Author Topic: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?  (Read 43877 times)

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Offline Nosmo

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #125 on: February 17, 2015, 02:45:32 am »
LessPaul:

I read your post about always parking on cardboard, and being sure you'd smell any leaking fuel, etc.  I don't disagree and I understand your feelings, however, as I'm sure you know, hydro-lock can occur in the time you're parked at a restaurant having dinner or going into the hardware store to buy something.  You can't be sure when or where it will happen.  Cardboard or other clean surfaces aren't always available.  I have a Pingel manual petcock and overflow tubes and I still always look at the ground before I hit the starter button.

The first problem I ever had with my Connie (which I bought used with 7,600 miles on it) was the #2 carb float valve stopped sealing while I was riding, and it started running so rich that cylinder ceased combustion.  I had to abort my trip and head home on three cylinders (about 15 miles).  I did not know about hydro-lock on these bikes then, and had I stopped long enough to make a phone call or use the restroom at a gas station, I could have experienced it on the next start-up.

Since then I installed the over-flow tubes and Steve's 2-minute mod and the confidence I feel in leaving the bike unattended (even with the Pingel fully OFF) is worth the price and effort.

Good luck to you.
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Offline LessPaul

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #126 on: February 17, 2015, 10:48:37 am »
I don't doubt that hydrolock occurs on a more-or-less regular basis. And when I get my carbs serviced next, I'll get the overflow tubes. Like I said, it's pretty good, cheap insurance. But during the course of my winter fix-ups, I'll end up checking the petcock. My carbs seem to be functioning just fine. If I start having problems, I'll get them serviced. If I get any indication of problems, I'll do what needs doing.

But it takes 2 to tango. If I notice that one of the partners starting to move to the beat, I'll pull both of their dance cards.

But I'm not going to preemptively yank the carbs, send them to Steve, and have the overflow tubes installed without any prior indication of trouble. I suppose if I had spent $4,000 on a bike, I might. But I paid $1,500 for my '86 a year ago. It has survived 28 years without overflow tubes. I'm willing to take my chances until such time that I get some indication of trouble. Again, it takes 2 to tango. If it were only one, I'd be there....like, yesterday.

And FWIW, I'm really happy SiSF plays such a central role here. And very happy there are so many here willing to share their hard-won knowledge. But life is a calculated risk. I'm okay living with this one. But that's me. YMMV.




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Offline The Wizard

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #127 on: February 17, 2015, 11:11:37 am »
I am only a comment-or, but but both of my project bikes are due to hydrolock,something in Washington where they both are from.I had two others here in California to buy and three in Nevada. All with this horrible calamity which befalls our Connies. It may be that I'm watching for it,but I keep finding it also.   The Wizard
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Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #128 on: February 17, 2015, 04:17:26 pm »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is fuel quality. Everyone knows by now that todays gas with 10% or 15% ethanol in it is very hard on parts especially rubber parts. Things that used to take 10 years to deteriorate are now being dry rotted in two or three years thanks to our overlord government. I have never had a hydro lock issue in my entire motorcycle career which covers 45 years of riding and working as a dealership mechanic. And even after installing my Pingel fuel valve I still had Steve install the overflow tubes just in case I ever forgot to turn the Pingel to off. Spending a little money on overflow tubes is alot easier than pulling a motor out of the frame to overhaul or replace it. Steve invented a way to give us some extra peace of mind. So lets just be thankful we have someone who foresaw this train wreck called hydolock and did something to help us avoid it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 12:55:18 am by Jim Snyder »
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Offline JDM

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #129 on: February 17, 2015, 10:04:34 pm »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is fuel quality. Everyone knows by now that todays gas with 10% or 15% ethanol in it is very hard on parts especially rubber parts. Things that used to take 10 years to deteriorate are now being dry rotted in two or three years thats to our overlord government. I have never had a hydro lock issue in my entire motorcycle career which covers 45 years of riding and working as a dealership mechanic. And even after installing my Pingel fuel valve I still had Steve install the overflow tubes just in case I ever forgot to turn the Pingel to off. Spending a little money on overflow tubes is alot easier than pulling a motor out of the frame to overhaul or replace it. Steve invented a way to give us some extra peace of mind. So lets just be thankful we have someone who foresaw this train wreck called hydolock and did something to help us avoid it.

Well Said Jim

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #130 on: February 17, 2015, 10:40:06 pm »
All this talk of overflow kind of obliterates the fact that with the 2 min mod, a part of SiSF's service,  the bike runs a helluva lot better. Especially in the lower and mid range.

Not to mention the frugally priced cam sprocket, or better yet, re-engineered cams.
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #131 on: February 18, 2015, 01:21:40 am »
Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is fuel quality. Everyone knows by now that todays gas with 10% or 15% ethanol in it is very hard on parts especially rubber parts. Things that used to take 10 years to deteriorate are now being dry rotted in two or three years thanks to our overlord government. I have never had a hydro lock issue in my entire motorcycle career which covers 45 years of riding and working as a dealership mechanic. And even after installing my Pingel fuel valve I still had Steve install the overflow tubes just in case I ever forgot to turn the Pingel to off. Spending a little money on overflow tubes is alot easier than pulling a motor out of the frame to overhaul or replace it. Steve invented a way to give us some extra peace of mind. So lets just be thankful we have someone who foresaw this train wreck called hydolock and did something to help us avoid it.

 :iagree:       :beerchug:
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Offline WillyP

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #132 on: February 18, 2015, 10:58:12 pm »
All this talk of overflow kind of obliterates the fact that with the 2 min mod, a part of SiSF's service,  the bike runs a helluva lot better. Especially in the lower and mid range.

Not to mention the frugally priced cam sprocket, or better yet, re-engineered cams.

Not really obliterates it, but I think the better the bike runs the more motivated you will be to take care of it and takes steps to insure you don't get a hydrolock.
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Offline delling3

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #133 on: February 18, 2015, 11:21:42 pm »
IMHO, the goal is this:   NEVER HAVE A FAILURE OF THE PETCOCK AND A FLOAT VALVE.  Assuming this is the case, Hydrolock does not occur, and everything else is just conjecture. 

How do we assure that this doesn't happen?  We can't.  You can replace your petcock every 3 weeks, and replace your float valves every month.  No guarantee that both won't fail tomorrow.  I will agree that the likelihood is very slight (non-existent depending on your philosophical bent), but bottom line is this:  ONLY OVERFLOW TUBES CAN PROTECT YOU FROM HYDROLOCK.  You can also make the argument that you can install overflows and drain tubes, but if the drains get clogged you can still get hydrolock!

If you are comfortable that your maintenance will prevent hydroclock,  good for you.  If you feel that the risk of having them exceeds the risk of not having gas on the floor under your bike, I won't argue with you. 

I think one of the roles of forums such as this are to ensure that people understand the risks of their action (either way) and enables folks to may their own (hopefully) educated decisions. 

So now I will step down from my soap-box. 
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Offline Thud300

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #134 on: February 18, 2015, 11:37:45 pm »
Since coming onto this forum and reading its learnings, I've begun using Startron and TCW3 marine oil to counteract the effects of alcohol in the fuel. Hopefully by stabilizing and lubricating/wetting the fuel, they will help maintain the operation and preservation of *critical* fuel system components like needle valves and vacuum petcocks.

I've also discontinued using seafoam, as I've become convinced that it's a great cleaner but a poor maintainer.

Not to claim that these things will prevent a fuel lock. Only diligence and/or passive systems will prevent them. For now, my fuel line is disconnected until this damn winter goes away.
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Offline Coyote Chris

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #135 on: May 04, 2015, 02:36:57 pm »
Wow...never knew this thread was here.  But I have certainly known about the SiSF fix for many years.....my intent was to send my carbs off to him at the first sign of carb issues (and I still will I am sure) but I took the bike out of storage two winters ago and as I rode it the first time, something wasn't right.  I rode back to my driveway and fuel was running out of the air cleaner housing.  I took the carb bank off and  unstuck a needle, put the bank back (no fun with weak hands even with new rubber air box boots) and the bike ran perfectly. 
As a pilot and aircraft mechanic, I am well aware of what happens to a radial engine with hydro lock.   I decided to put in an inline manual petcock downstream of the vacuum operated one (and upstream of my Ford V-8 fuel filter) and when necessary, have Steve modify my carb bank. 

Question.  If after doing all of the above and having SiSF modify my carbs, if I DID see or smell gas one day under the Connie before riding, could I assume I had a stuck needle?  With the vac. and the manual petcock closed, there would still be a small bit of fuel pressure and fuel in the lines that could leak out through the needle and through the vent line to the floor.  It appears that some owners have fuel piles as a matter of course with the SiSF mod or am I misreading that?

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #136 on: May 04, 2015, 03:15:53 pm »
if it's not an event from overflowing carbs, the occasional drip  on the floor after a warm ride is the result of condensing the ethanol gasses in the overflow fuel line. if you smell and feel the drips you can tell it''s not gasoline. Steve
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Offline alan

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #137 on: May 04, 2015, 10:31:54 pm »
I installed a manual petcock kit from Murph's.  I have been turning off the petcock(s) since about 1963 and the kit comes with a bright yellow decal that says "Fuel Valve" which I have put near my ignition switch.  I also owned a '00 Honda Valkyrie and when they hydrolock the starter is strong enough to just tear up some hard, expensive to replace gearing.  Turn it off, run it a bit and works for me.  Even if I had those little pipes I would want a manual valve. My $.10 worth, adjusted for inflation and the US/Cdn exchange rate.
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Offline Coyote Chris

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #138 on: May 05, 2015, 02:23:00 am »
I agree and it is what is right for me here in this case.  Even with the SiSF mod, I will keep my two petcocks....
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I installed a manual petcock kit from Murph's.  I have been turning off the petcock(s) since about 1963 and the kit comes with a bright yellow decal that says "Fuel Valve" which I have put near my ignition switch.  I also owned a '00 Honda Valkyrie and when they hydrolock the starter is strong enough to just tear up some hard, expensive to replace gearing.  Turn it off, run it a bit and works for me.  Even if I had those little pipes I would want a manual valve. My $.10 worth, adjusted for inflation and the US/Cdn exchange rate.
 Remember the 5 P's both Pre and Post flight = Proper Procedures Prevent Piss Poor Performance

Offline Coyote Chris

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #139 on: May 05, 2015, 02:26:05 am »
if it's not an event from overflowing carbs, the occasional drip  on the floor after a warm ride is the result of condensing the ethanol gasses in the overflow fuel line. if you smell and feel the drips you can tell it''s not gasoline. Steve
OK, good to know.  I try very hard to NOT buy E10 but sometimes on tour that is all that is available. Thanks!

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Offline stevedap

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Offline JDM

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #143 on: May 05, 2015, 02:43:14 pm »

Respectfully this would be a better choice, the same valve in 1/4" NTP size.    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-Electric-Solenoid-Valve-12-Volt-DC-FKM-VITON-Air-Water-Gas-Fuel-B20V/291260556269?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D30251%26meid%3Ddc93a9b2cebf4b2c877cdd5a62d7b888%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D300714222574&rt=nc


Cool however at the bottom of the page in the Technical Specifications under 01 Overview it says:

"Note: Not suitable for GRAVITY FEED applications"

But why?


GOOD CATCH, I didn't see that. Probably has a small orifice. The valve I have that ran for several years is 1/4" NTP connection with a 1/4" orifice diameter.  Thanks for the heads up JD

Offline Jim Snyder

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #144 on: May 05, 2015, 08:15:06 pm »
I have the ultimate setup to prevent hydrolock. Pingel manual fuel valve and Steve's overflow tubes. No runs no drips no errors.
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Offline JDM

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #145 on: May 05, 2015, 11:02:46 pm »
I have the ultimate setup to prevent hydrolock. Pingel manual fuel valve and Steve's overflow tubes. No runs no drips no errors.

Jim. I am running half of what you are running. I am to old for a manual valve so I have an electrical manual valve, I think. I better go check. YAP. The manual part of this valve requires me to turn off the key...... ;)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 12:30:53 am by JDM »

Offline Nosmo

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #146 on: May 06, 2015, 02:01:39 am »
I have the ultimate setup to prevent hydrolock. Pingel manual fuel valve and Steve's overflow tubes. No runs no drips no errors.

+1.  Plus the Pingel is chrome-plated and looks really cool when the bike is laying on it's right side with the petcock up.

Ask me how I know................ :(
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Offline JDM

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #147 on: May 06, 2015, 08:48:51 pm »
I have the ultimate setup to prevent hydrolock. Pingel manual fuel valve and Steve's overflow tubes. No runs no drips no errors.

+1.  Plus the Pingel is chrome-plated and looks really cool when the bike is laying on it's right side with the petcock up.

Ask me how I know................ :(

What I want to know is, did you forget to turn the gas off when the bike was laying on it's right side with the petcock up?

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #148 on: May 06, 2015, 10:52:59 pm »
What I want to know is, did you forget to turn the gas off when the bike was laying on it's right side with the petcock up?
Prolly less likely for gas to head into the open intake valve when she's on her side though.  :rotflmao:
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Offline JDM

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Re: How come we don't all install in-line fuel valves to block hydolock?
« Reply #149 on: May 07, 2015, 12:08:20 am »
Nosmo & Jim, I would be running a manual petcock on my Connie before I would run the OEM petcock; that's for sure. But, I have chosen to run a solenoid valve instead as I am old and forgetful. Knowing what I know about Connie fuel system, I would not run any of the 3 valves without overflow tubes. At least, with the manual petcock you control your on destiny but with the OEM petcock it is a crap shoot 'cause you never know when it will fail. And as a minimum, Steve's overflow tubes go along way toward preventing future hydrolock events along with opening up the tank vents.  Respectfully to each his own.