Triumph Trident Fuel Tank Reacting To Petrol

Pugwash

Member
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
4
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Devon
First Name
David
My Ride
Triumph Trident Sprint
I have a 1995 Trident Sprint on which the fuel tank has started to react with petrol. I think this may be a consequence of the higher ethanol content in modern fuel. My tank is totally sound and if I buy a second hand one I think I would be buying the same problem. Any advice would be great, is there a product that can line your tank?
 

Rocky

Still Rocking
Riding for 27 Years
Administrator
Staff
Local time
Today, 01:25
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
17,696
Points
893
Age
82
Location
Halifax
First Name
Rocky
My Ride
2006 T100 Bonneville
What do you mean by "react with petrol?"
What's happening?
 

Pugwash

Member
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
4
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Devon
First Name
David
My Ride
Triumph Trident Sprint
It seems that as they have increased to proportion of ethanol in petrol it is reacting with the inside of the tank and turning the fuel into a waxy consistency that blocks the carbs. If I replace the tank with another secondhand one I think I will have the same problem sooner or later so I'm looking to treat my existing tank.
 

Greyfell

Proud Nerd
Riding for 2 Years
Local time
Yesterday, 21:25
Joined
May 4, 2016
Messages
1,815
Points
152
Age
63
Location
Northern California
First Name
Stephen
My Ride
2008 Triumph Bonneville T100 Ann-Margret
This is something I would ask a tank specialist about.
 

harper6t

Well-Known Member
Riding for 48 Years
Local time
Today, 16:25
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
578
Points
52
Location
Sydney
First Name
Alan
My Ride
1950 Thunderbird
I have never heard of ethanol in petrol causing a waxy coating, but I would make sure I didn't leave fuel in the tank for long periods these days. Thankfully here in Aus we can get petrol with no ethanol, I will not let any ethanol blend fuel near any of my bikes. But that doesn't mean it is good to leave in the tank or the carbs, on my son's RVF400 he had a miss at take off, we cleaned the carbs fully to find the issue was a build up of crud, quite a bit actually, on the needles. I have never seen anything like this before, yes in the bowls and on the floats or in the jets when fuel has been left to sit in the carbs, but never crusty build up on the jets. Just what it does to fuel injection I don't like to think about.
 

shanered6

Time for adventure
Riding for 43 Years
Staff
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
6,160
Points
523
Age
51
Location
Turriff, Aberdeenshire
First Name
shane llywarch
My Ride
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 ntx
How long have you had the bike ? dose it sit all winter ? and has your tank ever been flushed out ?
 

Pugwash

Member
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
4
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Devon
First Name
David
My Ride
Triumph Trident Sprint
I've had from virtually new so 23/24 years. It does sit in the garage over winter and the tank has never been flushed out. Thanks for your help, i don't know if this is a UK thing where we have higher amounts of ethanol than most countries.
 

shanered6

Time for adventure
Riding for 43 Years
Staff
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
6,160
Points
523
Age
51
Location
Turriff, Aberdeenshire
First Name
shane llywarch
My Ride
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 ntx
I dont think it is the tank reacting with the fuel .... just think it is a build up of stale fuel from many winters of standing and the tank never having a flush out .
I would recommend taking the tank off and a gallon of fresh fuel and give it a good swill out then clean the tap and carbs out with carb cleaner , use the aerosol type you dont need to strip the carbs then you just fill each carb with cleaner then drain using the drain screws at the bottom of the carbs .
 

shanered6

Time for adventure
Riding for 43 Years
Staff
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
6,160
Points
523
Age
51
Location
Turriff, Aberdeenshire
First Name
shane llywarch
My Ride
Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 ntx
I just thought i would mention this ; all fuel pumps should be clearly market with either E0 no ethanol , E5 5% ethanol and E10 10% ethanol , so you should be able to still get ethanol free fuel or the lower 5% one .
 

triumph david

Riding for 60 Years
Staff
Local time
Yesterday, 23:25
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
5,208
Points
355
Age
72
Location
brookhaven
First Name
david
My Ride
1976 t140 Triumph, 2006 Road King, 1982 Honda CB 900 C, 1973 Yamaha 360 Enduro, 1972 Corbin
I am late to this post, i own a radiator shop where i also coat fuel tanks and have for 30 years, the best liner and what i use is Bill Hirsch Gas Tank Sealer, there # is 1-800-828-2061, in New Jersey, they make the best there is however keep in mind that the surface HAS TO BE CLEAN!!! , they also sell chemicals that will aid in this process. I have never had a comeback using this product it is the best!!!
 

Bateby

Member
Riding for 57 Years
Local time
Today, 05:25
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
15
Points
7
Age
74
Location
Market Harborough
My Ride
Triumph Trophy 900 1993
I have a 1995 Trident Sprint on which the fuel tank has started to react with petrol. I think this may be a consequence of the higher ethanol content in modern fuel. My tank is totally sound and if I buy a second hand one I think I would be buying the same problem. Any advice would be great, is there a product that can line your tank?
I took my 93 Trophy 900 to Tasmania in 99 and brought it back in 06, when I got it ready for the road again in 2012 I had a service shop check the
valve clearances and carbs. when I collected it a week later they said "we took a Sainsburys bag out of the tank as the carbs were bunged up with debris" The "Sainburys bag" was the orangey red lining of the tank whic has been coming off ever since, every time the tank has to come off for any reason I get more flakes of this material out by tipping the petrol out into a filter funnel and cleaning the tap filter.
I get less and less every time so it must all have come away by now. While in Tas' the fuel had E10 ethanol in it and all the pundits recon that is what causes the problem it also expands the "O" rings in the petrol tap so the plastic breaks when turning on to reserve so I bought a metal one then the pegs that turn the inside disc broke off, never a dull moment with a 110,000 mile bike!
 

triumph david

Riding for 60 Years
Staff
Local time
Yesterday, 23:25
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
5,208
Points
355
Age
72
Location
brookhaven
First Name
david
My Ride
1976 t140 Triumph, 2006 Road King, 1982 Honda CB 900 C, 1973 Yamaha 360 Enduro, 1972 Corbin
Bateby, I have made many $ since E10 was introduced cleaning and lining tanks, one thing i did not mention in my other post is that you might try putting some rocks in the tank and shaking them around to "break" the stuff loose inside the tank i have done this many times. Another thing is pressure washing the inside but you can never hit all of the surface this works good on car and truck tanks. You are right the E10 also effects rubber parts turning them into mush, fuel lines are specially hit hard. The marine people on this side were really pissed when they would be out in the middle of the ocean and there engine would stop because of what E10 did to fuel lines.This brings up another idea of getting your gas at a marina around here there have been some laws passed about not selling E10 at marinas, might check it out.
 

ChrisAnglophile

Riding for 52 Years
Banned
Local time
Today, 16:25
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
334
Points
57
Age
65
Location
Sydney,, Australia
First Name
Chris
My Ride
T955i
It seems that as they have increased to proportion of ethanol in petrol it is reacting with the inside of the tank and turning the fuel into a waxy consistency that blocks the carbs. If I replace the tank with another secondhand one I think I will have the same problem sooner or later so I'm looking to treat my existing tank.
All the above advice is good.
I hate tank liners, as when I cut a tank open to Repair, I have to scrap or this crap off.
Then once repaired, I have a tough time, getting all the burnt liner out.
I've seen liners, that have been used to repair tanks, which there is no tank left. !!
Just filler...!
You can remove Ethanol, but mixing the fuel with lots of water, mixing it up and letting it settle.
Drain off the water and Ethanol and add a bit of mentholated spirits, to absorb any water that is left.
But then you may need an Octane booster, but you may not..
Its pretty easy stuff , as long as you ride only at weekends.
Drain any petrol station fuel, straight after the weekend and flush the system.
Its easier to maintain than fix...good luck!
Chris...
 

triumph david

Riding for 60 Years
Staff
Local time
Yesterday, 23:25
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
5,208
Points
355
Age
72
Location
brookhaven
First Name
david
My Ride
1976 t140 Triumph, 2006 Road King, 1982 Honda CB 900 C, 1973 Yamaha 360 Enduro, 1972 Corbin
I just finished a tank that was as bad as i have ever seen, the first step is getting it clean this can only be done by using rust remover solvents, this stuff is very caustic, the solution i use cost more to have it shipped to me that it cost to purchase, it is used for many things in my shop not only for rust removal. I can see why Chris said he hates tank linings 99% of them just don't work and are put in the tank over rust, its just like cancer surgery if you don't get ALL of the cancer cells out it will come back! The liner i use is the only type used in aviation, i have never had a comeback using this product and have been repairing tanks since the early 70's. Check out some pictures of my work on the Vendors Forum.
 

dearborn

Active Member
Local time
Today, 00:25
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
111
Points
27
Age
70
Location
Dearborn Michigan USA
First Name
Doug
My Ride
1996 Thunderbird, 1975(ish) Norton Commando
Here in Michigan, USA, most all gasoline has 10% ethanol, (BIG subsidies to corn producing States and corporate welfare to Archer-Daniels- Midland Corp!), and throughout Midwest, been that way for many years. Been told that gas sold in marinas has no ethanol, but is $$$$$$!, about 2 1/2 times pump price at gas station, (currently about $2.50 US gal for 87 octane, about $3.45 for 91/92 octane here in Detroit area).
Ethanol wreaking havoc on plastic/glass fibre tanks. I have Nortons and fiberglasss tanks just melt away. Many stories of Ducati and Moto-Guzzi plastic tank problems. Boats have huge problems too, as fuel tanks are often part of the hulls.
Further problem with ethanol is it is hygroscopic- attracts, absorbs, holds water causing massive rust problems, especially in bikes that sit for long spells without draining/drying. So, lots of rust in bottom/seams of USA steel tanks. Ones exposed to temperature changes often have very rusty TOPS of ntanks from condensation.
I've been riding bikes since 1965, have done maybe 20 steel tanks, used tank liners from "KREEM", POR15, Eastwood and some red colored stuff I forget the name of.. An absolute fanatic about preparation, I've had some decent success, and some great failures. On one hand I have a Norton steel tank done with old school "KREEM" that gets emptied and dried every fall that has lasted over 15 years with no serious failure, even though this stuff has a horrible reputation. The POR15 and Eastwood stuff has also been a mixed success/failure. Friends 1979 BMW had factory liner peeling from ethanol, gumming up carbs, used POR15, lasted less than 2 years, huge pieces flaking off. Did '73 Triumph with same stuff, lasted 5+ years so far, no problems. Have Eastwood product in my 850 Commando, drained/dried with very slow bleed from air hose whenever it sits for any extended period, beginning to show very minor peeling, done in 2007.
Red crap is widely used by old car guys in steel gas tanks. Thick, goopy stuff, never seems to fully harden. I don't like it.
Bill Hirsch stuff is often given good reviews here in USA, though I've never used it.
There is a UK product, (Flowliner?), that I've heard works well, but then maybe UK type of ethanol is different from that used in USA.
My experience is that AVERAGE lifespan of tank liner products seems to be 3-5 years with meticulous prep and draining/drying whenever bike sits unused for any extended period.
And then the problem is once it starts to peel, then what ?
Current USA LEGAL ethanol content limit is 10%, but I'll bet that it actually varies. Raising content to 15% gas been proposed, but so far, not yet
 

dearborn

Active Member
Local time
Today, 00:25
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
111
Points
27
Age
70
Location
Dearborn Michigan USA
First Name
Doug
My Ride
1996 Thunderbird, 1975(ish) Norton Commando
Don't know how that emoji got there, sorry
 

dearborn

Active Member
Local time
Today, 00:25
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
111
Points
27
Age
70
Location
Dearborn Michigan USA
First Name
Doug
My Ride
1996 Thunderbird, 1975(ish) Norton Commando
Factory liner products are failing, too. BMW has been coating the inside of tanks since forever. My 1996 Thunderbird has some off-white color liner stuff in it too, maybe done by previous owner?, but so far no problems. Always drained/dried for winter, kept in unheated, but well insulated garage with painted concrete floor, keeps dust and humidity low.
 

ChrisAnglophile

Riding for 52 Years
Banned
Local time
Today, 16:25
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
334
Points
57
Age
65
Location
Sydney,, Australia
First Name
Chris
My Ride
T955i
Here in Michigan, USA, most all gasoline has 10% ethanol, (BIG subsidies to corn producing States and corporate welfare to Archer-Daniels- Midland Corp!), and throughout Midwest, been that way for many years. Been told that gas sold in marinas has no ethanol, but is $$$$$$!, about 2 1/2 times pump price at gas station, (currently about $2.50 US gal for 87 octane, about $3.45 for 91/92 octane here in Detroit area).
Ethanol wreaking havoc on plastic/glass fibre tanks. I have Nortons and fiberglasss tanks just melt away. Many stories of Ducati and Moto-Guzzi plastic tank problems. Boats have huge problems too, as fuel tanks are often part of the hulls.
Further problem with ethanol is it is hygroscopic- attracts, absorbs, holds water causing massive rust problems, especially in bikes that sit for long spells without draining/drying. So, lots of rust in bottom/seams of USA steel tanks. Ones exposed to temperature changes often have very rusty TOPS of ntanks from condensation.
I've been riding bikes since 1965, have done maybe 20 steel tanks, used tank liners from "KREEM", POR15, Eastwood and some red colored stuff I forget the name of.. An absolute fanatic about preparation, I've had some decent success, and some great failures. On one hand I have a Norton steel tank done with old school "KREEM" that gets emptied and dried every fall that has lasted over 15 years with no serious failure, even though this stuff has a horrible reputation. The POR15 and Eastwood stuff has also been a mixed success/failure. Friends 1979 BMW had factory liner peeling from ethanol, gumming up carbs, used POR15, lasted less than 2 years, huge pieces flaking off. Did '73 Triumph with same stuff, lasted 5+ years so far, no problems. Have Eastwood product in my 850 Commando, drained/dried with very slow bleed from air hose whenever it sits for any extended period, beginning to show very minor peeling, done in 2007.
Red crap is widely used by old car guys in steel gas tanks. Thick, goopy stuff, never seems to fully harden. I don't like it.
Bill Hirsch stuff is often given good reviews here in USA, though I've never used it.
There is a UK product, (Flowliner?), that I've heard works well, but then maybe UK type of ethanol is different from that used in USA.
My experience is that AVERAGE lifespan of tank liner products seems to be 3-5 years with meticulous prep and draining/drying whenever bike sits unused for any extended period.
And then the problem is once it starts to peel, then what ?
Current USA LEGAL ethanol content limit is 10%, but I'll bet that it actually varies. Raising content to 15% gas been proposed, but so far, not yet
The Cracking Process for Petrol used in USA was a different system (maybe still is ) , and results in these very low Octane Figure your Quoted. UK fuel has always been in the Mid 90's and Above. And yes, Ethanol , is a political thing Not a Environmental Reason. It gives off some Nasty Pollutants..but so does the mix generally.
I think , the Red Stuff you mentioned is Penatrol, about A$ 20.00 a litre or Quart. It used in alsorts of jobs.
Got a friend, who after 30 years in his Old Norton Racebike , has just cleaned tank and Resealed it.
But it has Run Methanol most of that time and drained after ever race meeting.
I will have to research what you say its useful.
Norton made there Fastback with a Fibreglass tank, and the model was dropped rather quickly , because the states laws, band none steel!tanks for the Road. Fastback was a very Pretty Bike, love the Interstate too.
See some replica Interstate tanks in Fibreglass at Swap Meets , as originals can Fetch A$1000 now.
Chris
 

triumph david

Riding for 60 Years
Staff
Local time
Yesterday, 23:25
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
5,208
Points
355
Age
72
Location
brookhaven
First Name
david
My Ride
1976 t140 Triumph, 2006 Road King, 1982 Honda CB 900 C, 1973 Yamaha 360 Enduro, 1972 Corbin
The fertilizer sales to corn growers has alot to do with gas prices for sure, the
$ will rule every time!!!!!
 
Premium

Support TriumphTalk by becoming a Premium Member.

 What You Get

Donate

 

 

Top Bottom