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Old 09-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #332
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Springfield OH
Posts: 740
My Ride: '00 323i + '75 2002
Got some more done today. First thing first, I needed to decide how high up to place the gas tank. It's a delicate balance of ground clearance vs. a low center of gravity.

Checking out different heights using the floor jack:

I ended up with the fuel cell sitting ~5.5 below the top of the frame that was already fab'd. The next step was to start cutting the tubing to size. Here are the down tubes that connect the top frame to the lower section:

Then I cut out a bunch of other tubes and threw them together like so:

The largest tubes in the above picture are 2" x 2" x 0.125" wall. Then the outer fuel cell frame is 1" x 1" x 0.125" wall, and the smaller bracing a triangulation bars are 0.75" x 0.75" x 0.0625" wall. It may be a bit overkill, but it will be very secure.

Side View:

View from Underneath:

Shot from a couple steps back. The framework shouldn't be visible except from very far away:

It's hard to see clearly in the picture below, but the fuel cell is about 1" higher than the floor pan at the lowest point. So while I don't have a very big departure angle, clearance shouldn't be to bad:

Fuel Cell in place:

Top Shot:

Bottom View:

Then the last thing I did for the day was to remove the rubber bits from the bumper, which makes the lines much cleaner. Then test fit it to see how it looked. Overall I'm much happier with the change:

Next up on the list is to start fitting the sheet metal for the trunk floor as well as the fuel cell hold down and the rear suspension reinforcements.

Go Bucks!
Tinker Engineering - 2014

Mica - 2000 BMW 323i - The one that started it all
Fiona - 1975 BMW 2002 - The Definition of Project Creep
Heidi - 1988 BMW M5 - The piece of BMW history
Silvia - 2013 Subaru WRX - Stock, for now
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