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Old 03-21-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
FatChance OP
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Help! Removing the airbox to fix a broken fuel distributor on 1150GS

Help! I have been doing some spring maintenance on my '00 1150GS with 33K miles recently. After our snow started melting, I found that my 4 year old battery was shot, so I removed the tank to check if I needed anything else and ordered a new battery, alternator belt and front Tourance two weeks ago. I got everything delivered and put together this morning.



But just before putting the tank back on, I noticed this:



The high pressure fuel distribution line to the left fuel injector was broken off the plastic nozzle holder. I don't have any idea when it happened. It could have been sometime over the winter or maybe when I took the tank off two weeks ago? At any rate, I had never noticed how fragile that damn piece of plastic is. So, after looking into fixing it, I have a couple questions because I'm sure this has happened to others.

First, is there any possible way to splice a new fuel line together if I got another fuel injection nozzle holder with a good piece of hose still attached? If I were stuck in the middle of nowhere, I would probably try to insert a small metal tube in the hose and JB Weld it back together, but I know that is not a great way to fix a high pressure fuel line, but worth asking.

Otherwise, to do it properly, the right way, I have to replace the whole fuel distribution line system going to both sides from in front of the airbox. But, that means removing the air box. My manual says it is easy, just remove the transmission! But in looking at the bike, I am wondering if it is possible to just rotate the subframe up and away from the bike to remove the air box and access the fuel distribution system?

So, let me know if I have this right. If I remove the two transmission mount bolts at the top of the footpeg bracket here:



And then remove the engine mounting bolts holding on my crash bars to the subframe and engine, just behind the throttle cable in this picture and loosen up the nuts on the upper engine mount that also attaches to the subframe via a bracket just above it here:



Could I them, basically (after disconnecting the muffler, upper shock mount, etc), just rotate the entire rear subframe with damn near everything still attached to it to remove the air box? Is this the best way to remove the airbox?

I would rather not remove the transmission. The bike has 33K miles on it and it has no symptoms of bad clutch splines and the clutch seems fine. I just serviced the drive pivot bushings. Everything in the final drive seems to be working great, so I don't believe it is necessary to open some new cans of worms doing preventative maintenance. So, if I can just get the airbox out by rotating up the subframe to fix this, I would be (relatively) happy.

Is it worth looking for a used fuel distribution line system or just buy a new one? I assume I can re-use the associated fuel regulator that attaches to the distribution lines?

If any of you have had any relevant experience fixing this problem or getting the airbox out of an 1150GS and could offer some advice, I would appreciate it.
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Old 03-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #2
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It looks to me like there is a "barbed" fitting inside that hose that your finger is holding. If that is the case, then can't you just take out the broken barbed fitting from the hose and replace ONLY the piece from which the barb broke off? That broken piece would be the black plastic piece that is bolted to the bike and attaches to the gray plastic piece. Maybe you don't have to replace any of the fuel lines.

Or am I just seeing things wrong in the picture?

HEY! Which finger is that anyway?

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Old 03-21-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
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I just looked at my bike. That hose your finger is holding is pretty stiff plastic, but I still think that it's nothing more than a barbed fitting that is broken.

You can probably rig up a bent wire to slip inside the broken barb; and put a small hook in the end of the wire to catch the lip of the barb. Or better yet, you can probably thread a small screw into the broken barb to help pull it out.

I'd apply a little heat from a hot-air gun during the process and try to work the broken barb out of the hose.

Be mindful of all the gasoline lying around.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:01 PM   #4
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I have done exactly what you've done. I think it's best to replace the fuel distribution thingy. You don't want your fix to fail later.
You don't need to remove the transmission. You can just rotate the subframe up like you said. Remove the two bolts that are holding the HB bars on and losen the through bolt. Leave the bike on the center stand. Once you get everything lose and rotate the subframe up you can hold it up there using a tie down from the luggage rack to the handle bars.
Don't worry. It looks like a bigger job than it is.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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Looks something like this..................
Drink is optional


If you do try to splice the way to do it would be to have a used unit and cut the tube upstream and splice with a piece of high pressure hose and fuel injection clamps. How long the fix would last time would tell but if stranded away from home I'm sure it would get you back. As mike54 says you don't want your fix to fail later.
Remember the fuel pressure is 40 PSI and if the fix lets go you will be spraying raw fuel on the engine & exhaust.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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Yeah. The hose is a stiff plastic, but it apparently has a steel mesh lining (sort of like a brake line) and looks like it has a heat shrink connection to the barbed fitting, so the broken off barb could not be removed. That doesn't seem to be an option, even if I could just buy a new holder with the barbed fitting, which I don't think I can. Plus, since there is still some gas (or gas fumes) in it all the way up to the fuel pressure regulator (still full of gas), I would be afraid of a potential spark hacksawing the fuel line, possibly igniting the gas fumes in the lines. If it did ignite up the fuel line, the fuel pressure regulator is so hidden, it could be a disaster. Then, even if I could insert a barbed metal tube splice into the line (assuming I could get another nozzle holder with some of the line still attached, I don't know if I could get it properly clamped considering how stiff the line is. Putting a clamped high pressure line over the plastic line just doesn't seem like a good long term solution. If it leaked and sprayed out high pressure gas onto the exhaust, it could ruin my day.



I am thinking that doing it the right way is probably the right way to fix this, and it looks like it would not be too big of a job to lift the subframe to remove the airbox to get to the whole fuel distribution system. I know others might have spliced a line, but it would probably be best to have a more permanent fix. Possible gas fires scare me and I don't want to have to worry about this again...

If I lift the subframe, do I need to have other support under the transmission beyond the 4 bolts on the bottom of the footpeg bracket holding the transmission up? In the one picture, it shows the cat removed with blocks under the transmission and final drive. Shouldn't the 4 bolts and rear wheel on the ground be enough to sufficiently support the transmission? I could fit a block under the rear shock lower mount as added insurance.

If someone wants to produce an aftermarket gee-gaw, some sort of metal loop covering the place where it broke might be a good seller! It could be attached by the two small screws holding on the nozzle holder and just loop over that vulnerable place...

Any further comments or suggestions would still be very appreciated! Thanks for the great feedback!
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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You don't need extra support. The rear wheel will support the trans and swing arm. However you may want to remove the rear wheel for access. you're going to have to disconnect the muffler and the rear shock. Just the top of the shock really. The center stand will support every thing but you want to make sure you have it tied to the front wheel. So if you do decide to remove the rear wheel you'll have to support the swing arm when you remove the shock mount.
Be careful of the hard brake lines that go to the rear master cylinder. You shouldn't need to disconnect them but you're going to want to watch that they don't bind as you lift the rear subframe.
Think of this as practice for when you get to do a clutch job on the bike.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance
But just before putting the tank back on, I noticed this:

Good thing it happened at home and not in the middle of nowhere on a RTW tour. Makes you wonder how RTW these bikes are.

I'd sooner see steel tubing with compression screw fittings at the end.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:30 AM   #9
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If you find you need the whole distribution unit I've got a brand new one sitting here I'm not using. Let me know and I'll give you a good price.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Alexander
If you find you need the whole distribution unit I've got a brand new one sitting here I'm not using. Let me know and I'll give you a good price.
PM sent.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Rider
Good thing it happened at home and not in the middle of nowhere on a RTW tour. Makes you wonder how RTW these bikes are.

I'd sooner see steel tubing with compression screw fittings at the end.
Agreed! I think the best would be standard flexible stainless covered fuel lines with compression fittings. I had not idea that part was so fragile and in such a vulnerable position.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:22 AM   #12
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Here is an update. After breakfast today, I went out to my shop and got to it. It ended up taking less than an hour to get the subframe pivoted up so I could remove the air box and fuel distribution system. As Mike54 said, it is easier than I thought it would be. There wasn't much more than taking out the 4 bolts holding on the subframe, loosening the nuts on the threaded rod holding the subframe to the engine, taking off the muffler-to-frame mounting bolts, taking off the upper shock mounting bolt, and taking off a couple cable ties, airbox mounting screws and so on, and it lifted right up. If I had to do it again, it would probably take half as much time. Here is what it looks like:





And, here is the airbox and the object of my attention:



And finally, here is what a fuel distribution system actually looks like, in case you never get the opportunity to get in there an look at it:



Thanks for all the advice and comments! ADVRider is a great resource!

Dan - I sent you a PM about the fuel distribution system you mentioned. I am very interested in taking you up on your offer.
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FatChance screwed with this post 03-22-2009 at 11:27 AM
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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PM returned.

That's a really good way to get in there. I was dreading unbolting a ton of stuff to get it done. Good thing I didn't have to.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance


Be careful how far you lift the subframe, You can kink the throttle cables.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemiiten
Be careful how far you lift the subframe, You can kink the throttle cables.
I was worried about that, but it only pulled them out from the stops about 1/4", so they don't have any issues. No problems!
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