Hang on...we're not quite done yet. Fuel is dirty stuff. Pump gas is likely worse than race gas. And that's why fuel filters are especially important in a modified car. Use a high capacity aftermarket in-line filter, or even a pair of them - one before the pump (pre-filter) and one after. We're not talking about the easy-to-get jobs that you can find at your local dealership or auto parts store. Most of these filters are just too small and cannot handle the volume of fuel required for a healthy modified engine. They can constitute a restriction in the fuel delivery system -- even if they aren't plugged.

What about disposable plastic filters? They're a complete waste of time and dollars. Cheap plastic filters create a considerable fuel system restriction, can easily be plugged and almost all examples we've seen have far too small an inlet/outlet port for real high performance use. There's more too: Virtually all disposable filters out there are designed so that you use worm gear clamps to hold them in place. With the high-pressure electric pumps currently used in modified applications, these filters can easily be collapsed (internally) by the force of the fuel pump or if they aren't secured properly, they can be blown right off the fuel line (not good).

Here's what you can do about the fuel filter situation: Several aftermarket companies offer high quality in-line filters that are up to the rigors of performance use. These filters are positively huge and are designed to handle high pressures along with plenty of volume. By adding a pre-filter along with an after-filter you won't choke the fuel delivery, and at the same time, it can protect your engine from debris and junk in the fuel. These filters aren't small and they aren't cheap. But then again, performance never was inexpensive.

In the end, can the average little guy quick-street Corvette combination pick up performance with the latest high volume fuel delivery systems? There's no question they can and today's fuel combinations will most definitely improve the performance level. You'll also find that your Corvette will become much more consistent and reliable (and no vapor-lock, heat soaked issues like we regularly experienced decades ago). But in some cases, be prepared to find a completely new tuning combination. The reason is a good fuel delivery system will pump more fuel and less air and vapor to the carburetor or the injector nozzle.

Finally, if you have a car with small fuel bowl capacity, there's a very good chance you'll find it needs more fuel pump capacity than a 1250+ HP Pro Stock drag racer. Don't forget, at the launch, a Pro racecar might have over 2.5 G's of force applied to it (which the fuel has to overcome). But there are four needle and seat assemblies, and four rather healthy fuel bowls available to accept this load. On something like a 1X4 BBL street-strip Corvette you might be dealing with 1.1 G's on the launch. Unfortunately, the fuel only has a pair of needle and seat assemblies and two fuel bowls to spread the load over (and something with a Quadrajet or Carter carb is worse with only a single needle and seat along with a rather small bowl). It's something to think about.

In the meantime, check out the accompanying photos for a closer look at the basic hardware we're using to feed a high horsepower, big cubic inch Chevy engine. You might want to copy it.

Difficulty Index - 2 Wrenches
Anyone's Project: no tools required1 Wrench
Beginner: basic tools2 Wrenches
Experienced: special tools3 Wrenches
Accomplished: special tools and outside help4 Wrenches
Professionals Only: send this work out5 Wrenches