It's funny, when you sit down to plan out your next ride, or even your trip to the hardware store, you always remember the big things-the motor, the wheels, the suspension, tranny, and so on. But when it comes down to all the small things, such as washers, electrical tape, or some other mundane object, we tend to forget them. The problem is, when you lay everything out and sit down to do the job, these little things you need to do the job are nowhere to be found. It's about this time when one slips into character and yells, "DOH!" just like America's favorite dad, Homer Simpson. You inevitably forget about the small things. No wonder chicks make grocery lists ... it's genius! Anyway, when the Super Chevy staff and Goodmark planned out the Goodmark Camaro (the former SC project car), the plan was to drive the hell out of it. Yet when planning things out, we totally missed one of those little details vital to a build.
The Goodmark Camaro was meant to be driven on the street, on the track, on the road course, and even through the mud, if the situation permitted, or if some joker thought we couldn't do it. It was never meant to start up and go on local cruisers now and again. It was meant to start up and drive from Los Angeles to the backwoods of Georgia. However, the fuel-injected motor didn't have the best fuel system. Now we're not talking about quality or anything of the sort, but we're talking about the actual style of the system.
The old setup was a standard gas tank with an external fuel pump that mounted to the framerails. Typically, this system is used for hardcore drag racing; it thrives in that type of setup. As for the street, it wasn't ideal. Driving around town and short trips were no biggy, but when the car was in it for the long haul, it was a different story. In a drag race the throttle is wide open and the motor is taking in all the fuel it can handle. Yet driving at 70 mph down the freeway, the throttle might reach a quarter of its potential and not eating up a lot of fuel. The problem with this is that the pump was pumping so vigorously that the gas was cavitating, or in layman's terms, forming tiny bubbles. Over the course of a few hours all these bubbles accumulated into one big air pocket, which caused a vapor lock. that would leave us on the side of the road for three and a half hours in 115-degree heat just outside Tucson, Arizona, waiting for a tow truck, only then to drive in that tow truck 45 miles into Tucson, and then call a cab to rush us to the airport and take a red eye just to get to the car show we were supposed to be at the next morning! Now, if we would have thought things out from the beginning, this could have all been avoided, including my lobster-like appearance courtesy of the Arizona rays.
If we would have gone with an integrated system, like the one used on the Big Three's fuel injected cars, we wouldn't have had this problem. An integrated system is a fuel injected system where the pump is built right into the bottom of the tank. Instead of the pump pulling the fuel from the tank, it pushes fuel from the tank to the motor, a much better setup for long-distance driving.
Once again, herein lies a problem: Musclecars, for the most part, aren't fuel injected, and they don't come with integrated fuel systems. For that reason the aftermarket stepped in, and integrated fuel systems for musclecars were born.
Rick's Hot Rod Shop in El Paso, Texas, has specialized in building integrated fuel cells for musclecars with fuel injected motors. From 100 horsepower to 1,600 horsepower, they build tanks that can handle the desired load. On top of that, their tanks are application-specific, not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. One of the newest products to surface from Rick's is their Stealth tank. The Stealth tank/fuel system is designed to support motors with up to 1,000-plus h.p. in an in-tank situation. The tank begins life as a 304 SS sheet and is radius-bent into shape. Then the baffling system is created using stainless walls and a special pickup reservoir.
The fuel exits the pickup chamber via a 5/8-inch stainless steel hard line, and after traveling through an Aeromotive 100-micron prefilter the fuel arrives at the pump, an Aeromotive A1000 that flows 600 pounds per hour at 13.5 volts and 45 psi. The system also uses an Aeromotive 12304 100-micron stainless element fuel filter that is free flowing and capable of flowing 2,000 lb/hr with a pressure drop of less than 0.5 psi.
The now-pressurized fuel line continues through the 5/8-inch stainless tube and exits the tank on the front face of the tank via a -10 AN stainless fitting. The tank also has a -8 return line, and 10GA Teflon-coated wire to supply electricity to the pump. Besides Camaros, the tanks are also available for other model GM cars.
To install one of these tanks into your ride is pretty simple. All it takes is bolting in a new tank, running a wire to the ignition and the other to a ground, and then making the fuel lines fit. When it's all said and done, the cost for one of Rick's Hot Rod Shop Stealth tanks and the amount of time required for installation will vary from person to person. But not being stranded on the side of the road-now that's priceless.