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Old 04-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
shu OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado
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Life Span for Plastic Gas Tanks?

Dracus124 posted this on another thread and got me wondering about my IMS plastic gas tank on my DR650.



He said it was a tank from the '80s- new and never used- and that it was now cracking from vibrations on the bike.

Have you seen plastic tanks fail?
How old were they?
Where did they fail?
Were there any warning signs?
How long would you trust one before you replaced it?

My tank is only 5 years old, but it's seen 60,000 miles of intense desert and high altitude sun.


............shu
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
Shooplick
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if that plastic tank is 20 to 30 years old i would not use it. it will be very rigid, brittle, and break easy. it would not be formulated to handle the amount of ethanol that is in the gas.

I know i hav a low post count but i design and build plastic injection molds. that tank sounds dangerous to me.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
Bronco638
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Is it me or does it look like someone jammed that tank on that bike (XL250R?). The seat certainly doesn't fit properly and it appears as if the o.e. tank is in the background (behind the rear tire).

I'm just wondering if the tank is failing because it's not fitted properly and the improper fit is either causing the leaks or contributing to the problem (not that I doubt old age can render a plastic tank useless - I recently discarded a five gallon race fuel [Cam2] container that was quite brittle but not leaking).

Shooplick: "west of Chicago" where? Anywhere near me? I would like to pick your brain, given your profession (send a PM, if you'd prefer).
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
crypto666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco638 View Post
Is it me or does it look like someone jammed that tank on that bike (XL250R?). The seat certainly doesn't fit properly and it appears as if the o.e. tank is in the background (behind the rear tire).

I'm just wondering if the tank is failing because it's not fitted properly ).

I bet its failing because the same thinking that took place while installing the tank, was the same thinking that said, "Hey! lets paint our chain red."

For neat!
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
Grreatdog
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I put a Clarke tank on my XT350 sometime in the early 90's and sold it in perfect shape when I parted the bike out 2003. It wasn't brittle, cracked or even stained. So it went ten years and was still in great shape. I suspect it is still in use somewhere. But then my bike was also garaged.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
Shooplick
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Ethanol and sunlight are both very bad for plastics. I have an 07 triumph with a plastic tank and every time I take the tank off it is harder to put it back on. The ethanol is causing it to swell.

It is only my opinion but if it was me I wouldn't use the tank.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
shu OP
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Location: Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooplick View Post
Ethanol and sunlight are both very bad for plastics. I have an 07 triumph with a plastic tank and every time I take the tank off it is harder to put it back on. The ethanol is causing it to swell.

It is only my opinion but if it was me I wouldn't use the tank.
So, how long will you keep using the triumph tank before you replace it?

...........shu
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