Aeromotive Stealth Fuel Pump System - Supertanker
Prepping A Factory Tank With Aeromotive's Stealth Fuel Pump System
From the January, 2011 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Sean Haggai
Photography by Sean Haggai
Sustaining sufficient fuel flow and volume is a necessity when sourcing an adequate fuel system for your street sled or all-out drag car. A lean environment for combustion can build power to a certain extent but cross that threshold with too little fuel and you can quickly melt pistons, destroy cylinders, and create a whole world of related issues.
In our case, we ran into a similar dilemma when looking for a way to fuel our big-block in Project Brutus. For instance, we could go with a more modest approach by adding a factory-style fuel system with 3/8-inch hard lines with a stock pickup and mechanical pump. But, the small lines and factory pickup were never meant for "high" performance and there's no guarantee that the factory-style system wouldn't starve our engine for fuel. And given the robust combination, we opted for a more viable alternative.
To fix our needs, we decided to install Aeromotive's Stealth Fuel Sump kit. It came with just about everything we needed to upgrade our stock tank to a high-performance system. And get this, it's rated for up to 1,000 hp. Our complete kit came with a prefabricated fuel sump, an A1000 pump, a 100 micron filter, and included the hardware with detailed instructions.
Obviously installing a system like this requires a bit more than backyard knowledge, and having the right tools is a given. To help us with our install, we headed over to the metal guru's at Fab-tech Custom Fabrication & Welding in Chatsworth, California, where Jaime Voorhees transformed our factory tank into a fully sumped supertanker.
What We Did
Install the perfect fuel system for our Elco
It's straightforward, clean, and functional
What's in the box?
So, what makes this kit so great? First, it'll virtually fit most fuel tanks. Plus, it features your choice of Aeromotive's A1000 or Eliminator fuel pump and includes a 100-micron stainless pre-pump filter inside the sump box. Secondly, the innovative baffled designs provides optimal performance by keeping the fuel pump pickup covered at all times, even during extreme driving conditions. Also, the filter element can be serviced externally without draining or dropping the tank thanks to the proprietary cam lock filter cap that shuts off fuel flow when rotated.
||Stealth Fuel System
||Replacement fuel tank
||By Application Only
There is nothing worse than...
There is nothing worse than having many hours into a project only to realize it was done wrong from the start. To avoid this situation, we first orientated our fuel tank as it would sit in between the framerails of the Elco.
To keep things even and true,...
To keep things even and true, Voorhees started by measuring the tank to find its centerline. He then measured to find the centerline of the Aeromotive sump. Once the two centerlines matched up, Voorhees traced the outside of the sump to the bottom of the tank. The inner square of the fuel tank must be removed to fit the new fuel sump unit.
At this point we removed the...
At this point we removed the eight small bolts (11mm socket) and lock washers to remove the inner fuel filter and fuel pump housing. Once out, its underside can be seen. The bottom side of the filter will pick up fuel from inside the sump and send it through the looped hardline and to the pump. From there, it's sent to the outside of the sump and to the engine.
As a guide, Voorhees used...
As a guide, Voorhees used a metal ruler to steer the plasma cutter in the right direction. In the end, the square section of the fuel tank was removed.
To ensure you don't remove...
To ensure you don't remove too much material at one time, the Aeromotive fuel sump is built with a taper. The top of the sump measured out to just over 111/2 inches while the bottom of the tank came in at 12 inches even. Since the sump sits deep into the fuel tank, it's necessary to remove as you go until the sump sits at the height desired.
Voorhees used a grinding disc...
Voorhees used a grinding disc to remove the material and fit for width. It's important to mention that grinding a small portion at a time will prevent any warping and overheating of the metal. And because of the taper, it's smart to grind a small portion at a time to get the sump situated perfectly. Note: It should be a snug fit.
Cuts Like Butter
Cuts Like Butter
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. This is the actual size of Miller Electric's latest bad boy plasma cutter; the Spectrum 375 X-Treme. Not only will it cut up to 3/4-inch plate steel but can also be rigged to pull power from a traditional wall outlet at 120v or 220v via the included adapters. It comes packaged in a convenient heavy-duty carrying case. Plug it in, set the power output and it'll cut in a matter of seconds with clean and slag-free edges.
With the fuel sump set into...
With the fuel sump set into place, we then mocked it up for final fitment. Using a bubble level, we leveled the tank first, followed by leveling the sump. A leveled system will ensure that the fuel in the sump will always drain to the pickup.
Next, we traced a line onto...
Next, we traced a line onto the outside of the fuel sump by using the fuel tank as a guide. According to the instructions, a 3/8-inch hole needs to be drilled 1/8-inch above our traced line on each side. However, for good measure, we spaced things out a bit and drilled four on each side of the sump. These holes will allow fuel to drain into the sump and act as a baffle inside the fuel tank.
Once the fuel filter and pump...
Once the fuel filter and pump assembly are reinstalled to the sump, the baffle was stitch welded into place. This baffle will prevent fuel from sloshing about once inside the sump.
The baffled sump was set back...
The baffled sump was set back into place into the fuel tank and set at the predetermined lines. After double checking with the bubble level in all directions, Voorhees proceeded to apply small tack welds to the outside of the box to keep it in place.
Beginning at the rear of the...
Beginning at the rear of the sump, Voorhees welded a perfect bead to permanently affix the two together. He took his time and created small circles of bead to make sure no leaks were possible.
The fuel tank is thin to begin...
The fuel tank is thin to begin with, so Voorhees used a heli-arc welder for the final welds. The heli-arc allowed for greater control of the weld and prevented the tip from burning through. To keep warping from excess heat to a minimum, he immediately moved to the front of the box to begin that weld. Once the front and back were cool, he moved onto the sides.
Again, the eight small bolts...
Again, the eight small bolts were removed with an 11mm wrench. The fuel filter and pump assembly was then eased back to allow enough room to slip in the supplied gasket set.
Using the supplied grease,...
Using the supplied grease, we applied a liberal amount to the O-rings of the A1000 fuel pump and locked it in with the anodized bracket assembly and hardware. We then installed the 100 micron fuel filter and capped it off with the locking cover.
Our PST replacement tank was...
Our PST replacement tank was now ready for anything we could throw at it. All that was left to do was install the tank into the El Camino and plumb the lines to the engine. Stay tuned, we'll have the full install in an upcoming issue.