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  • Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

    For those of you who don't visit the Zone often...

    After my TLR dumped nearly a full tank of fuel in the course of my ten hour work day for no apparent reason last October, I was forced to investigate why it happened. (Thankfully, there were enough fumes in the tank to ride it home.) The fuel tank was installed last April. It was used, but in very good shape, and it replaced the existing 'California' tank which had been abused by some previous owner. I installed the external fuel filter mod at the time, and put the pump back in with a new gasket - properly torqued. I had no problem with it all through the summer - no drips, no weeping, nothing. Then that nice cool October day it let loose. Initially, I thought I must have used a defective gasket, so I installed another new gasket and torqued all the bolts again. I thought it best to test the seal before mounting the tank on the bike again, and I'm glad I did. When I began pouring gas into it, the fuel came out the bottom as if there were no gasket in place. Obviously, I had other issues. After taking it apart again, and inspecting the fit and interface more closely, it became apparent what was happening.

    Actually, there are two issues on my tank which are contributing to the questionable seal provided by the fuel pump gasket.

    First, the band of steel welded to the bottom of the tank that circles the fuel pump opening, the one which the fuel pump bolts thread into, is not flat. I'll call it the "bolt flange." The photo illustrates it better than I can describe it. With a straight edge it is easy to see that the tapped holes in the bolt flange are substantially higher than the rest of the plate. This increases the distance between the actual sheet metal surface, where the FP gasket rubber seals against the tank, and the bolt flange where the FP gasket body (the steel plate the rubber seal is vulcanized to) bolts up against. This deformation in the bolt flange "elevates" the FP gasket above the sheet metal sealing surface of the tank - minimizing an already weak seal interface.

    Bolt Flange Flatness_1 by Tony Six5, on Flickr

    Bolt Flange Flatness_2 by Tony Six5, on Flickr


    That distance (or gap) must be covered, or sealed by the larger rubber lip on the FP gasket. (The rubber lip that faces the fuel pump mounting plate is much smaller - not as "tall.") When I held a new FP gasket in place, fast against the bolt flange, the lip of the seal barely touched the sheet metal sealing surface around the tank's opening. There was practically no compression of the seal material.

    FP Seal Interface by Tony Six5, on Flickr


    Second, upon even closer inspection, I could feel that the sheet metal surface around the FP opening, against which the FP gasket seals, was also not completely flat. There are two small "warps" or "undulations" in that surface at the rear of the opening. They are not visible in the photo, but they are between the two green lines in the photo. So then, this deformity, combined with the "elevated" bolt flange makes creating a reliable seal against the tank flange a 50/50 proposition at best.

    FP opening_2 by Tony Six5, on Flickr


    After finding these two issues, I'm convinced that the reason the FP gasket seal failed after six months of service was due to the change in weather. From late April to early October, the days here are near or exceeding 100 degrees F. However, things begin to cool down in October (normally), therefore, the marginal seal acquired by the FP gasket last April could no longer be sustained when the various materials began contracting in the cooler weather. I know some of you have experienced temperature related FP gasket failures. Now I know why it happens, at least on THIS tank.

    While I've followed many of the "fuel pump gasket" threads posted on these forums, given my findings, I was inspired by a post from The Ring-In where he suggested to use a good cork gasket to fix a stubborn FP gasket leak. The concept made sense to me, but instead of cork, I used 1/16" Viton gasket material. Viton is touted as being resistant to most of the additives in modern gasoline.

    TLR FP Gasket Mod by Tony Six5, on Flickr

    DSCN8230 by Tony Six5, on Flickr

    TLR FP Gasket Mod_2 by Tony Six5, on Flickr



    To ensure proper positoning of the Viton gasket, make the I.D. of the oval gasket fit snuggly around the outside of the metal sleeve that encircles the fuel pump/filter assembly. The outside dimensions of the gasket fit into the recess created by the I.D. of the bolt flange on the bottom of the tank. See the photos.

    FP opening_1 by Tony Six5, on Flickr

    FP Sleeve by Tony Six5, on Flickr


    This gasket does not replace the OEM FP gasket, but it is to be used in addition to it. It fills in the space between the OEM gasket and the sheet metal flange on the tank to create greater compression between all of the components, and thus, an improved seal.

    This fix has been in place now for a little more than a month with no sign of leaking. I know this isn't very long, but the weather is now cool, so if it is going to fail, it should happen during the next month. The fit should become even tighter as the weather warms up. I'll post here if it decides to jettison the fuel again.....

    I couldn't find any Viton gasket material locally, so I ordered the 1/16" Style 7187 from Phelps Industrial Products, Inc.; http://www.phelpsweb.com/phel3_6.htm. They don't have any online ordering option, so I did it via a couple emails and a phone call to Mr. William Phelps. He helped me order the material I needed. During my inquiries, I got the impression their pricing is not standardized, but it tends to vary with the phase of the moon. Still, my order was priced at about $17.00/square foot, plus $10.00 shipping within the US.

    If you are suffering from an ill fitting TLR fuel pump gasket, or the sealing surface around the opening in the tank is not pristine, this may be the fix for you.

    Last edited by Six5; 10-21-2017, 08:07 PM. Reason: Repairing the photo links with Flickr, since Photobucket became money hungry and cut 3rd-party hosting
    January 2012 - BBOTM & TLOTM

  • #2
    Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

    Nice write-up dude and verry usefull !
    '' We don't stop riding because we grow old, we grow old because we stop riding!''



    Pedro's Speedshop

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

      Very cool write-up.

      It's interesting that, in my experience, only the YELLOW TLR's have had this issue.... My 98 is a white/blue and has never had this issue and am still using the original tank/gasket (approx 70K miles) and my 2000 TLR is a yellow one and leaked within a year of purchase back in 2004.

      Fixed Zach's Yellow one last year and sounds like Pete's Yellow one went through it too. Another friend of mine picked up a yellow one from Chicago and brought it to my house to inspect: sure enough: signs of fuel leak on the left panel.

      Maybe sheer coincidence....

      Edit: and from these pictures, it looks like yours is a yellow one...
      Last edited by Brainless; 01-20-2012, 05:44 PM.
      Brainless AT earthling DOT net
      "Take 2 plugs off your Gixxer and it'll sound the same"

      *IMWO = In My Worthless Opinion
      Q2 and Q4's mod list and Albums

      History of Q2

      Q1 Build thread
      Q4 build thread

      Installing Brainless' +Mod Kit -- (Where to buy)
      Starter Relay/Solenoid CONNECTOR Replacement -- (Where to buy)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

        I've replaced 4 so far.

        Thanks for the terrific write-up Tony

        Jeff, Lohman, or Rob, can we please have this stickied in the Frequent Mods section?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

          That was really good thanks
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

            Originally posted by Brainless View Post

            It's interesting that, in my experience, only the YELLOW TLR's have had this issue

            I've done substantial research on this phenomenon and I have come to the following conclusion:
            • The Yellow TLR's do in fact make so much more power than all the other stock colors, that through a complex series of reactions (difficult to explain in lay terms), the fuel itself actually becomes fearful of it's impending combustion. It is this that causes the fuel leaks on the yellow TLR's, the fuel escaping from the tank, running for its life and skirting it's demise inside that ferocious motor.



            If you don't believe me, ask Steve. His 98 began life as a red TLR.
            It isn't red anymore

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

              Originally posted by Brainless View Post
              Very cool write-up.

              It's interesting that, in my experience, only the YELLOW TLR's have had this issue.... My 98 is a white/blue and has never had this issue and am still using the original tank/gasket (approx 70K miles) and my 2000 TLR is a yellow one and leaked within a year of purchase back in 2004.

              .....
              Maybe sheer coincidence....

              Edit: and from these pictures, it looks like yours is a yellow one...
              Thanks JD.
              Interesting concept.
              Actually, this one started out as a blue&white '01. However, in the course of making it presentable, it is morphing into a yellow TLR. I came across a deal on the yellow tank and panels and they were too nice to repaint. Since I like both color schemes, I might have to find another R.....

              January 2012 - BBOTM & TLOTM

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                Very nice.

                Another alternative gasket material would be teflon. You can get it in a tape form or as sheets. If you're looking it's probably call PTFE.
                "The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

                Colonel Jeff Cooper, in "The Art of the Rifle"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                  Originally posted by Pete View Post
                  I've done substantial research on this phenomenon and I have come to the following conclusion:
                  • The Yellow TLR's do in fact make so much more power than all the other stock colors, that through a complex series of reactions (difficult to explain in lay terms), the fuel itself actually becomes fearful of it's impending combustion. It is this that causes the fuel leaks on the yellow TLR's, the fuel escaping from the tank, running for its life and skirting it's demise inside that ferocious motor.


                  If you don't believe me, ask Steve. His 98 began life as a red TLR.
                  It isn't red anymore




                  Originally posted by Six5 View Post
                  Thanks JD.
                  Interesting concept.
                  Actually, this one started out as a blue&white '01. However, in the course of making it presentable, it is morphing into a yellow TLR. I came across a deal on the yellow tank and panels and they were too nice to repaint. Since I like both color schemes, I might have to find another R.....

                  So.... according to Pete's substantial reasearch, try to put some blue/white scheme to the TLR, that would also fix the tank gasket issue.
                  Brainless AT earthling DOT net
                  "Take 2 plugs off your Gixxer and it'll sound the same"

                  *IMWO = In My Worthless Opinion
                  Q2 and Q4's mod list and Albums

                  History of Q2

                  Q1 Build thread
                  Q4 build thread

                  Installing Brainless' +Mod Kit -- (Where to buy)
                  Starter Relay/Solenoid CONNECTOR Replacement -- (Where to buy)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                    Has Pete been 'researching' with Captain Morgan again?

                    January 2012 - BBOTM & TLOTM

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                      Originally posted by Six5 View Post
                      Has Pete been 'researching' with Captain Morgan again?



                      Oh! you know it! And we all know he likes 'em big jugs.
                      Brainless AT earthling DOT net
                      "Take 2 plugs off your Gixxer and it'll sound the same"

                      *IMWO = In My Worthless Opinion
                      Q2 and Q4's mod list and Albums

                      History of Q2

                      Q1 Build thread
                      Q4 build thread

                      Installing Brainless' +Mod Kit -- (Where to buy)
                      Starter Relay/Solenoid CONNECTOR Replacement -- (Where to buy)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade




                        Have some Cap'n instead


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                          Originally posted by Pete View Post
                          [snip]



                          Seriously? Not only the French name ain't too appertizing, but an espresso with your cereal?? ? ? ? ? ?

                          Cereally?? ??



                          Must be Canadian.
                          Brainless AT earthling DOT net
                          "Take 2 plugs off your Gixxer and it'll sound the same"

                          *IMWO = In My Worthless Opinion
                          Q2 and Q4's mod list and Albums

                          History of Q2

                          Q1 Build thread
                          Q4 build thread

                          Installing Brainless' +Mod Kit -- (Where to buy)
                          Starter Relay/Solenoid CONNECTOR Replacement -- (Where to buy)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                            thanks!!! this will be in my next gasket repair. Mine worked fine all summer then as the temp dropped she started to drip. Never even considered the temp to be the issue!!!
                            sigpicYeah you just got passed by a girl!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Alternative TLR Fuel Pump Gasket Upgrade

                              Glad I'm not the only victim of a poor design.



                              Hope it works as well for you. My fix is going on two months now, so it's still proving its roadworthiness. There is not even a hint of leaking fuel, so I have high hopes. Plus we're approaching the end of our "cold weather," so the seal should get better from here onward.

                              January 2012 - BBOTM & TLOTM

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