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Bodger Fix What they don't show you in the repair manual - tales of duct tape, bailing wire and WD 40.
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  #1  
Old 31 Jan 2013
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Getting condensation out of gas

So water in the gas sucks...especially when your riding in January in K-Stan using cheap gas (probably all the reasons above that it sucks are also the reasons for the water in the gas!). Anyway, lacking access to Heat or something like it, I found that the local Apteka (pharmacy) caries "medical alcohol." I got an odd look from my boss when I asked where I could buy pure alcohol but after I explained why she said to go to the pharmacy and ask for "medicinus spiritus."

Put it in the tank...problem appears to be solved!

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Old 1 Feb 2013
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Great find
Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used in automotive fuel driers because it makes water soluble with the fuel. Make sure it is pure isopropyl and not rubbing alcohol which is already cut with water.

It's quite different from Methyl Hydrate which merely mixes with the water, leaving it separate from the fuel in the bottom of the tank. Not a problem if all you need to do is keep the water from freezing, but if there is enough of this mixture in the tank there could be a drive ability issue.
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Old 1 Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by DRRambler View Post
Great find
Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used in automotive fuel driers because it makes water soluble with the fuel. Make sure it is pure isopropyl and not rubbing alcohol which is already cut with water.

It's quite different from Methyl Hydrate which merely mixes with the water, leaving it separate from the fuel in the bottom of the tank. Not a problem if all you need to do is keep the water from freezing, but if there is enough of this mixture in the tank there could be a drive ability issue.
Yeah, I though it was isopropyl or some ethyl based alcohol used in products like Heat and other fuel driers, so figured it was worth a shot. This stuff says 95% Ethyl Spirits, so I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it worked great. Night and day difference after adding it and running long enough to flush the fuel lines and fuel bowl. I asked for 100% at the pharmacy and this is what they handed me. Figured 5% of something else was hopefully small enough that it could still absorb the water. I'm debating running the gas all the way out in the hopes of getting rid of anything in the bottom of the tank, or topping off with good, read Gazprom, gas and just diluting whatever's in the tank.
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Plain old methylated spirits will do the job as well. Common fix where fuel is stored in drums.
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Old 22 Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by RogerM View Post
Plain old methylated spirits will do the job as well.
I'd heard this a few times in the past but never tried it in a fuel tank.
One day I filled a couple of glass jam jars, one with diesel one with petrol & put a small drop of water in both (goes to the bottom), added a bit of Meths & nothing happened, shook it & the water droplet broke into many small ones but the next day the water was still there, added lots of Meths & shook again, same results the water droplets didn't disappear so I just left them sitting, I don't remember how long but eventually I decided Meths wasn't going to do anything to the water.

Now I'm not saying this means it doesn't work in other situations but I don't see how what I tried is much different to a fuel tank or drum with water in it.
Maybe I didn't have the correct Methylated spirit? Maybe the water/fuel ratio was too high?
It's a really easy thing to try if you don't believe me, in fact I'd like someone else to try it just to confirm what I found.

I'll try the same thing with alcohol & see what happens.

EDIT- Ok I've just read DRrambler's post above who explains that Meths doesn't get water out of fuel (Methyl Hydrate = Methylated Spirits, so many names in different countrys).
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Old 23 Feb 2013
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Methyl Hydrate = methanol

Methylated Spirits = ethanol + a small percentage of methanol [ hence the term "methylated"].

Ethanol is drinking alcohol and , as anyone who has mixed an alcoholic drink will know , it does mix very well with water .
[ However , fish do unmentionable things in water so I have decided not to take the risk of mixing my scotch .]
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Old 25 Feb 2013
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I think you explained it yourself, when you shake the fuel, water and meths, the water and meths form lots of smaller droplets and can pass through the injectors/carb without a problem. The idea is to make the water and meths mix and not cause the engine too much of a problem this happens when you drive the vehicle as the fuel sloshes around.

Not sure about diesel as most diesel injection systems have water separators anyway, especially trucks with large fuel tanks that are very prone to condensation when partially empty. Years ago when I was driving down to Saudi Arabia it became part of the daily check routine to drain the water separators on the diesel tanks once you got into regions with hot weather during the day and cool/cold at night.
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Old 16 Jan 2014
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the real problem is that not only do the fuel and water not mix but water is is not very good as fuel!

Alcohol burns (some cars actually use this as fuel) and it mixes VERY well with water. Proof spirit is what we drink (if it's ethanol c2h5oh) and that burns. methanol (ch3oh) also mixes very well with water and and burns too!

Alcohol burns very differently to petrol but it will work. - some diesel fuel is 10% methanol.

iso propanol (C3H7OH) is another alcohol this works better for for getting things to mix a bit.

Remember methanol and (iso) propanol will both really damage your liver - to be fed to the bike only

use about as much alcohol as there is water in your fuel!

this will get things to run but will not help with the octane rating!

(New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle a bike which helped him set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967 used his heart medicine for that as it contained nitroglycerin!)
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Old 16 Jan 2014
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Or you could use the old fashioned gravity filters with the glass bowl and tap, It traps water on the way to the fuel pump and you can see it in the bowl. then just drain off the water. also fitted to may diesel cars. Once installed nothing to buy. also traps rust and other muck.
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Old 17 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
Or you could use the old fashioned gravity filters with the glass bowl and tap, It traps water on the way to the fuel pump and you can see it in the bowl. then just drain off the water. also fitted to may diesel cars. Once installed nothing to buy. also traps rust and other muck.
These work great, there is one on my Unimog. The previous owner had a spare one in the spares kit, and I said "but they are re-usable". Yes he said, but could you imagine if you dropped and broke it... Take a spare if you have space.

Merv.
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Old 17 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by Mervifwdc View Post
These work great, there is one on my Unimog. The previous owner had a spare one in the spares kit, and I said "but they are re-usable". Yes he said, but could you imagine if you dropped and broke it... Take a spare if you have space.

Merv.
Very true, but it only takes a minute or two to bypass

Same as the electronic ignition system I used to use. just three plug connectors and back to points.
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Old 18 Jan 2014
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Water is never good ... but old bikes like the OP is riding (Honda Dominator?)
are more easily remedied ... either by using some sort of additive (as noted earlier) or by simply draining the Carb bowl or fuel tank of water.

But many modern, F.I. bikes seem to have more serious issues with new fuels that contain water or use Ethanol blended fuel ... which is at about 10% now in most USA states and in common use round the world. Some states use 15%. There is a big battle on against this as its documented the damage Ethanol can do to the entire fuel system. (cars and bikes)

Seems BMW and KTM both have had major fuel pump failures as a result.
The pumps are embedded in the fuel tank ... not easy to get to and most don't have filters that can be cleaned or replaced easily ... if at all.

I think good replaceable, pre pump filters are in order ... not sure how that would be done. With the BMW and KTM pumps it may be a problem with the Alcohol content in the fuel. Things like corrosion are ... apparently ... an issue. Why BMW and KTM are so affected ... yet most Japanese bikes are not. No idea why.

My former Suzuki V-Strom had a fuel pump in the tank but had one filter that was accessible to clean. It had another that was NOT accessible ... but so far I've never heard of a Vstrom being sidelined from water, corrosion or anything else ruining the fuel pump. Mine used many liters of gas in Mexico out of rusty 55 Gallon drums. Never a problem ... yet I know for a fact the Mexican barrel gas has plenty of Diesel, Rust and Water in it.

Fuel pumps for F.I. must be very high pressure. As a result I believe they are a bit sensitive to water or Ethanol in the fuel. I'm sure the OEM's will make the transition so their vehicles can handle all the new fuels.
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