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Fuel Cell

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Looking for general advice on fitting a fuel cell, what to look out for and do and how to hook up the filler. Thinking a plastic 30litre capacity job, it's for the Z31 race car. Not keen on using foam in the tank so fuel pickup is relevant, what pumps and everything else relevant to not starving of fuel. Will do a Google to see what articles are available but personal experience can't be beaten so give me yours. Please :)

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I made my own to suit my requirements so it may not suit your needs, however, there might be something of interest.

 

- As mine is for road registration I just adapted all the fittings off a donor car - filler, pump, breather, etc. Easy for spares and hopefully suits the engineer.

 

- Machined a coupling to suit a standard in-tank pump and welded it to the top of the tank - I dislike lines coming off the bottom of the tank.

 

- Created a filler opening behind the number plate - minimises the amount of shielding required (not yet finished on mine) to prevent the filler being exposed to the cabin space. I also made a substitute rear panel frame, but only to mount the GTO bodywork. You could do the same with a standard rear panel.

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Edited by PeterAllen

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The disappointing aspect from my perspective was I had to have a somewhat narrow tank at accommodate the huge mufflers (rego) and at the same time having the GTO twin exhaust. 

 

I've subsequently positioned the reverse lights to try and hide the narrowness in a rear view.

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Edited by PeterAllen

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Most cells should have a drop sump, and two outlets, you could run a 044 direct ( filter between), but, better to run a filter, into a ,low pressure pump into a 2L surge pot, then a 044, with return from engine back into pot, and a top o/flow back into tank.

No fuel starvation that way.

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Yeh, that's the way that the 280ZX is done but it's messy with lines everywhere. May have to go for an aluminium tank to get internal baffles and provisions for an in tank pump and a fuel gauge sender. Must check out that Holley fuel mat thing.

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The rally guys very much like that fuel mat thing!

Needs a cell with a large enough inspection/sender/return hatch to get your arm and a spanner into, to then run the outlet with a gasket and locknut, on the outside.

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Wonder if nutserts sealed with, say, locktite would be OK to use on the top of an aluminium fuel tank?  Thinking of cutting a circular hole in the top for a fuel gauge sender, I guess there is a suitable sealant for that sort of thing.

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The in-tank assembly does away with all that complexity. The gauge sender in incorporated.

 

You young fellas are in a time warp...get with it!

Edited by PeterAllen

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Looked at yours Peter but unfortunately for racing stock type intank pumps need the fuel level to be kept up, unnecessary weight sloshing around. What would be good is to adapt a stock type intank pump to a Holley Hydramat. But I don't know of any that can be adapted to do that, the Hydamat requires a 3/8" fitting.

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Looked at yours Peter but unfortunately for racing stock type intank pumps need the fuel level to be kept up, unnecessary weight sloshing around. ...

 

I would have thought that can be addressed in the baffle design during construction.

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It can to some degree plus foam can be used. But foam can break down and baffling is a bit hit/miss as to how effective it will be.

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I would strongly recommend using the foam in any tank Richard. I will be filling the standard tank on the S14 with foam.

 

The foam I had in the old 240 lasted 15 years with no problems and saved me in one big crash at Oran Park where the tank was ripped from the straps and the filler neck pulled from the tank. With out the foam the 5 or so litres of fuel that sprayed out everywhere over the back of the car would have been much worse and much hotter if that became the 20 or 30 litres that was in the tank.

 

Also putting out plenty of fuel fires as a firie, the tanks with foam were much nicer to deal with as the fuel was held and effectively released in a leaking tank in a much more controlled manner that could be easily dealt with using a foam extinguisher or fire bomb.

 

Ig you use the holley fuel mat on the bottom and then place the foam on top to fill the tank you should get no surge with low volumes, and if the worse does happen the amount of fuel splashing around is very limited.

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One possible negative about foam is it moving around inside the tank resulting in small pieces breaking off. If it was possible to use some sort of restraining net around it in the tank then for my purpose a  tank with a small sump and an outlet for an outside fuel pump would work. Wonder if insect screening would be OK? An outside pump by itself without a separate pickup pump would be fine, it would not heat the fuel up as much as a in tank pump would.

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I don't think it would be very easy for the foam to break off and just run a filter.

 

In the soarer we have a 120L JAZ circle track tank full of foam and it doesn't have a sump like mentioned above and just has an outlet in the back. That goes to a filter, carter rotary pump, surge tank then 044 high pressure pump and works with no problems.

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This is from my 4 year build post

Pictures in the origional document.

 

 

If you guys are doing a engine swap and need to change your fuel system to efi and surge tank try this.

I drilled a 25mm hole in the bottom of the tank then built a tin dish to suit the profile of the tank installed a fuel pick up and drain plug in it then tig welded it on.

I also used the fuel tank liner kit resin type to seal any pin holes in it. The returne line is the stock one and the original fuel feed line has been capped off.

By doing this it keeps every thing standard in the car. And the serge tank is about 2 litres.

Edited by red76z

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The present idea is to use a tank like that below, fill the bottom 75% of the tank with foam blocks leaving the sump part clear and hook up the EFI pump directly to one of the outlets or maybe both. The idea is that the foam blocks will always act to keep fuel in the sump. If we think that won't work then it's back to the Holley fuel mat idea.

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I don't think it would be very easy for the foam to break off and just run a filter.

 

In the soarer we have a 120L JAZ circle track tank full of foam and it doesn't have a sump like mentioned above and just has an outlet in the back. That goes to a filter, carter rotary pump, surge tank then 044 high pressure pump and works with no problems.

 

Fuel gauge? The Jaz Pro Street tanks have provision for one but the smallest is 12 gal, about 45 litres.

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They sell a send in 12" and 9" that is a float inside a tube so it works with the foam.

 

For a filler, we fill straight in the top, just open the boot.

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Edited by d3c0y

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Cool, so how did you fit the sender in the tank? Far as I know only the Jaz Pro Street tanks have provision for one.

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But for a race car why do need fuel sender????

 

Not being a smart arse, serious question...

 

The Zed never ran one. I knew roughly how much the fuel burn was and then just put that plus a bit to cover the number of laps to be done. At the end of the weekend, drain the tank of the avgas and put in the road ute or Fairlane for a bit of oomph.

 

Depending on dash and other electronics being used, couldn't you work out fuel level from use and then fill from there based on number of laps to be done?

 

And the foam bricks won't move around or break up when you shove enough in the tank, hardest part is getting the bricks to the corners away from the opening where you put them in. Not sure who got the tank from the green Zed, but it still had the foam in it when I sold it.

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Why a fuel gauge? Why not, particularly when actually doing laps with a new car and you are not sure how much fuel is being used or the fuel is not going to be drained after. With the VG turbo bitch used to devour fuel when using a lot of boost.

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But with "smart" dashes that measure fuel used through the injectors it should be easy enough to set an alarm when x amount of fuel is used and you know you put y amount in, just make sure that y > x or you could have problems  :)

 

Problem with in tank fuel senders is that they are inherently inaccurate when driven on the track due to the cornering forces involved.

 

I know it is dependant on using said data capable dashes/loggers ecu to do this, but the cost of them makes it easily attainable for most people no days. Especially when a brand new ECU with all the latest wizz bang tech is the same price I paid for a Haltech F9 computer 20 years ago to be one of the cool kids with injection.

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