We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we discuss the basics of compression and how it relates to your fuel octane.
R.B. • East Aurora, NY
A: The biggest difference between a factory type fuel tank and a fuel cell is burst strength. Because fuel cells are designed primarily for racing, they have a very high burst strength to prevent fuel from spilling out in the event of a collision or a rollover. A factory fuel tank (steel or plastic) is simply not built to take that kind of abuse.
Additionally, fuel cells have a non-vented cap and a rollover, or tip, valve in the vent line to prevent fuel from spilling out during an accident. For further safety, most racing sanctioning bodies require fuel cells to be mounted in a vehicle’s trunk or caged in steel tubing.