Preparing the Fuel Tank

I decided to break today’s work into two posts (by topic) so that it would be easier for those researching specific instructions to find the information for their own builds.

One of the main things that needed to be completed before we could finish the chassis work was to make sure that every detail of the fuel tank was figured out and fabricated.  Once the tank is in there I don’t want to have to remove it again nor have leaks of any kind!

We had to make a few phone calls today to make sure we had the right parts (which we did) but we also needed a few more accessories so that we could have everything together for final assembly.  I didn’t want to get into the weekend to find out that stores were closed for some reason.

After a quick trip to the local performance parts shop we had everything we needed and started work on fabricating the fuel filler neck entrance to the rear cabin.

We started off by laying down a 3/8″ foam matt that will sit under the tank so that we don’t have the bottom of the tank sitting metal on metal.  Then we slid the tank as far over to the drivers side as we could while still leaving some space around the tank.  We also double checked that our tank straps fit properly.

We then traced the shape onto the interior cabin wall where the outer frame met the fiberglass.  From there we inset about an inch and a half and cut out a section from the cabin wall.  This cut out area is where the fuel filler neck will pass into the rear cabin.

We cut a sheet of steel to cover the opening, drilled some holes and secured it to the cabin wall with some bolts.

The process we used to mark where the fuel filler neck needed to exit through the steel was to cut a short piece of 2.5″ tube and push it onto the end of the tank inlet with a scrap silicone coupler.  This let me push the tube back over to the cabin wall and trace its outline.  This gave me the exact point where the filler neck would meet the steel.

We then found the center point of that circle and used the 2.5″ hole saw to cut out the opening.  Now the next little bit will need some explaining…

The 45 degree filler neck hose is 2.5″ OD (outer dimension) so I needed something for it to pass through that didn’t have a sharp edge that might rub and eventually cut the hose.

So I found a flared piece of 2.5″ exhaust tube that was slightly larger than 2.5″ ID (inner dimension).  This flared pipe allowed me to place another small silicone “sleeve” over the hose and push it into the flared exhaust pipe for a snug fit.  I cut about a 5/8″ band of the flared exhaust pipe which was about as wide as a hose clamp.   This would serve as the outer part of my pass through between cabin wall.

So basically it will look like a metal sleeve, then inside that a silicone band, and then the 45 degree filler neck hose passing inside of those two.  This gives a nice sealed pass-through as well as one that is protected from friction.   This is what it looked like when the sleeve was welded into the steel panel.

We also eventually drilled two 1″ holes in this plate for some grommets that will be used for the fuel supply and fuel return hard lines.  Once the welding cooled off we bolted in the cabin wall and did a quick test fit.  We were really pleased with how it all came together.  In the pictures below you can see the small silicone sleeve on the end of the hose that will be pressed down into the metal sleeve on final installation.

We created one other small metal panel for the opposite side of the car with a grommet that we’ll use for the fuel vent line.  This milestone meant that all of the rear fabrication was complete and we could paint up the pieces for final installation and prime the rest of the rear chassis!

It felt really strange and satisfying to reach this point of the build which gave me an overwhelming feeling of pride and joy 🙂

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