Fuel strip fix?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by wjrudo, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Lawmeister

    Lawmeister Long time lurker

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    That is bad news... with so many people having this issue (myself included) an alternative to BMW's flawed technology is essential. I hope he sells his plans to another fabricator.
  2. Carlisja

    Carlisja A wandering soul. Super Supporter

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    I am following Heloflights' lead. I put a bunch of miles on the bike running errands and such today. I started with a full tank of gas and a range estimate of 450 miles. After 150 miles the first bar on my gauge went out. By then the range was down to 358. After 220 miles the 2nd bar went out and the range indicated 314 miles. After 302 miles the third bar went out and the range indicated 293 miles.

    By this point I was afraid to change anything. I did not want to ruin the excellent fuel economy that the new float gave me. (Just kidding)

    I just parked it for the night. 412 miles traveled. 1/2 tank remaining on the gauge. range is 222. Of note I chickened out and splashed a gallon of fuel into the tank as I did not want to run out on this one particular stretch of roadway.

    Tomorrow, I plan to siphon out the fumes that must be remaining and re-calibrate the gauge with the GS-911. Will let you all know how it goes.
    fcocca and dad2bike like this.
  3. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

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    Update: I filled up a one gallon fuel can, strapped it to the back, and chased my son all over town waiting for the bike to run out of fuel, he is learning to ride so dad is close at hand. Well now reads 38 miles remaining, and down to last bar on gauge.

    Normally we ride with the thought of not running out of fuel, here I am trying to and it's not happening. I'll keep trying will not be long now.
    dad2bike likes this.
  4. Callisto224

    Callisto224 Long timer Supporter

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    I usually get about 40-45 miles after the DTE scale says I'm out of gas.

    I always figured this was the 1.1 gallons of fuel in the "reserve" that the manual mentions. :confused
  5. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

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    Soo left the home with 38 miles remaining, headed down HY1 to see 40 miles remaining?? No worries I got a gal of fuel on the back :deal
    Well after a bit of side roads I found the end of the tank (36 miles to go and 1 bar on gauge) dropped in the gal and away I went. Stopped at next fuel station, 8.7 gal at the pump, gauge reads full :wings with 386 miles to go being displayed.

    about a mile later I see fuel coming from tank, Good F ing God, the dam seal on the fuel pump plate is leaking. Side of road watching over 50 bikes go by waiting for the wife to show up with a gas can and siphon hose. One would think a helmet by the rear tire should say I need help, not in this day and age. OH well at least I know the fuel gauge works :smile6

    Now home waiting for the bike to cool, then fix my screw up
  6. Callisto224

    Callisto224 Long timer Supporter

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    I'm curious to know what caused the leak. Do you think you installed the pump gasket wrong when you put the float in?
  7. Carlisja

    Carlisja A wandering soul. Super Supporter

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    Had the same problem the first time i pulled the fuel pump assembly to replace the fuel pump. I siphoned about three gallons out then pulled the pump and seal, cleaned all surfaces and washed the seal, then added a little silicone greese and reinstalled. This time I tightened it a bit more too. % tanks later the problem is still solved. Good luck.
  8. Carlisja

    Carlisja A wandering soul. Super Supporter

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    So, this morning I did the fuel strip calibration on the float. I also pulled all the plastics to make sure that my problem was not a hung up float arm. Note that when the float arm is hanging as low as it can go there is still fuel in the tank. It must be at least a half gallon. Before I began, I had 1/2 tank remaining on the gauge and an indicated range of 222. I had already traveled 412 miles.

    Once the calibration was complete, the new readings were absolutely empty with a range of 222.

    Pulled it out of the garage, put it on the side stand and walked the dog. When I got on the bike to ride to Beaufort, SC it said I had 2/10th of a tank and a range of 135 (loss of confidence here).

    Before I got to the gas station, less than a mile away, the yellow light was on, no bars showing and range of 10 miles (confidence restored).

    After filling with gas, the gauge read full and the range indicated was 450. When I got to Beaufort, I had traveled 45 miles. The gauge was still indicating full but the range had dropped to 410.

    I took the very long way home from Beaufort back to Walterboro, SC this evening. Once the odometer showed 115 miles, the first bar of the gauge disappeared. The range indicated 398. By the time I parked for the night, I had covered 124 miles and the range showed 388.

    So far I am confident in this solution to the accursed fuel strip. I do think that the calibration is probably unnecessary if you start with a strip that reads empty and an empty tank. Otherwise the computer is confused by the new signal necessitating the calibration routine.
    BluByU and dad2bike like this.
  9. Britome

    Britome Get Free

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    Alright, I just read this thing and am still a bit fuzzy. My sons 2006 GSA has had a non functioning gauge for a year. Just yellow triangle all the time. You are all saying that if I pull the plug on the left side of the tank and apply a charge to the two connectors it will jump start the fuel strip back to life?


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  10. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yep, when I got it apart, it was easy to see that the seal had pushed in when I installed the pump.
    Cleaned everything up, used a bit if silglide on the inner side of the seal and a bit on the fuel pump assembly (seemed to slip in a bit easier :evil). Reassembled and filled the tank, No leaks yet
    For me this seems to be a good fix, at least better than the fuel strip
    Callisto224 likes this.
  11. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

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    many have done it and worked for them, ya could always go to the local BMW dealer and have them put a new fuel strip in, it is under extended warranty in the USA
    Callisto224 likes this.
  12. raywilson

    raywilson Been here awhile

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    I just did that, with the Scripto lighter. It worked for about 30mi then back to the flashing fuel light. 08 GS w 13k. Only had half a tank in it. I'll fill it and try again[​IMG]

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  13. Britome

    Britome Get Free

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    They will warranty this issue on a 2006 bike?


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  14. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    Brian, the recall was for 2005-2012 models and I think they address the fuel flange issue, as well.

    Mike
  15. Britome

    Britome Get Free

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    Ok. They did a new flange/pump a year ago. But the fuel gauge didn't work before or after. Should they have dealt with that too?
  16. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    I'm not sure about the chronology, Brian. Sorry.

    Mike
  17. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Sleepy Super Moderator

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    I have researched this issue a bit and found that dealers in both the USA and in Northern Europe (at least the nordics according to my dealer) offer the fuel strip free of charge. In finland you pay 1 hour of labor to change it out which at current rates sets you back about 100 bucks per change. According to some friends in the USA it's a similar story. Bmw apparently decided it is cheaper to just give the part for free.

    It's too bad about hposkam shutting down. I was thinking of buying his part and last month he didn't say anything about shutting down. Oh well. Such is life.

    By the way, a friend of mine in Norway had his fuel strip fixed once and problem went away. He told me that the "wisdom" there is that you should never allow the bike to stand for an extended period with low fuel in the tank. he told me that if it is going to sit, leave it full. That's what he was told and has done it since, and has gotten 5 or 6 years out of a single strip. I am not claiming that this is something golden or anything. Just passing on what they said but who knows if we can trust them...they are after all responsible for lutefisk so take it for what you will. :lol3

    By the way @dad2bike thank you very much for the great write up with pictures. It really helps an electrical Luddite like myself to see what you did. I might work one of these up myself if the problem returns. (When it returns, most likely...)
    dad2bike and raywilson like this.
  18. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Sleepy Super Moderator

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    Just to add, about the whole extended storage with low gas.

    I checked the previous owners manual, and the fuel strip was fixed each time in the spring. This would have been after winter storage. I know this time at least that the bike had stood on the shop floor for 8 months with 1/3 tank in it. The gauge worked on the shop floor but within a few minutes of being started for spring, boom and it was deader than dead. My bike was not ridden a lot, and I think the rider was older, so I think it tended to stand in the garage. 14k miles in 7 seasons ain't much riding, especially since it looks like he may have taken most of those miles in 2 trips based on the GPS history.

    I am anyway going to see if this helps in my case by never leaving it for long without a full tank. Obviously lack of a failure isn't scientifc evidence of anything, but it will be interesting to see if the Norwegian advice holds.
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Most 2006 bikes had the float. Are you sure yours doesn't?
  20. Britome

    Britome Get Free

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    I'm not sure. I just know it doesn't work.


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