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View Full Version : Carbureted vs. Fuel Injection


6ballsisall
05-16-2005, 10:45 PM
Ok, if you were looking at identical boats but one was carbureted and one was fuel injection which boat would you buy? Are modern carbureted engines any more sophisticated than my 86 or am I in the same "boat"? Tell me the pro's and con's of each

André
05-16-2005, 10:54 PM
Well Jeff,let me put it this way.
Would you buy a carburated car or truck ?
EFI is the ONLY way to go!

Laurel_Lake_Skier
05-16-2005, 11:04 PM
I'd still buy a new carbureted car/truck if I could find one!

6ballsisall
05-16-2005, 11:08 PM
I'd still buy a new carbureted car/truck if I could find one!


Why?? Please explain

erkoehler
05-16-2005, 11:31 PM
EFI all the way. I have seen the difference it makes on the snowmobiles, and it can only benefit on a boat.

6ballsisall
05-16-2005, 11:38 PM
Keep it coming everyone!!

mbeach
05-16-2005, 11:43 PM
Well Jeff,let me put it this way.
Would you buy a carburated car or truck ?
EFI is the ONLY way to go!
andre, how eloquent :worthy: . could not have said it better myself. would only add that carb guys spend a lot of time tinkering trying to get it right.

lakes Rick
05-16-2005, 11:49 PM
Starting has been the biggest difference compared to my carb vs tbi boat... No pumping and no warmup period required to get it off the trailer... At least what seemed like forever to warm up the carb boat.

IF you trailered to different elevations I would think a EFI boat would have its benefits..

MAYBE a little better fuel mileage..

Some tinkering with the carbs, but I don't even want to think about having problems with the EFI....

My opinions.....

ski_king
05-16-2005, 11:50 PM
I would probobly go EFI.
But, what I do like about my carborated boat though is the fact that I can actually work on it myself, it takes a bit more than a backyard mechanic to work on the newer EFI engines.

jimmer2880
05-17-2005, 07:02 AM
I wouldn't not buy a boat because it has a carb, but given the choice, EFI is a no-brainer.

No maintenance (think carb rebuilds)
Starts very easy
handles Elevation differences easier
2x better gas mileage (I'm not kidding).

MarkP
05-17-2005, 07:17 AM
I wouldn't not buy a boat because it has a carb, but given the choice, EFI is a no-brainer.

No maintenance (think carb rebuilds)
Starts very easy
handles Elevation differences easier
2x better gas mileage (I'm not kidding).
I didn’t not buy my boat because it had a carb but I agree, NO brainer..

jsonova99
05-17-2005, 07:57 AM
I would prefer EFI, but I'm currently carbureted, and really don't mind it. When I start looking for a newer boat in a few years, I will probably be indifferent to the two. I searched long and hard for a good strong drivetrain, and ended up getting bitten by the gel coat, so if I find two boats, one carb one EFI, the one in better shape overall will win me over. There is definitely something to be said about the simplicity of a carbureted engine though, especially for someone like me who doesn't use the boat more than twice a month on average and who, for that reason, wants to spend less on a boat. For the same money I think that you will get a nicer carureted boat than EFI boat. :twocents:

east tx skier
05-17-2005, 11:43 AM
Andre and I have disucussed this previously. ;) All things being equal, even as an owner of a carb boat, you've got to go fuel injected. To do otherwise would be like enjoying water skiing, but living in a climate that only allows you to water ski a few months out of the year. :D

Once I got a decent carb, I haven't had to tinker, but it's always a possibility. In Texas, starts and warmup are not an issue. Fuel injected boats should be warmed up, too, before you run them hard. Nobody waits for me on the ramp. My boat starts first time every time with one pump of the throttle. But it doesn't lay up for 8 months at a time. Priming is not something that I would call a deal breaker. You're going to have to push the throttle forward eventually. ;)

By the way, I voted fuel injection. But I'd take my boat over a lot of fuel injected boats out there. Rarely, is all else really equal.

What's a snow mobile?

Laurel_Lake_Skier
05-17-2005, 03:32 PM
Why?? Please explain
As everyone has said...injection has advantages, quick starts, less adjusments.....when it is working correctly. The problem as I see it comes in if and when something goes wrong. With the carb, I can most likely handle the problem on my own. FI is going to be a different story. That is going to end up at the marina and at that point I am at their mercy on getting it back with a quick turn-around.

BarefootWt
05-17-2005, 03:48 PM
I had an 1985 Stars and Stripes. I had issues with the carb until I upgraded the can-style water separator to a spin on gas filter (from the 89 model as I recall), and added a gas in-line shut off valve for when I stored the boat in the winter to drain the gas from the carb. This was in NH for 20 years. I now live in Colorado. The altitude decreased my speed from almost 46 to almost 41, and the boat did not perform well for barefooting. Now there are things you can do (advance timing, change carb jet sizes, change props, etc) to get back some of the speed and not burn out the motor. However, my choice -upgrade to a 2004 MC 197 with fuel injection! This boy will not go back to carb -even if I come back out of the altitude :-) My experience has been that EFI is smooth, easy starting, efficient, no adjustments, and easier to find someone to work on that knows what they are doing.

Leroy
05-17-2005, 04:13 PM
It's kind of like chosing electronic ignition over points and rotor. I could work on points and rotors also.......and I've rebuilt a carb (way back), but I'ver never touched EFI or electronic ignition or had to.


Reading about EFI and all they correct for, you never come close to that with a carb. Easy vote!

pilot02
05-17-2005, 04:18 PM
Again, no brainer. EFI all the way.
Why you ask??? Fuel mixture is much more accurate... I've torn down EFI motors with 100k miles on them and there was almost no "carbo ridge" at the tops of the cylinders and in some cases you could still see the factory crosshatch hone marks in the cylinders. Never seen anything even remotely close to that condition with a carbureted motor because the mixture typically runs slightly rich on the low end.

jsonova99
05-17-2005, 04:45 PM
Here's a question, EFI GM or EFI Ford? Which is better. These 351s are pretty solid motors, I've always had reservations about GM stuff.

east tx skier
05-17-2005, 05:10 PM
The MPI GT40 engine, according to most of the CC owners to whom I've spoken, is extraordinarily reliable. I've got no problem with the Chevys though.

How 'bout this. EFI may be great, but nobody ever seems to think it's worth it enough to recommend that someone pull a conversion on a carb'd engine. At least not on any of these threads I've ever read. I could've missed one or two though. ;)

PE4ME
05-18-2005, 12:15 AM
First boat had a carb 351 PCM, never ran the same- water and weather seemed to throw it off a bit... In WI it goes from 60-90 degrees with various humidity conditions...sometimes idled and ran great (cool) and sometimes was opposite...ran but was different on start up and warm start...definantly had its own personality.
Seemed like I was always tinkering with something or reading how to properly tune.
94 TBI in the 205 has been a totally different story...as stated above. Instant throttle response. bogging, coughing, hesitating, blubbery conditions, lean, rich and so on have since left the summer vocab...
Oddly enough...no one converts to EFI, I looked into it and thought by the time I spend the $ and headaches installing I would be better off upgrading to factory EFI

peason
05-18-2005, 12:21 AM
Had to cut back on the carbs so now I have an EFI.

Leroy
05-18-2005, 02:34 AM
Doug; The results are incredible, but this is a major operation! Just read or Goggle carb to efi conversion. Looks like the kit costs $2500 to $3000 and is a major task. I think it is in the range of I can live with a carb and the hassle or will trade up to EFI model. And you are right, carbs have worked for years and continue to work for many people day in and day out. Was educational reading for myself.

Personal story of conversion to a toyota.
http://www.off-road.com/toyota/doa22re.html

Commercial story of conversion of small block V8
http://www.vetteweb.com/tech/0412vet_efi/

How 'bout this. EFI may be great, but nobody ever seems to think it's worth it enough to recommend that someone pull a conversion on a carb'd engine. At least not on any of these threads I've ever read. I could've missed one or two though. ;)

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 12:35 PM
Leroy, that is always the conclusion that I have reached on the subject. EFI is obviously the way to go when you have two identical boats side-by-side, but it isn't worth the hassle and expense to upgrade if you already have a carb. My local inboard mechanic, who I trust, didn't even think it was worth discussing. Just said stick with the carb. That was enough for me.

Since purchasing my new carb (as you may recall, old carb was inherently problematic), I have not felt compelled to tinker with it (apart from regularly running it and keeping my fuel sta-bilized. We'll see how much I have to mess with it through the years. Hopefully, not too much.

Leroy
05-18-2005, 02:04 PM
I was shocked to see the cost and stuff you needed to change to EFI. Not like changing to electronic ignition.


The bulk of carb'd boats are in the <1994 time frame so they have a lot of years and hours on them.

jsonova99
05-18-2005, 02:13 PM
I think if you have a carbureted boat live with it. I am considering EFI if I decide to upgrade down the road though.

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 03:39 PM
With our climate, living with it entails easy starts, lots of skiing, and a few bucks for a jug of sta-bil every once in a while. If my engine goes kaput, and a rebuild isn't an option, I've got my eye on those MPI GT40s in ski dim. Cheaper than a new boat. Besides, I love my hull.

rasmithaz
05-18-2005, 04:55 PM
east Texas please don't convert..I can't stay up with you now. I am still working on getting the noise out of the drive train. I can't start fuel delivery work. r

Britt
05-18-2005, 05:03 PM
I think this is essentially is a hit or miss question and for the most part I have been reading less then ample remarks about both carbureted and Fuel injected setups. I prefer both just as equally. Depending purely on application. Pros to a carburetor. Most after market intake manifolds flow higher CFM numbers thus forwarding an increase in performance. This is definetly true on small block fords. However GM did not have a fuel injection system that could out flow a big carb setup until the LS1 came along. For those who dont know..the LS1 is the 346 ci engine thats probably in your newer mastercraft. However this is often mistaken for the LT1. In terms of cheap, fast and reliable a carb is the way to go. Sure some may argue that carbs are not reliable....They are wrong. The automobile industry managed to use them for the better part of 75 years. Kept clean and cared for they will provide life long service. Fuel injection has its upper hand in cold start weather where even though most carbs are equipped with chokes they fail to provide a very consistant cold start. Fuel injection may also be subject to extreme G force without "fuel cut out" as where a carb under the correct circumstances may "suck air" through the float bowl pick up for the accelerator pumps due to g force forcing fuel away from the pickup. I believe it is 100% preferance and what you wish to do with the boat. If you are doing performance mods use a carb. No computers, mass air flow sensors etc...to screw with.

Britt

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 05:11 PM
Don't worry, rasmithaz. I just through that out there as a hypothetical to support my claim, that fuel injection, while obviously a good thing, isn't the only thing. It's a hard sell, you understand.

/edit. And then I read Britt's response. That's a good answer. I'm going to go stand next to him. :)

After my throttle issues caused by my new intake, I'm done messing with it, even though the results were ultimately spec-tacular.

Thrall
05-18-2005, 06:43 PM
What's a snow mobile?

Oh, Doug..... Head over to NM next winter and I'll show you! Best thing invented since beer in a can.

Back on the issue. From a repair standpoint/diagnosis, I'd go carb, especially w/ the ECM issues I had last year.
Overall, though, cars and boats benefit greatly from EFI, and I don't regret gettind a FI boat. Runs flawlessly.
Fuel wise, my LT-1 burns avg 3- 3 1/2 gal per hour. Average mixed use. Full speed sometimes, some skiing and boarding, some cruising.
My only basis for comparison was when I was younger, my friend's parent's MC (early 80's, 190, 351)would run through a whole tank in less than a day. Maybe we could just ski longer then!
Point being, I'm really happy w/ the fuel mileage on my 96.

JimN
05-18-2005, 07:08 PM
Thrall- you have to remember, it wasn't your boat when the problem was created. This makes it like asking a rock about the weather. The battery being connected reverse polarity makes for some weird issues. If it had been your boat all along, you would probably have been able to fix it a lot faster (and I doubt that you would have had the problem in the first place).

SD190EVO
05-18-2005, 07:14 PM
Which would you buy? Assume the same price and same sq/ft:

House with gas-lamps

House with electricity

JimN
05-18-2005, 07:32 PM
If cost is the issue, we're basically screwed here in Wisconsin since the Gas Co and Electric company are the same. And, guess who the Gas Co's biggest commercial customer is? The ELECTRIC COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about creating an artificially high demand for natural gas.

And, at least during winter, the gas lamps can help heat my house.

east tx skier
05-18-2005, 07:45 PM
Oh, Doug..... Head over to NM next winter and I'll show you! Best thing invented since beer in a can.

Back on the issue. From a repair standpoint/diagnosis, I'd go carb, especially w/ the ECM issues I had last year.
Overall, though, cars and boats benefit greatly from EFI, and I don't regret gettind a FI boat. Runs flawlessly.
Fuel wise, my LT-1 burns avg 3- 3 1/2 gal per hour. Average mixed use. Full speed sometimes, some skiing and boarding, some cruising.
My only basis for comparison was when I was younger, my friend's parent's MC (early 80's, 190, 351)would run through a whole tank in less than a day. Maybe we could just ski longer then!
Point being, I'm really happy w/ the fuel mileage on my 96.

Hey, I've ridden them there snow doohickies. It was just a joke about climate. ;)

Sort of off point, but my carb'd 351 HO seems to get much better fuel economy than my father-in-law's 350 TBI or my brother-in-law's 350 carb boat. Now bear in mind that these aren't scientific evaluations on my part (oh, and my brother in law only has a 20 gallon tank on his supra). But even with fuel injection, my father in law seems to burn through the petrol a bit faster. Maybe it's the horsepower and wetted surface.

/thread derailed! :eek:

Tennesseeski
05-23-2005, 01:47 PM
Hey Doug, or anyone else with the same carb, I have the same boat as you and was going to have the carb rebuilt but it is going to be about $220.00. So after hearing how well yours does with the 4160 holley on it ,I think I will just shell out the extra money and buy a new one. My guestion is where did you get yours at. I have looked in the new Overton's spring catalog and they have three listed but not as a 4160 per say. Don't know which one it is. Looking for the best price I can get so maybe where you got yours is cheaper. The ones in Overton's go from $479.00 to $529.00

Tennesseeski
05-23-2005, 01:50 PM
Oh yeah... to keep the thread on track I do think the EFI is better, but still love my model. Just got to tinker some more to get it back right. Would be nice to have EFI someday if I have to get another boat.

Thrall
05-23-2005, 02:08 PM
Thrall- you have to remember, it wasn't your boat when the problem was created. This makes it like asking a rock about the weather. The battery being connected reverse polarity makes for some weird issues. If it had been your boat all along, you would probably have been able to fix it a lot faster (and I doubt that you would have had the problem in the first place).

You're right Jim. My only point was that a carbed boat w/ similar fuel delivery issues/symptoms would have been much easier to diagnose for a shadetree mechanic like myself.
Again, overall I wouldn't trade for a carbed boat.
Altitude compensation is a big plus as well, w/ EFI.

André
05-23-2005, 03:20 PM
Thrall
I think that you did much more electrical troobleshoothing that many dealers techs could have done! Since you were picking up the tab,good thing to make sure it was REALLY the ECM.
With a good multimeter and a EFI service manual,not harder to trooble shoot an EFI engine then adjusting floats or rejetting a carb.

martini
05-23-2005, 03:52 PM
Tenn,

All retailers will sell this carb for around that price. Another place that I am sure will be mentioned shortly is www.skidim.com. They are knowledgable but prices will be similar to what you are experiencing. If I were in a position to purchase another carb for my boat, I would buy it from SummitRacing. They are a large online parts warehouse, mostly for autos, but do sell marine equipment. You will need to get the Holley part number for that 4160(found on their website) and search it on summitracing. I guarantee you it will be the cheapest "new" carb you will find. There are other places that you can get a reman or rebuilt if you are interested in that as well. They generally run about $100 cheaper than a new one.

CoFooter
05-23-2005, 03:59 PM
As someone who trailers all over the place, and from 5,000 feet in Colorado to 500 feet in Arizona and Arkansas, EFI is the only way to go. I got tired of always having to change the jets on my 4160 with the altitude changes. Also, the carb was subject to vapor lock - never had that problem with EFI. Having said that, the 4160 kicked a_ _ at lower elevation.

Tennesseeski
05-23-2005, 05:00 PM
Thanks guys! Those are two places I didn't know to look.

jsonova99
05-23-2005, 05:05 PM
As someone who trailers all over the place, and from 5,000 feet in Colorado to 500 feet in Arizona and Arkansas, EFI is the only way to go. I got tired of always having to change the jets on my 4160 with the altitude changes. Also, the carb was subject to vapor lock - never had that problem with EFI. Having said that, the 4160 kicked a_ _ at lower elevation.

I never really thought about elevation, I guess living in Florida is a big reason why my cabureted 351 runs so well since we are at pretty much at sea level.

east tx skier
05-23-2005, 05:08 PM
Same in Texas. Elevation, climate, and lack of know-how to really dive into a carb would have me singing a different tune if I lived somewhere else.

Tennesseeski
05-23-2005, 05:32 PM
wow, summit is $50.00 cheaper than skidim and$100.00 than Overtons. Should this just bolt right on when I take my old one off?

east tx skier
05-23-2005, 06:14 PM
Do you have a link? Is it a marine carb or will you be doing the modifications yourself?

stevo137
05-23-2005, 07:57 PM
I didn't have time read read the entire thread but can tell you that my carb 351 runs great.
As far as EFI goes, new technology is good, why not go with it.
I don't think that you have a choice these days unless you're buying an older MC.

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 08:58 AM
Do you have a link? Is it a marine carb or will you be doing the modifications yourself?
It is the marine carb and says it is for the 351 ford. It does say something about universal or direct fit, which do I need?

east tx skier
05-24-2005, 11:42 AM
Not sure. Do you have a link?

martini
05-24-2005, 12:01 PM
If you are replacing the old carb with an identical model and type, then yes it will bolt on. However, if you are switching models it will not. You will need to get, or make, a fuel line that will plumb up to the new one. You will also need carb gaskets, generally 2 of them that are identical. You can use auto gaskets for this, but the marine versions are way better and thicker. The only place I have been able to find these are at dealerships or skidim. They are cheap, so that's not a big deal. The direct fit(and when they say direct they are reference the fuel inlet on the front bowl, it angles down, towards the front of the engine) and universal are no different in terms of performance. The universal one has a fuel inlet on the side of the front bowl. Either will fit. If you don't have the original 4160 set up, you can choose either. I think the universal may be a bit cheaper. If you want it to look original, skidim does sell the correct fuel lines for the direct fit carb.

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 04:10 PM
http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?Ntt=hly-0-80319-1&Ntk=KeywordSearch&DDS=1&searchinresults=false&N=0&target=egnsearch.asp&x=21&y=10 Try this link

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 04:13 PM
http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?Ntt=hly-0-80319-1&Ntk=KeywordSearch&DDS=1&searchinresults=false&N=0&target=egnsearch.asp&x=21&y=10 This page gives all the details. Sounds right but I wanted other opinions. I have the holley that came on it from factory on there now.

east tx skier
05-24-2005, 04:42 PM
http://store.summitracing.com/default.asp?Ntt=hly-0-80319-1&Ntk=KeywordSearch&DDS=1&searchinresults=false&N=0&target=egnsearch.asp&x=21&y=10 This page gives all the details. Sounds right but I wanted other opinions. I have the holley that came on it from factory on there now.

Looks like mine.

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 06:09 PM
And yours just bolted right on?

east tx skier
05-24-2005, 06:10 PM
I had my auto mechanic do it. As far as I know, it bolted right on (purchased it from skidim). It was already set up for the 351. All I did was adjust the idle as it was a little low.

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 06:14 PM
Thanks Doug! I guess I will check a couple more places for prices and then order me one. I know it will be money well spent.

martini
05-24-2005, 06:36 PM
Tenn,

If you need help with the install, let me know and I can probably walk you through most of it. It is not that difficult to do, you just need to have some mechanical ability and that is it. I have rebuilt that exact same carb for 2 of my friends with similar setups. I also have (not that I wanted it) experience with what it takes to get these things working correctly and any troubleshooting advice if there is a need for it. Just thought I'd offer, because when I was going through my boat fixing days, I had no one to really help me. I just researched the crap out of everything and was able to figure it out on my own. I did make a lot of mistakes in the process, which now that I look back on it, probably helped me more than it hurt.

Tennesseeski
05-24-2005, 06:38 PM
Thanks Martini!! I will be sure to ask when I get ready to install it.

Mi.mc
06-07-2006, 11:50 PM
i'd go for the carbeurator in order to bipass the whole computer system. also i have been brought up on carbeurated boats.

erkoehler
06-07-2006, 11:54 PM
Ok, if you were looking at identical boats but one was carbureted and one was fuel injection which boat would you buy? Are modern carbureted engines any more sophisticated than my 86 or am I in the same "boat"? Tell me the pro's and con's of each


Jr, was this one or two boats ago? Hope your liking the MCX now :)

6ballsisall
06-07-2006, 11:56 PM
Jr, was this one or two boats ago? Hope your liking the MCX now :)

Love it! Will love it more once I get to run it! I haven't been on the water since last weekend! :(