What's needed to install a fuel cell? - Nova Tech
Nova Tech  
Find Nova Parts at SS396.com     
GROUND UP & SS396.com         
Official Sponsor of Team Nova
   

Auto Insurance



Nova Tech For best results please choose from the forums below.

Novas.net is the premier Chevrolet Nova Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 09:23 AM
MDrex MDrex is offline
Tech Team
Greg
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 49
MDrex has a positive reputation
Send a message via AIM to MDrex
Default What's needed to install a fuel cell?

With my planned suspension upgrades it looks like I may need a fuel cell also. I have never had a car with a fuel cell, so this is new to me. I have a 1970 Nova with a carbed SBC, mechanical fuel pump and stock gas tank. The car will be a weekend street car, that may see the strip once or twice a year.

What parts do I need to install a fuel cell?
What kind, size and shape cell should I get?
What features(line fittings, vents, filler, ect.) do I need to look for when selecting a cell?

I do have an electric fuel pump and regulator that came with the car, but its not running on those right now. Pretty sure its a Holley Blue or Red pump.

I already found a thread that had great pics on cutting the trunk floor for the sump and mounting the cell.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 09:34 AM
brian oneil brian oneil is offline
Senior Tech Team *
Brian
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Smithfield, Virginia
Posts: 4,605
brian oneil has a positive reputation
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

Fuel cell size should be one that you think that you will need. Obviously a 4 gallon fuel cell probably wont work for you. Now deciding what you need is going to determine on what you want. How much trunk space are you willing to give up verses what size cell do you want? Return fuel line? Operable sending unit? Fuel lin type. I agree that an area should and needs to be cut out for the sump. You also need to consider what type of fuel pump you want to run especially if you decide on an electrical pump, because location of the pump needs to be considered. Fule cells also need to be vented to the outside atmosphere. Are you planning on a custom fuel filler neck or do you intend to open your trunk everytime you want to fuel the car?
Jegs, Summit and the like sell basic braided fuel line and filter kits for this. Also they both have a large array of fuel cell types and and sizes to consider.
Since you want to drive this car on the street a fuel sending unit you may want so you know what fuel level you have.
This is just and idea of things to consider. But it get you in the right direction.
__________________
71 Nova
SBC 427
238/256 Girly Cam
6.88 1/8th @ 100.00mph
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 09:44 AM
MDrex MDrex is offline
Tech Team
Greg
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 49
MDrex has a positive reputation
Send a message via AIM to MDrex
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

Jegs has a decent looking cell that includes a GM style sender. I'm thinking that something like a 16 gallon cell should be good, I don't plan to drive the car very far but i want to be able to go on a decent cruise without filling up every 30 minutes. I planned on just opening the trunk when I need to refill, thats not a hassel to me. I also don't mind giving up trunk space.

What are the reasons to go with a sumped cell instead of a flat bottom?

What do I need to consider to decide whether to run the mechanical fuel pump or an electric pump? What determines if I need a return line? Is that dependent on the electric pump and regulator?
The electric pump is already installed on my car, it just needs to be wired up and fule line run if I wanted to use it. I'd also need to install the regulator.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 10:35 AM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
Site Moderator
Dave
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 15,014
Big Dave has a positive reputation
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

You will have to ground the fuel cell and vent it to the outside with a roll over valve in the vent line. The back of the trunk (behind the rear seat) and the package tray (which means no rear speaker opening unless boxed in) must be covered with either a steel (0.024") or aluminum (0.032") firewall. Any fuel lines going through the floor must use either a bulkhead fitting, or be protected with a sealing fire resistant grommet. The fuel return line should be as far from the pick-up and as deep into the fluid as can be practical to reduce aeration of the fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrex View Post
What are the reasons to go with a sumped cell instead of a flat bottom?
The sump is the lowest place for the fluid to flow to. It will always be covered if there is fluid in the cell. You should be concerned with cavitation and turbulence at the pick-up point as you want gas and not vapor in the fuel line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrex View Post
What do I need to consider to decide whether to run the mechanical fuel pump or an electric pump?
An electric fuel pump can be sized to move more fuel than the mechanical pump driven off of the eccentric on the cam (it only has a fixed amount of lift). A mechanical pump adds heat to the fuel making the fuel less dense, but easier to atomize (or vapor lock, if it is a hot day).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrex View Post
What determines if I need a return line? Is that dependent on the electric pump and regulator?
You always need a return line. It is something the factory cheaped out on when producing a car. Every fuel pump heats the fuel by compressing it. If it has to continually compress the same fuel inside the pump because it can not push the fuel out against a closed needle and seat it just goes into vapor lock (boils the fuel at 112° F). The bigger the pump in gph then the faster it boils the fuel. On the other hand if you have a return line the constant flow of fuel through the pump cools the pump (which makes an electric pump last longer).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrex View Post
The electric pump is already installed on my car, it just needs to be wired up and fule line run if I wanted to use it. I'd also need to install the regulator.

Yes you will need a return line fuel pressure regulator. Everyone talks about seven psi as the magic number. That is that absolute maximum pressure that the needle can exert on the seat. You want to be below that figure so you do not risk blowing the needle off the seat and flooding the engine with overflowing gasoline. I use 14 psi to the regulator from my Aeroquip electric fuel pump, which will overcome any fluid friction or forces of acceleration in my 9.30 second car. I drop the pressure down to only 4 psi at the entrance to the carb (a 1250 cfm Dominator with a 0.130" sized needle and seat).

Big Dave
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 01:52 PM
MDrex MDrex is offline
Tech Team
Greg
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 49
MDrex has a positive reputation
Send a message via AIM to MDrex
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

Again with the great info Dave, thanks alot. I think most of my questions have been answered.

With the sump is there anything special you have to do to the hole in the bottom of the trunk? You stated that fuel lines going through the floor have to be fire sealed. Does this apply to the hole for the cell sump also?

I found pics in this thread showing a fuel cell install. Is this what I would want to follow to install the sumped cell? Looks pretty easy.

One more question, any reason to spend the extra money on an aluminum cell over plastic?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 07:08 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is offline
Site Moderator
Dave
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 15,014
Big Dave has a positive reputation
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrex View Post
Again with the great info Dave, thanks alot. I think most of my questions have been answered.

With the sump is there anything special you have to do to the hole in the bottom of the trunk? You stated that fuel lines going through the floor have to be fire sealed. Does this apply to the hole for the cell sump also?

I found pics in this thread showing a fuel cell install. Is this what I would want to follow to install the sumped cell? Looks pretty easy.

One more question, any reason to spend the extra money on an aluminum cell over plastic?
The sump is below the tank and is covered by it. If you have an aluminum tank it qualifies as a part of the firewall.

A grounded aluminum pump won't spark with static electricity while being filled (can not say that about a plastic tank). Aluminum tanks have welded in baffles. Plastic tanks have baffles that were rolled up and then dropped through the top to expand again, but they just slosh back and forth in the tank as they are not attached to the sides.

Big Dave
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Dec 30th, 08, 07:42 PM
SHIFTY4 SHIFTY4 is offline
Site Moderator
~the Sedan Man~
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: halfway between here and there
Posts: 14,167
SHIFTY4 has a positive reputation
Default Re: What's needed to install a fuel cell?

i dunno if this stuff helps... check 'em out and see

from the www.JollyRodder.com site

http://www.centuryperformance.com/fu...p-spg-141.html
http://www.centuryperformance.com/fu...e-spg-140.html
__________________
also known as...
JohnnyRotten
the FLYER
SHIFTY4



Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lets build me a fuel system Jimmy71Nova Performance 5 Sep 11th, 08 12:14 PM
fuel injection swap...mods needed??? fjas70 Engine 5 May 25th, 08 10:57 PM
Stock Gas Gauge and Fuel Cell 2003rex Electrical & Wiring 2 Aug 15th, 07 09:23 PM
New fuel tank needed, but what's ECS? RVA SS Nova Tech 3 Mar 20th, 07 06:30 PM
Where To Install Fuel Filter? Racinfan83 Engine 1 Jul 7th, 06 06:03 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:18 PM.


2009 AutoForums