Does fuel injection conversion add value? -
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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1984 CJ7 
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Does fuel injection conversion add value?

I recently bought a "work in progress" 1984 CJ7 with 258 6 cylinder, 5 speed. About 70% of a frame-off restoration was complete and well done. The chassis, powertrain, metal work and paint are mostly complete. The engine was rebuilt. My task is to finish the assembly/restoration. I bought this for my own mental health (keep me busy) and to sell eventually. I have some experience restoring cars, but not a Jeep. My initial focus is to complete the power train. Since the engine is "bare" at this point, it's a good time to consider carburetors/fuel injection, exhaust, cooling, etc. The question of the day is: Does a conversion to fuel injection (Howell) add value to the finished product? Does it add enough value to offset the $1300-$1500 cost? An ugly Carter BBD and a nice Weber carb (model 34DGFC, which seems to mean it's not a genuine Weber?) came with the project, but I'm not sure the Weber set-up would pass Colorado emissions. What say, Jeep experts - fuel injection?

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post #2 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 11:43 AM
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Location: Valley Falls
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As with most upgrades and add-ons, its really up to the buyer as to it's worth. If you were keeping it, I'd say it's absolutely worth the money and it would help get you past CO emissions. If the potential buyer knows his Jeeps, he'll absolutely be more interested if it already has a nice EFI set up on it. If you're finishing up the rebuild and the Jeep is in great shape I'd say you can get your $1300-$1500 back.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 11:48 AM
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1983 CJ7 
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easily the best mod I ever did to my jeep. Forget doing all the other things, get the efi. It was like a completely new jeep once it was installed.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 01:17 PM
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Doesn’t add value but shoots the drive-ability factor through the roof. One of the first things I’d do with any CJ is add TBI and HEI ignition.

My two cents.

For purists looking for a bone stock original CJ is might actually decrease value.

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post #5 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 05:50 PM
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When I was looking for my Jeep I was in So Cal, so emissions was a factor.
The first thing I would have done is install EFI, as it worked out I found the
one I have, and didn't have to.

What I'm saying is that for me it would have made your Jeep more valuable,
I would have paid more for it.

Whats over that next ridge?
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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1984 CJ7 
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Thanks for the answers! How about the Holley 550-858 Sniper EFI BBD carburetor? Looks like an easier install than the Howell or the more expensive MoPar conversion........costs about as much with the fuel pump kit added.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 07:10 PM
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Location: Bali
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Any mod may be questioned by a future buyer. If your flavour is big wheels and a 6" lift, the next guy may take it all off. You rarely recoup the cost of a mod. Rust free, good paint, well maintained, clean interior, runs well are the things that most buyers will have high on their list.

Fuel injection is a slightly different matter, as buyers wishing to retain the engine will see some value in having it fuel injected and will not go back to carbs. However I do not believe they will pay even $1000 more, it may make them choose your rig instead of the identical non-injected one they just saw but more money?

Your Weber is probably a Solex and would not add 1 cent to your Jeep if the buyer knew what it was. They may even factor in $250 to replace it with a real Weber (LCM - Made in Spain).

The BBD may look bad but I have rescued BBDs from the back of the bin that have termite infestations. As long as they are complete and do not have play in the throttle shaft, they can be cheaply rebuilt ($15 for the kit plus carb cleaner) and suit the Thermostatic Air Cleaner, which adds value. Imagine that clean looking fully original matching numbers engine bay $$$$$.

OK, maybe that is a bit much. It is not a Mustang.

I have never been to Colorado, what is emissions testing like? Your CJ probably came with a complex CEC computer, multiple sensors and yards of vacuum hose attached to your BBD. Are you able to just dump it and go to a different setup?

[If you are, check your distributor mechanical advance head has been changed]

if it was my rig I would have to think long and hard before dropping that cash for fuel injection. Yes, it will then start first time and will run upside down but my BBD and Webers can start first time sometimes and are good enough for the cambers I run. $1500 would get an engine rebuild for Bagusjeep or allow me to finish off Gladys interior and electrics.

BagusJeep lives in Bali.

1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
1995 Cherokee 4.0 - CHEROKEE
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-05-2020, 07:52 AM
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I'm the type buyer who would value originality over PO upgrades, because I like having the option of picking and choosing my own upgrades. So, a fuel injection system wouldn't add much value for me. For example, I wouldn't pay $9500 for an $8000 CJ because it had fuel injection.

But that's just one man's opinion.


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post #9 of 16 Old 08-05-2020, 08:13 AM
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This is an interesting question. The purist will say heck no. The performance guy or the guy who has to pass an annual emissions test will say yes. The other 75% we see here who think a 258 is a V6 or don't know what a choke is much less how it works or think that you need a 6" lift and 35" tires to go to the mall on Saturday night without regearing and upgrading the brakes won't know the difference. If you live in a state with emissions testing or think you may keep it go for it. Don't get rid of the carbs just in case you decide to sell. A potential buyer may want to go back and if you have the removed parts FI won't be sticking point. If you are definitely going to sell and can get a carb working properly spend the cost of the FI on something visually appealing.

Good luck!


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post #10 of 16 Old 08-05-2020, 09:21 PM
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1983 CJ7 
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My frame off/restore of an 83 has only the Howell update. Everything else is original. Purists would opt for rebuilding the Carter but I've already done that 3-4 times. Crappy option for a Cali jeep when you go in for Smog. The Howell eliminates miles of vacuum tubes and wiring. The engine bay is quite clean now. Time and cost of trying to work with and troubleshoot the original Carter got too high. Plus it was only one of three choices-original Carter, Howell or expensive Mopar port injection.
I'm handing it down to one of my daughters so the added $ value doesn't factor in. Reliability does. It may be the same for your potential buyer. IMHO.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-14-2020, 10:50 PM
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No comparison- Howell runs better, no stalling when off camber, quicker throttle response, CARB Emissions legal, great customer service

Cons- you now have a computer meaning you have sensors and switches for the feedback and more wires but the GM TBI is pretty sturdy IMHO
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-17-2020, 08:53 AM
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The value added when barely idleing over an obstacle at 10k feet of altitude just so you can go as slow as possible is worth it alone.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-17-2020, 09:06 AM
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[EDIT] someone already brought up emissions...[/EDIT]

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I drive a Prius to save money and buy more Jeep Parts....
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-17-2020, 04:07 PM
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My 85 had a Howell system on it, when I bought it. I can't speak to value, because there were very few Jeeps in the area for sale, to compare it to. Most were ragged out 4 cylinder YJ's, so a clean CJ went to the top of my list. But, I am very glad, and satisfied, that it was converted. We do not have emissions tests, and with antique tags, I don't have to get it inspected at all. So, that's not an issue.
It runs great, cold starts fantastic, and the fuel mileage is very satisfactory. If I were looking at another CJ, fuel injection would be more valuable to me.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-17-2020, 05:39 PM
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My 87 YJ has the same BBD system as the CJ's did. I is a very original unmolested Arizona Jeep so I have tried to keep it that way. The Jeep sat many years, the fuel system was full of varnish, the fuel pump bad, the carb plugged up, the stepper motor broke, the ignition timing set incorrectly (very easy to do on this system) vacuum lines split, vacuum lines misrouted from a valve cover gasket replacement? Blah blah blah.

I have owned it just over a year. Last summer I spent countless hours cleaning fuel the fuel tank, rebuilding carbs and buying more carbs to get all the parts I needed to make a good one. I did endless research and testing on all the vacuum operated systems and switches. Adjusted and played and tweeked and tinkered.

It starts and runs well in any temperature. I live in Michigan so it gets cold. It runs great and gets good gas mileage. It does not have an exhaust or fuel smell top on, top off, rear window open, nothing.

I was already a Master Tech in the era that these Jeeps were produced. I worked on several carburetors a day on many days. This feedback carb system is really weird and like I said, I spent last summer perfecting it. A lot was research of how this system works. It is its own animal. They can be made to run really well in stock form.

You have to be somebody that understands a carburetor though. How to truly adjust one to specs, the choke, the float, the power valve, accelerator pump, choke pull offs, idle mixtures, etc. and then tweek it to perfection from there based on knowing if an engine is running lean or rich with out a scan tool.

It is not a bad system. Just a dying art. Carburetors and basic ignition systems are a lost art.

Anytime anybody wants to throw away BBD era stuff. PM me. I will pay shipping AND make it worth your time if they are good clean parts. JS>

I love opening the hood of my 87 and people see the spaghetti mess that they originally were and then jump in and they say wow, this thing runs great.... I have done this with several younger mechanics that I work with.

EDIT: No. I feel it would decrease from the value of my particular Jeep because it is so bone stock and with my repairs it will run another 20-30 years in this form. Yes, I have a factory carb rebuild kit on the shelf and and trying to compile more parts of the whole emissions system while people are throwing them away to make this Jeep stay BBD even beyond my lifetime. For the next diehard to still make this system live on.

When I got this Jeep, I felt responsible to preserve history. It is complete enough to do so.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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