3/17/12

replacing Triumph plastic fuel fittings

If you own a Hinckley Triumph with the infamous plastic fuel fittings, like my 2003 Speed Four, and are wanting to go with metal fittings, here are a few tips.

Here is the problem, the brittle plastic fuel fittings which break easily. The male part of the fitting was recalled, but the recall didn't apply to the female fittings in the tank. I never took mine in, but decided I'd replace both with metal when the time came, and here it is with the white return fitting breaking when I recently removed the tank. I've always been very careful with them, but it still broke. At least it was a convenient time to break. I've heard of them breaking out on the road.
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Here is the broken part still in the female fitting.
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What makes this job tougher than you'd think is that the fittings generally break off in the tank when you go to unscrew them. I've heard of them coming out without breaking, but mine snapped right off.
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After removal I gave the red one a super gentle pry to see how easily they break. They are extremely brittle.
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The first step is to remove the pump plate from the tank.
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Then the plate gets disassembled. This makes it easier to work, and prevents damaging or getting shavings in the pump. The electrical connection pass-through doesn't need removed.
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So as to not damage the plate, I decided to take a careful approach to cleaning out the broken section of the fittings. You'll need a hobby knife and a beer or three.
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Start by shaving the fitting. It cut very easily, and took less time than I thought it would. The idea is to get it down to the threads.
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Pick out the pieces as you go.
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Each fitting has a part inside that will fall out once they are opened up a bit.
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It's getting there.
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Once you shave it far enough, some parts pull out like a string.
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The reason these fitting are such a pain is that there are basically glued in place. Here you can see the remnants of whatever they used.
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I cleaned the sealant out with a tap. After this a blew them out with compressed air, and then hosed them out with carb cleaner. You don't want any shavings left inside, and the threads have to be very clean.
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I used a metal fitting kit from Team Triumph of Wisconsin.  The kit cost $82 shipped, and they are of a very high quality. You could piece a kit together for less, but I decided to go with this, and I'm very happy with it.
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Ready to reassembly the tank. These don't thread in all the way, being tapered pipe thread, but only about 2/3 at the most.
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The hose barb fittings are just a straight swap compared to the tank fittings. The new fittings still need careful handling, but mainly to prevent damaging one of the viton o-rings. A bit of grease or transmission fluid can help prevent that.
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4 comments:

Andrew Edwards said...

Thank you for your write up, the information and pictures will come in very handy as this has just happened to my 2004 D600.

Unknown said...

Tap size?

Unknown said...

Tap size?

Chris said...

Hi - I removed my tank from my 03 Speed Four and after putting it back on, the bike won't start. Is there a trick or procedure that has to be done when the tank is re-installed? All I did was hook up the lines and bolt it on (and add gas). I"m not real familiar with fuel injected systems so I wonder if there's something I'm missing that has to do with that..?