Reviewer's Notebook: C&C Fuel Injector Service
One look at my injectors and I knew I had a problem -- and worse yet, replacement injectors are dealer-only parts that cost about $150 each.
C&C Fuel Injection, in Reno, has a few
different levels of fuel injector service: they can do a simple rebuilding and
cleaning -- or, if you send them more than just one set of injectors, they can
rebuild, clean, and test them, putting together a best-matched set. After a few
phone calls, I had a buddy's set of fuel injectors, my own set, and another two
sets from the local salvage yard. All told, I showed up at C&C with four
sets of injectors, and I wanted two matched sets -- serious overkill.
CleaningCraig, one of the "C's" at C&C, allowed me to watch the first few steps of the process. C&C numbers and bench-tests all injectors when they come in the door. This gives you an idea of their function before cleaning. Half of my junkyard injectors were clogged entirely. If I had installed these in my truck, I'd have been lucky for it to run at all. A good injector sprays a sharp burst of finely misted fuel. Plugged injectors drizzle fuel out, or show asymmetrical patterns. C&C's experience and test equipment allowed them to quickly cycle through all 16 injectors and establish solid baselines.
When I left the shop, all 16 injectors, even the ones that had previously been entirely obstructed, were firing clean patterns, and they were scheduled to be flow-tested later that week.
Along with the rebuilt and balanced injectors, they also deliver a copy of their data for your injectors. This detailed report gave me an idea how badly I needed this service! C&C measures each injector's coil resistance and inductance, as well as fuel flow rate and volume under three different conditions: wide open, pulsed delivery, and cycled acceleration. Each injector is tested for leaking under load, and the spray pattern is qualitatively evaluated. Looking at the reports for all the injectors, it was easy to see how each injector worked individually, and how they could deliver me a set of injectors that were within a half percent of each other.
InstallationWhen I unboxed the cleaned and balanced set of injectors, they were neatly bagged in pairs and accompanied by a detailed report of their condition both before and after cleaning. Sets were clearly marked, and C&C returned all the worn and dirty parts removed from my injectors, as well as a spare set of o-rings. Craig sent me the original equipment replacement o-rings, but also added a set that he thought would fit tighter, with less chance of leakage.
Installing these cleaned and matched fuel injectors was a task, but no more so than installing a stock set of injectors would have been. I unwisely chose to install the original equipment replacement o-rings, and after I had everything back together, when I keyed the motor, I was rewarded with a spray of leaking gas. I guess Craig really knows his o-rings; I should have listened to him.
After a few hours more work, the motor was idling, holding an indicated 72 psi of fuel pressure. I'd had the motor apart for more than a week, so side-by-side comparison was out of the question, but it sure sounded s-m-o-o-t-h.
I took a test ride, and the word to describe it, again, is SMOOTH. Ever driven a vehicle before and after the engine has been disassembled and blueprint-balanced? That's the closest comparison I can draw. My little four-banger was spinning so smoothly. It says something when these kind of results show through Swamper-induced noise and vibration.
Dyno time isn't cheap, so I opted to use my tried and true test track, a section of gently sloping highway where I can do timed full throttle fourth gear runs between 30 and 75mph. Clocking the sweep of the needle with my stopwatch has served me well in the past -- I've tested exhaust and engine modifications this way and later verified the improvements on a rolling dyno. With my under-powered 2.6-liter engine, acceleration occurs slowly enough that I've plenty of time for measurement, and it tests the engine across a good chunk of its rev range. I can generally get back-to-back runs within two-tenths of a second of another, and I was tickled and surprised to see times average just over a half second better with the balanced injectors. This isn't all that scientific, but it is reproducible. Note that my 'before' runs occurred when it was fifteen degrees cooler than the 'after' runs. With that temperature difference, the 'after' run should have been slower, not faster.
ConclusionsThe time advantage is a small improvement, but the smoother-running motor is a real bonus. I'd spend the money again just for that improvement alone, even though the biggest advantage is piece of mind. I know that I'll continue to pull up the kind of steep slopes that stymie carbureted vehicles, and I know that my mileage will continue to push 20mpg. These fuel injectors are tested, and I have a set of cleaned spares for my trail box. Also, with cleaned and rebuilt injectors, I should be able to avoid dropping more than $500 at the dealer for replacements.
If you have a fuel-injected motor with more than 50,000 miles on it, consider having C&C service your injectors. You can also have them balanced, making use of C&C's vast array of core injectors. Some customers send in multiple sets of their own injectors and get a rebuilt and balanced set as well as spare rebuilt injectors. Be sure to ask for the special ORC pricing.
C&C is a serious high-tech shop that builds race engines but is also accessible to the home builder. In addition to restoring stock EFI systems and components to peak performance, they specialize in making Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) systems perform and installing after market EFI systems. They can test, engineer, customize, and produce performance EFI systems and components. If true engine performance is your goal, give them a call today!
C&C Fuel Injection