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Safety Issue 2 Fuel/Cells/Caps/Lines


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Ok back on the box again……


This time I’m going to go to Fuel, Fuel Cells/Caps, Fuel Line Routing


Fuel; It has been brought to my attention that alcohol/methanol racing fuel is far safer in fire situations than typical racing fuel. If found this very interesting……begs the question, why do we still use racing fuel? Yes I know there’s a carb difference, but at the expense of safety? Does the extra money spent on a new carb out-weigh the benefits in case of fire? Why don’t more tracks/sanctioning bodies look into this?


In my experience I’ve noticed many drivers fill their cells for short heats or B-mains? Why? Is ballast that important? I would think adding lead would be far more beneficial and safer in these circumstances. How about smaller fuel cells? I realize in 100+ lap features a large cell is a must, but what about 20-30-40 lap features? How much fuel is actually needed? I know when I raced, we fell into the same trap……fill it up to the top for a 25-lap feature. Usually ended with ½ left…..what were we thinking(or not thinking in this case.)


Fuel Cells; How often should a cell or bladder be replaced? Only when damaged? Isn’t that just hindsight? Is there a specific cell that is better(safer) than others?

I think tip-over valves should be MANDATORY! Why isn’t this legislated into the rules more often? From what I’ve been told retrofitting a cell without one is NOT that expensive. Which is better/safer flapper valves or ball valves?

Why is there a 4” opening for filling? This is just plain dumb!!! The hose on a filler can/bottle is only about an inch and 99% of funnels are no more than 2 “. A 4” hole is overkill in my opinion!! Seldom are there fuel stops in the majority of short track racing and if there is it’s usually 15 minutes. Plenty of time to refuel!! Hell I can put 30 gallons in my work truck, with a 1” opening in less than 15 minutes.


Caps; Lord there HAS to be a better mousetrap than the current D-Ring Cap!!! In playing with an old fuel cell at Greg/Candace Dinsmore’s shop I found it FAR too easy to just get one tab of that type cap hooked and have it APPEAR to be on properly. That’s scary!!! In the previous discussion someone came up with a cheap effective way to lock his cap down. Great thinking out-of-the-box I must say. I’m sure there are others. Why isn’t there a locking cap similar to out passenger cars, threaded on with a click lock to ensure proper closure?

When’s the last time that you changed the O-ring in your cap? I found on an older O-ring, with the cap properly in place, there was still a great deal of play in the cap.(almost ¼ inch) Seemed like a leak just waiting to happen to me. Greg told me he changed the O-ring frequently but is now purchasing a different “Fuel-Safe” cell.


Overflow Lines; How can they be properly/safely routed? Are they draining out in a safe location that will keep the fuel away from any heat source (ie; hot rotors, batteries, that shouldn’t be so damn close to begin with) or do they just flop around the “trunk” area and not secured? Again, I think a tip-over valve should be MANDATORY!! This also goes back to the question……why do you need so much fuel to begin with?


Fuel Line Routing; I have personally seen cars that have the fuel lines and battery cable running in parallel, tied off together down the same side of the frame. Now I know that the fuel pump and starter are both mounted on the same side, so easy enough to run them the place. Now if you’re in a hard side impact collision and it’s enough to break, split or separate the fuel line, odds are it’s probably going to cut the cable lines or at least peel of the insulation from them. Are you willing to play with those odds?


Guys/Gals, I’m not advocating anyone to change anything for me, but just think, check, come up with better/safer ideas.


Alright the floor is now open…….

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This same thing happened to Steve Miller's modified in Arkansas. We spoke to the people at RCI and they actually made a special fuel cell for his car. It used to be one that has the big opening as well. They changed out the cap and put one that you would see on the Sprint cars. Its really hard to describe it but it has a snap lid that when you push down on it it closes and then you have a twist lock that when you close it it locks.


As far as the rollover value is concerned, its a very good idea. It probably costs less that $30.00 for one and its very easy to install. What we do is run the vent line straight down past the fuel cell. In case the rollover valve was not to work the fuel in theory wont go past the fuel cell and should stay at that height.

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