You gotta have fuel. The engine just won't run without it. But options for how you store the fuel and how it's transmitted to the carburetor or fuel injectors over factory methods are plentiful. As we continue the buildup of our Project All-American Flatfender, we explored a variety of styles of fuel systems, weighing which would work best for our setup. After examining how we'd use our rig and how far we intended to travel on a tank, we elected to stick with a bare-bones system that was easy to service, easy to troubleshoot, and easy to install.
We started our venture into the world of fuel lines by picking up an Earl's Performance Plumbing catalog. The Earl's catalog offers a detailed listing of each product with notes about how it might apply to any one system. There's also a wealth of knowledge in the technical section of the catalog that explains the different styles and sizes of threads and how the sizes correspond to one another. The technical section also details how to assemble the hose ends. After drawing a schematic of how our fuel lines would be routed, we again used the catalog to identify which fitting or hose end would suit our application. Once we'd established a build sheet, we were ready to order the hose and fittings and begin the installation.
We elected to use Earl's Perform-O-Flex hoses as our main lines. The Perform-O-Flex hose is a braid-protected synthetic rubber hose that's said to remain flexible at a high degree of temperature. An inner sheath of stainless-steel braid is embedded in the synthetic-rubber liner during manufacturing and is then bonded to an outer protective layer of high-strength stainless-steel braid. It's strong stuff and should do the job without any issues. We also employed a couple lengths of Earl's Super Stock hose. This synthetic rubber hose is reinforced by a full-coverage interior braided fabric sheath and is an excellent replacement hose for OE applications. The Perform-O-Flex hose uses Swivel Seal hose ends and the Super Stock uses push-on Super Stock hose ends. For fuel storage, we acquired a 10-gallon fuel cell constructed from 5051 aircraft aluminum alloy from Summit Racing. The cell features TIG-welded seams, a flush-mount aircraft-style cap, and 8AN nipples, and is foam-filled to prevent fuel aeration.
With all the parts on hand, we were set for the install. We began by mounting the fuel cell, then established which fittings went where and determined where we'd mount the fuel pump and fuel filter. The whole proposition took about two days, but only because we didn't have a whole day to dedicate to the installation. Check out the photos and captions for further details, and check future issues as we near the completion of our Project All-American '42 MB flatfender.