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jason sanders, freetown, IN, 1973 plymouth Satellite 318

I have a 73 satelite with a 318. I also drive an ’89 Ram pickup, 318 with E.F.I. (throttle body). The Ram runs great but the Satellite takes a while to warm up and idle good on a cold Indiana morning.so would it be possible to add a e.f.i. set up like the one on my truck to my Satellite? If so, what parts would ineed to subtract from a parts car? I realize they sell these types of kits in Jegs, Summit, and other catalogs but I can’t afford one, so any advice would be great help.

Jason-

The unmistakable trend today is to swap to modern SMPI (sequential multi-point injection), as used on ’92-up 318s. (One way is to swap the whole later engine!) But there’s absolutely no reason that you couldn’t nearly bolt-on the single-point setup as used pre-’92. Just realize that you’ll be gaining the driveability features of the TBI, but not the torque and mileage gains that comes with the SMPI – mostly from the “dry” intake manifold feature that allows wild-looking tuned runners, such as the now-familiar beer-barrel on the ’92-up engines. (The ’92-up also has many, many other changes, incl. different heads, reverse rotation water pump, different cylinder head oiling system, etc.) To see how an SMPI smallblock swap is done, click here.

To use the TBI, find a junkyard donor, get the throttle body / injector, sensors, wiring, etc. You’ll almost certainly need the factory service manual from whatever year you pirate the goodies from to figure out the wiring interface and pinouts – depending on your skill in this area, this may be the toughest part of the swap. You’ll also need a high-pressure electric fuel pump and a few other minor bits. Ignition need not change. Overall, the plan is to make the wiring and plumbing (incl. fuel pressure) “look” like it did under the hood of the donor vehicle – functionally, at least, if not cosmetically.

To me, unless you can get the parts for near-nothing (which you may) and have a lot of time on your hands (which you also may), the outcome of a TBI conversion is only marginally worth the investment. But that’s only my semi-humble opinion, yours may be different, and that’s OK!

Rick

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