Fast and safe fuel By the staff of Dirt Wheels

The finished project looks very clean. It allows fast, safe, event-legal refueling. There are no gas caps to deal with or misplace.


We recently caught up with Best in the Desert race series competitor Rick Smith who has been racing a 2017 Can-Am X3 with some light modifications suited for racing. While competing in the 2020 Laughlin Desert Classic in Laughlin, Nevada, Rick explained he lost a lot of time in the pits while fueling.

The issue was filling the stock fuel tank with traditional fuel cans. His pit team tried using a high-capacity fast-fill fuel can thinking it would save some time. However, fuel can only enter at the same rate the air can be purged out. The stock tank has a very small vent system.

Therefore, when using the fast-fill can, the air purged out the fill neck, thus causing fuel to backsplash. In order to eliminate this, the crew had to pour the fuel at an extremely slow rate. It ended up taking longer than using the traditional fuel cans. Trying to fill a tank too quickly is wasteful and extremely dangerous.

The first task is removing the bodywork around the fuel tank and fuel filler. Both are located on the passenger side behind the glove box.
Once the bodywork is removed, you can easily access the fill neck. Remove and save the two clamps that secure the rubber inlet hose. There is a white tube in the fill neck that needs to be removed. The tube is a pressure fit and comes out easily.
Once the tube is removed, reinstall the rubber inlet hose and secure it to the fuel-tank inlet neck using one of the stock clamps.


We determined that a fuel dry-break system could be the answer. After many hours searching the web to get information on a dry-break install with no luck, Rick contacted fellow racer Chris Blais at Blais Racing Services. Chris had just completed a new race build on a 2019 Can-Am X3 where he installed a fast-fill system using the stock tank.


After getting some ideas from Chris, Rick went to the drawing board and designed a system using off-the-shelf parts that are readily available. Next, we determined what parts were available. Then, Rick decided to contact Hunsaker USA located in Ventura, California, and discussed some options that might work.

After making some calculations, Rick decided to order a Redhead 2.25-inch female dry-break receiver and a Redhead male dry-break probe, as well as an 8-gallon Hunsaker quick-fill, can.


The first task was to completely drain the fuel from the tank. Since there isn’t a drain on the tank, the use of a transfer pump was necessary.

In order for the system to work properly, you must install a large vent. A discrimination valve (an automatic, one-way valve) works well for venting and prevents fuel from exiting the vent in the case of a roll-over. Regardless of the system you choose, be sure to use a minimum 1-inch-diameter vent. Make sure your vent hose (the clear, reinforced hose shown here) travels downward so fuel doesn’t get trapped.
You will need to enlarge the fill-neck hole on the body panel to fit the larger-diameter dry-break inlet. Once you have enlarged the hole, install the panel and secure the dry break to the upper part of the inlet hose. The hose will allow for some movement of the dry break to adjust the angle.
Make sure you have enough room around the roll cage for the probe to be inserted. After determining the desired angle of the dry-break, weld a tab to the cage and secure it to the ring. A 6mm cap-head bolt works well.
Assemble the body parts back around the dry-break receiver. If you have done a careful job, the result should look clean, like it came stock with the receiver.
Once you have the dry-break installed, it is not convenient to fill the tank without a can with the proper dry-break probe mounted. With the right can, you can greatly speed up your fuel stops.



Depending on the vent system you choose, consider removing the fuel tank and fuel pump. This will give you full access to mount the vent and remove any debris that might enter the tank. It is important that you place the discrimination valve where it will not interfere with the fuel-gauge float lever on the fuel pump. Otherwise, the fuel gauge will never indicate it’s full.

Removing the fuel tank will also allow you to test your vent for rollover-stoppage by adding fuel and tilting towards your vent, making sure there is enough fuel to enter the vent system. You can also secure your tank to a level surface and test your fill rate and check for leaks. For additional information on Redhead dry-break components, contact Hunsaker USA: (805) 650-2525,

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