OK, so you've looked at the pictures and are wondering why I have what looks like a race car fuel system in my custom. And it's a valid point, as the Aeromotive tank, filter, and fuel log sure look like race parts, and indeed can be found on many race cars. Aeromotive is a major supplier of fuel system components for many drag race teams, as well as OE suppliers for the current Cobra Jet Mustang.

For starters, I needed a complete system, as my stock tank had already been repaired once and no longer had fuel gauge provisions. And, considering how rusty the car was when I bought it, I felt safer replacing the stock fuel lines from front to rear. Seeing as I'd gone a little beyond my original plans with the Smeding 383 stroker motor, I wanted a system that was capable of delivering enough fuel to feed the 400-plus horsepower engine. I also wanted to incorporate a return line should I ever decide to swap out the carburetor for fuel injection. After all, if I'm going to the trouble of fitting a complete fuel system, why not do the job just once, and incorporate the capability to handle whatever may happen in the future? With the Aeromotive system, I'm confident that I'll never run it to its maximum potential of 1,000-plus horsepower capability, but I can also be confident that I won't lean out the motor either, no matter what I do to the engine farther down the road.

However, Aeromotive products are not just for race cars, indeed they offer multiple options for street rods and muscle cars and even a couple of "universal hot rod systems" for late-model EFI or crate engine swaps, with inline pumps, filters, and regulators, as well as Stealth fuel systems. The first type of these uses a fuel pump completely submersed in a baffled fuel tank sump box, which can be welded into almost any existing fuel tank. It is this system our sister magazine STREET RODDER used in their '52 Chevy Road Tour car last year. Aeromotive also offers an aluminum fuel cell in the Stealth series, which again features an in-tank pump. In this case, it's the company's A1000 pump, which is probably their most versatile fuel pump (ideal for 200hp carbureted engines all the way to 1,000hp EFI engines) and claimed to be the most durable of its kind. The Eliminator pump is also available in this cell, though it's bigger and unnecessary for my application, as a smaller pump for lower horsepower applications will be available soon, which will be a non-billet pump more akin to what you'd find in an OEM application.

So what's so good about placing the pump inside the fuel tank? Advantages include cooler temps and dramatically reduced pump noise, ideal fuel pump environment, and a reduction in installation time, not to mention the Stealth cells eliminate the risk of fuel pump cavitation, owing to hard cornering, launching, or braking thanks to innovative baffling. There's a reason the OEMs have been using in-tank pumps for a couple of decades! The Stealth cells are compatible with carburetors or EFI, so long as the correct regulator is selected.

For my application, Aeromotive recommended their 13204 Carbureted Bypass Regulator, designed specifically to be used with the A1000 or Eliminator pump in a carbureted application. It is capable of adjusting the base fuel pressure from 3-15 psi, and features an AN-10 inlet port and -8 return port, with two -6 outlet ports and a 1/8-inch NPT gauge port. Pressure isn't provided by the fuel pump, but rather by the regulator restricting the volume flowing through the pump, thereby driving the pressure up to a set point. With a bypass regulator, once the pump has created enough pressure to open the regulator bypass, the regulator leaks just enough flow to maintain the desired pressure. The regulator requires some flow through the unit while pressure is being adjusted, and the correct method to set pressure is with the pump on and the engine running.