Author Topic: Advice on building a new fuel tank  (Read 471 times)

Offline crider

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Advice on building a new fuel tank
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:39:08 AM »
I've been running an old Eelco tank on my dragster and it was working fine with the carb setup, but it isn't big enough for the hilborn setup on methanol, so I think I'm just going to build a tank to fit down inside the rails of the chassis.  What aluminum alloy is the easiest material to work with? Where can I buy it online? I'm also open to any other advice, I've done my share of welding and fab work but this will be my first try at building a fuel tank.

Online wideopen231

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 11:09:12 AM »
 Cpl things from so so fabricator and they maybe giving too much credit.  .060 aluminum is easier to weld than .050 and weight near nothing. 3003 is easier to bend up but not as strong as 5052 .  Make sure you have adequate baffles, big enough vent or vents.  Neil and Parks sell weld in bung and cap if you need to locate one. Make sure zero leaks before adding fuel.I know you knew that,but its lot better than finding one and welding after draining fuel.  Don't be afraid of building little bigger than you think you need.If want 4 gallon and design works out to  just under 5 don't sweat it.Guess how I know this one? Besides it just frontal weight which you probably have to have anyway.
Relecting obama is like shooting right foot because it did not hurt enough when you shot left foot

Offline dreracecar

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 03:11:55 PM »
5052 H32 Aluminum  X .063 
NO 90* edge welds, always roll the edges to create a butt welds
 Tall and short tank is better than a long and skinny
 Vent each end to a common middle vent
Lenght X width X hight devided by 231 will give you the volume
You can get the Alu PVC coated to help with not scratching as you are bending, but you really have to scrub where the plastic was glued on to make a clean weld
Where the bungs and filler goes should be flared to fit, to keed the heat warpage down
clean clean clean and did I mention clean

Offline dreracecar

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 03:18:58 PM »
proper venting and no sharp corners

Offline crider

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2019, 04:37:13 AM »
Thanks Guys. Any good online place to buy material from? I live in the middle of nowhere and I can't find anything here to work with

Offline janjon

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 05:41:51 AM »
Onlinemetals.com
Very good and quick service, choose your sheet size, UPS delivery.
I highly recommend them for small amounts of material needed in a few days.
They are a division of Thyssen-Krupp, and they ship from several metal service centers they have in the USA.
McMaster-Carr is another good option.
Just keep the same amount of stuff on the right
as there is on the left. Seeing straight ahead is highly overrated....

Offline masracingtd1167

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2019, 06:20:08 AM »
Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co ! Good prices on 4130 tubing and aluminum sheet !

Offline THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2019, 07:30:16 AM »
As usual drerace car hit the nail on the head with similar thoughts I had. A couple of additional items I'll mention - Have a way to measure fuel level. This may mean putting a hole in the baffle(s) so you can insert a dipstick. Or, on a five gallon tank with a foam baffle, I cored out the foam below the filler neck and inserted a rolled tube with rings bead-rolled in at every one-gallon increment.
Another thought - Put a drain in the tank so if you get some bad fuel or you want to winterize you can do it.
Finally, make sure the vent will not allow fuel spillage in the event of an upset.
Good luck; post pics of the final product.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 07:32:31 AM by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER »

Online wideopen231

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2019, 07:44:12 AM »
Race city steel is in Denver NC and most of time good prices.
Relecting obama is like shooting right foot because it did not hurt enough when you shot left foot

Offline dreracecar

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Re: Advice on building a new fuel tank
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 08:55:23 AM »
As usual drerace car hit the nail on the head with similar thoughts I had. A couple of additional items I'll mention - Have a way to measure fuel level. This may mean putting a hole in the baffle(s) so you can insert a dipstick. Or, on a five gallon tank with a foam baffle, I cored out the foam below the filler neck and inserted a rolled tube with rings bead-rolled in at every one-gallon increment.
Another thought - Put a drain in the tank so if you get some bad fuel or you want to winterize you can do it.
Finally, make sure the vent will not allow fuel spillage in the event of an upset.
Good luck; post pics of the final product.


 Foam that holds up to Alc is expensive, the other foam is for gas only and breaks down with alc.  No vent system is perfect in a crash. Always fill the tank completely before the run to insure head pressure to the pump and to limit sloshing. Fuel drips after the burnout thru the vent, is common and the track will mop it without an issue, cracks or leaks they will shut you down