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Fuel System Overview

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Most people think a fuel system is fairly straightforward, and it is. Where they tend to go wrong is in just how many parts are involved in setting one up right. We decided to lay it out as neatly as we could.

First off, naturally, is the fuel tank. Gas has to be stored somewhere right? Depending on your application you have OEM style tanks, race-style fuel cells, polycarbonate tanks, fuel bladders, you name it. As long as it is within regulations, you can use it. To look over our selection of fuel tanks, click here.

Either you have an in-tank fuel pump or an external unit, depending on the application. You might even have both. Once again, there are several different styles, ranging from mechanical to electric, low volume to high pressure. To find the pump best suited for your needs, click here.

Depending on your pump, you will either have a primary filter built into the pump, or a separate unit that is inline. Inline filters are somewhat preferred due to their replaceable nature. The best route to take when it comes to filters is to have two. This is because first and foremost, pulling fuel through a filter is easier on the pump, and you are also catching any particulates you may pull off the bottom of the tank. Wouldn’t want to run those through your pump would you? As an added precaution, it is also recommended that you have a filter after the pump. In the event your pump failed, this secondary filter would catch anything that could potentially harm your engine internals. (Think bits and pieces clanking and banging around.) Speedway Motors offers a wide selection of filters to fit your needs. You can browse that selection by clicking here.

Then you will need fuel pressure regulators. These moderate the amount of fuel flowing to the carburetors or fuel injection system and by means of a return line send the excess fuel back to the tank. To look over the various regulators Speedway offers click here.

The one thing that wasn’t mentioned through this article has been how the fuel goes where it goes. That would be the fuel line. The standard route is the traditional rubber fuel line or braided stainless line. These are definitely an option, but they have also been proven to slow the travel of fuel just a bit. If you are redoing an entire fuel system from scratch, why not ensure smooth flow from front to back with aluminum line? The aluminum option is available in sizes from 1/4” up to 5/8”, and in lengths from 10-30 feet. Bent to fit with the right tools, fuel will flow evenly from the tank to the carburetor with little restriction. Just make sure to stay in line with any applicable regulations, as some race classes may not allow the use of aluminum. Another thing to keep in mind is that aluminum is prone to flexing, and can wear easily if left unsupported. It is recommended to support it every 18-24 inches with a shock absorbing clamp of some kind.

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