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Getting Dizzy?


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.
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.

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 EFI.

Conclusion
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."

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Thomas and his GT5 on a Pantera club rally in France. You can bet his is the only EEC-IV Cleveland in the bunch!

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