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Planning my winter project to deal with a gremlin in my fuel system on my 91 1500se. A few years ago it appeared. I did the easy stuff like replacing the two vaccum lines on the left side by the spark plugs, new rubber on gas cap, rubber O-rings on the air box, fuel filter. I am thinking about checking the vaccum petcock andits diaphram(I did the research here)and the actual disassembly of carbs for cleaning. I realize this system is very busy with things that could cause this smell, but am a little confused as to the temperature sensitive aspect. When it is cold outside the smell is none existent, but when it is hot it is there in the air? Everything runs great otherwise and I am all caught up on my maintenance. Any thoughts would be cool on a hot day. I am not a carb kind of guy (snowblowers, lawnmowersand snowmachines yes)so would this be expensice to get a shop in there?
 

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jj wrote:
Planning my winter project to deal with a gremlin in my fuel system on my 91 1500se. A few years ago it appeared. I did the easy stuff like replacing the two vaccum lines on the left side by the spark plugs, new rubber on gas cap, rubber O-rings on the air box, fuel filter. I am thinking about checking the vaccum petcock andits diaphram(I did the research here)and the actual disassembly of carbs for cleaning. I realize this system is very busy with things that could cause this smell, but am a little confused as to the temperature sensitive aspect. When it is cold outside the smell is none existent, but when it is hot it is there in the air? Everything runs great otherwise and I am all caught up on my maintenance. Any thoughts would be cool on a hot day. I am not a carb kind of guy (snowblowers, lawnmowersand snowmachines yes)so would this be expensice to get a shop in there?
jj, check your fuel tank vent & fuel vapor emission system. In warm to hot weather the fuel's light ends (easily evaporated parts)tend to vaporize easily & gas-off resulting in a significant fuel vapor smell if it isn't contained correctly. If you bike vents into a carbon canister type vapor recovery system, make sure the charcoal is still working to retain the vapors until they can be sucked into the engine & burnt.

Twisty
 

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Like you've already discovered, fuel is more volatile when warm.

If you've got a vacuum petcock issue (torn diaphragm), fuel will weep out of a vent hole on the bottom of the petcock, it may all flash to vapor before you see a drip.

After your next ride, park the bike in the garage, go inside and have a cup of coffee (or some other liquid refreshment) after about 15 minutes go back to the bike, do you notice the smell from 10 feet away, open the fuel filler lid on the shelterand sniff, is the smell stronger. If so, I'd suspect a vacuum petcock leak.

It's easy to pull off, just two fuel lines and a vacuum line, remove the fuel tank cap and lift the drip tray, you'll see the mounting bolt. Then four screws and it's apart. Oh, you'll need to remove te shelter top as well.
 

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Thanks Twisty and Tony, my ride does not have a vent system for the tank, just a regular cap being a 91 I guess. Unless it vents from another part away from the tank? After a ride there is always pressure build-up in the tank and when removing gas cap there is always a whoosh. Like you said Tony, you are right after 15 minutes sitting the smell is there but after opening the gas door the smell inside is very strong. Presently I have all my lower tupperware off from the front of the bike and the sides so I was thinking that if the smell was coming from the carb area it would be blown away with the wind moving through there. With all the tupperware off the smell inside the fuel filler door is strong after sitting there resting for 15 min. I am wondering if I could get a new diaphram or need to get a new unit?I will do the vaccum test on the part. Thanks for your time and wisdom in advance guys. JJ
 

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Fitzal, if I understand you correctly, the gas cap is designed to vent through the gas cap only after a certain dangerous high pressure is achieved.A certain pressure will be maintained inside the gas tank otherwise.
 

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No I did not Tonys96, I have to locate the vacuum tester. The only vacuum my wife let me buy was the (you know) house vacuum. I am planning a 17 hour trip/tour to my friends camp this week. I will post my results when done soon thou. I suspect you are right thou because it is strong odorinside the fuelcompartment lid. It also started rather suddenly one trip, bang it was there, the smell. I down loaded the picture of the auto fuel valve and first time I seen the diaphram inside, and very well could be the culprit. Thanks for the insight and the compass bearing on a potential culprit.
 
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