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  #1  
Old 01-26-2015, 12:16 AM
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DIY: Fuel gauge fix

I had to work pretty hard to piece together the repair for the chronically failing fuel gauge, so I thought I would take some photos along the way. Hopefully it will help someone out.

This is for bikes with a strip-type sending unit, not floats. My bike is a 2005 K1200S. The whole thing took about 1-1/2 hours.

Apparently, the fuel sensing strip is prone to cracking, leading to an open circuit. This fix sends a high voltage charge through the strip which fuses the break back together.

I bought a BBQ grill ignitor at Home Depot for $13.



It comes with a wire to the ignitor and a ground wire.



I cut off the ignitor and spliced on a female spade connector. I heat-shrinked them to prevent any arcing.



1. Fill'r up! Gasoline must be vaporized and it needs air to burn. And we de-efinitely don't want that. Fill the fuel tank to ensure the fuel strip is submerged to minimize the chance of anything ..uh.. bad happening.

2. Remove the seat, side fairings, and fuel tank side covers. You'll see in the photos that I took off the center part of the the fuel tank cover, but that is not necessary. Either way, I kept the fuel cap tightly fastened. I'm not a big fan of explosive vapors in my garage. I also disconnected the battery.



3. Remove the two large bolts that hold on the fuel tank.



4. Lift the tank up and out so you can gain room to get to the fuel pump.



5. Here's your target. Unclip the connector on the right side and pull the connector out.



6. Now you have access to the pins you are looking for - the center two pins, pins 2 & 3. You can see the pins in my mechanic's mirror.



7. Connect the BBQ grill ignitor to pins 2 & 3. The female spade connectors were small enough hold onto the pins. Here they are (they white wires) connected and ready to go.



8. Take a deep breath and know that many have done this before (I rolled mine out into the driveway anyway, lol). Click the ignitor 5 or 6 times.

9. Snap the fuel gauge connector back in and connect the battery. Turn the ignition switch to on and wait 90 seconds for the bike to go through its checks.

10. Take a step back and realize you are awesome! Laugh that you are surprised.



11. Put the bike back together and you are good to go.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2015, 08:37 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Thanks for the K write-up on this one. I have read of it before when I had my RT, and its still the craziest fix I've ever come across. How did something like this ever cross someone's mind as a possible means to fix something as unusual as a fuel strip????

And the combination of the BBQ igniter and the fuel tank is classic!!
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2015, 09:29 AM
ChrisCannin ChrisCannin is offline
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

What a great post 'Laugh that I was suprised' I'd be laughing I was still alive

But hey if it works the wonders of the net
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2015, 09:33 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundMountain
Thanks for the K write-up on this one. I have read of it before when I had my RT, and its still the craziest fix I've ever come across. How did something like this ever cross someone's mind as a possible means to fix something as unusual as a fuel strip????

And the combination of the BBQ igniter and the fuel tank is classic!!
Seriously! How did someone figure that one out?
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2015, 09:41 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

That was awesome .....

You do know that there is a recall on the fuel strip ?
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2015, 12:04 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by falconcan
That was awesome .....

You do know that there is a recall on the fuel strip ?


Don't burst his bubble!

That WAS awesome!! Who'd a thunk it!
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2015, 03:43 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Ha My strips just crapped out as well, found this thread a few days a go, ADV thread look at post #253 and just got all the parts to do this exact same thing...
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2015, 04:48 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundMountain
Thanks for the K write-up on this one. I have read of it before when I had my RT, and its still the craziest fix I've ever come across. How did something like this ever cross someone's mind as a possible means to fix something as unusual as a fuel strip????

And the combination of the BBQ igniter and the fuel tank is classic!!
I think this dude a couple years ago.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=21268240

But I was mostly without pics, so once I figured it out, I thought I'd share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by falconcan
You do know that there is a recall on the fuel strip ?
Awwdamn! No. Do they have a recall on worn tires? That seems to be a chronic problem. lol.

Do you have a link to recalls info?
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2015, 04:54 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

I was able to replace my strip last Oct, and used the Gs911 to "activate" the new strip, for a lack of a better term.

It just crapped out 2wks ago. I remembered reading about this, but I just can't wrap my head around sending a voltage spike into a full fuel tank.

But now I can read the ohms on the old one I removed, and the newer one that just died to get a comparison. Maybe I'll try it, but then, it's under warranty now.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2015, 09:20 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Awesome work. Only one question. Pin 2 & 3 is going to be the middle two so does polarity matter? Guessing not.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2015, 02:06 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiko
Awesome work. Only one question. Pin 2 & 3 is going to be the middle two so does polarity matter? Guessing not.

Sorry, I did mean to include that.

Polarity does not matter. All that matters is you put a shirt-load of voltage through it.

I also forgot to mention that a good fuel strip should have a resistance of ~2.4k Ohms. A bad one will show an open circuit (or orders of magnitude higher resistance).
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:09 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

I just zapped the strip I removed last year outside of the tank .
Prior to doing this, it had an open circuit between the two terminals. After the zap, it showed 2.45 ohms.
I'm still gun-shy of trying it with the one in the fuel tank.
Maybe just switch them around.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2015, 07:29 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsdad57
I just zapped the strip I removed last year outside of the tank .
Prior to doing this, it had an open circuit between the two terminals. After the zap, it showed 2.45 ohms.
I'm still gun-shy of trying it with the one in the fuel tank.
Maybe just switch them around.

Yeah it's unnerving. But there are two things needed for combustion that are impossible when it is submerged:
1. Vaporized gasoline (the wet stuff won't burn)
2. Oxygen

Fire physics: fuel + heat + oxygen. All three are required.

On the other hand, getting access to the strip connection is only a few (messy) steps away from physically swapping it
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:11 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

MAN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I would only do this on a FULL tank of fuel. Thanks for the really COOL FIX! I will have to catalog this away for a future repair.

Bill
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:29 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcreme
Do you have a link to recalls info?

I don't remember if this is a recall, but it's now a free replacement by BMW. BMW will replace a failed fuel strip for 12 years after the bike went into service.

There is a recall for the fuel pump flag on your bike. BMW will install a metal collar on the flange to prevent cracking, or if the flange is badly cracked, BMW will replace the flange and fuel pump.
Here's a picture of a cracked flange.





If they do not replace the flange and pump, here's the fix.




I see you still have the plastic quick disconnect. You should replace it with a metal one because the plastic ones are known to crack or break.

Picture of the metal QDs. Some of us only replaced the male half because of fear of cracking the flang when screwing in the female half.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:39 PM
jenkinskg jenkinskg is offline
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

How many people have ignited using this fix?
Make sure insurance is up to date, big time!



Quote:
Originally Posted by jcreme
I had to work pretty hard to piece together the repair for the chronically failing fuel gauge, so I thought I would take some photos along the way. Hopefully it will help someone out.

This is for bikes with a strip-type sending unit, not floats. My bike is a 2005 K1200S. The whole thing took about 1-1/2 hours.

Apparently, the fuel sensing strip is prone to cracking, leading to an open circuit. This fix sends a high voltage charge through the strip which fuses the break back together.

I bought a BBQ grill ignitor at Home Depot for $13.



It comes with a wire to the ignitor and a ground wire.



I cut off the ignitor and spliced on a female spade connector. I heat-shrinked them to prevent any arcing.



1. Fill'r up! Gasoline must be vaporized and it needs air to burn. And we de-efinitely don't want that. Fill the fuel tank to ensure the fuel strip is submerged to minimize the chance of anything ..uh.. bad happening.

2. Remove the seat, side fairings, and fuel tank side covers. You'll see in the photos that I took off the center part of the the fuel tank cover, but that is not necessary. Either way, I kept the fuel cap tightly fastened. I'm not a big fan of explosive vapors in my garage. I also disconnected the battery.



3. Remove the two large bolts that hold on the fuel tank.



4. Lift the tank up and out so you can gain room to get to the fuel pump.



5. Here's your target. Unclip the connector on the right side and pull the connector out.



6. Now you have access to the pins you are looking for - the center two pins, pins 2 & 3. You can see the pins in my mechanic's mirror.



7. Connect the BBQ grill ignitor to pins 2 & 3. The female spade connectors were small enough hold onto the pins. Here they are (they white wires) connected and ready to go.



8. Take a deep breath and know that many have done this before (I rolled mine out into the driveway anyway, lol). Click the ignitor 5 or 6 times.

9. Snap the fuel gauge connector back in and connect the battery. Turn the ignition switch to on and wait 90 seconds for the bike to go through its checks.

10. Take a step back and realize you are awesome! Laugh that you are surprised.



11. Put the bike back together and you are good to go.
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  #17  
Old 04-29-2015, 02:53 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcreme

11. Put the bike back together and you are good to go.
Hi Justin, welcome

You're a lucky man....

do a 15.000 Volts spark inside a fuel tank is not for cowards
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:56 PM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

This is great for the people over seas that the recall isn't good for. Remember they use the Ethanol excuse as to why it fails in the USA. also good for anyone that will hit the 12 year mark and not want to pony the dough to fix properly!
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:47 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

And if you are tired of the bike, find an empty parking lot, make sure tank is almost empty, and hit the ignition button, long wire on end advised

Take pictures for youtube and the forum
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2017, 02:49 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

My Fuel Gauge just stopped working, so I'm going to try this fix this weekend...

If you don't hear from me again......
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:31 AM
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Re: DIY: Fuel gauge fix

Love this fix - pure Texas.


When my fuel gauge stops working, I'm gonna stop every few miles and dip the tank with a wooden McDonald's coffee stirrer
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