Wolfpack Motorsports Installs A Harmon Racing Fuel CellPosted in How To: Body Chassis on April 9, 2016
UTV racing is the fastest growing class in racing, and has been the single largest class at many of the biggest races held recently. It’s little wonder why; these vehicles are fun to drive, easy to modify and relatively (sic) inexpensive to race. Well, as inexpensive as racing gets, we suppose.
But even in the “stock” classes, certain safety modification need to be done. One of them is the addition of a racing or safety style fuel cell. A racing fuel cell, such as one from Harmon Racing Cells
Wolfpack Motorsports has been racing UTV’s for a while now, and team owners Jason and Jeremy Merrell grew up going to desert races and always have has a passion for the great wide open. Having run the LOORRS short course series, they want to go desert racing too. With the help of great sponsor’s, Wolfpack finally has the opportunity to open up its desert program.
Luckily Wolfpack's new challenge was addressed by Harmon Racing, which specializes in custom fuel cells for any type of racing. James Harmon has been working with Wolfpack to build the best UTV drop in system that holds a massive 20 gallons of fuel. A few goals were kept in mind while building the system; easy installation, stock location, low center of gravity, and minimal fabrication, all while utilizing the factory fuel gauge.
The resulting tank is just what Wolfpack needs to get them to the finish line in both safety and compliance. We stopped by Wolfpack’s Santa Ana, CA shop where they were stripping a new Polaris RZR and building it back up with cage and fuel cell (along with many other mods) to get ready for the upcoming season.
But know that this is a mod that not just racers can benefit from. The cars come stock with cages, but really need a better arraignment, and the basic seat belts just don’t cut it during serious off-roading. And while the stock 8-gallon tank is okay for around-camp drives, serious exploring requires serious mileage. With the 20-gallon Harmon unit, that range increases to ridiculous amounts.
So follow along as this RZR gets what it needs to be competitive, compliant, and safe.
Delivering 20-gallons of the good stuff is thanks to the Harmon Racing Cells. Made from aluminum and equipped with an internal bladder, the cell is required by racing sanctioning bodies before you take to the course.
Cutouts make room for the driveshft and fuel lines and if you notice holes in the bottom of the tank, you’re not seeing things. Since it has a bladder to hold the fuel, these holes are actually vent holes to allow the bladder to expand and contract without any problems.
With the seats out, this shot shows just how much plastic and steel goes into a stock Polaris RZR. It’ll all be removed to make room for the new Harmon fuel cell. The Wolfpack crew will also be building a legal cage at the same time as the cell install.
The seat brackets are the first to be removed. Everything’s going to go though as nothing seen here will be included in the competition rig that will emerge.
There is a combination of screws and plugs holding the various parts together, and this forked pry bar is the best way to get the plastic plugs out without damaging anything.
The center console is removed.
The stock belts will be replaced with harnesses, but know that the stock seat belt electrical connections need to be looped, or they will cause the RZR to go into a “safe” mode where it won’t run or at least not over 15mph.
After prying up the top cap of the shifter knob, the nut is removed allowing the barrel of the shifter to be removed.
The cable adjuster mount is loosened.
Here’s a pro tip: when removing parts that have screws, bolts or in this case, a C-clip and bushings, always put them back in their place. That way you won’t have to dig through a pile of fasteners looking for the right ones.
The stock seat frame is removed and with it, and the rest of the interior cladding, a whole lot of weight will be removed too.
The battery is removed. The battery will be relocated to the rear in its own mount.
There is a space beneath the fuel cell where the electronics will be re-positioned.
With everything removed, the stock fuel tank is exposed.
Clips hold the fuel lines to the tank fixture. They slide back to disconnect.
The stock 8-gallon tank is removed.
This post will be cut off to make room for the new cell.
Cradle type support brackets are welded to the frame to mount the cell. Notice the post is now missing.
The cell is set into place.
The Harmon fuel cell makes the most of the available space as it goes across from rail to rail.
With a fuel inlet, a hole for the pump and vent, the Harmon fill plate is ready to plug and play.
A Wolfpack made cage swivels down to cover the cell but it’s on a hinge, so removing the cell is as easy as lifting up the cage.
Wolfpack fabricated aluminum panels cover the rear and cage.
With not any room to spare, the Harmon Racing Cell is in and ready
With the weight down low and spread out across the width of the RZR, the additional gallons will safely add extra fuel and may even enhance handling.