When it comes to fuel and tuning, it’s typically best to be in the know before you go with the flow. For fans of fuel injection this statement couldn’t hit home any harder. But we’ll get to that a little bit later down the line. For now, it is worth noting that Fuel Injector Clinic (FIC) currently has six categories on its website reserved just for plug-and-play injection solutions. And while custom FIC injectors are just a quick consultation and a click away, there’s far more to making these components perform at peak power when compared to their precalibrated counterparts.
Seeking Out Fuel Injection Answers
Forever in search of answers, we caught up with Nic Santarpia, the engineer that heads up Fuel Injector Clinic’s R&D department. Our goal? To address some fuel injection concerns, and answer a few burning questions our readers had sent our way.
Now fair warning, some of you may find a few of these questions (and their answers) to be a bit straightforward, or basic, but hear us out. All of the following topics deserve to be discussed, for not every one of our readers is a certified master technician or fuel injection expert.
That said, Nic did field a few questions that are a bit more on the complex end of the spectrum, with more application-specific deep discussions being reserved for a later date.
So enough with the obligatory introductory explanations. It’s time to talk fuel-injected tech, and here is what Fuel Injector Clinic had to say on the subject.
What Separates FIC Injectors From The Rest
Ford Muscle (FM): What sort of FIC injector install times are we looking at here in regard to, say a Coyote motor?
Nic Santarpia (NS): Install times can vary from application to application depending on the accessibility of the injectors. For a Coyote specifically, the injectors are easily accessible and can be swapped out in about 30 minutes.
FM: Are there any tuning benefits that FIC provides that the competition does not?
NS: Fuel Injector Clinic utilizes custom fuel injector flow benches to offer the most comprehensive injector matching and tuning data in the industry. Matching our injectors by flow rate and individual offset value helps us go above and beyond the industry standard to optimize injector performance from idle all the way up to full throttle.
Furthermore, every injector is given a serial number, then extensively tested and characterized by both flow and individual offset values, which are then stored in a database. The customer’s set of injectors is pulled from this database so that they can achieve efficiency and flow rates that are within 1-percent of each other. This is accompanied by a 2-percent margin for the dead times, in order to ensure consistent fuel delivery across all cylinders. This flow-matching process helps optimize engine performance, idle stability, and overall drivability.
Fuel Injector Clinic provides easy-to-use, plug-and-play OEM and aftermarket ECU tuning data for many applications. For most applications, copy and paste tuning data can be easily found on the FIC website under the “ECU Data” drop down menu. Having this custom tuning data makes all the difference when tuning any ECU, as it ensures a precise and streamlined tuning process with excellent results
FM: What are the downsides to slapping a set of cheap injectors onto an engine?
NS: In the last few years we have seen a lot of counterfeit injectors on the market, so it’s really important to buy your injectors from a reputable company that only uses Bosch products. The problem with cheap injectors is they come from unreliable manufacturers, lack quality control, have higher failure ratios, and in the long term are less reliable and consistent. Additionally these companies typically offer insufficient support and no warranty coverage for their products.
If the injectors are not flow-matched they may have varying flow rates, which can lead to inconsistent fuel delivery to different cylinders. This can result in uneven fuel distribution, causing some cylinders to run rich while others run lean. Naturally, this can negatively impact engine performance, fuel efficiency, and overall drivability, leading to rough idling, misfires, or poor throttle response.
FM: What have you found aftermarket builders are needing in regard to injection nowadays?
NS: The two most important factors are the high level of flow matching and the reliable tuning data. The better this information is, the easier the tuner’s job will be. A good set of injectors with appropriate tuning data can make a tuner’s life quite a bit easier. On the other hand, a great tuner may never be able to get a car dialed in that has a poorly matched set of injectors with inadequate tuning data.
If you’re looking for high-quality fuel injectors, consider those that are Bosch-based and are ethanol compatible. High levels of flow-matching and reliable tuning data will ensure optimal fuel distribution.
Additionally, we are constantly being asked for larger injectors that are compatible with all fuels, and there really aren’t any great options on the market at this point in time. But we continue to see people pushing the limit with horsepower goals and fuel delivery needs.
FM: Any Ford specific injection tuning concerns to take into consideration?
NS: Fuel-injected Ford vehicles are very sensitive when it comes to tuning. There are two major pieces of the puzzle that you really need good data on to even get started. Mass air flow (MAF) sensor and injector data must be obtained prior, as Ford’s engineering logic behind its fueling is very complex. Without precise MAF and injector data, all kinds of issues can take place.
FM: How much time can be saved by proper tuning data/batch injectors?
NS: The amount of time that can be saved by using proper tuning data, and flow-matched injectors can vary depending on the specific situation and the extent of the tuning required.
While it’s challenging to quantify the exact time savings, the use of proper tuning data and flow-matched injectors can significantly expedite the tuning process. This can help streamline the fueling calibration stage, reduce the time spent on troubleshooting and diagnosing fueling issues, and provide a more efficient path to achieving optimal engine performance.
As for the actual time saved, that will depend heavily upon the complexity of the tuning task at hand, as well as the tuner’s experience, level of expertise, and the quality of the tuning data and injectors used.