Shrinking gas tank??? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Jul 29th, 2010, 5:27 pm Thread Starter
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Shrinking gas tank???

I noticed recently that every time I try to fill up, I can put less gas than I used to. My last fillup was about 5 gallons - up to the brim, when the tank was almost empty.
After filling up, the fuel gauge shows only about 3/4 full even though I can't put anymore gas in it.
Bike runs fine, no problems with starting, idling and on highway is perfectly smooth.
I thought that perhaps the charcoal canister got plugged in and my tank is collapsing, but I don't see any side effects of plugged canister.
Anyone experienced anything like this?

BJ
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post #2 of 22 Old Jul 29th, 2010, 5:33 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Based on what you said you have a faulty fuel sending tube. If you fill it on the side stand all the way up and it shows only 3/4 tank, the float is stuck.

John
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post #3 of 22 Old Jul 29th, 2010, 5:53 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

When you remove the gas cap do you hear a sucking / swishing sound? If so then the canister is plugged causing the tank to collapse on the filler / float tube. Removing the canister will stop it from happening again. Also you will need to fix the float tube.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #4 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 10:29 am Thread Starter
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
When you remove the gas cap do you hear a sucking / swishing sound? If so then the canister is plugged causing the tank to collapse on the filler / float tube. Removing the canister will stop it from happening again. Also you will need to fix the float tube.
I didn't notice any hissing sound when removing gas cam, but it could be because I didn't really pay attention to it. Next time I will listen carefully.

Now, if it looks like the canister is plugged in, I will have to perform the canisteroctomy - I think someone has described it well in this forum. Them, if the tank has partially collapsed, can it be bushed back with air pressure?

Also, what is the float tube, what brakes in it and how to fix it - do I need to get a new one?

Thanks in advance
BJ

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post #5 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 10:45 am Thread Starter
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
Based on what you said you have a faulty fuel sending tube. If you fill it on the side stand all the way up and it shows only 3/4 tank, the float is stuck.
Thanks for advise,
What is sending tube? Is it some kind of float sensor or a tube that is connected to float sensor.
If that was a float sensor showing only 3/4 tank full even if it was 100% full, why can I only put less than 5 gallons if the tank is almost empty - trip meter showing 20 miles until empty.

What's interesting, I noticed a while ago that sometimes after refuelling, my fuel gauge did not show full tank right away - it was changing slow and it took several minutes to show the tank full. So, for the first few miles after refuelling, I was driving with the fuel red light ON and then the fuel gauge was creeping up slowly. It didn't happen every time, only once in a while. But then, I was able to put around 6 gallons in almost empty tank. Now I can put a little over 4 and the fuel gauge does not delay as before.


BJ

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post #6 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 11:49 am
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

What is sending tube? Is it some kind of float sensor or a tube that is connected to float sensor.
If that was a float sensor showing only 3/4 tank full even if it was 100% full, why can I only put less than 5 gallons if the tank is almost empty - trip meter showing 20 miles until empty.

What's interesting, I noticed a while ago that sometimes after refuelling, my fuel gauge did not show full tank right away - it was changing slow and it took several minutes to show the tank full. So, for the first few miles after refuelling, I was driving with the fuel red light ON and then the fuel gauge was creeping up slowly. It didn't happen every time, only once in a while. But then, I was able to put around 6 gallons in almost empty tank. Now I can put a little over 4 and the fuel gauge does not delay as before.


Those are classic symptoms of a sending unit on the way out... you may indeed have other issues as well, only a good inspection will tell you exactly what's happening. While I've never had to replace mine there is a good chance that the unit - or the guts to rebuild it - can be purchased outside of your dealer and save some serious $$ since they are asking $150.00.
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post #7 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 12:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
What is sending tube? Is it some kind of float sensor or a tube that is connected to float sensor.
If that was a float sensor showing only 3/4 tank full even if it was 100% full, why can I only put less than 5 gallons if the tank is almost empty - trip meter showing 20 miles until empty.

What's interesting, I noticed a while ago that sometimes after refuelling, my fuel gauge did not show full tank right away - it was changing slow and it took several minutes to show the tank full. So, for the first few miles after refuelling, I was driving with the fuel red light ON and then the fuel gauge was creeping up slowly. It didn't happen every time, only once in a while. But then, I was able to put around 6 gallons in almost empty tank. Now I can put a little over 4 and the fuel gauge does not delay as before.


Those are classic symptoms of a sending unit on the way out... you may indeed have other issues as well, only a good inspection will tell you exactly what's happening. While I've never had to replace mine there is a good chance that the unit - or the guts to rebuild it - can be purchased outside of your dealer and save some serious $$ since they are asking $150.00.
That may be the case.
Just wonder, if that thing is messed up could it show that I'm out of gas too early, even though I may still have something like 2 gallons left?

BJ

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post #8 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 1:03 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
That may be the case.
Just wonder, if that thing is messed up could it show that I'm out of gas too early, even though I may still have something like 2 gallons left?

BJ
Yes.
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post #9 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 1:07 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
That may be the case.
Just wonder, if that thing is messed up could it show that I'm out of gas too early, even though I may still have something like 2 gallons left?

BJ
Yup, I'd think so. Assumption: it's hung up at the half-tank position. Fuel level gets that low and the sensor sez "oh, oh - outta gas". In fact, you still have the bottom half of the tank still unused. You fill up and it doesn't take the full 6.33 gallons cuz there wuz still the amount below the hung up sensor left in the tank.
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post #10 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 3:56 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Yup, I'd think so. Assumption: it's hung up at the half-tank position. Fuel level gets that low and the sensor sez "oh, oh - outta gas". In fact, you still have the bottom half of the tank still unused. You fill up and it doesn't take the full 6.33 gallons cuz there wuz still the amount below the hung up sensor left in the tank.
I think I'll brave it to test it and drive until the engine stops out of gas, then fill it up and see how much it takes.

BJ

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post #11 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 4:20 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
I think I'll brave it to test it and drive until the engine stops out of gas, then fill it up and see how much it takes.

BJ
Just strap a 1 gal gas can to the rear seat and ride ride ride.

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post #12 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 4:32 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Fill up every 220 miles & don't worry about it until you get it fixed.

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post #13 of 22 Old Jul 30th, 2010, 9:00 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
I think I'll brave it to test it and drive until the engine stops out of gas, then fill it up and see how much it takes.

BJ
If you do this, hit the kill switch as soon as it sputters. The fuel pump doesn't do well when there's no fuel being run through it.

Or do as my friend, Dave suggested above. "Tanks", Dave.

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post #14 of 22 Old Jul 31st, 2010, 9:54 am
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
What's interesting, I noticed a while ago that sometimes after refuelling, my fuel gauge did not show full tank right away - it was changing slow and it took several minutes to show the tank full.....BJ
BJ, this happens to mine very often, it is an electrical fluke, creeps up to full in about 1/2 to 1 hour. Used to worry me. Happens more often if I accidentally leave the key on & turn off while filling. (I use the sidestand to kill the engine in first gear)
The indicator never fakes me out on having too much gas though, shows low when low. You do fill while on the SIDE STAND right?
Hopefully your 2007 bike is still under warranty so be sure to report to the dealer before the warranty expires, especially if the problem exited while in warranty.

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post #15 of 22 Old Jul 31st, 2010, 11:27 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

I don't think my 2000 LT fuel gauge has ever show it is totally full. Usually shows 3/4 full right after I fill up, and has ever since I have had her. I never really worried about it to much.
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post #16 of 22 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 12:16 am Thread Starter
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlakin
I don't think my 2000 LT fuel gauge has ever show it is totally full. Usually shows 3/4 full right after I fill up, and has ever since I have had her. I never really worried about it to much.
If this is just a gauge malfunction, I can live with that. But if it is my tank collapsing (because clogged charcoal canister?), then I'm afraid it may get worse.
BJ

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post #17 of 22 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 7:39 am
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

If your canister is clogged the tank can indeed collapse. The side of the tank will crush into the sending unit tube, the float is inside of this tube. The tube is a very light gauge metal and once the tube is dented the float will not slide properly. The tube can easily be straighted once removed from the tank.

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post #18 of 22 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 8:02 am
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Talking Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
I noticed recently that every time I try to fill up, I can put less gas than I used to. My last fillup was about 5 gallons - up to the brim, when the tank was almost empty.
After filling up, the fuel gauge shows only about 3/4 full even though I can't put anymore gas in it.
Bike runs fine, no problems with starting, idling and on highway is perfectly smooth.
I thought that perhaps the charcoal canister got plugged in and my tank is collapsing, but I don't see any side effects of plugged canister.
Anyone experienced anything like this?
My 05 does the same thing. when new, fill ups BC would show 310 to 315 miles to empty. Now a fill up shows 260 to 280. BC goes up and down, some times it get stuck on a number for 30 miles or more then drops. Low fuel light consistently comes on with 40 to 42 miles on the BC with 5.5 to 5.7 to fill tank to very top with bike on side stand. Have not yet run out of fuel, but have filled with 6.2 gal on a couple of occasions.

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post #19 of 22 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 1:48 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJoe
Hopefully your 2007 bike is still under warranty so be sure to report to the dealer before the warranty expires, especially if the problem exited while in warranty.
I think I would start here. If out of warranty then yes try to troubleshoot.

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post #20 of 22 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 5:03 pm
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
If this is just a gauge malfunction, I can live with that. But if it is my tank collapsing (because clogged charcoal canister?), then I'm afraid it may get worse.
BJ
The tank will not keep collapsing and based on your symptoms I think it is just a bad sending unit (tube - float).

John
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #21 of 22 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 10:19 am
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Everyone keeps asking about filling on the side stand. How important is that? Is it just the risk of flowing into the canister? I'm asking because I have a trike and it's impossible to fill in in any position but straight up. I was going to do the canisterectomy some day. Do I need to make that a priority? I've so far been trying to not fill it all of the way (never seen the gauge show full yet).

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post #22 of 22 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 11:11 am
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Re: Shrinking gas tank???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosenhauer
Everyone keeps asking about filling on the side stand. How important is that? Is it just the risk of flowing into the canister? I'm asking because I have a trike and it's impossible to fill in in any position but straight up. I was going to do the canisterectomy some day. Do I need to make that a priority? I've so far been trying to not fill it all of the way (never seen the gauge show full yet).
Not critical in your case but on the side stand you can get a bit more in for those long trips. You can over fill on either stand if not careful.

You just need to carry a block of wood to drive up on with the right rear wheel .

John
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2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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