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Project Lexus SC300 Road Racer: Part 3 - Finishing the Fuel Cell

by Erik Jacobs

In this installment of Project SC300 we wrap up our fuel cell installation. But that's not all, the sway bar needed relocation brackets made, hoses had to be made, and, finally, the fuel filler assembly was fabricated and mounted. We also discovered more disasters along the way. Damnit!

 


With fabricating, as with anything else, having a plan doesn’t hurt.

Some general measurement ideas were jotted down on paper so that we had a good starting point for fabricating the sway bar relocation brackets. The general shape was also sketched out so that we knew, more or less, what we were aiming for. The devil, as always, is in the details.

 


It never hurts to stay motivated. What? You can't like electronic music?

Begin at the beginning, I always say. It starts with a block.

It doesn’t look like much right now, but you have to start somewhere. Solid aluminum blocks were cut to general size and then machining began. The holes for the bolts were started, small at first, then enlarged and finalized. The area to be removed was clearly marked.

 

A few passes with the mill over the marked areas ensured larger sections of material were quickly removed.

So what if they’re woodworking tools?

When you want to clean up an edge, you clean up an edge. There’s no right or wrong, there’s just what works. In this case, what works is a router and some rounding bits. You want to tell H he’s doing it wrong? Be my guest.

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Comments
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:53 PM
is it ok to do a fuel cell without a vent? I know this is mostly race car only stuff, but emptying the tank if the car sits for more than a couple days sounds kinda ridiculous to me...
thoraxe
thoraxelink
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 6:39 PM
@warmmilk Sorry that it took so long to get back to you. Here's some information from Fuel Safe:

"Reasons for the vent
- Venting while fueling (to release air that is displaced)
- Venting when consuming fuel. If a tank was not vented, it would create a vapor lock. On our rigid molded cells, the vapor lock would happen quickly. On our flexible bladders, the bladder would be deflated like a balloon and eventually cause vapor lock. A free flowing vent is important to a fuel tank/cell.

Most of the racers we know run the vent straight to the atmosphere and into there garage. We have not heard many complaints about doing this, leading us to believe the vapor scent / evaporation is minimal. A catch can is idea, but not necessary. Capping off the vent could work, but it would be preferred to use a pressure relief valve on our flexible bladder cells (eg: Sportsman and Pro Cell bladders)."

So, it sounds like I'm a little aggressive with the recommendation for draining the cell. But I'll probably be using actual pump gasoline which has ethanol and additives and other stuff that I'd prefer not to have sitting around in there.

If I was buying drums of 93 direct from a manufacturer I might have a different story.

Thanks for your feedback!
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