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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my bike in for a "major" service last week, including valve adjustment, throttle body synch., front fork oil change, et al. The shop called me and said it was ready to go so I went over to pick it up. When I started it it was firing on 3 cylinders/missing and emitting smoke, just like the day I dropped it off. After initial theoretical debate about whether such ailments should be covered under a "major" service costing $760 they agreed to pull it back in for another look.

When I dropped the bike off I had explained that it was missing, and even called them back within 20 minutes of dropping it off to tell them that there was fuel stabilizer in the gas, in case that makes a difference for them. After another day of trying to diagnose the problem they again called me and said it was ready to go. After draining all of the fuel and adding Ring Free (in "shock treatment" proportions) they had diagnosed the problem as being a failed spark plug cap. Since they didn't have an FJR 1300 cap in stock they used one from a Suzuki that apparently is the same thing. After further theoretical debate about why I should pay them any more money I agreed to split the difference and paid an additional 30 minutes of labor, or roughly $50. They also offered to order the OEM spark plug caps at $58 each (suggesting I replace all four). I found OEM on Ron Ayers for $39 each - so told them I would order them there and just install them myself, thanks.

The bike had a feeling of hesitation on the commute home that night, and under decompression would hesitate slightly. Saturday I went out for a ride to Mt. St. Helens and on the way back it started missing again, firing on 3 cylinders and emitting blue smoke from the left exhaust. This would come and go intermittently, and when I started it yesterday it was still firing on 3 cylinders. I ordered the OEM spark plug caps and I'm hoping that the problem is that the Suzuki one wasn't to the bikes liking, but strongly suspect that is not at the root of the problem. Two questions:

1) Am I being unreasonable to expect my bike to run like a charm when I get it back after an $810 "major" service?

2) Any thoughts on what the underlying problem might be? I am guessing there is something else going on that perhaps caused the spark plug cap to fail, but I am definitely not a mechanic. Any help would be appreciated - I will be on the phone with said service shop first thing in the morning.
 

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Bad dealer

Your bike, unless your leaving someting out of your story, should have ran like a swiss watch.
How can anyone sync injecters, running on three cylinders?
Where did you order your caps from?
Can you cancell the order, and get your money back?
These guys are NOT good!
Are these guys a Yamaha Dealership? They need to be turned in!
Ring free? Did they do a compression check, to see id there was a ring problem?
Is the smoke is from the 'Ring Free'.
How safe is their 'Snake oil' to your catalic converter in your exhaust system?
For parts, I use FJRGoodies.com or University Motors (tellem your a forum member) 866-551-6478
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The answer is.....

Well, I ordered 4 new spark plug caps and those were installed without successful resolution, so Eastside tore the bike down to figure it out. You'll never guess what the problem is (at least I never would have). Remember, the bike is a 2003 FJR with 52k miles, and I would not think this to be a *function of mileage (*qualified below). The problem is a rusted fuel tank. The rust clogged up the fuel pump and the fuel injectors. So I am taking the fuel injectors to Dr. Injector for cleaning and servicing. I also need to buy a new fuel pump and gas tank. I am still scratching my head over the latter - it seems like a manufacturing defect that a 2-1/2 year old bike would have a gas tank that is rusting out.

Qualified thoughts: I did park the bike for a few months as I recovered from surgery, but the tank was full and had fuel stabilizer added. It may have been parked for a couple of weeks prior to surgery with a partial tank, but had already begun showing symptoms before then. Also, Dave at Eastside mentioned that some gas stations in remote areas still have steel tanks, which have condensation problems. Because premium grade gas sales less frequently in remote areas, I may have been picking up bad gas in some of my ventures over 52k miles. Nonetheless, seems like Yamaha should have done a better job painting/protecting the inside of their fuel tanks during manufacture, no?

Is this something I should take up with Yamaha? :cry:
 

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I guess the first step would be to verify that the source of the rust is in fact your gas tank. I am not sure what kind of filtration there is in the gas pumps, I would assume it is pretty good. But I have bought gas in some of the outback areas of Oregon where the pumps looked older then me.
I think if your tank has been scoped and has rust originating on the inside, it would be worth taking up with your dealer and Yamaha. Nothing to lose.
 

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Rust in tank can occure if moisture is there. A friend of mine had his Ducatti tank rust very bad but that was 5 years old.

I would be talking to Yam about the problem its worth a try.
 

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If it is indeed rust in your gas tank, Google "Rust in gas tank" or similar title. Here is just one of many I obtained with one query: http://www.ssbtractor.com/wwwboard/messages4/7249.html

I have read about cleaning and treating (coating) gas tanks before - maybe in a motorcycle magazine.

Did you see rust in the gas tank yourself? I wouldn't trust the dealer, as they seem to be 'Easter egging' the problem. Not that hard to empty the tank, pop it off the bike and remove the fuel pump to inspect both.

Check this site out for tank coating: http://www.prp-porshop.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CTRK&Category_Code=Kits
 

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I wouldn't trust the stealer either, I think he found the cause which was he's fault and is BSing you.
I have a 2001 which over the winter months (anything below 5deg wimp) does not get ridden at all and don't have any tank corroding problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, I actually think the dealership is being honest with me. They showed me the rust in the tank and the fuel pump, so i saw it with my own eyes. I think I am going to try coating the tank; I have heard it works fine as long as you are very careful and follow the instructions to a tee! I'll let you know what happens, but may still persue with Yamaha.
 

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If you think have a rusty tank you will have to remove any rust first before trying to seal it.
 

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Woody,

The kit in the link I provided:

KIT INCLUDES:

MARINE CLEAN (QT) to remove gum, sludge, varnish

METAL READY (QT) to remove rust & prepare tank for sealer.

U.S. STANDARD TANK SEALER™ (8 oz) creates a permanently sealed tank (Seals up to a 7 gallon tank)
A little research indicated that others have rolled ball bearings around inside gas tanks to loosen rust.
 

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I have heard of the ball bearing method, but I would use small smooth stones as should not spark when banged together.
 

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Getting screwed, and not even kissed

All of this still doesnt explain the Dealer giving you a bike that didnt run, and taking almost $800.00 of your money.
Now, after replacing caps that arnt bad, their back in your hip pocket for more?
The bike never should have been returned to you . Until it ran correctly.
At the very least, it was a saftey hazard, as the bike wasnt running properly.
You still havent told us how they syncd. the injecters with only three cylinders working.
So, how much more are they going to take from you before that little warning lite goes off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes, the Kreme kit I purchased has an acid bath treatment to prepare the tank for coating by removing rust. The instructions also say to first degrease with strong detergent and warm water and include a few nuts and washers to break free any rust. We'll see how it goes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

@James 1300: The warning light went off as soon as I started the bike the first time; I am not naive. The service manager said the bike was running fine and went through the list of items they completed. I believe him not because I am a chump looking to be taken advantage of, but because after they got the bike running (better) the second time and I headed off for a ride to Mt. St. Helens it was not until after ~150 miles that it began mis-firing again. It was definitely showing only intermittent symptoms, even before I took it to them, and knowing Dave, I am thinking it was just a qwerky timing thing - no punn intended.
 

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Yellowledbetter

I´m been using the same stuff (POR40?? or something) for old car fuel tanks. The three phase system with the etching (acid) works. You have to be carefull and take your time to do it right. If you decide to go this route. A bike tank should be that much easier to work on, if Yamamama won´t replace yours.

1) No, the dealer didn´t find and repair the problem
2) Underlying problem is the rusty tank. Why the spark plug cap jumped off is anybodys guess (fumbling fingers). I just wonder how your cat is doing now...

Finnfjr
 

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Rust can easily form in a stored bike from temp changes combined with humidity. The water settles to the bottom of the tank (heavier than gas) and begins it's dirty work. Riding keeps the gas mixing with the water, as well as heats the tank, so rust is minimized. There are two fuel filters in the FJR, the sock at the pump inlet, as well as a fine screen at each injector inlet. An effective tank cleaning method involves diesel fuel and a short length of link chain, 5/16 or 3/8 diameter. Does a perfect job, have pre Kreemed some bad ones using this method.
 

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The term....Rust inside the fuel tank" should actually be refered to as....."MICROBIOLOGICAL CORROSION" no sh*t!!!. As mentioned before, water is heavier than fuel and settles in the lowest part of your tank. Water contains "Microbes", which are microscopic sized plant and animal life. These organic bodies live in the water suspended in the fuel and feed on the hydrocarbons in the fuel. The dark environment inside your fuel tank promotes their growth (romantic surrounds) . These tiny creatures multiply (root their brains out more like it!) and form a scum like residue inside the tank made up of dead microbes, their poo and their jizz. The scummy residue is acidic and will eventually etch into the metal tank.
The scum like residue covers the lower part of the tank and the exposed metal and traps moisture against the fuel tank.....where in a very short time a "concentration corrosive cell" will inevitably form.

It is virtually impossible to prevent the formation of scum as long as microbes are allowed to line the fuel tank. Most good quality fuel companies have additives to prevent Microbiological growth in fuel. You mentioned that you put additives in your fuel.......
Perhaps your additives are allowing the growth of microbes in your fuel tank?
Why the hell are you adding sh*t to your fuel anyway :shock: .....Here in Australia I try to use only Shell premium Unleaded Juice....and the bike loves it!!!

Perhaps review your bikes Diet mate? :idea:

My 5 cents worth..........
 

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Re: The answer is.....

yellowledbetter said:
The problem is a rusted fuel tank. The rust clogged up the fuel pump and the fuel injectors. So I am taking the fuel injectors to Dr. Injector for cleaning and servicing. I also need to buy a new fuel pump and gas tank. I am still scratching my head over the latter - it seems like a manufacturing defect that a 2-1/2 year old bike would have a gas tank that is rusting out.

<snip> Nonetheless, seems like Yamaha should have done a better job painting/protecting the inside of their fuel tanks during manufacture, no?

Is this something I should take up with Yamaha? :cry:
That certainly sounds like it could be an issue with defective materials, but, unless you have the YES, and even then,well, good luck, but mention it anyway, you never know.

You mentioned the smoke was blue, not black. I'm not sure the rust clogged injectors would cause oil consumption, ie blue smoke. Excess/unburnt gas from a stuck injector or a bad plug/lead is black smoke. Do you have a ticker? Sounds like a ticker on it's last legs.

There were many reports of sand/grit getting up to the fuel filler via the fuel tank vent lines which face forward and are low to the ground from the factory. If you did not adjust these lines, clip them and turn them to the rear, and you may not have had the need to if you didn't notice any sand/grit at the fuel filler, then there's a good chance you did get more than any "normal" amount of water in the fuel tank, living in the Pacific North West. Plus, how close is Tacoma to the ocean and all that salt air/mist etc.?

I would not use any gas tank "liner" product, as they are notoriuous for peeling off, and clogging things up. And, if you dent it, you can't just pop it back out cause the liner will peel even quicker.

Sorry to hear about your expereince. Gas tanks are not cheap, maybe you can find one at a salvage yard in a dry climate. AFAIK, a well cared for steel tank should last the life of the bike if stored properly. Why can't one use the 'ole pour some oil in the empty tank when off the bike and swish it around for winter storage technique with EFI tanks? I use to pull my FJ12 tanks right off the bike, oil them up, and store them in the house. I fill my EFI tanks right up to the *very* top with stabilised gas, so water can't condense on the tank interior and have had good luck so far with that technique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yamaha Contact

Can anyone provide me with the contact information for Yamaha? I want to say it's Cypress? I think I should pursue this issue directly with them before treating the tank with Kreme. If I coat it then there will be no evidence that there was damage. Incidentally, the bike began mis-firing before I crashed back in May, so not sure if the problem was already developing prior to being parked. Anyway, it's worth a shot to see what Yamaha has to say. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just got off the phone with Yamaha Corp. explaining the situation with the FJR. They said they would not participate in the cost of repair and they do not view a rusted tank as a manufacturing defect. We went through it over and over, and I still contend that a 3 year old gas tank on a consistently ridden bike is not a consumable piece of the bike. Very frustrating, though I somewhat expected that response. I made it clear that it is definitely a black mark against Yamaha when it is time to buy my next bike, and I would be sure to let the broader community know that Yamaha takes the position that their product is only designed to last the length of their standard warranty, 1 year. Sheesh!
 

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There you go then Your bike is 2 1/2 years old. Thats means it lasted 2 1/2 times longer then it ws suposed too.

What you complaining about. :lol:
 
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