HPRE

Menu

Members Rides

Silver the speeding Bullet


in
Members Rides

58 Guests, 3 Users
ace.cafe, gizzo, SpaceAviator
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 24, 2014, 08:39:34 AM

Login with username, password and session length

 

Author Topic: Fuel leak! (!!!)  (Read 2707 times)

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Fuel leak! (!!!)
« on: September 04, 2013, 02:23:44 AM »
Just rode my newly retrieved 2010 C5 from NYC to Washington, DC, a little over 250 miles.

The bike rode pretty well. You'll recall the transmission was repaired (and I now have all five gears, plus neutral), and the chain and sprockets were replaced. I rode the bike 100 miles before deciding to take this trip and all seemed fine. I did have a bit of chain slippage on this trip which I assume means I have a bit too much slack -- will deal with that ASAP.

The only real problem is this: apparently a leak or loose seal developed in the fuel system partway through the trip.

I noticed after the first or second gas stop that I was smelling gas when I was stopped in traffic, but I just figured I was getting used to the bike again after not riding it for a whole season. So I rode on, another 140 miles or so after the second gas stop. This was from southern NJ to Queenstown, Maryland, almost to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (via US 301).

I reached Queenstown about 8pm and stopped at a gas station, because my fuel light was winking on -- it was due to come on so I wasn't concerned. I put in 2.2 gallons and the tank wasn't nearly full yet. That was more than I expected it would take, and at that point I realized that gas was slowly dripping out of the bottom of the tank (from the inside LH side of the underside) and landing on the top of the hot engine block, where it was evaporating.

That FREAKED ME OUT, and I quickly put the hose back on the pump and wheeled the bike over to the edge of the gas station, away from everything. I spent 10 or 15 minutes calming myself down, mulled my options, did a little Googling, and eventually decided I would skip my dinner break, get back on the bike, and ride it the last 50 miles to DC.

You might think this was a crazy decision, but remember, it was nighttime and it was dark and I was at a gas station with no repair services in the middle of nowhere (specifically: http://goo.gl/AlRdcq ), but less than an hour's ride from my destination. I had a bag of tools, but they were my "emergency tools" and there was no guarantee I'd have everything I needed to get the tank off. In any case, everything under the tank was way too hot to touch and was going to stay that way for at least a couple hours, at which point it would be 10pm in the middle of nowhere rather than 8pm.

Also, I had just ridden the bike 140 miles in (as I concluded) the very same condition it was in right now. I could see that the leak was a slow one even when the bike was stopped, and I inferred (based on my range since the last fillup) that while the bike was in motion at highway speed the leak was even slower, or maybe even nonexistent. I speculated that the leakage while at rest might even stop when the gas in the tank dropped below a certain level. (This proved not to be the case.)

Finally, I reminded myself that the world is full of people stupider and cockier than me, willing to take vastly more irrational chances than I am, and to my knowledge, I have never heard of a motorcycle exploding while in motion. I do know vehicles catch on fire while in motion (I have even been in one!), but it was a chilly night in a damp seaside clime, (and, 140 miles!), so I took a deep breath and got back on the bike. 

I rode the 50 miles into DC without incident. I was "in the zone," focused only on getting the bike safely to the end of the ride. I pulled over a couple times to check whether gas was still leaking (it was) and to see if the gas level inside the tank seemed to be dropping alarmingly fast (it didn't). The fuel light didn't behave noticeably different from normal; by the end of the trip, hard braking made the light flash on, but that's normal behavior for my bike at the half-full mark, which is roughly where the tank would have been at that point.

Upon arrival I parked on the street here in downtown Washington near the apartment I am staying in. Gas is still dripping out; I'm guessing there is about 1.5 gallons in there and that gas will end up on the street, where it will mostly evaporate, and I'll have an empty tank in the morning.

There is, of course, a possibility that the bike will explode or catch on fire overnight. But that is why I have insurance, and I am comforted by the rarity of exploding bikes in the world. So I'm having a beer and going to bed.

I have no effing idea what I'll do next. There is no RE dealer within 150 miles of here, and it's not practical for me to take the bike apart on the street. If the tank is empty, I guess I'll probably pay someone to cart the bike back to my dealer outside NYC and let them figure it out.

Joel-in-dallas

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 260
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 03:37:24 AM »
So sorry Rich. What a pain. I hope its an easy fix. I can understand your frustration.

Ice

  • Hypercafienated
  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 5084
  • Karma: 0
  • Ride In Paradise Cabo, Don and Ernie
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 03:54:24 AM »
Rich,
 I am sorry to hear about your problem.

The good news is the nickname "Incendiary Bullet" is already taken  ;)
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

Arizoni

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 4450
  • Karma: 1
  • "But it's a dry heat here in Arizona
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 03:57:24 AM »
Rich:
If your lucky, it is a loose hose clamp.
Mine developed a leak where the hose slips onto the fuel pump outlet.

Tightening the hose clamp a bit solved the problem and it's remained solved for over a year now.
While your checking the clamp, check the other one where the rubber fuel line connects to the fuel injector.  It might need a slight tightening too.

If it isn't the hose or the hose clamp that's leaking but a seam in the fuel tank you might be able to patch it up with a epoxy that's made for doing this.  A Auto Parts store should have something.

These epoxies don't work well with the alcohol/gasoline fuels we have to burn but it should get you home.

Let us know what you find and good luck to you.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

whoguy

  • Scooter
  • **
  • Posts: 71
  • Karma: 0
  • Hi... I love all things Beautiful...
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 08:57:03 AM »
Hey Rich, this happened to me too.... it was from the weld where the two brackets are joined to the tank which bolts onto the frame.

A temporary fix which works is to put the bike on a forward downward slope to reduce the leak... then apply a good size lump of silicone sealant on top of where the leak is.... Then get yourself to your nearest RE dealer.

Good Luck!
To ride or not to ride... That is the question!

Catbird

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 205
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 11:05:39 AM »
Rich -

I sent you a PM.
1972 Honda CB350 twin - sold
1976 Honda GL1000 Goldwing - sold
1996 BMW R1100RT - sold
2005 BMW R1200RT - sold
2011 Vespa GTS 300
2013 Royal Enfield C5 Military
2014 Honda CTX700N DCT

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 12:23:49 PM »
I think Whoguy is right. My hoses seem clamped fine, and that's not where the gas is coming from anyway. I'm guessing (without removing the tank) that my problem is the LH side of the welded seam on the underside of the tank.

Almost all the gas dripped out of the tank overnight.

If I take tomorrow off work I may be able to take the tank off on the street and apply some kind of sealant. I'll look tonight and see if I have all the tools I need. Do things like Permatex Instant Repair actually work well enough to get me home (250 miles, 6 hours)?

hortoncode3

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 01:46:58 PM »
Yup, you got yourself a nice tank leak. Not to worry, you aren't the only one. My '09  Military G5 developed one at 7500 miles. It's one of the tank hold down ears where it's welded to the tank. It's been suggested I get it heliarc welded, but I bought a good tank off e-bay. Eventually, I'll get it done, and apparently it won't fry off too much paint in the process. I was advised to expect it to do it again, which is why I bought the spare tank. Apparently, the new version of the tank has been made resistant to the vibration cracks these tanks are prone to. You can get one off Hitchcocks. FYI, while you have it off, get a new fuel line, one resistant to the alcohol gas. I found mine to be cracked and brittle after only 3 years. Be careful of the plastic pipe coming off the EFI pump, it's delicate and if you break it you'll be investing in one of those too!

eda1bulletc5

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 02:03:47 PM »
Hi Rich,

I am sorry to hear your ordeal and can relate to it; I did the same ride the bike with gas leaking from the fuel tank -- not something that I would repeat anymore...

My RE C5 also developed a leak at the rear mount tabs of the fuel tank that mounts to the frame. Primarily this was due to vibration and the tank rubbing against the frame and thus developing the hairline crack. The second reason could be a bad weld at the tab along with probable over tightening of the fastener.

In either cases, RE needs to take note of this, there have been several members who have gone through this episode, and is squarely a safety issue...

IMO there should be a rubber mount for the rear mounting tabs (as is the case with the front tank mounting) and some rubber (or vibration absorbent material) underneath the fuel tank that isolates the tank from the frame. I really think this is necessary...you guys can chime in...

As far as the leaky tank on your bike - get it replaced from the dealer under warranty. Also I have heard, as per CARB the fuel tank has 5 years warranty and manufactures have to replace it if defective due to manufacturing.

Good luck!

Sajiv
2011 RE C5
2012 Honda NC700X 6-speed

Rich Mintz

  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Karma: 0
  • Daily rider in the city
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 02:05:15 PM »
Thanks, hortoncode3. Shipping the bike home to my dealer, if I do it, will cost me $600, but it's still under warranty so the tank replacement will probably be free. (I don't think "tank seam opening after 4000 miles" counts as normal wear and tear.)

Still hoping to be able to get the tank off and patch it with something that will let me ride it home, but that's a project for later...

gashousegorilla

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2760
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 02:09:41 PM »
  Rich, if it's leaking under the left side of the tank, it could also be the fuel pump. Where it mounts to the tank.  The screws may be a little loose and it's leaking around the O ring.  Worth a check and see.... May just need some tightening.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

hortoncode3

  • Bulleteer
  • ***
  • Posts: 229
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 02:34:13 PM »
My bike was 2 years old when I bought it, and was barely out of warrantee when this happened...RE said no way were they fixing it. So, good luck!

GreenMachine

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 3079
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 02:46:35 PM »
Dam it Rich, everytime u do the New York to DC ride, something happens whereas u have to trailer the bike back...I wouldn't even think of driving back unless u want to be Nicolas Cage.  I personally haven't experienced the leaky tank syndrome. ...I'm assuming you have a place to hang out while you do repairs?  Figured catbird sent u a PM maybe suggesting the same thing...We're both west of you about 50 miles or so....Hopefully its something simple ...  Its a dam shame... :-\
Oh Magoo you done it again

Ducati Scotty

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 6212
  • Karma: 0
  • 2010 Teal C5
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 02:58:01 PM »
  Rich, if it's leaking under the left side of the tank, it could also be the fuel pump. Where it mounts to the tank.  The screws may be a little loose and it's leaking around the O ring.  Worth a check and see.... May just need some tightening.

+1, and you should have the right Allen key for it in the toolkit. 

Scott

ROVERMAN

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 794
  • Karma: 0
Re: Fuel leak! (!!!)
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 03:13:19 PM »
I would assume that the tank had to be removed during the trans repair. So all possibilities are open, including the fuel line spigot to the tank, I understand they are somewhat intolerant of ham fisted hose removal etc. Just saying. Also Rich, you mentioned chain "slippage". There should be none of that even if the chain is looser after break-in, i would check the chain and sprockets carefully asap.
Good luck and i hope some of this bilge helps!
Roverman.