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T: Fuel Tank VOC Spares Company Ethanol Proof Ewarts Plunger

Rob H

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I tied to post this in the VOC Spares company forum to ask the question but it seems we are not allowed to.

The question is that does anyone have any experience of using these plungers and what is the material used that replaces the cork? I am guessing that this is not Viton

From my experience, I fitted these with a little oil and they had a nice smooth action but as soon as the petrol came in contact they began to become tight and now after a couple of weeks they are very difficult to open and require a firm grip of fingers from two hands to operate
 

Rob H

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Ok did not notice the thread had been moved. Some additional info

I have spoken with the Spares Company and they have noted that they had sold many sets of these but have not heard of any problems so there must be some sets out there in use somewhere.

In fairness they proposed to send another set to try so once these arrive will swop them over and have a look at the originals to try and identify the problem.

Still interested to hear any feedback from members who have installed these.
 

LoneStar

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I couldn't find these on the VOCS site - or are they just listed as T28? Anyway, I installed these:


and had the same problem - the plunger would stick and become very hard to open or close. I put the rings on a rod, spun in the lathe and sanded down the OD a bit, and they now work nicely.
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
I like these much better than the other Ewarts "fix it" kit, that supplies a new plunger, with 2 o-rings, one on each end. I want to retain my original plungers on the Shadow.
 

Rob H

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I couldn't find these on the VOCS site - or are they just listed as T28? Anyway, I installed these:


and had the same problem - the plunger would stick and become very hard to open or close. I put the rings on a rod, spun in the lathe and sanded down the OD a bit, and they now work nicely.


I could see these working when the outlet of the tap is in the horizontal position but not in the vertical with a bottom outlet. Surely the petrol would leak between the vertical ribbing of the O rings?
 

Rob H

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I received the replacement plungers from the spares company to try again, I removed one, cleaned out the tap with brake cleaner and fitted the new plunger (dry this time without any oil as initial lubricant). It has been a week now and the action is nice and smooth and not too stiff to operate.

I put the "faulty" plunger that I removed in a jar of petrol to see if there was any effect on the seal, both measuring the diameter and also a visual inspection. There has been no discernible change after a few days.

In summary I can only conclude that the extreme stiffness of action was due to the petrol reacting with the fine coating of engine oil (for initial lubricant) to form some sort of very sticky substance which prevented easy operation.

In my opinion the new plungers are very good product for the price that solves the ewarts/ethanol issue. The only stipulation is to ensure that taps are cleaned to remove any internal residue, ensuring no sharp edges inside from drillings etc and to install the new plungers dry.
 

LoneStar

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I could see these working when the outlet of the tap is in the horizontal position but not in the vertical with a bottom outlet. Surely the petrol would leak between the vertical ribbing of the O rings?

Good point, but they do work. Without actually checking, I think the offset between the inlet passage (angled backwards) and the outlet creates an area in the plunger bore for an O-ring to seal all the way around its circumference, thus sealing.
 

Rob H

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Quick update and something to watch out for on the new ethanol proof plungers. I have just put the bike back on the road and she who shall be obeyed complained of the smell of petrol in the garage and I must admit I did eventually agree somewhat. When I disconnected the fuel lines to check the carbs I noticed that there was a very slight drip from one of the taps, it was not fully shutting off. On removal of the plunger it was noticed that the edge of the seal had been catching on the lower drilled opening in the tap and the action of closing the plunger had took a chunk out of it. The issue was the same on both taps although not as bad on the right hand side as that one has been rarely used as it is kept for reserve only

The taps are both standard original ewarts not modern copies. On close inspection it is seen that the taps are designed so that the plunger only blocks off the lower "out" hole, I guess was that back in the day it was designed that way so the corks would be constantly wet and not dry out.

The edge of the seal on the plunger is a sharp 90 degree angle so have tried to put a slight chamfer on this to prevent the catching. As only the one hole needs to be blocked I have rotated the seal on the plunger 180 deg to reuse. Hopefully this will solve the issue for now
 

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Bobv07662

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I would like to report that the replacement cork plungers and hi-tech grease supplied by Coventry Spares has not leaked or stiffened in over a years use. I do not use gasoline with ethanol in the bike.
 

Peter Holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bob, How do you avoid ethanol at the pumps, I used to think that I had solved the problem in the UK by still being able to purchase 4* at a local a garage, I now discover that it still has the dreaded ethanol in it, but also has lead mixed in on the forecourt, it is almost impossible for us to find ethanol free fuel over here.
 

Bobv07662

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Peter, here in the States the antique car hobby has a little bit of political influence but the major players in the non-ethanol gasoline supply chain are the farming lobby and marine/boating trade groups. The fuel suppliers to those users keep the "good gasoline" flowing and we use it in our older motorcycles. We also have leaded and unleaded high octane fuels in every conceivable configuration available for purchase and use at every racetrack. I was using that type of fuel in the Vin but have found it a bit overkill especially since the Beast seems to run fine on the more readily available unleaded, non-ethanol high test gasoline.
Hope this gives you some insight on how we keep things running over here.
 

Trickymicky

Active Website User
VOC Member
Bob, How do you avoid ethanol at the pumps, I used to think that I had solved the problem in the UK by still being able to purchase 4* at a local a garage, I now discover that it still has the dreaded ethanol in it, but also has lead mixed in on the forecourt, it is almost impossible for us to find ethanol free fuel over here.


Esso Synergy supreme 99 is ethanol free. It's quite expensive though, £1.51 at our local garage.


What’s in our Synergy Supreme+ 99 premium petrol​

Our Synergy Supreme+ 99 petrol has more cleaning power than our regular petrol – and includes molecules whose job it is to reduce the friction in your engine helping the moving parts work more efficiently.*​

Although our pumps have E5 labels on them, our Synergy Supreme+ 99 is actually ethanol free (except, due to technical supply reasons, in Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, North England and Scotland). Legislation requires us to place these E5 labels on pumps that dispense unleaded petrol with ‘up to 5% ethanol’, including those that contain no ethanol, which is why we display them on our Synergy Supreme+ 99 pumps.​

There’s currently no requirement for renewable fuel, like ethanol, to be present in super unleaded petrol although this could change in the future, in which case we would comply with any new legislation.​

 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Just shows you they do respond to customer demand originally it was just a throw away line in an FAQ on Essos web site. Now they have seen the rise in demand an emphasised it.Lets hope the green fanatics dont notice the publicity and demand 5% at the pumps rather than the refinery
 

Peter Holmes

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
That is very good news, Esso Synergy Supreme + 99 has been my fuel of choice for quite a while, but based purely on the fact that it is a branded fuel of high octane, a friend of mine that rides a classic Honda NC30 had given me this information previously, but only verbally, but as Esso display E5 on the pump I thought he was misinformed. I am convinced that my bike runs better on this fuel than any other, when occasionally I am out and about and feel a bit nervous about the fuel levels in the tank I have put in a splash of other brands of fuel, and I do notice the difference, strangely enough popping and banging on overrun, I know this is normally caused by other problems, but I do not get it with Esso, and everything else is better also, tickover, throttle response, clean plugs etc. Long live Esso Synergy Supreme + 99 I say.
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Peter, I´d be very interested to hear from you about a test of NBR material , like o-rings , shaft seals, fuel hoses that you soak in fuel for one week with this Esso. I have posted elsewhere photos of rubber footrests soaked in auto fuel to show the swelling. My believe the ethanol is NOT the problem, it is all sorts of thinners in modern fuel, like toluol, butane, acetone and all. So that bashing of ethanol is just no matter - but it is not great too, less energy in ethanol and hygroscopic. So you cannot really escape modern fuel, E 10 or not, maybe avgas would do in special cases - when you accept the price.
Basically you are not likely to find much of ethanol in non E 5 or 10 as it is not liked by fuel companies for its higher costs so any super 95 or 98 is allright.

Vic
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I re-read the first line of this posting
"I tried to post this in the VOC Spares company forum"
Well thats a new one on me Vincentspares.co.uk do not have a forum I wonder where he did try to post, VOC spares ....Velocette owners perhaps?
 

Trickymicky

Active Website User
VOC Member
Peter, I´d be very interested to hear from you about a test of NBR material , like o-rings , shaft seals, fuel hoses that you soak in fuel for one week with this Esso. I have posted elsewhere photos of rubber footrests soaked in auto fuel to show the swelling. My believe the ethanol is NOT the problem, it is all sorts of thinners in modern fuel, like toluol, butane, acetone and all. So that bashing of ethanol is just no matter - but it is not great too, less energy in ethanol and hygroscopic. So you cannot really escape modern fuel, E 10 or not, maybe avgas would do in special cases - when you accept the price.
Basically you are not likely to find much of ethanol in non E 5 or 10 as it is not liked by fuel companies for its higher costs so any super 95 or 98 is allright.

Vic
I have had excellent results with Avgas in other bikes, but unfortunately because it is not legal to use in road going vehicles in this country, it is difficult to buy.
 

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