When did F.I. start



I am shopping for a used Roadtrek camper van. Most of these are on a Dodge 2500 chassis, some are on a Chevy. I don’t want to get an old one with a carb, but I need to look back about 10 years to get the price within range. Does anyone know what year they started making them with fuel injection? Thanks, John


Chevy’s were TBI in '87, My '91 Dodge is TBI…By '96, everything should be multi-port…


Careful, some in this vintage use CPI (Central port injection) that are a PITA to deal with when they act up. To tell the difference, CPI uses a centrally located fuel injector in the middle of the intake manifold. Multi-port uses a separate injector for each cylinder located outside the intake manifold and easily spotted unless there is a huge plastic engine cover. Multi-port is much easier to deal with when you have fuel delivery problems.


Yup, trucks got pretty strange during The Dark Years…


Why are CPIs more difficult to deal with? It seems simplier than having 4 6 or 8 injectors to deal with. I have a '96 Dodge with multi-port with 130k without any trouble and I had a’99 S10 with CPI with 100k miles with no problem.


Is there a difference in mileage with CPI vs multi-port?


One of the problems with CPI is the poppet valves reaction to fuel and the low quality fuel spray pattern that developes with the poppet valve(s), not injector quality.

Fuel trim is not as efficient with CPI, think of having a "fine tune’ ability when it is possible to vary the pulse width on 8 (or 6) individual injectors. Somewhere down the line the direction of the fuel spray becomes better with multiport injection.


In the late '70’s FI started to show up in premium cars like M Benz. Then by the early 80’s it became more popular as a way to meet pollution standards and still have a driveable car. By the late '80’s FI was the norm on cars.

Trucks weren’t subject to the pollution standards required of cars so FI was not fitted on trucks as fast as cars. Some mfgs would use FI on the same block in a car, and a carb version in a truck to save money.

Early FI in American cars were essentially a single barrel throttle body which is basically putting FI on a carb. This allowed the use of the same or minimally revised intake manifolds. Multi-point (one injector per cylinder) FI was used on most european cars from the outset. Japanese cars used both single and multi-point FI in the early days. Now all FI is multi-point and computer controlled to meet more stringent pollution requirements.




The Germans had great direct fuel injection (into the combustion chamber, like we’re now starting to do with cars) in their WWII engines. All mechanical.


So the one I am looking at now is a '98 Dodge. Carfax calls it “5.2L V8 SFI OHV 16V”. I am guessing from the comments “SFI” is a form of multiport fuel injection. Should be OK. It’s in San Diego and I am in Colorado, so I can’t pop the hood just yet. Thanks everyone for the comments.


SFI is Sequencial Fire Injection, some injection types inject to every cylinder at the same time (withthe fuel/air charge waiting to be pulled into the cylinder, not the most efficient design). What is better is to fire the injectors in sequence and that sequence being the optimal time in the engines cycle.


I have a '96 Dodge van with the 5.2l V8 SFI OHV 16V with 130K on it and the fuel system has never been a problem (yet).