VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

- POSTING RULES
- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

  #1  
Old 02-06-2010, 04:24 PM
steve wyman steve wyman is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 241
Default Fiberglass gas tanks

For those of you who have contemplated using a fiberglass tank at some point in the future, please read the following post from the
rans S-7 group- it is scary AND expensive!


To: RansS7Courier@yahoogroups.com
From: wordsmith@gmx.ch
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 00:11:32 +0100
Subject: Re: [RansS7Courier] Airworthiness Inspection


Thanks a lot, Buzz. Great post.

Griff

buzzglade@bellsouth.net wrote:
>
>
> The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: I returned the 912 to Lockwood in July
> 2009 for no compression on all cylinders. I had purchased the engine
> new from Rans. The engine had less than 2 hours total time at that
> point. All the run time was for leak check, carb balance, warm-up,
> etc. Phone calls and email did not get much response. In late Nov, I
> asked Lockwood to tell me exactly what happened to the engine. The
> intake valves had hit the pistons, push rods bent, cam ruined, gear
> box dog gear ruined. The exhaust valves were fine. I 'Googled'
> stuck intake valves and engine damage. The result comes back on
> boating sites with identical symptoms. I figured out then what had
> happened. I had purchased a fiberglass header tank from Joel
> Milloway and the gasoline was dissolving the resin. I sumped the fuel
> system about the 2nd or 3rd day after filling the header tank and
> running the engine and a 'brown snot' came out. I imediately removed
> the tank and replaced it w/ an aluminum tank but apparently the damage
> was already done to the engine. I called Lockwood and told them what
> had happened to the engine. They gave me $7k core credit or a
> complete zero time re-build w/ 2000 tbo for $8.6 (plus tax). I took
> the re-build option. Lockwood called and sent pics when they
> disassemble the engine saying they did not see how they could have
> missed the problem They had to hammer the intake valves out of the
> heads. The intake valve stems were coated w/ black varnish from the
> resin. I picked the engine up the end of Dec. The damage was done
> to the engine in a matter of hours. The good news is the engine
> failed on the ground. The ugly is I am out over $10k. I have asked
> Joel to notifly all who have his tanks and to re-inburse me for
> damages but I'm not holding my breath for the check. If anyone has a
> fiberglass tank, get rid of it asap.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-06-2010, 04:37 PM
steve wyman steve wyman is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 241
Default

It should be noted in the above post, that the problem with the fiberglass tanks, seems to stem from their apparent incompatability with gasoline, containing ETHANOL, which most of us will be using, at least, to some extent. Steve
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-06-2010, 04:45 PM
RVadmirer RVadmirer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kalifornia
Posts: 466
Default Fiberglass Tanks

Wrong epoxy for the application, not rocket science, but it does need simple attention to the basics.......
If someone built a spar from recycled beer cans and it failed, it wouldn't mean that all aluminum spars should be ripped out and proper aluminum never used again. There are many composite tanks in use with the crummy auto gas blends around that are working just fine. Still wish they would keep corn fuel out of at least one pump so we could get full use of the power available in this basic fuel and the STCs would still be intact for certified engines.

Last edited by RVadmirer : 02-06-2010 at 05:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-06-2010, 06:43 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 11,527
Default

Just be thankful we aren't boaters! A good number of boat hulls have been ruined by ethanol in the fuel and now way to repair them.

The worst part is Obama wants to use more and more Ethanol in our gas supply. Check out this news story.
__________________
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
www.repucci.com/bill/baf.html
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-07-2010, 06:53 AM
Paul, PA Paul, PA is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Antioch, CA
Posts: 31
Default

This issue has been discussed several times in a Just Aircraft forum since we use fiberglass tanks in them. The final answer to the problems we were having seems to be solved by rinsing the brand new tanks initially. If the tank is made correctly & rinsed properly it seems to work without any breakdown issues. My Highlander flew trouble free after doing this with no indications of tank breakdown.

Here are a few of the several discussions on that board. You can search the forum for sticky valves, ethenol, etc. to see many of them but here are some threads:

http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic....=sticky+valves

http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic....=sticky+valves

http://www.wingsforum.com/viewtopic....hlight=ethenol
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-07-2010, 07:33 AM
rv72004 rv72004 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 452
Default

All Glasairs are built with Vinelester. Tanks as well, as it is integral to wing.
Never heard of a problem. Then again I suppose most people flew with Avgas which is etanol free.
As a matter of fact, Glasair tech told me many years ago, that vinelester was designed to be chemical and fuel resistant from the start.
__________________
EJ
RV7 flying
xp360, CS, All Glass cockpit
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-07-2010, 09:39 AM
steve wyman steve wyman is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rv72004 View Post
All Glasairs are built with Vinelester. Tanks as well, as it is integral to wing.
Never heard of a problem. Then again I suppose most people flew with Avgas which is etanol free.
As a matter of fact, Glasair tech told me many years ago, that vinelester was designed to be chemical and fuel resistant from the start.
It's the ethanol that causes the problem- if all you ever use is 100LL, it won't be an issue. That will not be the scenario for most of us running the 912 in the RV-12. Steve
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-07-2010, 10:48 PM
rv72004 rv72004 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 452
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve wyman View Post
It's the ethanol that causes the problem- if all you ever use is 100LL, it won't be an issue. That will not be the scenario for most of us running the 912 in the RV-12. Steve
Kinda makes me wonder what will become of Glasairs the fatefull day 100LL ceases to exist.
__________________
EJ
RV7 flying
xp360, CS, All Glass cockpit
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:10 AM
GDS GDS is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Big Bear lake, CA
Posts: 124
Default

This is a quote from one of my partners, a Pulsar builder/pilot and an engineer with 20+ years working on aerospace composites:

"You do not want to use a glass tank bare. Depending on the particular resin system used, some may have less resistance to ethanol dissolution and may allow the glass and resin to gradually breakdown. You have to coat the inside wetted surface with a blocker like Jeffco 9700, an epoxy based sealer that is immune to ethanol. I have a glass tank on my Pulsar which has used only mogas with 10% ethanol for over 5 years and absolutely no breakdown of glass because of the Jeffco."
__________________
Gary
Partner in RV12, #177, N523GT
Flying, ~50 hours
Next project found: Just Aircraft Highlander
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:40 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 1,349
Default

I've noticed that when looking at build logs for most glass aircraft with integral tanks, they always coat the inside of the tank with a sealant prior to final assembly.

What about a welded aluminum tank? That would seem to be the best option.
__________________
Colin P.
RV-6A #20603:Painting and moving to the airport for final assembly. Getting very close!
PP SEL / A&P
N616CG (Reserved)
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:24 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.