FUEL TANK LEAKING PETROL....

BritTwit

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No doubt that these nylon fuel cells on the 961 have had problems.
I have read about leaks on the UK NOC 961 site as well as on this forum.
I had my original tank replaced due to two large blisters on the bottom near the efi pump.
Knock on wood though; I’ve had no leaks with the new unit.
I use marine grade Stabile with each fill-up.
All things considered, I would have paid extra to have a steel tank, even if it was heavier.
The aluminum tank available from Norton is beautiful, but at $3,000 a pop, just not practical for me.
 
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UPDATE.......
Mid July, after a 'conversation' with Norton , i loaded the bike in a van and took it to the factory for inspection.... after a few days Norton contacted me saying nothing could be done with the tank as it had expanded around the fuel pump and the only solution was a new one....During the 'conversation',they quoted me a price of £650 painted....... but after seeing the tank, and noting that mine was black with a WHITE pinstripe, not the standard gold, it would probably be more...and then labour of £75/ hour ... :twisted: Obviously i was not happy... pleaded for a bit of discount at least, as this problem was in no way my fault. ..ALL i got was that it wasn't Norton's fault either...!! Apparently, Ascerbis, who make the tanks for Norton,and also Ducati and Aprilia (both also having the same problems) have no plans to alter the design of the tanks....
When i asked what would happen if my new tank developed the same problem, all i got was a shrug of the shoulders......
Reluctantly, i had to say go ahead with a new tank......
SO....
3 days ago i went to pick the bike up..... The new tank cost me £800 ...!! ( plus the hiring of vans n fuel : approx £1000 ).... I was told the tank should have been £960 but they gave me discount...very nice of them ha ha...
After being one of the first to place an order for a Norton...(Dec 2009 ) and having to wait 2yrs 10 months for delivery (Sept 2012..i could write a book...) i've been SO PATIENT in the 5ys i've actually owned the bike having various faults ironed out.......But this might be the straw that broke the camel's back.... Do Norton not realise that problems such as this will put so many potential buyers off ??
And make no mistake, my tank problem is definitely not a one off !!

REGARDS....
AND PISSED OFF....
AL.
 

Fast Eddie

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Al,

For what it's worth, my understanding is that Shell V Power (their high octane fuel) has no ethonol in it.

Also, you might want to consider getting your very precious new tank professionally lined. If you do this whilst its new, before the ethanol has had chance to attack the plastic, you should put the odds in your favour.

Either that, or buy a BMW R nine T sport with a lovely alloy tank (as standard) :mrgreen: :wink:
 
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As they say in the US - Hell yeah!! I would imagine the likes of Ducati, BMW etc who also used the Acerbis tanks I'd imagine would re-call the bikes or get a safety replacement scheme in place FOC. NMUK ?
 
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In Canada. Everyone knows that powersports (all motorbikes, quads, jetski, boats) and lawn equipment you only use ethanol free fuel. Which is readily avaialble in high octane at pretty much every company's pumps with exception to Petro Canada who just refuse. Shell is the one company that promotes none of their v-power high octane has ethanol. So in the states I only use shell and they are usually easy to find. If I cant, then put in $2 of ethanol and keep looking.

Its mostly USA that has a lot of ethanol in their fuel. I believe that manufacturers who homologate vehicles for USA should be sure ethanol wont destroy the plastics used on the vehicles.
 
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richard-7 said:
In Canada. Everyone knows that powersports (all motorbikes, quads, jetski, boats) and lawn equipment you only use ethanol free fuel. Which is readily avaialble in high octane at pretty much every company's pumps with exception to Petro Canada who just refuse. Shell is the one company that promotes none of their v-power high octane has ethanol. So in the states I only use shell and they are usually easy to find. If I cant, then put in $2 of ethanol and keep looking.

Its mostly USA that has a lot of ethanol in their fuel. I believe that manufacturers who homologate vehicles for USA should be sure ethanol wont destroy the plastics used on the vehicles.
So Richard, its your understanding that in the US Shell does not use ethanol in their highest octane fuel (Shell V Power)? Is that the case nationwide or a state-by-state thing?

Unfortunately the state at which I currently live in is not required by law to list at the pump if & how much ethanol is in said pumps fuel and when asked the local Shell employee just shrugged her shoulders, no clue if and how much ethanol was present. Even the manager didn't know!
 

comet

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Fast Eddie said:
Al,

For what it's worth, my understanding is that Shell V Power (their high octane fuel) has no ethonol in it.
It's difficult to get definitive information about this in the UK. According to the Shell web site "......This means that, in the UK, Shell regular unleaded and Shell V-Power unleaded are likely to contain some ethanol, but it will not be present at more than 5% (in accordance with current UK specification requirements)."

The Esso web site is clearer "There is currently no requirement for renewable fuel (such as ethanol) to be present in super unleaded (97 grade petrol). Esso super unleaded petrol (Synergy Supreme+ Unleaded 97) is ethanol free (except in Devon, Cornwall, the Teesside area and Scotland). We would therefore advise anyone who has concerns about the presence of ethanol in petrol to use Synergy Supreme+ – providing they do not fill up in Devon or Cornwall .......". Having said that, I don't understand the RON 97 exemption unless anyone can shed some light on that.

It's not helped by the fact that, according to one of the Government's explanatory memorandums, "There are significant distribution issues for bioethanol which mean that it is usually blended with petrol at the time of loading into road tankers for distribution to forecourts." which I assume can account for regional differences.

Personally I go for the Esso Synergy Supreme+, drain the tank over winter and of course avoid Scotland and the West Country :wink:. So far it seems ok after 4+ years.
 
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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.
 

comet

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Madnorton said:
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.
 
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comet said:
Madnorton said:
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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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.
 

Clive

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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?
 

comet

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Madnorton said:
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 said:
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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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)
 

BritTwit

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comet said:
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.
 

Fast Eddie

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Britfan60 said:
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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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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Fast Eddie said:
Britfan60 said:
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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