How to protect the petrol tank - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 1969 Triumph T120R Bonne
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How to protect the petrol tank

I have picked up my newly painted petrol tank from the painters and they have done a good job. My question is how best to protect it now. Some of you may recall that a bubble appeared under the paint which is why it needed painting again (see 3rd picture). When the painter stripped the old paint off sure enough he found a small hole which he welded up.
What's the best way to protect the inside of the tank over winter? Do I spray WD40 inside and leave it empty? Do I fill it with fuel? I remember reading somewhere someone recommending to a add a few drops of oil at each fill, is that a good idea? I am not too keen on adding a resin liner, what else do you guys recommend?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 08:24 AM
Grand Prix 500
Main Motorcycle: Triumph Thunderbird LT
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Hi John

Have a read of the following article on ethanol in petrol:
https://www.johnsmotorcyclenews.co.u...-fuel-systems/
My TR6 had an coating on the inside when I bought it. If it hadn't I would have had it done.

My regime when I put the bike away for the winter is to fill the tank to the brim with the highest grade fuel I can get (Super unleaded 97 /99 RON) and mixed with Sta-bil:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/STA-BIL-222.../dp/B000JJHNAW
Then ride the bike for about 5 miles to ensure the fuel / Sta-bil mix is in the carb. You can then park the bike up over the winter and it will start with out problems in the spring.

Without wanting to state the obvious! I never allow anyone else to fill my bikes tanks, fill very slowly to avoid splash back and always wait those few extra seconds to ensure no drips when I remove the nozzle.
A friend of mine has a special plastic collar (made from a funnel cut down) that he fits round the filler before dispensing the fuel!

Beautiful paint job btw.

Steve
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 10:43 AM
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I just empty the tank and carbs, and after winter they are ready to be used.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 01:08 PM
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Main Motorcycle: T140 cafe NRE900cc
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Hi John,
You do not say if you want to fit the tank and ride the bike before spring, I assume you donít and just want to store it empty.

Condensation will be your biggest enemy here, I would go one of two routes:
A) bring the tank inside your house for the winter and fit it in the spring.
B). Fit the tank and fill it with inert gas, co2 mig welding gas will do. This will displace moisture bourne air and remove the oxygen.
No oxygen = no Iron oxide can be formed. Place some tape over the vent hole and you are safe until spring.

If you want to fill your tank then follow SPWLís instructions.
Even S98 petrol is a 5% ethanol blend in France making it very difficult to keep bikes ethanol free It might now be difficult to find premium fuel to overwinter the tank with in France.


I found this article interesting:

https://armchairbiker.com/ethanol-in...-need-to-know/


Superb paint job, very nice.

Regards
Peg.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 05:18 PM
Grand Prix 500
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Hi Peg

That's a really interesting article. Also, I didn't know that super unleaded might still contain ethanol, I didn't know that all french petrol has ethanol.

My regime with sta-bil was given to me by a retired F1 mechanic who was also a biker and he said that most additives were a waste of time but that sta-bil did work. It's supposed to work with up to E85 and it stops condensation. I have been using it for 4 years in all my engines (including garden tools) and it has eliminated all the spring start up problems I used to have. It also saves a lot of time on draining down.

The one question I don't know the answer to is, does it prevent ethanol damage to a tank liner?

Steve
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 1969 Triumph T120R Bonne
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Thank you all for your replies, my inclination is to go down the additive route as the problem of ethanol in petrol won't only impact my bike but also my old cars, they do get a fair amount of of use in summer but not a lot in winter and the thought of draining down everything when I am not about too drive/ride them for a while doesn't fill me with joy, especially as when I do want to go out I don't want the faf of having to refill and bleed all the systems.

The article on ethanol is very thought provoking, especially with regard to my TR6 (car not bike) as that still has the original Lucas fuel pump for the injection system. Although I try to fill up with super unleaded whenever I can it seems that it's not going to be around for ever so the additive route has to be the way forward for me I think.

Thanks again for taking the time to impart your wisdom, it is very much appreciated.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 03:05 PM
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I use super unleaded fuel and always add a little 2T oil to the fuel each time. Not needed to use a liner and this seems to slow down a rust attack. Cheap way to protect the metal and has a benefit of oiling the valve stems in the inlet and exhaust. Still using same guides and valves after 46,000 miles. I also add a little lead substitute liquid but no data that it actually does anything.

Now,where did that bit fall off ?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 04:10 PM
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If you're laying the bike up for the winter months, IMO you should completely drain all fuel from tank and carbs.
Rusting requires oxygen and water.
The aim then is to dry the tank completely, by flowing air through it for an hour say, warming the tank with a hair dryer at the same time will encourage this process. Now you have the minimum moisture in the tank, so now you want to maintain that condition for several months.
If you can get hold of some of those silicagel sachets commonly used for packaging optics etc, put a few in a plastic bag with a few holes in, hang it in the filler hole, lay another plastic sheet over the filler, and close it, as well as the taps. Leave it in the coldest place.
Keeping a tank in the warm living environment is possibly the worst option. Rusting, like most chemical reactions, is accelerated by temperature. Also that trapped atmosphere in the house has a much higher humidity (water content) than the cold air in the shed which is probably exchanging more freely with the outside. If that humid air gets into the tank when the environment is warm, then the tank cools when the heating drops during the night, then the cooling air in the tank has to give up its moisture to the cold surface of the tank. This condensation forms in localised spots, initiating corrosion as burrowing pits.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 11:44 PM
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Hi
The move to E10 (10%) ethanol was decided in Europe in a 2009 environmental legislation, all member states must supply fuel with 10% ingredients from renewable sources. Germany and France are forging ahead, where as the UK is more adept at kicking the can down the road and hanging on to the 3.5-5% level.

A tour of the internet found some interesting things;
However it is coming, Shell reformulated their premium shell super fuel recently (renamed it Nitro) and are very evasive when questioned about Ethanol content in their fuel, BP is the same when questioned abot BP ultimate premium fuel. Esso seem to be the only fuel company who state they have no ethanol in their premium fuel.

Ethanol combines with water, and drops out of the fuel, the mixture is a mild acid, so steel tanks are not imune from corrosion.

The car companies are keen to have more ethanol in petrol, the ethanol raises the ron, approx 1 point every 2.5%. This means the can design smaller engines with high compression and powerful forced induction, so meet emmision regulations easier.

The oi companies are not keen at all, at 15 % (E15) the ethanol will eat through the fuel tanks under the petrol stations, so these will all need to be replaced, at 18% it will eat through the refineries and delivery tankers.

In Brazil ethanol production takes 17 years to get a positive carbon footprint as they make biofuels from sugar cane, in the USA it takes 93 years to become carbon positive as they use grain to make biofuels.

The EU is legislated to move forward in blending more and more renewable fuel into petrol, however there is now a move to halving the amount of biofuel in petrol by 2030, as they have now realised that we will not have enough land to feed the population if huge tracts are used for biofuels.

As I said previously this is all from a tour of the internet, so treat it like opinions not facts.

Perhaps this is the last hurrah for our old bikes, enjoy them while you can.

I can imagine the 2025 hinkley Bonneville having an electric motor disguised as a pre unit 650.

Regards
Peg.

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