For this part of our Connect-and-Cruise LSA swap into a '70 Chevelle, we are going to be focusing on the supporting fuel system. The engine comes pretty much ready to run, so all you need to do is come up with a tank and some lines and plumb it all up. While that sounds simple enough, remember we are putting 21st century technology into a '70s vehicle, so the tank and lines need to be brought up to date.
The biggest piece of the puzzle is the tank itself. The LSA needs 85 psi of fuel pressure delivered up to the fuel rails, and the LSA has no provisions for a mechanical pump. So it needs to be electric, and we prefer to support this engine with parts as close to factory as possible. A tank that is bafed and has an in tank pump is what we want. Now we could do a ton of sheetmetal fabrication and make some sort of factory tank fit, but that is something we really want to avoid and still might look pretty bad. Instead, we looked to the experts at Rick's Tanks.
Rick's stainless steel gas tanks are made to be direct replacements for OE tanks, but with the added features needed for EFI. According to the Rick's Tanks website, "All tanks and parts are fabricated in house at Rick's and are hand formed from 304-grade stainless steel and TIG welded. All tanks feature a bafe system that controls fuel tank slosh with bafing that runs from front torear, side to side, and surrounds fuel pickups to eliminate fuel starvation during acceleration and hard braking. All fittings and mounting flanges for fuel sending units and fuel pumps are CNC machined from 304 stainless steel to a thickness of 3/8-inch. Each tank comes with stainless mounting straps and hardware."
To connect the motor to the tank, we looked to Earls' Performance for the AN fittings and fuel line. For this project, we are going to use some Speed-Flex steel braided line and a selection of Speed-Seal -6AN fittings. Many of the additives to fuel blends render them incompatible with synthetic rubber lined hose, according to Earl's, so the Speed-Flex PTFE lined stainless braided hose is a good choice because it is impervious to any automotive fuel blend known to us. All Speed-Flex hoses are compatible with gasoline, hydrocarbon fuels, alcohols, nitro-methane, mineral and synthetic lubricants, and high-density fuel additives. Size 6 is carbon lined to dissipate static electricity.
While this hose is a bit more difficult to assemble, its durability will be well worth the extra efort. The last piece of the fuel system puzzle (other than the labor) is the fuel filter. We are going to use a single line fuel filter from a '99-up Corvette that we got from Guaranty Chevrolet to simplify the installation. This filter also has the regulator built in, and returns the fuel right out the back of the unit. This allows us to run a single line up to the engine with just a short little line for the return.
There are a few fittings we'll need that Earl's doesn't have yet to convert the filter/regulator to AN lines, but D&P had those in stock. Earl's told us it will soon ofer those.
Once all the parts were in stock, we took a trip over to D&P Classics in Huntington Beach, California, to follow the crew install all these new goodies.