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Old 11-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default tank swelling remedies

I have an '06 s2r that suffers from tank swelling. I'm getting ready to have my 3rd tank replaced soon. It looks like due to the class action lawsuit, as of Aug 2013, i will not be able to get a replacement tank again. So I thought i would start a thread where we could discuss solutions to the swelling problem.

1. The dealer mentioned that Ducati has recomended the use of K100 fuel additive to reduce the issue. I can't find any actual direction from Ducati to do this nor can I find a place to buy K100 anyway. http://www.k100fueltreatment.com/index.html

2. Along the same lines, i wonder if Sta-bil or Sta-bil ethanol treatment (or any other additive) would have a positive effect on the issue. i have contacted Sta-bil regarding this and am waiting on a reply. I'll update whenevery they respond to me.

3. The local shop says the problem can be remedied by replacing the gas cap with a racing gas cap that has a vent in it. This was their strongest recomendation to deal with the problem. I am skeptical of this, but would like to hear if anyone has had any luck with it.

4. The local shop also says that if you drain the tank and set it in the sun for a day or two, it will dry out and return to it's normal size. anyone else have experience with this?

5. Of course, you can find non-ethanol gas in some places, but i live in houston and the nearest non ethanol pump is over 100mi away. I can buy it from a race gas place in town, but it cost about $10 per gallon. find ethanol free gas here http://pure-gas.org/

6. Both the shop and the dealer say that coating the inside of the tank does not seem to help. this surprises me, has anyone had a good or bad experience with a tank coating?

these are all of the possible solutions I can think of. any experience with these or other ideas would be helpful. We need to solve this problem before Ducati stops replacing tanks for free!
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. and 2. I can find Star Tron all over the place. It's another of the products that makes huge claims in regards to fuel treatment. It's not horribly expensive. It is available locally if you have a Northern Tools or some Walmarts as well as several other stores. Star Tron has been recommended to me in the past. I don't use it. I just let em grow. Keep in mind you don't need to carry it with you either. If you go on a ride and burn a tank of gas, then it didn't affect the tank. If you refuel your bike and come home, add some at that time.

One thing I've heard a few times but haven't seen mentioned as often, if you ride daily or very regularly that the fuel doesn't have time to attract water. The idea is that you are keeping the fuel fresh so it doesn't need to be treated as it won't affect the tank. The swelling is from the alcohol attracting water to it and then the plastic absorbing the water. If the bike is going to sit for 2 weeks or longer between runs, then you might want to treat it.

3. Replacing the cap with one with a breather. Well................The tank and cap already have a breather in them. So...... I don't get it. Are they ignorant? From my above comment about how the alcohol attracts the water and the water causes the plastic to swell, I'd think the more vents/breathers you add- the more water can contaminate. I would not suggest plugging all the vent holes as it is necessary to vent the tank.

4. Yes but noooo... It takes a couple of weeks for the tank to dry enough to shrink. However, blemishes don't always go away. Some will shrink but still be visible to some extent. The best remedy I've heard of along these lines is to completely drain the tank, leave none at all in any little corner or it will turn to varnish and gum up all of the injectors, and then leave the fill cap open during your non riding season. I live in Austin, you live in Houston, unless you are a sissy we don't have a "non riding season". Sucks for us, eh? Yeah it's nice. That's why I've given up caring about the tank and pay more attention to just enjoying the machine.

5. Don't know and good luck. I won't be paying $10 for a gallon of fuel. One thing to keep in mind is that Texas is switching to "winter blend" right now and your local stations might not have ethanol or it may be reduced. Keep in mind the sticker reads "up to" 10%. That's weak language. Strong language would be "must have, shall have, will have" etc. So maybe we luck out that we ride in the winter months and "might" have less than 10% ethanol during those months. If so it's a win win win. We get to keep riding, less ethanol means more potent fuel=harder acceleration, cooler air means better oxygen introduction and even more acceleration. Yay us.


6. I had the brand new tank on my Paul Smart coated with Caswell epoxy. It was supposed to be awesome. It is no better than the previous tank. In fact......my previous tank had just grown a bit. I had no idea it was even a problem until my local dealer offered to replace it. I said sure why not. I ponied up for the Caswell myself. They roughed up the new tank, cleaned it, and coated it. What I see now is positive and negative blemishes. I preferred the old swollen tank to my new tank with small lumps in it. Rumor is there is a shop in California that does a new coating, 3M or something, that is designed for this type of thing, however they can't do Monster tanks for some reason. I haven't checked the authenticity on this.

While I didn't have the best results with the Caswell system, I would still recommend it if it is the only option. Remember kids, some protection is better than nothing at all. So still keep it as an option.



Good luck and let's ride sometime.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never bought in to this whole Caswell thing. I can't imagine anything sticking to the inside of a flexing, smooth-bore, plastic tank filled with gas unless the insides were prepped in some way (sanded, etched, etc.)

I try to put the bike away with as little fuel in it as possible. I buy only enough gas for that day's ride and shoot to park it with the fuel light on. That way it's easy to use up any possibly water-contaminated gas on the next ride. It's my understanding that water only penetrates this plastic when it's mixed with ethanol so the lower the fuel level, the less tank area to be affected. That's my theory anyhow. Seems to be working so far.

Regardless of all the theories, I'm going to drain my tank for the winter.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=. I live in Austin, you live in Houston, unless you are a sissy we don't have a "non riding season". Sucks for us, eh? Yeah it's nice.



it's 39 degrees and raining here.
i hate you guys down there
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofadriver View Post
I've never bought in to this whole Caswell thing. I can't imagine anything sticking to the inside of a flexing, smooth-bore, plastic tank filled
Mine was a new in box tank sent fresh from Italy. We put 2 lbs of wood screws into the tank and I sat at the Dealer's place and rotated the tank over and over for an hour. I shook it and rolled it trying to make sure I tried to scratch as much of the inside as possible. Then we washed it out with a little dish soap and rinsed it all out. Then used compressed air to get any shavings out. Then they left the tank sit for a week to make sure it was good and dry. Then they did the 2 part kit.

I also hear people say that the tank flexes, but how and where? My Paul Smart and S4RS are as rigid as can be. If they flex, it's no more than a steel tank.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[quote=sofadriver;2386303][QUOTE=. I live in Austin, you live in Houston, unless you are a sissy we don't have a "non riding season". Sucks for us, eh? Yeah it's nice.



it's 39 degrees and raining here.
i hate you guys down there
[/quote]


I had some CEC training classes to keep my TCEQ BPAT license current this week. I rode in everyday rather than the company van. The facility was an hour away. It was 45 on Monday, but then it was only 34 on Tuesday and Wednesday. All farmland for an hour ride up a 75mph highway. Cold, but fun. I rode the S4RS on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday was cooooold on the liquid cooled bike. Rode the PS on Wednesday and the air cooled engine kept me just warm enough that I rode all 3 days with just a leather jacket, helmet, jeans, boots, and gloves. Left the long undies and scarf home. Not cold enough yet.
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01 M600, aka, The Pink Monster
97 900SS CR
72 Norton Commando 750
03 KX60 with S4R rear shock,Honda CB350F, Hodaka Ace90, 3x Yam-YGS1, Yam-CS3 200, Vespa small frame, Gilera 106, Puch Sabre, Puch 50 Boy Racer, Ducati 250 bevel, Benelli 250, Benelli 360, Honda CB350T, and many more.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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[quote=caferacer mike;2386305]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofadriver View Post

Not cold enough yet.
It would be if it was raining! ;D

That's good thinkin' using the wood screws. That would sure do the trick.
By "flexing" I mean the natural expansion/contraction due to temperature changes. That could be quite a bit if it's 40 in the morning and, what?, 70 and sunny in the afternoon. The two materials would have to expand/contract at the exact same rate to avoid any separation.

How thick is that coating, anyway?

Is expansion causing the lumps in your new tank, too?
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I hate to admit, summer in Houston is very nearly an off season for me. it's just freakin miserable to be outside in the heat and humidity. so, i let the bike sit in the heat and humidity. This is probably the absolute worst time of the year and the worst place in the US to let the gas tank sit. but i need to figure out some way to make the tank last for more than a year.

I had the same thoughts about the gas cap. Their argument was basically that as the fumes in the tank expand, the stock gas cap allows the tank to build a certain amount of pressure, which expands the tank. the race cap allows fumes to expand with no pressure buildup.

I'm willing to try the additives if they work. Are there any links to technical info on how they work? Or a link to a Ducati recommendation or a direct claim by the additive manufacturer that it will solve our specific problem? most of them only claim to fix phase separation and corrosion and other auto specific issues.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Got my s2r tank replaced early this year, Got it coated at T markus customs in Hollywood CA. I'm out in CA where the summer fuels seem to be disastrous to the plastic tanks and mine is holding up just fine almost a year out.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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65218,
do you know what kind of coating they did for your tank?
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