Fixing A Volvo Weakness: Fuel Filler RelocationS

While the Black Metal V8olvo crew was working on the rear of the car, we took care of the Number One Priority immediately by installing a Fiero wing. Now, you'd think that such a wing would radiate such an impenetrable aura of cool that no other driver would dare hit our car, but we figured it wouldn't hurt to get some cheap insurance by dealing with one of the most vulnerable points on the Volvo 240 race car: the fuel filler. By all accounts, LeMons Volvos tend to get hit in the right rear, which knocks the fuel filler pipe loose and causes a fuel leak, which makes the guys with the black flags get all upset (and they've got a two-strikes-yer-out policy on fuel leaks). It's an easy fix, though!

Fixing A Volvo Weakness: Fuel Filler RelocationS


Look at that fuel door, just begging for a '75 Buick to bash it in about a foot during the race. Can't have that!

Fixing A Volvo Weakness: Fuel Filler RelocationS


So, all you need to do is cut the original filler, reattach it to the fuel tank at a different angle, lengthen it with about a foot of fuel-proof flex hose added to the middle, and cut a hole in the trunk lid.

Fixing A Volvo Weakness: Fuel Filler RelocationS


A simple bracket and hose clamp to hold the assembly in place, and we'll be ready to fill 'er up without opening the trunk. An impact hard enough to do harm to this filler would need to be apocalyptic indeed, given that it's inside the frame rail and protected by a lot of Volvo double-thick sheet metal to boot.

Fixing A Volvo Weakness: Fuel Filler RelocationS


Even though we'll be able to fill up the tank without opening the trunk, we don't want a rear impact to jam the factory trunk latch and prevent us from reaching the trunk-mounted battery (more on that later). Fortunately, I scored some crappy-yet-functional (and felicitously pocket-sized) hood pin assemblies on a junked car and we were thus able to replace the trunk lock assembly with something less likely to get stuck in the event of a trunk-munching rear-ender. Now imagine hundreds of such small projects and you'll understand the kind of sweat a 24 Hours of LeMons team works up prior to the race.