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Old 12-23-2012, 08:13 PM   #31
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustodust View Post
never once had a problem fitting the tanks
I never had a problem, either. Figgered all those blokes having problems were just not as brilliant as I.
Until my tanks swelled up like a dead pig in the afternoon sun. Then the holes were 13mm off.
Clearly, I was not as brilliant, either. Dangit.

And yes, you other fellas with the bungies and the jacks and the phillips-heads and the the straps and the hair dryers and.. look, you can force it on–I managed to with a jack and a few cheater bars after it shrunk a little–but the force on the tank and the fasteners was extreme. Remember that little tidbit about PA being stronger when saturated? I don't think it would be good in the long run.

Sure, a hair dryer will move drying air through there, but you're gonna have to sit there for a few days. It takes time for water/ethanol to migrate out of the PA6; it can only get out so fast at the temperature and partial pressures we can achieve without damaging the rest of the tank. Manufacturers bake PA parts in an oven for days. I read of processes using temps over 200F for a week before the parts stopped shrinking. And those parts were very much smaller than an LC8 tank.

It took my tanks more than two weeks to regain there shape. It was plenty warm (it was bloody hot) in Central Texas, but the humidity varied drastically, from around 20% to almost 90%. The shape changed most quickly when we finally got a run of days with low humidity. When the left tank got close enough, I hung it on with one bolt and some zip ties and got to ride again! I was brilliant again!

I've been using only top-brand premium, adding a stabilizer, and keeping the tanks topped up in humid weather, and all has been good.

So put'em in a drying environment, be patient, and when they're back, keep the ethanol and moisture away.

Oh, one more thing: it's only recently that the fuel in my area went from 5% to 10% ethanol. Not long after that my tanks grew, so if your fuel changes, you might want to start using the stabilizer before your tanks are affected.

Y'all have fun, now.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #32
MotoTex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malangi View Post
Its happened to me a few times. Easiest way to fit the tanks back in:

1. Suspend off the top bolt.
2. Align to the bottom bolt and put in the bottom bolt a few turns.
3. Put in the top bolt a few turns
4. Now pivot the back side in. You will have to force it in a little. However since its the longest side, you will find it will bend in a lot easier. The bolt hole at the back can also be aligned, since it can be moved back and forth.
5. Tighten all bolts incrementally.

Girish
+1

This is the method I have found works every time.

Once the bottom bolt is started it is easier to compress the tank down into shape with the top bolt.

Rather than trying to align and lift the bottom hole while simultaneously getting a bolt started. Unless you have Masoch's predilection toward experiencing pain and suffering.

Once I have the bottom bolt in, everything else is a cake walk.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:33 PM   #33
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Hydrophobic

By this logic then why not get the tanks hung then fill them with an ethanol free fuel. This should drive the water out and get them back in shape. No?
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:39 PM   #34
Stephen
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Originally Posted by jbrownmxr View Post
By this logic then why not get the tanks hung then fill them with an ethanol free fuel. This should drive the water out and get them back in shape. No?
No.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #35
Dustodust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
I never had a problem, either. Figgered all those blokes having problems were just not as brilliant as I.
Until my tanks swelled up like a dead pig in the afternoon sun. Then the holes were 13mm off.
Clearly, I was not as brilliant, either. Dangit.

Oh, one more thing: it's only recently that the fuel in my area went from 5% to 10% ethanol. Not long after that my tanks grew, so if your fuel changes, you might want to start using the stabilizer before your tanks are affected.

Y'all have fun, now.
Glad to hear this problem is not related to intelligence ! Hope it didnt sound like I suggested it was , didnt mean to .
Here in California we have the nastiest environmentally freindly snake oil gas on the planet .
None of my freinds have had the problem either and havent heard about it from the shops around here either . Maybe I havent been paying attention .
but just wanted to help. Still havent heard back from this OP about the rear speed nut so Ill just assume it was checked first and maybe not answered because of resentment
its like asking "did you hit the kill switch" when the bike turns over but wont start, its sure to insult someone but covers about half the bike wont start threads and you never here back from the OP because they are too embarrassed to admit it

If it happened to me that my tanks swelled I would consider making an aluminum tab to extend out from the bottom front mount before attempting any stretching or drying efforts
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #36
lenny6753 OP
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No offense taken to any of the posts/suggestions. I did check the rear speed nut also. I have tried pretty much every way except the strap method and the silica gel method. Unfortunately I live in the Houston area and it is always humid here. I don't see it changing any time soon so maybe I am wrong but I doubt they will shrink soon. I also do not have a place where they can "dry" that is warm and low humidity.

I had to work this morning so it will be a day or so before I can try to fit the tanks again. The last thing I did was extend the hole on the top plate to see if I can move that speed nut down and forward. I haven't had a chance to see if it will/will not work. I will keep everyone updated. Thanks again.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenny6753 View Post
I've decided to expand the holes on the sides of the top plate(that rides on top of the battery) where the tanks lower bolts screw into the speed nuts(?). I am going to extend it to more of a cylindrical shape than just the round hole that already exists. I decided to do this because the tank has expanded down and forward. I'm crossing my fingers hoping it works.

I have tried top first, back first, bottom first, with jack, without jack, with wife's help, without her help, etc., etc. If this doesn't work I guess I will try the strap thing and basically warp the tanks trying to make them fit. Again, I appreciate everyone's suggestions.
I'm really sorry to hear that. Have you tried a boot dryer as mentioned above? My boot dryer has a long expandable hose and either heat (very mild) or no heat. Not sure where you are, but it is winter, so don't rush the fix if you don't have to. Sending positive thoughts your way this Christmas eve.

edit: d'oh- I now see you're in Houston. What about the desicants with a sealed tank? Shit! I hate to hear of this.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #38
ciedema
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unaweep View Post
Not sure where you are, but it is winter, so don't rush the fix if you don't have to.
Winter? What has that got to with anything
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:42 PM   #39
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I want to add my 0.02 here.

I remember once struggling with these bolts, but it's been some years I do not have this problem any more.
I need to underline that plastic expands and shrinks much more than steel, close to seven times the steel expansion rate for some plastics so winter has some relation to tanks' expansion.
I never empty my tanks, I just put them standing next to the wall, never flat on their side.
The top bolt is the only that is static. The bottom has some 1" play and the rear has some 5" play.
The aluminum plate over the battery could be misaligned, since there is the brown plastic connector coming from the R/R under it, in some bikes. Make sure this is not the reason the aluminum plate is in angle.
Hope this helps.
Cheers.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:48 AM   #40
KTMandu
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Hey Lenny
Live next door to you in Louisiana. As hot and humid, if not more so. I've experienced what you are going through. I've used the floor jack method(which worked but who whats do do that every time you take the damn tanks off?) I've done the "place this bolt here and only tighten two turns, etc" method, which did work to some degree. I've read that one inmate even put his tanks in his freezer! He musta been single! I've never tried that fix.
What I found worked for me has already been discussed. When tanks are off the bike for extended periods of time, I drain both tanks and, leaving the fuel tank caps open, place the tanks, flat on the ground or shelf, with the inside of the tanks facing downward. I do not leave them standing upright. I've placed my tanks in this fashion in my 10' x 12' shed for several weeks(month/month and a half) in the hotter months while working on my 950 in my workshop and the tanks reverted back to the original shape.
What year is your bike? I've heard that KTM has replaced some tanks for some owners. Don't know the circumstances though.
Also, we here in Louisiana are fortunate to be able to buy ethanol free gas. That is all I will put in my bike. But I know it is next to impossible to find in Texas period.
Share your frustration. Been there. It ain't fun. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:38 PM   #41
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I have had the problems discussed above with expanding tanks with the same results to replace them. As to KTM replacing tanks, mine are cracking on the outside through the paint, though not leaking yet, and they say that my 2005 Adv is too old..Thanks KTM, for standing behing your product.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #42
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Wow just getting ready to tear mine down for winter maintance . Glad I read this first . I will probley empty mine and take them in the house. As they will be off for some time ..........
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #43
lenny6753 OP
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I was finally able to fit the tanks back on the bike. I used a dremel tool and extended the hole in the top plate down about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. I still had to keep the top bolt very loose and fitted the back bolt after I had the top and bottom one in place. Someone mentioned the petcocks my strike the top plate. I am keeping an eye on this and it appears the petcocks do not come in contact with the top plate even though the hole is extended. My only concern with doing this so far is that the rubber fuel hose that crosses between the two tanks to the petcocks may have a little more force on them near the petcocks but not much.

I will see how this works for the time being. I may purchase another top plate and replace this one later on down the road when the tanks get back to their appropriate size. Thanks again for everyone's suggestions and help. If I had to do it again I would not leave the tanks off for any extended time period.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #44
ciedema
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From reading this thread - it sounds like it is best to leave the tanks full as they wont absorb water and to stand them up.

I have mine off for extended periods (2 months) and left them standing up, about half full, closed in a very humid environment (Brisbane Qld) without this problem.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #45
HeatXfer
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The stock tanks did this on my '07 990. With the top and rear tank bolts in place, I found the bottom (front) tank bolt holes were 3/8" below & forward of the mounting points on the cast aluminum piece above the battery box (the "top" of the stock skid plate).

I used a floor jack (to lift up) and a 2x4 (to lever the tank back) until the holes lined-up. I could see the tank bow out a bit as I set the bolt.

I've got the process down now, although I wouldn't want to try it on the trail.
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