Fuel Cell

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Old 03-20-04, 11:04 AM
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Fuel Cell

I'm going to lower my truck over the summer hopefully. I have a buddy who has some steel available to build a custom bed (I posted on this before), so I'll be doing a floor lift. I'm doing this to an '89 Ranger. Part of my problem is I don't want my fuel tank dragging obviously, but I also don't want to raise it and have to cut a hole in the floor of the bed.

I have yet to measure the dimensions to see if there's a ready made fuel cell that will fit above the frame rail and yet stay below the bed floor and allow a place for a filler neck. If there isn't, then I was going to make my own out of either stainless or aluminum.

The stock tanks don't seem to have anything inside them other than their lead coatings, but all fuel cells advertise "foam" inside. I talked to someone at my thirdgen camaro board and they said the foam is to prevent the gas from 'sloshing' around in the tank. They suggested making some kind of baffles instead.

What's the deal here, is it necessary or not, have any of you built your own fuel cells?

Mathius
 
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Old 03-20-04, 05:42 PM
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Legal Trouble

The first thing is that most fuel cells are not street legal. If you do manage to get it inspected and are involved in a wreck, and the fuel cell causes any major damage insurance companies can and will most-likely not pay for any damage caused by it or to it. And they may take it to the point dropping coverage on the vehicle due to faulty equipment.
 
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Old 03-21-04, 05:11 AM
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Hello: Mathius

Are you speaking about a liquid gas tank like a standard fuel tank on any common vehicle or are you referring to a fuel cell used to hold or convert hydrogen into fuel for an engine to burn?

Same or difference in the terms used? Fuel cell or fuel tank?

A fuel cell is not the same as a fuel tank. Fuel tank holds gasoline. A fuel cell holds hydrogen (defined as a gaseous flammable chemical element) to be used as or for fuel.

You mentioned foam to keep the fuel (liquid) from sloshing around on the tank. Liquid fuel meaning gasoline?

Kindly clarify. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-23-04, 07:57 PM
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Yes, I'm talking about gasoline. Is this why Weldgod suggested it might not be legal, because he thought I was running some other fuel? I am confused, I had thought that the fuel cells at Jegs and Summit could be run with gasoline, I'm almost positive I have seen guys use them on their Rangers on my Ranger forum.

Mathius
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 03-25-04 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 03-23-04, 08:54 PM
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Fuel Cell

I am talking about gasoline. Fuel cells are illegal to carry fuel in most of the time on the highway. By saying fuel I am referring to gasoline. I have seen very few fuel cells that are D.O.T. and N.H.T.S.A. Approved. Not to mention that a fuel cell will keep your vehicle from passing inspection. The reason most fuel cells have foam inside or a fuel bag, or both, is due to safety. The foam is to keep the gas from sloshing around, and to help prevent exploding, if the fuel dose combust it will only burn the fuel in the cell.
 
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Old 03-24-04, 08:53 PM
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Re: Fuel Cell

Originally posted by WeldGod
I am talking about gasoline. Fuel cells are illegal to carry fuel in most of the time on the highway. By saying fuel I am referring to gasoline. I have seen very few fuel cells that are D.O.T. and N.H.T.S.A. Approved. Not to mention that a fuel cell will keep your vehicle from passing inspection. The reason most fuel cells have foam inside or a fuel bag, or both, is due to safety. The foam is to keep the gas from sloshing around, and to help prevent exploding, if the fuel dose combust it will only burn the fuel in the cell.
Uhm. This is all very confusing to me. I've seen fuel cells all over Car Craft and Truck'in magazines.

Also, you seem to state that the foam in the fuel cells is beneficial to preventing gas from exploding, and yet the stock gas tanks are just stamped steel with lead coating on the inside.

I'd really have to look to see if they're dot approved or not, but they certainly _sound_ safer than the stock tank.

Mathius
 
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Old 03-24-04, 09:02 PM
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I checked both Summit and Jegs web sites, and they both have versions that come with 0-90Ohm GM sender so it can be used in street applications, and Summit even lists 10-20 gallon aluminum TIG welded fuel cells as a streetable application. I really need to find clarification on this.

Mathius
 
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Old 03-25-04, 05:39 AM
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Mathius

Different terminologies but all and each is the same.
Fuel tank holding liquid gasoline and not a fuel cell to generate power. Fuel cell is not the same as a fuel tank.

A fuel tank holds fuel, in this case it would be gasoline for the truck you are working on.

A fuel cell is a container like a tank but used to hold another type of fuel not used for the trucks engine. Fuel cell generates electrical power from hydrogen, as an example.

Summation:
Your term is a fuel cell meaning a tank used for holding gasoline in the truck. We call them a fuel tank and not fuel cell.

That should clearify the difference, so we can move on to help you. WeldGod, (Matt) your turn to help with the welding or fabrication help as requested by member.
 
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Old 03-25-04, 08:38 AM
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Fuel

Really a lot of it depends on where you are living, and the vehicle is registered and will be inspected. Sate Laws vary quite a bit.


[SIZE=1]“9. Currently, fuel cells are not legal for use on vehicles operated on public roads. We haven't found a fuel cell that has been approved for on-highway use by the department of transportation (D.O.T), and a fuel cell won't pass the visual inspection by a smog referee even if the factory fuel cap, filler tube, and all emission equipment are in place. What this means is that if your truck was built after 1974, you won't pass a smog inspection with a fuel cell installed. Trucks built before 1974 aren't subject to smog inspections, so you'll be safe. Any cop worth his doughnuts, however, will issue you a citation for having a fuel cell installed on your truck if he or she catches you on a public street. There are companies working to gain executive order (E.O) numbers for fuel cells, and when we find a street-legal cell, we'll be sure to let you know”[/SIZE]

I got the above quote from http://www.off-roadweb.com/tech/0310or_fuelcell

There is also quite a bit of other information there also regarding fuel cells. The use and presence of foam is also explained at this web sight
 

Last edited by WeldGod; 03-26-04 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 03-26-04, 02:53 PM
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Re: Fuel

Originally posted by WeldGod
Really a lot of it depends on where you are living, and the vehicle is registered and will be inspected. Sate Laws vary quite a bit.


[SIZE=1]“9. Currently, fuel cells are not legal for use on vehicles operated on public roads. We haven't found a fuel cell that has been approved for on-highway use by the department of transportation (D.O.T), and a fuel cell won't pass the visual inspection by a smog referee even if the factory fuel cap, filler tube, and all emission equipment are in place. What this means is that if your truck was built after 1974, you won't pass a smog inspection with a fuel cell installed. Trucks built before 1974 aren't subject to smog inspections, so you'll be safe. Any cop worth his doughnuts, however, will issue you a citation for having a fuel cell installed on your truck if he or she catches you on a public street. There are companies working to gain executive order (E.O) numbers for fuel cells, and when we find a street-legal cell, we'll be sure to let you know”[/SIZE]

I got the above quote from http://www.off-roadweb.com/tech/0310or_fuelcell

There is also quite a bit of other information there also regarding fuel cells. The use and presence of foam is also explained at this web sight
WeldGod,

We're still dealing with a terminology issue here. Does that site mean tank or cell. I didn't think there was a difference, but apparently there is.

Anyways, perhaps you can answer my question, and we'll talk about the legalities of it later?

Mathius
 
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Old 03-26-04, 06:51 PM
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Mathius:

You are right that the terminology can be confusing.

From an auto racing perspective a fuel tank is one that has only baffles to prevent fuel motion, a cell has foam or other material that will absorb the liquid to prevent an air space above the fuel which will limit explosions.

In spite of cells supposedly being safer I think the message others are trying to get across is that if these devices are not legal then it would be innapropriate to offer advice on how to build one.
 
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