How to replace the PREMIER fuel cells in a GELSCOE ?

Hi guys,

I'm about to replace the bladeers in my GELSCOE. Apparently, it is major undertaking, as the front suspension has to come completly off and the bladders have to go over the 7 ribs in the pontons on both their way out and their way in.

Puting the yellow FIA foam in and bolting the plates with gaskets that do the sealing is also anything but trivial.

Do you have any hints and tipps you could share here ? What are the caveats to avoid ?
 

Davidmgbv8

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My French is very old and rusty but I think the long and short of if is.... replacing the fuel cells is a real pain in the arse.. now the zip ties is sheer brilliance!
 
There is a story going around about either one of the McLarens or Jaguar carbon tubs or the like....that came in for a life cycled fuel bladder replacement. Upon removal of the original bladder they noticed a wooden hammer/poking stick lodged inside the original bladder. Was obviously used to try and push the corner into place during original assembly.

So, make sure you take a good stock take of your tools before you seal it up.

I'm not sure how they go about it, but I also recall seeing someone pulled a vacuum on a bladder to make it as small as possible prior to inserting it into the chassis.

Ryan
 
On the subject of Premier fuel cells does anyone have a dimensioned drawing of the fuel cell they would care to share. I suggested a vacuum on the fuel cell the first time the question asked no one said good or bad , but I am sure I have seen it done with vacuum .
 

Randy V

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because they are out of date for racing. The FIA ruling is that the FT3 type fuel bladders are only valid 5 years from the date of manufacturing.

If you are actually racing this car in a sanctioned event where FIA rules are being brought to bear - I can understand.
But if not - I wouldn’t worry about it.
 

Neil

Supporter
I disagree with Randy. Although you're not using the fuel cell for racing, I'd recommend replacing it anyway. If it is over 5 years old, it will leak fuel any day now and at the most inopportune time and place.
 
I disagree with Randy. Although you're not using the fuel cell for racing, I'd recommend replacing it anyway. If it is over 5 years old, it will leak fuel any day now and at the most inopportune time and place.
Let not forget these modern ethanol blended fuels that are very aggresive.
 

Randy V

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I disagree with Randy. Although you're not using the fuel cell for racing, I'd recommend replacing it anyway. If it is over 5 years old, it will leak fuel any day now and at the most inopportune time and place.

The SCCA has abandoned any notion of fuel cell expirations. While one could say that it falls back to the FIA Standard, the sanctioning body’s scrutineers only rule on the content within the GCR and Class rules as published by the SCCA.
For my own peace of mind I would pressure test to 10-15 PSI and move on... On the other side of the coin, if there are bits of decomposing foam in a glass jar fuel sample, I would R&R the foam and inspect the bladder as best as possible.
Also, keep in mind there are multiple types of bladders - some are rigid, some are soft and expanding.
I am aware of the affect that ethanol has on plastics. So is the SCCA and they have mandated fuels to not contain any ethanol / methanol and routinely test fuels from the cars to ensure compliance.
On cars like these, many expiration dates are compromised by the length of time from the point in time when manufactured to the time of first implementation. Harnesses are another. If they sit in the cold dark box for 5 years, then installed - you could consider the count-down clock starting at that time - however - you’ll never get a tech inspector / scrutineer to look the other way and accept that..
 

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Neil

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There seems to be divergent opinions on fuel cell life expectancy and even the definition of what constitutes a "fuel cell" itself. The term fuel cell is frequently applied rather loosely to a variety of fuel containers, from metal containers ( a simple gas tank to a molded HDPE plastic tank (such as made by JAZ), to a flexible bladder reinforced by ballistic nylon or nylon/kevlar fabric and impregnated with synthetic rubber or polyurethane (such as those made by Premier, ATL, and Fuel Safe). In my lexicon, a fuel cell is one of the latter types.


The manufacturers recommend replacing the fuel cells every five years for good reason. After exposure to certain fuel components, ozone, and sunlight the material begins to degrade. Five years seems to be a safe period but beyond that the cell can de-laminate and leak fuel.

I've tried on two occasions to fudge this past five years without success (a non-racing application!) and both times the fuel cell began leaking fuel. Fortunately the aluminum "shoebox container did not allow it to leak into anywhere dangerous. Nevertheless, it was inconvenient to say the least. I still say replace it after five years. Pressure testing it may be a good idea but 15 psi seems excessive.
 
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