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Thread: fuel strip help... maybe

  1. #1
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    fuel strip help... maybe

    an aircraft mechanic i know has a 2008 gs 1200. he went through several fuel strips. he says he figured that if, when gassing up he faced the fuel nozzle aft (away from the strip in the tank) it might help.
    in any case, he hasn't had to have any strips replaced since. (2 1/2 years)

    haven't had the problem in 6k mi with my '10 r12r but what the heck? reversing the nozzle can't hurt.

    just passing this along for what its worth.

    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  2. #2
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Hmm. I think it's highly unlikely that has anything to do with it.

    I went through four fuel strips before one started hanging in there. The 5th one is good. The first lasted 32,000, then the replacements lasted 4,000, 2,200 and 940 miles respectively.

    This last one has lasted 40,000 plus miles over a year and a half.
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  3. #3
    Jack Herbst
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    I thought keeping the tank full after every ride might be the answer. I used to always fill up prior to riding and the bike would sit with low fuel between rides drying the strip.

    So much for this theory. I will be getting #7 installed on Wednesday. This one lasted just over two years. #2 quit before I left the dealer parking lot after install. When getting them installed make sure it is calibrated by the dealer after install as per BMW instructions. 2008 RT

    Its time for BMW to pony up on this one. I have four BMW's and this will be my last until this is recalled and solved.

    My 2009 F650GS (twin) will be getting the third cracked tank next week. I wonder when this will end if ever.

    Jack
    "All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    The idea of directing the fuel stream away from the strip has been proposed a number of times, problem is - it hasn't helped. The strip itself isn't what fails.. what fails is the junction between the strip and the wire connection to it. This is molded into a lump of epoxy at the top of the strip assembly (which is a rigid plastic holder for the fuel strip.) A number of us have taken measurements of defective fuel strips - and they measure the same as a new one on one side of the lump (the strip side) and open circuit, or high-resistance on the other side.

    My only thought has been to not give in to the urge to get as much fuel as possible into the tank, in the hope that the lump is then located above the fuel level (at least when stationary) so fuel won't wick (by capillary action) into the junction. So - with this latest strip, I only fill to the bottom of the orange neck in the tank.. Has that helped? No idea - only have about 5,000 miles on strip #4..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  5. #5
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I use synthetic oil, run 40 PSI in my front tire and check my oil level following the procedure in the owner's manual. No fuel strip failures to date. Think I'm on to something.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    luckily I haven't had a fuel strip problem.

    Reading the fuel strip posts here has given me the impression that it's a quality control problem with the fuel strip.

    There seems to be multiple fuel strip failures on individual bikes and others with no problems.

    So I tend to think it's bad batches of fuel strips coming out of the factory.

    But maybe not, just a guess. Who knows
    Anthony S.
    2012 R1200GS

  7. #7
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloride View Post
    So I tend to think it's bad batches of fuel strips coming out of the factory.

    But maybe not, just a guess. Who knows
    I think that's also highly unlikely. This has been a problem since BMW went to the fuel strips in 2005. They simply gave up on fixing the fuel strip problem and went back to floats - generally leaving thousands of R1200 owners from 2005 until the 2010 GS was introduced - stuck with continued and potential fuel sensor failures.

    BMW needs to step up to the plate and own this problem by offering an unlimited warranty on any bike with a fuel level sensor.
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  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveAikens View Post
    I think that's also highly unlikely. This has been a problem since BMW went to the fuel strips in 2005. They simply gave up on fixing the fuel strip problem and went back to floats - generally leaving thousands of R1200 owners from 2005 until the 2010 GS was introduced - stuck with continued and potential fuel sensor failures.

    BMW needs to step up to the plate and own this problem by offering an unlimited warranty on any bike with a fuel level sensor.
    Wow that would be great - an unlimited warranty!

    Actually what BMW has done on the car side is offer an extended interval (usually something like 6 years/100k miles) warranty just on the specific failure prone item (in some cases this included engines..) I'd imagine if some group of people got a class-action lawsuit going this might well be the outcome (and it usually includes reimbursing anyone who paid for a failed item out of warranty.)

    BTW - I can't recall seeing/hearing of many fuel-strip failures on the '05-06 model years. Mebbe less bikes were sold since the intro originally only had the GS, then RT then ST.. but it might almost seem as if something changed starting with the '07 model year bikes. Be interesting to run a survey on it.. (mebbe I'll do that..)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  9. #9
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Obviously, just on the fuel sensor strip. Even a reasonable extension of warranty would help. The problem isn't so much the failure - it's the high cost of the dealer required services.

    I have an 08 535i that is prone to HPFP and turbo failures. They did indeed extend the warranty on those components.
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  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Fuel strip poll: http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread.php?t=64037

    BTW - Steve, just pulling your leg.. it's been how many decades and you didn't spot it?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  11. #11
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    I knew Don...Pulling back a bit....HA.
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    BMW MOA #6218
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  12. #12
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    from the adventure rider forum

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=758453

    "I just read the magazine and the response from MCN. They consulted Al Madril at BMW Fresno. Probably a nice guy but it's not really the same as a response from BMW corporate. Al basically says that "California gas, with its maze of chemicals, does a bit worse than other states, but 'the problem' is not as widespread as the internet forums would report." He goes on to say "Using a gas additive containing 'Techron,' such as BMW's fuel system treatment, appears to help the situation a bit."

    Then he mentions that "We get periodic progress reports from the BMW mothership on this subject, and you should know that it is a big deal and it is being addressed."
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  13. #13
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    fuel strips, final drives...

    what comes in third?
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f14rio View Post
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=758453

    "I just read the magazine and the response from MCN. They consulted Al Madril at BMW Fresno. Probably a nice guy but it's not really the same as a response from BMW corporate. Al basically says that "California gas, with its maze of chemicals, does a bit worse than other states, but 'the problem' is not as widespread as the internet forums would report." He goes on to say "Using a gas additive containing 'Techron,' such as BMW's fuel system treatment, appears to help the situation a bit."

    Then he mentions that "We get periodic progress reports from the BMW mothership on this subject, and you should know that it is a big deal and it is being addressed."
    It's interesting to see the transfer of tech info from the car side to the bike side, especially when it's wrong. Techron is a fuel system cleaner. BMW recommended using it on some of their cars (like my M-Coupe) when the electro-mechanical fuel level sensor screwed up.. it was an old fashion rheostat type float device. Problem was deposits on the fine wire portion of the rheostat, that Techron sometimes cleaned off. The final fix was a redesigned fuel sensor that didn't corrode.

    There is nothing in the fuel strip design that should be affected in a positive or negative manner by Techron. I have seen quite a few defective fuel strips. I've disassembled them looking for a clue. The strips are invariably spotless and look brand new. The failure is in the junction between the plastic-film resistive elements and the wiring going to the plug that connects it. This junction is very nicely encased in epoxy, so well that I have yet to succeed in opening it up to see if anything obvious is going wrong. I can't imagine that Techron would have any effect on it at all.

    I'm sure Al is a nice guy, but it sounds like dealer-babble to me. Dealer-babble is when someone is compelled to come up with an answer.. any answer.. and whatever the current rumor floating around suffices. Guess he hasn't seen the fuel strip poll here.. it seems to be a rather prevalent issue on quite a few bikes - right now I'd guess of the responses we've gotten it looks like > 50% have experienced some failure on 2007-2010 bikes. It's bad enough that BMW regressed to a float design.

    I like MCN, but I often see bad or wrong tech printed as fact.. I used to write them about it, but never had a letter published and never got any reply, so I stopped.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  15. #15
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    ...the fuel strip poll here.. it seems to be a rather prevalent issue on quite a few bikes - right now I'd guess of the responses we've gotten it looks like > 50% have experienced some failure on 2007-2010 bikes.
    That's >50% of those who responded to the poll. This is exactly the same discussion we've had on final drive failures, and HES ring failures, and probably some others. Enthusiast forum reports exaggerate prevalence.


    It's bad enough that BMW regressed to a float design.
    True: it is enough of a headache that BMW did something, at least on the better-selling bikes that used fuel strips. We in R12R land are apparently the ugly stepsisters.

    Has anyone actually totaled production or sales numbers of fuel strip equipped bikes to determine what proportion of actual fuel strip equipped bikes has failed? BMW knows, of course, and never talks.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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