An Introduction to Fuel Cells and FIA Homologation
Radium Engineering offers top of the line fuel delivery solutions for the motorsports market, including fuel cells. Many consider fuel cells as a simple metal container, when in fact a proper fuel cell is more complex for safety purposes.  A basic aluminum, stainless or mild steel container can easily leak in the event of a collision and could lead to a dangerous fire situation. Even a minor fender bender could create enough force to distort and crack the metal container, resulting in fuel spillage. Fuel weighs nearly 7lbs per gallon, and with a 15 gallon fuel cell that is 100lb of fuel sloshing around inside the metal box, flexing the walls and straining the welds. When that much weight is subject to g-loading from aggressive driving, the resulting forces are very large and can damage poorly designed metal containers. Also, chemical compatibility, weld quality and corrosion are concerns when using a plain metal container for fuel storage.

Fuel cells used in motorsport racing often require FIA homologation to ensure safety requirements are met. The guide below helps explain how a fuel cell works and why homologation is necessary.
What is a Fuel Cell?
As shown, fuel cells are generally comprised of three components: the outer shell (enclosure or can), the bladder (where fuel resides) and foam baffling.
Radium Engineering fuel cell enclosures are made from aluminum, but others are generally made from steel. The enclosure is the first part of the cell to absorb damage and to help prevent a serious catastrophe. This layer is similar to the construction of a helmet. The outer enclosure aids in safety but is not the most critical part. FIA does not have a standard thickness for the outer enclosure. Other governing bodies do require certain thicknesses. For instance, SCCA requires a fully enveloped enclosure comprised of 0.036” steel or 0.059” aluminum.
The fuel cell bladder protects from fuel spills. The bladder holds fuel and must be resilient against impacts, punctures, and tears. The material also needs to be flexible enough to prevent cracking or fuel leakage in the case of impact. These two requirements have led to the development of high-tech materials. There are a few different materials used for bladders that vary from manufacturer. The fabric-based bladders are comprised of aramid fibers coated with special elastomers while the rigid bladders are rotomolded from a fuel resistant plastic.

Radium Engineering offers the following bladders with FIA homologation:
-Enduro (Molded plastic material)
-ProCell (Coated fabric)
-Spectra-Lite (Coated fabric)

The foam baffling is basically a large sponge inside the fuel cell. If catastrophic failure were to happen, this porous foam helps absorb the fuel and prevent an explosion. As an added benefit, it helps prevent fuel slosh which could adversely affect performance.
What is FIA?
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) promotes road safety around the world.
The prominent role is the licensing and sanctioning of F1, WRC, World Endurance Championship, and various forms of sports car and touring car racing. 
FIA Homologation
For the safety of the driver, FIA homologation is required in many forms of racing. This covers many components including fuel cells. FIA has a few distinct classifications: FIA FT3, FT3.5, and FT5. There are other standards required by sanctioning bodies, but FIA is inline with most forms of racing. 
FIA Certification Levels
All of the ratings clearly define the requirements for materials, construction, and testing. The only difference between the ratings is the strength of the bladder material. All tests utilize the same procedures but the levels of certification are based on test results. FT3 is the lowest level requiring the lowest minimums while FT5 requires the highest.
FT3: Requires 450 pounds of tensile and puncture strength.
FT3.5: Requires 1000 pounds of tensile and puncture strength.
FT5: Requires 2000 pounds of tensile and puncture strength.
For example, Formula-1 requires FT5, but SCCA requires FT3 (although FT3.5 and FT5 are also acceptable.)
Certification Expiration
Fuel cell certification expires 5 years after the date of manufacture. There is an option to have fuel cells inspected. They can receive recertification for up to 2 more years. Maximum total lifespan of a fuel cell is 7 years. Check the label on the fuel cell bladder for an expiration date.
Fuel Cell Deterioration
Many factors contribute to the bladder breaking down overtime. Anything from heat, UV light, vibrations, and the fuel itself will eventually break down the elastomers. Water and alcohol cause deterioration more rapidly. 
Fuel cells generally require some level of maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures it will last the full 5 years and stand a higher chance of recertification.
Maintenance tips: Empty the fuel cell during offseason storage. If fuel with any alcohol content is used, such as E15, the fuel cell should be drained regularly. This will extend the life of the fuel cell. Alcohol is most damaging to the foam. Proper care of this part of the cell is crucial for maintenance. Foam breaks down over time and particles can clog the fuel system. It is ideal to periodically replace the foam in the cell to increase cell longevity.
Inspection: While you are replacing the foam, always inspect the bladder. Check for chaffing against the container and apply edge tape as necessary. Check to make sure the bladder is not delaminating from the aramid fabric or cracking in the elastomer. Cracks commonly form in the folds and around molded areas. Cracks cannot be repaired without being taken to a proper facility. Cracked bladders must be replaced. It is always a good idea to inspect at the end of the season instead of the weekend before the new season starts.
Top Tip: Effective January 2013, all certified cells include a hologram with FIA labeling. Because the FIA homologation is not replaceable, bring it to the event. If the form is lost, it cannot be replaced. Worst case scenario, the cell can be dismantled to show the FIA hologram on the bladder. However, this will unlikely be accepted through tech.

To conclude, metal box style "fuel cells" are prevalant on the discount market, however, they offer little to no engineering or regard to safety. The added cost of a bladder-style fuel cell can be easily justified in the event of any type of incident. 

New Products for the 2015+ Subaru WRX
Radium Engineering has just released a range of products for the 2015+ Subaru WRX with the FA20 engine. These products are designed to improve the driveability and performance of the WRX without sacrificing reliability. 
The WRX version of the FA20 engine is equipped with tumble generator valves to assist with emissions during cold engine temperatures. These devices also impede air flow in the intake manifold runners. By eliminating the obstruction, a clear airflow path is established. The Radium Engineering TGV deletes are machined from 6061 aluminum and anodized green or black. Installation is quick and easy (compared to EJ-series engines) and can be performed in about 30 minutes.

The tumble generator valves are an emissions control device, and as such should be removed only for vehicle operating off-highway. It is also recommended that a complimentary engine management tune be implemented to take full advantage of the TGV deletes. No permanent modifications to the vehicle are necessary to install the TGV delete kit.

Even with low mileage modern cars, oil accumulation in the air intake stream can happen. The Subaru FA20 engine places the turbocharger down low, in front of the engine. This leads to oil from the PCV system collecting in the turbo air inlet pipe, down near the turbocharger. This oil is result of blow by coming through the crankcase ventilation system. This oil will eventually be digested by the turbocharger and deposited through the charge piping and can even result in blue smoke from the tailpipe. 

The Radium Engineering Dual Catch Can Kit intercepts the PCV gasses and traps the oil and other pollutants before they can make it back into the intake stream. The kit tucks in perfectly on the RH side of the engine bay next to the ABS module, mounts to existing engine bay fasteners and requiring no relocating of engine bay components. The front catch can intercepts the crank case vent hose that connects to the turbo inlet pipe, keeping oil out of the turbo inlet. The rear catch can intercepts the PCV hose coming off the block and going to the intake manifold, keeping oil out of the intake manifold. The catch cans are designed to withstand boost pressure and are sealed, so direct connection to the intake manifold, even with forced induction, is OK.
This kit is perfect for a street driven car experiencing mild amounts of blow-by.

For more race-centered applications, or cars with built high-powered engines, more oil blow by is usually experienced, often overwhelming the volume of the standard Radium catch cans.  For these applications Radium Engineering applied it's Air/Oil separator to the FA20 engine.

The Air/Oil Separator functions in a similar manner to the catch cans, however, the big difference is that oil is returned back to the engine, rather than stored in the catch can. But catch cans do not only catch oil, they also catch water condensation and it is not ideal to have this water mix with the oil, then return it to the engine. To remedy this, the Radium AOS is heated with engine coolant. This keeps the water vapor from condensing and mixing with the oil.

Engine coolant is plumbed through the bottom plate of the AOS.

Another important aspect of the AOS is that it does away with the function of the PCV valve. Instead, the engine is allowed to breathe freely from both the crank case vent port (at the front of the engine) and the PCV valve port (under intake manifold). The PCV valve is removed from the engine block and replaced with Radium's custom made PCV delete fitting, shown below.

This fitting screws into the block and adapts to a -10AN male. It is straight through, with no check valve or any other device built in. This allows maximum ventilation to the AOS through this port. This is also the path for collected oil to drain back to the engine block.
With both engine ports breathing freely into the AOS, the AOS needs to be vented to atmospheric pressure. This is done by routing the AOS side port back to the turbo inlet pipe. This creates a closed-loop system.
The AOS was designed to mount in the engine bay near the brake master cylinder (for LHD vehicles only) using the Radium Master Cylinder Brace for the 2015+ WRX as the mounting point.

The master cylinder brace is a simple and effective way to reduce firewall flex resulting from brake pedal pressure.It is machined from 6061 aluminum and mounts to the strut tower using pre-existing threaded holes. Clearly visible in the photo below are the three threaded holes in the brace where the AOS bracket attaches.  The brace is sold as an individual item, or as part of the AOS kit.

While installing an AOS kit can be done with the stock fuel feed hose, Radium offers an aftermarket fuel feed hose replacement that cleans up the fuel routing and offers better clearance with the AOS. The hose has a PTFE core that is compatible with all fuel types and also features machine-crimped end fittings.

For all of the products shown here, and a few more, please click HERE.
The Classic VW Bug

When it comes to performance, a 1930's economy vehicle labeled "The People's Car" doesn't come to mind. The aircooled VW Type-1 (Beetle) was commisioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche. But because this was the longest running, most manufactured, car worldwide, there are plenty of options for creating a custom tailored vehicle. Radium co-owner JP purchased a 1965 volkswagen in 2004 specifically for this purpose. His main goal was to create a unique Subaru powered VW bug that would be capable of doing wheelies on the street.

A couple quick purchases and here comes a brand new 2.5L Subaru STi block...

...and an oversized SuperTech valve job from Tom at Port Flow. JP fabricated a stainless steel muffled exhaust system.

Power was transmitted to the wheels using a Rancho prodrag transaxle with an aluminum spool and Sway-A-Way heavy duty swing axles.

In order to properly operate the twin disc clutch's heavy pressure plate, the VW cable actuation was swapped out in favor of a hydraulic master and slave cylinder.

The VW 4 wheel drum brakes were swapped out for disc brakes with 4 POT calipers from Wilwood (below). A Wilwood adjustable proportional valve was required as well as a line lock for drag racing burnouts, both shown above.

JP wired in the EFI system which uses a AEM Universal "Race Box" EMS mounted underneath the rear bench.

For 5 years the car was transformed and looked great, externally.

But in 2009, JP decided the Bug needed a full restoration as there were some necessary body repairs and quite a bit of rust underneath that needed attention. First thing was to separate the body from the pan.

Next, the old floor pans were cut out and new floor pans were welded in place, shown below. 

The entire chassis was then powdercoated gloss black (above). Also the adjustable beam, tie rods, control arms, etc. were powder coated (below). New QA1 double adjustable shocks were installed to help weight transfer for massive wheels stands

Once the widened Porsche Fuchs wheels were reinstalled, the vehicle was aligned.

After the body shell was painted Lotus Aspen White Pearl and reinstalled, the floor pans were insulated before the carpet was installed.

Four jack points are fabricated from aluminum and anodized Radium green.

The headliner and all of the glass was reinstalled and a roll cage was built to comply with racing standards.

Lightweight power windows were installed in order to avoid window crank interference with the roll cage.

The roll cage ties the chassis, body, and engine together for a solid mount.

A Porsche 993 Turbo OBC tachometer is used with a working coolant temperature and road speed digital display.

The factory 2 point harness was tossed for Sparco 4 point harnesses and a modular harness bar. To avoid snapping a neck with 1960's seats without head rests, retro (period correct) ProCar seats were installed.

Because the VW body is a natural air foil, JP designed a removeable wing to keep the car planted down the track and to aid in cooling the secondary radiator and intercooler.

The angle of attack on the wing is adjustable for optimal downforce.

The revised car kept its classic look with modern touches.

The front and rear fenders were slightly widened in order to fit race tires.

Radium Engineering oil catch cans take care of oil separation from the cam covers and crankcase.

The engine runs flex fuel (E85) and starvation is cured thanks to the Radium Engineering E85 Fuel Surge Tank. Radium Engineering fuel pressure gauges are used for monitoring pre and post surge tank fuel pressures.

The front weels are 15x7 with a -21 offset (shown). The rear wheels are 16x9.5 with Hoosier drag radials.

The classic Porsche headlights use modern HID H4 bulbs. The original turn signals on top of the fenders were deleted in favor of European bullet signals.

With the exception of the VW headlight bezels, the classic chrome was removed in favor of texture black powder coating.

The car will be strapped on the dyno and is projected to make over 500whp thanks to the Garrett GT3076R turbocharger.

1965 VW Type-1 Beetle by Radium Engineering
Subaru STi EJ25 Block and Portflow WRX Heads
Crower Retainers, Springs, and 264 Cams
Super Tech 0.5mm Oversized Valves
Radium Engineering Oil Catch Cans
AEM Alternator Pulley
Unorthodox Crank Pulley
Radium Engineering E85 Fuel Surge Tank
AEM Race EMS, FPR, and Fuel Filter
Aeromotive Fuel Filter
RC Engineering 1000cc/min Injectors
FJO 1000cc/min Staged Injector Solenoid
Radium Engineering Fuel Pressure Gauges
GM Flex Fuel Sensor
550hp Garrett GT3076R
DEI Turbo Blanket and Wrap
DC Sports Header, Up Pipe, and Muffler
Radium Engineering Boost Solenoid
STi JDM Intake Manifold
RC Engineering 65mm Throttle Body
Turbonetics BOV
K&N Air Filter
Spearco STi Intercooler
SPAL 6.5" and 14" Fans
Fluidyne Radiator and Oil Cooler
C&R Aluminum Radiator

Rancho Pro Drag with Rhino Case and Aluminum Spool
KEP Twin Disc Clutch Kit, Flywheel, and Engine Adapter
Sway-A-Way HD Axles
EMPI Shifter
Porsche Widened Fuchs, 15x7 (-21), 16x9.5 (+5)
Wilwood 4 POT with Proportional Valve and Line Lock
CB Performance Rear Disc Brakes
KCW Adjustable and Narrowed 4" Beam
Sway-A-Way HD Springs
QA1 Double Adjustable Shocks
Car Creations Front Hood, Deck Lid, Widened Fenders
Porsche Speedster Headlights
Aero Catch Hood Latch
Sparco 5 Point Harnesses and Steering Wheel
CNC Pedal Assembly and Slave Cylinder
Porsche 993 OBC Tachometer
Scat Pro Car Seats

New Product: Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator

Radium Engineering is proud to announce an all new universal adjustable fuel pressure regulator (AFPR) for high performance vehicles.

The AFPR is CNC machined aluminum which is anodized black and laser engraved. Instead of tapered pipe threads, the unit design includes 5 ports that are O-ring sealed.

So why another regulator?  With all of the universal FPRs on the market, we could not find one that installed seamlessly into multiple pump fuel systems. To solve the problem, installers were left with a choice of using Y-blocks and other awkward T-fittings for proper plumbing. So we decided to create a solution with a new high flow regulator, keeping in mind the needs of our fuel surge tank customers. Lets take a closer look at the AFPR and see why it is the best choice for difficult fuel plumbing situations.

The arrangement of the AFPR ports are different than any other regulator. Every FPR on the market directs the return port downwards out the bottom of the unit. This makes it limited to wall mounting and difficult to nearly impossible to mount the FPR to a floor. Furthermore, the return port requires a 90 degree elbow which are expensive and not always available with a swivel option. We took this port and converted it into a "return chamber" (bottom port shown above) that runs in-line with the high pressure ports. The chamber is threaded at each end for 9/16"-18 (-6AN). This allows the regulator to be easily floor mounted, such as in a trunk near a surge tank, without any 90 degree hose-end fittings. The installer can choose to connect the return line to either end of the return chamber making the AFPR suitable for their installation. Unless there is a need to use two -6AN return hoses, the opposite end is blocked off using the included plug(s).

Here is a cut-away (fittings installed in all ports) showing the return chamber. Bypassed fuel comes down the center of the body into the fuel return chamber then exits through the return port(s).

The high pressure ports on the AFPR are also unique. Most regulators have single ports on opposing sides. This is not always helpful when working with multiple fuel pump lines. The Radium AFPR is configured with 3 high pressure ports; two 9/16"-18 (-6AN) and one 3/4"-16 (-8AN). Shown in the picture above is the -8AN (top port).

On the opposite side, there are two -6AN pressure ports (shown above). This design makes plumbing two fuel pumps easy and eliminates the need for an expensive Y-block fitting. Each pump can feed into one of the -6AN pressure ports. The -8AN port on the opposing side is then used to route fuel to the rail(s). This is an excellent way to construct a robust dead-end fuel system which is ideal to keep fuel temperatures low. The AFPR can also be easily used as a traditional return-style regulator. Please visit the product page to find additional information on plumbing the AFPR.

On most other aftermarket FPRs, there is a 1/8" NPT port on the front of the unit. When not using this for a transducer, gauge, sensor, etc. it has to be plugged with pipe tape or paste. Often times there is no room for these ancillary components as the entire unit as a whole becomes too big and causes interference with nearby objects, such as an intake manifold. Furthermore, in cases such as a returnless system, the pressure reading should be taken at the fuel rail for accuracy. The AFPR does away with an integrated pipe fitting. Instead, if the -8AN port is not used and the AFPR is mounted near the fuel rail, Radium offers a special billet 1/8" NPT adapter fitting (shown in green) to connect gauges, sensors, transducers, etc.

Furthermore, when this port is used, the component sits inline with the hoses making it less prone to object interference.

The AFPR also features a unique interchangeable return port that accepts 3 different ID orifices. This allows 1 regulator to work with a wide range of fuel systems. The AFPR has been tested using ranges from low flow OEM pumps to multiple fuel pumps delivering over 1400LPH of fuel flow. This means the AFPR can be used in virtually any fuel injection application. All that is required is a simple swap of the included orifices (0.10in, 0.18in, 0.25in).

Shown in the graph above is the minimum fuel pressure the regulator can provide as a function of pump flow rate.

For fine-tuning fuel pressure, a stainless steel set screw and jam nut is used. The OEM quality diaphragm changes fuel pressure at a 1:1 ratio when the 5mm barb is connected to a vacuum source.

The included powder coated bracket can be used to mount the AFPR to a floor or other flat surface. For wall mounting, simply secure the AFPR using the 2 through-holes in the regulator body and long M6 stainless steel bolts (the bracket is not required). Also, when wall mounting the AFPR, it can be flipped 180 degrees to suit the direction of which side the -8AN and two -6AN ports are pointed.

Like all Radium Engineering products, the AFPR is made in the USA and carries a lifetime warranty. For more information, please visit the AFPR product page in the Radium online store.

Who's Drifting with Radium in 2013?

The 2013 season of Formula Drift is turning out to be just as exciting and suprising as last year.  As we approach the last two events on the schedule, we thought we would take a look at the teams who have partnered with Radium Engineering to stay competitive this season. Teams come to Radium when they are looking for the highest quality no-nonsense components for their race vehicles. A failed component at a competition can mean the difference between a win and a loss, and ultimately may affect the running for the season champoinship. Radium Engineering is proud to partner with these teams and drivers to help them reach their goals.

Here is a summary of who's running what in the Formula-D pro drift circuit from Radium Engineering: (in no particular order)


Kyle is a Pro-Drift veteran and a rotary specialist.  He is one of the only pro competitors running a turbocharged rotary engine in his Mazda RX-8. Kyle is not only the driver, he is also an expert mechanic and builds his own cars and engines. Kyle is the head technician at Mazdatrix, a rotary performance shop in Southern California. We first partnered with Kyle in 2012 and look forward to supporting him throughout the season and year to come.
Kyle chose a Radium Engineering dual Bosch -044 fuel surge tank (shown below) to feed his fuel hungry rotary.
Kyle is also building a second car for the Formula Drift Asia series and once again chose Radium for the fuel delivery.



Micheal Essa is having a phenomenal season this year and currently sits 2nd in points. We are proud to be partnered with him and his program. His E46 BMW M3 competition drift car is built by his shop GSR Autosport in Southern California.  He is running a Radium Engineering BMW S54 fuel rail, Radium Coolant Tank, Radium Competition Catch Cans, and a Radium Fuel pressure gauge. We look forward to supporting him and seeing him continue to climb the ranks this year.

GSR Autosport


Dean approached us shortly before the 2013 season looking for a fuel pump solution. We were impressed with the professionalism of his program and were excited to partner with him. 

His team has gone through some mechanical issues this year in FD, but they are using the lessons learned to come out stronger than ever for 2014.

Dean is running our Dual Bosch -044 Fuel Surge Tank on the Oracle Lighting Achiles Radial turbocharged Dodge Viper. He is also running a Radium Competition Catch Can, Radium Coolant Tank, and our 4-Port Fuel Manifold.



For 2013, Ryan Tuerck contacted Portland Speed Industries (a local Radium Dealer) to build a new 2013 Scion FRS-based drift car. PSI completed the build in a staggering short amount of time. Ryan and his team have been doing extraordinarily well as they work out the bugs and get things sorted. The car is running a turbocharged Toyota 2JZ-GTE engine. More details about this car can be seen here. We were more than happy to help out Ryan's program and keep the PSI crew stocked with whatever Radium parts they needed for this build.
PSI chose to use the Radium Multi-Pump Fuel Surge TankRadium Competition Catch Cans, and Radium Fuel Pressure Gauge


Robbie Nishida

We first came in contact with Robbie Nishida in 2012 and worked with his builder, Gary Castillo of Design Craft. Robbie was experiencing fuel starvation and needed a solution. Radium supplied a Dual Bosch Fuel Surge Tank setup for the Bridges Racing Achiles Radial Lexus SC300 competition car.
Gary installed the fuel surge tank system using aluminum hard lines for a unique look and bulled-proof reliability.
Nishida is doing very well this season and is battling in the top 10.


Rob Primozich

Rob Primo is a local Pacific Northwest privateer that is working his way up the ranks. 2013 is his rookie year in the Formula Drift championship series.

Rob is running several Radium products in his 2JZ powered S14 including the Competition Catch Can, Coolant Expansion Swirl Tank, and Multi-Pump Fuel Surge Tank.


Matt Field

Matt Field has been doing very well this season and is currently sitting in 9th place in the Formula Drift overall standings.
Matt is running Radium Dual Catch Cans on his Vortech LS3 powered S14.


Walker Wilkerson

Walker has had a heartbreaking season in 2013. He built a new car (S14) for 2013 and is running a turbocharged LS engine. But chronic engine issues have plagued his program this year causing him to miss a few events.
Knowing Walker, he will be up and running full steam for 2014.
Walker is running a Radium Competition Catch Tank, and a Multi-Pump Fuel Surge Tank (shown):


Luke Pakula

After winning the Just Drift series championship in 2012, Luke is a rookie this year in Formula-Drift. His Hachi Roku runs a Radium FST with a Walbro 400 E85 and a Radium Competition Catch Tank.


Radium also sponsors other drifters who are climbing their way up the ranks:

Cameron Moore

Cameron Moore is a Pacific Northwest based privateer competing in the local Pro-Am series. Cameron is doing very well and should have no trouble obtaining his pro FD license. Cameron, his dad, and friends run the program.  They do a great job hitting as many events as possible in the area and have shown to have a reliable and solid car for competitions. Cameron is running a Radium Dual-Bosch fuel surge tank, Competition Catch Can, and Coolant Tank.

Erich Hagen

Another Pacific Northwest native, Erich just received his Formula-Drift license last weekend in the Evergreen Drift ProAm series. Erich runs Radium Dual Catch Cans and a Radium Coolant Swirl Tank in his 1JZ powered Nissan S13.


Dan Brocket 

Dan is infamous for his appearance in all three of the Motorcycle vs Car Drift Battles as "Officer Dan".

After rolling his S13 in Motorcycle vs Car Drift Battle 2, Officer Dan was issued his Formula D license in 2012 driving a friend's SC300 (above). For 2013, he has been touring the country as FD driver Danny George's spotter. Next year he will be drifting in the pro series in his RB25DET powdered S13 "potentially" alongside Danny George. 

Dan runs a Radium Fuel Surge Tank, Radium Coolant Expansion Swirl Tank, Radium Fuel Pressure Gauge, Radium Coolant Tank, etc.


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