"We've got to come in on Sunday and build that fuel-cell mount. The ATL cell is already here and Fisher needs the story soon." Agh, Crewchiefs...we haven't even raced yet and I'm getting tired of Pete Epple's demands. Anyway, what was the big deal? It's a fuel cell. Don't you just bolt it down to the floor, hook up some lines, and call it good? No.
Turns out, correctly mounting a fuel cell can literally be the difference between life and death and short of dying before we actually get to race City Boy, I can't imagine a worse situation than being upside down in a Mini Stock with gallons of gasoline leaking out of an improperly mounted tank and a small fire creeping closer to the source. Granted, it may never happen, but a quality fuel-cell mount is just one of those things you want to do correctly, no matter how badly you would rather be working on the engine or suspension of your circle track project.
The crown jewel of City Boy's new fuel system—the Aero Tec Laboratories (ATL) SP112 Sports
But enough with the doom and gloom Mom stuff, let's talk about the cool part of fuel cells. For City Boy, our first call was to Aero Tec Laboratories (ATL), a company from New Jersey that has been fabricating race-legal cells for about as long as racing has been around.
We chose to run a 12-gallon Sport Series cell (PN SP112), which features a molded, seamless bladder, two "duck-foot" fuel traps and filters, SF-103 foam baffling for slosh and explosion suppression, and a 5-year warranty all wrapped in a 20-gauge powdercoated steel container, which is easy to install and safe for just about any type of accident. Equally important, ATL knows a thing or two about supporting horsepower, which means that not only is the cell safe to run, but it comes with two -6AN fuel fittings, a vent tube, an easy-to-use fuel fill lid, along with the slick "duck-foot" fuel traps, which can be configured to pickup from both sides of the tank if you prefer, or run primarily on the right side, which is perfect for pickup in a circle track application.
With the ATL cell delivered, it was our—OK, Pete's—responsibility to build a safe and legal cage/mount for the system and you can follow along with us on the following pages as he cuts and welds about 50 feet of 1x1 square tubing into a mount good enough to run in any project, whether you're building something as simple as a Mini Stock or as complex as a Late Model. And in just one long day in any shop, equipped with nothing more than a quality welder and a borrowed bandsaw, you can easily do the same, as long as you remember to measure twice and cut once. Or, do what we did and make sure to order enough metal to screw up a couple times and keep on rolling!
As with any fabrication project, ours started off with a detailed sketch, some careful mea
The SP112 is 20.40x17.75x9.50 inches square and our base measurements reflect a little bit
This entire project uses nothing more than some 1x1 square tubing we purchased from a loca
The ATL fuel cell needs to be mounted securely and as they always say, you're only as good
…and then tacked all four bars to the welding table.
This ensures that nothing moves during the assembly process, which will lead to a solid an