Pushing Fuel

Updating a Second-Gen Camaro Fuel System for LS Power

By Chuck Vranas   –   Photography by the Author

Pushing fuel is serious business. Regardless of whether you’re feeding a stock mill or looking to install a hopped-up LS packed with plenty of go-fast goods to make it breathe fire, having the right fuel system to handle the job is of the utmost importance. If you plan on running carburetion or fuel injection enhanced by turbos or a supercharger, it will add even more demands to the delivery process. It takes careful planning to supply the perfect balance of fuel to meet the needs of today’s high-performance engines, with each application having specific needs to reach its goals.

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001 steel fuel tank with silver powdercoating from Summit Racing
For a fresh start, the 20 1/2-gallon steel fuel tank with silver powdercoating from Summit Racing was selected to act as the base for the new fuel system on the second-gen Camaro.

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During a recent visit to Procision Industries in Taunton, Massachusetts, we met with shop owner Pat O’Brien who had recently wrapped up outfitting a fresh 5.3L LC9 LS for installation into his ’71 Camaro project car. With the engine sporting aluminum heads by C3 Automotive Machine, Stage II LS1 cam from Brian Tooley Racing, and an LS Classic Series by Lokar Classic 14-inch intake kit, incorporating a Holley single-plane EFI LS intake with matching fuel rails along with factory GM fuel injectors and Granatelli Motor Sports 103mm throttle body, it was a perfect opportunity for All Chevy Performance to follow along as O’Brien began mapping out a plan.

002 Tanks Inc PA Series in tank fuel pump system
Summit Racing supplied the Tanks Inc. PA-Series in-tank fuel pump system to retrofit an internal fuel pump into a factory-style fuel tank. The EFI tank conversion module comes complete, as pictured, including reservoir tray and support arm, Walbro high-performance fuel pump, in-tank wiring harness, and all related installation hardware.

Starting in the engine bay, O’Brien first determined the need for specific fittings, fuel line type and length, and line clamps while moving rearward to decide on a regulator, fuel filter, fuel pump, and tank options. With many of the system parts available in kit form or individually, it’s easy to build to your custom application needs to handle a specific type of fuel delivery.

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003 reviewed the tank exterior for the best placement of the unit by test fitting the OER tank sending unit with float first
To prepare for installation of the in-tank fuel pump system, Pat O’Brien of Procision Industries reviewed the tank exterior for the best placement of the unit by test-fitting the OER tank sending unit with float first, followed by checking for any internal baffles.

To illustrate the updating of a stock fuel tank to handle the EFI requirements of a modern LS, O’Brien contacted Summit Racing for one of their stock-replacement 20½-gallon steel fuel tanks. From there, Summit offers a perfect retrofit kit from Tanks Inc. with their PA-Series in-tank fuel pumps used to incorporate an internal fuel pump into an original gas tank. The EFI Tank Conversion Module kit comes complete, including a reservoir tray to eliminate fuel pump starvation, which is possible in non-baffled tanks, and a Walbro high-performance, high-flow fuel pump rated for up to 630 hp at 60 psi (ideal for this application with higher horsepower applications available). An OER fuel tank sending unit from Summit completed the tank build.

004 retainer ring gasket as a guide for the mounting plate
Once the installation area was selected, O’Brien used the retainer ring gasket as a guide for the mounting plate. Using a marker, he then set the center point for the required 4½-inch-diameter mounting hole.

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It’s important to note that a properly installed internal fuel pump will get rid of common issues often experienced with external fuel pumps, such as vapor lock and cavitation. Rounding out the system, Summit Racing supplied one of their Universal LS Fuel Filter/Regulator kits incorporating a Corvette-style, 58-psi rated fuel filter/regulator along with -6AN fittings.

005 Placement of the slotted retainer ring atop the tank further illustrates the installation area
Placement of the slotted retainer ring atop the tank further illustrates the installation area. Note that there is a 6-inch-diameter flat spot needed for the system mounting plate and any ribbed areas of the tank will require flattening.

Let’s follow along to check out in detail how the system is installed on this second-gen Camaro.

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006 pilot hole was drilled first
While wearing safety glasses, a 1/8-inch pilot hole was drilled first followed by a ¼-inch hole. O’Brien then used a 4½-inch holesaw to finalize the opening to the tank.
007 combination file was used to deburr the area
After completing the opening, a combination file was used to deburr the area, removing any sharp edges.
008 slotted retainer ring was then used to trace a 6 inch diameter
The slotted retainer ring was then used to trace a 6-inch diameter, illustrating the areas on the tank that will need flattening.
009 combination of flat jaw pliers and a piece of aluminum flat stock as well as standard pliers the ribbed areas were gradually flattened out
Using a combination of flat-jaw pliers and a piece of aluminum flat stock as well as standard pliers, the ribbed areas were gradually flattened out.
010 top area of the tank is now ready for the next step
With the ribbed areas addressed, the top area of the tank is now ready for the next step.
011 slotted retainer ring was centered and secured in place using clamps on the tank followed by a punch used to mark the 16 mounting screw locations
The slotted retainer ring was centered and secured in place using clamps on the tank followed by a punch used to mark the 16 mounting screw locations. A 3/16-inch bit was then used to drill the holes. Finally, the tank was vacuumed and blown clean of any debris.
012 build of the pump module assembly by first measuring the depth of the tank to determine the support arms’ required length
Start the build of the pump module assembly by first measuring the depth of the tank to determine the support arms’ required length. For our application it was 6.25 inches.
013 The support arm was cut to fit using a band saw
The support arm was cut to fit using a band saw.
014 Assemble the support arm to the reservoir tray
Assemble the support arm to the reservoir tray using the stainless steel #10-32 nut, washer, and bolt provided.
015 Apply Teflon tape to the provided 90 degree supply and return elbows with hose barbs
Apply Teflon tape to the provided 90-degree supply and return elbows with hose barbs. Dress threads with a dab of fuel-resistant gasket cement as lubricant and screw into the mounting plate. Finally, tighten with a 5/8-inch wrench, being sure to have them in the desired final position.
016 Secure the foam sleeve and in tank filter to the Walbro high performance fuel pump
Secure the foam sleeve and in-tank filter to the Walbro high-performance fuel pump.
017 Set the pump assembly in the reservoir tray with the filter resting on the tray bottom and the pump outlet directly under the center barbed fitting
Set the pump assembly in the reservoir tray with the filter resting on the tray bottom and the pump outlet directly under the center barbed fitting. Carefully measure and cut the required lengths of supply hose (black). Then measure the return tube (white nylon) noting it will need to be 1 inch above the tray bottom.
018 Secure the supply line to the center barbed fitting with the supplied clamps and install the return tube over the remaining barbed fitting
Secure the supply line to the center barbed fitting with the supplied clamps and install the return tube over the remaining barbed fitting. Note that a heat gun might help with its installation.
019 Using the supplied wire ties first install the large one through the previously installed black wire tie saddle and around the pump till secure then trim excess
Using the supplied wire ties, first install the large one through the previously installed black wire tie saddle and around the pump till secure, then trim excess. Follow by installing the small wire tie to secure the pump to the return line and trim excess.
020 Connect the in tank wiring to your fuel pump and be sure the connection is secure
Connect the in-tank wiring to your fuel pump and be sure the connection is secure. Follow by routing the wires through the pass-through fittings while allowing a bit of slack to avoid any chafing. Use a 9mm wrench to carefully tighten the upper jam nuts down on the wire with ¼-inch increments till the wiring is secure.
021 Slip the slotted mounting ring into the tank using the slot in the ring
Slip the slotted mounting ring into the tank using the slot in the ring. Line up the mounting holes and secure in place with a couple of strips of masking tape.
022 Apply a liberal coating of fuel resistant gasket cement to one side of the 16 hole mounting gasket and stick it to the underside of the mounting plate of the pump module
Apply a liberal coating of fuel-resistant gasket cement to one side of the 16-hole mounting gasket and stick it to the underside of the mounting plate of the pump module. Then, carefully insert 15 5/8-inch screws and a 2-inch screw in the remaining hole.
023 With the pump module upside down apply a coating of antiseize to the threads of each screw
With the pump module upside down, apply a coating of antiseize to the threads of each screw. Follow with a liberal coating of fuel-resistant gasket cement to the underside of the gasket to prepare it for installation.
024 Carefully insert the end of the tray into the tank opening and rotate the rest of the module downward and through the opening
Carefully insert the end of the tray into the tank opening and rotate the rest of the module downward and through the opening. Follow by starting the 2-inch screw into the mounting ring.
025 Line up the remaining mounting holes by inserting a Phillips screwdriver into the hole opposite
Line up the remaining mounting holes by inserting a Phillips screwdriver into the hole opposite the 2-inch screw and draw the ring into place with said screw. Follow by starting the remaining 15 screws and replacing the 2-inch screw with the remaining 5/8-inch screw. Secure all in a side-to-side format till snug.
026 Install the OER fuel tank sending unit into place with the supplied O ring and capture ring
Install the OER fuel tank sending unit into place with the supplied O-ring and capture ring.
027 Here you can see the tank almost ready for installation
Here you can see the tank almost ready for installation. Note on the left side that the original stock fuel supply line on the sending unit has been capped off as well as the return line on the right side of the tank.
028 Note that the vent port has been plugged since we will be running a factory style vapor canister to vent the system on the tank
A pair of ¼-inch NPT to -6AN adapter fittings were installed to the supply and return line elbows after wrapping the threads with Teflon tape. Note that the vent port has been plugged since we will be running a factory-style vapor canister to vent the system on the tank.
029 second gen camaro ls engine fuel system upgrade
With a fresh set of Summit Racing fuel tank mounting straps ready, O’Brien used a transmission jack with a foam pad base to move the tank into place and secured it using a 9/16-inch socket
030 The new tank and straps were a perfect fit giving the car a fresh OEM style look
The new tank and straps were a perfect fit, giving the car a fresh OEM-style look.
031 Summit Racing Universal LS fuel filter regluator
Using the front tank strap as a mounting point, the Summit Racing Universal LS fuel filter/regulator (PN 03-0263) was anchored in place. The kit comes complete with -6AN quick-connect fittings and fuel rail fitting to make the install a snap.
032 crafted the fuel supply and return lines from a combination of Summit Racing
O’Brien crafted the fuel supply and return lines from a combination of Summit Racing -6AN braided nylon hose with black anodized aluminum line separators and fittings from Russell Performance for a nice clean look.
033 Summit Racing braided nylon hose for the fuel supply to the engine it was cut lubricated with Aeroquip hose assembly lube and fittings were installed to the line
After measuring the -6AN Summit Racing braided nylon hose for the fuel supply to the engine, it was cut, lubricated with Aeroquip hose assembly lube, and fittings were installed to the line.
034 here you can see how clean the installation is especially when anchored in place with the proper line clamps
It’s all in the details when running your lines; here you can see how clean the installation is, especially when anchored in place with the proper line clamps.
035 Y block from Redhorse Performance
To supply the fuel rails, a -6AN Y-block from Redhorse Performance was used, combined with fittings from Russell Performance and Summit Racing -6AN braided nylon hose.
036 hex plugs were installed to the front of the fuel rails
A pair of -8AN hex plugs were installed to the front of the fuel rails.
037 Here you can see the Y block with fuel supply lines to the rear of the fuel rails to complete the installation
Here you can see the Y-block with fuel supply lines to the rear of the fuel rails to complete the installation.

Sources

Classic Industries
(888) 816-2897
classicindustries.com

Granatelli Motorsports
(805) 486-6644
granatellimotorsports.com

Lokar
(877) 469-7440
lokar.com

Procision Industries
(508) 734-6081
procisionindustries.com

Red Horse Performance
(708) 430-1603
redhorseperformance.com

Summit Racing
(800) 230-3030
summitracing.com

Tanks Inc.
(877) 596-3842
tanksinc.com

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