It may seem hard to believe, but back in the mid-'70s it wasn't unheard of for Hemi car owners to swap out the Hemi in favor of a Wedge engine. It seems that--at no fault of the Hemi--the engine didn't have a great reputation among get-in-your-car-and-drive-to-work commuters. We're talking the Street Hemi now, not the two four-barrel cross-rammed racing version. They were (and still are) known to be temperamental, hard to start sometimes, and certainly not easy to operate in heavy traffic.
It also didn't help that insurance companies didn't like them and that the country was in the middle of a gas crisis. There were long lines at the pumps that did happen to have fuel, and if they did you sometimes couldn't buy enough (at less than $.60 a gallon, by the way) to fill up your tank.
Times have changed, and engine builders have learned a lot and can do things never dreamed of back then. So as long as there is gasoline for purchase, the Hemi will hold its rightful place in automotive legend. Still, these things were designed to make brute power, not to take grandma to the store.
Part of the problem was and is our own fault. We've never gotten over the bigger is always better stigma. If one four-barrel was good, then two must be better. Two four-barrels might double the cool factor at the local hang out, but not so much if you drive it every day.
01 We're beginning with an off-the-shelf aluminum street Hemi manifold. Besides the need
02 Not only is there a different carburetor mounting pattern, but the factory butterfly o
03 The XFI kit uses rail-mounted injectors, and for this application, we had to add holes
These days, any real Mopar guy can handle the drivability issues, but what if you've built a 472-inch Hemi with a solid roller cam, a 10.0:1 compression ratio, and an inline two four-barrel street Hemi manifold? Add to it the fact that you expect to top 600 horsepower and you want this thing to be hassle free so your girlfriend will be able to drive it.
While Muscle Car Restorations in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was restoring Frank Dorsey's '70 'Cuda, Frank mentioned the Hemi that he and his cousin Jesse had been working on for the car, and how he liked the idea of electronic fuel injection. So, once the Hemi was in the hands of the guys at MCR, it was quickly sent to Gary Schmidt of Wheeler Racing Engines in Blaine, Minnesota, for Gary to finish the engine build and solve Frank's EFI dilemma by modifying the inline carbureted manifold to accept a FAST XFI fuel injection system. FAST's XFI fuel injection is a little different than their bolt-it-on-and-go EZ kit, the XFI uses a fully user-programmable Engine Control Unit (ECU) and can be tuned with any laptop or desktop computer. This tunability helps when using aggressive camshaft profiles, high compression, and all other horsepower-increasing modifications. Keep in mind that with the XFI injection kit, you will need to either modify your existing intake to accept fuel injectors, or source an intake already designed for them. We chose to modify an existing Street Hemi intake. The reason we did this was that we wanted to keep the factory look (albeit with fuel injectors), and with the Shaker being installed on the E-Body, height was a concern.
While fuel injection might not yield greater maximum power than a pair of well-tuned carburetors in all applications, it can dramatically improve the drivability of the engine.
04a When installing the injector bung in a dual-plane intake, the depth of the bung into
04b The reason for this placement is to keep all eight of the injectors at the same dista
05 There are bracket-mounting bosses on the passenger side of the manifold that will be a