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High Horsepower Fuel System - Ron Burgundy VI

By Grant Peterson, Photography by Grant Peterson

Our challenge this month is to build a fuel system for Project Ron Burgundy, our Hellion-turbocharged '87 Mustang. We need a system that supports a legit 1,000hp build but don't want the engine compartment to look like an all-out race car There are a lot of factors to consider: How much air will the engine consume? What size injectors are needed to deliver fuel at the correct ratio? What diameter fuel line and fuel rails support that much volume?

To answer these questions (and address the ones we didn't know to ask), we called Steve Brulé at Westech Performance Group. Steve had already tested our Ford Racing 363 crate motor, when it made 507 hp and 453 lb-ft, naturally aspirated. Now we are running 15 pounds of boost with a Holley water/methanol kit on top of that. Brulé uses an engine's brake-specific, fuel-consumption (BSFC) value as a guide to choosing the fuel system parts. BSFC is a calculation of the amount of fuel consumed relative to the amount of work done (horsepower, in our case). In general, a naturally aspirated, gasoline-burning, internal-combustion engine will have a BSFC value of 0.50 lbs/hour per horsepower (meaning it consumes 1⁄2-pound of gasoline per 1 hp made per hour); adding forced induction should raise the BSFC value to around 0.60 lbs/hour per horsepower or more.

Applying this formula to the amount of power Ron will potentially make: (1,000 flywheel hp x 0.60 BSFC) results in 600 lb/hr of fuel consumption. Divide that by 0.8, a constant representing a fuel injector's 80 percent duty cycle, the maximum recommended by most manufacturers. Here, that number is 750, which, when divided by 8 (the number of cylinders) gives us our ideal fuel-injector size of 93 lb/hr. With the math behind us, we could now order the parts and assemble the system.

Parts List

Description PN Source Price
Fuel pump 12-1800 Holley $420.95
Pre-filter 162-572 Holley 82.95
Post-filter 162-570 Holley 82.95
Pressure regulator 12-848 Holley 154.95
Fuel injectors (8 pack) 522-838 Holley 431.95
-10 fuel hose 352010ERL Earl's 185.97
-8 fuel hose 352008ERL Earl's 176.77
-10 straight hose end AT800110ERL Earl's 14.53
-10 90-deg. hose end AT809110ERL Earl's 36.97
-10 180-deg. hose end AT818010ERL Earl's 41.57
-10 union female AT915110ERL Earl's 11.41
-8 straight hose end AT800108ERL Earl's 10.97
-8 45-deg. hose end AT804608ERL Earl's 36.37
-8 90-deg. hose end AT809108ERL Earl's 36.37
-8 120-deg. hose end AT812008ERL Earl's 38.45
-8 180-deg. hose end AT818008ERL Earl's 38.45
-8 union male AT981508ERL Earl's 6.21
-10 ORP to -10 port adapter AT985010ERL Earl's 16.61
-10 ORP to -8 port adapter AT985081ERL Earl's 16.61
-8 ORP to -8 port adapter AT985008ERL Earl's 12.45
-12 ORP to -10 port adapter AT985011ERL Earl's 20.77
Fuel distribution block 100176ERL Earl's 68.63
Fuel rails TFS-5158000R Trick Flow 199.97
Gas tank Sleeper Tank Glenn's Performance 279.95
Heat wrap SUM-350138 Summit Racing 19.97

Here is the basic layout of the complete fuel system from Holley and Earl's. Starting from scratch like we are, the easiest way was to get the biggest piece of cardboard sitting around and draw the system, starting with known items like the gas tank, fuel pump, pre- and post-filters, fuel-pressure regulators, and fuel rails. Then we filled in the blanks with hoses and fittings and their corresponding part numbers from the Holley and Earl's catalogs. This will get you close.

Holley's Dominator two-stage, billet fuel pump is the heart of our new fuel system because it can support 1,000 hp. This twin-pump configuration is perfect for forced-induction and nitrous cars because the second pump can be wired to come on under boost/nitrous. This means only one stage is running under normal driving, which reduces recirculation of hot fuel.

After doing the math on the fuel-system needs, we ordered a set of Holley 83-pound injectors—the closest size to 93 lb/hr Holley currently sells. The next biggest injector is 120 lb/hr. For reference, a stock 19-pound injector is on the left—notice its four pin-prick-sized nozzle holes compared to the three giant ones on the Holley injector.

By Grant Peterson
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