Phase One Of Project MaxStreet’s Fuel System Installation
Modern suspension upgrade? Check. Supercharged engine buildup? Check. New transmission? Check. The puzzle pieces to our Project MaxStreet ’66 Chevy II are finally coming together. In prior updates on our project, we’ve walked you through the complete overhaul of the factory suspension to bring the ride and handling up the most modern of standards. We’ve also taken an in-depth look at the TCI 6X transmission that we’ll be utilizing, and in our most recent report, we over viewed the full rebuild by Pacific Performance of our Musi/Edelbrock 555 now sporting a forced induction combination courtesy of ProCharger.
With all of these chores checked off the to-do list, we’re very close to dropping the engine and transmission down into the car and turning our puzzle pieces into a complete picture. But before we can do that, we’ve got the sometimes headache-inducing task of wiring and plumbing the car. In this installment, we’ll be focusing on the plumbing side of things.
Fuel systems are one of the most critical elements of a high horsepower street/strip car, and is also one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a buildup. If the engine isn’t being supplied with the appropriate amount of fuel, you not only inhibit its overall performance, but run the risk of shortening it’s life significantly.
As we outlined in one of our earlier progress reports on MaxStreet, our plans for the rebuild of our 555 included the addition of forced induction in order to produce some 1,000 horsepower. For that, we turned to our friends at ProCharger, who supplied us with one of their popular and nasty F-2 centrifugal supercharger with a peak efficiency range that will couple nicely with our big block to meet our 1,000 horsepower goal at a safe boost level.
Now that our focus has turned to the fuel system department, it only seemed fitting that we couple the FAST XFI system with a FAST fuel system from it’s own bloodline, this one designed for and capable of handling upwards of 1,200 horsepower. A boosted big block is a thirsty beast, and this kit will deliver with optimum hydration that would make Bobby Boucher proud.
This article is the first of a two-part fuel system buildup, as we first work from the rear of the car forward to the firewall prior to installing the engine. Once that task is complete, we’ll then take a look at the all of the under-the-hood elements that complete the fuel system loop.
Out of the box, the FAST system comes with everything one would need to get their fuel system up and running, minus the hoses and fittings, and for that, we’ll be utilizing Aeroquip’s high quality components for our purposes. And all of that fuel has to come from somewhere, and for that we’ve hooked up with Hector Guerrero and crew over at Rick’s Tanks to supply us with one of their awesome, hand made fuel tanks.
Fuel Delivery With FAST
The FAST fuel system that we’ve chosen for our boosted 555 is built in partnership with Aeromotive, which you’ll see upon inspecting the components with the “Made by Aeromotive” stamped in the machining. The fuel pump is based upon Aeromotive’s Eliminator unit, while the regulator is based on the EFI Pro Series piece. Aeromotive is one the leading fuel system manufacturers in the world, so whether you have a quality piece in your hands isn’t in question.
This particular pump that comes in FAST’s kit is designed for big horsepower, Pro Touring and Pro Street-type road going and street/strip cars like our Chevy II, delivering the fuel that such an engine demands while maintaining superb drivability. The pump is quite flexible, as it’s compatible with both carbureted and fuel injected setups, capable of handling a stout 1,900 HP (naturally aspirated) and 1,400 (forced induction) for EFI combos and 2,300 HP (naturally aspirated) and 1,700 (forced induction) for carburetor setups. The pumps posted fuel flow rating is 1,000 lb/hr.
“On a supercharged setup, this pump will take 1,400 to 1,500 horsepower; it’s a pretty mean little pump,” proclaimed FAST’s Robin Poole. The pump features a large ORB-10 outlet and ORB-12 inlet ports, and while it is indeed fully submersible for placement within custom-built fuel tanks, our layout will be of the out-of-tank variety. Continued Poole, “It’s a really versatile pump; all kinds of drag racing classes to high horsepower street cars. Pretty well anything you can throw it at, this pump will handle. It’s probably the meanest single electrical pump on the market.”
The FAST regulator, meanwhile, is considered among one of the top tuners options on the market for high horsepower EFI applications, capable of supporting some 2,000 horsepower with very high volume requirements. The base pressure on this unit is adjustable from 20 to 100 psi and it includes two boost line adapters, a dedicated 1/8″ NPT port, and tapered flare ORB and AN fittings. The regulator references vacuum and boost on a 1:1 ratio and includes two boost line adapters that helps to prevent blow-off in high boost applications much like our ProCharger-equipped beast.
In addition to the fuel pump and regulator, this fuel system kit from FAST includes the Y-block and both the pre and post fuel filters, along with all of high quality O-ring type AN fittings and the necessary wiring and 30 amp relays. Because we’re utilizing a single fuel pump setup, we’ll be using the supplied billet aluminum Y-block in order to split the fuel between the fuel rails on opposing sides of the intake manifold. Installation of the Y-block and the fuel regulator will be part of the second installment of our fuel system buildup.
One question that you may ask in regards to the pairing of the FAST XFI with a FAST fuel system is are there advantages to doing so? The short answer is, yes. Explains Poole, “The XFI has fuel pump control built in. Basically, it’ll connect to the fuel pump and specify how long you want the pump to prime and things like that. The fuel pump control is a really neat feature that many other EFI systems don’t have. The relay that comes in the fuel system kit will wire up to our harness, and the harness will control those features.”
Complete 1,200 HP Fuel system Kit – Part # 307501
- Kit includes fuel pump, pre-filter, post-filter, Y-block and fuel regulator, along with system fittings and wiring harness
- Features “dual chamber” pumping mechanism
- Designed for high horsepower EFI or carbureted applications
- Fully submersible for custom in-tank installation
- RB-12 inlet port and ORB-10 outlet port
- Base pressure adjustable from 30-60 psi
- Auxiliary ports available for nitrous applications, pressure gauges, and transducers
- Nearly indestructible electroless nickel-plating finish
- Includes two boost line adapters: one barbed for rubber hose, the other for AN-04 braided line
Filling Up With Rick’s Tanks
To fulfill our needs for a high quality fuel tank for this particular project, we’ve teamed up with a new name here in the powerTV garage: Rick’s Stainless Tanks. Rick’s is headed up by company owner Hector Guerrero and is a producer of some of the finest, highest quality speciality and custom tanks on the market with tanks designed for many popular muscle car makes and models, including the Nova/Chevy II.
“All of our tanks are specific to the vehicles – it’s not a universal fit,” explains Guerrero. “Our forte is really in the muscle car market. We do a tremendous amount of in-tank fuel pump builds with OE-style and aftermarket pumps with brands such as Walbro, Aeromotive, and Bosch. We’re really quite diversified with that.”
The tank we’re utilizing is constructed of a food industry grade of 304 stainless steel which isn’t susceptible to rust and, like all of the tanks that come from Rick’s, is hand-fabricated and welded by hand. While Rick’s does perform a large number of in-tank pump builds using some of the highest-flow pump setups on the market for high horsepower applications, for our needs, they’ve supplied us with one of their sump-style tanks sporting -12 AN outlet fittings and -10 inlet fittings.
Rick’s Tank Chevy II Sump-Style Fuel Tank – Part # 4031
- Fabricated and welded by hand
- Constructed from food grade 304 stainless steel that won’t rust
- Sump-style design
- Outfitted with -12 outlet and -10 inlet fittings (1′/2″ fittings are standard)
- 15 gallon, OEM replacement tank uses factory mounting points
Note: this particular tank has been custom-fitted with a sending unit from Rick’s, Part #SU090
Hooking It Up
In order to complete our fuel system puzzle, we need to tie all of the above mentioned components together, leading from the fuel tank to the fuel rails atop the engine and all the way back. Project MaxStreet is a serious machine making some serious horsepower, and we don’t want to cut any corners that may cause us problems down the road.
And so, for our fuel hose requirements, we’ve called upon the folks at Aeroquip, producers of without a doubt some of the finest hose and fitting products on the market. Aeroquip has supplied us with a set of black AN fittings and their Startlite Racing hose, which isn’t just your run of the mill street car fuel line. This stuff is designed with racing and durability in mind, and is some 45% lighter than comparable steel braided hoses.
“The Startlite is a direct replacement for not only OEM fuel hoses, transmission lines, and general purpose lines, but its also a great replacement for steel braided hoses, as well. This product is half the weight of a classic steel braided hose,” explains Aeroquip’s Eric Durrant. “One of the great things about the Starlite hose is that its so easy to work with compared to steel braided hose. You can literally cut it with a knife or a sharp pair of scissors right at the application. You don’t need to tape it up and cut it up with a hacksaw, circular saw, or anything like that. And it also has a superb bend radius for flexibility purposes.”
Another great feature of this hose is aesthetics. The trend in hoses and fittings of late has been headed toward a black appearance, and the Startlite with a red tracer wire is just that. In keeping with that theme, we’re also installing Aeroquip’s black reusable aluminum fittings that sport a one-piece design that allows for great flow and eliminates potential leak points.
States Durrant, “Looks is actually one of the primary reasons that many choose the Startlite and the black AN fitting combination. The OEM look tends to be a little on the dull side, and this hose is sort of flashy with a red tracer wire. It’s a subtle flashy though, just to let you know that it’s an Aeroquip product. As well, OEM vehicles don’t come with AN fittings, and having these attached to a hose ensures a much higher pressure rating than what comes on a factory assembled vehicle.”
Aeroquip Starlite Hose Specifications:
- Black appearance provides a stylish look
- Fireproof, Nomex/Kevlar cover
- 45% lighter than steel braided hoses
- Can be cut with a hand tool for easy plumbing
- Handles up to 20 IN/Hg
Aeroquip Reusable Aluminum Fittings
- One-peice design
- Designed to be re-used without damage to the fitting
- Easier to install than cutter-style fittings
- Compression style designed specifically for performance applications
- No seal is broken between nipple and tube when swiveled due to nipple design
Off And Running
The fuel pump is also mounted on the underside of the car, just in front of the tank and behind the rear sway bar. We’ve cut roughly two feet of -12 size hose to run from the tank to the 10 micron pre filter supplied by FAST, and another foot that runs from the filter to the inlet side of the pump. The post filter is then connected directly to the outlet side of the pump.
From there, we utilize -10 size hose from the post filter to the Y-block that will eventually be mounted within the engine compartment. We’ve channeled the -10 fuel line along the inside of the framerails and subframe connectors to the engine bay. While installation of the Y-block and fuel regulator will have to wait until installment, we did go ahead and route the return line while we were underneath the car. The return is also -10 hose and runs the length of the car inside the framerails in parallel to the delivery line.
We’re confident that with this beefy and race-inspired fuel system from FAST, we’ll be able to deliver all the fuel this thirsty monster needs to keep it running in tip-top shape for many tire-roasting miles to come. And to boot, we’ve got a really sinister look with the new all-black hose and fitting network that brings the utmost in quality to the table, making for a win-win on both fronts.
Soon, we’ll be dropping the 555ci bullet into the car, where we’ll bring you the second part of our fuel system buildup with FAST, which will include the mounting of the Y-block and regulator and routing of the fuel line through the rest of the cycle!