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Fuel Cell Foam Warning
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-08-26 1:18 PM (#623822)
Subject: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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My '69 Toyota Corona is running a fuel injected 22RE motor with an electric pump mounted to the top of the fuel tank. However, the previous owner never added proper baffles into the tank so the car would die if you turned too sharp. Fortunately, it uses a manual trans so it was quite easy to get it to restart, but it's still a pain in the neck to deal with. Now, there are pumps you can purchase that come with a small baffle attached to it to *help* prevent sloshing of the fuel around, but they weren't available when I needed them, and they are of limited value because of how small they are.

Some online folk persuaded me to solve the problem by inserting fuel cell foam into the tank to prevent the fuel from sloshing around during cornering. I avoided one type of foam that was known to fall apart, but purchased 2 different kinds that were supposed to work. Because I had some inner structure inside the tank that the foam could be captured by, they did work to prevent sloshing. But 5 years later, I inspect the tank and find that the foam has completely disintegrated inside my tank - both types. So this foam might be a good *temporary* solution, but not for long term. How long it really lasts is likely only about 1-2 years.

I share this in case anyone here is tempted to use this stuff. Buyer beware. Now I've got a mess to clean out. The previous owner used fiberglass mat & resin to attach the pump mount to the top of the tank, and of course that started slowly leaking right after I bought the car. So I will take this opportunity to weld/braze that on for good and cut a top portion of the tank off to weld in proper baffles around the fuel pump. Should be fun.



(69Corona Foam Disintegration.jpg)



(69Corona Fuel Tank.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 69Corona Foam Disintegration.jpg (105KB - 91 downloads)
Attachments 69Corona Fuel Tank.jpg (190KB - 84 downloads)
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Mopar1
Posted 2022-08-26 2:26 PM (#623824 - in reply to #623822)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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Welding it could be exciting!
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ttotired
Posted 2022-08-26 5:29 PM (#623833 - in reply to #623822)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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Thats lovely. I have also heard about using foam. Guess its not such a good idea
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-08-26 7:00 PM (#623835 - in reply to #623824)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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Mopar1 - 2022-08-26 11:26 AM
Welding it could be exciting!


Welding it isn't the dangerous part. Cutting it up is the problem. But if you thoroughly wash it out and shake it up first with dish soap (important to remove fuel residue), then fill it full of water to eliminate most of the oxygen in there, it's pretty safe. I've done this a dozen or more times without issue. The tricky part about welding it is to get it to fully seal. That's not as easy as it sounds. I usually flow a layer of brass over my welds to make sure it seals properly.



(69Corona Fuel Tank Cut.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments 69Corona Fuel Tank Cut.jpg (217KB - 83 downloads)
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AceS
Posted 2022-09-01 11:37 PM (#623978 - in reply to #623822)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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The foam in my race car's fuel cell still looks brand new after 16 years.... which leads to the question: What type/brand of foam(s) was used (and to be avoided)? How can the "buyer beware" unless you are going to share the information?
Sorry this happened. Looks like a real mess.
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1960fury
Posted 2022-09-02 9:52 AM (#623984 - in reply to #623822)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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Not just the fuel cell foam. Check this out:

http://forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=48057&post...
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-09-02 12:40 PM (#623989 - in reply to #623822)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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It's impossible for me to give more details from 5 yrs ago, so this is as much as I can tell you. But I just searched through various fuel cell foam listings on Summit and found that *one* of them listed a warning that it was not for use with E85. So no alcohol content whatsoever. Nevertheless, many of those foams that were made with the same material didn't have this warning on them. So you are left to figure it out for yourself.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-09-06 12:10 AM (#624041 - in reply to #623989)
Subject: Re: Fuel Cell Foam Warning



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Location: So. Cal
After spot welding a good baffle into the tank, I tried to seal the the top cut by just welding. I shone a strong LED into the tank around all the welds in a dark room and marked the pin holes. Then weld those areas in, grind down, and check again. I did this around 5 times before I got rid of all the light leaking through. Then I put the pump back in and filled it with water upside down. I still had probably 6 or more tiny pin hole leaks that couldn't be detected with the LED. At that point, I gave up and brazed over the top of it to seal it for good. Next time, I won't bother to do more than one round of welding in holes before brazing to save time.



(Tank Welded & Sealed.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Tank Welded & Sealed.jpg (89KB - 80 downloads)
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