Neutralize ethanol-plastic effect?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Chickenstrip, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Been here awhile

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    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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  2. Gonzodog

    Gonzodog Been here awhile

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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.
    #2
  3. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

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    I have heard that 1/2 ounce of Stabil Marine per 5 gallons cures this tank swelling issueÂ…. cant say for sure. :norton
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  4. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Been here awhile

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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. :evil )
    #4
  5. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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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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  6. Pork-Chop Express

    Pork-Chop Express Been here awhile

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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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  7. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    What coating did you use?
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  8. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

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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.

    Cakeeater
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  9. stevie88

    stevie88 That's gotta hurt

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    I luv ethanol.
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  10. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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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.
    #10
  11. Skooter

    Skooter Razing Arizona

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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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  12. Twinz

    Twinz Been here awhile

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    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!
    #12
  13. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Been here awhile

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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?'



    #13
  14. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    Sure, in a glass, maybe with a couple ice cubes. Not in my vehicles. :freaky
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  15. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

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    Yeah... I like the fact that it REDUCES your gas mileage by about 3%. :huh
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  16. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    ... while costing more...
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  17. stevie88

    stevie88 That's gotta hurt

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    It's cheaper actually and it puts a small dent in big oils pocketbook.
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  18. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ....."Big Oil", really?

    Until you change the laws of physics, there is no other energy source with the power content, availability, and ease of transport and use than petroleum.

    "Big Oil"?

    Pu-lease!

    Ride a bicycle and STFU!

    :stfu:asshat

    What a great idea, let's take corn, which requires lots of fertilizer to grow, and you DO know that fertilizer is made from oil, right? And also requires tractors to till the soil, and tractors run on oil, and let's use up farm land, and let's burn coal, to generate the electricity needed to convert the corn into ethanol, and coal is clean, everybody knows THAT, right?

    And, then, let's transport the ethanol all across the country in big rig tanker trucks, they burn oil, you DID know that, right, because you CANNOT ship ethanol in pipelines because ETHANOL ABSORBS WATER.

    And lets FORCE people to put this water absorbing garbage in their vehicles and destroy their fuel tanks, fuel line, and engines., and get worse fuel mileage, which requires them to buy even MORE fuel to get where they are going.

    And let's make sure we take that corn away from feeding our people and our livestock and force the cost of EATING FOOD much higher.

    Oh, yes!!!! Ethanol is GREAT!

    :deal

    Go back to school and pay attention in science class this time you moron.

    :fpalm
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  19. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

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    Not true about cheaper. Less energy in a gallon of ethanol than gallon of gas.



    Almost all places in Minnesota the cost per gallon of e85, when factoring the energy difference, is more than non 85.

    http://e85prices.com/

    Gas has about 114,000 btu per gallon
    Ethanol has about 76,000 btu per gallon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent

    Putting a dent in big oil? I'd rather put a smaller dent in my small wallet.

    Cakeeater
    #19
  20. Pork-Chop Express

    Pork-Chop Express Been here awhile

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    I had Hattar Motorsports in CA coat the tank. I've been told that they use a 3M product that is used to coat commercial fuel lines but to be honest it looks just like the silver version of Caswell epoxy. Whatever it is it sure has worked well.....so far anyway.
    #20