BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all you old timers, after 235K a bad back I’ve gone back to a RT, BUT my son-in law has acquired a ’03 LT and he needs some help. The bike has sat with out fuel for a sometime. The fuel pump is toast, so he has gotten a pump, before he puts it all back together he want to clean the tank, The tank has a sticky residue seems all over the inside. So the question is what is the best thing to use to clean the inside of the tank? I would also appreciate any additional comments on get the bike back up and running
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
What you've described are known as "heavy ends" of hydrocarbons. After having cleaned dozens of old plastic fuel tanks I would recommend Kerosene - and a couple of handfuls of small nuts and bolts. Shake hard, rinse and repeat several times until the Kerosene that comes out is as clean as it went in. I use a coffee filter to strain the last "dregs" to see if there is any debris. After that another cleaning with the nuts and bolts and Dawn dish washing liquid with hot water - with several rinses - should do the trick. Obviously replace the fuel pump and submersible hoses before putting it back in service. I hope he has deep pockets!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
Hey Bill...good to see you are still riding the RT. :wave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
Hello all you old timers, after 235K a bad back I’ve gone back to a RT, BUT my son-in law has acquired a ’03 LT and he needs some help. The bike has sat with out fuel for a sometime. The fuel pump is toast, so he has gotten a pump, before he puts it all back together he want to clean the tank, The tank has a sticky residue seems all over the inside. So the question is what is the best thing to use to clean the inside of the tank? I would also appreciate any additional comments on get the bike back up and running
I would fill it with 100LL avgas. Let it sit overnight. Drain completely. Put a gallon or two of fresh avgas back in and shake well and drain. Let dry and most likely it will be like new inside. Avgas still contains lead so don't run the LT on it or put it in your on-road vehicles. I would strain any particles from the used avgas and burn it in my lawn equipment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,086 Posts
Mechanic on TV was just talking about getting ignored generators going.He stated that
apple cider vinegar dissolves crud in gas tanks.
3-24 hours.

I do have plenty of '03 spare parts around if you need something

dan m.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
Danger Will Robinson: :wow:

I would strongly disagree with using ANY gasoline to clean a tank since it is extremely volatile and flammable. VERY easy to ignite and quite frankly dangerous to work with. It has such a low flashpoint you're going to be breathing it's vapors while working - even if you're outside in copious fresh air. Kerosene, on the other hand, is a combustible and "relatively" safe to work with as long as you don't drink it. With a flashpoint over 100F it doesn't vaporize easily. It's difficult to ignite a pool spilled on the ground with a match...

It's also a fraction of the cost of AV gas and available at your local hardware store.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
Danger Will Robinson: :wow:

I would strongly disagree with using ANY gasoline to clean a tank since it is extremely volatile and flammable. VERY easy to ignite and quite frankly dangerous to work with. It has such a low flashpoint you're going to be breathing it's vapors while working - even if you're outside in copious fresh air. Kerosene, on the other hand, is a combustible and "relatively" safe to work with as long as you don't drink it. With a flashpoint over 100F it doesn't vaporize easily. It's difficult to ignite a pool spilled on the ground with a match...

It's also a fraction of the cost of AV gas and available at your local hardware store.
No more dangerous than refueling your motorcycle or lawn mower. Sure avgas is flammable. So is brake and carb cleaner available at Walmart.

Kerosene may work, but avgas will work. I've used it and breathed its fumes since getting my license in 1978. No problems yet. And I never wear gloves. :surprise:

Anecdote. I ran car gas in my lawnmower, chain saw, rototiller, etc until E10 become the only choice. One tank of E10 nearly ruined my 1985 Stihl and coated the inside of my translucent 2005 John Deere riding mower tank with a brown film. Switched to avgas a few years ago and things run great again and my mower tank looked like new after three tankfuls. I did change the fuel filter as I could not be sure if that brown film fully dissolved.

Kerosene is a flammable OK solvent that is only slightly volatile. Avgas is a flammable fantastic solvent that is very volatile. Kerosene is much cheaper. Things that work well tend to cost more than things that are less effective. Your choice. Matters not to me what you use.

However, if you are a Darwin Award contender and plan to smoke whike cleaning your tank, please use kerosene! :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
No more dangerous than refueling your motorcycle or lawn mower. Sure avgas is flammable. So is brake and carb cleaner available at Walmart.

Kerosene may work, but avgas will work. I've used it and breathed its fumes since getting my license in 1978. No problems yet. And I never wear gloves. :surprise:

Anecdote. I ran car gas in my lawnmower, chain saw, rototiller, etc until E10 become the only choice. One tank of E10 nearly ruined my 1985 Stihl and coated the inside of my translucent 2005 John Deere riding mower tank with a brown film. Switched to avgas a few years ago and things run great again and my mower tank looked like new after three tankfuls. I did change the fuel filter as I could not be sure if that brown film fully dissolved.

Kerosene is a flammable OK solvent that is only slightly volatile. Avgas is a flammable fantastic solvent that is very volatile. Kerosene is much cheaper. Things that work well tend to cost more than things that are less effective. Your choice. Matters not to me what you use.

However, if you are a Darwin Award contender and plan to smoke whike cleaning your tank, please use kerosene! :grin:
"Kerosene is a flammable". Nope, not under any definition, that's why it's so much safer to work with. It's a combustible - huge difference.

...and here's a demonstration that even Darwin would understand. :nerd:


Hey, they're YOUR eyebrows. :grin:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
"Kerosene is a flammable". Nope, not under any definition, that's why it's so much safer to work with. It's a combustible - huge difference.
How about the OSHA definition for flammable liquid? I refer you to section 1910.106(a)(19) since you clearly aren't familiar with OSHA documents.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9752

Kerosene's 100-150 F flashpoint range is well below 199.4.k

If you don't believe OSHA, how about an oil company that makes kerosene? Take a gander at section 5.
https://www.marathonpetroleum.com/brand/content/documents/mpc/msds/0121MAR019.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
How about the OSHA definition for flammable liquid? I refer you to section 1910.106(a)(19) since you clearly aren't familiar with OSHA documents.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9752

Kerosene's 100-150 F flashpoint range is well below 199.4.k

If you don't believe OSHA, how about an oil company that makes kerosene? Take a gander at section 5.
https://www.marathonpetroleum.com/brand/content/documents/mpc/msds/0121MAR019.pdf
Ya' got me. I wasn't aware that OSHA flammability classifications were changed 2 years ago. I have been updated and educated. :bowdown: I shall never use the words "combustible liquid" again when talking about Kerosene - I shall use "Category 3 flammable liquid." When talking about gasoline I shall use "Category 1 flammable liquid."

Kerosene is now part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). (probably a Communist plot) :lol8:

"Before it was aligned (in 2015) with GHS, 29 CFR 1910.106 gave these definitions for flammable and combustible liquids:

  • A flammable liquid was defined as “Any liquid having a flash point below 100°F (37.8°C)”
  • A combustible liquid was defined as “Any liquid with a flashpoint at or above 100°F (37.8°C), but below 200°F (93.3°C)”
The main effect of the change to the standards is to make the wording slightly more cumbersome. “Category 3” (Kerosene) under GHS encompasses what OSHA previously called “Class IC” and also “Class II,” taking in flammable and combustible liquids with flash points up to 140°F—but the break point for many storage requirements is 100°F. So the standard now has different requirements for “Category 3 flammable liquids with a flashpoint below 100°F (37.8°C),” (flammable liquids that were formerly Class IC) and “Category 3 flammable liquids with a flashpoint at or above 100°F (37.8°C),” (formerly Class II combustible liquids)—but they are the same standards as before, just reworded for consistency with GHS hazard categories."


Leave it up to the Guvmint to make things more complicated than they need to be. :serious:


Semantics aside, the "reclassification" hasn't changed the physical properties, storage requirements or substantial fire or explosion danger using gasoline vs. kerosene as a cleaning agent.

I come from an aviation background, so my method of cleaning follows exactly what the FAA recommends - and more importantly DOESN'T recommend.

Here's what they have to say: (https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/.../aircraft/amt.../FAA-8083-30_Ch06.pdf)

..."Class I (flash point at or below 100 °F) flammable liquids should not be used for aircraft cleaning or refurbishing. Common materials falling into this “class” are acetone, aviation gasoline, methyl ethyl ketone, naphtha, and toluol. In cases where it is absolutely necessary to use a flammable liquid, use high flash point liquids (those having a flash point of 100 °F or more."

AND:

..."Kerosene is used for general solvent cleaning, but its use should be followed by a coating or rinse with some other type of protective agent. Kerosene does not evaporate as rapidly as dry cleaning solvent and generally leaves an appreciable film on cleaned surfaces, which may actually be corrosive. Kerosene films may be removed with safety solvent, water emulsion cleaners, or detergent."

That's why I recommended using a solution of Dawn and hot water as a final rinse. To get rid of ALL the crud also takes mechanical agitation - hence the nuts and bolts. Simply soaking in any solvent is not enough to remove the residual "varnish" - only soften it and lead to contamination problems later when it dislodges and enters the fuel system.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
Ya' got me. I wasn't aware that OSHA flammability classifications were changed 2 years ago. I have been updated and educated. :bowdown: I shall never use the words "combustible liquid" again when talking about Kerosene - I shall use "Category 3 flammable liquid." When talking about gasoline I shall use "Category 1 flammable liquid."

Kerosene is now part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). (probably a Communist plot) :lol8:

"Before it was aligned (in 2015) with GHS, 29 CFR 1910.106 gave these definitions for flammable and combustible liquids:

  • A flammable liquid was defined as “Any liquid having a flash point below 100°F (37.8°C)”
  • A combustible liquid was defined as “Any liquid with a flashpoint at or above 100°F (37.8°C), but below 200°F (93.3°C)”
The main effect of the change to the standards is to make the wording slightly more cumbersome. “Category 3” (Kerosene) under GHS encompasses what OSHA previously called “Class IC” and also “Class II,” taking in flammable and combustible liquids with flash points up to 140°F—but the break point for many storage requirements is 100°F. So the standard now has different requirements for “Category 3 flammable liquids with a flashpoint below 100°F (37.8°C),” (flammable liquids that were formerly Class IC) and “Category 3 flammable liquids with a flashpoint at or above 100°F (37.8°C),” (formerly Class II combustible liquids)—but they are the same standards as before, just reworded for consistency with GHS hazard categories."


Leave it up to the Guvmint to make things more complicated than they need to be. :serious:


Semantics aside, the "reclassification" hasn't changed the physical properties, storage requirements or substantial fire or explosion danger using gasoline vs. kerosene as a cleaning agent.

I come from an aviation background, so my method of cleaning follows exactly what the FAA recommends - and more importantly DOESN'T recommend.

Here's what they have to say: (https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/.../aircraft/amt.../FAA-8083-30_Ch06.pdf)

..."Class I (flash point at or below 100 °F) flammable liquids should not be used for aircraft cleaning or refurbishing. Common materials falling into this “class” are acetone, aviation gasoline, methyl ethyl ketone, naphtha, and toluol. In cases where it is absolutely necessary to use a flammable liquid, use high flash point liquids (those having a flash point of 100 °F or more."

AND:

..."Kerosene is used for general solvent cleaning, but its use should be followed by a coating or rinse with some other type of protective agent. Kerosene does not evaporate as rapidly as dry cleaning solvent and generally leaves an appreciable film on cleaned surfaces, which may actually be corrosive. Kerosene films may be removed with safety solvent, water emulsion cleaners, or detergent."

That's why I recommended using a solution of Dawn and hot water as a final rinse. To get rid of ALL the crud also takes mechanical agitation - hence the nuts and bolts. Simply soaking in any solvent is not enough to remove the residual "varnish" - only soften it and lead to contamination problems later when it dislodges and enters the fuel system.

My background is: raised on a farm where I learned to over tighten fasteners, worked as a logger to pay for my computer science degree, worked 32 years in the engineering and R&D divisions of a Fortune 500 corporation, who paid for my EE degree, and then later got a masters in structural engineering (where I learned to properly tighten fasteners) on my own nickel just for fun. Learned to fly in 1978 while working as a logger.

I ran the analytical chemistry lab at Corning for several years (long story as I am not a chemist) and got fairly familiar with OSHA, EPA, NFPA, NIOSH, DOT, NY DER, etc. Dealt with OSHA, EPA and NY DER the most. The regulations (EPA, OSHA, DOT) often were inconsistent and even in conflict at times with the standards from places like NFPA, but since the latter were not regulatory unless adopted as such, we focused more on the regulatory agencies. And corporate policy was to adopt the most strict of the inconsistent regulations. EPA and NY DER were often different on things like chemical exposure levels, so we had to know both and then write our internal policies using the strictest requirements.

Back to the topic, I use 100LL often for three reasons:
1. My crusty old airport manager, flight instructor and A&P used it all the time.
2. Typically, "lighter" hydrocarbons clean "heavier" ones. So, kerosene cleans oil well, but not so much the other way around. Since the deposits in a gas tank usually come from gas or its additives, it is best to use gasoline or something even more volatile as the solvent. Car gas is full of crap these days so I use the relatively pure avgas. Its main residue is from the dye, but that is minuscule unless you evaporate a lot in one place such as from a leak.
3. It simply works almost all the time. And for things where avgas doesn't work, alcohol usually will.

I am a fan of Dawn and water also. The only downside in a fuel tank is the dry time can be long.

Using volatile, flammable solvents has safety and health risks, but they are well-known risks and easily managed by anyone with half a brain and a modicum of common sense. I generally assume that BMW owners have both.
:grin:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hilton
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top