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rglassma

Fuel Strip Repair !?

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rglassma

Hello All,

 

I had an interesting experience today. My fuel strip failed several weeks back for the 5th time. This time, the dealer wanted 450.00 to fix it. My bike is an '05 and the 12 year warranty is out. The dealer said it was longer than two years since the last time that I had the repair done. So, according to them, I need to pay up for repair. I think they were wrong but I can't find the last receipt. Oh well. So, my buddy and I proceeded to find the correct BBQ grill spark tool to attempt a repair on our own. Since the two dollar ones only have 1 wire, and you need the two wire Pezio version, I purchased a universal gas grill replacement lighter for this task. It was great because it came with wires that had connectors on them that would actually fit the male pins on the plug near the fuel pump, We had to make one splice and that was it. The tool works like a charm.

 

Now that I have said all that, the strange thing was that we sparked the plug 6 times., and then ran the self test by turning on the ignition of the bike. After about 60 seconds, the fuel strip started working again and I all the functions showed up. At that point, we were elated. It was working again !!!!! Yay !!! We saved 450.00 .. So, now I could remove the black tape covering the yellow triangle so that I don't have to see that blasted thing blinking all the time.

 

But, after about 20 minutes, the strip stopped working just as quickly as it started. What ????? Oh no !!!!! .. I let it sit for an hour, and tried the process all over again. I zapped it 6 more times, put the bike through the diagnostics, and wala !!!! It is now working again. Who knows for how long though. I just turned the bike off and left it for the night.

 

This is one of the strangest things that I have seen. Anyone have any idea about what is going on????

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Dave_zoom_zoom
Hello All,

. Anyone have any idea about what is going on????

 

What's going on????

 

Either you are doing a great job of pulling our leg or you may be in a short line for some kind of a wonderful award.

 

Either way, keep on trucking.

 

Dave

 

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lkraus

The fuel strip is made up of electrically conductive traces encapsulated between two sheets of plastic. The strips fail when a crack develops in the traces.(Or possibly where the strip attaches inside the connector, according to a long thread at advrider.com). The BBQ igniter generates a spark that can jump the gap, and the spark carries bits of the conductive material with it. After enough sparks, the crack is bridged, and the strip works again, for a while. It's not always reliable because there is very little material bridging the gap, and the conductor next to the crack is now a little thinner. For the price, it's still worth a try or two.

 

An engineering firm in the Netherlands has developed float conversion kits for the GS/GSA., and the RT. At about $355, I'd probably go that route before taking a chance on another BMW strip.

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TestPilot

Larry,

 

Do you have a contact for that firm in the Netherlands?

 

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rglassma
Hello All,

. Anyone have any idea about what is going on????

 

What's going on????

 

Either you are doing a great job of pulling our leg or you may be in a short line for some kind of a wonderful award.

 

Either way, keep on trucking.

 

Dave

The fuel strip is made up of electrically conductive traces encapsulated between two sheets of plastic. The strips fail when a crack develops in the traces.(Or possibly where the strip attaches inside the connector, according to a long thread at advrider.com). The BBQ igniter generates a spark that can jump the gap, and the spark carries bits of the conductive material with it. After enough sparks, the crack is bridged, and the strip works again, for a while. It's not always reliable because there is very little material bridging the gap, and the conductor next to the crack is now a little thinner. For the price, it's still worth a try or two.

 

An engineering firm in the Netherlands has developed float conversion kits for the GS/GSA., and the RT. At about $355, I'd probably go that route before taking a chance on another BMW strip.

 

Dave, not pulling your leg. This is a fix that has become well publicized. You use a piziolectric fire starter to zap all 4 pins that connect to the strip next to the fuel tank connector where the fuel pump is. Then Wala !!!

 

Larry, that is some great information !!! Like Karl, I would love some contact information for that fix. But, until then, i'll just keep repeating as needed to see what happens. Any BMW riders near the Denver area that have the same issue with the fuel strip, I have already created the tool. If you need help, PM me.

 

Thanks,

 

Bob

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lkraus
Larry,

Do you have a contact for that firm in the Netherlands?

Ebay sales links to the kits were in the earlier post, click GS or RT as appropriate.

An engineering firm in the Netherlands has developed float conversion kits for the GS/GSA, and the RT.

The firm that developed the kits is HPoskam Engineering. That site is in Dutch, so I recommend using the Chrome browser for an automatic translation.

 

Through their site, they also offer a less expensive fuel strip emulator, which only turns off the warning light, if you are willing to give up on the fuel gauge.

 

I've no personal experience with these kits, as (knock on wood) my fuel strip as not yet failed.

61-knock-on-the-head.png

Edited by lkraus

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RobinW

There are 2 parts to the strip.

A heater element and a measurement element.

You need a gs -911 to tell you which bit is stuffed.

The ZAP trick may work on the measurement part.

But I doubt it will ever be accurate again.

It will not work at all on the heater element.

 

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Sonor

I am about to go in for my fifth stip replacement so the comment from lkraus about giving up on the fuel gauge, well, that was done a while ago - it has never reported correctly. Next time the strip goes I either invest in the circuit to stop the yellow triangle and go back to the trip odometer or sell the bike for a reliable one.

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rglassma

Instead of the fuel strip emulator, I would just use a piece of electrical tape covering the yellow triangle. Works for me.

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lkraus
Instead of the fuel strip emulator, I would just use a piece of electrical tape covering the yellow triangle. Works for me.

 

The only drawback to that fix is that the triangle is used to alert you to other conditions that might require your attention, including the "red" conditions like low oil pressure, and lack of alternator output. These conditions do have other LCD indicators, but they do not attract your eye as quickly.

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rglassma

Well, I zapped it again yesterday before a ride. It lasted about 5 minutes. The fuel gauge went out again, and the miles to empty dropped quickly down below 100 miles with a full tank.

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Jimmya

Ikraus, this is the first I have heard about the float indicator replacement. Probably worth the $375.00+ if this is the last time I would have to mess with the fuel level gauges. The application lists GS, GSA and RT versions of the bikes. Great for my GSA but I also have an ST with a still functioning replacement fuel strip. Would you think the float unit would work in the slightly differently shaped ST tank? The connection is identical but the angle of unit placement is a little different. Curious of your thoughts or anyone else that has any experience with this float replacement.

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lkraus
Ikraus, this is the first I have heard about the float indicator replacement. Probably worth the $375.00+ if this is the last time I would have to mess with the fuel level gauges. The application lists GS, GSA and RT versions of the bikes. Great for my GSA but I also have an ST with a still functioning replacement fuel strip. Would you think the float unit would work in the slightly differently shaped ST tank? The connection is identical but the angle of unit placement is a little different. Curious of your thoughts or anyone else that has any experience with this float replacement.

 

I do not have any experience with the float kits, as my original strip is still working fine.. For your ST, I'd suggest contacting HPoskam at the link posted earlier to see what they think. Looking at the parts fiche, ST tank looks very similar to the RT tank, so it may be that the RT float would work well enough.

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dirtrider
Ikraus, this is the first I have heard about the float indicator replacement. Probably worth the $375.00+ if this is the last time I would have to mess with the fuel level gauges. The application lists GS, GSA and RT versions of the bikes. Great for my GSA but I also have an ST with a still functioning replacement fuel strip. Would you think the float unit would work in the slightly differently shaped ST tank? The connection is identical but the angle of unit placement is a little different. Curious of your thoughts or anyone else that has any experience with this float replacement.

 

Evening Jimmya

 

It would very difficult to get a float setup to work through a full (Empty-Full) range on the ST fuel tank. As you can see from the attached picture the ST fuel pump pass through is very low on one extended tank wing. If a float was added to the pump assembly then it would probably only read from about 1/2 tank to empty tank (not a big deal as that is how the BMW 800GS fuel gauge works as those only start reading below 1/2 tank).

 

By just looking at the tank differences I just don't see how a 1200RT float assembly could work full range in an ST tank.

 

 

egW6Oft.jpg

 

 

 

 

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lkraus
....By just looking at the tank differences I just don't see how a 1200RT float assembly could work full range in an ST tank.

 

 

Having seen that photo, I'd agree. That tank looks very different from the fiche drawing of the ST tank. I think BMW re-used the RT tank illustration for the ST (would not be the first time).

 

B0004641.png

Edited by lkraus

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Jimmya

That is just what I thought having replaced the fuel pump voltage regulator unit and taking note of the tank shape. I have the same question in to HPoskam and still waiting for a reply. Thank you dirtrider for posting the ST tank photo. It doesn't look good for a drop-in replacement.

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