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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been doing a little research about fuel cells and have found something interesting, and was wondering if any of you have the answer. The rules state that a fuel cell can be used if it meets FIA FT-3 standards. Then it says that all fuel cells shall be foam filled bladders enclosed in a metal contianer. I have found many cells that are FIA FT-3 approved but are constructed out of plastics. So would these be legal or not?

It is also stated that the container of the bladder will be constructed of .039 inch steel, .059 inch aluminum, or approved equivalent. So are the plastic cells "approved equivalent" or not?

I have also found that the rules state that no fuel pump, filter, or fillers can be contained inside the driving compartment. There must be a metal fireproof bulkhead in the way. It seems to me that if fuel lines can be fun inside the car, why can't a fuel pump with metal braided lines going to and from should be fine. What is the reason behind this rule? Does a in-tank fule pump count as being behind a metal bulkhead or not?

Just some questions to think about, because I have been.
 

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I think it is not a problem with the hoses leaking but more a problem of the joints leaking fuel into the driving compartment.


Robert VanLane
TakeTomboRacing
 

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I suggest that you address your fuel cell question to the PRB ([email protected]) and ask for a clarification. I suspect that when the rule was written, all the FIA-spec cells had metal cases. Or perhaps they were attempting to allow NON-FIA-spec cells IF they had metal cases. Either way, one sentence in FasTrack should clear it up, but asking us won't help.

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was just wondering if anyone had run into this problem and had it cleared up before.

Why would the fuel pump leak any more then a fitting on the hose would? I don't really see why you can run lines inside the car, but not a pump?
 

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Well, as i see it, if you're just running the pipe through the interior, there won't be any joints inside the cockpit. I think those are what are most likely to either break off or crack and leak in an accident than steel overbraid hose. Hence them wanting a shied of metal inbetween you and all pipe fittings, like the cell itself, and the pump.
 

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Dooood, you'relike in Bend, doood, Fuel Safe is like right there, and they can tell you what's up. they have to know so their stuff will meet requirements. drop in, they were like way helpful when i needed info on the phone.
The only affordable thing is the cross linked poly whatever, foam filled, in a steel or aluminum can.
Steel lines with inverted flare fittings are good for 1500`plus psi they must certainly be good for fuel at a wimpy 50-60 psi. and placing the pump in the spare tire well, and covering that with a 1/16 sheet of aluminum with a couple of Dzus fasteners makes it behind a bulkhead.














John Vanlandingham
 

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The fuel pump body and fuel filter body are soemwhat subject to damage if bashed in a wreck, especially if it is one of those glass enclosed fuel filters. And the fittings on the filter or pump are a bit prone to snap off in a violent impact. A fuel line is a lot less likely to rupture. Yes, the fuel line can be crushed or cut, but it is a matter of degree to which components can be damaged an leak fuel. So, it's required to cover the most likely ones. Remember, the rules are not a guarantee of safety; they are a reflection of decades long learning of what is most dangerous.

You won't (and shouldn't) pass tech without a bulkhead between you and these components. A few guys used to get away with this years ago, but now everyone has complied.

A fuel pump inside a tank would not be a problem. But you cannnot put a regular fuel tank inside the car without the metal bulkhead anyway, so it is a moot point.

As far as the FT-3 plastic containers go, this is a good question. I hope you will inquire and post what you find. If you brought it to me at an event without a metal bulkhead, I would have to fail it, based on the current wording in the rules that you have pointed out.

I will relate a recent experince for tech-ing an ex-FIA car that had an older FIA compliant fuel cell. The outside of this cell was some sort of tough woven fablic/resin material; you could poke your finger at it and it would give to some degree. It looked like the outer material of a aircraft fuel cell. The setup could pass because there was a metal bulkhead between it and the driving compartment, but I advised the owner to switch to a conventional cell with metal enclosure, as other tech inspectors might not pass it (and it was almost 10 years old, and had a monza style filler cap). I understand he changed it after that event. So, this is the advice of "do what the tech inspectors expect, and avoid problems and hassles". (Which is why you are asking here!)

Regards,
Mark Bowers :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where is Fuel Safe? Is it in Bend? If it is I never knew that. What is there number John, I call and mabye go and see them.

As for the lines, you can run fuel through metal tubing in the drivers compartment. I would think that metal tubing would be more risky then a nice Earl's or Auroquip fastener. I was just think that there really isn't much space to put things like this in a car. The only real alternative to building a little bulkhead inside the car is to put it outside. I don't know about others, but I would feel safer with my fuel pump inside rather then it sitting outside the car with a line going through the body twice. Just my thought.
 

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>
>As for the lines, you can run fuel through metal tubing in
>the drivers compartment. I would think that metal tubing
>would be more risky then a nice Earl's or Auroquip fastener.

I made the same suggestion once, and got some strong negative reaction, in favor of the metal lines in the car, so I have been rethinking it. Be aware that Earl's or Aeroquip is rubber hose with no particiular strengthening, which it NOT tough in itself, and that rots a lot faster than you think. So I opt for metal lines under the car, or hose in a conduit in the car.

Mark
 

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- FT-3 requires sk. "Bag tank" - rubber tank. I don't know others than ATL and Fuel Safe who makes them. They're $ 500-up.
- A few in the US are selling $ 220-300 poly tanks as "FT-3 legal" but when you ask for FIA certification they hang up on you...
- Stock OEM tanks should be legal. My Fuel Safe tank went caput in 5 years....$ 650 outta window for nothing (All hardware for sale for $ 75!). My Volvos OEM tank is 30 years old and still safe & working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I contacted SCCA and got a couple of answers.

1. A hard plastic fuel cell will meet the standards of the laws. The cell just has to be in some kind of protective box.

2. A in-tank has the box of the fuel cell and thus is considered behind a wall or bulkhead.

So that is what SCCA said about it.
 
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