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Old 3rd April 2009, 11:55   #1
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Default Can a carb-esteem be converted to MPFI?

Gentlemen,

A good friend of mine has a 1997 Carb Esteem-Lx, which has been driven pretty carefully and has clocked about 70K. The car is in decently good condition.

I was thinking that a good mid-life makeover (or is it end of life makeover?) is in order and needed comments from the experts here.

The first question (may be dumb) is: Can't it be converted to MPFI (Better performance and efficiency)? I understand that a new MPFI unit may cost more than the present value of the car, but can't MPFI unit from some totalled esteem be sourced from somewhere?

He is planning to sell it off for pittance and I am wondering if it is better to give it a make-over and extend its life.

The car has been very cheap to maintain in the past. Will it change as it moves closer to the 1L Km mark?

Another thing which bothers me is the dim lights on the old-esteem. I guess this is because of the cover which has become almost opaque. Can it be fixed by putting clear-lens lights from the later esteems?

Please advise.

Cheers,
Su-47
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:04   #2
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Converting to MPFi is not technically difficult, but it just might be expensive. The engine block remains the same, but the cylinder head and valve gear will need changing. Add to it the fuel injection system - ECU, injectors, pump, pipes etc. - and the total bill should be pretty steep (it'll be cheaper to sell this and buy a used MPFi vehicle instead). But, as you said, if you manage to find a totalled Esteem and cannibalize its parts to do this, you might save some money. I guess you'll need good contacts in the insurance companies to discover a totalled Esteem with its engine intact!

Good luck.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:18   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
The engine block remains the same, but the cylinder head and valve gear will need changing. Add to it the fuel injection system - ECU, injectors, pump, pipes etc. - and the total bill should be pretty steep (it'll be cheaper to sell this and buy a used MPFi vehicle instead).
Thanks for the reply SS.

This appears more than what I can convince him for. Somewhere deep-down I was hoping that it would be a simple change like get the MPFI unit, throw away the carb and you are set. Whatever I've stated could be garbage technically, but, as they say Ignorance is bliss.

Cheers,
Su-47
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Su-47 View Post
Gentlemen,

A good friend of mine has a 1997 Carb Esteem-Lx, which has been driven pretty carefully and has clocked about 70K.

The first question (may be dumb) is: Can't it be converted to MPFI (Better performance and efficiency)?
Another thing which bothers me is the dim lights on the old-esteem. I guess this is because of the cover which has become almost opaque. Can it be fixed by putting clear-lens lights from the later esteems?

Please advise.

Cheers,
Su-47
Don't bother to changeover to MPFI.My experience with my '95 Carb Esteem is that it used to give better FE than MPFI ones because the former can be manually tweaked more

The MPFI Esteem,though ECU controlled,cannot be tweaked as is the case with Carbs eg. you can set the idle rpm of the Carb model to say 800 but cannot fiddle too much with the MPFI one.Also notice that MPFI cars start effortlessly at much higher rpms but the Carb would shudder initially at a low rpm till the engine op temperature is reached - a simple case of more fuel being consumed in the MPFI over the carb at cold start

Yes,emission control and performance(zip zap zoom) is better in MPFI because the ECU adjusts to the throttle opening and controls fuel accordingly so incomplete combustion or unburnt fuel scenarios do not occur.

Also as regards the headlight,the 97 Esteem(if it is the old non-Tachometer model) will not take the new Clear lens.Buy the old model lights which have glass and throw in 90/100 bulbs with a relay kit and enjoy !!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Converting to MPFi is not technically difficult, but it just might be expensive. The engine block remains the same, but the cylinder head and valve gear will need changing. Add to it the fuel injection system - ECU, injectors, pump, pipes etc. - and the total bill should be pretty steep (it'll be cheaper to sell this and buy a used MPFi vehicle instead).
Good luck.
Ek Dum Correct
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Old 3rd April 2009, 12:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post

Also as regards the headlight,the 97 Esteem(if it is the old non-Tachometer model) will not take the new Clear lens.Buy the old model lights which have glass and throw in 90/100 bulbs with a relay kit and enjoy !!!

Ek Dum Correct
I've got a '95 Carb Esteem and that's exactly what I've done with the lights ! They are quite good for city driving but if driving in the nights on a dark highway, would suggest a speed of not more than 70kmph !
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Old 3rd April 2009, 13:03   #6
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MPFi engines are available in the resale market for around 30k. Get one with the wiring harness & swap it. I know it involves a bit more, perhaps someone more knowledgeable in this can help here. I am planning to do the same or even better a Baleno engine sometime.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 14:58   #7
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Thanks for your comments guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
I am planning to do the same or even better a Baleno engine sometime.
You are being greedy
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:07   #8
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Su-47. You have had some sound advice from your friends who have posted before me. I will agree with them.

The cost will be astronomical and its not as if a mpfi wil give you better FE than the carburetted version.

If you are looking for power all the way then at a fraction of the cost, (of converting the carb esteem to a MPFI) which will include changing the manifold, you will be able to make a monster out of the car with twin Webbers but then toss FE out of the window it will be a monster to drive tough, with a professional port and polish job.

Regarding engine swapping, trust me ive been there before, its not easy as it sounds and turns out pretty expensive if you put all the costs together. Dont get there till you are a sucker for punishment (i am )

Go for a FE esteem available freely and cheaply in the pre owned car market.

Last edited by V-16 : 3rd April 2009 at 15:09. Reason: add
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Old 3rd April 2009, 15:28   #9
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The friend I am talking about is planning to upgrade to ANHC. The reason for choosing ANHC is that he wants a sedan which is as trouble free to own as the esteem, and is more powerful and is at-least as efficient as esteem.

In these times (recession and what not), we were wondering if there is an easier way for him to achieve what he wants without having to spend close to a million rupees for the ANHC.

He is not really an auto-enthusiast and from whatever has been said on this thread about the cost and effort, I conclude that it is better to not go on the path of converting it to MPFI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
If you are looking for power all the way then at a fraction of the cost, (of converting the carb esteem to a MPFI) which will include changing the manifold, you will be able to make a monster out of the car with twin Webbers but then toss FE out of the window it will be a monster to drive tough, with a professional port and polish job.
Out of curiosity:
- Any estimates on what would be the damages (to the pocket)?
- Are such changes reversible?
- You said "toss the FE out of window"? How far ? 5 kmpl? Or, lower than that?

Many thanks,
Su-47
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Old 3rd April 2009, 16:59   #10
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You donot need to go the mpfi route if all you need is more FE and performance. Try and get your hands on the cylinder head from the 16v Mpfi Esteem and run the same with either a single or two carbs (a single carb with with the correct jet sizes might just do the trick too!) .

Note that for doing this, you'd need to make a custom manifold for the carb/carbs to fit. The head should be available for around 5k or so .
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Old 4th April 2009, 15:02   #11
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Ive done that on my car, '98 carb to mpfi conversion, approx Rs.90,000 in parts.

Labor was free
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Old 4th April 2009, 15:40   #12
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Quote:
- Any estimates on what would be the damages (to the pocket)?
- Are such changes reversible?
- You said "toss the FE out of window"? How far ? 5 kmpl? Or, lower than that?

Many thanks,
Su-47
# Parts and labour (depending on what you are buying new and pre owned) : 70K-100K

# Headache & Heartache : Free

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Old 4th April 2009, 16:32   #13
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Hey SU-47, if your not looking at performance enhancements, Than do not think of doing this the conversion effort and cost will not justify. To be frank this type of conversion for mileage are never stiffying as one excepted some mirical after spendx amount of money. BUt for performance inerces it's great and can be done. if you not looking at all new factory setup. the cost could eb between 40 to 60 grand. but you will have to do some real work to get it up and running properly.The biggest cost is of the harness and ECU, if get a standalone ECU. thanharness for the MPFI setup only ,can be built at very small cost.
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Old 5th April 2009, 15:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
# Parts and labour (depending on what you are buying new and pre owned) : 70K-100K

# Headache & Heartache : Free

V-16,

I apologize if I didn't make it clear. My question of moolah-estimation was related to the modifications you had suggested: twin webbers etc.

Thanks,
Su-47
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Old 5th April 2009, 19:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Su-47 View Post
V-16,

I apologize if I didn't make it clear. My question of moolah-estimation was related to the modifications you had suggested: twin webbers etc.

Thanks,
Su-47
HI,

Cost of twin webbers approx 20 -40k in Mumbai(used pair) all depends on supply & demand + cost of either fabricating a custom manifold(approx 5-10K) which will involve cutting your bonnet as well.

You do get ready manifolds abroad as well.

Viper
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