Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Making your own fuel cell?

Discussion in 'Center Of Gravity' started by Chris Demartini, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dumont NJ 07628
    <font color="blue">The thread about the sending unit adapter has me thinking /forums/images/graemlins/screwy.gif of making a fuel cell myself and re-using the sending unit and Pep Boys fuel pump from my Blazer, instead of buying an expensive RCI cell and external Summit/Jeg's Holley fuel pump. I dont have a TIG welder to weld aluminum, but I do have a plasma cutter and a 220 mig, so could I make the cell out of sheetmetal? Say 14 or 16 gauge? I would build a baffle around the sender, or mabye adapt Holley remote pickups in place of the sock. POR 15 makes a gas tank coating that I can use on the inside to prevent the fuel from becoming contaminated with rust. Anyone have any good reasons as to why this wouldnt work?
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    that adapter thing costs like $250-300 when I just looked it up on there site. Seems like a lot for some little piece of aluminum and a couple gaskets.
     
  3. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dumont NJ 07628
    <font color="blue">Damn /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  4. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    as for making your own cell, I was planning to do what you were saying, 14 gauge, my mig baffles whole 9 yards. Then I bought the cheapy plastic with foam and drop sump and figure I will see how it works out.
     
  5. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dumont NJ 07628
    <font color="blue">I'm looking for something rectangular that fits between the back seat (or storage box in my case) and the tailgate. those plastic ones arent the right shape
     
  6. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 1999
    Posts:
    21,623
    Likes Received:
    701
    Location:
    CO
    [ QUOTE ]
    that adapter thing costs like $250-300 when I just looked it up on there site. Seems like a lot for some little piece of aluminum and a couple gaskets.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think you are mistaken, I "talked" to the owner (Ron) and when I asked him how much because it was not on there website he told me they were 99.00.
     
  7. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Posts:
    15,958
    Likes Received:
    452
    Location:
    East of San Francisco
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    that adapter thing costs like $250-300 when I just looked it up on there site. Seems like a lot for some little piece of aluminum and a couple gaskets.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think you are mistaken, I "talked" to the owner (Ron) and when I asked him how much because it was not on there website he told me they were 99.00.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The web page lists that part number at some crazy cost, but the part number is actually a custom-molded cell with the adapter, not the adapter separately. And it does list the part number as the adapter only. Gotta love having prices separate from the item descriptions.

    Anyway, it didn't make sense to me either.

    -- A
     
  8. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Posts:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Iowa
    No reason it shouldn't work. I did build my cell out of aluminum and have to put the sender and fuel pickups in yet but everything seems to be working nicely. Good part about building your own is you can make it fit anywhere you want it to.
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,030
    Likes Received:
    365
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    if I was gonna make a steel one, Id make sure it was possible to open it up relatively easily so I could clean it out (watch that rust scaling and junk). I dunno, maybe you could have a bolt-on top sorta like some of the aluminum fuel cells do? Not sure what kinda gasket or sealer you'd need to use for that though, but if it was the top that was removeable, atleast gravity would be on your side...

    j
     
  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    there are lots of steel sheetmetal cells with fully removeable tops. My cousin's modified has one, damned if I can remember who makes it... ATI?? My dad's car has the same type of cell(removeable top as well).
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Posts:
    45,030
    Likes Received:
    365
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    ok then... what do they use to seal it up?

    j
     
  12. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    16,870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    oh duh, I think they have rubber bladders inside. So even if they take a hit they hopefully won't spill fuel.

    http://www.jazproducts.com/fuelcell.htm#CIRCLE

    [ QUOTE ]
    Seamless Cross-linked polyethylene inner shell

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ok so thats what they use.
     
  13. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Posts:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Iowa
    Made a fuel tank from an aluminum beer keg way back in the day and got a sending unit from jc whitney. Sending unit went in the tank with a cork gasket and it never did leak.
     
  14. TWISTEDJACK

    TWISTEDJACK 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Posts:
    882
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Instead of making one from cratch, what about cutting down a stock tank to fit where you want it???
     
  15. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dumont NJ 07628
    <font color="blue">Its going between the back seat and tailgate of a YJ, the cell has to be a weird shape
     
  16. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 17, 2001
    Posts:
    517
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Making an aluminum fuel tank is really quite simple. If it needs to be some really strange shape, first make a mock up out of cardboard and tape, otherwise work with the aluminum plate from the start. Get yourself a sheet of 3/16 inch (1/4 inch if your really going to be dragging it on the rocks) 6066-T6 Aluminum plate, some 2, 2.5 or 3 inch aluminum tubing, depending on what size you want to use for the filler neck and what ever aluminum fittings that you want to use for the fuel pickup. If you want to use the stock pickup/sender/pump you can drill and tap the aluminum top and bolt on the cut out section of your stock tank that has the pickup/sender/pump-mounting flange on it.

    Cutting the plate is really easy; just use your Circular Saw with a cheap Carbide blade in it. It’s really noisy and throws a lot of chips (wear safety glasses and hearing protection) but cuts just like plywood. You can cut up baffle plates and a sump if you want to. Now take the pieces and a couple of six packs to your friend with the TIG Welder. Better than that, use a MIG Welder with a Spool Gun, it is a lot faster and easy to do. If you have access to a MIG Welder you can rent a Spool Gun for next to nothing and you’ll need an Argon Tank, which can also be rented, from your local Welding Supply House.

    It’s an easy project that anybody can do. If you can use a Skill Saw and a Hot Glue Gun you can cut aluminum and weld it too.

    Tips:

    Clamp a straight piece of wood to the plate to use as guide and the cuts will be straight and clean.

    Weld the seams inside and out for added strength and less chance of leaks.

    Weld some of the filler neck tubing with a few small holes drilled in it to the bottom to use as a sump.
     
  17. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Posts:
    3,381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So. CA
    Check boat places like Overton's for plastic fuel tanks. There are lots of sizes and shapes made for boats and most come with a gauge sender &amp; pick-up.

    Some mods to the above:

    I'd only make the parts likely to come in contact with rocks 3/16" thick. With a good baffle design you should be able to jack up the rear under the tank. Design the baffles to be structural as well.

    Substitue Helium for Argon. Your amp setting will be roughly 1/3 less than with Argon. Handy thing to know when you're pushing the outer limits of the machine.

    Some other suggestions:
    If you use steel, have a sheetmetal shop shear &amp; bend up the pieces.
    Have every flat panel section cross broken. This will reduce or eliminate 'oil-canning.'
    Wrap the corners so that they overlap. In other words don't simply bring two edges together and expect the weld beads to seal them. Put a small 90* on each piece so that your welds are offset from each other.
     
  18. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Dumont NJ 07628
    <font color="blue">Good info guys, I'll check out some sheetmetal shops in 2 weeks when i get back from vacation

    ps this will be inside my jeep so rocks wont be an issue
     

Share This Page