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Old 03-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
Chickenstrip OP
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Neutralize ethanol-plastic effect?

Hi Folks,

Since there are quite a few bikes (Triumphs, Aprilias, for example) that have plastic tanks that are warped by ethanol gas, I'm wondering if anyone's found a way to neutralize its warping effects, like a gas additive. A quick search didn't reveal anything.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
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Doubt it's possible to neutralize the alcohol mixed in with the gasoline. It may be possible to apply a coating to the inside of the tank that would prevent infiltration of alcohol into the tank plastic. Chemistry of a liner would depend on what the tank material is. The coating's primer would very likely be nasty, toxic, etc.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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I have heard that 1/2 ounce of Stabil Marine per 5 gallons cures this tank swelling issue…. cant say for sure.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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Talked to an Aprilia sales guy in the neighborhood who claimed that there is an additive, but he couldn't be more specific. Maybe it was just 'sales talk.' He said that Aprilia warrantied for tank warpage, which is fine if buying new, but what about buying classics, like the Futura (Not that I ever think of doing that. )
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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There is an article about ethanol and additives in the April issue of Motorcycle Consumer News (U.S.). I haven't had a chance to read it, but they tend to do decent research before publishing.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:35 PM   #6
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My original KTM Super Duke tank deformed due to Ethanol. I tried using Startron fuel stabilizer but the tank still developed the mumps and deformed. I had my replacement tank coated before ever putting gas in it and a year and a half later and it is still in perfect shape. I do still use Startron but only because I think it keeps the gas and ethanol from separating not because I think it does a darn thing to protect the tank from deformation. Only coating the tank will prevent that from happening.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork-Chop Express View Post
My original KTM Super Duke tank deformed due to Ethanol. I tried using Startron fuel stabilizer but the tank still developed the mumps and deformed. I had my replacement tank coated before ever putting gas in it and a year and a half later and it is still in perfect shape. I do still use Startron but only because I think it keeps the gas and ethanol from separating not because I think it does a darn thing to protect the tank from deformation. Only coating the tank will prevent that from happening.
What coating did you use?
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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I only know that my boat engine has warning labels slapped by the fuel fillers: DO NOT USE ANY GASOLINE THAT CONTAINS ETHANOL!

Good luck finding that in Minnesota, where all gas seems to be 10 percent alcohol.

I don't see how an additive would reduce the corrosive effects of alcohol in gasoline. Alcohol is alcohol, it's a different chemical compound than gasoline. (yes, you can quote me on that)...

I hate ethanol. It's always been a racket to boost farmer's incomes at the expense of common sense.

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Old 03-18-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cakeeater View Post
I only know that my boat engine has warning labels slapped by the fuel fillers: DO NOT USE ANY GASOLINE THAT CONTAINS ETHANOL!

Good luck finding that in Minnesota, where all gas seems to be 10 percent alcohol.

I don't see how an additive would reduce the corrosive effects of alcohol in gasoline. Alcohol is alcohol, it's a different chemical compound than gasoline. (yes, you can quote me on that)...

I hate ethanol. It's always been a racket to boost farmer's incomes at the expense of common sense.

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I luv ethanol.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
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There are additives that make it last longer, but nothing that will stop it's damaging effects as far as I know. I had the plastic gas tanks on my XR400 and my daughters XR200 destroyed by it. The plastic developed cracks all over the place, and they were properly vented. I'm worried about the Clarke tank on my XT225, so far so good, but it's not that old yet. I've also had to replace leaking seals on the vacuum petcock on my Vulcan 750 twice, which I believe was caused by ethanol gas.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:18 AM   #11
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Wonder what's preventing some sort of class action suit against EPA for mandating this trash gas?
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenstrip View Post
Talked to an Aprilia sales guy in the neighborhood who claimed that there is an additive, but he couldn't be more specific. Maybe it was just 'sales talk.' He said that Aprilia warrantied for tank warpage, which is fine if buying new, but what about buying classics, like the Futura (Not that I ever think of doing that. )
As a Futura owner, I think I can respond. I do have tank swelling issues, but they seem minor. I have never not been able to screw in the tank retaining bolts because of expansion or warpage. However, during riding season, at least locally, I try to buy non-ethanol gas exclusively...makes a noticeable difference! On trips with other bikes, most often there is no opportunity to hunt for non-ethanol gas stations, and I'm stuck with what's available.

I have never heard of aprilia warranteeing Futura tanks, and I think additives are all snake oil (like Star-tron) except for fuel stabilizers. I don't think there is anything on the market that will prevent ethanol warpage. Caswell makes an epoxy tank liner that is effective, but that process is a large PITA unless your ethanol problem is a big one. I think if we go up to E15 the problems will get worse.

Chickenstrip - better get movin', good Futuras are getting harder to find!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:11 AM   #13
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Thanks for the thoughtful, Aprilia specific response, Twinz. Aside from draining and airing out the tank, what's the difficulty with coating?



Re: Futura buying (at the risk of sidetracking this thread) ... I've been looking at 'em for years and have never been in the right position to buy one, mostly financially.

Now I live in NYC and a lot my riding (most of it) is in the city, where the roads predictably, yet unpredictably (if you know what I mean), suck, and nimbly maneuvering around the potholes is better done in an upright position - plus I feel like sight lines are better.

Another deterrent is the riding position. Coming from 11 yrs on a Superhawk, with a riding position that's great for sweepers but not so great for distance riding, I'm now on a Strom. I fear my aging body can't take the sportier position of the Futura and won't be as practical as the Strom (love my top box, for one thing).

BUT, I see an Futura for sale for $3500 and I can't help wondering 'what if?'



Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinz View Post
As a Futura owner, I think I can respond. I do have tank swelling issues, but they seem minor. I have never not been able to screw in the tank retaining bolts because of expansion or warpage. However, during riding season, at least locally, I try to buy non-ethanol gas exclusively...makes a noticeable difference! On trips with other bikes, most often there is no opportunity to hunt for non-ethanol gas stations, and I'm stuck with what's available.

I have never heard of aprilia warranteeing Futura tanks, and I think additives are all snake oil (like Star-tron) except for fuel stabilizers. I don't think there is anything on the market that will prevent ethanol warpage. Caswell makes an epoxy tank liner that is effective, but that process is a large PITA unless your ethanol problem is a big one. I think if we go up to E15 the problems will get worse.

Chickenstrip - better get movin', good Futuras are getting harder to find!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #14
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I luv ethanol.
Sure, in a glass, maybe with a couple ice cubes. Not in my vehicles.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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I luv ethanol.
Yeah... I like the fact that it REDUCES your gas mileage by about 3%.
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