Lots of things we once considered the norm have changed over the years—at one time cars had carburetors and engine-driven mechanical fuel pumps; of course Editor Brennan used to have a full head of hair, and the author had a 34-inch waist. Like we said, lots of things have changed.
One of the major changes in automotive technology was the introduction of electronic fuel injection. By the end of 1990 carburetors had been just about eliminated from U.S.-built automobiles (there were a few minor exceptions, some of which were police cars). Of course it didn't take long for street rodders to adapt the new technology and with readily available aftermarket systems, making the change from a carburetor to fuel injection is easy to do.
While converting to fuel injection is simple enough, there is more to it than simply bolting components onto the engine and hooking up the wiring harness—the fuel delivery system will require modification as well. Fuel injection requires considerably higher pressure than a carburetor, so an appropriate electric pump is required. There are inline pumps for that purpose, but a much better alternative is Aeromotive's Phantom 340 Stealth Fuel System that mounts inside the fuel tank.
Mounting the pump in the tank has a host of advantages, chief among them is with the pump submerged in fuel it runs cooler, which translates into longer life and considerably quieter operation to boot. For those planning to convert to EFI in the future, Aeromotive's 340 fuel pump is suitable for carbureted engines with the proper pressure regulator, for fuel-injected applications, and it will support up to 700 hp or a mild crate motor just as effectively.
To eliminate the need for a special fuel tank, Aeromotive's Phantom Stealth system comes with a unique foam "basket" that serves as a baffle and a sump to ensure the fuel pump always has an adequate fuel supply.
Thanks to some ingenious engineering on Aeromotive's part, installing the Stealth system is simple and adaptable to virtually any car. To prove both points, we followed along as Bob Kleiner modified the fuel tank of his 396 Chevy-powered Kaiser Manhattan in preparation for the installation of electronic fuel injection—like we said, things change.
Bob Kleiner finishes the installation of an Aeromotive Phantom 340 Stealth Fuel System in the Ford F-150 tank that goes in his Kaiser—now that's proof this system can be used on just about any vehicle.
The Aeromotive's Phantom kit (PN 18688) includes the black anodized hanger with three ORB-06 ports for supply, return, and vent. The pump bracket allows the pickup to be positioned properly for tanks 5-1/2 to 11 inches deep.
This illustration shows how the pump is positioned in the baffle/sump assembly.
On the left is the spilt ring with mounting studs that fits inside the fuel tank. On the right is the combination drill jig and guide that is used to install the foam basket.
A 3-1/2-inch hole saw is used to cut an opening in the tank. The jig has a lip that registers in the hole—with it properly positioned the mounting holes for the retainer ring are drilled. (The tank must be thoroughly cleaned afterward.)
The unique pump retainer is split, which allows it to be installed inside the tank.
Once inside, the studs on the retainer are pushed up through the holes. The tension provided by the split ring holds it in place.
After measuring the depth of the tank, and adding an inch to provide some compression on installation, the foam is marked for trimming.
A sharp kitchen knife was used to cut the foam to length.
With the foam ready for installation, the drill guide is slipped over the studs.
Starting with the sump portion, the basket assembly in pushed through the tapered portion of the drill guide.
The foam is gently worked down into the tank.
Once the basket is completely inside, the foam springs back to the proper shape.
The intake port of the fuel pump is equipped with a filter included in the kit.
After the mounting bracket is cut to position the pickup at the bottom of the baffle assembly, the fuel pump is secured with a pair of hose clamps.
With the supply line cut to length and the pump attached to the mounting bracket, the return hose is installed.
A thick foam gasket seals the mounting assembly to the tank and compensates for the ribs and the resulting uneven surface.
The pump assembly is lowered into the tank and secured by the studs and included lock nuts. The nuts are tightened just enough to compress the gasket.
Once in place, the push-on connectors are attached to the fuel pump's feed and ground terminals.