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Joe_Rocket

The dreaded R1200RT Fuel Pump Leak Strikes Again

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Joe_Rocket

Hi Gang,

 

Boy... when it rains it pours. I had one of my Metzeler Z6 tires suffer an internal failure (the post is in the ride well forum) a couple of days ago and then today I smelled fuel as I was riding and I noticed streaks of dried fuel on the plastic on the left side of the fairing. When I arrived home today, I notices a few drips coming from the lower leading edge of the left side fairing. Suspecting that if I'm having a fuel leak then someone else has had it, I ran a quick search of this forum and came up with a handful of threads highlighting fuel leaks from the fuel pump around the high pressure output fitting. Suspecting this might be the problem I removed the left hand side plastic and sure enough, the plastic around the fuel pump output fitting is cracked and leaking.

 

There are two ways to fix this problem; replace the fuel pump or fix the crack. When I called my local BMW dealer and asked about prices... the OVER $500 cost for the pump and gaskets secured my decision... I'm going to try and fix the problem. One thing that disappointed me is that my BMW dealer (where I purchased my 2005 R1200RT) wouldn't even give me a 10% discount on the parts. The parts guy was well aware of the cracking problem, he said he sold two fuel pumps last week for the exact same issue. When I told him that I was going to go ahead and try to repair the problem, he said that JB Weld turns to mush around fuel (something I know to be false since I checked JB Weld's site and their product is impervious to fuel). So much for my friendly neighborhood BMW Motorcycle shop :(

 

After removing the left hand side plastic and the output fitting, I sanded all of the plastic in the area I was repairing, cleaned it thoroughly with alcohol, mixed the JB Weld and started the repair. The pictures of the repair and prep work are below.

 

I'm not yet sure if the repair will hold since I need to let the JB Weld cure. Others on this board who have done this repair reported that it fixed the leak. I'm keeping my finger's crossed. If it leaks after this... then it's off to the web to order the part from someplace that is willing to discount the darn thing.

 

I must admit to being a bit disappointed. This is the first systemic problem I've had with my BMW and I was hoping to avoid all of the problems that crop up on this board; fuel strip, final drive, fuel pump... oh well... I guess one out of three isn't bad since some folks suffer from all three problems.

 

Anyway... here's the pictures. I'll let everyone know tomorrow if this repair works.

 

Joe

 

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16.jpg

Edited by Joe Frickin' Friday

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GRB60

No doubt that you used enough! My fingers are crossed for you.

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Joe_Rocket

Ya. I wanted to make sure that I covered as much of the leaking area as possible. If the cracks propagate, I don't want a new leak cropping up because I didn't cover enough area. I'm keeping my fingers crossed too... I really don't want to throw away $500+ dollars on a new pump. I'll fire it up first thing in the morning and then post up the results.

 

 

No doubt that you used enough! My fingers are crossed for you.

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Joe_Rocket

Success. Not a hint of a leak. Now I need to put it back together and then I'm going to contact BMW and see about putting this issue on their radar.

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bobbybob

I would let it "cure" another 24 hours before running it since its exposed to fuel. JB is good stuff but continues to harden for a few days. Can't hurt.

Edited by bobbybob

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Joe_Rocket

For those of you who are interested in making sure this problem does not impact you, you can replace the composite (plastic) quick disconnect fitting with a metal fitting (the part number is available on this forum... search on "fuel leak". Note: This will stop the problem from occurring but is unlikely to stop a leak that has already started.

 

The problem with BMW's design is that the composite quick disconnect expands during pressure cycling and imparts a radial load to the pump housing quick disconnect reinforcement flange. Over time, the pressure cycling causes the high pressure quick disconnect to impart sufficient radial load to the quick disconnect reinforcement flange to crack it.

 

I am sending BMW of North America a certified letter asking for the following relief. Note, I have filed a case with the U.S. DOT NHTSA and copied them on the letter to BMW of North America. Here is the relief I'm asking BMW of North America for:

 

 

1. That BMW of North America issue an immediate voluntary recall of all R1200RT fuel pump assemblies with designs similar to that found in 2005 BMW R1200RT, VIN (insert my VIN).

 

2. That BMW of North America then repair or replace defective fuel pump assemblies at no expense to the owner.

 

3. That BMW of North America contact all owners who purchased replacement fuel pumps for the impacted series of vehicles and issue full refunds to those owners who indicate that the fuel pump was replaced due to a leaking high pressure quick disconnect reinforcement flange.

 

4. That BMW of North America redesign their fuel pump assemblies to eliminate pressure cycling radial stress fractures in the high pressure quick disconnect reinforcement flange.

 

It is my sincere hope that BMW of North America does the right thing. I am concerned that when mine failed my left leg was covered in fuel and my fairing area was a virtual combustion chamber with the heat of the exhaust and the fuel. All it would take is a spark to cause the air fuel vapor in the fairing to explode in flames. In addition, breathing fuel fumes cannot be good for riders.

 

Hopefully BMW can read between the lines regarding my next step if they fail to grant me the relief I seek.

 

If you reply to this thread... keep in mind that BMW of North America will likely be reading it in the future and act accordingly.

 

Joe

 

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Joe_Rocket

Agreed. I tested it this morning but won't be riding it until Tuesday at the earliest. This is a temporary fix for me until I can convince BMW of North America that this is a serious issue they need to fix.

 

I would let it "cure" another 24 hours before running it since its exposed to fuel. JB is good stuff but continues to harden for a few days. Can't hurt.

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Joe_Rocket

For those who are interested, the NHTSA case number for this issue is JBN1-18051

 

Case is filed and certified letters to both BMW and the NHTSA have been sent.

 

Having my left leg covered in fuel spray while riding has given me sufficient motivation to pursue this issue to remedy. We can only hope that BMW of North America will do the right thing and fix this issue. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

 

Joe

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Joe_Rocket

The temporary complaint has been given a complaint identification number (ODI Number). The ODI number for this complaint is 10428629

 

In approximately two days, the complaint will have a dedicated webpage which I will post in this thread.

 

Joe

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EddyQ

Well this looks like yet another thing to keep an eye on. :mad:

 

Thanks for the info Joe. Hope all goes well.

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Albert

Just curious, since I hadn't heard of this problem before, are there a lot of folks who've had this issue?

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Joe_Rocket

Do a search for "fuel leak" and you'll find others who have had this exact same problem. In addition, I confirmed with two of the Phoenix area BMW motorcycle dealerships that this problem is common, at least here in Arizona. Since the failure is most certainly a function of ambient temperatures, it wouldn't surprise me if the issue were more prevalent in hotter climates than in cooler climates.

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10ovr

I have 3 pump units with the same crack sitting in my shop,,All R1200RT's, I have talked to Louie at Scottsdale BMW and he tells me they have seen allot of them,,

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Joe_Rocket

Please keep them. If I file a class action, the evidence will be important.

 

I have 3 pump units with the same crack sitting in my shop,,All R1200RT's, I have talked to Louie at Scottsdale BMW and he tells me they have seen allot of them,,

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mistral

I checked my bike out (2007 R1200RT) before it was out of warranty. It was cracked and BMW repalced it at no charge. I have a 2007 R1200R with 10K on it. It was out of warranty, but I checked it too and it was cracked. I fought with BMW on it saying they had a serious issue. They paid for half of the fuel pump, the rest and the labor was mine.

 

I agree that it should be a recall. I did put metal disconnects on both bikes.

 

Ron

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basilr

Hi Joe,

 

I guess my eyesight is not as good as your camera, but I can not see a crack in the photos.

 

I also have a 05 RT but have not ever looked at the fuel pump and am not an experienced wrencher.

 

Would it be possible for you to "photoshop" one of the before pictures to show where the crack is?

 

Thankd.

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DiggerJim
It is my sincere hope that BMW of North America does the right thing.
What color is the sky in your world?

 

Seriously, don't count on it. With their history relative to FDs & other systemic problems (your drive exploding while riding 75mph would be just as bad for you as it catching on fire) they don't have a track record of manning up & admitting issues. My 1150 had plastic quick disconnects on the fuel lines - take the tank off once or twice and if you were lucky one of the fittings snapped off...if you were unlucky it just cracked & sprayed gas all over the inside of the tupperware & drained onto the engine. When I went to replace mine (I was lucky, one snapped off while I was changing a fuel filter) the dealer didn't stock the plastic one - said they were always breaking so they only carried new steel ones (as I recall something like $50 but never broke).

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Joe_Rocket

Here is a link to the US DOT NHTSA Case

 

Edit: NHTSA is pronounced "nitsa" by the way...

Edited by Joe_Rocket

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Joe_Rocket

If you look closely at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions you will see fine cracks running orthogonally to the reinforcement ring that surrounds the pump output opening. The reason they are hard to see on my posted pictures is because I have already prepped the surface (sanded it) so that the JB Weld will stick. If you search this forum for "fuel leak", you'll find some excellent shots of the cracks.

 

Joe

 

Hi Joe,

 

I guess my eyesight is not as good as your camera, but I can not see a crack in the photos.

 

I also have a 05 RT but have not ever looked at the fuel pump and am not an experienced wrencher.

 

Would it be possible for you to "photoshop" one of the before pictures to show where the crack is?

 

Thankd.

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Joe_Rocket

I've had very good luck with companies doing the right thing, sometimes it takes a bit of encouragement, but most companies who have issues at this level recognize that resolving the issue is in their own best interest.

 

In the case of this particular failure, the failure modality mandates that something be done quickly. The repercussions for BMW of North America if they fail to correct this issue and someone dies or gets seriously hurt are severe.

 

In general, I've found that giving a company the benefit of the doubt goes a long way towards having them resolve issues. BMW of North America is made up of Americans who really do care about whether or not one of their customer's burns to death... and the relatively small cost of a voluntary recall combined with reimbursing customers who have already paid to fix this issue out of their own pocket suggest that doing the right thing will pay off for BMW of North America in the long run.

 

It will be interesting to see where this leads. When possible, I will update the forum on this issue. I'm in the third year of a doctoral program and getting ready to start my dissertation so time is somewhat of a luxury to me. I may not update this thread as frequently as I should, but I'll make sure to update it whenever anything of significant interest happens.

 

Joe

 

It is my sincere hope that BMW of North America does the right thing.
What color is the sky in your world?

 

Seriously, don't count on it. With their history relative to FDs & other systemic problems (your drive exploding while riding 75mph would be just as bad for you as it catching on fire) they don't have a track record of manning up & admitting issues. My 1150 had plastic quick disconnects on the fuel lines - take the tank off once or twice and if you were lucky one of the fittings snapped off...if you were unlucky it just cracked & sprayed gas all over the inside of the tupperware & drained onto the engine. When I went to replace mine (I was lucky, one snapped off while I was changing a fuel filter) the dealer didn't stock the plastic one - said they were always breaking so they only carried new steel ones (as I recall something like $50 but never broke).

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Mike
For those who are interested, the NHTSA case number for this issue is JBN1-18051

 

Case is filed and certified letters to both BMW and the NHTSA have been sent.

 

Having my left leg covered in fuel spray while riding has given me sufficient motivation to pursue this issue to remedy. We can only hope that BMW of North America will do the right thing and fix this issue. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

 

Joe

 

Others who have had this problem might want to consider reporting it to the NHTSA, also. A single isolated report is less likely to garner attention than multiple reports of the same problem.

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Joe_Rocket

BMW of North America called me today and indicated that this issue has been forwarded to their safety engineers for evaluation. They will notify me of their findings. I would again encourage everyone who has experienced this failure to report it to the NHTSA using the link provided. It will help immensely if owners become active.

 

Thanks

 

Joe

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macx

Can anyone tell me if the 2011 RT's had this same style fuel pump and QD so therefore are likely to also experience this problem?

 

Thanks!

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SHIMHEAD

Joe,

Just filed my report, OID number is 10433013. Everyone affected by this ABSOLUTELY should report it!

 

 

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Joe_Rocket

Outstanding. The more reports that BMW receives, the greater the likelihood will be that they fix the problem. I hope other owners follow your lead. Thanks so much for helping the cause.

 

 

Joe,

Just filed my report, OID number is 10433013. Everyone affected by this ABSOLUTELY should report it!

 

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roydog007

I this the same problem with the couplers that I had on the GS ?

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10ovr

Was helping Howard and Craig with services on there bike today to get ready for DV,,Found both had cracks on the fuel pump,

Heres Howard's IMG_0422.jpg

And here is Craig's IMG_0423.jpg

They are both going to make a report,,,

Edited by 10ovr

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10ovr

Filled out my NHTSA form,,# ODI 10433589

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Joe_Rocket

Thanks. I live in Mesa, not far from you.

 

Filled out my NHTSA form,,# ODI 10433589

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roydog007

Yep that's the same issue I had with the GS, I think on side was like that the other was the coupler itself. Cheap design, that should all be machined metal parts.

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swilson

Thanks for posting this. Good info.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Anyone doing their own 6K/12K service on bikes with these fittings ought to inspect the area for fuel leaks whenever the tupperware comes off. That's a great opportunity to catch a small leak (or evidence of it) before the crack propagates and becomes a dangerously big leak during a ride.

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mqo233

add me to the list, flange crack, replaced, working great, and I filled out the paper work on the government form, you never know

 

James

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chas65

Started the bike yesterday after it had been sitting for a while and all of a sudden found the bike and I standing in a 6 foot circle of gas on the ground [watching the instruments not the ground] Investigated and found the "DREADED FUEL LEAK" three cracks around the quick disconnect female flange. Will have to make a decision on repair today, probably go the JB Weld route initally.then do the reporting thing to the authorities in the hope they force BMW to do a recall. This is one serious issue and some one is going to get seriously hurt or worse.I consider myself very luck yesterday standing in a 6 foot puddle of gas with the bike running could have ruined my whole day.

 

Chas65

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Guest Kakugo

Very serious and worrying issue. I really hope BMW will do something about this though since we are talking possible six/seven figures lawsuits instead of simply having stranded people shaking their fists in rage.

Since I regularly check my fuel pump for water (to make the FPC last as long as possible) I will add this to the checklist.

 

Now I couldn't but notice most people reporting this issue live in hot climates (Texas, Arizona etc). Just a coincidence?

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10ovr

I just sent out a Email to all the BMW Rim Rides of AZ,,,Local club,,If some one belongs to MOA,they should start a Thread on this,,,,

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Now I couldn't but notice most people reporting this issue live in hot climates (Texas, Arizona etc). Just a coincidence?

 

Possible it correlates with mileage, and people in warmer climes tend to rack up more miles per year (since they can ride more months of the year)?

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TestPilot

Is this problem unique to the RT or is it also a potential hazard for other hexheads? All the responses on this thread with this problem are from RT owners, and the relief Joe_Rocket asked for from BMW includes a recall of RTs, but makes no mention of GS, R, S, or ST models. The fuel pump assemblies on these models are all the same basic design, and only differ based on the sizes and shapes of the fuel tanks.

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10ovr

I talked to the owner of one of the dealerships in AZ yesterday and he told me that it's not just the RT's,,All the pumps made by Siemens have the same design flaw ,,,,Its worth taking a look at all models,,,,I am going to take a look at a GS today for a friend before we go to Death Valley ,,,,,

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Joe_Rocket

If I end up filing a lawsuit, I'll make sure to include all appropriate models that used this design. When I speak to BMW this week I'll raise the issue of the other models.

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TestPilot
If I end up filing a lawsuit, I'll make sure to include all appropriate models that used this design. When I speak to BMW this week I'll raise the issue of the other models.

 

Thanks.

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ed may

I did a search for "fuel leaks" to find the new metal fitting, but that is like finding a needle in a haystack. All this talk, and no part #? Please, if anyone has this #, post it. Preventitive maintenance is smart.

It also seems like the taper is part of the problem, forcing the flange outward. Does the new fitting have the same taper?

Thanks

Edited by ed may

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Buckster

Ed May, this is a link to the metal fuel disconnects that most RT owners have been installing including myself. The advantage of the metal disconnects is that the plastic male portion tends to break and causes a leak.

The threads of the female threaded connector that screws into the top of the fuel assembly is tapered just as the plastic original.

Although the kit includes the metal female connector that threads into the fuel assembly, I would advise you not to replace that plastic piece due to the fragileness of the plastic bung. In hindsight, I wish that I had not replaced that half of the connector since the bung later cracked and began leaking fuel. While bungs have cracked with the original plastic female connector installed, I feel that the metal replacement does nothing to prevent the cracking and may accelerate it. I would not install the metal female connector in the name of preventative maintance...

Buckster

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ed may

Thanks, I think I will skip installing it. I may at least put some epoxy around it to strengthen it.

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chas65

Filed a complaint with the NHTSA (ODI Number) is: 10435325.

Checked with my BMW dealer and he confirms that he has seen many of these failures also. He suggests that before trying the JB Weld repair take pictures of the failure and record any other relevant data ie mileage, date of failure etc.

Received the new metal quick disconnect from Beemer Boneyard last night and will do the repair today. Will post results later.

 

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Joe_Rocket

I don't think the metal disconnect will fix the problem. Make sure to do the jb weld to reinforce the standoff if you install the metal disconnect. Thanks for filing the case.

 

Filed a complaint with the NHTSA (ODI Number) is: 10435325.

Checked with my BMW dealer and he confirms that he has seen many of these failures also. He suggests that before trying the JB Weld repair take pictures of the failure and record any other relevant data ie mileage, date of failure etc.

Received the new metal quick disconnect from Beemer Boneyard last night and will do the repair today. Will post results later.

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chas65

Agree there was no way the metal disconnect would fix the problem as there were 3 cracks right through the female portion of the fuel assembly made more obvious by the yellow thread sealant squishing out through the cracks. Cleaned the thread seal out of the cracks, sanded everything well and degreased carefully with acertone. Coated the new metal male disconnect with JB weld and installed it lightly, let it sit for a few minutes to let some of the JB Weld enter the cracks from the inside. Removed the fitting again put more JB Weld on it and finally installed it finger tight. Put JB weld all around the new metal quick disconnect and threads and on the top of the fuel assembly. Of course the JB Weld wants to run all over the place so after pushing it back into position until it started to thicken I made a dam of pieces of elactrical tie wraps [Japanese straps] and pushed them into place to hold a decent thickness bead in the area adjacent to the female thread flange on the fuel assembly. I then mixed up another batch of JB weld and let it set until it was about the consistency of play doe and then made a complete reinforcing fillet around the metal fitting, the original JB Weld was still tacky so the two layers adhered well. Let the JB Weld sit for 36 hours before pressureising the system and all seemed to work well with no leaks so far.

Not so smart I removed the fuel pump assembly from the tank about 3 inches to get it level so the JB Weld did not run to one side, this worked OK but the problem of getting the fuel pump assembly back into the tank with the two interlocking rubber seal was not funny, it took a good two hours to finally work out a method of doing this and a lot of leaking gas and tank filling and emptying in the process.

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10ovr

You install the seal on the tank first then spray a little silicone spray on your finger and rub it on the inside of the seal,The pump well slide right in,,Your not the first to fight with this,,,,

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rdc

Joe,

 

Thank you for being proactive on this safety concern. I support others in filing their incidents with NHSTA. This is an obviously bad situation with the potential for serious consequences. I filed my incident.

 

Ron

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Scarver

Agree that metal disconnects do not fix problem. The ones purchased from beemerboneyard.com would not fit snug enough to seal. Called Permatex help line and they recommended Hylomar gasket sealant. Used their Universal Blue Racing Formula when putting the original plastic fittings back on my 05 RT. Have not detected any major leaks since last November (20,000 miles ago.)

 

Filed complaint (ODI Number) 10435984

 

 

 

I don't think the metal disconnect will fix the problem. Make sure to do the jb weld to reinforce the standoff if you install the metal disconnect. Thanks for filing the case.

 

Filed a complaint with the NHTSA (ODI Number) is: 10435325.

Checked with my BMW dealer and he confirms that he has seen many of these failures also. He suggests that before trying the JB Weld repair take pictures of the failure and record any other relevant data ie mileage, date of failure etc.

Received the new metal quick disconnect from Beemer Boneyard last night and will do the repair today. Will post results later.

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