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Old 04-28-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Default Converting a diesel tank to a race fuel tank.

Many of us take our own race fuel to the track. I use quite a bit in the #90 Heilig-Meyers Ford, can save $2 or more a gallon buying off-track, and I think it will be more convenient. I've been considering that after I've bought a T/C to haul the race trailer, converting one of the diesel tanks to race fuel and putting a 12v or air powered pump on with a hose reel. The side tanks on semi's are usually what ... 100 gallons? 125? 150? I know I'll have to clean it out and probably attach some fittings to it.

Plan on putting the race fuel on the passenger side (we usually park the race car there) and leaving the driver's side the diesel tank.

I don't think the reduced range (say 100gal x 8mph= 800 mile range) will be a problem for me.

Has anyone done this? Any ideas for a pump and little hose reel?

Any downsides I haven't thought about? Anyone have a bad experience?

I crewed for an ARCA stock car team that had a race fuel tank on the tractor. A fill-in driver put diesel in it. They fueled the race car. Ran for crap. Couldn't figure it out until one of the guys touched a little fuel on the outside of the carbinator and said, "Gee! This smells like diesel." They did an engine change and cleaned out the 22 gallon fuel cell and lines!

So the race fuel tank needs to be placarded really, really well.

I notice that some fuel tanks are beneath the doors on semi tractors and some are behind the steps. What is the reason? Weight distribution? Putting the tanks under the doors leave more room behind the tanks for bays. I see under door tanks usually have steps.

Thanks for the help!

Dick
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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A few thoughts......

Lock the race fuel tank. Hide the key where only you know where it is.
8mgp for the HDT may be optimistic.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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Should work fine. Northern tool has several pumps which will work well. fuel pump from Northern Tool + Equipment

Just make sure that you isolate the left and right tanks. There is a crossover line there now.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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they say you can't put gas in a aluminun tank. if you had steel tank you could do it. i wouldn't mark tank. dot may not like that. do they say anything about hauling fuel in trailer. needing to be placard.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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Any hazmat above the minimum (which a saddle tank full would definitely be) would need to be placarded, and the driver would need to have a hazmat endorsement. Whether the tank is strapped in (in the case of a drum) or permanently mounted would make no difference if the fuel is not for the engine of the truck or a generator. I have heard of racers getting busted for transporting drums of fuel with no placarding.

If the tank is not marked you may never get caught, but if they do catch you hazmat violation fines are very expensive. Some states do fuel checks to make sure there is no untaxed diesel in the tanks, and I can imagine the d.o.t. guy not being amused to find race gas in there instead of diesel.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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I heard a "rumor" from a fellow racer who told me "you know if you carry any more fuel than will fit in the tanks of the race car or the generator, like those five gallon tanks in the back of your trailer, you should have all the haz mat stuff in place!"

I already know I probably should have a CDL (tow vehicle GT 6,000# and trailer GT 10,000#) ... is it that much of a deal to get the haz mat endorsement and placard the special race fuel tank?

What about the guys hauling a big bottle of nitrogen?

This is getting pretty complicated. I'm beginning to see why some people might gravatate towards being community organizers. But I just don't see that as a viable alternative at this point.

Thanks much for all the advice and counsel.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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yeah, the hazmat endorsement is a big deal these days. I used to have one when I worked for the propane company years ago and it was no big deal. Still had it when I was no longer driving for them. Until one year came along where now you have to re-test every 2 years to keep the endorsement, plus get fingerprinted, plus pass a background check. Welcome to the post-911 totalitarian state. I guess the government figures if you want to drive a truck load of gasoline, obviously you must want to drive it into a government building or something. Perhaps that is a self fulfilling prophecy.

I don't know what the minimum for placarding gasoline is these days, in my day it was around 200# for substances like that, which would be about 30 gallons, so a 5 gallon jug would not be a problem. That may have changed, and the limit is probably lower now. And the minimums are different for nitrogen or nitrous as well, not sure if one nitrogen cylinder would require placarding or not.

Back when I worked for the propane company we had to supply the customer with placards if they left our dock with over the minimum.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:27 PM   #8
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I thought if it was over 75 gallons you needed it placarded? But, do you need it placarded if you're not going the whole DOT route? In other words. Say you are completely non commercial (I know, hard to be so, but just bear with me here) and pulling your trailer. Would a DOT guy be able to tag you for a Commercial Vehicle law if you were for sure completely non-commercial?

Okay, back to the original post. If the limit is 75 gallons you could get a 60 gallon saddle tank like I've got. And, it's kind blurry there too. Because the always put the filler neck off to the side a bit so you can't possibly fill it to the top since they want some air up there. Are we sure you can't use aluminum? Jegs sells aluminum fuel cells for race cars: RCI 2151AS RCI Aluminum Fuel Cells
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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I had a 28 gallon aluminum gasoline tank on my truck when I was still using a gas generator. Actually I was glad to get it off the truck.
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