Update: Drag Racer Reborn. Fuel Delivery Simplified

Back in June 2018, we introduced a ’66 Nova that spent the early portion of its life as a racer, and another – much longer portion – taking up residence in a garage. You can check out the original article here. For decades, the Nova languished out of public view until a storage issue began to plague the car owner, Wally Staszko. In early 2018, a practical need for the garage space where the Nova was hibernating was the catalyst that Wally needed to pull the car out of dry dock and come up with a plan to once again, breathe life into this piece of history.

fuel system

To get the Nova properly fueled, Hyperfuel’s PN: 48019 (1966- 1967 Chevy II / Nova tank and fuel pump), PN 44010 (carbureted -6 AN fuel pressure regulator), and PN: 87203 (stainless-steel hose kit with fuel filter) saved the day.

Wally’s options were to either rebuild it as a race car, or to create a vintage-looking street/strip car that could still hearken back to the Nova’s former glory. For Wally, the latter was the obvious choice. To complete the rebuild, the car was sent to Bill Jelinek’s Route 66 Motorsports in nearby New Lenox, Illinois.

Start by measuring the depth of your fuel tank and compare it to the length of the pump assembly. It is recommended the filter be no more than 1/8-inch from the bottom of the tank. To shorten the depth of the pump, loosen the clamps on the fuel pump feed hose and cut the hose to desired length.

The rebuild of the “Touch and Go II” Nova is moving along nicely, and like all cars that spent a long time in storage, several items needed to be addressed. One of those items is the fuel system. If there is any fuel languishing in the system during an extended storage, it will cause issues when you finally try to get the engine running. That is because the fuel and surrounding air in the tank – along with the metals in your fuel system – can cause oxidation.

The hydrocarbons in the gasoline will change because of their interaction with oxygen molecules. The change will result in a varnish being created that can ruin a fuel tank. Also, condensation forms in a partially filled tank while sitting for an extended period of time, and will cause rust to form. Once your tank rusts, it’s basically time to replace it.

Such was the case with Wally’s Nova, which meant he needed to make a decision. Should the replacement be a simple OE-style tank, a fuel cell, or an upgraded aftermarket tank. While, many die-hard street racers feel a fuel cell would help cement the street-racer vibe, the plan for the Nova is to make it more street friendly than it was in its previous life. For Wally, a fuel cell was not an option. What was an option, came by way of Hyperfuel Fuel Systems.

fuel system

The assembled pump assembly. Using an in-tank fuel pump has become a popular upgrade, because it makes the car ready for an EFI upgrade, runs quieter than an in-line pump, and lasts longer. The pump Wally chose is a 440 lph pump that can support up to 800 horsepower when using pump gas.

The line of Hyperfuel fuel-injection-ready, direct-replacement tanks feature internal baffling with an extra-large 4.8-liter dual-tube-baffled fuel tray to prevent fuel-pump starvation. These stamped-steel reproductions of original fuel tanks require no modifications to mount in the car. The tanks include a five-hole 0- to 90-ohm sending unit for your fuel gauge, a high-quality fuel pump, mounting straps, and filler neck. The fuel sender and pump are recessed in the tank to not interfere with the car body during tank installation, and the in-tank, 440 lph EFI fuel pump (Part No. 40017) supports up to 1,500 horsepower on pump gas and 1,100 horsepower if running E85.

With all the options available, we can fit most common applications as a direct fit unit. – Lloyd Hunt

An in-tank fuel pump is the best method of fuel delivery, because the pump is submerged in the fuel, which keeps it cooler, promotes longer pump life, and is much quieter than an external pump. “The OE’s have been putting pumps in the tank for nearly three decades now,” said Lloyd Hunt of Hyperfuel. “The reason for this is the pump will last longer, stay cooler, dramatically reduce or even eliminate vapor locking, and one of the things our spouses love most, they are quieter.”

While the Hyperfuel tanks are primarily intended as an EFI retrofit system, these tanks can also be used in carbureted applications – as long as a fuel-pressure regulator is utilized between the tank and carburetor. Finally, these systems have external -6 ORB outlet, return, and vent ports for easy fuel line connections. “When available, we always recommend using an in-tank pump, as in-line pumps can be problematic,” Lloyd iterated.

Fuel system

To operate efficiently at any fuel level, an EFI pump should have a constant supply of fuel. The Hyperfuel tank utilizes an internal “tub” to keep fuel from sloshing away from the pump during braking, acceleration, and cornering.

In case you were wondering, Lloyd told us you can retrofit Hyperfuel’s 40015 kit into your existing tank, but keep in mind, your tank is probably 30-plus years old and surely has some level of corrosion inside. This could cause significant filter restrictions down the road if your old tank is riddled with trash.

The Hyperfuel tank has provisions for the fuel pump and sending unit, and no modifications are required to install this upgraded fuel supply into your car.

When you look at the benefits, using a new tank is not as expensive as it might seem. “With all the options available, we can fit most common applications as a direct-fit unit. If a direct-fit option is not available, chances are, a universal fuel-injection tank is the way to go,” said Lloyd.

To complete the plumbing, the hose kit (PN: 87203) includes a 3 1/2-inch in-line filter with 40-micron stainless steel reusable/washable element. Also, the Nova will be using dual carburetors, so the fuel system would need a regulator (PN 44010) to drop the fuel pressure.

With the fuel system updated, we still have a little more work to complete before the Nova is road ready, so stay tuned for more updates.

If your classic’s fuel tank is in need of replacing, or you are upgrading to EFI, the Hyperfuel kits come with everything you need, including a new tank, sending unit, pump, pre-filter, and if applicable, straps.

Article Sources

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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