More Fuel Tank PROBLEMS

skyking

Skyking
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I cut out the original fiberglass tanks and had 2 AL tanks fabricated by a local hot rod shop that custom builds fuel cells for race cars. I measured 9 gallons of auto gas in each tank. Mine is a SH I but had the tank fittings installed to match the SH III. It was expensive but for safety and peace of mind, an investment. I am almost ready for my Airworthiness Inspection by one of our very own well-respected DAR.
 

Tyger

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Just my 2 cents after an automobile fire - metal tanks, automobile fuel hose and metal fuel filters are the only way to go. Those clear or blue fuel tubing and plastic see thru fuel filters and plastic tanks will melt and greatly increase the amount of fire. Remember machines have no brain you must use your own.
Marine fuel hose is MUCH better than auto hose as far as fire resistance.
 

Tyger

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Magni fuel tanks are epoxy resin, reinforced with fiberglass. They are designed for fuel containing ethanol.
 

fara

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Magni fuel tanks are epoxy resin, reinforced with fiberglass. They are designed for fuel containing ethanol.

After years of inactivity, I finally got back to my SH-II kit and have it completed. I'm unable to find ethanol free fuel so I'm interested in what if any solution this group ever identified? Did anyone ever find a coating that looked like it would work out inside the tanks?
-Craig

I have gone through this painful experience in 2007/2008
I did not find any of the inside coatings to hold up. Tried various. They dissolve out over a few weeks or months.
There are certain specific epoxy resins that may stand to ethanol for a time. The best resistance however comes from a good quality Vinyl Ester resin. Kitfox for example uses that in their wing tanks. But even that does not completely solve the issue. Eventually with constant standing ethanol laden fuel, they will all start to dissolve slowly. Best thing to not use ethanol laden fuel in composite tanks too much. Specially don't let in stand in them for long periods of time. We had to switch over to Aluminum welded tanks which are expensive to make specially if they are not a simple box design.
 

Tyger

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I have not heard of any problems with the Magni tanks; many have been in service for a long time now.
I understand the EPA is actually now advocating composite tanks for in-ground fuel, as they won't rust. Has to be the right kind of composite, of course.
I just replaced the original (steel) fuel tanks in my 30yo Lotus Esprit. They had started to leak from rust. I replaced them with aluminum, for not too, too much money (installation cost me a LOT more) and these are not a simple shape/size
The horror stories you hear from boaters are from tanks that were made long before anyone thought of requiring alcohol in fuel. It's all about the resin. That may also go for aircraft tanks which never expected to see anything but 100LL.
As far as folks saying they cannot find E0 unleaded fuel, pure-gas.org is a good resource.
 

georgio744

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I have not heard of any problems with the Magni tanks; many have been in service for a long time now.
I understand the EPA is actually now advocating composite tanks for in-ground fuel, as they won't rust. Has to be the right kind of composite, of course.
I just replaced the original (steel) fuel tanks in my 30yo Lotus Esprit. They had started to leak from rust. I replaced them with aluminum, for not too, too much money (installation cost me a LOT more) and these are not a simple shape/size
The horror stories you hear from boaters are from tanks that were made long before anyone thought of requiring alcohol in fuel. It's all about the resin. That may also go for aircraft tanks which never expected to see anything but 100LL.
As far as folks saying they cannot find E0 unleaded fuel, pure-gas.org is a good resource.
The main issue I have with the E0 fuels sold at gas stations is that it's usually 89-90 octane which is a little lower than the Rotax required minimum octane. SwiftFuels makes a UL94 which meets the octane requirements and is ethanol free, but it's not available at many airports.
George
 

Tyger

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You usually just have to look a little harder for 91AKI. And if you have any avgas at all in your tank, adding 90 will still leave the mixture over 91. I am able to buy 91AKI E0 in my neck of the woods; it's less than half the price of avgas, and much better for my Rotax.
The big reason why Swift 94 isn't at many airports is it costs about the same as avgas, so few people buy it, especially if they can get 91 mogas nearby.
 

DavePA11

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I was using 100LL in Rotax 912 with additive and didn’t have any issues. Do there’s do this too?
 

Tyger

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You're still supposed to change the oil and clean the tank twice as frequently if you use avgas more than 40% of the time, Dave. I only ever use avgas when travelling cross country, and I bring some Decalin with me.
However, extensive use of Decalin has been known to cause exhaust issues, especially for those with "flex" exhaust pipes.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
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"...I just replaced the original (steel) fuel tanks in my 30yo Lotus Esprit"...
Oooohhhhhh, Tyger! I have love the looks of the Esprit after seeing one in a James Bond movie that also goes underwater as a sub.
Could you post a pic of yours?
 

fara

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I have not heard of any problems with the Magni tanks; many have been in service for a long time now.
I understand the EPA is actually now advocating composite tanks for in-ground fuel, as they won't rust. Has to be the right kind of composite, of course.
I just replaced the original (steel) fuel tanks in my 30yo Lotus Esprit. They had started to leak from rust. I replaced them with aluminum, for not too, too much money (installation cost me a LOT more) and these are not a simple shape/size
The horror stories you hear from boaters are from tanks that were made long before anyone thought of requiring alcohol in fuel. It's all about the resin. That may also go for aircraft tanks which never expected to see anything but 100LL.
As far as folks saying they cannot find E0 unleaded fuel, pure-gas.org is a good resource.

I remember talking to Greg Gremminger at Mentone once and asked him about the fuel and tanks in his Magni and I "think" he said he mainly used and advises his customers to use non-ethanol fuel mainly and avgas on cross countries. Vinyl Ester resin which is fairly common resin for fiberglass matrix is actually better than most epoxy resins to resist ethanol. At least that is what the research I did in 2008 told me. They may have come up with new formulations of resins that are even better. That would be cool. Our metal tanks take labor hours to make because they are compound curve that Aluminum needs to be shaped to. Cross linked Polyethylene (plastic) fuel tanks seem to hold up quite well also and are stronger in a crash situation than composite tanks. You have to spend the money upfront to build the molds and then the cost of the tanks is not much. However, I can tell you try and get a roto molding company to do fuel tanks for an aircraft and you will find its almost impossible in the US. You have to go to small outfits or go outside the US to get it done
 

fara

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The main issue I have with the E0 fuels sold at gas stations is that it's usually 89-90 octane which is a little lower than the Rotax required minimum octane. SwiftFuels makes a UL94 which meets the octane requirements and is ethanol free, but it's not available at many airports.
George
Put about 10% avgas in it or buy some octane booster (MTBE or leadalkyl compounds) and put it in there
 

Tyger

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Greg does say that, and I do use E0 whenever I can, but it's not because I'm worried about the tank, as such. The folks at the factory were reassuring that E10 is never going to be a problem.
Greg used to have E0 93AKI available at his home airport, but I guess they decided jet fuel was a better seller, so now he has to cart his mogas in like so many of the rest of us. I am not sure if he has found E0 91(+) easy to get in his part of MO.
But... we all know that a gallon of gasoline has more energy than a gallon of ethanol, and if you use E0 then you absolutely won't have to worry about just what kind of resin you might have. I think using E0 is a no-brainer... if you can get it!
 

Tyger

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Per Kevin_Richey's request:
It's actually lower than the Mini.
It has two fuel tanks, one on either side of the engine, connected by a balancing tube. You can fill the car from either side. Someone told me that this is no longer legal on cars?
 

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