Petrol tank protection

The fuel tank sits out in the open in between the chassis rails just behind the rear axle and is also close to the rear wheels. It is therefore at risk of damage from stones being kicked up by the rear wheels into the sides of the aluminium tank. The tank itself is constructed from 3mm aluminium but a bit of protection won’t go amiss.

Vintage Bentley’s placed a strong mesh on the sides of their fuel tank so I am using their concept. When I had the tank made early last year, I already had this idea in mind and asked for mounting tabs to be built in. Conceptually the mesh would have a frame that wraps around the edges of the mesh. I tried bending a U channel out of sheet steel but just couldn’t produce anything I liked the look of. Next idea was using aluminium U channel and bending it to shape. I discovered that I can’t bend U channel and was forced to form it using straight lines. This took a couple of hours but sadly again I was not happy with the aesthetics. I grant you people are unlikely to notice the mesh but that’s not the point.

Next theory: the stainless steel mesh is pretty strong and doesn’t really need a frame so I tried it against the tank ‘naked’ and placed some shaped washers onto the mounting points. This looked far more elegant and is my current solution. The fuel tank and the mesh will sprayed body colour so the whole thing will be quite subtle.

To ‘complete’ the fuel tank, I turned my attention to the drain plug which needed to be drilled to allow locking wire to be fitted. The locking wire simply prevents the drain plug from coming undone by accident. This is a racing requirement.

The fuel tank is now ready to be refitted and a pipe fabricated running into the engine bay. Something for another day seeing as it’s -5 outside the garage at the moment.


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