Fabricating the Fuel System

Swirl Pot

Fuel swirl pot view from right rear

The car uses an OEM Suzuki GSX-R1000 fuel pump mounted in an external swirl pot. The swirl pot is fed by another electric fuel pump that draws from the fuel cell, with excess fuel returned to the fuel cell. The swirl pot will generally be full, providing a buffer in case the pickup in the fuel cell temporarily sucks air during hard cornering or braking. The shape of the swirl pot is tall and narrow, with the fuel drawn from the bottom so that the engine should never experience fuel starvation.

The swirl pot was fabricated from 1/4″ thick aluminum plate and tube stock just big enough to fit the OEM fuel pump inside. Welding was done by an outside professional welder. An interesting fact about the Suzuki fuel pump, discovered a bit late, is that the five bolts appear to be evenly spaced but aren’t. One of them is off by a bit, probably so the pump can only be installed in a single orientation. This necessitated welding one of the holes closed and re-drilling it.

The OEM fuel pump has a large appendage for fuel level sensing which clearly won’t fit into a small swirl pot, so I cut it off. it would be nice to have a level sensor in the swirl pot so I can watch fuel starvation and get enough warning to get back to the pits before I run out of fuel, but I haven’t figured a way to do this yet.

Youtube Video Update 8

Yet another video update. Here you’ll get a tour around the car pointing out the newest additions, followed by fabricating the fuel swirl pot and mount, the first power-up of the electrical system, mounting components on the instrument panel, drilling the firewall for fuel lines, fabricating braided stainless steel fuel lines, building and installing the throttle pedal cable pull rod and the cable itself, building the ECU mounting platform, and machining the rear sprocket to fit the differential.

Youtube Video Update 8

ECU Platform

ECU mounting platform, with room for more electronics

Swirl Pot

Fuel swirl pot fabricated and mounted

Youtube Video Update 7

Here’s another video I uploaded to Youtube a while ago. This one shows test fitting the headers outside the car, installing the engine & headers, then removing the headers with the engine in the car. The first version of the headers shown here both touched the firewall and would have needed to be removed before the oil filter could be changed, which was decidedly non-optimal. When I pointed this out to the header fabricator, he went back and built a completely new set at no extra charge.

Test fitting the headers, on Youtube


Headers, version 1.0, installed on the GSX-R1000 engine.

Youtube Video Update 5

I just uploaded Video Update 5 to Youtube for those who like their pictures to move. This video shows the mounted differential, engine, shifter, fire extinguisher, dashboard, steering column, master cylinder reservoirs, “floor”, pedal cluster, steering rack, suspension rocker arms, front springs & shocks, fuel pump (moved later), and shoulder harness mounts.

Youtube Video

Engine installed, along with lots of other pieces. Click to watch the video.

How to Install a Low-Profile Oil Pan on a 2007-2008 K7 GSX-R1000 Engine


Low-profile bike-engined car or motorcycle-engine car billet aluminum oil pan installed on a 2007-2008 K7 Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine

When building a motorcycle-engine car, the oil pan has to be replaced with a flat-bottomed pan. This allows the engine to sit flat on the floor pan of the car, lowering the center of gravity. Also, the g-forces experienced by a car engine are completely different from those seen by a motorcycle engine. When a motorcycle corners the forces are still straight down through the centerline of the engine, whereas when a car corners the force pushes the oil to the side of the engine. Through sad experience this was found to make the engines explode. A proper flat-bottomed oil pan has a separate compartment for the oil pickup, connected to the rest of the pan by one-way flappy doors that keep the oil near the pickup during cornering and braking. Note that some flat-bottomed oil pans are made for stunt motorcycle riding and so use a swiveling oil pickup. The car-racing guys don’t have enough experience with these, so don’t use them. Your engine may explode, and this would be bad.

As it seems no one on the Internet has ever explained how to install such an oil pan before, so here it is. My oil pan arrived without even a word of explanation, yet the operation detailed here is fairly important. As in, your engine is toast if you try to start it without doing this. Now that the Thai government has prohibited importation of all used motorcycle parts, my engine is now completely irreplaceable.  So that would be bad.

2006 and earlier GSX-R1000 models had the oil pressure relief valve sandwiched between the engine block and the oil pan. In 2007 Suzuki moved the valve to a new housing closer to the center of the oil pan, connected by a passageway to the original location. In the original location they replaced the valve with a simple cylindrical connector gizmo with o-rings at each end so that oil would still flow to the new valve location. This gizmo is popped out by hand and discarded, and the oil pressure relief valve is flipped top for bottom and inserted in its place. This should become clearer in the photos below.

As I’d really like it if my engine didn’t leak, I’ve used Permatex gasket sealant on all sealing surfaces and around the heads of the oil pan mounting bolts. The original oil pan used special gasket washers under the mounting bolts that had fallen by the wayside at some time in the past, leaving my engine with just two out of fourteen. Since I couldn’t find these anywhere on the Internet outside of a complete engine-rebuild gasket set, I sourced 6mm copper crush washers in their place along with new 6mm x 40mm socket head cap screws as the original ones won’t work with the new oil pan. Has to be socket-head cap screws; hex head bolts will just sit on the outside of the oil pan as their head won’t fit into the counterbores in the oil pan. Needless to say, all this required many trips to the hardware store and much Internet research. You’re welcome.

UPDATE: A tip of the hat to the guys on ApexSpeed.com, in particular Gary Hickman of Edge Engineering, who jumped right in with all the know-how and history to figure out what’s going on here. You can see (and buy) the latest version of these oil pans here: EdgeCNC.com .