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Thread: Feds probe BMW motorcycles for fuel leak problems

  1. #31
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    When you consider that the fuel strips are unreliable, the flange cracks and the FPC can fill up with water and short out, this entire area of the bike needs to be redesigned.
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  2. #32
    Registered User easy'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.
    From a legal point of view, I can understand this statement as an attempt to avoid any liability. But as a realistic possibility, I don't buy it. First, it is strange that we have only heard of BMWs experiencing this problem. Second, if the plastic is degrading on a molecular level, the additional of a metal brace will not stop the process. BMW knows very well that the bikes will be used with alcohol additive.

    This is one of the things that drives me nuts when it comes to corporate mindset. They should come out and say they recognize the issue and are working with engineers and the government to correct the problem. This does not admit any liability and gives some degree of their attempt to assist their customers. (And they should be doing it before someone gets hurt.)

    But Paul, I do appreciate you passing this information along.

    E.
    Last edited by Easy; 11-24-2012 at 06:24 PM.

  3. #33
    Registered User b25bsaboy's Avatar
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    Paul earlier comment:

    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.

    I thought about that comment and there perhaps maybe some merit in that the fuel the in US is Ethanol heavy, meaning that plastics and fibreglass does not like ethanol mixed gasoline. I recently inspected a fibreglass Norton Commando fuel take and the fibreglass layers were literally peeling away on the internals.
    But on the other side of the coin, the R12RT that I purchased with it's high mileage has spent 80% of its time in the Western US touring and from the pictures I posted is not suffering a cracked flange Phenomenon. Honest feeling is that it is a poor design from the early get go and in the later models an up date has been done at the BMW factory?
    Rick MacPherson
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    1968 BSA Starfire, 1976 BMW R75/6, 2009 R1200RT

  4. #34
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Folks, I made that whole comment up with tongue firmly in cheek based on similar comments from BMW about injector problems. I don't think fuel is causing the plastic to crack. I think it is caused by screwing a tapered fitting into a plastic with insufficient tensile strength.

    I thought the smiley at the end would provide a clue I was trying to be humorous.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  5. #35
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Folks, I made that whole comment up with tongue firmly in cheek based on similar comments from BMW about injector problems. I don't think fuel is causing the plastic to crack. I think it is caused by screwing a tapered fitting into a plastic with insufficient tensile strength.

    I thought the smiley at the end would provide a clue I was trying to be humorous.
    People are not born with a "sense of humor" - it is an acquired taste and more rare than ever now in our "politically correct" world, whatever that is?!

    And you're right Paul - an issue with metal meeting plastic, not fuel.

    Mine was A-OK until I decided to 'fix something that wasn't broke' by having a quick-disconnect installed. Dealer warned me that the fuel pump housing was "fragile (brittle) plastic" and might not tolerate the new fitting................ it didn't.

    $400 later, a new fuel pump assembly. Live and learn.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  6. #36
    sk skmiller47's Avatar
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    Here's what a failing unit looks like. I'm sure (now) that had I not procrastinated in replacing the OE qd's I would have probably trashed my pump housing too. I say that because even though really only the male qd needs to be changed to the brass unit, I would have gone beyond and changed the female qd just as well. I wonder if my cracked unit will make to some acceptable remedy?
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    Last edited by skmiller47; 11-26-2012 at 06:42 PM.

  7. #37
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Dealer warned me that the fuel pump housing was "fragile (brittle) plastic" and might not tolerate the new fitting................ it didn't.

    $400 later, a new fuel pump assembly. Live and learn.
    That's why I only replaced the male half of the QD. It's the male half that will normally fail.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
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  8. #38
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    That's why I only replaced the male half of the QD. It's the male half that will normally fail.
    Smarter than I was!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
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