Dissecting the Edelbrock Pro-Flo 4 and 4+ EFI Engine Management Systems

Engine swaps require more than just a crate engine and quick intentions. There are a ton of things that need to be factored into the equation for the engine to start and run properly. This is precisely why the creative minds of Edelbrock released the Pro-Flo 4 and Pro-Flo 4+ engine management systems. For those unfamiliar with Edelbrock’s creative EFI conversion kits, note that the main difference between the Pro-Flo 4 and the Pro-Flo 4+ is the type of engine you plan to use.

The Pro-Flo 4 is for older engine types and serves as a solution for changing from a carburetor to EFI setup. By implementing a 4150 style manifold, Edelbrock developed a way to maintain that classic wired appearance, while using an Edelbrock XT series intake with a 90mm throttle body.

Each Pro-Flo 4 kit comes complete with an ECU, wiring harness, distributor and intake manifold, with injectors installed. However, this system does not support drive-by-wire (DBW) or VCT settings. For this you will need the Pro-Flo 4+ system.

The Pro-Flo 4+ is an EFI engine management solution for modern applications, with Ford’s Coyote engines being the apple of our eye. With full DBW throttle and VCT control capabilities, these plug-and-play systems are an intriguing replacement option for OEM power supplies and harnesses.

Additionally, both systems are viable solutions for EFI conversions, with full tuning support via an IOS/Android E TUNER app, or courtesy of Edelbrock’s E TUNER 4 PLUS software. This software is a free offer on all app stores. Basic calibrations are included on most apps, without any action on the laptop, as performance tuning and monitoring and minor engine adjustments can be done with the aforementioned app.

So what else do these clever EFI conversion kits offer? We recently sat down with Edelbrock to discuss the Pro-Flo 4 and Pro-Flo 4+, and here’s why we came away very impressed.

Old school update

It may look like another air induction upgrade, but Edelbrock’s Pro-Flo 4 system is more than just a carburetor replacement.

Computer-controlled multi-point injection eliminates hard starting, increases fuel economy and provides complete engine control when using the system’s “advanced tuning” features. Ignition curves for specific engine configurations are now readily available, with limitations on the standard distributor advance mechanism no longer an issue. Smoother idling, faster acceleration, improved peak power, greater fuel economy gains and detonation control are all there at the touch of a finger in the E-Tuner 4 app.

engine management

This throttle body-style EFI system features fuel rails with injectors mounted directly to the port, allowing fuel distribution in the airflow inside the plenum to mirror that of a carburetor.

Pro-Flo 4 EFI systems feature a high performance Edelbrock intake manifold with a 1000 cfm throttle body, fuel rails and individual injectors for each cylinder. One of the keys to improving the performance of a system like this is the location of the fuel injector, which is at the end of the channel on the intake manifold, just before the airflow enters the combustion chamber.

This location allows for more effective mixture control that is unaffected by variations in intake manifold runner length and temperature. The fuel injector is also synchronized with the intake valve opening giving the ultimate control and providing an efficient way to deliver fuel into your engine. This design produces excellent fuel atomization and precise delivery to each cylinder for optimum performance.

Modern swaps require modern solutions

At the other end of the spectrum is the Pro-Flo 4+ EFI system. This is for those looking to swap a Coyote engine into a classic chassis. This is for those looking to swap the modern EFI-powered engine into a classic chassis. The Edelbrock Pro-Flo 4+ is an ultra-simple plug-and-play solution with lots of potential for on-board calibration and diagnostics.

With DBW throttle and VCT at the forefront, this revolutionary engine management system borrows heavily from Edelbrock’s proven Pro-Flo 4 EFI design. Interestingly enough, this system does not require laptop tuning, as it relies on its own self-learning ECU.

Edelbrock’s test mule for the Pro-Flo 4+ EFI engine management system is a Coyote-powered 1967 Ford F-100.

Simply follow the setup wizard’s simple instructions, select a base setting, and let your vehicle’s new ECU adapt to every turn of the ignition. This allows the system to continuously capitalize on fuel map readings and, in turn, further improve the performance of the specific engine configuration in question.

Each kit also includes fully-terminated modular wiring harnesses for simplified installation, as well as a wireless touch pad. The latter comes preloaded with Edelbrock’s exclusive E-Tuner 4+ calibration software for system configuration scenarios, calibration adjustments, diagnostics and performance monitoring.

Engine management

Edelbrock offers a comprehensive component selection guide to help everyone choose the right products to make swapping as easy as possible.

Another nice feature is the reliance of Edelbrock’s E-Tuner 4+ app on a Bluetooth wireless connection to communicate with the ECU. This allows you to monitor vital parameters and engine performance in real time from inside or outside the vehicle. The Pro-Flo 4+ can adjust fuel mixtures, ignition curves, air/fuel ratios, idle speeds, throttle fuel loads, cooling fan engagement speeds and temperatures , rev limiters, and much more, via the tablet equipped with the E-Tuner 4+. .

Conclusion

If you’re thinking of upgrading your vintage carbureted engine or swapping in a modern Coyote for your classic ride, Edelbrock has you covered. While the Pro-Flo 4 has the benefit of retaining the aesthetics of a carburetor, it also features computer-controlled multi-port fuel injection that will eliminate the hard starting that plagues aging carburetors. The Pro-Flo 4+ has the advantage of modern engine control which can be extremely useful when switching from a Coyote to your classic vehicle.

Features of the Edelbrock Pro-Flo 4+

  • All advanced functions calibrated for optimal performance
  • Drive-by-wire and limp-home safety mode function
  • Simplified and competitively priced plug-and-play solution
  • Controls up to four variable cams
  • Controls up to two DBW throttle bodies
  • Two built-in broadband oxygen sensors (closed loop AFR control)
  • Interfaces with OEM knock sensors to help prevent detonation (optional)
  • Included MAP and IAT sensor eliminates factory MAF sensor, air intake piping and air box for unlimited air intake design possibilities
  • Alternator control calibrated for OEM alternator
  • Basic calibration gives 40 rear wheel horsepower and 50 rear wheel torque on the crate engine ECU
  • High impedance injector drivers
  • All systems use a velocity-density calibration strategy
  • Refined base calibrations – little to no adjustment required
  • Modular design makes installation easy – minimal wiring required
  • Fully encapsulated and weatherproof compact ECU design
  • 7-inch wireless touchscreen tablet included, with pre-installed E-Tuner 4 app
  • Supports 2011-2014 standard VCT phasers and 2015-2017 “mid-lock” VCT phasers
  • Works with standard size Ford factory DBW throttle bodies or GT350 87mm throttle body
  • Changed configurations and boosted apps coming soon

Kevin A. Perras