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post #1 of 32 Old Dec 7th, 2009, 4:07 pm Thread Starter
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Mystery Fuel Leak

About three weeks ago, I had the bike apart, while apart I changed the fuel filter. Bike has run fine since. This morning on my way to work I smell gas. When I get to work and get in the office, my right boot and pant leg smell like gas. Bottom line, I take off two hours from work, get home, take apart right side, and cannot find anything leaking (It did not have the strong gas odor as it did this morning). Started it up, ran up to 3k rpm, move the fuel hoses every which way, fans kicked on, and no leaks. I did tightened the big cap nut some and gave two hose clamps extra tightness. When I did change the fuel filter I changed the cap nut washer.
****2000 LT - NO QUICK DIS-CONNECTS****
Possibilities - Since the bike only sat for two days. Is it possible that due to the cold weather (40 degrees in the garage), that fuel could have leaked from the cap nut?
I am going to button it up and see what happens tomorrow morning.
Any suggestions appreciated!

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #2 of 32 Old Dec 7th, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

If you used worm drive clamps they have a nasty habit of "chewing" hoses.

If this is the culprit consider replacing them with t- bolt clamps:
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post #3 of 32 Old Dec 7th, 2009, 5:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

They are not worm style. I got some good movement on the large cap nut. I am thinking that since the weather cooled that the gas may have been seeping through the gasket. I did not see anything on the floor, nor did I smell anything before starting the bike this morning, but as soon as I got to my first stop sign, I started smelling gasoline. I will wait and see what tomorrow morning brings!

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
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post #4 of 32 Old Dec 7th, 2009, 7:30 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I think you hit it on the head Mike. I have had leaks there before and a quick removal and clean up of the gasket usually fixed it. Since yours was new it most likely didn't get tight enough on the first go around. I usually use a little lube between the nut and the metal base of the pump (none on the gasket) just to make sure it does get tight.

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post #5 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 7:35 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I had a cold leak like that once. It would go away before I got to work. It was a bear to find. It was just a clamp that was a couple of turns too loose. Once it warmed up it quit leaking. I finally found it one cold morning while I had the tupperware off when I started it....Good luck......

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post #6 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 8:28 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Probably your quick disconects on the right side of the bike are leaking. They will spray gas when under pressure and soak your right boot, as happened to me. Before you become a Budist monk replica and go up in flames, change the quick disconnects. There are plenty of articles addressing this issue.
Good luck.
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post #7 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 10:14 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

BigGeo, Mike posted that he has no QD's - so that's not the issue.


I had such mystery leak myself this October, a few days before a 6-day loop into northern Quebec. Got me really worried.

I had the bike on the sidestand when I noticed it: dripping down the left valve cover. I was warming it up after sitting in the garage for possibly a couple of months.
I took the Tupperware off, but could not see anything leaking when I restarted it.

For next couple of days, I would let the bike cool off - presumably - in the garage, then restart each morning, but there was still no repeated leaks.

My theory was that some clamp was just a bit loose and once the bike warmed up it got back into shape. I re-tightened all fuel rail clamps, changed QD O-rings just in case, and did not have the problem reoccur since. The trip was good.

We'll see in the spring, now that the bike is mothballed for the winter.

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #8 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 1:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

So far for the past two days it has been fine. I did tighten the cap nut and snugged the two hose clamps. Tomorrow morning the temperatures will be in the twenty's, so that will be the test. My darn boot still has a slight odor of gas. I guess it will take some time for that small to go.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #9 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 4:49 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
So far for the past two days it has been fine. I did tighten the cap nut and snugged the two hose clamps. Tomorrow morning the temperatures will be in the twenty's, so that will be the test. My darn boot still has a slight odor of gas. I guess it will take some time for that small to go.
Sprinkle it (your boot!) inside and out liberally with some Baking Soda and let it sit for a few hours. Nobody likes explosive feet!


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post #10 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 5:54 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Mine was leaking from the end of the hose where it clamps onto the 90 degree tubing outlet from the tank fitting.

Since the hoses were old I replaced them with standard fuel injection hose and new clamps with no further trouble.

Good luck.

Joe

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post #11 of 32 Old Dec 9th, 2009, 9:49 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by EncoreJoe
Mine was leaking from the end of the hose where it clamps onto the 90 degree tubing outlet from the tank fitting.

Since the hoses were old I replaced them with standard fuel injection hose and new clamps with no further trouble.

Good luck.

Joe
1+
Mine was shooting out toward the tupperware between the hose and the copper colored elbow. My fix was to add a second hose clamp to increase the surface area.

BTW does anyone have a cheap price on the tool to remove the big cap... I have use enormous locking pliers but they seem to do more harm than good.
If so thanks.

I know that when I first put it all back together after routing hose to the rear of the bike to put a filter under the seat, I had a leak at the cap but those are usually seen regardless of if the bike is running. If you only have a leak when the bike is running... it's your hoses.

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post #12 of 32 Old Dec 10th, 2009, 5:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by atrovarious
BTW does anyone have a cheap price on the tool to remove the big cap... I have use enormous locking pliers but they seem to do more harm than good.
From my previous life in the plumbing field, I have a 16-inch channel lock pliers. The jaw can handle anything up to about 3-1/2 to 4-inches wide. The cap nut does not show any signs of damage from it. I just think that I did not put enough twist on the cap nut to fully tighten it.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #13 of 32 Old Dec 10th, 2009, 2:19 pm
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Red face Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

To take the big fuel tank cap off you can use:
1. the handle end of pliers and squeezed hard together
2. one of those belt wrenches(used to remove auto oil filters) - usually at discount stores in a packet of two in small and large
I hand tighten back on or use the tools above.

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post #14 of 32 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 3:11 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I was out of town for a couple weeks and when I returned I could smell fuel. Checked and gas was dripping on right side, slow drip. Thought QD and took off side and it is dripping from cap nut. does the gasket ever just go bad? Does the tank have to be completly removed to change fuel filter if I have to go that far?

Greg and Melanie
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post #15 of 32 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 11:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

The gasket should not go bad. For me, it was the third time that I had to tighten the big nut to get it to stop leaking. This week, it was in the low 20's and no leaks. I think that I am set until the next filter change. The last time I changed the filter I did not have this problem. I am wondering if I should have put some type of lubricant on the gasket, but I do not think that it is recommended????
Anyway, try to tighten the nut to see if it stops. I know that Florida has been getting some cold temperatures lately. The cold weather must have something to do with the gasket shrinking.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #16 of 32 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 11:25 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
The gasket should not go bad. For me, it was the third time that I had to tighten the big nut to get it to stop leaking. This week, it was in the low 20's and no leaks. I think that I am set until the next filter change. The last time I changed the filter I did not have this problem. I am wondering if I should have put some type of lubricant on the gasket, but I do not think that it is recommended????
Anyway, try to tighten the nut to see if it stops. I know that Florida has been getting some cold temperatures lately. The cold weather must have something to do with the gasket shrinking.
You are right - no lube on the gasket. The gasket is between the pump plate and the tank and should be clean and dry. I always add a small bit of lube to the other side of the pump plate where it contacts the big nut. Makes getting it tight easier and less likely to twist the pump plate.

John
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2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #17 of 32 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 9:36 am
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Wink Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

My money is on the quick disconnects. They have little o-rings that can get cripmed if you don't put them together with vaseline.

Just a thought.

Joe Buttress
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post #18 of 32 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 1:53 pm
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Thumbs down Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Well the QD are not leaking. It was coming from the big nut was dripping. I tightened it slightly last night and still dripping this morning. I took off the tank and took the nut off and fuel pump out and NO o-ring on the nut. The last service was a 24,000 mile one at BMW of Ft. Myers. I had it done at 50,000 miles. As far as I can see they owe me a gasket!!!

Greg and Melanie
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post #19 of 32 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 3:46 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I tried a huge pair of channel locks the first time I took the cap off but I was afraid I would chew the plastic up a bit so then it dawned on me to try one of my oil filter wrenches. I just use a regular metal oil filter wrench and it works great.

Dave
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post #20 of 32 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 10:01 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWWANDRR
Well the QD are not leaking. It was coming from the big nut was dripping. I tightened it slightly last night and still dripping this morning. I took off the tank and took the nut off and fuel pump out and NO o-ring on the nut. The last service was a 24,000 mile one at BMW of Ft. Myers. I had it done at 50,000 miles. As far as I can see they owe me a gasket!!!
There is no o-ring between the pump plate and nut. There is a sleeve gasket that inserts into the tank before the pump goes back in. The nut bears directly on the pump plate. The last time I replaced the fuel filter I couldn't get it tight enough to stop dripping. The solution was to pull it all apart and clean and thoroughly dry the gasket. Once I did that a quick snug of the nut and no leaks.

John
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post #21 of 32 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 6:20 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Well, on my bike the leak was caused because of NO sleeve gasket. It was not even there. The last service was done at BMW of Ft. Myers and the fuel filter was replaced. They must have left the gasket off. The bike has been riden in the cold since but this is the first time in the cold and an enclosed area for a couple weeks. The smell of gasoline is what alerted me to the problem. A tray under the bike on the right side confirmed my suspicions.

Greg and Melanie
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post #22 of 32 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 7:49 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I would have thought with no sleeve gasket the fuel would have come pouring out since there is just the metal plate and the ABS tank material. I guess if they tightened it up enough it might hold a little. WOW.

John
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post #23 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2010, 11:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Well after three months of this mystery leak coming and going, I finally took the three hours and removed the tank and replaced the big gasket. I am attaching pictures of some corrosion (is this normal?) on the flange and you will see some white dust on the gasket. I am assuming that this is where the leak was coming from. When putting it back together I did put a small film of grease on the gasket and flange (against everyone's recommendations). I will see if this solves the problem.
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Mike Trevelino
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post #24 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2010, 3:53 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Mike,

My recommendation is gaket to tank - dry. Gasket to flange - dry. Flange to nut - lube. I have had mine leak on install once and this was how I solved it.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #25 of 32 Old Mar 13th, 2010, 6:40 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
Mike,

My recommendation is gaket to tank - dry. Gasket to flange - dry. Flange to nut - lube. I have had mine leak on install once and this was how I solved it.
I'm thinking of using a thin glaze of RTV .....AS my lubricant when I put mine back together... I am also installing the filter outside so it isn't like I will be back inside the tank in the near future......

Ghaison (Jason)
99 K1200RS Silver and Blue (Sold!)
2004 K1200LT FOR SALE!!!
Bluefield, VA
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post #26 of 32 Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 5:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

The leak is still there! It seems to be the worst on Monday mornings (my bike must have the Monday morning blues!). This past Monday I looked down at my boot and saw gas dripping on it. This is the first time that I have seen the gas dripping. Only thing is, by the time I get to work or for the rest of the week, it does not leak (something to do with heat from the motor and expansion???). Since I do NOT have the quick disconnects, I finally broke down and ordered them from Beemer Boneyard and will install them on Saturday. I am thinking that it must be the fuel return line since that may not have the full pump pressure on it. If it was the large filter housing flange gasket, I would think that it would have dripped before I started it on Monday morning (just a thought). If this does not work????

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #27 of 32 Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 7:48 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

When I had my leak that always disappeared by the time I got to work, I pulled the tupperware and let it sit overnight. I got up early and cranked the bike and I could see the leak before it warmed up and quit. I tightened the clamp and that was the end of it. You might have to do the same. JMHO................

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post #28 of 32 Old Apr 23rd, 2010, 10:19 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by atrovarious
I'm thinking of using a thin glaze of RTV ....
Be careful that it does not contact the fuel - which dissolves RTV. No seal, plus small bits of the stuff in your fuel.

I am painfully aware of this. Getting stuck on Brooklyn-Queens Expwy in the middle of a winter night, then being pushed down to Cadman Plaza where I spent a few hours in cold and dark, attempting an unsuccessful repair under the street light, was an experience I vividly remember, even almost 30 years since. I had a piece-of-shit Beetle then and that night I found that some genius used an rtv sealant in lieu of carburator gaskets.

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #29 of 32 Old Apr 24th, 2010, 8:20 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
Be careful that it does not contact the fuel - which dissolves RTV. No seal, plus small bits of the stuff in your fuel.

I am painfully aware of this. Getting stuck on Brooklyn-Queens Expwy in the middle of a winter night, then being pushed down to Cadman Plaza where I spent a few hours in cold and dark, attempting an unsuccessful repair under the street light, was an experience I vividly remember, even almost 30 years since. I had a piece-of-shit Beetle then and that night I found that some genius used an rtv sealant in lieu of carburator gaskets.
I used Versa Chem Mega Black.... and I cranked that sucker down tight. I used a fine bead on the outside of the lip of the rubber gasket where it seats against the inside and top edge of the tank rim and another on the inside of the big plastic nut where it rest on and around the metal fuel pump plate assembly. Very unlikely to come in contact with much fuel but it is sealed and I have no leak.... though I did with grease. I would highly recommend this method.

Ghaison (Jason)
99 K1200RS Silver and Blue (Sold!)
2004 K1200LT FOR SALE!!!
Bluefield, VA
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post #30 of 32 Old Apr 24th, 2010, 8:41 pm
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
The leak is still there! It seems to be the worst on Monday mornings (my bike must have the Monday morning blues!). This past Monday I looked down at my boot and saw gas dripping on it. This is the first time that I have seen the gas dripping. Only thing is, by the time I get to work or for the rest of the week, it does not leak (something to do with heat from the motor and expansion???). Since I do NOT have the quick disconnects, I finally broke down and ordered them from Beemer Boneyard and will install them on Saturday. I am thinking that it must be the fuel return line since that may not have the full pump pressure on it. If it was the large filter housing flange gasket, I would think that it would have dripped before I started it on Monday morning (just a thought). If this does not work????
it may be time to do a pressure test on the fuel tank and system around the area of the gas dripping. Use air or nitrogen.

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post #31 of 32 Old Apr 24th, 2010, 10:00 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Williamsburg, VA, USA
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

I think I got it, I think I got it! After changing my tires, I took off the right side panel and started the bike and moved the fuel hoses, one hose did leak. It did not leak when I did this a few months ago. Of course it was the inside hose that was leaking. Not wanting to pull the left side panel off, and lifting or removing the fuel tank, it was a real pain to get the factory hose clamp and coupling off, and probably took more time than stripping the bike. I installed the beemer boneyard quick disconnects, pricey, but are really a nice set of disconnects. On the hose that was leaking, the hose clamp was tight, so I am thinking that the plastic coupling was cracked. At least that is my story. So, hopefully, I did not damage the inside hose while pulling off the coupling. Only time will tell! Thanks everyone for your suggestions and replies to this thread.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #32 of 32 Old Apr 25th, 2010, 11:42 am
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Re: Mystery Fuel Leak

Those cheap plastic couplings break...mine did even though I never touched them...they just fail. One test is to remove the tupperware and fire up the engine to pressurize the line....then watch for gasoline shooting out...be careful and stand clear (smoking not recommended!); mine was shooting out about six feet.

Reido
K1600GTL...Blue Metallic
USMC 1971-1975
Ham Radio Call: W0FVR
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