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Old 10-09-2004, 07:59 PM
dsmtuned dsmtuned is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
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Default Fuel Cell Requirements for road racing and drag

For those of you who race in the US, what have you had to do as far as fuel tanks, hoses, and lines to fit tech requirements at tracks?

I have a homemade system and I'm sure my Methanol/Water tank would not pass inspection if they knew what it was. :shock:

I know Larry uses stainless braided lines. Any other suggestions?

Thanks, Craig :smile:
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:01 PM
hotrod hotrod is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 307
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Not a direct answer to your question but a couple observations.

My choice of -3 braided Aeroquip line was strictly a personal choice not driven by any specific competion rules. I did consider that if push came to shove, they would be much more likely to ok the use of that line than others if I ran into a tech inspector who was having a bad day.

50/50 water methanol is right at the limit of flamability, it will for most practical purposes not burn. The higher concentrations like 75% Methanol will light and burn with a clear flame, so one of the things you can do is stay with the lower alcohol concentrations if rules about flamable liquids is an issue.

We could check to see if we can find a determination by someone like the NFPA, or EPA or OSHA about what concentration is considered flamable. A standards body like that would carry a lot of weight with the SCCA or NHRA as far as interpretation would go.

It would be interesting to see what the FIA WRC rules say about it as they are one of the few major sanctioning body that probably has specific rules about it.

In NHRA rules, they have different fuel regs for the different classes. In the Bracket ET classes they specifically allow alcohol and gasahol fuels so it would be very difficult for someone to protest you for using an illegal fuel in those classes. In some of the higher classes they are very strict with fuels and do not to my knowledge specifically address WI, and if it is legal or not. In those classes you might be able to be protested for illegal fuel if your running a water / alcohol mix. It would be very interesting to hear from the Buick GN folks as they have been actively using high alcohol WI mixes for decades and some of their cars are serious drag race competitors in NHRA and may have already gotten official determinations about rule interpretations applying to WI.

The one other issue is that according to NHRA rules any bulk liquid, other than the fuel tank, located behind the fire wall is automatically classified as ballast, so if you have a windshield washer bottle in the trunk you might get protested on that issue.

Most drag race inspectors are more pragmatic than nit pickers and if the installation looks well done and unlikely to be a problem they won't even care in my experience.

I use a simple Poly windshield washer bottle in the trunk so nothing special for me. I don't run any SCCA events so no direct experience/ info on that.

Anyone have a tech connection in SCCA to see what the rules might be?

Water injection is not listed in the glossary or index to their general regulations published in 2001, so at least at that time, they appear to have had no specific regs on it. They do how ever specifically allow more than one fuel cell. Of course the SCCA does have that wonderful catch all -- "if its not specifically allowed, its prohibited" rule.

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Old 11-09-2004, 01:16 AM
SaabTuner SaabTuner is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 52

I've been trying to get my hands on the GCR for the SCCA. Haven't had the chance though. Next time we take the race car to a regional race I'll see if I can pick one up, but it's been a while. (Selling the Formula ford to upgrade to a Formula Continental)

Also IIRC WRC cars use just straight water injection, so concerns about flamability are somewhat moot there. They have strict rules about a maximum of 98 RON "Super Unleaded" fuels, so I can't see them allowing alcohol injection of any kind. They're even considering banning WI.

Can't find any MSDS on Alcohol and Water mixtures. However they often reccomend a water spray to reduce vapor. So perhaps that might lend credit to a mixture not being particularly flammable.

I used to know a good site for MSDS but can't find it right now. Still, couldn't hurt to do an MSDS search. Loads of info there. SCCA would respect that.

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