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Old 09-30-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
hpa_missouri OP
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Technical Fuel Filter Question

It appears to me that physical "fuel filters" are no longer part of newer bikes. I see them on older bikes (my 2001 GS for instance) but not on the newest GS and GSA. I am not a mechanic nor do I work at a bike dealer but I can't find a fuel filter in the newer bikes drawings.

I had to change a fuel filter on my GS in 2009 after using it for less than 12,000 miles. It was so bad that the bike was on the verge of going dead.

Can someone "technical" verify that fuel filters are no longer being used on all bikes as they were in past years and if that is truly the case, explain why they are no longer needed.

I see the sock "strainers" are still in place but the actual fuel filter is no longer there and I see no maintenance requirement for replacing a fuel filter. Is there some new gizmo that negates the need for a fuel filter? Or is the fuel supposed to be so good now that a filter is no longer needed?

If I'm way off base, flame away.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
Nightrunner
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Well the classic in-line filters that are transparent are also just a screen so no better than the sock inside the tank. Some of the in-line filters are housed in metal so can't say what's in there.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #3
chadams
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On the f800gs BMW hides the fuel filter in the tank and does not sell them separately. Instead you need to buy the whole fuel pump assembly, for me I just by passed the in tank filter and ran an external car efi filter, it works great.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:32 AM   #4
JohnG.
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I too replaced my in-tank Aprilia Caponord plastic filter (same as Ducati) with a $10 GM/Ford/Nissan item about four years & 30k mile ago without any dramas.
Warning: be sure to clamp the static earth wire onto the new filter or you may get a tank fire refilling...
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:09 AM   #5
hpa_missouri OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadams View Post
On the f800gs BMW hides the fuel filter in the tank and does not sell them separately. Instead you need to buy the whole fuel pump assembly, for me I just by passed the in tank filter and ran an external car efi filter, it works great.
I see your f800 is an 09. I wonder if the 2011 model has the same arrangement. A friend in CA just sent me an email with some discussion regarding ethanol and fuel filters.

quote:
Water in E-10 fuel is another problem that boaters must deal with. The introduction of water on E-10 fuel can be disastrous. E-10 can hold up to four teaspoons of water in suspension per gallon. Once this saturation point is exceeded, the solution separates and the gas floats on top while the ethanol and water mix on the bottom. This event is called "phase separation". Ethanol fuel can absorb enough water to reach it's phase separation point in just over 3 months at 70% humidity.
While the phase separation slurry in itself can cause problems by clogging fuel systems, the more immediate problem is that the remaining gasoline has now lost it's original octane value which can cause poor running and in some cases engine damage. When phase separation occurs, the fuel should be drained and replaced.
Fuel storage and winterization has to be handled differently when using E-10 fuels. Manufacturers are warning that fuels need to be stabilized if un-used for as little as 2 weeks. Not all stabilizers are known to be E-10 compatible. Non-alcohol based fuel stabilizer additives are a must for ethanol fuel.
unquote:

I'm thinking that with alcohol now in most gas (ethanol) that the clogging problem was getting worse and maybe someone did a study and decided it would be easier to get rid of the fuel filter and just leave the fuel "strainer" in the system to decrease the number of these types of problems. ??????
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
BikePilot
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All the FI bikes I've worked on have had a sock filter in the tank as well as a typical enclosed plastic filter in the tank. Haven't messed with a bmw.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
Bill the Bong
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You are right about the 1200 GS not having a separate filter, but it has filter media as part of the fuel pump (some will dispute this, saying it has nothing, but you need to look at expanded schematics of the pump to see it). In order to make the pump last, it has a mode to make the pump run at 70% capacity when full flow is not required. I've heard that a 1200 GS injector is pretty large and that it will pass some stuff (fine sludge, etc) without a problem. I've not seen this and cannot confirm the accuracy of this statement.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
Kawidad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill the Bong View Post
You are right about the 1200 GS not having a separate filter, but it has filter media as part of the fuel pump (some will dispute this, saying it has nothing, but you need to look at expanded schematics of the pump to see it). In order to make the pump last, it has a mode to make the pump run at 70% capacity when full flow is not required. I've heard that a 1200 GS injector is pretty large and that it will pass some stuff (fine sludge, etc) without a problem. I've not seen this and cannot confirm the accuracy of this statement.
I can't say for sure, but BMW use the same new generation Bosch fuel injectors as automobiles and those are all 4 hole (pintels sp?) designs. The 4 small holes allow better atomization of the fuel for a more complete burning and better emissions, so I doubt they would use a single large hole design.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:39 PM   #9
chadams
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The more efi bike micro fiche I check, more I've seen with filter and pump as one item in the tank. Most can be by past once warn out. Given not a lot of bikes see more then 50,000km they shouldn't have any dramas. Those that do greater k's can either by-pass or fit a oem pump/filter setup.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
PachmanP
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Wee has two integrated into the fuel pump. Depending on the year you may or may not be able to swap it without replacing the pump.
Bee has one as well.
I think the modern EFI bikes have them they're just not easy to get at or replace.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:35 AM   #11
RottVet
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Paticulars of outsidethe tank fuel filter

I have a question for those you have "bypassed the fuel filter and pump in the tank". Just exactly how did you do this? I can see what chatdams did, but is it just a filter or a new filter and pump? How did you do the outside plumbing? Would like to do the same on my 09 GS. Just having a hard time wrapping my old head around this concept! Thank your very much for the great idea!
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:07 PM   #12
chadams
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Rottvet, during the next two weeks I'll be stripping it down for a good clean. I'll take the pump out and take some pics of the whole setup.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpa_missouri View Post
I see your f800 is an 09. I wonder if the 2011 model has the same arrangement. A friend in CA just sent me an email with some discussion regarding ethanol and fuel filters.

quote:
Water in E-10 fuel is another problem that boaters must deal with. The introduction of water on E-10 fuel can be disastrous. E-10 can hold up to four teaspoons of water in suspension per gallon. Once this saturation point is exceeded, the solution separates and the gas floats on top while the ethanol and water mix on the bottom. This event is called "phase separation". Ethanol fuel can absorb enough water to reach it's phase separation point in just over 3 months at 70% humidity.
While the phase separation slurry in itself can cause problems by clogging fuel systems, the more immediate problem is that the remaining gasoline has now lost it's original octane value which can cause poor running and in some cases engine damage. When phase separation occurs, the fuel should be drained and replaced.
Fuel storage and winterization has to be handled differently when using E-10 fuels. Manufacturers are warning that fuels need to be stabilized if un-used for as little as 2 weeks. Not all stabilizers are known to be E-10 compatible. Non-alcohol based fuel stabilizer additives are a must for ethanol fuel.
unquote:

I'm thinking that with alcohol now in most gas (ethanol) that the clogging problem was getting worse and maybe someone did a study and decided it would be easier to get rid of the fuel filter and just leave the fuel "strainer" in the system to decrease the number of these types of problems. ??????
HPA:
Do you know from what article this qoute was taken?
I'd like to read the whole thing if I can find it.........

The part about "non-alcohol" stablizers is new to me ... the Seafoam product that many people use is isopropyl alcohol based ... methanol, ethanol, isopropanol... sigh.........

One of our resident experts Joel Wiseman mentioned in another thread that Stabil is NOT recommended for our bikes.
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Old 12-23-2011, 07:54 AM   #14
RottVet
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Thanks to Chadams!

chadams • Yesterday 06:07 PM
Rottvet, during the next two weeks I'll be stripping it down for a good clean. I'll take the pump out and take some pics of the whole setup.


Thanks, Chadams. I really would appreciate that! You have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
señormoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpa_missouri View Post
I see your f800 is an 09. I wonder if the 2011 model has the same arrangement. A friend in CA just sent me an email with some discussion regarding ethanol and fuel filters.

quote:
Water in E-10 fuel is another problem that boaters must deal with. The introduction of water on E-10 fuel can be disastrous. E-10 can hold up to four teaspoons of water in suspension per gallon. Once this saturation point is exceeded, the solution separates and the gas floats on top while the ethanol and water mix on the bottom. This event is called "phase separation". Ethanol fuel can absorb enough water to reach it's phase separation point in just over 3 months at 70% humidity.
While the phase separation slurry in itself can cause problems by clogging fuel systems, the more immediate problem is that the remaining gasoline has now lost it's original octane value which can cause poor running and in some cases engine damage. When phase separation occurs, the fuel should be drained and replaced.
Fuel storage and winterization has to be handled differently when using E-10 fuels. Manufacturers are warning that fuels need to be stabilized if un-used for as little as 2 weeks. Not all stabilizers are known to be E-10 compatible. Non-alcohol based fuel stabilizer additives are a must for ethanol fuel.
unquote:

I'm thinking that with alcohol now in most gas (ethanol) that the clogging problem was getting worse and maybe someone did a study and decided it would be easier to get rid of the fuel filter and just leave the fuel "strainer" in the system to decrease the number of these types of problems. ??????
Hey I have a great idea! Don't store E-10 based gas in your bike for longer than a couple weeks. If you are storing it for the winter it's better to either empty the tank or leave it near empty. We're not dealing with 100+ gallon boat tanks here. I've wintered my bikes for years and year in sub-zero temps and the best solution is to store as little as possible, then refresh with brand new gas in the spring.
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