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FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Modern 961 Norton Commando Motorcycles

FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby 961al » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:35 pm

Hi everyone....
I've owned a Norton Café Racer from new since Sept 2012, .... Only done 1650 miles due to the bike being one of five bikes owned at the same time and it not being used Nov-May each year through the winter period.
The bike has been sorned since the end of October so not used..... recently I've been going in the garage and noticing a smell of petrol...thinking it was one of the classic bikes I have.... but this last week end I saw that the concrete paint under the Norton had bubbled up....and on checking it appears that the petrol tank is leaking quite badly where the fuel pump attaches....
From what I have now gathered, it appears that this is a common fault due to poor quality petrol causing the plastic fuel tank to distort ? Is this problem due to a manufacturing/design fault ?
I need to know what it takes to sort this problem out...I would imagine other Norton owners have been in contact with Norton regarding this very situation, which as you can understand is a very serious safety issue....
Is there some form of 'sealant' to fix this ? or will it mean having a new tank ? (A new tank wouldn't fix the ongoing problem though )
By the way, i'm based in Lancashire, England
Can anyone help/advise on this, or has anyone been in touch with Norton?
Cheers,
Allan.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:37 pm

A new tank MAY fix the problem. I have a 2014 in the US and was reassured (take that for what its worth) that the tanks will not warp due to ethanol. I do however, store it with a marine grade solution (Startron) that neutralizes the effects of ethanol. (take that for what its worth too) I also cock the cap open a bit to relieve any pressure that might build up. Sorry for your problems. Not the first we've heard this.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby TonyA » Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:58 pm

It may still be covered under the warranty. If I had found out it was not covered however , I would replace the gaskets and seals first. You should speak to Norton and see what they say and you may catch a break and get it resolved by them for a much reduced cost . Do you use 10% ethanol in England like we do in the states ? After removing my gas tank to replace my spark plug wires , I would not hesitate to do this job now myself. The Norton is EASY to work on just like Richard-7 says !

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby BPHORSEGUY » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:19 pm

After having my share of issues with plastic Ducati and Triumph tanks I have preached using an Ethanol stabilizez since day one! I also usually cut my fuel with 30 or 40% 104 octane which is Ethanol free.

Al, when you find out what is going on for sure please report back, we do not know it is ethanol and these tanks are supposed to be Ethanol proof!

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby TonyA » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:54 am

Hello 961AL , Any more news on the gas tank leak ?

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby 961al » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:41 pm

Hi Tony,
Yes, I've been in touch with Norton (UK) and after explaining as above, the lovely frontline lady Karen has had a meeting with the warranty dept and, subject to seeing the tank ,and although the bike is out of warranty, there might be a chance of it being sorted ''as a goodwill gesture''..... Both myself and a mate were due to take our bikes to Norton in the spring to have decat pipes fitted and remap done, but because of the tank problem, we'll be arranging a date for early in the new year. In the mean time the tank is off the bike and drained of petrol...no damage 'appears' to have been done... Will post again after visiting Norton...
Cheers,
Al.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby TonyA » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:44 pm

The plastic painted tanks are under $1000.00 USD and that is painted with logo and decals. You will need the gaskets and seals for the fuel pump and you can reuse your cap. Good luck with the service at Norton , it should go well .

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby 961al » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:43 pm

OK.....
Picked the bike up from Norton on Tuesday.....Originally myself and a mate had agreed a date with Karen to take our bikes down to have decat pipes fitted , remaps carried out , oil/filter changed on both bikes, and my leaking fuel tank checked over... presuming the bikes would be worked on 'while we wait' ...as is the normal when you book a service at a garage, obviously thinking the jobs could be done In the day....
Nope...we had to leave the bikes at Norton as we were told '' we won't get round to looking at the bikes on the day as we only have 2 technicians and also we like to give the bikes a thorough checkover '' Good job we didn't ride the bikes there then.... It wasn't really a problem although it added more expense due to having to hire a van again to pick the bikes up....
On the good side, it was found that the problem with the fuel tank was only that the seal had perished so a new one was fitted. Also I had mentioned a couple of minor issues to Karen which included an occasional 'screeching' sound from the clutch when setting off from a standing start and an occasional stall from tickover when stopped at lights, etc, after a speedy blast... new clutch plates were fitted with a good clean out and was told hopefully the remap would solve the stalling issue (the mechanic couldn't reproduce the stalling)....
As regards the decat/remap, (077 map) the mechanic had no info on whether this gave more power/torque as Norton had never tested a bike with this done on a dyno.......all I can say is that I've previously ridden a 961 with this done and the bike did feel much more urgent and immediate in its delivery... so I think it was worthwhile having it done...plus the fact the decat pipe looks loads better..!
SO... altogether I was charged £532 for decat pipe, remap. service, inc full checkover, including labour and UK VAT (tax) , its £295 just for the decat pipe.... so i'm very happy with the price....
I have to say Karen and the mechanic Mark were fabulous all through, very happy with Norton in general, (MUCH better than the early days...) and we also got a Factory tour ! Just need the weather now to try the bike out....
Regards, Al .

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby contours » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:09 pm

Very nice to hear! Thanks for posting, 961al. :)
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby 961al » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:23 pm

Here's a pic of the bike with the decat pipe fitted.......

Image

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby BPHORSEGUY » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:35 pm

That is great to here, I have never seen a documented ethanol fuel tank failure on a 961 but I'm going to keep using a stabilizer for at least another year!

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby 961al » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:11 am

WELL....
adding to the original post..... my fuel tank is leaking again from the fuel pump area..!! The bike has only done approx 100miles since Norton 'fixed it' last time with a new fuel pump gasket....... Since the last post, has anyone else had this problem, before i contact Norton again ?
Regards,
AL.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby TonyA » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:37 am

I have not heard of this either except on this forum and in UK . Have the tank design changed since 2011/2012 ? I do not know. You can try the fuel pump seal again. I would be prepared for the worst though. If that seal area is distorted it may not seal. Could the pump itself be at fault ? Someway leaking through the pump and not the seal ? Maybe Norton can give a discount for the New tank ? You have been a good customer.

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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby richard-7 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:43 am

Someone a long time ago had this. I heard it was related to using ethanol based fuel tho. Distorted the tank. Have to do a search.
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Re: FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

Postby Britfan60 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:22 am

POSTED IN 2014.

Commando Fuel Tank Huge Problem.

Postby 961Story » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:35 pm

Just posted about the re map but thought I need to share this information.My fuel tank is also leaking from around the fuel pump on the left hand side of the tank,bit of a fire risk.
I have asked a lot of people and this seems to be a bigger problem than I first thought.There is not enough material around the base of the tank where the pump sits it warps and fuel leaks,Ducati had the same problem.Depending on the age of your bike,some people I have spoken to have had to pay over £1000
For a new tank other £500 ??? I wonder if this is going to be a bigger problem in the US ????
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