Leaking Fuel Tank

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CatDaddysBBQ
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 2:55 pm
Country: United States
City: North Aurora
Year: 2010
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Model: SMT

Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by CatDaddysBBQ » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:00 pm

Just bought my 2010 SMT last summer. It had 18,000 miles on it, so after riding it a bit I planned on doing it's 20k mile service (valve check/adj and other stuff).

It's in the Dealer's shop right now, and they called me saying that as they removed the side panels to remove the gas tank, there is a leak from one of the screw holes. I searched and found that this is not completely uncommon.

Problem is, they claim it was not due to their over-tightening, it started leaking after removal. I don't have any reason to think they are scamming me, but as I have never touched that screw before (haven't had the bike long enough to remove it for any reason), I certainly didn't touch it.

Now, obviously who knows what happened with the last owner, but here's my issue:

What is the likelihood of the last time it was screwed in too tight (like, a year or more ago) creating the crack, but zero leaking has happened until just now? That seems rather unlikely to me but I have zero way to prove either side.

I'm looking at potentially a 1000+ tank replacement on my dime, so i'm a bit stressed about it, to say the least.
Part of me can envision somebody putting it back together, overtightening and popping the thread and then it starts leaking. They make the call to tell me that they were disassembling it, not putting it back together. I have ZERO way to verify - it's just my paranoid theory.

Any ideas?

linehand
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Re: Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by linehand » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:11 pm

As far as your question, I would say somewhat likely. I haven't heard about too many on the SMT but I've seen it before on dirt bikes with the same style of tank that has threaded bodies molded into the tank. Seems that since moisture has nowhere to go they tend to corrode and seize up and when you go to remove the body work the threads end up spinning inside the tank. Is it positively gas that's leaking out? The tanks have two layers to them and I could see the outside layer being damaged and letting water in and then leaking back out...Just spit balling.
Good luck getting the shop to fess up much less spring for a new tank, I just don't see that turning out in your favor. I certainly hope they do. Assuming they don't, I'd say your best option is to try and make repairs or find a used tank. The flat black on the 2010 should be pretty easy to reproduce at home so any year tank should do. There are epoxy gas tank repair kits at most auto parts stores that should do the job and I've also seen videos of people making repairs with a soldering iron by simply molding the plastic back in place. I hope something works out for you.

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jhalfhide
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Re: Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by jhalfhide » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:21 pm

Used black tank on eBay, £350


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CatDaddysBBQ
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Re: Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by CatDaddysBBQ » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:34 pm

Thanks both of you.

I am still waiting to see if it can be repaired there - still at the shop.

I don't really think they'll do anything to help out (or fess up, obviously - if they are lying, and admit to it, i'd really have them by the balls so that's not happening.).

If they can't/don't patch the leak, i'm going to have to take it home and try to do so myself. If that doesn't work, a used tank would be awesome. Ebay here in U.S. has absolutely nothing (I don't want a SM tank, it's not worth losing the range just to save a bit of cash). But thanks for the UK ebay suggestion - they have a few i'm looking at.

I'll post update(s), but for now thanks for the support.

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limeyduffa
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Re: Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by limeyduffa » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:06 am

You would think that the inserts would just spin around when over cranked and wouldn't crack the tank. Anyway, good luck CDB. It's a plastic tank and I don't think it's the end of the world if it is cracked. I'm experienced with nonlaminating marine epoxies when repairing surf boards. I have no experience with these epoxies with fuel, but these epoxies can pretty much hack everything but high temperatures (if it is, then I'm sure there is a product that is fuel suitable). If there is a crack, it maybe possible to pull out the insert, fill the hole, then drill a new insert hole, then tap the insert into it. .. but I'm going with what linehand said with a possible seal failure or the sealing surface not properly prepared/cleaned when refitting the pump. It's a very tight squeeze when refitting the pump. You have to really push it back in. If the seals/surface aren't lubed properly, I can imagine it would be easy to damage them.

CatDaddysBBQ
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Re: Leaking Fuel Tank

Post by CatDaddysBBQ » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:54 pm

The service tech was able to drain/dry the tank overnight and apply some tank sealant to patch the leak. 48hrs later and it wasn't leaking anymore.

SO, yay. For now. At least now I can keep my eyes open for a possible ebay tank or something to have on back burner. But if it leaks again and it's at home, I can drain the tank and plug it with whatever I can get my hands on...

It was just unfortunate that it happened in their care - dealerships aren't known for wanting to maguyver things like a fuel leak. Protocol is more to replace with new (expensive) stuff. I'm glad they were willing to try to help me out for a temp fix.

Who knows, it may never happen again and i could have the bike for 10yrs with zero issues. Doubt it, but glad I didn't have to add 1200 bucks or something to my tab today.

Thanks again everybody - always better to have some moral support and suggestions from owners.

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