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takjak2

Ballooned Fuel Tanks

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CEO and el Presidente @chisek said one thing at Sebring. National Chief of Tech @Mopar 63 says another thing. Again, we have maybe 3 different interpretations of the written rule book on this.

 

What is legal?

 

Here's the tricky part, and it should make Mr. @mender happy. If expanding stock fuel capacity is legal, what are the limits? If expanded stock fuel capacity is legal, how big of a fuel cell is legal? Is expanding a fuel cell legal?

 

If inflating a fuel tank isn't legal, how are the multiple cars that have already done this to be dealt with? Can't just give a free pass. Do they need to buy and fit a new tank?

And truly, would it even be enforced? IIRC no one has ever had their capacity checked.

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14 minutes ago, Snorman said:

At 11:13.25

Oh wow! That explains everything!! Thanks dude!

Edited by enginerd
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28 minutes ago, enginerd said:

Oh wow! That explains everything!! Thanks dude!

Do you try to be a douchebag or does it just come naturally? 

It's been insinuated that we didn't really speak with Mike about this issue. I'm merely pointing out that yes, we did and it was mentioned on the LiveCast.

S. 

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15 minutes ago, Snorman said:

Do you try to be a douchebag or does it just come naturally? 

It's been insinuated that we didn't really speak with Mike about this issue. I'm merely pointing out that yes, we did and it was mentioned on the LiveCast.

S. 

 

We engineers aren't the most social bunch, but he means good. We're just sticklers for concrete things written down. The link is helpful and germane to the conversation, thanks.

 

Edit: Green is the official sarcasm color for 2018. Didn't you get the memo?

Edited by takjak2
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3 minutes ago, takjak2 said:

 

We engineers aren't the most social bunch, but he means good. We're just sticklers for concrete things written down. The link is helpful and germane to the conversation, thanks.

 

Edit: Green is the official sarcasm color for 2018. Didn't you get the memo?

I didn't get the memo, but I'm red-green colorblind anyway. No kidding. 

:(

S. 

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On a related note, it is possible to increase the fuel capacity of a Miata by about 2 gallons with a small piece of 90° tubing. Does that count as modifying the tank?

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1 hour ago, Snorman said:

I didn't get the memo, but I'm red-green colorblind anyway. No kidding. 

:(

S. 

 

 

Shhhhhh.  He thinks this is a star.  

Mickey_Mouse.png

 

 

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When did people start putting balloons in their fuel tanks?  That should reduce the fuel capacity right? 

 

Hope they don't burst while they are in there.  Rubber is not good to clean up.

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1 hour ago, Turd Ferguson said:

As an engineer myself, I've discovered that most non-engineers usually believe the word "douchebag" and the word "engineer" are synonymous.

Don't listen to those people, they're just overcompensating for the engineers that think they're a minor deity. :lol:

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Sure do wish it would hurry up and get warmer so you'll can go outside and play.

Thanks for your positive comments about the length of the current rules.  We've been working to continuously improve them for a few years now.

I'm a technical trainer so I understand both sides of the discussion. I've written a lot of compliance manuals and have worked closely with  teams of engineers. I'm the middle man between them and the guys that are doing the work.

 It really gets to me that someone always brings up that we are inconsistent with the rules. My primary focus is for your safety.  I'll challenge anyone to show where we are inconsistent with enforcement of the safety rules. 

It's impossible to have everything covered 100% in black and white in the rules with as many different cars that race with Champcar, this might be possible with spec cars.

 

Its been said that safety rules are meant to protect a fool from himself.  Its our job to prevent these fools from hurting themselves or anyone else. We have a good safety record and I'm going to do what I can to keep it that way.

 

I have in the past and will in the future crawl under cars and look at stock gas tank.  If anyone looks at these at  impound and wants tech to look at it just let us know.  It in doubt about the safety, or structural integrity of the tanks and we will enforce the following rule

1.3.6.   Unsafe Vehicles: At ChumpCar’s sole discretion, any car may be determined unsafe for competition and may be removed from the event at any time. 

That's it no fine print.

 

I've had more than one team ask if they could repurpose the metal from the gas tank they replaced with a fuel cell.. (That's a definite no)                                                                                             

 

When you'll had enough of this discussion I'd like to hear your thoughts on the rules for what can be attached to fuel cells for filler tubes and vent lines.  We need a spec for these hoses/lines.  Should they be required to be enclosed to separate them from the driver?

 

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety

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So modified stock tanks are legal as long as they look safe.    Thank you.   That will change our decision as we planned on going to a fuel cell but we are limited to a certain capacity, if we modify the stock tank we are not.  

Edited by Snake

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2 minutes ago, Mopar 63 said:

Sure do wish it would hurry up and get warmer so you'll can go outside and play.

Thanks for your positive comments about the length of the current rules.  We've been working to continuously improve them for a few years now.

I'm a technical trainer so I understand both sides of the discussion. I've written a lot of compliance manuals and have worked closely with  teams of engineers. I'm the middle man between them and the guys that are doing the work.

 It really gets to me that someone always brings up that we are inconsistent with the rules. My primary focus is for your safety.  I'll challenge anyone to show where we are inconsistent with enforcement of the safety rules. 

It's impossible to have everything covered 100% in black and white in the rules with as many different cars that race with Champcar, this might be possible with spec cars.

 

Its been said that safety rules are meant to protect a fool from himself.  Its our job to prevent these fools from hurting themselves or anyone else. We have a good safety record and I'm going to do what I can to keep it that way.

 

I have in the past and will in the future crawl under cars and look at stock gas tank.  If anyone looks at these at  impound and wants tech to look at it just let us know.  It in doubt about the safety, or structural integrity of the tanks and we will enforce the following rule

1.3.6.   Unsafe Vehicles: At ChumpCar’s sole discretion, any car may be determined unsafe for competition and may be removed from the event at any time. 

That's it no fine print.

 

I've had more than one team ask if they could repurpose the metal from the gas tank they replaced with a fuel cell.. (That's a definite no)                                                                                             

 

When you'll had enough of this discussion I'd like to hear your thoughts on the rules for what can be attached to fuel cells for filler tubes and vent lines.  We need a spec for these hoses/lines.  Should they be required to be enclosed to separate them from the driver?

 

Phil McKinney

Director Tech & Safety

I still have a question:

 

Are “ballooned”/ otherwise modified fuel tanks considered to be unsafe or will they be assessed on a case by case basis?

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41 minutes ago, Mopar 63 said:

When you'll had enough of this discussion I'd like to hear your thoughts on the rules for what can be attached to fuel cells for filler tubes and vent lines.  We need a spec for these hoses/lines.  Should they be required to be enclosed to separate them from the driver?

I replace my clear fuel cell filler and vent hoses yearly and before throwing away the old stuff, I took the opportunity to see how long it would take to compromise the old filler hose.

 

I used a propane torch set on high and had the inner cone of the flame pointed directly at and touching the hose. IIRC it took over a minute for the inside of the hose to start outgassing. I just replaced the hoses again so can repeat that or another test if you like. I also tried a puncture test and the material is very tough unless the object is very sharp and pointy.

 

I don't have my filler and vent hoses separated from the driver but I feel very safe, partly from my prior experience in racing but also after doing the tests myself. I like being able to visually inspect the hoses and also feel that I would be able to smell a leak much easier without an enclosure. I have three layers of steel between the bladder and the outside of the car: steel plated NASCAR door bars, a bulkhead around the fuel cell container and the container itself. You can see my installation in this video:

 

Edited by mender
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My guess, case by case until someone takes it too far and has a fire, then we all loose this "new" little tidbit boost.

 

*Disclaimer*

NOT running a ballooned tank, it aint worth it, my fire suit, no matter how good, will be useless when wet with fuel.

1 minute ago, mender said:

tests

It will not be a materials failure, it will be a crash that pulls apart the system at it's clamps...

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I just submitted a petition... here's an excerpt... now it's out of my hands.. we'll see what happens when the board next convenes... which I think is this month.

 

This petition seeks to add the word "unmodified" to rule 9.10.2 as such:

9.10.2.1. Unmodified stock fuel tanks in stock locations OR approved fuel cells are the only fuel sources allowed for competition. 

9.10.2.2. NON-OEM REPLACEMENT OR SWAPPED FUEL TANKS ARE NOT ALLOWED. It’s either stock, unmodified, in the stock location, or an approved fuel cell with the proper installation. 

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12 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

It will not be a materials failure, it will be a crash that pulls apart the system at it's clamps...

 

The only way a fuel cell filler hose can get pulled off is if the car itself distorts enough to change the distance between the cell and the filler neck.

 

After a nasty wreck with the NCATS stock car, the fuel filler hose was the only thing holding the cell to the back of the car, the supporting structure had been torn off. The driver refired the car and drove back to the pits dragging the fuel cell.

 

Very strong materials and I don't know how much it would take to pull a properly clamped hose off but it would be quite a lot.

 

 

Edited by mender
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2 minutes ago, enginerd said:

I just submitted a petition... here's an excerpt... now it's out of my hands.. we'll see what happens when the board next convenes... which I think is this month.

 

This petition seeks to add the word "unmodified" to rule 9.10.2 as such:

9.10.2.1. Unmodified stock fuel tanks in stock locations OR approved fuel cells are the only fuel sources allowed for competition. 

9.10.2.2. NON-OEM REPLACEMENT OR SWAPPED FUEL TANKS ARE NOT ALLOWED. It’s either stock, unmodified, in the stock location, or an approved fuel cell with the proper installation. 

Another thought would be to require the allowed fuel capacity to be on both sides of the car so that the enforcing body (we the racers) could know when someone is cheating in a pit stop.

 

Simple but effective and one that essentially eliminates the reason for modifying a stock tank.

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4 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Amateur series, amateur builders do not always do things properly.

If they don't do it right, they don't race, just like any other safety item. It's not rocket science.

 

I use two band clamps on each end, not rad hose clamps. Like this:

001887_001423_001356_T-Bolt_Hose_Clamp_0

Edited by mender
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6 minutes ago, mender said:

Another thought would be to require the allowed fuel capacity to be on both sides of the car so that the enforcing body (we the racers) could know when someone is cheating in a pit stop.

 

Simple but effective and one that essentially eliminates the reason for modifying a stock tank.

That would require also adding an "allowed fuel capacity" rule in addition to this capacity sticker rule... such as:

You may not add more fuel to your car than [stock amount  or  X.X + stock amount]

 

I much prefer a rule regulating the physical car or parts, because it's virtually impossible to tell within a gallon how much fuel is being added to a car during a stop... depends on how high you fill 'em and the brand... but the fuel jugs which say "5 gallons" can hold anywhere from 5 to 6.25  (based on my memory of filling our jugs at the pump).

 

Additionally.. I think this is a safety issue, not a performance issue... obviously modifying a tank is done for performance, but the reason ChampCar should eliminate modifications has a very big safety side to it... I wouldn't be content if a team with a modified tank only added the "stock" amount of fuel, I want that team to not run a modified tank!!

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1 hour ago, enginerd said:

I just submitted a petition... here's an excerpt... now it's out of my hands.. we'll see what happens when the board next convenes... which I think is this month.

 

This petition seeks to add the word "unmodified" to rule 9.10.2 as such:

9.10.2.1. Unmodified stock fuel tanks in stock locations OR approved fuel cells are the only fuel sources allowed for competition. 

9.10.2.2. NON-OEM REPLACEMENT OR SWAPPED FUEL TANKS ARE NOT ALLOWED. It’s either stock, unmodified, in the stock location, or an approved fuel cell with the proper installation. 

 

Stock is one of the few words in the rule book that actually has a definition, I think that your suggestion (while well intended) is un-necessary.

 

Quote

4.5.7 ... “Stock” is defined as the published specifications and technical measurements provided by the manufacturer.

 

 

Edited by ABR-Glen
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