This is a great time to be a fan of fuel-injected engine swaps. Whether you’re refreshing a classic vehicle with a modern powerplant, or just swapping a late-model engine into something other than what it originally came from, it has never been easier to get some of the most complicated engine systems yet devised to work in non-OEM applications. That is due in large part to aftermarket engine management systems like Edelbrock’s Pro-Flo 4+.
Designed to be the epitome of “plug and play”, the Pro-Flo 4+ system is an all-in-one engine management system, that not only comes with a harness to connect to all of the engine’s factory sensors, but a computer that is smart enough to get you up and running on the first crank, and refine its programming as you drive the car.
Late Model Control
The Edelbrock Pro-Flo 4+ is aimed at the Big Three late-model powerhouse V8 engines. Kits are available for Gen-III and Gen-IV LS engines, Gen-1 and Gen-2 5.0-liter Coyote engines, and Gen-III Hemi Engines. Each kit comes with an engine harness that is far more than a universal bunch of wire — not only is it pre-terminated with the correct plugs for all the OEM sensors, all of the connectors are in the correct location, in order to provide a clean and tidy installation, as well as being clearly labeled for an easy install.
One of the biggest selling points of the Pro-Flo 4+ is that there is no laptop required. In fact, all that is required is an Android or iOS-powered device. Edelbrock has developed the “E-Tuner plus” app as a complete control system for the ECU. It offers a simple user interface for everything from basic startup tuning, advanced tuning, diagnostics, and even functions as a gauge display — all without a wired connection to the ECU.
Getting Up and Running
Probably one of the biggest intimidators in an engine swap is the base calibration and first start, since you can’t fine-tune an engine combination if it isn’t running at all. Edelbrock’s calibration wizards have simplified all the ones and zeroes for you, and you simply need to answer a few questions about the engine to create a base tune, which will be very close to what your engine needs.
With the Setup Wizard, you simply tell the unit the engine’s displacement, camshaft type, base fuel pressure, induction type, and your injector size. Then it asks the engine type, how many oxygen sensors are being used, the crank trigger configuration, if you are using a drive-by-wire accelerator setup the pedal-type, single or dual throttle bodies and their type, the alternator type, and the type of knock sensor (if any).
With all that information, the system generates a base map, which it will then refine over time with the system’s built-in self-learning feature. The learning is adjustable, with fast learning recommended for the initial tuning, with the feature then set to either medium or slow learning after the fact. If needed, self-learning can also be completely turned off.
If you want to change things yourself, the Pro-Flo 4+ allows for that as well. Parameters such as target idle, cruise, and acceleration air-fuel ratios can be altered, along with acceleration fuel enrichment similar to the settings you’d change on a carburetor. Dual cooling fan control is present, allowing for two stages of fan on-off control based on engine temperature. The fans will kick on at the predetermined temperatures and stay on until engine temperature has dropped ten degrees below the activation point.
Direct fuel curve modification is also available with three categories of adjustment (idle, cruise, and acceleration) as well as global fuel addition or subtraction. Idle tuning is available with both target idle RPM and target idle spark, as well as a cold-start enrichment page that will either add or remove fuel under cold start conditions. Similarly, there is a cranking fuel adjustment that will add or remove fuel while starting the engine.
Additionally, the unit has a programmable rev-limiter, and a completely adjustable spark curve. Much like a mechanical distributor, base spark and total spark advance can be set, as well as the advance setting the shape of the curve. You can also set a vacuum advance in the software.
Finally, you can set the device running the E-Tuner plus app to display live engine data through the configurable gauge display. The software offers a number of different display configurations and formats, whether you want to use it as a dashboard or a diagnostic monitor.
All of these features combine to create a modern EFI system whose outward simplicity and ease-of-use belies its true power. The Pro-Flo 4+ has taken what used to be an incredibly complex process and made it easy for even the most anti-computer enthusiast to understand, while offering features and manual control to satisfy advanced users as well.