Tornblom however converted the Cleveland motor to fuel injection - the subject of this article.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 






   

 


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