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Kibbetech Racing Tests Holley HydraMat With Impressive Results

By: Alex Healey07/08/2015 < Back to Blog Home
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The Kibbetech Racing #1466 truck, driven by Justin Oquendo, competes in the South Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts 1450 class. It is powered by a fire-breathing 418 cubic inch LS3 that is controlled by a Holley Dominator EFI system. An engine this powerful needs a consistent fuel supply, which is something that is hard to come by in off-road racing. Sumps, foam, and other tricks can only do so much when hitting triple digit speeds, flying over jumps, and sliding through turns, so Justin and the rest of the Kibbetech team installed a Holley HydraMat to see what it could do. Below are Justin's thoughts on the HydraMat.

Since the install of the mat, we have just over 300 off-road miles on the race truck. On our first day of testing we intentionally ran the truck out of fuel and to my surprise, when the truck was out of gas it quit; no missing, no surging, no drop in fuel pressure - the truck just stopped. Then we added two gallons of fuel and took the truck onto the race course, driving through some of the bigger whoop sections in our test area. At 85 plus miles per hour, attempting to get a surge in the fuel system, again to my surprise I could not get the fuel system to lose pressure, with as little as two gallons of gas sloshing around in a 32 gallon fuel cell. Prior to installing the Holley HydraMat, I would experience surges in my fuel system with as little as 5 gallons of fuel left in the cell under similar high-speed testing and racing conditions. These fuel levels are monitored by an electronic sending unit.

On our second day of testing the following weekend, we decided to run a few more low-fuel level tests to get an accurate account of the benefits of the HydraMat. We plotted out just over a 2-mile loop - with large berms, tight twisting sand washes, and a few small jumps. Again we started off with two gallons of fuel added to a completely dry fuel system. Upon starting the race truck, the first thing I noticed was that the fuel line had held its line pressure from the fuel pump to the HydraMat without the use of a one-way check valve. Yet again to my surprise, I was truly amazed that it held line pressure for over three hours, from loading the truck on the trailer at the shop, to arriving at our test location. We focused most of the morning running our two mile loop, with small amounts of fuel, intentionally putting the truck up on two wheels in corners, popping the front end out of holes, causing the most amount of slosh in the fuel cell that we could generate. At the end of the day, I was very pleased with our test session and again the truck had no loss of fuel pressure. Returning home after our second day of testing, we opened up the top plate of the fuel cell and found almost no gas at all in the bottom of the cell. We would need an eye dropper to recover the small amount of gas that was left in the cell. We did notice that some of our fuel cell foam was breaking down into small chunks and contaminating the fuel system. We then pulled our Earl's pre-filter out to inspect the filter element for any foreign objects that had passed through the fuel system from the cell. My team and I were astonished when we found no foreign objects in the pre-filter screen.

On our third day of testing, we picked the hottest day of the week and tested during the hottest part of the day, with an outside air temperate of 106 degrees and the ground at a blistering 119 degrees. We attempted to vapor-lock the fuel cell, which is a common occurrence in summer races and/or races at a higher elevation. This time, we started off with ten gallons of fuel in the truck, at full race speed on a marked desert race course. We ran the truck until the sending unit registered that we were almost out of fuel, so we headed back to pit to record temperatures on our gas in the fuel cell. Pulling the top plate to the cell, we pulled a temperature of 207 degrees with a thermo-gun. Seeing these extreme temperatures in fuel, we knew right away that we had pushed the truck hard enough in the weather that we would have experienced vapor lock or a drop in fuel pressure. We re-installed the top plate, and added another 10 gallons of fuel and returned to the race course, running the truck at full race pace again until we were almost out of gas. Returning to the pit a second time, we again removed the top plate to take an accurate temperature of the fuel inside of the fuel cell. Our temperatures after our second 40-mile loop were 208 degrees on a thermo-gun. Again we had the same result - zero drops in fuel pressure, zero vapor lock while running the truck under extreme conditions. We were extremely pleased with the results of the HydraMat helping to prevent vapor lock.

This is the real-world data that matters to true race teams. Finding a single product that is capable of solving so many small fuel issues in motorsports is a breakthrough in engineering.


With the Holley HydraMat in their fuel cell, Justin Oquendo and the Kibbetech #1466 race team are prepared to defend their 2014 SNORE 1450 championship in the upcoming season.

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