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Top tank fuel gage

 
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Alan Williams



Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 444
Location: Chipley, FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: Top tank fuel gage Reply with quote

My top tank has no fuel quantity gage and the engine feeds from the tank. With no gage the only way to know when to change tanks is when the engine quits. I DO NOT LIKE TO DO THAT! All the John Wayne movies have it wrong, rather than sputter cough, cough, sputter when the tank goes dry it is more like ROARRRRRRRR_______________??????????? So I've modified the fuel lines coming down the cabanes. I cut 1.5 inches from the lines half way down the cabanes, beaded the line and spliced them back together with thick wall clear vinyl tubing (impervious to fuel) with hose clamps. Now before my engine quits due to fuel starvation I can see air bubbles in the fuel lines and switch to the fuselage tank, keeps my pulse in the normal range.

My first Too had a top tank that would drain into the fuselage tank, I like that arrangement better. I had a clear section in those fuel lines also and it worked very well. I rarely have any fuel in the top but it sure is nice for longer trips.

Another fuel system mod that I did is for quantity in the main tank. Due to the shape of the tank and the welded in header, my quantity gage will read zero with a fair amount of fuel still in the tank. I do use a watch for fuel endurance, but honestly I've landed with less fuel than I wanted too many times. I ran a length of the beforementioned vinyl from the bottom of the tank, aft parallel to the longitudinal axis to the rear cockpit, up to the top longeron and forward into the vent space of the tank. With the airplane level I put 5 gallons in the tank, made a mark on the cockpit tubing. Then I added 5 more gallons with another mark on the tubing. The liquid will seek it's own level and will not lie, this gives me a positive indication of 1 hour and 1/2 hour till empty tank with an O-360 180 HP. Makes me feel lots better.
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