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Hello everyone,

I have a discussion that I thought was a very easy answer but after much research I have a problem. And that is the problem or lack there of, Condensation at about this time of yr. in our fuel tanks and as if we store them.

Now the easy answer is to just fill the tanks up with fuel and use some stabil or seafoam additives if we store our bikes. Thats the easy answer.



But as a technical kinda person that I am I am looking for something that will put this to rest for some members of our local chapter. It seems the more members the more of a debate that you will get ... So here goes with my analogy and see if it rings true.



Considering the size of a tank on say a GL1500, approx, 5 gallon tank lets say. And it is 1/4 full how much condensation would possibly accumulate if we go from 60*F down to 30*F and then to around 60*F and back down to 30*F in a cycle of that in a month and the temps are just for the purpose of this discussion.

Now for alot of us that drive even in cold weather I dont see an issue here as IF it did have a few drops of water we will not know about it as we will be driving and placing more fuel in the tank the next day. But for some that will be parking their bikes for say 3 months. What is the chance of water condensation?



I have had my wing for 22 yrs now and recently opened the fuel tank to inspect the pump and the inside of the tank. Between the years of 2000 to 2010 it had sat quite a few times with out me driving it when it snowed very deep and when I had a newer bike it just sat. I had more issues with it having bad gas than I did water in the fuel. After opening the fuel tank and inspecting it. What I found was some metal shaving that looked like it was from the inner workings of my fuel pump than anything else. I had now rust at all.



Some some thoughts here thanks......
 

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I always try to have a full tank of fresh regular grade gas (NOT gasahol) along with Stabil when storing for the winter. During summer months I donn`t like letting gas level drop below 1/2 full. Gas in fuel tank is what cools fuel pump while working. Just the way I do it, and haven`t had to replace a fuel pump in a Gold Wing yet. I don`t see any rust in my gas tank, but the amount of nasty stuff inside my fuel filter after only 20K miles was something else.
Tom Bishop
 

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Yes I agree with you on never replacing a fuel pump in a Wing yet. And it is also true about cooling the fuel pump, its the fuel that cools it. I made a mistake with my 1500 when I bought a 2008 Wing and my older one sat and didnt ride it much. I would start it from time to time but didnt put any Stabil in it and the carbs got messed up
 

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Condensation would depend heavily on local humidity... I've always been of the belief that the first "shut-off" usually has the worst humidity since the air in the tank will be fully expanded and hot (above 50*C) and then cool to a non-running temperature. I would expect that over 95% of the water available in the tank's air space would precipitate out when temperature drops so far. The daily (or monthly) temperature swings are probably less significant, but would still contribute additional humidity (more if the tank is venting pressure, less if not -- these should be setup to reduce their vacuum and to hold their pressure, so "less")

With a 6.5 gallon tank 25% full you'd have 4.9 gallons of air (< 0.2 cubic meters) as one source of your water... The other source for water would be the fuel itself (which is sadly saturated now that Alcohol will allow so much water to be held in fuel)... Personally, I'd assume that the airspace in the tank is pretty close to 100% humiditiy when the bike is fully warmed. If then cooled to 30*F you'd precipitate/condense about 95% of the available water (as a thin layer of condensation on the metal tank walls and some re-emulsified into the fuel.

There's GREAT and fun math for this, but it's easier to look stuff up and assume many MANY variables ... So, there'd be about 78 grams of water/cubic-meter of non-fuel-filled-tank available to precipitate (assuming saturation)... The non-fuel space in the tank (from above) is 0.2 cubic-meters and not all of that moisture will drop (95%) -- so the first cooling should produce about 14.8 grams of water... or about 1/2-ounce ...

Unless there is an additional source for water vapor to enter the tank, only the existing water (not precipitated and/or in fuel) will contribute to the water amounts in the tank going forward across the relatively small temeperature dynamic you mention... Some of the water can be consumed in oxidation, but should be readily replaced with temperature cycling and additional precipitation.

However, what I see as being most relvant is that the tank is a single-wall steel container that will react quickly to ambient temerature changes. As the tank cools water will condense directly on the inner surface of the tank ... and now that our fuels are freshly "oxygenated" thre should be an abundance of oxygen ready to build a quick surface rust in cooperation with Carbon Dioxides and even some of the new amoniated (easily cracked with waterto make nitirc acids) fuels...

Anyway, if you ask me, a quarter-full tank will leave about a half ounce of water or less ...





:(
 

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everybodies tanks have more rust than you think, it's another hidden part of the motorcycle that gets virtually no maintanance, I add 2 cycle oil to my tanks to help with the problem and run dry gas in the summer also
 

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I would not put seafoam in the tank while it sits for the winter. I read, I think on this forum, that it is alcohol based. I think that stabil is much better for the gas while the bike sits in the winter.
 

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+1 on the 2cycle (TC-W3) I can't say anything about how much water will be in the tank, but I would imagine not much more than what you started with. Satan would have my vote on that side of it.
 

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Ghost_Rider wrote:
Now the easy answer is to just fill the tanks up with fuel and use some stabil or seafoam additives if we store our bikes. Thats the easy answer.
...that is the easy answer. Everything else will be a easy experience. :D
 
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