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I've had my 2001 TLR (yellow) for 18 years. It's been sitting up for a long time. Life and Kids lead to it being put up. Well, i just brought it out of retirement and i'm working on old parts that need TLC. I've found a number of parts on Ebay and new parts from places like Partzilla.

Today, while trying to remove rust from inside the gas tank, I ran into a problem. There is a small hole in the pipe that leads from the cap to the bottom of the tank.

The tank looks great from the outside, but the inside isn't doing so good. I either need to somehow fix the pipe, seal the top and bottom to prevent gas leaking out or water leaking in, or find a replacement tank.

Do you guys know of any good places to search or call for used tanks? any good salvage places? or is there a fix out there someone's done to fix or remove the pipe?

I've been out of the loop for too long. I used to come here a very long time ago for good advice and mods. I'm hoping you guys are still here and can help me out.

Thanks.
 

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I can't help you with repair advice, because I'm not 100% on what you're referring to when you say "pipe that goes from cap to bottom of the tank." Picture worth 1000 words. I'm guessing it's related to pressure maybe? Guaranteed someone will be along who's familiar. In the meantime I'll research it, because you've peeked my interest.

What I did want to say is finding a TLR tank in good condition (especially yellow) is equivalent to winning the lotto. I searched for a year and closest I got was a guy in South America selling one for $1200 shipped. I also managed to find a couple factory dealers with a couple in stock, but they were $700 shipped, and nothing more than the tank shell with base paint.

So in short, unless you've got money to burn, your focus should be on repair.
 

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Two parts here: Explaination of the pipe you're referring to (for those like me who didn't know what it was) and a possible cheap and quick solution to your problem.

The pipe in question is a drainage pipe that leads from the top of the tank (small hole under the gas cap) to the bottom of the tank where the drainage hose connects and runs behind the Outter Clutch Cover. The purposes of this is to reroute any water (rain, power wash, etc.) or fuel (filling the tank too high). In a nutshell, it gives excess fuel somewhere to go and prevents water from getting into the gas tank. It may also act as a secondary pressure vent, but I can't find anything to confirm. Also note that California models have an additional line coming off the tank, for emissions purposes, which leads to a canister under the rear seat. (Crazy how long it took me to find info on all this).


Auto part Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive wheel system
Rust Auto part Automotive exterior Exhaust system
Auto part Engine Vehicle Automotive fuel system Fuel line
Auto part Clutch Automotive engine part Engine Wheel


In regards to repairing the drainage pipe, I came across a few TL threads on the subject and they were more or less talking about going in through the fuel pump opening and braising the pipe with copper and such. To me this just seems ridiculous, let alone plausible. If it were me, I would just buy some small engine fuel line (lawn mower, weed eater, etc..) and thread it down into the pipe from the top of the tank to the bottom. Now anything going into the drainage hole flows through the new line. I'm too lazy to pull the fuel line off my weed eater to confirm, but looks like it would be a perfect fit. In any case, damn sure better than spending $400+
 

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Quite a few have tried to repair this pipe, I've not heard of any that have been successful. Tuckshop Ted tried many different methods on his "S" when his was leaking fuel out of the overflow. I'm sure he gave up in the end.
It is purely for there for sewing any water or fuel from around the gas tap. If you block it you will need to make, sure there is no build up of fluids around the gas tap in future.
If you block the bottom only you will get water going in the fuel from around the gas cap area, it will only leak when the fuel level is above the hole in the pipe (obviously) so if its, high enough you could run with a low fuel level temporarily.
Probably new tank time I'm afraid unless anyone else has a solution that I've not heard about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for a quick response. For clarification, the tank is off and empty. the pipe i'm talking about is the "water" pipe that starts at the top (under the cap assembly) and runs through the tank and exits the bottom. i'm currently working on removing some rust which is how i found the leak.

there isn't much room to fix the pipe from inside the tank and there's not much room to inspect it to find where the leak is. basically i don't know where on the pipe the leak exists. it could be possible to cut the line inside the tank and then attach rubber line to join the two cut locations, but without knowing where the leak is then i might be wasting my time.

i've thought about plugging it with some gas proof expoy on the top and bottom, but this obviously creates a spot where water or gas can collect under the cap assembly. this isn't my favorite solution but it might be my only choice.

the pipe looks like it was tack welded at the top and maybe sweated at the bottom. i've sweated copper pipe, but i'm not familiar with sweating steel. i guess i'll do some research and see if this is possible.

i'd like to find a salvage tank that is in good shape, but used parts are hard to find. i've been out of the loop for so long that i don't know where are all the major salvage places are. i'm guessing there are some hidden gems that don't have an online presents.

i'm still looking and listening. thanks guys.
 

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Apparently you two missed the part where I 'solved the problem'. Just run a new fuel hose through the existing drainage pipe. It's not brain science. It will work fine.
 

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Apparently you two missed the part where I 'solved the problem'. Just run a new fuel hose through the existing drainage pipe. It's not brain science. It will work fine.
And you missed the part where I said tuckshop had tried numerous attempts to fix his including trying to run another pipe inside the existing one, he couldn't achieve a proper fix,
Actually the idea above of cutting it and attaching a rubber fuel house at both ends inside the tank sounds like a good idea if you can get good enough access.but as he says he can't tell where the leak is with it off the bike,
You could refit the fuel pump and slowly fill the tank until it starts to leak to find out roughly where the leak is.:thumbup.
 

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And you missed the part where I said tuckshop had tried numerous attempts to fix his **including trying to run another pipe inside the existing one** , he couldn't achieve a proper fix ...
I didn't miss it, because you didn't say it. In any case, there's absolutely no reason why running a slightly smaller diameter fuel line down the existing pipe wouldn't be 100% successful. The pipe runs directly from the hole under the cap to the drainage nipple under the tank, right? I can't find anything specific on it in the manual.
 

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I didn't miss it, because you didn't say it. In any case, there's absolutely no reason why running a slightly smaller diameter fuel line down the existing pipe wouldn't be 100% successful. The pipe runs directly from the hole under the cap to the drainage nipple under the tank, right? I can't find anything specific on it in the manual.
I'm not sure about the R but on the S there are a couple of bends in the pipe and Ted couldn't get a pipe to go round them,
Don't forget josh even if you could get a tube down there you would still need to seal both ends permanently around the edge of the pipe or water will still get in and fuel will still leak out.
 

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I'm not sure about the R but on the S there are a couple of bends in the pipe and Ted couldn't get a pipe to go round them,
Same with the R. It's shaped like a Z. What I meant by "from top to bottom" is that it's path is directly into the tank and out of the tank with nothing in between, right? I don't recall it being attached to the pump in anyway when I removed it a couple years back.

And even though it's Z shaped the bends will be rounded so as not to hinder the flow of liquid. You'd never get another "pipe" through it (if that's what Ted tried), but working some small engine fuel line down in there should be no trouble at all.

Don't forget josh even if you could get a tube down there you would still need to seal both ends permanently around the edge of the pipe or water will still get in and fuel will still leak out.
My initial assumption was that the pipe failed somewhere other than at the gas cap. In that scenario it wouldn't need to be sealed, simply push in so that the new hose exits the bottom. The snug fit and shape of the pipe will hold it in place.

In a scenario where the fracture occurs at the cap or nipple, one could simply slide a small rubber grommet over the end of the hose to prevent it from retracting down into the pipe. This would result in the new hose being a couple mm above the cap hole, but it would still do its job more or less.

Of course, this also poses two additional issues for me to consider...

#1 A mm of water or fuel sitting static under the cap for a period of time would wreak havavk on the tank.

#2 Should the pipe break at the cap or nipple completely it would have only the integrity of a thin plastic fuel hose holding it in place. Which, realistically, should be more than enough to do so, but during hard riding with half a tank of fuel slushing back and fourth...well let's just say "if it can fail, then it's a failed design."

Okay, back to the drawing board for me. It just so happens that I have an extra tank on the ground, which I have to pull the pump out of anyway (fuel filter) so... challenge excepted 🙂
 

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You still misunderstand josh,
If the fuel line you put down the original pipe is not sealed at both ends between it and the original pipe fuel will still leak out,
It will still leak through the hole in the original pipe and run down between the 2 and leak out of the bottom,
 

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You still misunderstand josh,
If the fuel line you put down the original pipe is not sealed at both ends between it and the original pipe fuel will still leak out,
It will still leak through the hole in the original pipe and run down between the 2 and leak out of the bottom,
Ahhhh.... now I see what you're saying. My apologies, you're absolutely right. My initial thinking was that the secondary fuel hose would fit snug enough against the hole to prevent fuel from leaking in, but now I see your point. I appreciate the correction [img= class=inlineimg]/forums/images/smilies/bigthumb.gif[/img]
 

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I gave up on a fix for this issue.

The original tank I had for the UNO, the maroon one, developed a weep of petrol from the cap drain and started to leave small puddles under the bike stinking of petrol.
At the time I could not spend any time on it so I disconnected the short hose from the tank to the overflow system, folded it up and sealed it.
Once I had some time I looked at it again. Mine seemed to be cracked at or very near the joining point to the fill cap as when I had half a tank it stopped leaking.
So somehow I had to repair or replace this area.
Access to this point was impossible without cutting an opening into the tank. I did consider cutting around the edge of the tank cap and easing the copper tube somewhat straighter thus lifting the assembly out and above the tank to give me the access.
Then I reconsidered due to the amount of work and effort this would be.
I then bought some 4mm lawnmower petrol pipe to make a permanent liner, it was a snug fit but moved in the copper tube fairly easy. My intention was to seal each end with petrol resistant glue / epoxy.

I have a couple of medical grade steel wires, the type you find as the guide centres for stomach feeding tubes, and I was able to get one of these through the copper tube from top to bottom.
These were the only things I have ever managed to get through.
On the "S" the tube has a 90 degree bend an inch or two from the filler cap, another 90 degree near the back of the tank and another 90 degree just before exiting from the bottom.

I was able to push / pull the 4mm tube from the top to the second bend and could not get it to move any further.
I was able to push / pull the 4mm tube from the bottom to the second bend and could not get it to move any further.

I tried lots of scenarios to get past the second bend but I couldn't.

In the end I decided to try and seal the 4mm tube into the copper tube from the cap end to the first bend.
I bought some 2 ft long pipe cleaners and put one through the 4mm tube, using my steel wire I got the end of the pipe cleaner to stick out the bottom of the tank.
I pored about half a toothpaste tube's worth of glue into the overflow hole and got the 4mm tube in from the top and down to the second bend.
I then pulled though several pipe cleaners to ensure the overflow route was clean and free of glue or blockage. I sealed around the top and left it to go off for several days.

Up to this point I was using a plug in the end of the tube as per the last page of the thread "I've got a new toy"

So several days later out I went, I filled the tank up and went off for a 20 minute run to my workshop.

On arrival at the workshop I parked up and saw quite a flood coming from the radiator overflow bottle! It stank of petrol...................

The fix had not worked. As I had a bung in the end of the overflow pipe to prevent puddles on the floor the leaking petrol had filled up that tube and filled up my radiator overflow bottle ( they both use the same outlet) and just pushed out past the filler cap on the overflow bottle. Petrol everywhere and me lucky that it had not got onto the front exhaust pipework.

Hence replacement tank...........................
 

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Nice write up Ted.

Wow, I had no idea this pipe existed, let alone how important it is.
 

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Sounds a nigh on impossible repair??. I was talking to a lad few months ago, who had the same problem on his 600 Bandit. I had a look on Youtube and found an upload of the repair using a length of small bore copper pipe. I think the end of the drain pipe was drilled out and then the pipe is removed. The new copper pipe work is bent into shape and pulled through the tank, with the aid of a wire. Once in place its soldered (I guess plumbers solder) top and bottom. I think the big difference is, the Bandit pipe work doesn't look to have the same bends in it as the TL's. (I tried to post a link but it didn't work)

Cheers, Bob
 

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As I had a bung in the end of the overflow pipe to prevent puddles on the floor the leaking petrol had filled up that tube and filled up my radiator overflow bottle ( they both use the same outlet) and just pushed out past the filler cap on the overflow bottle. Petrol everywhere and me lucky that it had not got onto the front exhaust pipework.
This confuses me :confused where exactly (and why) is the fuel tank overflow pipe connected to the radiator overflow bottle?
 

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Images aren't great, but hopefully they'll serve their purpose here.


Here is where the drainage hose connects to the drainage\overflow nipple at the bottom of the tank. The hose snakes down around the spring to the outter clutch cover (just below that white clip).

Auto part Engine Vehicle

At the top of the Outter Clutch Cover the hose Ts off. The fuel\water drainage hose routes down behind the Outer Clutch Cover. The coolant overflow hose routes up to the coolant reservoir and radiator.

Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Clutch Transmission part
Auto part Vehicle Engine Car Automotive engine part

Gravity it what makes this work. The fuel drain hose is vertical from the tank, so fuel\water simply follows the path of least resistance (liquid goes down, not up). Likewise, the coolant hose goes down from the reservoir to the Outer Clutch Cover (path of least resistance). In Ted's case, the pressure built up in the tank forcing fuel to enter into the hole in the overflow pipe and down into the drainage hose. Given enough pressure within the tank, and a big enough hole in the internal drainage pipe, the fuel could theoretically be pushed out of the fuel drainage hose and up to the coolant reservoir.

Vehicle Motor vehicle Motorcycle Car Auto part


Longer explanation than intended, but Hopefully this makes sense.
 

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**Need to make a correction on my previous explanation (maybe). Will need Ted to confirm this later.**

Ted said,
...I had a bung in the end of the overflow pipe to prevent puddles on the floor...
which I took to meaning he sealed the top of the overflow pipe (at the gas cap). As a result, pressure built up in the tank, couldn't escape through the vent in the cap (which has a pressure release valve), and then with no place left to go it drained out of the fuel overflow hose AND up coolant overflow hose into the reservoir at the same time. And while this is theoretically possible (given enough built up pressure) it would definitely fall into the freak of nature category.

I believe Ted meant to say that he had a bung in the end of the *Fuel Overflow Hose*. In which case, the fuel had no where left to go other than up the Coolant Overflow Hose and into the Coolant Reservoir. And, had the reservoir filled completely, fuel would then have continued into the radiator. This scenario makes better sense.

To clarify (and avoid future confusion), the terms 'Overflow Pipe' and "Overflow Hose" should not be used interchangeably. The overflow in the tank is a metal pipe, whereas the overflow coming off the tank is a rubber hose.

Overflow Pipe = Inside Tank
Overflow hose = Outside Tank
 
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