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58 panhead gushing gas

2191 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  snatchleeka
My buddy has a 58 panhead. Whenever it's hot out gas just pushes out of the gas caps. It did it today and both tanks were only half full. We tried a left vented, a right vented cap, both caps vented and neither caps vented. Does anyone have any ideas to stop this from happening? This has been going on for years. The emblems are ruined and the paint on the tanks is ruined. Sometimes the left tank gushes, sometimes the right tank gushes. If you take the caps off it starts to level itself off.
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It's pushing gas out of BOTH caps? Riding or sitting on the kick stand with a half a tank of gas?
check the crossover tube for a kink ,a pinch,or blockage.and check venting half full tanks should not do this.switch the tanks out if possible cause that must be the source of the do you live with that for years.gotta be a simple fix,try a new gremlin bell.get some mo-jo,or an excorcism.try new vented caps ,run a wire through the crosso0ver tubes

Also beware of repop caps where the rubber gaskets swell to block the vents as shown on the right in my attachment.
(Left is OEM Eaton, with vents upon outside edges).



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My guess is the tanks have a rubber type coating inside, and I guess that the tanks were not prepped correctly before coating was installed. Hot sun heating metal tanks cause the trapped air under rubber seal to expand causing the gas to "push" out caps.
The tanks need to be drained and rubber coating removed (chemicaly is best) once removed and cleaned the interior should be etched. M.E.K. works good, then re-coat tanks with a good sealer.
Good Luck
Cotten nailed it. My 53 had that same problem for a while. It had repop caps on it and they were not venting properly. Got some original Eaton caps and no more problems.
Just for clarity. Folks,

I have held some vintage caps in my hand (failing memory if they were Eaton), but they were vented like the V-TWIN offerings.

The problem is not the reproductions, but the P4gas that swells the seals.

Leather is the only economical alternative for seals at this time.

(But I'll attempt a pair of PEEK seals at, oh,... about... two C notes.)
(If I feel like taking a chance on the customer. Its all about the customer.

Are you serious like me?)

Liberty Motorcycle Specialties, Inc.
118 N. Washington Street
Lacon, IL 61540 USA

PPS: [email protected]
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Feel like I'm chasing Cotton around the board, but here goes: IF the vent isn't blocked (and I've had that *exact* same problem on my tanks, a little bit of work with a pair of sissors on the gasket fixed that), then tweaking the seal in a different way may help. First, test the fit with a clean, dry seal on the cap. If you've got an original or good repro tank with a 1/4 twist "bayonette" style cap, it should be really hard to get it to fully close, i.e. all the way to the stop. If it's not, then *gently* bend the tabs on the cap in or out until you have to really twist to get it to close, and it stops shy of the stop tab. In other words, when you tighten the cap, it should really be clamping the seal tight when it's closed. If the tank's ramps are worn or bent (the inverse ramps that the cap tabs ride on when you're tightening the cap), you're never going to get a good seal. Consider replacing the whole gas cap insert (you can buy weld in replacements from a lot of sources).

All that said, the problem is the hot motor heating up the gas in the tanks and causing expansion, pushing the gas out of the tank. It *can* be made worse by blocked vent in the cap, or a restricted cross over tube, but it also *will* happen if you fill your tank with cold gas from an underground tank then let it cook on a hot motor. Or air temp gas on a hot motor, for that matter. Remember two things: 1) the left tank's gas level will always be higher when it's on the side stand; and 2) the right tank will get more heat from the motor 'cause it's more directly on top of the hot engine. So it heats, expands, and pushs gas out of whichever tank has the loosest seal. Your only defense is to not fill the tank fully when you know you're going to park it right afterwards, and seal the tanks as best you can using techniques described above. HD knew this, that's why they had center stands... :)

'49 panchop
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please post when you figure out what heals it!! i'm dying to know!
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