Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow You’ve probably seen bits and pieces of this car, along with parts of the build, in previous articles – it’s the writer’s “sleepy” little Nova. Essentially, it’s a low-key car and I have zero desire to increase the profile during construction. When it came to the fuel delivery system, the goals were simple: Craft a high flow setup, but at the same time, keep most of it invisible – at least at first glance. Seems like a bit of a contradiction; where does one begin? The inspiration came from some of the folks who run cars at “stock appearing” drags. The few who will actually talk mention Holley HydraMat in hushed tones. OK. But exactly what is a “HydraMat?” HydraMat is a flat fuel reservoir system Holley designed to reduce fuel starvation issues present in hard cornering, acceleration, stopping, inclines and low fuel conditions. In essence, HydraMat “wicks” the fuel in a gas tank or fuel cell. Effectively, any area where Holley HydraMat comes in contact with the fuel, it will draw in that fuel. According to Holley: “As an area of the HydraMat is uncovered, the tiny pores of the media seal off through surface tension, forcing fuel to be contained in the reservoir and drawn from other areas of the mat where fuel continues to be available. The sheer size and coverage area of the HydraMat allows it to pull fuel from virtually any area in the tank or cell eliminating the need for specialty reservoirs and pick up pumps saving cost and greatly reducing complexity.” As a result, HydraMat sounds like perfect a medium to capture and “store” fuel in a gas tank (kind of like a high tech one way valve “sponge”). But that’s not the end of it, either. There are other benefits and they’re considerable. The design greatly reduces the potential for air to enter into the fuel system. This happens anytime the fuel pickup becomes uncovered. As we all know, fuel starvation (even temporary) causes poor engine performance. HydraMat also allows you to run the car with less fuel in the system. And even here, it will continue to draw fuel from the tank even when part of the mat is uncovered. Because of all this, there is no need for an added sump or an extra reservoir. Equally important, it also acts as a 15-micron pre-filter, eliminating the need for a separate filter before the fuel pump. Holley offers all sorts of different HydraMat configurations. They’re available in small squares, large squares, small rectangles, large rectangles, small crosses, large crosses and even a dedicated job for NASCAR-specific fuel cells. All of these models have different pickup locations and pickup types too. In total, Holley offers 18-different HydraMats. The one selected for our covert gas tank is a large 15X15-inch square with an equally large, centered ½-inch NPT pickup fitting (Holley part number 16-107). The HydraMat must be anchored inside the gas tank or fuel cell (no secret). Holley has come up with several really ingenious solutions. Each HydraMat is equipped with reinforced eyelets on each corner. They accept a stud, and Holley has several different stud installation kits. One is a Click Bond kit. What’s Click Bond? It’s a high-tech acrylic adhesive that is compatible with gasoline and E85. Basically, it allows you to glue four studs to the bottom of the fuel tank or cell (Holley offers Click Bond kits for plastic cells or metal cells/tanks). For this kit, you should have good access to the inside of the tank, because once the Click Bond cures, you can’t move the stud. The other setup is based upon four rare earth magnets fitted with studs. Installation is simple here too: Bolt the rare earth magnets to the HydraMat. Install the HydraMat in the tank and then move it into place. That part isn’t exactly easy, though! The rare earth magnets are incredibly powerful and once they come in contact with metal, it takes a bunch of force to adjust them. Do not use a screwdriver or other metal object to move the magnets! It will be almost eternally stuck to the magnet. For the same reasons, never, ever allow the magnets to contact each other (ask us why we know!). That leads us to this: You can also install the magnets in a plastic tank/cell. How does that work? Simple: You use a second rare earth magnet on the outside of the cell to anchor the magnet-equipped HydraMat inside the cell. With any of these setups, the HydraMat won’t budge. Next issue, we’ll look at how a stock style gas tank can be modified to make use of HydraMat. Watch for it! In the meantime, check out the accompanying slideshow:

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

You’ve probably seen bits and pieces of this car, along with parts of the build, in previous articles – it’s the writer’s “sleepy” little Nova. Essentially, it’s a low-key car and I have zero desire to increase the profile during construction. When it came to the fuel delivery system, the goals were simple: Craft a high flow setup, but at the same time, keep most of it invisible – at least at first glance. Seems like a bit of a contradiction; where does one begin?

The inspiration came from some of the folks who run cars at “stock appearing” drags. The few who will actually talk mention Holley HydraMat in hushed tones. OK. But exactly what is a “HydraMat?”

HydraMat is a flat fuel reservoir system Holley designed to reduce fuel starvation issues present in hard cornering, acceleration, stopping, inclines and low fuel conditions. In essence, HydraMat “wicks” the fuel in a gas tank or fuel cell. Effectively, any area where Holley HydraMat comes in contact with the fuel, it will draw in that fuel. According to Holley: “As an area of the HydraMat is uncovered, the tiny pores of the media seal off through surface tension, forcing fuel to be contained in the reservoir and drawn from other areas of the mat where fuel continues to be available. The sheer size and coverage area of the HydraMat allows it to pull fuel from virtually any area in the tank or cell eliminating the need for specialty reservoirs and pick up pumps saving cost and greatly reducing complexity.” As a result, HydraMat sounds like perfect a medium to capture and “store” fuel in a gas tank (kind of like a high tech one way valve “sponge”).

But that’s not the end of it, either. There are other benefits and they’re considerable. The design greatly reduces the potential for air to enter into the fuel system. This happens anytime the fuel pickup becomes uncovered. As we all know, fuel starvation (even temporary) causes poor engine performance. HydraMat also allows you to run the car with less fuel in the system. And even here, it will continue to draw fuel from the tank even when part of the mat is uncovered. Because of all this, there is no need for an added sump or an extra reservoir. Equally important, it also acts as a 15-micron pre-filter, eliminating the need for a separate filter before the fuel pump.

Holley offers all sorts of different HydraMat configurations. They’re available in small squares, large squares, small rectangles, large rectangles, small crosses, large crosses and even a dedicated job for NASCAR-specific fuel cells. All of these models have different pickup locations and pickup types too. In total, Holley offers 18-different HydraMats. The one selected for our covert gas tank is a large 15X15-inch square with an equally large, centered ½-inch NPT pickup fitting (Holley part number 16-107).

The HydraMat must be anchored inside the gas tank or fuel cell (no secret). Holley has come up with several really ingenious solutions. Each HydraMat is equipped with reinforced eyelets on each corner. They accept a stud, and Holley has several different stud installation kits.

One is a Click Bond kit. What’s Click Bond? It’s a high-tech acrylic adhesive that is compatible with gasoline and E85. Basically, it allows you to glue four studs to the bottom of the fuel tank or cell (Holley offers Click Bond kits for plastic cells or metal cells/tanks). For this kit, you should have good access to the inside of the tank, because once the Click Bond cures, you can’t move the stud.

The other setup is based upon four rare earth magnets fitted with studs. Installation is simple here too: Bolt the rare earth magnets to the HydraMat. Install the HydraMat in the tank and then move it into place. That part isn’t exactly easy, though! The rare earth magnets are incredibly powerful and once they come in contact with metal, it takes a bunch of force to adjust them. Do not use a screwdriver or other metal object to move the magnets! It will be almost eternally stuck to the magnet. For the same reasons, never, ever allow the magnets to contact each other (ask us why we know!). That leads us to this:

You can also install the magnets in a plastic tank/cell. How does that work? Simple: You use a second rare earth magnet on the outside of the cell to anchor the magnet-equipped HydraMat inside the cell.

With any of these setups, the HydraMat won’t budge.

Next issue, we’ll look at how a stock style gas tank can be modified to make use of HydraMat. Watch for it! In the meantime, check out the accompanying slideshow:

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1 1

Holley’s HydraMat is a fuel reservoir system. The text offers complete info, but the short description is it “wicks” the fuel in a gas tank or fuel cell.

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1 2

Holley offers all sorts of different shapes and sizes of Hydramat. Some are shaped like a “cross,” others are more like a “T,” some are rectangles and some, such as this example, are large squares.

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1 3

This particular HydraMat incorporates a large ½-inch NPT outlet fitting. We used a stainless steel Earl’s ½-inch NPT to -10AN fitting to adapt it to our hose setup.

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1 4

There are a couple of ways to mount the HydraMat, but when using a steel gas tank, it’s hard to beat Holley’s rare earth magnet install kit. As you can see, the magnet has a stud on one end. More in the next photo:

Building a (Semi) Hidden High Flow Fuel Delivery System Part 1 5

Here’s a look at the bottom side of the magnet. The strength of these magnets is much greater than you might anticipate, and because of that, there’s little or no chance of the HydraMat migrating inside a gas tank.

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