Gas Tanks!!! WARNING

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Gas Tanks!!! WARNING

Postby Gary H » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:37 pm

Just wanted to let you all know, check your gas tanks inside. If they are soft and gooey, send them back! Some of the tanks were not cured properly when they left the factory. I have talked to Fiber-lay in Seattle and got no good answers as how to fix them. My plane is done and ready to fly but now I have this issue to contend with. Changing them out now would cost Just Aircraft a whole lot of money. I know several guys who have this problem. Now one of them is having trouble with his engine!
Anyone know what I can use to cure them? I have not put no fuel in as of yet. Jabiru went ballistic when I told them.  No way on earth am I putting contaminated fuel in my plane.
Last edited by Gary H on Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby scubarider2 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:10 pm

#$%^&  Gary....that SUCKS...!!!  I talked to my friend who does fiberglass for a living.  He said they did not use enough hardener when curing.  He said too late.  Tanks are not going to be usable.  Damn.... :evil:   Any alternatives with the fiberglass company?
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Gas Tank Warning

Postby Roger » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:04 pm

I suppose a good question woud be, are there a lot of problems out there with the gas tanks? Some of the people who have a lot of hours in their Highlanders should be able to answer the question. It seems to me that if several people have had problems with them, we'd have heard about it before now. How abot some of you folks getting on this forum and let those of us who are building, know if you've had any problems?
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Postby alan » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:31 pm

With 190 hours and two years I have had no problems with the tanks. I never have any debris during preflight. I will try to touch the inside of the tank to check for gooyness when next I go to the airport.

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Postby stede52 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:26 am

I'd really like to hear if anyone has had issues with the tanks, I myself have quite a bit of small light colored particles in my gas which I'm hoping will be picked up by the gascalator.  The other thing I'm seeing are wavy lines in the gas like you would see off ashalt on a hot day.  This must be as result of the gas breaking down the skim coat of sticky resin and obsorbing it into the fuel. This is my biggest concern because that is reaching the engine and valves.  I really hope this is a none issue and has not been a problem for the 912s.  If anyone has experienced issues with this I would sure like to know.  I would love to hear absolute silence which I would take as no problems. :lol:  
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Postby scubarider2 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:20 am

I will check mine as well.  Now that you mention it, the gas does seem a little "milky" colored.  Will check next time out at the hangar.
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Postby Dave Krall CFII SEL SES » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:22 pm

The epoxy on the inside (that I can reach) in my second set of tanks seems hard enough, but I've been leary of the whole system from the beginning, which started with excessively warped tanks shipped from the California supplier. They're installed now anyway.
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Postby rgmullins » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:56 am

I have only taxied my plane, but the first day it started and ran great. The second day it would not run without the choke pulled all the way out. Started looking it over and found the inside of the fuel lines had a light rust colored deposit on them, and when we pulled the carbs off we found the inside of the intake manifolds had a black sticky goo on them that looked like molasses. I took carb cleaner and cleaned every thing up and it ran fine after that. But after reading this post I put my finger in the tank yesterday and the insides feel a little tacky. Don't know if that was the cause of my problem but Troy is supposed to stop by on his way back from Oshkosh and you can bet I'll ask him about it.

I don't even want to think about having to change out tanks...
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Postby b1x4nqb » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:04 pm

You guys have me worried now.  I have never opened up my tanks yet to check inside.  I left them taped closed to keep debris out.  I even covered them in material an still have them closed.  I'm going in now though, to see what condition mine are in.

Funny thing is that I heard these concerns over a year ago, or more towards the fuel and Ethenal eating the fiberglass tanks.  I asked the factory then and they said they have had no problems with the tanks and didn't expect any issues.  Maybe the ethenal is catchin up or maybe the tanks are an issue.  We'll see.

FWIW, I heard others that had fiberglass in years past switched over to plastic to avoid the ethenal eating away at it.

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Postby rgmullins » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:24 pm

Yeow. I spent a little time looking around the internet about fiberglass tanks and ethanol....not good

http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/fueltest.asp

http://www.practical-sailor.com/marine/ ... gines.html
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Gas Tanks

Postby michaelb1 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:13 pm

Steve,
I don't think I would count on the gascolator picking this up. Has anyone read the following on the FAA website regarding Gary Schmitt's crash?
Bottom of page 2 "Examination of the fuel pumps revealed that both pumps had a fine mesh screens on the inlet side of the pumps. The screens were found to have excessive debris build up. Examination of the debris revealed it appeared to be fiberglass fibers and the fibers were consistent with the fuel tank construction materials. The airplane was not equipped with a fuel pressure gauge, thus the loss of fuel pressure could not monitored by the pilot".

Fly Safe :!:
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Postby John S » Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:39 pm

Hi, Guys,
I'm wondering if any or all the tanks that exhibit the "gooeyness" looked ok until they were exposed to fuel.   Could the type of fuel e.g. 100 LL, Mogas with ethanol, Mogas without ethanol) make any difference?  I called Just today at 3:30, but no one is there that late on a Friday.  

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Postby alan » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:31 pm

This sounds like something that is common to newer tanks. My 3 year old, counting build time, tanks are just fine. Gary's problem seems to have been caused by fibre-glass fibers, not uncured resin. It is possible his fuel system was not properly flushed during construction. It seems to me that those of you with this problem should not run your engines AT ALL until your tanks are replaced and the entire fuel system thoroughly flushed.

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Postby stede52 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:49 pm

Gary & I had some very long conversations with Troy this week at Oshkosh on this subject. Long story short, he really didn't know of the extent of the fiberglass tank issue and the number of tanks with sticky insides. We explained to him in great length the difference between epoxy resins and polyester resins and the laminating and finishing process of polyester resins.  Currently the tanks are made with a gas proof vinyl ester (polyester) resin but as far as I'm concerned his glass guy isn't using the correct finishing process and that's also consistent with conversations we've had with other companies in the resin/glass business.  He said he would make it a priority on monday to contact his fiberglass guy and find out what's going on.  As far as I'm concerned my only option is to run fuel thru the tanks (hoping it will clean itself out like Troy said it does) and watch my fuel filters and pressure closely.

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gas tanks

Postby Gary H » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:40 am

As for me I am grounded, at least until I get this resolved. Steve & I did talk to Troy this week. He said he was going to look into it and seemed very concerned. I hope I find a solution . Changing out the tanks now is like a nightmare!!
:(
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