Leaky Damn Gas Tank: Fix?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Inane Cathode, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    I've got an 83 xz550 im trying to fix up to sell. It's had a history of the corners of the fuel tank rusting out and leaking. This one had been leaking before i got it and fixed with J/B Weld or some kind of patching stuff. It started weeping fuel a year after i got it, i re-fixed it with jb, worked great for 5 or so years.

    Got a new bike, parked the vision, go to fix it up last year, put fuel in it and psssssss leaking fuel out two of the corners. JB Weld, stopped leaking, parked it again for a year, and go to put gas in it again after re-patching the spots (looked kinda soft, peeled off easily) and it friggen leaks like a damn garden hose.

    Ordinarily, i would say just replace the tank, but the issue with this bike is they're pretty rare and theres no way you're going to find a replacement tank, if you do it will also be leaking. The tank is unique to that bike, unique petcock, unique carbs that need that petcock, unique fuel sender, etc etc.

    I'm looking for a permanent fix of the rusted out corners on this stupid thing. Is it weldable? Should i just knock the rust back until its solid and j/b it again? Should i just part the damn thing out and be done with it?
    #1
  2. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    por15 tank sealer... the small can will do it. don't get it on anything that you don't want it on because it will not come off. fuel tap, tank vent, key slot, etc it will plug those up big time. stuff works good & will fill pissing holes
    #2
  3. ThorRex

    ThorRex Been here awhile

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    Take a look at Caswell fuel tank sealant. Used it a few times successfully.
    #3
  4. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    Whatever compound you use, it needs to be poured inside as opposed to something on the outside. Put tape over the leaky seams to hold it in then remove the tape when it has set up. Also, you don't need that much as you only need to do the bottom of the tank, so a small quantity works.
    #4
  5. Inane Cathode

    Inane Cathode Cheated Anion

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    Ah yes, por 15, thats actually what this tank /was/ sealed with. its starting to bubble up though. I'm assuming i'll need some hardcore solvent to dissolve the por 15 thats already in there? MEK? Something like that?

    I've always used por-15 and it's always been worlds better than that kreem crap that turns into corn flakes in 6 months. Recently we've tried caswells and im super impressed with how it sets up. A little thick going on, but as you said i only really need to get the corners. I might just the excess pool in the corners this time instead of pouring it out.

    A question on the hole size though, this thing has some HOLES in it. It's like a crochet needle sized hole in one spot, is it still kosher then to tape it and let the sealer setup? I'm also planning on using one of those rust flail things to beat the weak hole-y metal back, good idea?
    #5
  6. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    solder... it's an old method but works good to fill the holes. epoxy works too

    never seen a por'd tank fail, though it seems like I have heard of another once. I've done 4 & all still good last I saw of them. the oldest is 6-7 years & I still have in my herd. it had pee holes that were plugged by por
    #6
  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Just in case it helps you access the material I use KBS coatings which are same as POR-15 product line and whats for sale near me. Product names differ slightly. Both companies have a tech line that can help you decide what to do in a step toward the sealant step. If it's failed I say it was not well prepped/cleaned. FWIW, crochet needles come in many sizes:D There are some "tank sealer threads here & elsewhere and lot of discussion on whats best. Flail????to clean???? Please explain.
    The one theme that prevails in other threads is that Kreem is not the best way to go.
    #7
  8. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    if it's just to fix it good enough to sell, why not pop rivet the hole (if needed, two washers too) and por15.?
    #8
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Talk about :pot:pot:pot
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  10. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Any tank "sealer" should only be seen as a temporary fix, and not a permanent repair. The only way to do the job properly is to cut out the rusted material, and TIG braze in repair sections, then fill any imperfections and repaint.
    #10
  11. BtoV

    BtoV FNG

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    google Riders of Vision, they might be albe to locate a tank for you
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  12. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

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    Solder x10! It's been the best tank repair I have ever done. Absolutely no worries of it ever coming loose and no need to line the tank afterwards.

    Epoxy, on the other hand, has not been a reliable fix for me unless I also line the tank. After a while epoxy either begins allow the gas to seep through or just turns soft.
    #12
  13. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader

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    +1 for Caswell. Used it on fiberglass and old rusty tank, great results. Por15 will rip apart if it gets any type of hole in it. Caswell is a hard coat seal and will get you about 4-5 years before doing it again.
    #13
  14. chammyman

    chammyman Been here awhile

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    Fibreglass is the only thing I have ever got to work.

    Its lasted longer than I thought it would.
    #14
  15. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Why repair a gas tank with fiberglass if it is that type gas tank(i.e.,whole tank made from fiberglass) that has issues with modern fuels in the first place?:ear
    #15
  16. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    you have to get the right resin or it will slowly dissolve (at first.... then accelerate). go to a store that specifically sells fiberglass products & they can recommended a resin. I asked about this some years back & they told me that fuel handeling lines at refineries, etc are being made of fiberglass. all I remember was it was called an "iso" resin.
    #16
  17. chammyman

    chammyman Been here awhile

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    since when did fibreglass tanks rust at the corners?

    Back to the point fibre glass is all I have ever had work.

    Sure some will say get it welded or new tank.

    In most cases if thats the route then its cheaper to buy a new bike, in the UK at least anyway.
    #17
  18. JAB

    JAB Unsprung Weight

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    Take the tank to a radiator shop and have them boil it out and solder it up. They have the chems that will clean it and solder will seal it. The paint may not do well, but they can tell you what will work (or not).
    #18
  19. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    Seal-All?

    It's sealed a crack in my Jeep gas tank for many years now.
    #19
  20. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    My reference was to vintage MC tanks made COMPLETELY! from fiberglass...:D read the post Cheers!
    #20