VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

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

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

  #1  
Old 12-18-2017, 07:21 PM
rswalden's Avatar
rswalden rswalden is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 74
Default Leaking Fuel Tank

Very disappointed with fuel leaks in a pre-assembled fuel tank a friend of mine purchased from Van's for his RV-12. I flew the first 10 hours on his airplane with half-full fuel loads (approx 10 gallons). Never had a leak until we filled the tank on a final test flight. With the increased fuel load we began experiencing leaks at the outboard aft corner of the fuel tank, and at two of the rivets near the bottom drain.

We removed and opened the tank to inspect the inside and were shocked at how little proseal tank sealant was used by the Van's assemblers. The suspect corner of the tank pulled away from the aluminum with no resistance, and it was evident that little scuffing had been done to the corner.

Poor quality control by Van's, in my opinion. Considering the RV-12 fuel tank is in the fuselage with the pilot, I would think extra care would be used in the factory assembled tanks.
__________________
Bob Walden (Waldo), CFII-ASMEL
KFFC "Falcon RV Squadron" Peachtree City, GA
RV-7A Tip-Up, IO-390, 450+ Hours
RV-12 builder assist and phase 1 flight test
EAA/AOPA/Vans Air Force 2018 Supporter
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-18-2017, 09:23 PM
Slane Slane is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 153
Default Share info with Vanís

Quote:
Originally Posted by rswalden View Post
Very disappointed with fuel leaks in a pre-assembled fuel tank a friend of mine purchased from Van's for his RV-12. I flew the first 10 hours on his airplane with half-full fuel loads (approx 10 gallons). Never had a leak until we filled the tank on a final test flight. With the increased fuel load we began experiencing leaks at the outboard aft corner of the fuel tank, and at two of the rivets near the bottom drain.

We removed and opened the tank to inspect the inside and were shocked at how little proseal tank sealant was used by the Van's assemblers. The suspect corner of the tank pulled away from the aluminum with no resistance, and it was evident that little scuffing had been done to the corner.

Poor quality control by Van's, in my opinion. Considering the RV-12 fuel tank is in the fuselage with the pilot, I would think extra care would be used in the factory assembled tanks.
Have you contacted Vanís with this information?
__________________
Scott Lane
Hillsboro, OR
RV12 Completed & Flying 2013
#120043 N728SL
VAF paid 2018
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-19-2017, 02:48 PM
dbhill916 dbhill916 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rswalden View Post
Very disappointed with fuel leaks in a pre-assembled fuel tank a friend of mine purchased from Van's for his RV-12. I flew the first 10 hours on his airplane with half-full fuel loads (approx 10 gallons). Never had a leak until we filled the tank on a final test flight. With the increased fuel load we began experiencing leaks at the outboard aft corner of the fuel tank, and at two of the rivets near the bottom drain.

We removed and opened the tank to inspect the inside and were shocked at how little proseal tank sealant was used by the Van's assemblers. The suspect corner of the tank pulled away from the aluminum with no resistance, and it was evident that little scuffing had been done to the corner.

Poor quality control by Van's, in my opinion. Considering the RV-12 fuel tank is in the fuselage with the pilot, I would think extra care would be used in the factory assembled tanks.
I had a similar experience, and have had 3 separate fuel leaks from a factory built tank (dated 13/09, per the engraving on the sender plate.) One leak was very difficult to find and only showed up when I suspended the tank from the bolt holes and filled it with gas. Full, on the bench, no leak. Suspended (as if mounted) a leak showed up in one of the lower corners. Upon opening it, I found the same lack of evidence of scuffing.

This year, it's developed its fourth leak and I'm done with it. I just purchased a new one and am installing it during my condition inspection in January.

I didn't make a report to Van's because it had been at least a year (maybe 18 mo) after I purchased it. If the new one leaks, it will be promptly reported through their QC system and I'll send it back for them to do a post-mortem to search for a root cause.

I'm willing to acknowledge that statistical variations happen. If you & I are the only ones, it may just be bad luck on our parts. On the other hand, does anyone else have a similar story?

-dbh
__________________
David B. Hill
N76012
RV-120760
http://n76012.blogspot.com
Dues paid through 6-2018
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-19-2017, 03:22 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 7,435
Default

Pre-built RV-12 tank production was brought in house in March 2014 after some quality concerns with the outside vendor used prior to that point.

I am aware of a few leaks on tanks built by the outside vendor. None on the tanks that have been built in house.
__________________
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")

Last edited by rvbuilder2002 : 12-19-2017 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Date correction
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-20-2017, 06:22 AM
dbhill916 dbhill916 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
Pre-built RV-12 tank production was brought in house in March 2014 after some quality concerns with the outside vendor used prior to that point.

I am aware of a few leaks on tanks built by the outside vendor. None on the tanks that have been built in house.
Thanks, Scott. I really appreciate that kind of transparency.

-dbh
__________________
David B. Hill
N76012
RV-120760
http://n76012.blogspot.com
Dues paid through 6-2018
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-20-2017, 02:12 PM
rswalden's Avatar
rswalden rswalden is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 74
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
Pre-built RV-12 tank production was brought in house in March 2014 after some quality concerns with the outside vendor used prior to that point. I am aware of a few leaks on tanks built by the outside vendor. None on the tanks that have been built in house.
Thanks, Scott....
Glad to hear the outside vendor is no longer being used.
We recently opened up, repaired, and sealed the tank for the THIRD time.
The engraving on the tank frame shows 2014, which is probably before Van's took over.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/98225ro8vx...0Tank.JPG?dl=0

We appreciate you shedding light on the problem.
__________________
Bob Walden (Waldo), CFII-ASMEL
KFFC "Falcon RV Squadron" Peachtree City, GA
RV-7A Tip-Up, IO-390, 450+ Hours
RV-12 builder assist and phase 1 flight test
EAA/AOPA/Vans Air Force 2018 Supporter
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 10:54 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.