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I get a fair amount of e-mail from Jeepers that pass through my web site and drop a note to inquire or comment about something. Such was the case when I received an e-mail from Allen McKay, the man that runs Ramco Performance Manufacturing.
In his e-mail, Allen wrote "I own a company called Ramco Performance Manufacturing. We manufacture fuel filtration systems for the hi performance and racing industries. We are also a direct OEM supplier and private label for some of the largest engine builders in the world. Our products are used in drag racing, circle track, high performance marine, street rods etc."
Allen had recently bought an early model used TJ (which explains how he ended up on my site). He had installed one of his company's fuel filter systems and was surprised at the amount of particulates the TJ pump/filter had passed along to his filter. Logically, if his TJ was doing it, other TJs were probably doing it too. After an informative phone call with Allen, I agreed to do a product review using the same filter system he had installed, the FloMax 300.
A local Jeeper, DonP, has plans to do the Baja next year. Across the border gas being what it is, Don's Rubicon was an excellent candidate for the filter installation. Before someone asks why this didn't go on my TJ, I considered doing it but the two locations I really wanted to use as possible mounting locations were both taken up by the two auto tranny coolers that went in during last year's AW4 installation. Besides that, I've no plans for running the Baja.....not yet. <grin> Besides that, wrenchin' at Don's house is pretty good....he provides great pizza and beer for lunch.
The filter removes particulates, as small as 5 microns, from the fuel stream. In addition to this, it also separates the water. The system uses a spin on filter and mounts in a fairly small 4" tall space. The filter housing is made from billet aluminum. Designed to flow up to 300 gallons per hour (remember, it can be used on drag race engines too), you won't suffer a fuel starvation problem with this in your TJ's fuel line. The filter can be used on both suction or pressurized fuel delivery systems. The installation instructions suggest using it on the suction side of the pump, when possible. Since the TJ's fuel pump is in the tank, we would certainly be able to detect any sealing issues once it was installed and the engine started.
One nice feature of the filter housing is the thought put into the mounting method. On Don's TJ, we used 3/8" bolts to mount it to a flat surface. The housing is also designed to accommodate mounting on a tube chassis, such as a rock buggy. The back of the mounting surface is shaped to fit the round tube and two slots are machined into the housing to allow for the hose clamps. When I showed the filter assembly to Troy, he gave it a very close once over and thanked me for it.....seems he thought it would go very well on the new rock buggy that he is building (yeah, I finally was able to get it back but not without a fight!) Troy likes to work with aluminum. He indicated that the housing was cleanly constructed and that it reflected good workmanship.
At the appointed time (plus some delays on Loop 101), I arrived at Don's house to help with the installation and take the pictures. Don and I had previously discussed the install and necessary items needed to do the job. It was our goal to not make a trip to the hardware store once we got started. As it was, we were sitting pretty good. Don had already picked up a small tube of Permatex Thread Sealant, some 5/16" fuel line, and a package of suitably sized hose clamps.
NOTE: At the suggestion of a couple of readers, I'm adding some additional info in regards to the fuel line. The TJ's fuel pump operates in the vicinity of 50 PSI. As such, don't try to cut corners and get the cheap fuel line. Spend a couple of extra dollars (literally) and purchase some quality fuel/emission line that is rated for a minimum of 50 PSI working pressure or better (having a little extra safety margin is a good thing).
I brought along a pair of 1/2"NPT male x 3/8"NPT male couplers and a pair of 3/8"NPT female x 5/16" hose barb fittings. I tried to find 1/2"NPT x 5/16" hose barbs, but the ACE store I was at didn't carry them.
A drill motor and drill bit (for the mounting bolts) and a couple of wrenches for screwing in the adapters are required. You'll also need an allen wrench to screw the two supplied plugs into the filter housing. The housing comes with two inlet and two outlet ports, allowing for the installation of a pressure gauge, drain valve, or any other component you may wish to add to the fuel system. If these are not used, the supplied plugs are used to fill the two extra ports.
In the above photo, the 1/2"NPT male x 3/8"NPT female bushings have been installed in both the inlet and outlet ports. Don has a couple drops of thread sealant on one of the plugs and is in the process of screwing it into the filter housing.
With both of the extra ports now plugged, Don turns his attention to threading in the 3/8"NPT male x 5/16" hose barb fitting. Again, a couple drops of thread sealant are applied to the threads prior to screwing them into the housing.