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Old 05-21-2007, 05:59 AM   #1
Xfool OP
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Fuel Slosh, five gallon tank

Just put a 5 gallon tank on my bike and took it for a ride. Here in LA that means a 60 mile road ride to reach the trails. Hit the trails about a gallon and a half down and after a half hour of riding I was thinking Geez my hands are tired, whats up with that?.

So… while rolling along an easy section of fire road it was pretty obvious. Fuel slosh. The bike was wallowing back and forth and to keep a line I was continuously fighting the slosh with a death grip on the bars. The bike was only wander a wheel width, but still, skipping along the edge of a rut or hold a line down a single track trail forced a death grip and that was burning out my hands.

Googled on fuel slosh and found this, WeaponMX.

I figured I would need to talk them in to making foam for a TE610 but it turns out that for 5 gallon tanks they just use rectangular chunks of foam (3x4x6"). You stuff the foam in there until the tank is full. Simple.

I don’t want to be foisting the latest fashion farkle on the AdvRider community, but here –home of the 5 gallon tank – I wanted to share. This stuff works and for large tanks it makes a difference. The bike handles better in sand, on single track, on fire roads, in ruts and rocks or anywhere else you need to hold a precise line. That’s pretty much everywhere. I was shocked by how much more planted the bike felt. I was hoping to just get rid of the death grip, the g-zero foam does way more than that. Outside of a new front tire I don’t think $50 will buy a better handling improvement in your bike.

Anybody else using this stuff?
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:51 AM   #2
Big Doug
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Looks, cool, however I probably wouldn't want to have that thing stuck in my tank for longer than one season at the absolute max, as foam tends to break down. Gasoline has that effect on things LOL.

Remember, this is something that MX pro racers are using...they have a top-end teardown after most races. They can afford to replace a tank after every race if need be. For us mere mortals, who knows what dissolved foam in the fuel will do to your top end/carb/piston/rings ?

Also, even if you could somehow safely remove and replace the foams without blowing yourself up as a yearly maintenence item, are you cool with properly disposing of the hazardous waste you've created, let alone the obvious problems you will create for the bike wrecking yard at the end of the bike's life ?

Big Doug screwed with this post 05-21-2007 at 06:58 AM
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:58 AM   #3
El Hombre
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That sure looks like the $2 chunk of foam at the local foam shop. I wish I was bright enough to think of thing's like that. Then I could afford a KTM.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:52 AM   #4
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I have thought about that stuff for my 640. 7.5 gallons of gas is a lot to slosh around. That foam is made for gas. They use it in airplanes and race cars. I think if they use it in planes it is pretty safe to use for years and years in a gas tank. It is pricey though. But it is cheaper than most upgrades by a longshot. I might have to give it a shot. I just don't like loosing any volume at all. I guess that is the compromise. Getting it out of the tank would totally suck too.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:30 AM   #5
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The important thing is to get the right foam, not something from your local Wallymart to stuff a pillow with , any speed shop can get it for you, & most race shops I've talked to recomend changing it at the end of every season, it's not that expensive for the amount you will need on a bike tank.

Edit: it just occured to me the last time I talked to a speedshop about the foam was in 94 when I was building my jeep, I'm sure todays fuel cell foam is better than what was available back then & may not need seasonal changes
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Ruffus screwed with this post 05-22-2007 at 04:07 PM
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:49 PM   #6
rockchucker22
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I would be willing to try it. The slosh effect does alot on the tight and twisties.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:01 PM   #7
adaycj
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It would seem that you could easily remove it though the same hole you stuffed it in. Yearly maintenance of this type is really no different than fork oil or valve checks. The stuff should be no more "hazardous waste" than dirty engine oil. Wring it out and use the old gas in your lawn mower or cage. Then let it sit around until it doesn't stink and throw it away. If you can't let it evaporate then jam it in your 5 gal can in the garage and someday Yucca mountain will open.

Any more than this? Will it really hold up a year? Can modern gas break it down? If gas tanks can be made of plastic, I see no reason that foam cannot be made of the same type of plastic. Might be a solution for more than just adventure tankers.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:58 AM   #8
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It's absolutely hazardous waste.

Here's a good example of practices that commercial shops must follow. Of course the same practices, laws, etc. probably don't apply to you or I in our garages, more through inability to enforce them, but I think we should all be aware of the damage to the environment that can be done for the sake of riding convenience and govern ourselves accordingly. Gasoline is not meant to go into landfills, period.

Quote:
Rags and Absorbents
These are materials used for general maintenance and spill clean up. Rags may be used to wipe down parts, etc. Sorbent boom and pads are used for collecting oil from spill events. If you handle materials that become classified as hazardous wastes with rags then this combination of things will also require handling as a hazardous waste. Prevent hazardous waste from accumulating by minimizing the volume that is generated, and by segregating your wastes. Better still, don’t use unnecessary chemicals and processes that create hazardous waste to begin with. This is pollution prevention and it saves your business money too.
Painted floors for quick squeegee clean up, as well as pans, or other containment devices can reduce the need for using sorbent materials like speedy dry and other supplies. Of course, these sorbent materials require handy storage for quick use and require proper disposal after use. Everyone will appreciate an easy-to-clean floor surface.

�� Are rags (or wipes) that have been used for cleaning laundered for reuse or properly disposed of as a solid waste? (Note: These cleaning rags must be essentially dry with no free flowing or dripping liquids and have flashpoint less than 140 degrees F.) Don’t launder rags if the wastewater goes to a septic system.

�� Rags, sorbents, pads, used to clean up spills of hazardous waste are considered “residues” and require handling as hazardous waste (in accordance with Maine’s Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.)

�� Use drip pans when removing fluids to keep the generation of sorbents (rags, pads, speedy dry, etc.) to a minimum.

�� Consider coating your floor surface for easy clean up of fluids. Using squeegee or other similar implements can easily capture any spilled materials with minimal spread of liquids and use of sorbents.

�� In the case of an oil spill, petroleum-contaminated sorbents (rags, pads, speedy dry materials, etc.) require handling as a ‘special waste’ and disposal at a properly licensed facility. Contact the DEP Spill response phone number 1-800-482-0777 to properly report the spill and receive guidance on handling the volume and type of waste.
http://www.maine.gov/dep/oia/sbta/sbguide4.pdf
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:28 AM   #9
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I don't sell this stuff.

I am not selling this stuff so my patience in defending it is pretty limited but here goes:

You guys are thinking of this stuff as is it was a sponge. It’s not. It is more like wire mesh. I pulled a chunk out while installing it to cut a hole for the petcock tube. After pulling it out it barely had enough gas on it to wet a paper towel –OK it was a heavy shop towel- but still the stuff doesn’t absorb gas. The gas only wets the surface.

New w/o foam my tank held 5.2 gallons. After 500 miles of riding and the foam installed it now holds 5.4 gallons. Go figure.

It is made of plastic, so is my tank. I expect both to last way more than one year and at least as long as that black styrofoam thingy in the carb float bowl. If it doesn’t I am going to rely on my fuel filter instead of rebuilding the top end.

BTW: It is good to see a few environmentally conscionable garage mechanics.

Xfool screwed with this post 05-22-2007 at 07:18 AM
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:45 AM   #10
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The material your are talking about is widely used in the aircraft industry and F1 racing cars to limit fuel flash explosion during crash. It has the added advantage of limiting (eliminating) slosh as well. It is a MIL spec product and not a cheap foam you get at Wal Mart or even hardware stores. It is a bit pricey and shouldn't NOT be compressed under any circumstance. So you can NOT "stuff it" in your tank. But, you do NOT have to fill up your tank with it if you are only looking for slosh control (tank slap?). The space it takes is very minimal (sorry I don't have the specs at my desk), in the 3 to 5% range.
The only down side is if your fuel is polluted (i.e. water, dirt,...) it won't collect or deposit at the bottom of your tank anymore. It means you need a certain maintenance by removing and changing (washing is a no go) the material.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:19 AM   #11
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"shouldn't NOT be compressed under any circumstance"

What does that mean?

Xfool screwed with this post 05-22-2007 at 08:25 AM
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:03 AM   #12
Ruffus
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I think the race shops recomend yearly changes because of the race fuel mixtures that are used in competitive racing, as for not compressing it, you don't want to jamb as much tank foam as you possibley can, your ideal would be that each piece of sponge stays the same shape as it would sitting on your kitchen table ( I know impossible) as opposed to compressing a 5 inch square into a 2 inch space
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:55 AM   #13
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Laugh Great post !

I've often wondered why all bikes don't use this ,flicking side to side and trundeling around on the trail . I have always tried extra fuel tanks on my 950 (poor fuel mpg WOT) . and when full they always feel like someone grabing your rear rack and shaking back and forth , 'till you empty them.
This winter we mounted a perminent aux. tank and I filled it with two chunks of fuel cell foam . Gone was the weeble wobble effact . I'm trying it next on my Acerbis 6.3 on my XR650R . Will keep you posted !
K.B.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:14 AM   #14
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If it is the same type foam as is used in aircraft, then there should be no deterioration for at least 10 years.
I (Navy Reserve) schedule foam installs for my C-130s and long range planning is to replace the foam after 120 months. Jets/Turboprops use JP-8 for fuel which is just Diesel with additives so the gasoline may be more aggressive on the foam. It should still last 5+ years.
BTW it costs U$350,000 to install the foam in one C-130. Hopefully you don't have to pay .mil rates for your tanks else it would be the most expensive part of the bike.

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Old 05-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #15
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wow. foam in a gas tank never ocurred to me.

I'd try it as long as it had VERY long life. I'd think pulling it out (especially if it's decomposing) would be a bummer.
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