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Thread: IT Fuel Cell Requirements?

  1. #1
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    Default IT Fuel Cell Requirements?

    My Rabbit has a bad OEM tank and I'm looking at fuel cells. The GCR says this:
    9.3.26. FUEL CELL SPECIFICATIONS
    All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell complying with these specifications, except for Showroom Stock, Touring, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring. All safety fuel cells shall be constructed and certified in accordance with the FIA FT-3 or higher (FT-3.5, FT-5, etc.) specifications. All safety fuel cells shall consist of a foam-filled fuel bladder enclosed in a metal container at minimum.

    Does that mean if I have a cell it has to be FIA rated for Improved Touring?

    I was looking at this one:
    JAZ 210-510-03 - JAZ Aluminum Fuel Cells (Retails for around $225)

    Found this on their site too:
    Although all JAZ Products fuel cells exceed SFI SPEC 28.1, only fuel cells labeled "THIS FUEL CELL CARRIES SFI CERTIFICATION" are actually certified. Only the fuel cells that are specifically designed for classes that require SFI certification receive a serial number and SFI label. If the fuel cell you require does not come standard with certification, JAZ Products can SFI certify any cell in this website for a nominal fee. If you have any questions regarding SFI certification, or which fuel cell will fit your needs best, call our technical pros, and they can help you make the right decision regarding your application.

    Back to the question -
    Will this regular aluminum fuel cell be legal? It's within 12" of the old tank and would mount in the spare tire well. I already have a block off plate that would enclose the cell. Would this fly? What do you guys think?
    '83 GTI ITB

  2. #2
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    Default

    An Improved Touring car can use the factory gas tank; however if a fuel cell is installed, that fuel cell must meet the stated GCR fuel cell FIA specifications.

    I know it sounds like a "Catch-22" but if a fuel cell is used, then it must comply to the specified rule.

  3. #3
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    I am sorry I disagree. The GCR in the general section states:
    All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell complying with these specifications, except for Showroom Stock, Touring, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring. All safety fuel cells shall be constructed and certified in accordance with the FIA FT-3 or higher (FT-3.5, FT-5, etc.) specifications. All safety fuel cells shall consist of a foam-filled fuel bladder enclosed in a metal container at minimum.

    So according to this the specifications in this paragraph do not apply to IT.

    And then in the IT section:
    The stock fuel tank may be replaced with a fuel cell. The fuel cell shall be located within twelve (12) inches of the original fuel tank location. Additional reinforcement may be added to support the fuel cell, but such reinforcement shall not attach to the roll cage. Floor pan may be modified for installation.

    I use a Jaz cell.
    dick patullo
    ner scca IT7 Rx7

  4. #4
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    Hoo-boy, this is interesting...I agree with Ryan. Here's the line again:
    All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell complying with these specifications, except for Showroom Stock, Touring, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring.
    Here's where the conflict arises: Ryan (and I) read these lines to mean:
    All cars must be equipped with a safety fuel cell, except for Showroom Stock, Touring, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring. If installed it must meet these specs.
    Here's how Dick reads that line:
    A safety fuel cell, if installed, must with these specifications, except for Showroom Stock, Touring, Spec Miata, and Improved Touring.
    Frankly, I believe the intent is that cells are optional in Improved Touring, but if installed must comply with the specs. This falls in line with prior "safety" related issues, in that safety equipment must meet specific specifications, such as harnesses, seats, suits, helmets, window nets, ad nausea. In fact, the only "safety" equipment that is allowed but not required to meet any sort of spec is head and neck restraints, and those are not even (yet) specifically called out in the GCR. I can't imagine SCCA calling for a piece of safety equipment and not requiring it meet a spec.

    Didn't we have this debate some time back? I seem to recall this, and I also seem to recall being convinced to a position in opposition to what I am writing above...maybe someone can do a search and find it...?

    Greg
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  5. #5
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    Yup, here it is. We didn't resolve it back then, either, just Dick and I agreeing to disagree, and tossing it over to someone else to work out...

    https://improvedtouring.com...ight=fuel+cell
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  6. #6
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    By the way, I pulled up a copy of the 2004 GCR. The rules for IT are effectively the same, but referred the reader to TWO sections of the GCR, 17.12 and 19.

    17.12 was pretty much the same as the current one and had that same verbiage, "All cars shall be equipped with a fuel cell complying with specifications according to GCR Section 19., except Showroom Stock, Touring and Improved Touring cars."

    19, however, was a complete discrete section of the GCR detailing how a fuel cell was to be constructed and installed. It started with:
    All safety fuel cells shall be constructed and certified in accordance with the FIA FT-3 specifications. Where safety fuel cells are required in SCCA Competition, all safety fuel cells shall consist of a foam-filled fuel bladder enclosed in a metal container at minimum.
    In order to comply with the ITCS you had to comply with GCR 19, and while there were no expressed exclusions for IT cars, there are still those "where safety fuel cells are required" weasel words...

    I still can't imagine SCCA allowing a safety item in a car and not requiring it to meet a spec, but it's certainly vague enough to make one go ...
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    I still can't imagine SCCA allowing a safety item in a car and not requiring it to meet a spec, but it's certainly vague enough to make one go ...
    such as optional tubes in a roll cage not having to be of a minimum size?

    I guess the best advice is from the other thread. make sure the guy who is going to inspect your car will pass it. In this part of the country the practice agrees with my interpretation. YMMV
    dick patullo
    ner scca IT7 Rx7

  8. #8
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    I agree with Greg on this one.

    My read: Certain classes HAVE to have a cell and that cell must meet FIA spec.

    Certain classes a cell is optional - but if installed, that cell is not exempt from spec. "All cells shall be constructed...".

    It doesn't make sense to me that certain classes can have 'sub-spec' cells. IMHO.
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    It doesn't make sense to me that certain classes can have 'sub-spec' cells. IMHO.
    When asked about the logic of having less rigorous standard (requiring fuel cells) in IT and similar classes the CRB chair responded that prod and GT cars do not require functional bumpers so are much more vulnerable in an incident.
    dick patullo
    ner scca IT7 Rx7

  10. #10
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    I think we can get a clarification on this one pretty easily. Hope it works out 'fer ya!
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Bettencourt View Post
    I think we can get a clarification on this one pretty easily. Hope it works out 'fer ya!
    I think this may be a good case for letting a sleeping dog lie...
    Not my circus...not my monkeys...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Amy View Post
    I think this may be a good case for letting a sleeping dog lie...
    well we agree on that Greg.
    dick patullo
    ner scca IT7 Rx7

  13. #13
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    Good idea!
    Andy Bettencourt
    New England Region 188967

  14. #14
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    Several years ago, a friend wanted to install a fuel cell in his IT car. He and I both agreed that the "wording" in the GCR and IT rules was "fuzzy" and not totally clear about the installation of a fuel cell in an IT car.

    I believe he called SCCA tech and was told that fuel cells were optional in IT cars, but if a fuel cell is installed in an IT car, then the fuel cell must meet the FIA specification as quoted in the GCR.

    Perhaps the wording in the IT rules should be more specific about the requirements of a fuel cell in an IT car??

    As I do not race anymore in IT, maybe an IT racer should submit or request a revision for clarification.

    Regards, Ryan.

  15. #15
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    Agreed on what Ryan said above, and I beleive the same applies for a fire system.

    If the original poster (or anyone else) still plans on using the fuel tank mentioned,my brother has one for sale in prcactically new condition.

  16. #16
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    I have a new fuel cell with surge tank installed by ATL that I was going to put in my ITB Jetta last fall that I would sell to you.
    It is the well-cell that will go in your spar tire well to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.
    It is FIA/SFI rated and no matter how you interpret the rules, SAFETY should be your main concern and this cell will be safe plus if for some reason you change the car to the GTL class the cell would pass tech.
    Last edited by thedemoguy; 04-28-2008 at 07:27 AM.
    Bill Johnson

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    I read the rules the same as Greg and Ryan but what I need clarification on is the "certification" of the fuel cell. I plan on running the stock tank in my car for the first year and then installing the cell I picked up. The cell meets all the requirements: foam filled bladder encased in a .036 steel container, positive locking cap with a vent, etc. However, the cell doesn't have any FIA certification marked on it. Can I use it?

    Reminds me of the debate on the SFI rating on driver's suits. Sure your OMP suit is flame retardant but no SFI = SOL and thanks for playing. If this is the case, I will have to buy another fuel cell with the certification painted on it and sell my non-certified one.

    Any ideas?
    Greg Heuer
    ITC Fiesta #92 (in progress)
    '65 Beach 5B FV #67
    '65 Sardini FV (not yet in progress)
    '03 Crown Vic aka "Tackleberry"

    "Racing more cubic inches requires more cubic dollars"

  19. #19

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    The interpretation of the rules to allow non-SFI or FIA fuel cells in IT has been prevalent for years. There are quite a few IT cars using unrated circle track cells. To my knowledge this hasn't been a safety issue. In my own case I would much prefer a circle track style cell to the poorly protected stock fuel tank. Even though lacking FIA certification, these cells have a proven safety history in the rough and tumble stock car world.

    In my opinion, a rule "clarification" that would prohibit the common practice of using circle track type cells would be another example of the SCCA fixing a problem that doesn't exist.

    Charlie

  20. #20
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    Item number 4 under 9.3.26 which allows rotary molded cells not having a bladder, or not contained in a metal can in classes (IT) that are not required to have a cell but are allowable as an option.

    I most certainly read the earlier part as if a cell is required it must meet the specs, but in classes where they are not there are no specs, especially with the rotary moulded (cheap, no SFI or FIA)cells allowed.

    matt

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