Race Car FIA-FT3 Fuel Cell Options
So you have decided to enter into a sport that is more expensive than a hardcore heroin habit and equally as addictive. Good for you. Now it is time to make some other great decisions…possibly one that will save your life.
You have spent the money to have the best corner-carving suspension, engine modifications and the stickiest tires available, but have not given two thoughts to your safety. Well, that is about to change with the installation of a fuel cell.
What Is A Fuel Cell?
A fuel cell is a tank designed to prevent leakage if a car is in an accident. A fuel cell consists of 4 main components:
- A strong flexible bladder that prevent spillage in case of an accident.
- Foam baffling that prevents the fuel from sloshing around.
- A fill plate that prevents fuel from escaping if the car is turned upside down.
- A fuel cell enclosure, usually made from steel, aluminum or fiberglass.
FIA-FT3 Fuel Cell Options
When it comes to FIA-FT3 rated fuel cells, you have a few options.
- Modify your car to fit a generic, pre-made fuel cell.
- Slightly modify your car to fit a custom fuel cell fabricated to fit your car.
- Take the fuel tank out of your car, send it to Pyrotect.com and have them modify it to be FIA-FT3 certified and reinstall it using the cars stock mounting hardware.
Each one is valid and comes with its own list of benefits. That said, if your car was built within the last thirty years, option three may be the best route. Let me explain.
Yes, your car looks good, but part of that design was to make the car functional and protect you. That is right, your car was built to withstand an unfortunate impact. Although you have improved the car’s safety by adding a roll bar, you cannot dismiss the fact that each respective car company spends upwards of a billion dollars figuring out the best possible way to keep you safe in case of an accident. This is not magic and it is not by chance. Automotive engineers install crumple zones that are designed to absorb massive amounts of energy in a crash. These zones are designed to fold bend and ripple in a controlled manner. One way they do this is by using different weights of metal to divert energy. Another way is to design systems like the one that is around your gas tank that protect you in the case of a rear-end collision.
C4 Corvette FIA-FT3 Fuel Cell
In the case of this C4 Corvette, the fuel tank came from the factory with an aluminum support structure that protects the gas tank. An added bonus is that the engineers placed the tank in a nice low location which helps with an optimal center of gravity. This is true of most modern cars. In this particular car, changing this location could get costly, since the rear cargo area flows into the interior. Installing a generic fuel cell would require you to build an enclosed firewall.
Before and After the Pyrotect FIA-FT3 Fuel Cell Conversion
Removal and Installation images of the Pyrotect FIA-FT3 Fuel Cell