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Old 03-01-2013, 09:57 PM   #1
The Other JC OP
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Petrol tank woes

so BMW in their wisdom put out a service fix for the nut that holds the rubber bush on that the petrol tank slides onto to be thread locked.

I winced when he told me it had been done after taking my bike in for a new front tire a couple of months ago, as I have never had issue with this bolt, and have removed and done it up myself quite a few times without issue. I did not have a good feeling about it.

Today, fixing the petrol leak issue, I am paying the price of their service fix.

The nut would not come off the stud end, but the thread it is stuck to is turning on the other end, so I cannot get the nut and washer off. To get the petrol tank back on, in my experience, it is necessary to remove the large metal washer as it does not allow the tank to be pushed forward enough for the lower screw hole to line up for the bolt to be put in. The washer can then be put back in place and pushed on with the nut winding in.

Having backward pressure on the tank while trying to get the main bolt started in its thread, churns the start of the threads. If it stuffs up the frame thread, you are big time stuffed, and it looks like that is starting to happen.

With no other option I have ground the side of the washer down to allow the petrol tank enough forward movement to be able to line the holes up to insert the main bolt.

of course, its never simple. Taking the breathing pipe off for the third time today the white plastic breathing tube snapped off at the base....

I am spewing. Very pissed off with this. With the day going from bad to worse I packed everything up to tackle another day.

My warning to you is do not let them thread lock this nut. Unless you have had not issues with getting the tank holding bolts back in without removing the front washer first.

The ground washer to allow forward movement for the tank

The offending hole that is all but impossible to line up without washer removal

The offending bolt in a previous operation, prior to 'service fix' going in nicely with front washer removed

Now broken breather pipe!

If anyone has any suggestions for this GS Adventure issue, please let me know.
How do you Adventure guys get the tank back on and the lower bolt in ?

The Other JC screwed with this post 03-02-2013 at 01:20 AM Reason: errors
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:23 AM   #2
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JC - Sorry to read about the issues you've encountered. Maybe I'm lucky, but I've never had any trouble with the rubber bushing that the tank's front slots slide on and off of (your first picture), and wonder why exactly the dealer applied lock-tite to those threads? Is that supposed to be a recall or something? I've never had any reason to mess with those nuts.

I've just had my '07 GSA's tank off and back on again for some winter maintenance in my workshop and the bushings and the mount bolts (your third picture) on both sides all still worked fine. Cross-threading those bolts is always a distinct possibility, so I always take my time to line up them up before I start wrenching them in. I just slide the tank forward back onto the bushing on each side, then maneuver the tank up/down/forward/aft as necessary to line up the bolt hole on each side and then get both bolts started before tightening either of them.

If you've had trouble getting the hole alignment before due to the washers at the bushing, your grinding on the washers to make more clearance should do the trick.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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My nut doesn't come off either but being my first GS, I figured that was normal.
I've had the tank of twice recently and didn't have any issues getting it back on.

sorry about your troubles... maybe something is slightly out of alignment?
2007 BMW GS Adventure / 2000 Ducati 900ss / 2010 Harley Ultra Limited / 1975 BMW R90/6 / 2006 DRZ400S
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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Thanks gents.

Interesting answers. Wonder if my frame was sat on the jig properly when they started welding

Apparently the nuts were coming loose occasionally, so a service call went out to lock'em!. Obviously the bean counters were worried enough. Though the tank would not go anywhere if there were no nuts on there.

This bike was immaculate when I bought her with 18,000Klm on the clock, I have only dropped her on the side 3 times while standing still.

You can see here the issue I am up against. Photo showing alignment when hard up against the washer, the thread hole just peaking out in the bottom left.
I also looked to see the washer eating into the tank plastic due to pressure...same both sides.

Perhaps the Universe is trying to warn me...

The Other JC screwed with this post 03-02-2013 at 04:29 PM Reason: more info
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Tthe deed is done

After another small battle today, with a bit more grinding, I got the tank bank on.
I was very concerned about the left side bolt, the thread is not in great shape and any back pressure would likely cross thread it. Still a drama getting it started. Took about 4 attempts, removing the tank each time to check the thread was still OK when the bolt did not feel like it was getting started properly.

Here is a photo of the washers now ground down, with the fuel take in place.

Also; fortunately the breather pipe nozzel that broke has a metal insert, so a bit of superglue at the base of the plastic nozzel saw it back in place OK. No doubt it will break again next time I remove the breather pipe.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #6
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Being really curious now about my bike, I looked again at the clearance between the washers and my tank at the mounting slots. Very little clearance between them (maybe .020"), but just enough to allow maneuvering of the tank and installation of the mount bolts. Seeing how much you've had to grind from your washers maybe there was indeed some misalignment at the factory when everything was first fitted up.

Looks like you're back in business and glad you were able to fix the breather pipe.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:43 AM   #7
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I noticed that the LH side washer made contact on my '06 Adventure. I simply removed the washer to prevent it from wearing a hole in the tank.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:48 AM   #8
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My tank has the same problem...a real fight to get it back on. Could be similar to the Ducati problem with ethanol causing the plastic tanks to expand.

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Old 03-03-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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The problem isn't a misaligned frame, but a tank that has gone out of shape when it is off the bike. I have seen this a few times. It most often happens when the tank us full of gas and off the bike for several days.

Generally it can be forced back into position with all parts intact. I can see how it could be impossible to use the big washers. I would use a smaller one rather than just removing it or grinding off part of the old one.

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Old 03-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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Run it down very low on gas before you remove the tank or drain the gas as an alternative. Empty, the tank ought to be fine.
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