PRI 2014: Holley’s New Hydramat Solves Fuel Pickup Issues For Good

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One of the most interesting and unique products we found yesterday at PRI was in the Holley booth, in the form of their brand new Hydramat fuel reservoir – a design that solves issues racers and enthusiasts have had for years. Traditional fuel pickups suffer from a variety of maladies, most importantly that they can become uncovered under hard cornering, heavy acceleration, and under low fuel conditions, depriving the engine of fuel when it’s most necessary.

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The entire time we were talking with Tichenor, he was shifting this display fore and aft, left and right, at times violently, and the small amount of fuel in the display maintained fuel pressure throughout, with no cavitation or air pockets in the line.

The Hydramat looks like just a gigantic in-tank fuel filter, but it’s much more than that, according to Holley’s Bill Tichenor. “These are used primarily in a fuel injected application, but it can be used in any application from road racing to autocross to off-road trucks, and we’ve already set up an ARCA circle track car with it for the 2015 season. The trick to it is that it takes up a large surface area in the fuel tank. The Hydramat has a material that wicks the fuel to the pickup – it doesn’t have to be touching the fuel much at all in order to provide the fuel supply,” he explains.

The secret to the Hydramat is surface tension – as Tichenor explains, allowing other areas of the mat where fuel is still available to continue processing fuel towards the hose inlet. Anywhere that the fuel touches the mat provides an inlet for the Hydramat to make the most of the least, so to speak, and ensure the engine has the fuel it needs when it needs it. As an area of the mat is uncovered, the pores of the mat seal up again and keep the fuel already contained in the reservoir to stay there.

Its flexible nature makes it an easy install in just about any type of fuel tank; it can be compressed down to fit through the pump access hole, and then it recovers its normal shape once the compression is released.

A wide variety of shapes and sizes were on display, to fit all types of fuel cells and tanks.

Wild stuff from the engineering geniuses at Holley – we don’t often call products a ‘game-changer’, but the Hydramat is exactly that. Fuel starvation issues are a thing of the past.

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About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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