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Thread: Feds probe BMW motorcycles for fuel leak problems

  1. #16
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Quote from an earlier comment:

    The cracks are caused by an incorrect application of tapered threads, and BMW should replace this part on all affected models. I had to ride my bike out of the woods in TN and 150 miles back to Atlanta with gas shooting out like a squirt gun because I had no other way to get home.

    My question is what year specific was this a problem? And what year did BMW start addressing the issue?

    In reading the some 40 or so comments and pictures on the other board AVRider, the BMW Engineers should have known better as threaded plastic has never worked unless there is a solid clamp or collar around the female threaded end. In the wonderful world of piping and valves, this a disaster waiting to happen as plastic will thermal cycle overtime.

    Just replaced all the Tupperware on the left side and will have to go and remove it to complete an inspection.

    As annoyed as I am, I appreciate the collective minds on this thread bringing this to my attention now and not when the fuel tank is full in the middle of summer.
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  2. #17
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Since this is now an active investigation I would urge everybody who has had such a failure on any model to go to the fed website (in post above) and report your problem. The worst outcome is for the Feds to decide it is a little isolated problem on one model. They need to address all the bikes/models that have the un-reinforced tapered plastic threads.

    And by the way, I don't actually blame BMW alone. They didn't build the pumps. Yes, they should have caught the issue during design review, but who would ever imagine that a pump designer would do it that way. I suspect they just picked an off-the-shelf design already in a bunch of cars. Details matter though.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  3. #18
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Complaint filed.

    Incident date 7/19/2012 on the way to the MOA Rally.

    Traveling on I-44 east of Joplin MO. Significant odor of gasoline. Found a safe place to pull off highway and saw fuel dripping from under the left fairing panel. Removed the panel to find puddles of gas in the fairing recess and the fuel pump recess. Wiped it all up and turned on the key, which started the pump and a strong stream of fuel was pumped out from a serious crack in the fuel pump plate at the fuel line fitting. The motorcycle was unsafe to ride so I called for a trailer, trailered the bike to Kansas City, Mo and Engle Motors. The entire fuel pump assy had to be replaced at a cost of $621.52. There is no question I was VERY lucky the motorcycle didn't catch fire while I was riding it. I called and filed a complaint to BMW with no response. I have receipts to prove the failure and witnesses. BMW needs to own this failure and recall ALL these machines to insure no one dies as a result of this. Calling this a fire hazard is understating the problem.
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  4. #19
    sk skmiller47's Avatar
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    The R bikes at risk are Hex Heads up to some point in 2008 where BMW (Siemens, component manufacturer) made a modification to the pump housing, a collar pressed over the boss to contain it and to neutralize the outward tension created by the taper-fit female quick disconnect that seats in the boss. This ÔÇ£fixÔÇØ suggests they recognized a potential failure. It appears that the upgraded part is the same molded component but with a pressed on collar on the boss much as I described above. Part number remained the same.

    As BMW resorted to a collar to effect a modification I would imagine the same could apply retro fitted (as a repair/ band-aid) to the early units if not already fractured. But where the housing is compromised, even if not weeping fuel, the collar would be insufficient for repair I believe. The housing should be replaced. This is the situation with my GS.

    HereÔÇÖs the rub. Whereas you CAN purchase the fuel pump separate from the housing for $300 plus, you CANNOT purchase the housing separate from a new pump. Huh? Gimme a break! Cost $500 plus for the assembly.

    If you donÔÇÖt blow up first, your wallet will.

    At minimum: The housing should be offered as a separate purchase (upgraded unit). It should be priced affordable as the immobilizer rings finally were prior to recall.
    Better: Replacement/upgrade should occur within a voluntarily BMW recall.
    Best: NHSTA should mandate a recall.

    I recommend that those with Hex Head R series bikes look at pump assembly closely. If your bike has the collar ensconced boss youÔÇÖre home free (presumably). If yours is the earlier unit check it for cracks. If free from cracking consider for now the available clamp collar through BeemerBoneyard or similar. If fractured, you know what that could mean. Register your concern with NHTSA. Write BMW. ItÔÇÖs a safety issue involving fuel and the potentiality of fire. And an out-of-pocket repair of over $500 because of a half ounce chunk of molded plastic is ridiculous. There needs to be an acceptable remedy.

  5. #20
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Since I spent several hours reading about this issue, my mind started to get carried away with the what if syndrome?
    Went into the shop after dinner tonight and pilled the tupper wear away to do a close up inspection. Was into my BMW dealer here this morning while out an about and questioned several service guys and they both admitted that only the GS seems to an on going problem with the fuel pump flange. As it would be, I still have another 1 1/2 years worth of warranty and this would be still covered, even after 114 kilometres.

    Here is what I found and it was dirty and not pretty!

    Will post another picture after this one, as I haven't figured out how to add several pictures at thge same time. Computer illiterate I guess!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by b25bsaboy; 11-23-2012 at 01:25 PM.
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  6. #21
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Here is the second picture after I went in and cleaned it very carefully!

    After I took the pictures for the file, I went in with a very soft flux brush and vacuumed the whole area as I am a Felix of sort as I hate things dirty, especially motorcycles. It strange that here is a R12RT that has 114 kilometres on her and after cleaning it looks as good as the day it came of the assembly line. Hummmmm!

    Now to go and sort out the cracked tail light!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  7. #22
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b25bsaboy View Post
    Here is the second picture after I went in and cleaned it very carefully!

    After I took the pictures for the file, I went in with a very soft flux brush and vacuumed the whole area as I am a Felix of sort as I hate things dirty, especially motorcycles. It strange that here is a R12RT that has 114 kilometres on her and after cleaning it looks as good as the day it came of the assembly line. Hummmmm!

    Now to go and sort out the cracked tail light!

    I added a clamp to the flange from BeemerBoneyard to hopefully prevent cracking to this area on our 2011 K1300S's.




    Sometime in 2011 or 2012 BMW has added a metal ring to the flange at the factory.
    The cracking happens to the K bikes and R bikes.

    Here is an updated K bike part from BMW. Notice the metal ring.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  8. #23
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b25bsaboy View Post
    Will post another picture after this one, as I haven't figured out how to add several pictures at the same time. Computer illiterate I guess!
    You're not computer illiterate: the forum software only lets users upload one pic per post. However, if you have photos hosted on another server, either your own or on a publicly-visible repository like PhotoBucket, you can have multiple photos appear in one BMWMOA forum post by linking to the photos that are hosted elsewhere.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  9. #24
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    I agree with Lee and will be placing an order with the guys at Beemerboneyard later this morning. Guess the Tuperwear will not be going back on right away. Thank heavens it's winter here right now and it is not the best riding weather.

    Ordered the clamp several hours after posting this and feel somewhat better!
    Last edited by b25bsaboy; 11-25-2012 at 01:43 AM.
    Rick MacPherson
    Success is Not a Destination, But a Journey.
    Accredited Motorcycle Appraiser
    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  10. #25
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b25bsaboy View Post
    they both admitted that only the GS seems to an on going problem with the fuel pump flange.
    A number of RT's have seen the same issue; it's not just GSs.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  11. #26
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    It happened on my R1200S, that is NOT an RT or a GS! So it happens on all bikes with this fuel pump design!
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
    My Blog

  12. #27
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b25bsaboy View Post
    I agree with Lee and will be placing an order with the guys at Beemerboneyard later this morning.
    I also replaced the plastic male half of the quick disconnect with a metal one from BeemerBoneyard.
    Check your ON, I think BeemerBoneyard gives a 10% discount to MOA members.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  13. #28
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that somebody said that they had read on the Internet somewhere that BMW said that their dealers had told them it was because the gas in the United States is different than gas in Europe - less compressible or less resilient or something - which causes the pressure pulses from the pump to overstress the plastic molecules and cause it to shudder and shake and eventually crack.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  14. #29
    sk skmiller47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I'm pretty sure that somebody said that they had read on the Internet somewhere that BMW said that their dealers had told them it was because the gas in the United States is different than gas in Europe - less compressible or less resilient or something - which causes the pressure pulses from the pump to overstress the plastic molecules and cause it to shudder and shake and eventually crack.
    Reminds me that during the mid-nineties seat belt buckle receptacles began to fail on Japanese cars. First it was a trickle then a flood tide. Official Japanese manufacturer's response was that it was an "American" problem. As we (Japanese) all know, "Americans eat too much and too often" in their cars, fouling the buckle assemblies.

    Recall was issued, but not soon. And to be fair to Japanese manufacturers, slow response to product failure is NOT their exclusive domain. It is trans-border. Some never respond.

  15. #30
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Well, dealing with this will be the first order of business for me: next spring.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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