Ducati Sporting Club
Home Calendar Gallery Membership Online Shop DSC Blogs Extras
Go Back   Ducati Sporting Club > Model Specific - Discussion, Technical Problems and Help > General - Motorcycle only
Reload this Page Plastic petrol tank expansion problem
Forum Home Register FAQ Search Forum Recent Posts Mark Forums Read

General - Motorcycle only Motorcycle Tech only please.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-Sep-2009, 09:54 PM
ducatiz's Avatar
ducatiz ducatiz is offline
Registered Forum User
Bikes: all ducatis except for one prewar Beemer
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thumbs down Plastic petrol tank expansion problem

Hi folks

Here in the USA, there has been a rash of bikes with plastic tanks (pretty much all models beginning in 2006, and the S2R in 2005) that are having a problem with the fuel tank swelling.

There are three main symptoms: front pressing against the keyswitch, frame bumpers no longer sit on the frame (are sitting outside the frame or are on the way), and rippling or "waves" in the sides of the tanks.

Ducati (North America) has been replacing the tanks on a one-by-one basis, there has not been enough reports of them to be a recall yet.

The main hypothesis is that the ethanol additive in USA gasoline is the culprit (in almost every state in the US, gasoline is 10% ethanol, commonly called E10). This is not the E85 stuff coming down the pike, but it has been an octane additive for the last 5-10 years. My understanding is that ethanol is not used as a petrol additive in the UK or Europe and I (we) believe that Ducati did not make the tanks on these bikes E10/ethanol-proof.

If you guys are going to be getting ethanol added to your gasoline, you might want to look into getting your tank lined first with something ethanol-proof.

Here are some photos (None are mine, these are collected from a local website)

Bike one: S2R
http://kuixihe.com/zenphoto/zp-core/...l-photography/


Bike two: S2R
Area on tank where the key/latch area has rubber through the paint and is now rubbing through the tank:


Right side ripples and bubbles. Oddly there are no ripples on the left side:


Right side ripples II:


Right side bumper:


Left side bumper:


Cracks/blisters around filler:


Bump on tank:

Last edited by ducatiz : 08-Sep-2009 at 03:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23-Dec-2011, 08:37 AM
Yellowduke's Avatar
Yellowduke Yellowduke is offline
Registered Forum User
 
Posts: 29
Join Date: Sep 2011
I have seen this issue mentioned on other forums and I think that this is a problem we are going to be seeing in the next few years. At the moment our petrol mostly has a 5% ethanol limit but there are plans for this to be raised to 10% in 2013. This will put us in the same position as our American cousins with the potential of tanks expanding, seals breaking down and fuel leaking. Aside from the mechanical and safety issues there is also the likelihood that our bikes will lose significant value. I would hope that this has already been considered and a fix is in place.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23-Dec-2011, 11:22 AM
jerryz jerryz is offline
Registered Forum User
Mille
Bikes: 750ss Monster 750,Monster S4
 
Posts: 130
Join Date: Nov 2006
Mood: happy
steel aftermarket tanks now in production from China expected late 2012 for all affected models will solve the issue .
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23-Dec-2011, 12:09 PM
bradders's Avatar
bradders bradders is offline
Registered Forum User
MotoGP God
Bikes: 848, M620 DD bike
 
Posts: 11,915
Join Date: Aug 2003
Mood: waiting...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryz
steel aftermarket tanks now in production from China expected late 2012 for all affected models will solve the issue .

and you reckon Ducati will give them free?! If you're going to spend teh money, and alloy one would be my prerference
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 23-Dec-2011, 03:34 PM
skidlids's Avatar
DSC Region Organiser skidlids skidlids is offline
MotoGP God
 
Posts: 18,172
Join Date: Apr 2002
Mood: Its ONLY a Bike Club
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradders
If you're going to spend teh money, and alloy one would be my prerference

Never the long term solution as Alloy tanks will develop there own issues after years of use due to fatigue/vibration

I own a 2006 S2R with 15000 miles on it complete with Plastic Tank, no signs of any distortion, so as mentioned its probably related to the fuels E10 content in the states


Checkout the Desmo Due Paddock on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25-Dec-2011, 09:48 AM
jerryz jerryz is offline
Registered Forum User
Mille
Bikes: 750ss Monster 750,Monster S4
 
Posts: 130
Join Date: Nov 2006
Mood: happy
below is a link to an excellent article about plastic tank deformation by Gasohol and includes lists of makes and models ,
not just Ducati but also HD,KTM ,Motoguzzi,Apprillia and more reports are now coming in from Europe even some BMW s have been affected.

triumph have stopped using plastic tanks and HD will be switching to steel tanks on 2012 model sporster 1200 sport
the main issue is PA 6 poly propelyne plastic and the primary manufacturer is Acerbis

www.deformedfueltanks.com
__________________
MONSTERMAN
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25-Dec-2011, 05:21 PM
skidlids's Avatar
DSC Region Organiser skidlids skidlids is offline
MotoGP God
 
Posts: 18,172
Join Date: Apr 2002
Mood: Its ONLY a Bike Club
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryz
below is a link to an excellent article about plastic tank deformation by Gasohol and includes lists of makes and models ,

www.deformedfueltanks.com
__________________
MONSTERMAN

Think I'll see if I can get my brother-in-law to have a read, he was a top researcher/analyst/trouble shooter for BP plastics division before they sold the division and still does the same job now just for the new owners


Checkout the Desmo Due Paddock on Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26-Dec-2011, 03:28 AM
ducatiz's Avatar
ducatiz ducatiz is offline
Registered Forum User
Bikes: all ducatis except for one prewar Beemer
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: Sep 2009
The problem has been well sussed.

PA6 - the material that the tanks are made from -- absorbs water.

That's pretty much it.

There is no inner liner of the tank, so it is in direct contact with the fuel. Gasoline often has water and sitting atop the engine means the heat creates a nice environment for condensate when it's cooling down.

Add ethanol to your fuel and you learn that it absorbs ambient humidity 10-20x faster than pure gasoline and holds more (E10 holds up to 1% water by volume, whereas pure gasoline only holds about 0.2% water by volume).

Coating the tanks absolutely works and there are many different epoxy based preparations that have been around for a long time. PA6 (aka "Nylon 6" or "polyamide 6") was invented in 1938 so its properties are well known.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26-Dec-2011, 03:29 AM
ducatiz's Avatar
ducatiz ducatiz is offline
Registered Forum User
Bikes: all ducatis except for one prewar Beemer
 
Posts: 7
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryz
below is a link to an excellent article about plastic tank
the main issue is PA 6 poly propelyne plastic and the primary manufacturer is Acerbis

www.deformedfueltanks.com
__________________
MONSTERMAN

not poly propylene, it is nylon. Polyamide (PA) is different from polypropylene (PP).

PP will dissolve in gasoline.

PA is impervious to gasoline (and alcohol) but absorbs water.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16-Jan-2012, 02:12 PM
Steve E Steve E is offline
Registered Forum User
DSC Club Rep
Montjuic
 
Posts: 50
Join Date: Jul 2011
Response from Texaco

I've contacted some of the main UK fuel providers; BP, Shell, Exxon (Mobil and Esso) and Valero (Texaco) for clarification on what's in our fuel.

I have had a first response back from Valero which I have pasted below. Based on this feedback I will be filling my Sport Classic up with Texaco Super Unleaded this afternoon!

I believe E10 is being fazed in 2013 but E5 is supposed to be available in the UK until 2015 from what I've heard. But I do remember LRP disappeared pretty quickly from UK forecourts. E5 can certainly damage a plastic tank now. E10 can potentially damage carbs if left in in the float bowls and cause seals to fail

I will post any further info as soon as I receive it from the petrol companies. I am going to get my tank lined with Caswells tank liner. There are a number of companies who will do this for you listed on the Caswells UK website.

--------

Thank you for your email dated 14th January 2012 regarding ethanol in fuels.

Ethanol was introduced in the UK in order to meet the RTFO (Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation). In order to meet the obligation biodiesel is blended with diesel and ethanol is blended with petrol. The conversion of the specification for EN228 to include up to 10% Ethanol is currently being reviewed and agreement is not expected until late 2012. Therefore it is unlikely that gasoline with greater concentrations than 5% ethanol will be introduced before this time.

For any petrol containing up to 5% ethanol no additional labelling is required at the pump. If the ethanol content of the petrol is above 5% then there must be clear labelling on the pump stating this (for example E10).

Currently in the UK Texaco Unleaded 95 octane may contain up to 5% ethanol. Texaco Super Unleaded and Supreme Unleaded do not contain ethanol but this may change in the future.

The expectation is that E10 will come onto the UK market late 2012 / early 2013. It is advisable to speak to your car manufacturer if possible if you have any questions regarding the compatibility of your vehicle with ethanol blended petrol.

I hope you will find the information provided useful.

Yours sincerely

UK & Ireland Customer Care Team
Reply With Quote
Reply
  
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Postbit Selector
Switch to Vertical postbit Use Vertical Postbit

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Recent Posts - Contact Us - DSC Home - Archive - Top
Powered by vBulletin 3.5.4 - Copyright © 2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. - © Ducati Sporting Club - All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:17 AM.