November 17, 2007

Plumbing the tank - 6.0 hrs.

Now that this tank has all the ribs riveted and sealed in place, it's time to plumb the inside. I will be installing the standard vent line, an optional fuel return line, and the standard fuel pickup tube and the float-style fuel gauge. All this needs to be done now before closing and sealing up the rear of the tank with the baffle plate.

The first thing I'm installing, seen above, is the vent line. As fuel is drawn out of the tank, air has to be let in so you don't create a suction or vacuum situation and end up starving the engine for fuel. Obviously, this is a critical component! Don't let the picture above confuse you. There's only one tube in the tank at this point. You're seeing a reflection of the tube off the shiny skin underneath it. The tank is upside down, by the way, in this shot.

NOW there are two tubes in the tank, shown above. And again, a confusing reflection as well. Why did I cross the tubes like this? Well, I wanted the vent line fitting on the outside of the tank to be in the spot indicated on the plans. There was no room to put the fuel return line further back; it has to go forward, as you'll see below. Meanwhile, inside the tank, it just worked out best this way to route the vent line so it terminates at the fuel cap where it's supposed to go. The fuel return line ends in the middle bay of the tank, seen below (with more crazy reflections). I put a dab of Proseal on the tubes, as seen above, where they cross, so they don't vibrate or chafe against each other. I have also sealed up the fittings on the right, on the end rib.


At the other end of the tank, here's the vent line ending right underneath the fuel cap, held in place by the little clip riveted on earlier. This is supposedly the highest point in the tank, the ideal position for venting.

Finally, here's the outside of the tank after the fittings were secured in place and sealed on the inside with sealant. The fitting on the left (aft) is the standard vent line, and the one on the right (forward) is the fuel return line. It will be capped if I don't end up using it. I don't plan on putting another fuel return line in the right tank, when I build it later on.

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