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Sorry it has been awhile since I have posted, but I thought I would come back in with a good story. I had to go to work this morning to see an emergency patient, and I thought I would ride one of the bikes. I have recently been cleaning and polishing the 72 Bonneville, so that got the nod. Well, The ride started off well and the bike was cracking along, and then started sputtering. I had checked to see if it had enough fuel before I left, and it did, so I checked the fuel taps to be sure they were on. They were, but I just did a quick, cursory check. Well, I ride on, and the bike is still sputtering. Finally I look down and see...........the fuel line spigot has come unscrewed from the tap and it is pouring gas all over the engine and me! It emptied the entire petrol tank before I could get it stopped. I only had a couple of miles to go, so I made it to the gas station. The worse part was that the gas made the bike a mess. Washed all of the lube off of the chain and spread it over the bike. I was annoyed, but that is life. The old girl likes to try and destroy herself every once in awhile by way of vibrational suicide. She can cause me untold misery at times. That being said, when that bike is running right, there is nothing better. I have ridden plenty of other bikes in my time and own several, but that one is the best. It is fast enough, handles well, stops poorly, and sounds amazing. Anyway, it's good to be back on the forum. Look for a lot of posts from me, as I have been up to a lot lately. Cheers.
Joe
 

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From what you wrote it is obvious that you don't appreciate the gravity of the situation you were facing. I would say that you had a guardian angel riding with you today. Dumping fuel over a running engine and your clothes can result in an unpleasant religious experience. About 30 years ago one of the guys in our club had a leaking petcock.

Results were after the explosion it took 48 hours for the body ID to be confirmed. Just something to think about.

K
 

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I had a fuel tap crack in half when out riding. One of the cast alloy ones being sold everywhere. The threaded portion that goes into the tank. Stopped and had to just let the petrol go. Yes, it is an experience, i noticed my leg getting wet so stopped pretty quick !
My pipe unions are usually sealed with Hylomar so have not unscrewed yet.
 

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I had a fuel tap crack in half when out riding. One of the cast alloy ones being sold everywhere. The threaded portion that goes into the tank. Stopped and had to just let the petrol go.
:nod The T160 I bought second-hand came to me with a pair fitted. The reserve tap :rolleyes: broke off exactly the same. Luckily I was outside the house, stuck my finger over the hole in the tank, yelled 'til the girlfiend came out to see what all the racket was about, she grabbed an empty fuel can and we managed to spread much of the fuel around the other bikes. Nevertheless, skin and especially clothes penned for days afterwards ... :(

Daft thing is, because the Co-op fitted those taps for a year or two, now people will pay money 'em ... :Not again
 

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better off with the nickel/chrome coated brass ones IMO, those cast alloy ones were always prone to fracturing...we all learned the hard way years ago. Some like Stuart were lucky, mine was when fitting them after a paint job so it was also lucky. Others, not so lucky.
 

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Hi,
Some types of fuel hose hardens with age/fuel contamination, the clear braided hoses are particularly prone to losing their flexibility.

Vibration from the engine can be transmitted along a hose that has hardened and find a point where fatigue can be induced, this is likely to be the stress riser caused by the thread where it screws into the tank.

It is worthwhile to replace all fuel hoses that have hardened.

Regards
Peg.
 

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I had the same experience with a sputtering engine. I pulled over and found fuel pouring out one of my MK II. The bottom plug/trap came out because I failed to tighten it properly is my guess. I was in a 30 mph zone and rode for a quarter mile to a gas station, saw the problem, shut the fuel lines off and luckily the plug stayed on the engine case when it fell out!:surprise: And indeed, this can be a very dangerous situation. I felt very fortunate ...
 

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Similar thing happened to my when I was living in Australia many years ago. Riding at speed I felt my leg getting cold and the engine started missing. I pulled over to find the original factory tap was leaking and fuel was all over my leg/boot, the engine casing, gearbox, rear wheel etc. I never really got rid of the smell from my leathers but could have been much worse.

Any photos of the cast taps please? I want to check mine as the PO fitted both last year.
 

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better off with the nickel/chrome coated brass ones IMO, those cast alloy ones were always prone to fracturing...we all learned the hard way years ago. Some like Stuart were lucky, mine was when fitting them after a paint job so it was also lucky. Others, not so lucky.
Who sells these please?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate the concern, and I did realize the gravity of the situation. That being said, no fire, no harm, no foul. I am just adding this to the list of items that have decided to jump ship from my old bikes. Passenger footpegs, check. Velocity stack, check. Fender mounting bolt, check. And also recently on the 72 Bonneville, headlight retaining bolt. Caught that one before it fell out and tightened her up. And before anyone accuses me of being piss poor with the spanners, I am not. I guess that the miles and vibration just add up a bit. Anyway, I enjoy the stories of others having similar experience. Cheers.
Joe
 

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Every winter I go over all bolts and parts and check thay are tight, I often get quite a few shocks as to what has come loose!!!
 

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Hi Ian,

I fear mine are possibly a variation on the theme....
Uh-uh, yours are fine, they're "the nickel/chrome coated brass ones" used before the aforementioned late '79. Your bike's reserve tap has a similar quarter-circle plate with "OFF" and "RES" on it? Similar plates appeared originally on the '75-to-early-'79 variation of that tap type, albeit the "RES" was above the lever and the tap centres were plastic.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Yours look fine Boggie.

I seem to remember a cast tap that was the same as the '70's tap as well Stuart.....looked the same as the brass ones we get today, but was a cast metal. They had a plastic centre with a metal lever that often snapped the plastic off so you had to use pointy nose pliers to turn the tap on or off. So it wasn't just the later versions that suffered. I might still have one in my box of useless bits, I will have a look tomorrow and post if I find it.
 

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That is good to hear. PO replaced both before selling the bike because they were leaking a little. They are the same design as each other (one with "On" and one with "Res"). I cannot find the receipt to see what the make is or where they came from but they do appear to have been cast and the levers appear a little low-rent, although the action feels good. I might remove a little of the chrome in an inconspicuous area to see what colour the casting is.
 

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Don't bother, honestly yours are brass and are fine. I haven't seen the cast ones like yours for years.
I actually don't like having a reserve tap. On my bikes the saddle over the frame is too big for the unused reserve side to drain to the other side to be used. I always use 2 main taps. On a trip I only run with one tap on and my reserve becomes the fuel that cannot flow over the saddle hump. But I always keep an eye on mileage and know when I should fill up.
 

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Love good stories like this!

The fact your bike is a sweet '72 had nothing to do with this, as I'm sure you know. It could happen on most any bike.

I had an almost identical experience about 10 years ago on a Harley Wide Glide - scared me to death as I could see a fireball occurring at any moment. And I was about 15 miles from home. But the leak was a very slow one - not major like yours from a crack in the fuel line. I kept fiddling with it to minimize the leak & prayed all the way home - and nothing happened, thank the Lord.

Thanks for sharing......

GN
 
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