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13-Dec-01 Installing the Fuel Door Part 1

Fill’er Up!

It's been a while since I've physically worked on the car. A lot of “stuff” is in the planning stage or under construction with various sponsors of the project but I finally found a little time to actually *work* on the car!

With so much to do it was hard to know what to tackle first, so I chose something fun. It felt like a good time to drill a HUGE hole in the rear quarter panel!

It goes without saying that not everyone is going to like the location of the fuel filler but it sticks with the plan. Most guys put the filler inside the trunk or have a flush flip-out filler door in the quarter panel. One drop of gas inside the trunk and you can smell it in the car – so in the trunk filler location was out. I really don't want to open the trunk every time I get gas either. Flush filler doors are okay but I kind of like the racy look of a “motorcycle” type gas filler. I always liked the big exposed race-style caps on a few cars back in the late `60's and early `70s (excluding the AMC Gremlin ;) Several new cars now come with motorcycle type filler caps, like the Audi TT.
ImageThis particular cap is for a Buell motorcycle. It's a brand new one that a friend of mine had laying around and let me take home for $45 (a steal!). Because it's a motorcycle cap it's vented, eliminating the need for a special vent. It also has a lock.
ImageThe ideal location for the filler is not where it ended up. I originally wanted to place the filler toward the top of the quarter panel where there's less body curvature but there was one small problem… the trunk hinge brace and body bracing was in the way and there was no way around it.
ImageI was forced to locate the door a little further outward and forward of the “ideal” location.
ImageI drilled a small pilot hole in the center (where I guessed center to be) so I could measure underneath to make sure it wouldn't interfere with anything before drilling the final opening. Better safe than sorry.
ImageBecause you can't maneuver a saber saw in the tight area next to the roofline and because I wanted a perfect circle, I broke down and bought a 4 ¾-inch hole saw just for the occasion. I'll probably never use it again but I figure it's worth it to have a clean and perfect opening.