Home
Back to Installs Main Menu
Back to Installs Part-1

Custom Fuel Cell Installation
Page 1
/
Page 2
/
Page 3
Safety and Performance

A fuel cell is basically a gas tank. In fact, when you install a fuel cell you dispense with the original factory fuel tank. A fuel cell consists of a plastic "bladder" which is housed in a steel or aluminum case. The bladder is usually filled with sections of stiff foam. The foam prevents the fuel from sloshing during high-g maneuvers so that the fuel pump pick up does not run dry (which causes the engine to stumble). But the real advantage to a fuel cell is that the flexible bladder is much less likely to rupture during a crash. This is a real plus in terms of safety relative to the factory tanks, which are rigid steel or plastic and can be caused to rupture in an accident. The resultant fuel spill is a real fire hazard.

Our resident installation expert Jimmy Pettinato has installed a fuel cell in his E30 M3 race car. Below is a summary of his project:



Fuel cell in the spare tire well The cell I used is an ATL D cell (or "well cell as its nicknamed"),,, a relatively new product, designed for installation in cars with a spare tire well,,, they didn't have many out in the market place when I bought mine,,, they asked me to send them pictures of mine installed!

Its 12 Gallon cap. Cost was $395.00. I bought it direct from ATL... no one had any other than them. Its not even in their catalog yet. Now I understand Truechoice is carrying it.

Instead of going the very expensive Earls/Russells/Aeroquip route on fuel lines I went with a braided nylon coated hose that is used for fuel and hydraulic lines on heavy equipment. As you will see its black, so the "poseability ratio" is quite low,,, but so is the price. Its got great specs,,, the guys at the hydraulic shop made up the lines for me to my measurements and crimped them in their machine. Burst pressure is 1000 PSI, Max working pressure is 250 PSI,,, I am at a 4:1 safety ratio on the working pressure and over 10:1 on the burst. I figure if its good enough for bulldozers and heavy construction equipment it will be OK on my little old race car. Total cost on all my line & fittings was like $60 or less,,, all made up. I did have to go to Earls / Truechoice for some special adapters M12 - 6AN for the fuel filter and pump, also a one way check valve to keep the pump side pressurized so starting was easier. Everything is 6AN (37) fittings and line. I used lots of rubber coated clamps and wire ties to eliminated flex and chafing. I also used some 3/4" heater hose as additional abrasion protection anywhere the hoses "may" have contacted anything.

Next page »

Page 1
/
Page 2
/
Page 3

Home
Back to Installs Main Menu
Back to Installs Part-1