Today I experienced a massive fuel leak caused by a completely new failure other than what has been discussed in detailed on this forum. Because of the seriousness of this, I think everyone should be aware of the danger and act appropriately. First of all, I went for an absolutely perfect day of riding in the North Georgia Mountain. We put on about 160 miles of twisty riding. The weather was great, traffic was light and the Futura ran like a champ.
About 20 minutes after I arrived home, my son and I were working on a project in the garage when he said, “Dad, there is something dripping from your motorcycle.” When I looked, it was just a slow drip, drip but within 30 seconds, it erupted into a geyser. Right before my eyes, gas just began to poor out. It was getting worse by the second. Quickly I lifted the tank expecting to see the Quick Disconnect was not connected but it was. The gas was coming from further down under the gas tank and by now, it was pouring out. If the gas leak had started earlier while riding or later that night, it would have been a disaster. But the Futura waited till the best time to fail.
I determined the gas was coming out of ‘what look like 2 overflow nipples’ under the gas tank that have no lines connected to them. See photo. Quickly I looped a piece of fuel line between them to stop the leak allowing me some investigation time.
I looked in the manual and what I saw shocked me. In the manual was a picture of the fuel pump assembly showing a loop of fuel line going from one nipple to the other. OMG…… Who designed that!
So after draining the tank and cleaning everything real well, I performed the following steps detailed below. Hopefully this is a permanent fix for me. I also recommend you guys consider fixing this before it happens on your Futura. If it had happened less than an hour sooner, I would have been stranded on the side of the road in a pool of highly flammable gasoline. If it happened later that evening, well, my garage would have 3+ gallons of gas sloshing about waiting for any source of ignition.
1. Lift the gas tank
2. Drain the gas from the gas tank.
3. Disconnect the overflow lines and the fuel banjo bolt. (Be sure to mark where they go so you reassemble properly.)
4. Remove the gas tank
5. Remove the 7mm bolts holding the fuel pump assembly to the gas tank.
6. Carefully remove the fuel pump assemble. (I had to move it around carefully to position it just right before it would come out.)
7. There you will see the infamous loop of fuel line just waiting to ruin your day. (See the kinked fuel line and the big tear/hole leading directly to your motorcycle.)
8. Cut the metal hose clamps and remove the defective fuel line.
9. I used Brake cleaner and a few cotton swabs to thoroughly clean the inside of both nipples.
10. I mixed up some JB Weld (Available at any automotive store) and filled the 2 nipple holes. To get the JB Weld to completely fill the holes, I attached a piece of fuel hose and sucked gently while continuing to feed more JB Weld into the hole. The idea is to keep a smooth flow and not to allow air bubbles to enter the nipple. Once I saw the JB Weld coming out the other end, I attached a piece of tape to keep the JB Weld from dripping out the bottom while it cures. If anyone is wondering about how durable JB Weld is and will it hold up in gas…… It will last forever. This stuff is impervious to engine heat, gas and pressure. I recommend you allow it to cure for several days before submerging it in gas. I also reattached a loop of fuel line as before so now there is 2 levels of protection. (Being cautious due to the flammable nature of gas and a lack of desire on my part to disassemble the fuel tank again.)
11. Be sure to replace or at least inspect and clean the o-ring real well. (If the o-ring has any flat spots, it probably will not seal properly meaning you may get to do this all over again if you re-use it) Clean the fuel pump surface that contacts the fuel tank. Be sure to follow the direction in the manual, And on this forum. I used Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker #51813 available at NAPA for $15.00 and listed under their part #765-1189. Here is the link to the fuel tank sealing discussion.
I recommend you fix this before it ruins your next ride.