The 10,000-Mile Testimonial
Jim Shelton has driven just about every type of car a guy could imagine in his 71 years, and his latest ride of choice is a very traditional Deuce roadster that has logged 90,000 miles in just under 10 years. One look at the burgundy hot rod tells you Shelton is a traditional kind of guy, and frankly he was a pretty healthy skeptic of this new-fangled EFI stuff, but rather than try to interpret Shelton’s testimonial we’ll simply let you hear it directly from Shelton himself after one of his little 8,000-mile treks:
Jim Shelton has logged over 90,000 miles on his roadster, and while he was a bit of a skep
“The odometer read 89,450 miles when I arrived home and I had covered 20 states in my 47-day odyssey. The MSD Atomic EFI performed flawlessly. I admit I was skeptical of what MSD said about the Atomic EFI. My understanding of EFI was anything short of port injection wasn’t worth the hassle and this was a throttle-body system. However, the idea of a hot rod running well in any temperature, at any altitude was enough for me to take the gamble prior to my 20-state journey.
“Smokey Yunick I’m not, so I enlisted the help of my good friend ASE Master Tech Scott Gafforini to help with the installation. I don’t regret it, but it was probably overkill on my part. The throttle body directly replaces the carburetor and the power controller mounts with a few screws, and while we had to connect a few wires, for the most part it was plug in. I can use a computer to send an email, but the thought of using one to tune an engine terrifies me. No worries there. A handheld device temporarily plugs into the Atomic EFI power controller to set a few major parameters. The engine fired instantly and settled right into a comfortable idle. I can’t comprehend how but the system’s self-learning mode fills in the gaps. Since that initial setup I have used the handheld controller to change the temperature the cooling fan comes on, altered the cruise air/fuel ratio, and dropped the idle speed, all by pushing a few buttons.
Under the hood of the Shelton roadster the EFI goes virtually unnoticed. The original carb
“This was a gamble that really paid off. The engine starts and idles regardless of temperature. It doesn’t pop or sneeze if I drive it cold and I can pull into traffic without praying the engine won’t stumble or lurch. It runs beautifully at the beach or going through Eisenhower pass. The wide-open throttle response is the same as the carburetor, but the midrange response improved so much you’d swear it was a bigger motor, all that and a 15-20 percent improvement in gas mileage. The roadster drives even more like a modern car now. The highest elevation covered was 11,100 feet at the Eisenhower Tunnel in summertime temperatures. The next highest was 10,700 feet heading into Wyoming. Coming down the north side I drove into a snowstorm so the unit endured all kinds of weather.
“I have high expectations of how any car, even a raucous hot rod, should drive. I began with a high-end carburetor that underwent hours of tuning and I dramatically improved the performance with the Atomic EFI. My fears were unfounded; this was far easier to tune than any carburetor. Twenty states and 10,000 miles later I’m still surprised at how much I like this system. Goodbye jets and power valves.”