This awesome '72 GMC belongs...
This awesome '72 GMC belongs to PGA pro golfer Hunter Mahan, a young man who has spent years working diligently perfecting his impressive talent on the links. But golf isn't his only love-and just like us, Hunter's a motorhead too-as evidenced by his awesome Hilborn-injected pickup.
I don't know about you, but I've never been able to pass by a classic truck, street rod, or any performance vehicle for that matter, that sports a gaggle of injector stacks poking up from the intake valley of a V-8. There's just something inherently exciting about the site of an engine equipped with an old-school-style Hilborn injection system. You'll note I said old-school "style" cause in this day and age of throttle body and port injection we still have the opportunity to enjoy the performance and killer looks of early style Hilborn injection that is really and truly streetable. You got it, the street-friendly head-turning looks of mechanical injection with electronic performance you can enjoy without the constant tuning and tinkering!
My lifelong love affair with the looks of Hilborn injection was rekindled at a recent event when I spied a set of radical stacks poking skyward from quite a distance. Of course, I immediately headed over to take a closer look at what I assumed was a vintage drag car of one sort or another that someone had trailered to the event. The closer I got, though, the more I realized that this baby was a street-driven vehicle rather than the race car I'd assumed it to be. Boy, I thought to myself, mechanical injection on a classic pickup how cool is that-unfortunately it must really suck around town and in traffic. But hey, that's the price you pay for a heavy dose of "wow" factor-full-throttle performance and little else. And though I may be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to modern injection technology was I in for a pleasant surprise (one that's got me thinking seriously about fulfilling my dreams of owning a Hilborn-injected pickup). After corralling the truck's owner and getting the lowdown on both the system and his enthusiasm for it I realized the full throttle-only barrier that for years had precluded said dream has been toppled by the availability of EFI (electronic fuel injection) in wolf's clothing-Hilborn EFI, right from the source, not via a third-party conversion!
Hunter's GMC is powered by...
Hunter's GMC is powered by a tried-and-true SBC. The engine was completely rebuilt and outfitted with the best in go-fast goodies-including but not restricted to a forged crank, "Pink" rods, Brodix aluminum heads, JE pistons, a lumpy performance cam, a Vintage Air front-runner serpentine setup, and a wicked-looking old-school Hilborn setup sporting modern electronic injection technology.
With this newly kindled enthusiasm foremost in my mind, I decided to look into this exciting possibility as soon as I got back home from the event. For me, checking things out would entail a heck of a lot more than shaking the piggy bank and deciding what style of ram tubes would look the most evil, because to be totally honest, I know next to nothing about EFI. I am and always have been much more at home with a pile of steel and a MIG welder than with laptops and power curves-heck, I'm so technologically challenged that my wife has to reset the clock in my truck for daylight saving time for me. So it was with this in mind that I surfed on over to the Hilborn website to start my education. Of course, I loved what I saw, but I really needed to get some type of guidance before I made the decision to proceed. Luckily, I was pointed in the direction of Hilborn's EFI specialist Andrew Star who has done his absolute best to shed some light on the subject for me. The following (much of the technical info supplied verbatim by Star) will hopefully be of interest to those out there who share both my love for the look of Hilborn fuel injection, and my lack of full understanding on the subject. So read on, you may just end up sporting a gaggle of stacks sticking out of your hood and holding court with the throngs of admirers you then find congregating around your engine bay from that point on.