Goodmark Chevelle Project Car-Part 8

FUEL & SPARK -- Taking Things One Step At A Time

Jason Walker Jun 26, 2002 0 Comment(s)

Boy, we are definitely getting down to the nitty-gritty, for sure. In this segment we are going to be showing you not just the installation of the Factory Fit wire loom and the Rock Valley fuel tank but cool custom tricks to make these--not so original--parts fit and look clean and functional. After all, unless you are building a bone-stocker, you will need to plan and execute the custom installation of many different parts and pieces. This is a great reason why finding the right car builder for your project should be one of the most important decisions you make. To back that statement up, the boys at Metal Finish USA will be showing us the correct ways to modify some of the original replacement parts to accept non-stock pieces and make them functional and pleasing to the eye.

First will be installing, through the firewall, a wire loom made to fit the Chevelle and at the same time plug into the not-so-stock, GM Performance Ram Jet Injection setup. Of course, there are plenty of ways to achieve this, but maybe you hadn't thought of doing it quite like the way we did. If nothing else, you can use our way as a reference since these tips can be applied to many different installations. Next, we will move to the rear and show how the Rock Valley high-capacity fuel tank was installed with its stock-style straps, while, at the back of the car, we will get a glimpse of the braided fuel lines, fittings, and fuel filter from Street & Performance--and how they were plumbed to the new fuel tank and in-tank fuel pump. All of these parts were no simple, bolt-in jobs. They all took a certain amount of planning and fitting, as you will soon see.

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Here she is, semi-bolted together, giving us a taste of not only the great work that has already been done but also the amazing results of that work's coming together.

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With the firewall insulation panel from R.E.M. Automotive installed, the first step is to find the place where the engine wire loom can pass through the firewall, keeping in mind factors such as visual placement, length of loom, whether or not the loom hidden is kept hidden, and so on. Craig Hopkins found that this spot works great with all the factors mentioned above.

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After the hard plastic is removed, Craig uses a soldering gun to cleanly remove the unnecessary cloth padding, revealing the firewall behind.

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With a hole saw, boring the necessary size and shape becomes simple and quick. The hole size is directly determined by the wire loom grommet, which, by the way, was borrowed from another car and adapted to this application.

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A quick shot of air to get rid of any dust or small slivers of metal and the hole is ready for the wires and grommet.

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This close-up shot shows the borrowed grommet with the Factory Fit wire loom running through it, as it will be mounted in the firewall.

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Once the entire loom is fed through the firewall, make sure all wires are pulled through to their destinations. If any lengthening or shortening of any wires becomes necessary, like it was on this installation, this is the time to make the modifications.

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In this case the computer and relays for the Ram Jet Injection were originally designed to be mounted inside the engine compartment. One of the modifications mentioned earlier was moving the computer and relays under the dash so they could be hidden from sight but still reachable for servicing. To achieve this, Craig and Aaron Hopkins spliced extra wire to lengthen the loom for the new mounting placement.

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With the stock heater back in place the loom and grommet are completely hidden. This is the type of custom work that speaks for itself in the end.

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As Craig finishes installing the remainder of engine compartment parts and wiring them to the loom, Aaron preps the new fuel tank for installation.

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All Rock Valley fuel tanks are handmade from stainless steel and can be custom made to fit your needs. This tank came with an in-tank, high-velocity fuel pump, sending unit, and mounting straps.

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After installing the sending unit and fuel pump/pick-up tubes, fittings and braided fuel lines from Street & Performance are installed using some Plumbers Tape to ensure a tight seal.

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Because this car is utilizing fuel-injection, simple slip-on hoses and clamps would not be enough to keep the added fuel pressure contained. These fittings and braided hose will handle the pressure without loosing a drop.

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Before the tank is installed, the wiring is once again modified by splicing in a connector plug to make removing the tank much easier in the future. This is another great example of forethought.

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The other end of the connector plug will house the wires running to the sending unit and fuel pump. We can see the use of 100-mile-an-hour tape to hold the wires in place nicely.

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Some anti-vibration strips were also supplied with the tank and should most definitely be installed..

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With a little help from an engine hoist and a block of wood, Craig was able to shoehorn the tank in between the framerails and exhaust pipes. Whatever works, right?

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With the tank in position the new mounting straps were easily bent to conform to the tank, making a secure fit to Chevelle's under-belly.

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Watch-out, those strap edges can be very sharp. Extra anti-vibration strips were included for the mounting straps but, for visual effect, were later discarded.

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Street & Performance also supplied the chrome fuel pump designed for the fuel-injection system. It looks pretty snazzy, too.

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It's a tight fit, but as in many cases, the tighter the fit, the better it looks. The custom-made tank looks right at home. Next month, we will bring you more on the wiring with the Dakota Digital Dash and Custom Auto Sound stereo installation.

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