Fuel Cell construction

Curtis Guise

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I was thinking of having my friend that Tig welds build me a fuel cell out of aluminum for my prerunner. The reason is so I can make it any size and shape that I want. But I need to know if you definitely need to have a blader and use the aluminum for a shell, or can you just make the entire thing out of aluminum and not have it be a safety issue.. It wouldn't need to be legal for racing because its a prerunner. What thickness for the aluminum should be used?

thanks
 

fishd00d

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I know a lot of trucks that my friends have that its just an alumn. tank....no bladder or anything inside. They have raced with it like that too.

Go Big Or Go Home
United Jumping Truck Society
 

mgobaja

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Well either way you can still put baffels or foam in it to help reduce the fuel slosh. The down side to an aluminum only tank is that with the constant abuse it will get it will crack in time then leak. A bladder will reduce this possibilty.
 

ntsqd

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For the cost vs. strength I'd go with steel. Not as trick or cool looking as aluminum, but it'll live and get you back from San Juanico and the material won't cost a fortune.
Make the bottom from something about 10 or 11 gauge, the sides & top can be thinner. Really helps if you know a HVAC sheetmetal guy that you can talk into bending up all of the bits. Design all seams to overlap (no butt welds) & weld both edges when you can. Make the top the last part to go on so that you can easily weld baffles in it.
Baffle design can be as simple as two 'C' shapes with the openings facing each other. Make one 'C' about 2" taller than the other and sort of overlap them to form a box for the pick-up. If possible put that in the center of the bottom and add more baffles to control lateral slosh.

When it's all welded together get some US Std. Fuel tank Sealer from POR-15.com & treat the inside with it. That will prevent it from rusting and will seal any pinholes you might have.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

ntsqd

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Baffle shape clarification: c]
Hope that helps.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

1992f150

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without the bladder your basicly building a gas tank. What are you trying to accomplish, be able to hold more fuel or something?

Azusa: shame of the foothills
 

Snmiedo

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We have a 41.5 Gallon Fuel Cell that is manufactured for us exclusively by Fuel Safe. It has an aluminum Tig welded container, 5 year warranty, 1" vent with rollover check valve, 2 1/4" or 3" remote filler with flapper valve, plumbed for pickup and return fuel fittings, and also has a sending unit available. It is designed to fit between the frame rails of ANY truck; mini, mid, full size, or SUV. It is also SCORE and FIA legal.
Baja Shop, Baja Racing Products, Race Ready Products, H&M Motorsports, and B&R Buggie currently stock them at $895 w/o sending unit and $995 with sending unit. It is indeed more expensive than a square "Jazz type" tank but has many more benefits including the slanted departure angle on the bottom of the tank. A like custom bladder from Fuel Safe would run nearly $1,400.
Feel free to e-mail (mike@racerxms.com) or call me should you have any questions (760)918-0777.
Thanks!
Michael Cohen
Racer X Motorsports
 

CRAIG_HALL

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Almost every sand car out there has an aluminum tank with a couple of baffles. Aluminum should be OK as long as you cradle it in 1/8" rubber or something similiar to prevent it from rubbing metal to metal.
Definietly try to build it as ntsqd stated. Let me know if you need some bending done, I do all the prototyping fabricating at a sheetmetal shop in ontario.
 

ACID_RAIN28

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I got a 40 gallon tank built from .100 wall 5000 series aluminum. No Bladder but it has a baffles with a maze baffle for the pickup, simmilar to those found in the tanks of late model chevys. I would suggest that you do not make it from 6061 t6 if you want to bend it. I would not make the tank any thinner than .090. I got all the pieces, about a 6X5' piece from KH metals in Riverside for about 140.


Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by ACID_RAIN28 on 12/03/02 10:33 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
 

Curtis Guise

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Exactly, probably 35-40 gal. It looks like I might be building a T-100 so that would give me even more room to work with than my '90 Toyota. I will be building a 3 or 4 link for the back and I haven't decided if I will be doing a full tube frame in the rear or leave most of the stock frame there.

Thanks for the info Thom, I will have to keep that in mind when deciding what material to use.

Sorry Michael, $1000 is to much for me. I know I can build one for a few hundred or less. The expensive part will be the fittings etc. My friend that Tig Welds used to work at a few different machine shops and I took two years of machining in college, so I think it shouldn't be a problem getting the material bent.

I have attached a 5 second drawing I just made on the shape I was thinking. Of course I have to measure the truck and figure out how the cage is going to be before I commit to anything. I would like to keep it from hanging down to low and also not sit to high in the cage. So my spare tire doesn't have to sit real high.
 

Kritter

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contact John Krellwitz (jkrell on RDC i think)...he has a custom built tank on his Duffco Yota (the one that that took the wildwash race). It was made at a local shop and is a nice tank. Not Sure on the price though.

Kris
"Buy American before it's too late..."
 

Kbach66

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For the filler plate unit, try ebay. I was able to score a B&R (I think thats the brand) filler assembly that's similar to the one in the pic Mike posted for $40 shipped. A lot of the Nascar guys part out their cells after their SFI approval is outdated. Mine has the rollover valve, large filler hose receptacle, and a couple other AN fittings on it. I checked out prices of the filler 'plate' new, and it was anywhere from $150-$300 for most of them.
 

Kbach66

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Alright...so I got a little bored and checked ebay. Right now, there's an ATL plate that's brand new for $125. The auctions up in a day. If you're in no particular hurry...just keep checking. I waited and finally scored mine pretty cheap. Good luck!!
 

Custom_Yota

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We own a HVAC shop and i made my own. It is fairly easy to do you just need all trhe right equipment.
For a friend of mine on his toyota, since the fuel pump was mounted in side the stock tank we made a box for the stock tank lined the bottom with that expandable foam set the tank in and then filled the sides up with more foam. It looks just like a regular cell and only cost about 30 bucks for foam and new fuel lines
 

frankh

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If you are going to race it, then it needs the bladder. My wife's ranger had a fuel tank when we bought it. I thought it was a fuel cell (looked just like one) but it was just a tank. MDR never caught it but it was wrong . she got nerfed one time and it stated to leak. It could have been a bad thing. Luck for us everything went ok. It was switched to a true fuel cell before the next race. I guess you need to decide what your life and your fellow races life are worth? The Safety rules are their to protect you and other. not to see if you can get around them. If you are going to break the rules break the one that will just DQ you not Kill you.
 

ACID_RAIN28

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I got my filler plate from a Strip tank that an old racer i new was getting rid of it. The materials is around 140-180 depending on market price and the supplyer. The Sheet was from KH metals in riverside. I got the sending unit from Carquest for 20. It has to be used with a custom Gauge. If you want to reuse the factory gauge it needs to be the right ohms. Kartek has sending units for ford and chevys. not sure on the other makes, but they only go 11" deep. I did not run foam so i do not know how much it is. Jegs.com or summit have it all, as well as a lot of the places on RDC's links

Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream.
 

Kritter

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Very heavy and very expensive!

Kris
"Buy American before it's too late..."
 
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