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SFI\FIA do not test the home brewed connections to that otherwise well engineered fuel container. OEM plumbing is tested and engineered.   I think a fuel cell in the stock tank location woul

Yes, your safety box needs a safety box....

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I will show how we did the TT we run a 22 GAL fuel cell (stuff it to 18.5 for Champ) with 1/2 surge tank and pumps in this box its sealed in the bottom with fire foam and metal tape. We swap out the clear fill hose for metal for Champ races.

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I gotta say I really have a problem with this rule. Doesn't make sense to me. We're actually being penalized for adding a fuel cell and being forced to spend more money material and  time building the race car. A fuel cell is a fuel cell for a reason. It's safe! Champcar encourages the use of fuel cells for the safety factor. 

 

I talked to a couple of guys who are building a Champcar and thinking of just keeping their stock fuel tanks rather than go thru the hassle of bulkheading the back of the car. Stock tanks aren't as safe as fuel cells. Not a good idea in my opinion. We should do away with this rule. 

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Nope.  Stock fuel tanks go through rigorous testing on where they are.  

 

Fuel cells do not.  

 

Don't get me wrong, a properly installed and protested fuel cell is safer than a stock tank.

 

That being said, my stock tank doesn't have any fuel lines or pumps that a driver is subjected to.

 

Lines leak.  An fittings are no exception.

 

Make sure that if tour lines leak that the fuel can't get to the driver.

 

P.s. champcar does not endorse fuel cells for safety.  If they did, it would be mandatory.  Most teams pick a fuel cell for the 2 extra gallons of fuel they get.

 

P.p.s. a fuel cell, done right, coats 1k +. A bit of sheet metal and fasteners is tiny compared to that cost.

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8 hours ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Nope.  Stock fuel tanks go through rigorous testing on where they are.  

 

Fuel cells do not.  

 


Wrong. The FIA and SFI tests fuel cells which feed into the certification (we are required to install a certified cell and have since... 2012?)

Very similar technology goes into making the fuel cell bladder vs. your stock tank. The 'can' that fuel cells come in provides an extra level of protection for the fuel cell.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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1 hour ago, Slugworks Paul said:


Wrong. The FIA and SFI tests fuel cells which feed into the certification (we are required to install a certified cell and have since... 2012?)

Very similar technology goes into making the fuel cell bladder vs. your stock tank. The 'can' that fuel cells come in provides an extra level of protection for the fuel cell.

 

SFI\FIA do not test the home brewed connections to that otherwise well engineered fuel container. OEM plumbing is tested and engineered.

 

I think a fuel cell in the stock tank location would be an improvement for most cars. What sometimes happens is a fuel cell in a far less desirable location with less thought involved in the plumbing than oem. And until recently no bulkheading to the driver.

 

Every car I ever raced that had a fuel problem had non oe tank. The non oe tank and bladder was never the issue.

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6 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

 

SFI\FIA do not test the home brewed connections to that otherwise well engineered fuel container. OEM plumbing is tested and engineered.

 

I think a fuel cell in the stock tank location would be an improvement for most cars. What sometimes happens is a fuel cell in a far less desirable location with less thought involved in the plumbing than oem. And until recently no bulkheading to the driver.

 

Every car I ever raced that had a fuel problem had non oe tank. The non oe tank and bladder was never the issue.


I don't think we should allow 'home brewed' connections. Off the shelf AN fittings and plumbing, installed correctly, is not something I'd classify as 'home brewed'. Maybe if you're using random brass plumbing from Home Depot?

99% of the fuel system issues I've seen with fuel cells is due to design issues with pickups, fuel filters, pumps, etc, which cause random issues when the crappy inline pump overheats due to upstream restriction or fuel starvation because stuff is bouncing around in the tank or excess debris is floating around in the tank.

I've seen lots of fuel leaking issues with stock fuel tanks, especially when you change the filler necks and vents and remove the EVAP system.

Some vent connections to OEM fuel modules are pathetic - using little plastic squeezy click-on connections with o-rings that LOVE to leak.

As for installation location - I don't generally disagree but in no circumstance will I ever have my exhaust underneath or in proximity of any fuel vessel, even if it was that way from the OEM.
 

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1 minute ago, Team Infiniti said:

Its all about lawyers.

 

In stock form a street car is very safe, while not sfi, a lot of testing is done to ensure no leaks after various crash scenarios, does anyone think the automakers want a Pinto repeat?

 

 

I agree.  I think that “in stock form” means the whole car is stock for their testing to be valid.  Some cars are so hacked  up that I don’t think the engineers would agree it’s still safe.    

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12 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:


I don't think we should allow 'home brewed' connections. Off the shelf AN fittings and plumbing, installed correctly, is not something I'd classify as 'home brewed'. Maybe if you're using random brass plumbing from Home Depot?

99% of the fuel system issues I've seen with fuel cells is due to design issues with pickups, fuel filters, pumps, etc, which cause random issues when the crappy inline pump overheats due to upstream restriction or fuel starvation because stuff is bouncing around in the tank or excess debris is floating around in the tank.

I've seen lots of fuel leaking issues with stock fuel tanks, especially when you change the filler necks and vents.
 

 

I consider thread together AN fittings as home brewed, you only see the crimp style on professional applications because they are far less prone to leaks. Even OE JIC application are crimp for trucks\heavy equipment.

 

That said I use them, what are you gonna do in your shop with hand tools. But I would suspect the failure rate of an oe line set due to leaking in service is a fraction of the poorly assembled AN hoses I have seen. 

 

Not a slam on us, but more respect for OE production consistency and acknowledgement of the difficulty in matching that with anything made in a garage using hand tools...

 

Never seen a stock tank leak with stock neck, vents, charcoal canster and evap in position. Once us racers get involved all bets are off....

 

I was a guest driver in a cell car that had a leak on the pump AN hose that was in the cabin. We found it early, but the oe tank that was removed was outside of the car (pump as well) which would have prevented the fuel in the car with me problem....

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16 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

 

I consider thread together AN fittings as home brewed, you only see the crimp style on professional applications because they are far less prone to leaks. Even OE JIC application are crimp for trucks\heavy equipment.

 

That said I use them, what are you gonna do in your shop with hand tools. But I would suspect the failure rate of an oe line set due to leaking in service is a fraction of the poorly assembled AN hoses I have seen. 

 

Not a slam on us, but more respect for OE production consistency and acknowledgement of the difficulty in matching that with anything made in a garage using hand tools...

 

Never seen a stock tank leak with stock neck, vents, charcoal canster and evap in position. Once us racers get involved all bets are off....

 

I was a guest driver in a cell car that had a leak on the pump AN hose that was in the cabin. We found it early, but the oe tank that was removed was outside of the car (pump as well) which would have prevented the fuel in the car with me problem....


You make valid points Drew, but if those are the real issues why can't we tackle the real issues with the rules, instead of shrouding all these connections with a firewall?

I've seen parker push-lok connections in commercial applications and they are completely safe when the hose is fully engaged on the barbs.

If champ mandated crimped and pressure tested connections, and not a firewall, it'd make a lot more sense to me... (the feed/return hoses that run through my eclipse to the engine are professionally crimped and pressure tested, lots of local hydraulic shops can do this for a reasonable cost)

Every time I've guest driven a car with a cell, I've leak checked all the connections in the cab with system full and pressurized (touched them all and checked for wetness). Cheap insurance for my life... and it surprises me this is not done at home before arriving at a race track. Maybe something easy to do that could be added to yearly tech?

Champcars are by and large built in garages by amateurs... it's the name of the game for us.

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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2 hours ago, Team Infiniti said:

Its all about lawyers.

 

In stock form a street car is very safe, while not sfi, a lot of testing is done to ensure no leaks after various crash scenarios, does anyone think the automakers want a Pinto repeat?

The testing: very specific impacts and angles, certainly not all-inclusive crash testing such as would be expected if a car was being designed for competition use. Pass/fail level acceptance based on a limited set of parameters. Lowest bid sourcing ensures the minimal expense to achieve the minimum in standards possible.

 

Then after the testing, it's all about the accountants. Components re-specified after the test to save a few pennies per car (for example: cheaper plastic lines in place of the steel lines that were used in the test). Production changes that sneak in over time, material or source changes that can affect integrity. Having been working on cars for over forty years and seeing how the factories do things, I don't have much faith in stock tanks or fuel systems.

 

Let's just say that I have no problem with the fuel cell sitting next to me in my Fiero but absolutely wouldn't put a stock tank in the same location.

Edited by mender
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2 hours ago, Slugworks Paul said:


Wrong. The FIA and SFI tests fuel cells which feed into the certification (we are required to install a certified cell and have since... 2012?)

Very similar technology goes into making the fuel cell bladder vs. your stock tank. The 'can' that fuel cells come in provides an extra level of protection for the fuel cell.

I think you missed the "where they are" part of my post.

 

You also clipped out the part where I talked about fuel cells being safer if installed correctly.

 

Read the whole thing please.

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49 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:


You make valid points Drew, but if those are the real issues why can't we tackle the real issues with the rules, instead of shrouding all these connections with a firewall?

I've seen parker push-lok connections in commercial applications and they are completely safe when the hose is fully engaged on the barbs.

If champ mandated crimped and pressure tested connections, and not a firewall, it'd make a lot more sense to me... (the feed/return hoses that run through my eclipse to the engine are professionally crimped and pressure tested, lots of local hydraulic shops can do this for a reasonable cost)

Every time I've guest driven a car with a cell, I've leak checked all the connections in the cab with system full and pressurized (touched them all and checked for wetness). Cheap insurance for my life... and it surprises me this is not done at home before arriving at a race track. Maybe something easy to do that could be added to yearly tech?

Champcars are by and large built in garages by amateurs... it's the name of the game for us.

 

Interesting idea to move guys to DOT style approved lines as an alternative. I can see the point you are making. 

 

In a pro setting I have seen 30k of data gear (my part of this day) burned up with a pro race car due to a loose fuel fitting on an line (AN crimped line). High quality lines unfortunately don't tighten themselves. 

 

The firewall separating the fuel bits from the dyno driver (chassis dyno) kept him from getting crispy. The fuel line went thru the cabin per that series rules, AN braided hose inside a metal tube. Fuel poured thru the metal tubes and spread the fuel leak to the fuel cell compartment, but none made it in the cabin. Had there been no outer tube, the floor of cabin would have been wet with fuel. At the end of the day I don't think the requirement to firewall all the fuel parts is out of line from a cost standpoint, nor is it unusual for many racing classes.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Black Magic said:

 

Interesting idea to move guys to DOT style approved lines as an alternative. I can see the point you are making. 

 

In a pro setting I have seen 30k of data gear (my part of this day) burned up with a pro race car due to a loose fuel fitting on an line (AN crimped line). High quality lines unfortunately don't tighten themselves. 

 

The firewall separating the fuel bits from the dyno driver (chassis dyno) kept him from getting crispy. The fuel line went thru the cabin per that series rules, AN braided hose inside a metal tube. Fuel poured thru the metal tubes and spread the fuel leak to the fuel cell compartment, but none made it in the cabin. Had there been no outer tube, the floor of cabin would have been wet with fuel. At the end of the day I don't think the requirement to firewall all the fuel parts is out of line from a cost standpoint, nor is it unusual for many racing classes.


A few things to think about:
-Champcar does not mandate a fluid tight seal in the firewall, nor any tubing containing fuel lines - focus has been on eliminating gaps but even spraying fuel resistant foam does not create a fluid tight seal

- Fuel can still leak out underneath the car and could potentially pose a very large safety risk, arguably a bigger one than leaking inside the cabin because there's a large ignition source right underneath the car.

From my perspective the firewall is to contain the heat and spreading of a fire once ignited (albeit for a brief period of time) but if fuel can escape it can ignite any number of places.

As always, I appreciate your suggestions and experience on this issue!
 

Edited by Slugworks Paul
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2 hours ago, Black Magic said:

I consider thread together AN fittings as home brewed, you only see the crimp style on professional applications because they are far less prone to leaks.

This is just not true. Professional race teams use these types of hoses and fittings all the time. They were also originally designed for military aircraft. The push on and crimp type fittings were developed to make things lighter and smaller. They perform the same function. A properly built and installed S/S AN line with reusable fittings will withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure. Certainly more than most Champcar race cars develop. A rubber hose and a screw clamp is all that is needed and will be fine if the correct hose and clamp is used and it is installed properly. Same with AN fittings and hose crimped, push lock, or reusable. I prefer the reusable fittings because I can reuse them. I prefer AN type fittings because they are simple to disconnect from the system and it is easy to check if they are tight. They don’t require any special tools and can be done by anyone. The fitting doesn’t remove the risk of leaks or failures. Adding bulkheads and routing fuel and oil lines away from the driver just adds an extra margin of safety. Maybe an extra couple seconds to exit the car. 

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37 minutes ago, Slugworks Paul said:


A few things to think about:
-Champcar does not mandate a fluid tight seal in the firewall, nor any tubing containing fuel lines - focus has been on eliminating gaps but even spraying fuel resistant foam does not create a fluid tight seal

- Fuel can still leak out underneath the car and could potentially pose a very large safety risk, arguably a bigger one than leaking inside the cabin because there's a large ignition source right underneath the car.

From my perspective the firewall is to contain the heat and spreading of a fire once ignited (albeit for a brief period of time) but if fuel can escape it can ignite any number of places.

As always, I appreciate your suggestions and experience on this issue!
 

 

Really good point on the lack of fluid tight requirement.... I would hope teams would make it at least fluid tight to a height that makes the driver compartment not the drain. Maybe something for tech to look at\point out. We are required to make drains on the Cup cars that vent a leaking fuel cell connection under the car, as it is seen as much more survivable than any fuel in\on the driver in the event of a fire. 

 

Above the height required to keep your seat from becoming a fuel marsh when you get a fitting leak, the firewall is there to keep the hot gases and radiant heat from a fire from getting to you quickly. I would feel reasonable safe\likely to survive a fire on the other side of a metal wall, but the idea of fire in the car with me gives me the creeps. Having been flashed burned by gasoline before (stupidity at home) I was impressed with how much clothing limited the damage where it covered me. A thin foil would have totally saved me given how fast it flashed over and was gone. 

 

Interesting side note, but similar tech.....aluminum pistons are only possible because a thin layer of gas is trapped on the top of the piston, and this slows down the heat transfer enough to get the peak temp below the melting point of aluminum. Sometimes really thin layers of protection that just slow something down can have a huge effect (in this case breaking up the instantaneous heat of the gasses and radiant heat) . 

 

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6 minutes ago, Black Magic said:

 

Really good point on the lack of fluid tight requirement.... I would hope teams would make it at least fluid tight to a height that makes the driver compartment not the drain. Maybe something for tech to look at\point out. We are required to make drains on the Cup cars that vent a leaking fuel cell connection under the car, as it is seen as much more survivable than any fuel in\on the driver in the event of a fire. 

 

Above the height required to keep your seat from becoming a fuel marsh when you get a fitting leak, the firewall is there to keep the hot gases and radiant heat from a fire from getting to you quickly. I would feel reasonable safe\likely to survive a fire on the other side of a metal wall, but the idea of fire in the car with me gives me the creeps. Having been flashed burned by gasoline before (stupidity at home) I was impressed with how much clothing limited the damage where it covered me. A thin foil would have totally saved me given how fast it flashed over and was gone. 

 

Interesting side note, but similar tech.....aluminum pistons are only possible because a thin layer of gas is trapped on the top of the piston, and this slows down the heat transfer enough to get the peak temp below the melting point of aluminum. Sometimes really thin layers of protection that just slow something down can have a huge effect (in this case breaking up the instantaneous heat of the gasses and radiant heat) . 

 


I guess the point i'm trying to make is that we should focus on having fittings/hoses/lines reliable and not leak rather than ignore those and shroud them which can hide leaks until it's too late (or create them in the case of the filler neck overflow). 

With my eclipse - the hatch deck is higher than the rest of the car. It slopes downward to the rear seat area and down again to the level of the driver seat. I was thinking about my car and what would happen if the fuel cell starts leaking.

Otherwise I can't disagree that firewalls add a layer of safety. Interesting to hear from you about the other series' that have similar mandates.

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4 minutes ago, TimS said:

This is just not true. Professional race teams use these types of hoses and fittings all the time. They were also originally designed for military aircraft. The push on and crimp type fittings were developed to make things lighter and smaller. They perform the same function. A properly built and installed S/S AN line with reusable fittings will withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure. Certainly more than most Champcar race cars develop. A rubber hose and a screw clamp is all that is needed and will be fine if the correct hose and clamp is used and it is installed properly. Same with AN fittings and hose crimped, push lock, or reusable. I prefer the reusable fittings because I can reuse them. I prefer AN type fittings because they are simple to disconnect from the system and it is easy to check if they are tight. They don’t require any special tools and can be done by anyone. The fitting doesn’t remove the risk of leaks or failures. Adding bulkheads and routing fuel and oil lines away from the driver just adds an extra margin of safety. Maybe an extra couple seconds to exit the car. 

 

image.png.dd93ba1ced6cec068f1661890f7ae6f8.png

 

I have never seen the hose on the right used in a pro setting (Nascar Cup\Indycar) outside of test rigs at the shop. Both follow the AN specs you would think of as "military", but crimped lines are usually what you see in production applications. You can reuse either style, but you need new crimp sleeves to reuse the one on the left.

 

Neither of these are the modern "push lock", which is a newer product. The pro lines also have the benefit of being significantly lighter and since they are crimped, you end up with far few lines failing a pressure test. 

 

If you are buying these keep in mind, the hose from one does not work with the other. 

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I dont get it here, a certified fuel cell installed right is 10X better the a OEM plastic tank. We have had one fire to a modified OEM tank where  one person got burned right!

I work on OEM cars all day long and most cars the OEM tank is inchs from the road with a bear can thickness partly shield plate near the ex system and metal that is run over will punch a hole in a OME tank like a butter knife though butter. there fillers on mostly in the rear wheel well with plastic inner wheel cover inches away from the spinning rear tire in a side crash it ripps the vent tube and filler out of the OEM tank with no real roll over valve that seals. And AER are even harder on the Fuel cell installs .

 

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1 minute ago, Slugworks Paul said:

other series

And failures even with unlimited budget.

 

2 hours ago, mender said:

The testing: very specific impacts and angles, certainly not all-inclusive crash testing such as would be expected if a car was being designed for competition use. Pass/fail level acceptance based on a limited set of parameters. Lowest bid sourcing ensures the minimal expense to achieve the minimum in standards possible.

 

Then after the testing, it's all about the accountants. Components re-specified after the test to save a few pennies per car (for example: cheaper plastic lines in place of the steel lines that were used in the test). Production changes that sneak in over time, material or source changes that can affect integrity. Having been working on cars for over forty years and seeing how the factories do things, I don't have much faith in stock tanks or fuel systems.

 

Let's just say that I have no problem with the fuel cell sitting next to me in my Fiero but absolutely wouldn't put a stock tank in the same location.

While I do see your point, I too would never sit next to a OE fuel system that has been pulled and rearranged from its original location, a cell is the way to go for something like that, but its still rare seeing uncontrolled fuel leaks from both a technicians, police tow driver and stock enduro racers perspective where cars are put through the wringer.

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7 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

 

And failures even with unlimited budget.

 

Everything fails, and every part, component and system has an acceptable and allowable failure rate because us crazy engineers are sometimes in touch with reality and realize nothing will ever be perfect ;) Cost however, raises exponentially as you try to eliminate those last few failures in pursuance of perfection.

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