Ducati.org forum banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, new to Ducati, last bike was a Triumph Daytona 675. So I purchased a 2011 848 EVO. I absolutely love the bike, minus the complete SHIT tank. Can't believe an esteemed organization would use this plastic tank over aluminum. (I know about the aluminum tank...I wish I could spend $2,300 bucks).

I've done plenty of research and keep finding the same information in every thread regarding tank expansion and over pressure from the ethanol.

Here's my problem...and I just simply want to find the best/cheapest way to fix this issue.

The bike is frost white, the gas had leaked out of the fuel cap and onto the tank and completely ruined the paint, stained it, looks horrible. There's also some tank expansion, touching the damper mount.

Step 1 for me is to find ethanol free stations here on Oahu, HI. However, now, I still have a like-new beautiful bike with one ugly ass stained tank.

Solutions: is there actually any cost friendly solution for this? I took it to the dealer, said no-help because no warranty anymore, and no recall because "it's only a problem in the US". Really? WTF. Didn't Duc get sued for this?

So...

Is there any realistic option for me to fix this issue. I've considered wrapping satin pearl 3M vinyl on the tank, and replacing the cap and running ethanol free gas from then on...but I don't know if the satin pearl 3m vinyl will be a color match to wrap the tank, should arrive in a few days.

Anyone, anything...ANY solutions? I just want to get to the bottom of this...I have done tons of forum searches and had no luck. I really can't believe that there's "no recall" on this, or so the guy at the dealer said...but he also tried to convince me that "it's just a shell, not a fuel cell"...well, why the hell would a shell experience tank expansion?

I'm sure plenty have the answer to this, but I just can't find useful forums, so I greatly appreciate any to-the-point assistance.

Thanks!
-Michael
2011 Ducati 848 EVO (satin frost white, red wheels)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
Use fuel stabilizer for your bike-this might help a bit. Other than crack your gas cap open everyday (which is also not really smart)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
I just picked up a 09 1198, at the time it had under 800 miles on it. The 2nd owner had the gas tank expand on him around 400-500 miles. He had Ducati usa replace it. And he did the caswell lining. I bought it and we noticed a couple of imperfection under the paint (me tiring to knock more money off the sale) So I put in a claim in September 2014. With in 1 month I had a call saying the tank was in. Picked it up and installed my self.
I was in a hurry to ride. before the snow flew. So I didn't do the caswell lining. But I figured since I live next to a hot rod station that only carry's non-oxygenated gas no problem. Well out in the burbs I fill up 1 finckin time And a week later I notice the left side has a couple of small bulges. Fawk...

I went and talked to the Duc shop in Oct/nov that did the 1st and 2nd tank replacement to see if they could do anything for me. Well this time I got the answer no. I even asked if I buy the aluminium DP gas tank can they (ducati usa) offer me a little discount. About a month went by I didn't hear squat. I called them up and ask again and I was told no.

So I called some vendors that are on here. And after calling around I received a decent deal on a DP aluminium gas tank. Now I just need to figure out if I am going to go with the SP style paint job or 1 solid colour.

I guess after all that, I am suggesting buy a aluminium tank and be done with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response.

That's what I'm doing now (periodically releasing pressure).

Is there a gas cap that had some sort of release valve that will also contain the fuel?

We have ethanol free gas here but only 89 OCT. I wonder if I can run this without issue I'm at sea level.

My other concern is that my current tank is stained to hell and looks horrible. Hopefully 3m vinyl is a color match.

Anyone have solutions on repair for a frost white tank?

Also interested in alternate gas caps that could help.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks cul8er. I will also consider that. I'm hoping to contain it in a less expensive manner; however, if anyone out there is a vendor that is willing to assist me, I would be grateful. I'm gonna keep searching but my biggest concern is the overspill with this fuel cap, I definitely don't want to paint it or have more spill from the cap as it destroys this frost white satin within hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,127 Posts
First off, welcome to the forums!

I had 15k miles on my 848 before I sold the tank and bought an ETI fuel cell (lighter weight) and my OEM tank was flawless. Maybe that's because I rode the bike every day and was constantly putting fuel in it? Maybe that's because I removed the charcoal canister the first week of ownership? Since my bike was made in mid-late 07' maybe I lucked out and simply had a good tank?

See, these are the problems with buying another plastic tank and assuming it will be better. You just never know because even the replacements are failing left and right. In my eyes, if you're still having a problem and you've got a verified clean, functional, open-air ventilation system, then it's time to ditch the tank. There are a few options out there, aluminum, carbon fiber and carbon kevlar. Many people have complained about the carbon kevlar with fuel sitting for long periods of time. However, the aluminum tanks seem fine and very robust, just expensive.

Anyway, it's a shitty situation, I feel bad for anyone who has this issue and it's a real travesty Ducati never really resolved the problem enough to make the customers happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,790 Posts
Sorry to hear of your woes.

And the problem is not confined to the USA, but seems to be worst there. I believe the UK also has the problems.

Luckily we don't in Australia.

But I run an ETI fuel cell, and it is a worthwhile mod, as it holds much more fuel (21L as against 14.7). The factory claim of 15.5 is untrue..

I have a stock tank here - worth about $300 USD if you want it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hmm, I'm assuming there's a problem with the ventilation system, as if that was functional the over pressure shouldn't be a problem. I'm assuming this is the initial fault, causing pressure to build, tank to expand, and in my case (with a faulty fuel cap), over spilling of fuel onto the top of my gas tank. Then that overspill stained my frost white paint.

Really is a bummer, the 3M Vinyl came in, it's a close match, but not perfect.

Any how-to's out there for removing this carbon piece or clearing the vent system? I would assume if I fixed that, the tank would cease to build pressure, therefor cease to swell and spill over.

Thanks for the help and warm welcome! Any additional solutions you guys have out there, are kindly accepted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry to hear of your woes.

I have a stock tank here - worth about $300 USD if you want it.
I'd say I'm interested. Guessing it is red? I'm looking for frost white, I hear it's a pain to duplicate.

Thanks again guys!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
I kinda wonder if you would drill a hole on top of the tank, and put a hose through it like race bikes have, would it help with the problem...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
If your tank already is suffering from the expansion, you might want to just replace it. Buy a used one in good condition. I see them going for anywhere between $250 and $400 usually, which is MUCH cheaper than buying a new one. Once you get that, you can have it coated with something that protects it from the ethanol (for the most part)...I believe is called Caswell if I remember well. Not sure if it works 100% but I hear it helps to prolong the life of the tank. Another thing that will help is to get ethanol free fuel as much as you can.

The expansion has nothing to do with pressure inside the tank (where there shouldn't be any pressure anyway). So venting it or "depressurizing" or whatever you might've heard is not going to help. The plastic used in the tank is a polymer that absorbs ethanol vapor when it's in contact with it, regardless of pressure. Once it's in the plastic, it can expand due to environmental changes (humidity and temperature) and voids and permanent deformations are created in the plastic. That tank will NEVER look the same as it was new.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Donger

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Good information @rubbish. That would make sense to me, as I can't figure why the internal ventilation wouldn't work. What's more embarrassing about that is that ducati used a material that isn't even ethanol friendly, seems like a rather large embarrassment to their design team. And to not simply recall it and provide EVERY bike with the issue an aluminum tank, painted and all, is poor customer service. In 2011 nearly every US petroleum company had ethanol in their gas.

The only thing that baffles me is this overflowing fuel out of the gas cap and onto the tank. That totally destroyed the paint around the area. The tank wasn't but 70% full too, and it took but a couple days to happen. Guess I should put a new cap on her.

I cut and wrapped some 3m vinyl and reflective white pinstripe on the tank at it lo
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Before (it was actually worse, this was older)

Sorry on phone this is a pain.

And now I'm just going to run ethanol free gas.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,127 Posts
The plastic used in the tank is a polymer that absorbs ethanol vapor when it's in contact with it, regardless of pressure.
I've heard the same rumor myself, but I haven't seen long term tests to back it up.

I have skepticism about the issue being ethanol because failures happens in countries which don't use ethanol. Plus, there are many instances of tanks lasting tens of thousands of miles in the highest ethanol content areas like California.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,127 Posts
The only thing that baffles me is this overflowing fuel out of the gas cap and onto the tank. That totally destroyed the paint around the area. The tank wasn't but 70% full too, and it took but a couple days to happen. Guess I should put a new cap on her.
That's what happens when you have no free-flow vent. The gasses build up and escape anywhere they can. The seal on the cap isn't so great, so the gasses literally escaped on the edge and have stained the tank.

The EPA requires all vehicles to have a charcoal canister between the vent in the tank and the ground. They use vacuum from the engine to make the system work and if fuel is sucked up with that vacuum, it winds up in the charcoal canister. Do that a few times and the canister will stop functioning properly and it literally cut's off the ventilation of the tank. The net result is tank expansion, engine running poorly and gas build up can lead to strange leaks, usually on the cap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Found the thread to remove charcoal canister.

Will do this ASAP. In theory, if you are correct, this should stop the expansion, overflow, and ultimately allow me to keep my tank and just have it painted (though, I like my little 3m pearl vinyl quick free job).

Looks like something that would have been $2,000 might just be a free fix.

Once I remove the canister I'll give it a month and update on status. I just hope that's causing my expansion and the leakage. Makes sense, I hear the pressure release when opened, and something is clearly stopping the flow of fumes.

Thanks everyone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
I removed my charcoal canister right when I bought the bike and still got the swelling in the tank. (I'm on my 2nd tank and probably a 3rd in the spring). Running non-ethanol gas from here on out will not fix your swollen tank problem. Unfortunately there is no way to reverse the process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rubbish

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
I've heard the same rumor myself, but I haven't seen long term tests to back it up.

I have skepticism about the issue being ethanol because failures happens in countries which don't use ethanol. Plus, there are many instances of tanks lasting tens of thousands of miles in the highest ethanol content areas like California.
It's not a rumor, I've dealt with stuff like that at work in the last few years, because our products have plastic liners. You should see what Hydrogen does to some polymers! 10 times worse!

The thing I'm not so sure about, and I don't fully understand, is the rate at which it happens. I believe there are more factors associated with it than simply having ethanol in the gas. My bike has had gas with ethanol in the tank for over 3 years now and my tank is still in perfect shape, however other people have gone through 2 tanks in roughly that same time frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
^my old 848 had its canister removed as well..
Now, I must be a few lucky ones whose tanks did not swell until I sold the bike :p
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top