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Thread: Going to replace my fuel strip, 1200RT.

  1. #1
    Registered User 118078's Avatar
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    Going to replace my fuel strip, 1200RT.

    My fuel gauge is all wonky. I'm sure it's the fuel strip. I'm going to call the dealer tomorrow and see if they have one in stock.

    Bike is a '05 1200RT, with ~70,000 km.

    I'm going to do this myself, never had the tank off the bike, anything I need to know or be careful about?

    I used to open up the tank on my 1100RT and change the fuel filter, this can't be any harder can it?

  2. #2
    Registered User phalcon51's Avatar
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    Not positive, but I think the fuel strip has to be calibrated using a factory tool. I'm sure some who knows for sure will chime in or just call the dealer and ask.
    Gary W. Gerfen #159716
    Monrovia, CA
    2005 R1200ST
    1979 R100RS

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 118078 View Post
    I'm going to do this myself, never had the tank off the bike, anything I need to know or be careful about?
    Not sure if you need to take the tank off to replace the fuel strip. You probably already thought of this, but just in case, if you do need to remove the tank, make sure it's mostly empty before you take it off (good excuse for a ride).

    It's not so hard to get the tank off when there's fuel in it, but getting a tank with fuel lined up with the bolt holes and rubber washers when you put it back on can be difficult (DAMHIK).

  4. #4
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    Fuel sensor replacement IS NOT a DIY operation because it requires the BMW diagnostic computer to calibrate the new sensor. Summary procedure below, condensed to omit various stuff like pulling the tupperware and all the std precautions about working with fuel tanks. Reference is 16 14 000 on the RepROM disc.

    1) Drain and remove fuel tank.
    2) Remove fuel pump unit from tank.
    3) Lift filler neck, disengage fuel sensor and lift it out of tank.
    4) Because new sensor has to be calibrated DRY, connect sensor to fuel pump while pump is removed from tank.
    5) Reconnect fuel pump to bike electrics while the pump is still removed from the tank.
    6) NOTE: Battery must be fully charged and bike connected to charger while calibrating. Procedure will abort or misfire if voltage drops below 12.6 V
    7) Start BMW diagnostic system, initiate CIP program, and follow its instructions to calibrate. Disconnect diagnostic system, then charger when done.
    8) Install fuel level sensor in tank. Reassemble everything.

    Note that the procedure can tempt the lazy to take various shortcuts which may produce unsatisfactory results so even when you get this done at a dealer, you might want to ask a few questions to see if they're among the tempted.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    I've been in my dealer's shop on more than one occasion where they were replacing the fuel strip due to it being a common RT problem. Is it possible the strip issue might be on warrantee regardless of the bike mileage since it's been a known problem?

    Might be worth asking at least.

  6. #6
    No such luck. If your bike is out of warrenty, YOU will be paying for the fuel strip. (I've begged BMW NA to help with mine, to no avail). The good news is that once it's replaced by the shop, it's virtually warrantied for life, since the replacement will fail within the two year warranty, the next one will also fail before two years, and so on and so on ..... You would think BMW would just come up with a better solution, as this will end up costing them $$$$.

  7. #7
    Jack Herbst
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    Good luck, I am on fuel strip #5 on my 08 R1200RT!

    JACK

  8. #8
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    How much you wanna bet a bunch of those replacements were done "wrong" if you've managed to kill 5? The required procedure invites the lazy to take shortcuts.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    How much you wanna bet a bunch of those replacements were done "wrong" if you've managed to kill 5? The required procedure invites the lazy to take shortcuts.
    How would an improper procedure kill a fuel strip?

    I've managed to kill 3 and don't blame the install - they either work or they fail encased in a plastic housing. I can understand if they were handled improperly during the install but I doubt this to be the case especially when I hear this is a problem on multiple continents.

    I can't believe this is still happening on the 2010 models. Imagine the replacement cost BMW is supporting. How many failures to recognize an issue? It's obviously cheaper to continue replacing than change/update the design.

  10. #10
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 118078 View Post
    My fuel gauge is all wonky. I'm sure it's the fuel strip. I'm going to call the dealer tomorrow and see if they have one in stock.

    Bike is a '05 1200RT, with ~70,000 km.

    I'm going to do this myself, never had the tank off the bike, anything I need to know or be careful about?

    I used to open up the tank on my 1100RT and change the fuel filter, this can't be any harder can it?
    As stated you can't put in a new strip without the dealer doing it - but if you are interested in removing the tank here is the DIY - http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread.php?t=35414

    There is a fairly comprehensive DIY section in the hex/cam forum which covers just about all regular maintanance activities
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  11. #11
    Registered User 118078's Avatar
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    I just heard from my dealer, the part is $297 and 3 hours labour @ $95, so he estimated $600 plus taxes.

    Or I could put a little tape over the flashing fuel pump sign, and continue to use my trip odometer.

    +$600 yikes!

  12. #12
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    I wish I had a few fuel strip examples handy as well as a couple of the bike computers and the factory diagnostic tool. Then I could probably tell you why repeat failures are happening with a high probability of being right. Assuming anyone at BMW has actually bothered to investigate this rather than simply propose a theory, they already know back in Germany. Wouldn't take all that long for bright techies to figure it out.

    What we do know is that this is a fairly simple wheatstone bridge type of device.
    I've seen failures of simple parts like this for any number of reasons from as simple as handling or chemical compatibility to faults in the computer to which they are connected. Some of the possible failure causes are procedure related; some aren't.

    Don't lightly dismiss the possibilty it is related to the bike computer itself, possibly exacerbated by bad procedure design or equipment used or the manner in which it is done - this phenomenon is known on certain German cars where the computer equivalents have been known to randomly fry all kinds of stuff to which they're connected. If you can find a Mercedes zone rep or service tech willing to discuss the subject, ask them about some of theirs, how many they've replaced and then try asking why they've never been forthcoming with customers about the whats and whys. Because it gets expensive very quickly to replace computers, the car guys have been known to let customers live with problem for a long time- after all, it can be cheaper for the factory and the dealer keeps gettig repeat warranty work paid for.

  13. #13
    jduke
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    I bought one in June the third one on my 05 R12ST. The fuel level sensor was $170.32, labor was $212.50.
    I noticed it showed full when I left the dealer and turned around and went back. They said to ride the bike and give it some time to reset. It never left full.
    Today I took it to a different BMW dealer and it replaced under warranty. The new one registered correctly all day.
    The service manager told me BMW will have a replacement that works by the end of the year. In the meantime, they will replace any under warranty. If your bike is out of warranty, be prepared for a $400 bill. And then they'll replace defective ones under a 2 year parts and labor warranty for free from the date of the replacement.

  14. #14
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    This is the first time I've heard of a planned part change for the strip though pehaps it is old knowledge to others. Let's hope its accurate, that it is a complete fix, and that it shows up soon. If anyone has info on a new fuel strip part number and how to identify it, please post that info.

    "Fixes" to other problem stuff (the FD, the fpc among them) have only been partial because there is an underlying design issue that goes unaddressed, though the replacement part may be a little more robust than its predecessor.

    If the bike computers are contributing at all to the strip failures, the fix will be incomplete. Let's hope the strip failures aren't an example of that phenomenon. What would be even better is a clear and plausible explanation from BMW about what they have concluded causes the failures- not holding my breath for that even though it could be as simple as a short note accompanying release of the new part. So far all I've heard that is alleged to have come from the factory (I don't know this to be true) is "fuel incompatibility". That's not very plausible unless their strip maker is a total moron with no other automotive experience.

    Meantime, I'm still one of the lucky ones on this subject. Two years on the original strip and 1 yr left on the bike warranty if I don't run the miles sooner.

  15. #15
    jduke
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    I don't think it's fuel incompatibility. The one I bought a couple of months ago was dead when I left the dealership. The one I got today works fine. The fuel is pretty much the same, up to 10% ethanol premium from Chevron. Just to eliminate a potential fuel problem, I've used the same brand exclusively since I replaced the sensor in June.

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