Engineering A Simple And Aesthetic...
Engineering A Simple And Aesthetic Fuel System On Roy Brizio's '55 Chevy.
Planning a fuel system may not be one of the most exciting aspects of building a car, but it's a system that you want to be efficient and bulletproof. It is, of course, of utmost importance to ensure your engine's performance, and carries the most volatile substance in your car. It's not something with which you want to take shortcuts, or worry about while you're driving.
There are a few basic elements to consider in any fuel system regardless of what type of induction you're running: fuel line, pump, and filter. Depending on your intake system, you might also want to consider a fuel pressure regulator and/or a pressure gauge, and if you are using a fuel injection system, you will need to install a return line from the engine to the fuel tank in addition to the main line.
The first thing we did was...
The first thing we did was move the fuel filler access to inside the trunk. We started with a Rock Valley stainless steel fuel tank, which was made for a stock '55 Chevy fuel filler.
Your main line can either be hard steel or rubber hose. I recommend steel tubing because it will last longer and withstand damage, while rubber lines will eventually fatigue and crack. Of course, you will have to use a small portion of rubber line between the frame and the engine to compensate for engine vibration, but it is much easier to replace this small section than the entire line.
There are also two types of fuel pumps and schools of thought: mechanical and electric. On one hand, mechanical pumps seem to be more reliable overall, they are quiet, and they produce an adequate amount of pressure for most carburetor systems. Mechanical pumps take horsepower to run, however, and engine rpm will vary pressure. In certain cases-for instance if you have a Flathead with multiple carburetors-the stock mechanical pump might not be strong enough to pull enough fuel for efficient operation, in which case an electric pump is an easy solution.
We cut off the original hose...
We cut off the original hose flange and made a filler piece out of stainless sheetmetal. These tanks are made out of stout 14-gauge stainless.
Electric pumps, though less reliable, are sometimes easier to change if they do fail, and they produce steady pressure at any engine speed. They can be loud, and they also use electric energy, which can be equated to horsepower robbed at the alternator if you want to get technical. We used an electric pump here, though a mechanical pump would have been just as effective for this setup. If you're using an electronic fuel injection system, then you will need to use an electric pump specifically for that system, many of which mount inside the fuel tank. If you're using mechanical fuel injection, well then God help you.
A fuel pressure regulator will limit any inconsistencies in any carbureted system. If you're concerned that an electric pump might exceed the pressure rating of your carburetor(s), a regulator takes any guesswork out of the equation. If you're running Strombergs, for instance, and more fuel seems to be coming out of the float bowl gasket than into the combustion chamber, a regulator will (theoretically) help.
The shape was slightly over...
The shape was slightly over half round, so we made sure to achieve a precise fit. We bent a 90-degree angle in the filler piece on a brake. After double-checking the fit, we welded in the filler piece.
A fuel filter is imperative to the operation of your induction system and the life of your engine. There are plenty of sizes and styles of filter from which to choose, ranging from small inline filters to large removable canisters. Some people go as far as to use a large filter just out of the fuel tank, as well as a small inline filter up near the carburetor. I suppose you can't have too many filters as long as they flow well. We used one "race" rated canister filter between the tank and the fuel pump.
In addition to taking care of the necessities of your fuel system, you can also make it look good. There are hundreds of little tricks and flourishes you can use if you care. In this article, we'll show you a few aesthetic changes we made to the system on Roy Brizio's '55 Chevy, but each application will be different and present its own options. The fuel system isn't the coolest part of your car, but have some fun with it while making it safe and reliable.