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FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Modern 961 Norton Commando Motorcycles

Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:47 am

comet wrote:
Madnorton wrote:Not convinced that there is much if any ethanol in any fuel these days, yes it is permitted, but from what I can gather is that it is not readily available and cheap enough to add, causes the distribution companies a nightmare as it contaminates the tanks, so they can't be re-rolled easily to another fuel type, and the paperwork for the companies to claim the credit for doing so does not make it worth it at 5%. It might have been the frontline good news story for the greens some years ago, but I think it has died a death and the suppliers don't bother.


I'd be interested in your evidence for that comment. I'm assuming you are in the UK, where it is a legal requirement (the 5% fuel from renewable source). For the year April 2015 to April 2016 there were 789 million litres of bioethanol supplied, which pretty much lines up with the 18 billion litres of petrol supplied.


The pumps in the US (at least in NY) all say right on them, "Contains 10% Ethanol" so I have no reason to believe otherwise.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Madnorton » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:05 pm

Can contain upto is still used, I have just checked the UK legislation website, the EU legislation website for composition BS EN 228, and the motor fuel composition regs 2015, nothing says it has to contain. Even the RTFO guidance and results are for the proof that if ethanol is used in the uk by a fuel oil supplier some of it has to come from a sustainable source, for which they get credits - it does not correlate to or indicate to where the bio products are used and in what quantity, even for 2017. Of all the transport fuel sold in 2017 petrol only made up 31% from figures that do not contain maritime dieso or aviation gas. Currently in the UK E10 can be offered under the EN BS legislation but it is still not compulsory.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Clive » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:27 am

Hi - As I am taking delivery of a new Commando which I intend to keep for a long time I am really concerned about this. There is a lot of discussion on many forums but not a lot of truly scientific info. if I avoid ethanol fuel completely will I never suffer the bulging fuel tank issue or does the ethanol merely accelerate the degredation? As the owner of one 40 year old and one 16 year old 'classic' car a 5 year old bike is brand new to me and should not have a significant part of it deteriorating. What happens in 10 years time when replacement tanks are not being produced?

Someone must know a chemist or materials technologist who can advise on the degradation of plastics fuel cells?

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby italia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:41 am

Been using Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment for several years in 3 different bikes with plastic tanks. So far so good.
https://www.amazon.com/Star-Tron-Enzyme-Fuel-Treatment/dp/B00D3IEIY0/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1505309995&sr=1-1&keywords=startron
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby comet » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:51 pm

Madnorton wrote:Can contain upto is still used.............


Agreed, and up to 10% as you say, but there's still a target that the suppliers are required to meet, one way or another. You could tie yourself up in knots going through the various EU and UK documents, amendments etc etc, and life's too short. The figures I quoted though did come from a UK Government report and related specifically to road traffic fuel. Both Esso and Shell refer to their fuel containing ethanol, I haven't looked at any other supplier sites. I think the Esso approach with their super unleaded may be related to the the Government requirement for a "protected grade" fuel. This requires certain retailers to have 5% or less ethanol in super unleaded to ensure that those with older vehicles are not disadvantaged should the suppliers introduce E10, which they are now able to do (EN228 etc) and which the Government recognises would be damaging for older vehicles. It goes on and on, but at least the Esso Synergy Supreme + is ethanol free, with some regional variations, so I'll be buying that.

Clive wrote:Hi - As I am taking delivery of a new Commando which I intend to keep for a long time I am really concerned about this. There is a lot of discussion on many forums but not a lot of truly scientific info. if I avoid ethanol fuel completely will I never suffer the bulging fuel tank issue or does the ethanol merely accelerate the degredation? As the owner of one 40 year old and one 16 year old 'classic' car a 5 year old bike is brand new to me and should not have a significant part of it deteriorating. What happens in 10 years time when replacement tanks are not being produced?

Someone must know a chemist or materials technologist who can advise on the degradation of plastics fuel cells?


This has previously affected other makes and there's a thread on the Ducati forum with links to the sort of research you might be interested in:

http://www.ducatimonsterforum.org/index ... ic=43639.0

From what I read there, the problem appears to be water interacting with the type of plastic that is used. So it's not the ethanol per-se but the way that ethanol attracts water. This is interesting as I think I read on another thread on this site that Norton had attributed the problem to water......

Personally I'm sticking with the Esso Synergy Supreme + and drain the tank over winter.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:21 pm

From what I understand is the ethanol evaporates rather quickly and builds pressure in the tank causing it to warp. I also use Star Tron OR Stabil marine grade. They don't rid the gas of ethanol but help in combatting its effects. I may not always use the stuff because I'm refueling every week, so there is not enough time for the ethanol to evaporate. Winter storage though is imperative. Some folks just open the fuel cap to alleviate any pressure that might build up. Use the bike often enough to not have to worry so much. 8)
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby BritTwit » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:26 pm

comet wrote:
From what I read there, the problem appears to be water interacting with the type of plastic that is used. So it's not the ethanol per-se but the way that ethanol attracts water. .


I believe this is correct so far as the plastic issues are concerned.
Ethanol has always caused problems with carburetor components, but I'm not certain if it creates issues for EFI systems.

The PA6 type plastic used in tanks that Ascerbis produced for many manufacturers is known to absorb moisture from fuels.
It's one of its several peculiar characteristics.

http://www.plasticprop.com/articles/pa6 ... eful-links
http://deformedfueltanks.com/

The plastic tanks that Kenny Dreer produced for his 952 and 961 prototypes were manufactured in the US but I don't know which company.
I remember reading an article that stated that the tanks were a nylon polymer material.
I'm not a chemical engineer so I don't know if this is the same as a PA6 type polymer.
Anyway, I suppose it would be best if we were able to establish if the Norton tanks made by Ascerbis are made with PA6 polymer.
If true, then it is a potential problem.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Fast Eddie » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Britfan60 wrote:From what I understand is the ethanol evaporates rather quickly and builds pressure in the tank causing it to warp. I also use Star Tron OR Stabil marine grade. They don't rid the gas of ethanol but help in combatting its effects. I may not always use the stuff because I'm refueling every week, so there is not enough time for the ethanol to evaporate. Winter storage though is imperative. Some folks just open the fuel cap to alleviate any pressure that might build up. Use the bike often enough to not have to worry so much. 8)


Surely the tank breather would allow any such pressure to escape...?
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Madnorton » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:49 am

Sure would, I also work in the industry as some may know, and have not heard of a tank in the UK in recent years being affected, many still run unlined as well. Even in the states, not heard of that many droppy tanks in recent times.

RTFO also has a 'buy out' cause, this strangely is not recorded, only a price is available.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:35 am

Fast Eddie wrote:
Britfan60 wrote:From what I understand is the ethanol evaporates rather quickly and builds pressure in the tank causing it to warp. I also use Star Tron OR Stabil marine grade. They don't rid the gas of ethanol but help in combatting its effects. I may not always use the stuff because I'm refueling every week, so there is not enough time for the ethanol to evaporate. Winter storage though is imperative. Some folks just open the fuel cap to alleviate any pressure that might build up. Use the bike often enough to not have to worry so much. 8)


Surely the tank breather would allow any such pressure to escape...?


One would think. I've heard of this happening to the Ducati's long before I purchased my Norton. I've also heard the problem was addressed and corrected with the Ducs as well as being told same with Norton before I purchased my 2013. I haven't had the problem nor have most owners so I can't really have an opinion to share.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:36 am

Fast Eddie wrote:
Britfan60 wrote:From what I understand is the ethanol evaporates rather quickly and builds pressure in the tank causing it to warp. I also use Star Tron OR Stabil marine grade. They don't rid the gas of ethanol but help in combatting its effects. I may not always use the stuff because I'm refueling every week, so there is not enough time for the ethanol to evaporate. Winter storage though is imperative. Some folks just open the fuel cap to alleviate any pressure that might build up. Use the bike often enough to not have to worry so much. 8)


Surely the tank breather would allow any such pressure to escape...?


One would think. I've heard of this happening to the Ducati's long before I purchased my Norton. I've also heard the problem was addressed and corrected with the Ducs as well as being told same with Norton before I purchased my 2013. I haven't had the problem nor have most owners so I can't really have an opinion to share.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby comet » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:40 am

Madnorton wrote:Sure would, I also work in the industry as some may know, and have not heard of a tank in the UK in recent years being affected....


What would constitute an affected tank? There are some reports on this forum that appear to fit the bill. When I was at the factory recently I saw two bikes where the tanks had expanded and the plastic was butting up against the oil filler neck. Normally there is a reasonable gap there. These were pointed out to me as expanded tanks (ie not just badly positioned).

It feels like the "industry" is in denial, something I have experienced with a number of different manufacturer issues over the years.
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