F800GS cutting out - fuel pump problem

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by WM O'Borneo, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. WM O'Borneo

    WM O'Borneo Adventurer

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    Thought I should post this info about a strange problem - now fixed - in case it helps anyone else.

    Back end of last year I was having a problem with the engine cutting out while riding along on a constant throttle. After three seconds (always the same) it would spring back into life only to do it again a few minutes or seconds later. The longer it went on the shorter the gap. The tacho would hold steady slowing gently with the speed until the engine picked up. If I pulled in the clutch the engine would just stop and wouldn't restart on the button until the three seconds was up.

    It always happened on a warm day 16 C or higher and always happened when the fuel tank was getting low - maybe 80 miles to empty and always after a couple of hours riding. Once it started it kept on doing it until I stopped for the night or filled up with fuel (this "fixed" it every time). I swapped the fuel pump relay but that didn't make any difference and took it to a BMW dealer to check the diagnostics but there was nothing from that. Then came winter so it was too cold to happen. When the hot weather returned so did the problem so back to the supplying dealer. A fault was found and fixed with the fuel tank breather but that didn't solve the problem. After a good long discussion the fuel pump was replaced and the problem disapeared.

    Looking back the solution was pretty obvious but then it often is.
    What gets hotter on a warm day that is affected by the level of fuel in the tank ? - something in the tank ? that will be the fuel pump then!
    I guess the pump was running out of the allowed range to keep up the fuel pressure and the electronics were going through a reset of some sort to try and sort it out hence the three seconds every time.
    #1
  2. Motowalt

    Motowalt UNSTOPPABLE!

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    From reading all the similar threads here, and experiencing the same thing on my 09, I think it's time for BMW to enact a safety recall on the defective fuel pumps.
    #2
  3. GeorgeinVA

    GeorgeinVA Beemers Uber Alles

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    BMW and others on this forum will blame; you, Sta-bil and "bad US gas" long before they admit they might have a problem. We have been through this with injectors and fuel gauge strips. To my knowledge BMW has never admitted to those as parts issues yet.
    The best way to cause a positive change is to send your name vin copies of repair orders to BMW and the NHTSA(http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm). If we just talk amongst ourselves no one who can do anything will know.
    #3
  4. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Both the fuel pump and the fuel pump controller electronics assby. have beeen superceeded with new part numbers...

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm................
    #4
  5. blatant

    blatant Been here awhile

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    so if this is a clear issue, why does every one that lives a desert or some miserably hot place not experience the headache?
    #5
  6. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    It's time for the NHTSA to enact a safety recall on USA gas because it does not work with fuel pumps that last forever without shit gas.

    It's time for USA voters to enact a safety recall on USA politicians that have been bought and paid for by the corn lobby without also accepting bribes from the chemical lobby to do the right thing and mandate addatives that protect from corossion when ethinol, sulpher, and water mix.

    This problem is occuring in 3% of bmw's motor cycle market, just the USA. Even brazil adds the correct additives to make ethinol safe when it absorbs water.


    A pump with stainless or plastic internals would last longer here, but is softer and would not last as long in the other 97% of bmw's market.

    The correct thing is for BMW to assume the USA government will never get anything right and ship shorter life pumps that are more corossion resistant to this market, but so far they have not done such.


    And the problem is actually not as bad in hot dry places because the ethinol in the fuel picks up less water.

    The controllers do have a higher failure rate then I would like to see, but the pumps are fantastic untill you try to pump sulpheric acid through them, what water, ethinol, sulpher, becomes in our fuel without proper addatives.

    The solution at least is simple. Add 1oz of techron concentrate per gallon of fuel in the tank once every 1,500 to 3,000 miles and always before winter lay-up.

    I've seen some bikes corode a pump to death 3 times in a year. I haven't seen a single pump failure in bikes getting techron regularly.

    Of course congres could make it easy and mandate propper additives, but I wouldn't hold your breath for that.
    #6
  7. AlanI

    AlanI Adventurer

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    I posted this in another thread but having read your post Joel it's worth posting again here.

    The sad fact of life though is that this is an engine designed and built in Germany and therefore has to comply with the very strict European laws (which are getting stricter every year) in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. It stands to reason that manufacturers (in this instance BMW) in complying with these regulations can only produce and test their engines in their home markets and with the fuel, and probably more importantly, the quality of fuel readily available. They cannot possibly produce an engine that is going to run satisfactory within a country where it appears each state can throw into the mix whatever additives they feel like and where the quality of the fuel being sold is questionable
    #7
  8. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Joel:

    Do you have any idea what additives Brazil puts in their fuel to make it better? Is this where Chevron makes all their money? :lol3
    #8
  9. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    I don't know what all additives brazil requires and it may well vary, but I'm told they require a small amount of isopropyl alcohol.

    Isopropyly, responds differently to water then ethinol. Isopropyl bonds with water 20x stronger and then remains in solution with the gasoline.

    This way water remains mixed in too low of a concentration to corode things and passes harmlessly out of the fuel system through the normal route.

    Ethinol bonds with water, falls out of solution to the bottom of the tank, chemically combines with sulphur and a few other things, forms acids and eats the shit out of the fuel pump which throws off particles much smaller then the fuel filter can capture and them plugs the injectors. (fantastic run-on sentence).

    Isopropyly alcohol in small ratios Is one of many ways to stop this, and no you can't use the stuff at the pharmacy, it's already saturated with water. If you see a fuel treatment that claims to treat ethinol fuel and has isopropyl alcohol in it, this is why.

    Techron does it another way, it treats the metal and makes it more corossion resistant, that's why the benifits last beyond the tank of fuel it's mixed into.
    #9
  10. GeorgeinVA

    GeorgeinVA Beemers Uber Alles

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    #10
  11. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    Thanks Joel!

    That may be the secret to Seafoam's success.
    The MSDS for seafoam lists IPA (isopropyl alcohol that is, not India Pale Ale) as key component @ 10% - 20% of total...

    http://www.seafoamsales.com/component/option,com_rokdownloads/Itemid,42/view,folder/

    Maybe I'll just find a chemical supply house that sells pure IPA ... :wink:
    #11
  12. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Pull up the totals forF800's wink wink nod nod.
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  13. GeorgeinVA

    GeorgeinVA Beemers Uber Alles

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    F800GS has the same fuel injector 13617672335 as R12GS R12RT R12R R12ST HP2sport F800S F650GS twin so even if only 330 (3% of "Outstanding sales figures were also achieved by the F 800 GS (10,974 units)" F800GS were sold the fuel injectors are in far more bikes.
    #13
  14. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Hey Joel, while all the tech and chemistry stuff gets me all bothered and hot (no really... I'm a huge geek), I have a simple question.

    Does fueling at a station with Techron eliminate the need to add concentrate? Can you add too much concentrate or too often? Can adding the mighty Techron increase sexual stamina?

    Regards :lol3
    #14
  15. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Techron DOES increase sexual stamina. Any techron you get on you goes everywhere similiar to anti-seize. It also tastes terrible and is probably very toxic. I wouldn't use it as a personal lubricant but a little an your hands or in your eyes is annoying enough to delay, uh, finishing.

    I have been told by my district rep that you can't use techron to often BUT you can use it in too high of concentration, and if to concentrated, softening of fuel hoses can occur.

    I am not sure what constitutes an overdose, but certainly 4x concentration will harm things.

    As a pratical point, even 2x concentration will affect run ability for the worse.

    In my old job as a DSR for Volvo, NW district, the additives in Chevron fuel are diluted enough that you can still use techron in 1oz per gallon ratios without harm, however, you would rarely if ever need to as Chevron fuel is kick as "top tier" fuel of the highest quality.

    http://www.toptiergas.com/index.html

    I have however addressed the chevron question directly with BMW nor seen it in any BMW documentation, but as I said above, Volvo states it is not an issue.

    I don't work for or have any stock in Chevron, I am simply convinced their additives work.

    I am not pleased that BMW fuel pumps are sensitive to contaminated ethinol oxygenated gasoline with poor additives, I simply find adding techron concentrate every 1500 to 3000 miles and right before lay up to be more convenient then lobbying for a recall or redress that may never happen.
    #15
  16. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Who's talking about fuel injectors?

    There's nothing wrong with the fuel injectors.

    As with any fuel injector, they will plug up when the fuel pump starts shedding corosion, and as with any fuel injector, they can be cleaned up if you happen to have an expensive piece of machinery called a "sun motor-vac" which no BMW motorcycle shop I know of has, but the injectors plug BECAUSE the fuel pump shedds corrosion.

    The fuel pump in the F800's are NOT the same as the R series, and though R series pumps also can corrode, they aren't as sensitive as the K72 pumps.

    Are you disagreeing for the sake of dissagrement lol, or do you have a point your trying to make
    #16
  17. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I should'a remembered this last night ...

    "HEET" fuel line anti-freeze comes in two versions - the "regular" yellow bottle and <drum-roll> the super-groovy RED bottle called "Iso-HEET" per the MSDS it is 99% IPA and 1% "Proprietary Additives". This IPA should NOT be wattered down!
    #17
  18. hurcomb

    hurcomb Adventurer

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    Cheers for this. I have been experiencing exactly the same problems on my bike and couldn't work out what it is. Yesterday I was stranded in a moterway tunnel after this happened and as it was 36 degrees celsius the bike would not run!

    #18
  19. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    The Fuel pump is easy to diagnose, Barring a short on circuit 2 or 3, it is the only thing that will keep the bike from ever starting until you cycle the key on and off.
    #19
  20. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    RE:
    "I have however addressed the chevron question directly with BMW nor seen it in any BMW documentation, but as I said above, Volvo states it is not an issue.

    I don't work for or have any stock in Chevron, I am simply convinced their additives work."

    I was in a BMW car dealership the other day and noticed a bottle of this stuff on the service advisor's desk:
    https://www.bmwmc.net/catalog/71-38-2006 (092) BMW Group Fuel System Cleaner.pdf

    What caught my eye in reading the label was that it contains Techron as we Canucks don't have Chevron gas stations (although Petro Canada's Tactrol is said to be the same stuff) as well as the fact that BMW itself recommends its use in its cars and motorcycles.

    mike
    #20