Motobilt Fuel Cell – Full Review & Installation Guide

Jeep Wranglers are notorious for having extremely low hanging fuel cells located on the back of the vehicle. This will create an issue when upgrading to a larger/new axle, stretching the rear axle back and it also creates an issue with departure angle.

Typically, to resolve this issue on a Jeep Wrangler would to either move the tank up vertically by cutting a large square hole, installing a smaller profile fuel tank, or installing a fuel cell.

Motobilt Fuel Cell Specifications:

  • Jeep YJ behind the seat fuel tank with cutout for factory rectangular fuel pump.
  • Brass roll over valve with 90-degree barbed hose fitting for use with vent line.
  • Cut out for factory rectangular fuel pump.
  • Fuel pump extension bracket 
  • Designed to fit behind the rear seat
  • CNC cut from 1/8 inch aluminum
  • Press brake formed
  • Tank includes a large D-ring style cap
  • 18 US gallons capacity
  • This fuel cell is used for applications where you are extending the wheel base and the rear axle would contact the factory fuel tank. It would also be used in situations where more ground clearance is needed. This kit works perfectly with the Motobilt Jeep YJ Back Half Kit where the frame rails are moved up and in for ultimate clearace.
  • We have included a mount specifically for the MB5000-YJ Fuel Cell. The kit consists of three parts: the main under tank plate and two clamp bodies. The under tank plate is CNC Laser Cut from .125 inch high strength steel plate. Mounting brackets are included!
  • Weight: 46lbs (approx.)

Source: https://motobilt.com/products/jeep-yj-fuel-tank-with-fuel-pump-cut-out-and-mount-package#specificationsOpens in a new tab.

What are the Benefits of a Fuel Cell?

Fuel cells are typically seen on race car’s, but are very common in off-road and rock crawling. A fuel cell is typically constructed of aluminum, but can also be seen constructed of steel with a plastic bladder insert.

Regardless of the material, a quality fuel cell will add an additional level of safety while providing a great solution to clearance issue on our Jeep Wranglers.

What are the Drawbacks of a Fuel Cell?

Regarding a Jeep, the main draw back to installing a fuel cell is the space it will take up in the back of the vehicle. Many fuel cell designs will eliminate the ability to have a back seat installed.

Due to a fuel cell being installed in the vehicle, the odor of gasoline may be apparent from time to time.

Finally, a fuel cell can sometimes eliminate the ability to retain your factory fuel gauge. Most fuel cells on the market will not accept the factory fuel pump with the fuel sending unit.

Luckily Motobilt resolved almost all drawbacks of installing a fuel cell on your Jeep Wrangler.

Is the Motobilt Fuel Cell Good?

In short, yes the MotobiltOpens in a new tab. fuel cell is amazing. Their fuel cell is designed to retain your back seat, and it will accept the factory fuel pump and sending unit.

Most aftermarket fuel cells do not provide all of the parts needed to install it in your vehicle; mainly tank straps. Motobilt not only provides sturdy tank straps, but also a thick base plate.

What are the Problems with the Motobilt Fuel Cell?

After ordering and installing this fuel cell, I found that instructions were not provided, nor instruction could be found on the website.

Shipping speed was also painfully slow. This was however during the thick of Covid-19 concerns, so the benefit of doubt can be given.

Motobilt Fuel Cell Installation Guide:

Included in the box:

  • Tank Straps
  • Fuel Fill Cap
  • Fuel Fill Neck
  • Fuel Fill Gasket
  • Fuel Fill Hardware
  • Fuel Pump Bracket
  • Breather Hose Connection

Not Included in the box:

  • 10-14′ 3/8″ Fuel Hose
  • High Pressure Fuel Clamps
  • (8) 3/8″ x 2″ Bolts
  • (8) 3/8″ Nuts
  • (8) 3/8″ Washers
  • (8) 3/8″ Lock Washers

Tools Needed for Project:

  • 7/16″ Nut Driver
  • 7mm Socket
  • 11mm Open End or Box End Wrench
  • Impact Drill
  • Drill
  • 7/64″ Drill Bit
  • 3/8″ Drill Bit

Step 1: Remove Factory Fuel Tank & Fuel Pump/Sending Unit

Step 2: Ream Factory Fuel Pump Bracket Holes

The studs on the provided factory fuel pump brackets are a hair too big. Reaming the holes on the factory fuel pump base plate is the fastest path to resolving this issue.

Using your 17/64″ drill bit, ream each holes around the fuel pump base plate. If a 17/64″ is not readily available, a step bit can be used.

Step 3: Install Fuel Fill Neck

The fuel fill neck is made up of 4 individual parts. Going in order what is installed first to last:

  • Metal Ring Insert (Inside Tank)
  • Gasket (Sitting on Tank)
  • Fuel Fill Neck (Sitting on Gasket)
  • Fuel Fill Cap

Refer to installation video starting @ 3:51

Once parts are in their correct location, line up all holes and insert bolts into place. From the inside of the tank; gaining access from fuel pump mounting location. Scream on nuts to the bolts and faster using a 11m wrench.

Step 4: Install Factory Fuel Pump/Fuel Sending Unit

Install provided fuel pump bracket on the inside of the tank with the studs sticking through holes. These brackets have a specific orientation, and even though the pump base plate looks identical side to side… it is not.

Install factory fuel pump inserting studs through the holes on the fuel pump base plate. Using your 7mm socket and impact (or ratchet) fasten the nuts provided to the studs.

Step 5: Drill Holes for Fuel Cell Mounting

Using the provided fuel cell base plate as a template, mark and drill holes with a 3/8″ bit.

Note: For locating the exact placement of the fuel cell, use your back seat as a guide making sure the cell and the back back seat have enough space.

Step 6: Drill Large Hole for Fuel Lines and Wiring Harness

Using your largest step bit or hole bit, drill a hole for the fuel lines and fuel pump harness to be passed through.

Placement of this hole is completely up to discretion. For my build, I made sure the hole was underneath the back seat.

Step 7: Install Fuel Cell in Jeep

Install fuel cell on top of the provided base plate, install tank straps around the fuel cells, and bolt down the tank once in place.

Step 8: Connect Fuel Lines to Jeep Fuel Lines

Refer to video starting @ 7:34

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