Regardless of the category, racing is a game of resource management. Interestingly, that’s true both on and off the track. Even before one has to consider their tires and brakes over the course of a race, they first have to figure out how to get themselves and their vehicle to the track.
It may not contribute directly to lap times, but a larger fuel tank in a tow rig can improve the weekend in significant ways. Approximately 18 minutes are needed every time a sizable rig has to stop for a drink—nearly a third of an hour, every few hours. (Not to mention the added time to get off and on the highway, and finding a trailer-friendly gas station.) Less time spent refilling means a shorter trip and more time at the home, hotel, or camp site for some much-needed sleep. If a larger fuel tank allows the driver more time and energy to dedicate to their performance on the track, its value is undeniable.
Saving Time and Money
TITAN is adamant about minimizing the time spent at the pump. With its XXL Replacement Tanks, the company offers the customer a serious increase in range, and as we learned, the driver doesn’t need to invest much time or money for this simple, straightforward, easily installed, and reliable addition to their tow rig.
“Racers are road warriors; most travel tens of thousands of miles each year, track to track. The worst part of towing a large race trailer is having to stop for fuel, the time it takes, the hassle, and the headache of getting in and out of the gas station. We all hate it. What TITAN was founded on was to be able to go twice as far on a single fill-up,” says Mike DeFord, marketing director at TITAN Fuel Tanks.
New owners can rest easy knowing their TITAN tank is backed by an unconditional lifetime warranty. “This means you can jump your truck off a cliff and not worry about paying for a replacement. For whatever reason, if our American-made tank has any issues, we’ll replace it. Simple as that,” he assures us.
Each of TITAN’s fuel tanks is designed to fit a specific truck—in our case, a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. This 56-gallon fuel tank takes up no more room than the factory 36-gallon tank. The replacement’s dimensions are slight and slim, but it holds another third of the original capacity. Thanks to some very clever software used to design the tank, every bit of free space under the truck is utilized. The tank fits effortlessly into the factory mounting position, although it hangs approximately 2.5 inches below the bottom of the stock tank shield. It’s also tapered, meaning the fuel trap is mounted low.
Note: Capacity varies from model to model. More than half of TITAN’s XXL Replacement Tanks carry more than twice the amount of the standard fuel tank.
More Than Just Range
Though increased range is the main benefit offered, it’s not the only reason to use TITAN’s XXL Replacement Tanks. They don’t delaminate, they don’t get corroded by biodiesel, they don’t suffer from condensation problems, and despite being lighter and quieter than metal tanks, they’re just as robust. The material can withstand rough use and won’t crack. Lastly, they won’t be an eyesore. A sleek, subdued design fits within the OEM tank’s location and doesn’t look like some odd piece that’s been awkwardly tacked on.
A Straightforward Installation
We turned to American Diesel in Murrieta, California to handle the installation. Harley, one of the mechanics, was somewhat surprised when I asked him to lead me through the installation process. “This was not like an engine swap with a thousand complicated things to consider. Honestly, anyone with minimal mechanical experience can swap one of these tanks in under an hour. It was one of the easiest installs I’ve ever had to do,” he laughs.
The tools needed are just a screwdriver and a hand ratchet. Those two, as well as a reasonably wide workspace and an hour of uninterrupted focus, are all one needs to effectively double their range and save hours each major trip. In Harley’s case, he had a lift to aid him, but that’s not a must with a tall Silverado.
Harley started by seeking out the factory tank, which laid on top of the massive skid plate. With the skid plate’s four bolts removed, he could pull this metal shield away. Then, with the truck on the lift and airborne, he unbolted the tank, dropped it, and removed the original sending unit.
In went the new tank, which Harley raised up and attached with a new set of straps. Next, he reinstalled the original sending unit in the new tank and then mounted the original filler neck. As the TITAN XXL Replacement tank sits several inches lower than the factory tank did, the OE skid plate no longer fit — so into the trash it went. Harley then transferred the remaining fuel from the old tank to the new tank, sat down, and looked at his watch. Only forty-five minutes had passed since he began.
There’s really little reason why a regular long-hauler wouldn’t want to simplify life a little with the minimal time, effort, and money required here. Speaking of money—the long-term savings are interesting.
If you want to assume your time is money—say, $20 an hour—you can extrapolate a bit to determine how much a larger tank can save you over the long haul. To do 50,000 miles with the stock 26-gallon tank requires 147 stops worth $2,958. With the larger tank, you’ll cut the time and money needed in half with only 68 stops and $1,360 in hourly pay savings. In terms of time spent standing at the pump, that means 2,664 minutes with the stock tank or 1,224 minutes with TITAN’s tank. In about 50,000 miles, the tank pays for itself. Pretty hard to argue with that.
How much range did we gain with this addition? Roughly 500 miles. Naturally, we started looking into how we’d make the most of this. Though we weren’t trying to hypermile our tow rig, we took DeFord’s advice and looked into Auto Meter’s DashLink to maximize what was available to us.
Auto Meter DashLink
The beauty of Auto Meter’s DashLink system is found in its simplicity. Getting this iPad/Android-display working is simple, thanks to an intuitive OBDII hookup. The AutoMeter DashLink II offers a bevy of performance features including: a customizable display, data logging, rainbow track map, peak recall, skidpad, Inclinometer, etc. However, the economy and diagnostics-related features are what make this a great pairing for your TITAN XXL replacement tank.
The Averages feature allows you to determine average fuel consumption, average vehicle speed, average boost pressure, or any other parameter monitored. Meanwhile the Trip Computer maintains stats for up to five trips. You can monitor Engine Load, Catalyst Temp, Instant Fuel Economy, Distance Traveled, Distance/Time to Empty, Fuel Level, Distance Travelled, Fuel Consumed, Elapsed Drive Time, Average CO2 Emission Rate, Total CO2 Emission, Number of Fill-Ups, Average Fuel Flow, and Idle time.
Monitor your fuel economy/MPG, see how long your vehicle has idled, how many aggressive accelerations or braking events have occurred, and how your vehicle was driven. Instantly read, diagnose, and clear engine codes and troublesome Check Engine lights, all with the easy to use plug-and-play functionality of the DashLink II system.
Let’s Hit the Road
Now that the installation is complete, our 2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 has made countless trips to the Horsepower Wars build site to haul parts, tools, build materials, and vehicles without a single fill-up. Early next year we’ll be headed to the track with a few of our builds and should be able to drive to Las Vegas and back from SoCal on a single tank thanks to TITAN Fuel Tanks and American Diesel. See you there!