Fueling Up

Installing a High-Performance Fuel System on a Gen V LT-Swapped 1968 Camaro

By Evan Perkins   –   Photography by the Author

When Chevrolet’s Gen V engine hit the market, it was a radical change for GM V-8 enthusiasts. The pushrods were still present, the cylinder heads were aluminum and reminiscent of the outgoing LS generation, but the fuel injectors were in a radically different place. Rather than incorporate the muti-port fuel injection that had long been the industry standard, for the Gen V (LT-based) engines, GM chose to add high-tech direct-port injection.

001 Holley Dominator inline pump
The Holley Dominator inline pump is mounted on a bracket just in front of the fuel tank. Holley also offers in-tank pumps that run cooler and quieter, but for ease of installation, serviceability, and to preserve the period-correct fuel tank (which was already narrowed for tire clearance) this was the way to go.
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This new style of fuel delivery placed the fuel injector outlet directly in the combustion chamber. The effect is much more control over fuel per cylinder with a host of other efficiencies. However, for the hot rodder, it seemed, well, intimidating as these new systems require extremely high fuel pressures, upwards of 2,000 psi. This is accomplished in OEM vehicles by using an in-tank electric pump paired with a mechanical pump driven off the camshaft.

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002 twin Holley blue pumps
These twin Holley blue pumps provided fueling for the Camaro in its early life as an NHRA Super Stock racer.

When swapping an LT into a classic vehicle, such as this ’68 ex-Super Stock Camaro being built at Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory, in Upland, California, the mechanical fuel pump is retained in the engine and only a new low-pressure side needs to be retrofitted.

003 mount the return style fuel pressure regulator
Terry Stoker selects a spot behind the engine to mount the return-style fuel pressure regulator.
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The OEM electric fuel pump on Gen V engines utilizes something called pulse width modulation (PWM), where the computer manipulates the fuel pump’s electrical current supply in order to speed it up or slow it down in relation to engine load. While it is possible to replicate a similar system with a PWM pump, the easiest way to accomplish the swap is to ditch the PWM pump and install a conventional electronic fuel pump with a return-style regulator.

004 LT1 with a supercharger donated by an LT4
The engine is an LT1 with a supercharger donated by an LT4. It will deliver a healthy amount of power (well over 600 hp) and have perfect driveability—something the mill’s former Super Stock spec engine would have marveled at.

However, it is important to note that the Gen V engines require a comparably high fuel pressure of 72 psi, which means not all pumps will be up to the task of delivering enough fuel. It’s also important to note that this 72 psi needs to occur at a relatively high 45 gallons per hour (GPH). That can place a lot of load on certain fuel pumps and shorten their service life. In Gen V applications, pump selection is more critical than ever before.

005 Holley unit PN 162 550 install
Having the correct fuel filters both before and after the fuel pump are key. This Holley unit (PN 162-550) filters to 10 microns while a finer 100-micron unit will be placed before the injectors to prevent them from getting clogged.

For the Camaro project being built at Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory and its Gen V–based engine, the pump of choice was a Holley Dominator (PN 12-890). The pump will be coupled with a return-style fuel pressure regulator (PN 12-895), which is adjustable from 15-90 psi.

006 ethanol content sensor
Shown is an ethanol content sensor. It is plumbed in line with the fuel injector rails (after the fuel pressure regulator) and provides a signal to the factory LT computer of how much ethanol is in the fuel. This will allow the engine to run on ethanol, gasoline, or a mix of both.

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Follow along as Stoker’s installs the new fuel system, linking all the major parts and players to the engine with Earl’s AN fittings and braided hose.

007 first fuel filter is mounted in between the fuel tank pickup and the fuel pump
The first fuel filter is mounted in between the fuel tank pickup and the fuel pump. This filter protects the pump from tank debris while not inhibiting flow. Too fine a filter before the pump will cause it to fail.
008 fuel filter is rated at 100 microns
The “finer” fuel filter is rated at 100 microns, mounted on the framerail, and will help protect the precision direct injectors from becoming clogged by debris.
009 braided fuel line
The braided fuel line selected for both the supply and return sides of the fuel system is Earl’s Speed Flex (PN 600008ER). Speed Flex is PTFE-lined for compatibility with all fuel types and assembles using Speed Seal fittings.
010 measuring each length of hose
Terry begins the process of connecting all the components of the fuel system by measuring each length of hose.
011 gen v fuel system install
He wraps the areas to be cut in electrical tape to prevent the braided strands from fraying, then makes a clean slice with a cut-off wheel.
012 Speed Seal fittings use an olive or ferrule to seal to the Speed Flex hose
Speed Seal fittings use an “olive” or ferrule to seal to the Speed Flex hose. Terry slid the hose socket over the hose then inserted the olive in-between the PTFE tubing and braided steel strands.
013 fitting socket are pushed together
Next the fitting and fitting socket are pushed together and tightened until hand tight.

014 gen v fuel system install

015 mock up the Speed Flex hose under the car
David (right) and Terry (left) Stoker mock-up the Speed Flex hose under the car, marking cut points.
016 Adel clamps
Adel clamps are used to mount both the supply and return fuel lines to the framerail. Zip ties hold both lines together to keep them from moving around too much.
017 outlet side of the regulator to the ethanol content sensor
This line links the outlet side of the regulator to the ethanol content sensor.
018 fuel tank pickup flows directly into the 10 micron pre filter for the Holley Dominator pump
The fuel tank pickup flows directly into the 10-micron pre-filter for the Holley Dominator pump.
019 Speed Flex Earls hose through the engine bay
Terry fishes the Speed Flex Earl’s hose through the engine bay to accurately measure the final length.
020 45 degree bent tube fitting on the right of the regulator
The 45-degree bent-tube fitting on the right of the regulator is the supply line from the pump. The -8 fitting on the bottom is the return side to the tank.
021 fuel line is carefully routed along the framerail
The fuel line is carefully routed along the framerail where it swoops over the rear axle.
022 runs the power wire to the Dominator pump
David runs the power wire to the Dominator pump.
023 connects the pump to the line that will supply the engine
Lastly, once all the other hoses and fittings have been cut, installed, and tightened, Terry connects the pump to the line that will supply the engine.

Fuel System Components

Fuel Pump PN 12-890

Fuel Filter Bracket PN 162-573

Pre-Filter (10 Micron) PN 162-551

Post-Filter (100 Micron) PN 162-550

Fuel Pressure Regulator PN 12-895

Fuel Supply and Return Hose PN 600008ERL

Straight Hose Ends PN AT600138ERL

90º Hose Ends PN AT609238ERL

45º Hose Ends PN AT604738ERL

Sources

Holley
(866) 464-6553
holley.com

Stoker’s Hot Rod Factory
(909) 920-6797

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