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Old 10-18-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
ster1 OP
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Anybody weld a plastic tank?

Howdy folks,

I have a question for the masses. It's about plastic welding and fuel tanks. See, what happened is, my brother, who is a singletrack sicko like me was out in Peach Valley Colorado last summer enjoying some disturbing singletrack loveliness called "sidewinder" with me. He on his CR250 and me on my old but trusty KTM 300EXC. I must have bashed some rocks pretty hard, no doubt due to my Mike Brown speed and Taddy Blazusiak tenacity. Oh yeah... I'm THAT awesome. When we believed we had taken all the abuse we were entitled to, we headed back to the trucks. We were almost there when I felt something cold on my leg / boot. I thought I had had a heart attack and that was just death with its cold embrace. It turns out I had burned a hole in my tank because the pipe was bent all the way up there, and was spewing premix all over my really hot engine on a really hot day. Did I mention it was hot? I couldn't get off the bike fast enough. In fact my brother wanted me to do it again so he could put it up on youtube. Nobody was injured that day. Its a long range tank, an Acerbis. I emailed Acerbis and they told me it was cross linked polyethylene and could be plastic welded using standard methods and tools, although they could not actually recommend I do that. I can only assume its because I'm such as bada$$. So my rather long - winded question is, has anyone else plastic welded an old Acerbis tank with good success, not just a short term fix?
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
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It's not too hard with a plastic welding kit. Knowing your particular type of plastic is the hard part. You use a "rod" of the same material, and a soldering iron type tool. Urethane Supply;

http://www.urethanesupply.com/howtorepair.php

sells them, if I remember correctly. Should be a piece of cake for anybody in the body shop trade. A quick search for "plastic welding" on YouTube should get you started.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:26 AM   #3
Stan_R80/7
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I would ask the factory if they have any vendors authorized to repair their tanks or if they know of specific companies who can provide such repairs. It may be time for a spare tank. Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
Scootern29
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I did a couple of Yamaha gas tanks with one of the plastic welding kits and it seems to still be holding. It doesn't look the best but it works for me.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
ster1 OP
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Thanks fellas, I'm going to give it a shot. I figure all I have to lose is a tank thanks already holy.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ster1 View Post
Thanks fellas, I'm going to give it a shot. I figure all I have to lose is a tank thanks already holy.
If you can, find a an old scrap piece of the same type and weight of material to make a few practice runs on first.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:57 AM   #7
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+1
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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How big is the hole? That will tell you if you can use hot air welding or soldering-iron style welding. (hot air can be a pain on a tank, solder-iron style welding is easy)

I've done 2 tanks (and countless other plastic repairs) with a cheap kit. Urethane Supply Company 5600HT. Everything you need is there, cheat sheet on plastics, all the different rods, even DVD with videos.
http://www.amazon.com/Urethane-Suppl...lastic+welding
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
ster1 OP
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I gave it a go today, and I think its ok so far

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

This is a closeup of the burned out hole. I actually already started cutting small bits off the mounting boss and filling the hole. I was using my 100w soldering gun, and the results weren't pretty but I got the hole plugged.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

Then I got this thing, and it made my life easier. 80w but BIG tip to hold lots of heat. Cost about 30 bucks at my local hardware store

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

I went to my local plastic shop, and got some polyethylene in a sheet. I just cut off little pieces and tried to fill in the hole. It looks like a skin graft but it's starting to work. The guy at the shop just gave it to me.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

More of the polyethylene going in. It's white (beggars cant be choosers) when cold but clear when hot. Looks like a bunch of snot on there but it's setting up nicely.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

All filled in, and sanded a bit.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

I'm not winning a show, I'm fixing the gas tank of a 20 year old dirtbike. Looks good to me.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

On with the testing. Its holding fuel now. The fuel you see in the container is because the hole for the petcock is a little higher than my repair (as it sits in the pic) and I spilled a bit. Time will tell if it's a good fix. Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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what year is your KTM 300?
I may have a tank for you CHEAP!!!!!!
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