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Project Chevelle: Fuel System Tech Article

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As we prepared our Chevelle for the new 383 Stroker and 5 speed transmission there were several things we wanted to “freshen up” in order to make the car as reliable as possible. Even though this car is in great original condition, most of the components are about to celebrate their silver anniversary… so we took a long look at the existing fuel system. It consisted of the stock fuel tank and 5/16” fuel lines. Our new power plant is going to stay carbureted (at least for now) so we could have re used what was there. But what fun is that? We decided to take this opportunity to install a new Tanks Inc. fuel tank with an internal pump and run some Earls Vapor Guard hose, not only for reliability but for ultimate flexibility with whatever we throw at the car next!

Our new Tanks Inc. fuel tank came out of the box with a beautiful silver powerdercoated finish. The tank fit right in place of the original and has upgrades such as internal baffling and the Walbro EFI pump inside!

The new fuel tank we chose might seem odd considering we are using a carbureted small block, and it is… but this might be a great option for those of us who can’t decide what we want out of our cars! This tank features an internal Walbro GSS340 fuel pump that flows 255 liters per hour at 40psi, which would be perfect for most EFI applications producing around 500hp. We used an Aeromotive 13301 bypass fuel pressure regulator to knock the pressure down to a manageable level for our Holley street avenger carb. So here we have the best of both worlds; an electric pump that is versatile no matter what fuel delivery system we wish to use and quiet operation due to the pump being inside the tank!

The fuel pump hanger and sending unit bolt right into the tank. Provisions for a return line and vent make this setup ready for anything.
No drilling or fab work needed here… just bolt and go! Tanks Inc. uses a thick 10 gauge mounting surface so the sender and fuel pump hanger are sure to seal up tight.

After removing the original fuel lines and tank from the car (we even found the build sheet on top of the fuel tank!) we were able to make way for all of the new equipment. Our new tank came with the 0-90 ohm sending unit and of course the Walbro GSS380 pump. The first step was to connect the Earls Vapor Guard hose and run our power wire to the sending unit. This is my new favorite hose for street rods and muscle cars. For years we have all fought with braided AN hose, cutting bending and flaring hardline, and replacing rubber fuel line over and over. Not anymore! This new hose from Earls goes together easily, works with EFI or low pressure applications and best of all (thanks to the internal liner) is impervious to fuel vapors that break down the hose. In addition to that you can run lines in no time and go around all kinds of obstacles. The clamps that they use are super simple to crimp on when you use a pair of their pliers, or you can even use CV boot crimping pliers if you have some. After having our lines connected we lifted the tank in place and took the opportunity to put some new insulation between the straps and tank along with a new bolt kit because the 40-something year old bolts didn’t make it out alive!

Getting the lines connected to the tank before lifting it in place will be handy later. Be sure to leave some slack in the lines so you can pull the tank down if needed.
Here we are lifting the tank into place after getting our hoses and power wire connected.

After getting the tank bolted up and the new lines ran up to the front of the car it was time to plumb the Aeromotive bypass regulator. This is another versatile component that is allowing us to use the in tank, high-pressure pump with a carburetor and set the stage to swap to EFI any time we want to! Since we need to keep tabs on exactly what pressure we are running we added a “Mr. Horsepower” fuel pressure gauge that fits the 70’s vibe of our car perfectly. Earls offers fittings for the Vapor Guard hose in straight, 45° and 90° variations so that made it easy to run lines the rest of the way to the carburetor. The last thing to do was to finish wiring up our fuel pump relay and fill the car up with fuel! Our Chevelle is shaping up to be a really nice, reliable muscle car that we can take anywhere. Stay tuned to see what we dig into next!

This shot shows the Aeromotive bypass regulator installed on the firewall. We have used Aeromotive components extensively and they always exceed our expectations.
All bolted up with new straps, hardware and insulation. You would never know that this wasn’t a cleaned up original fuel tank!

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