Painting a Plastic Gas Tank

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mcma111, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    Tank Cover eh!.. hmmm...... Ideas ideas ideas... I might look into that. Thx.

    As I said before, I tried all that just because I was told it was not possible but no one said that out of first hand experience or at least failed to show me enough evidence otherwise. But I am very happy with my plastics except for the tank. Which is still fine, because I waste about 2 minutes or so every month pinching the couple of bubbles that form and letting the air out. :D
    #21
  2. domains

    domains Been here awhile

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    kralon paint
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  3. shearboy2004

    shearboy2004 KIWIINUSA

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    Caswell epoxy is great for metal tanks but as mentioned it sets brittle and would break up in a plastic gas tank especially with the odd fall here and there .

    Having said that I did use it in a side auxiliary tank with great success , these tanks are pretty thick , small and don't flex like a main tank would .

    Now this is interesting , I put stickers on that auxilliary tank and they bubbled so gas also weeps through the Caswell .I have looked in the tank and there are no cracks or faults !
    #23
  4. skrub

    skrub Been here awhile

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    I dont think anything can make it through the Caswell. I would believe the plastic is permeated with fuel and vapors will exit for a some time. :evil
    #24
  5. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    +1 What ^ this guy said.

    And, also, aux tanks have pressure building up unless you open them. At least the main tanks are covered for the venting pressure part.
    #25
  6. shearboy2004

    shearboy2004 KIWIINUSA

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    I have had this tank on for over a year and stickers still bubble .

    I am using this tank on a FI bike so the front tank is sealed and the auxiliary is the one with the vent . The vacuum caused by the in tank fuel pump is what pulls the fuel through to the main tank.:evil
    #26
  7. rideaholic

    rideaholic Been here awhile

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    I used flat black Krylon Fusion plastic paint on the plastics and metal tank of a bike. The plastic parts did well, but the metal gas tank paint blemished easily with any spilled gas. I even used a clear coat Krylon Fusion over the paint the second time I did it. The clear helped some but just never worked as well as I would have liked.

    I doubt Krylon Fusion plastic paint would do very well on a plastic gas tank.

    I like the cover idea. Anyone have any pics of someone that has done that? Where would one get a cover made? Upholsterer?
    #27
  8. cuonawv

    cuonawv Been here awhile

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    Given any thought to dyeing the tank?

    We did this often to our plastic kayaks without an issue. After a few dye jobs, the pink kayak looked factory dark blue(ish).. (ok, deep mauve, but much better than bright pink!)

    There are plenty of pro kits out there and even some rattle can type applicators.

    We did it the cheap way and used rit dye and a very little bit of diluted acetone. Brushed on and immediately washed off w/ fresh clean water..
    #28
  9. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    The cover is really the only thing that will work on plastic...........a good car trimming place should be able to make one, but would obviously need the tank to work to.
    #29
  10. AndyCBR

    AndyCBR Been here awhile

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    Guys,

    I too had the idea of trying to get decals to stick to a plastic tank.

    Brand new clarke tank properly prepped per Caswell's instructions.

    2.5 years later the entire lining is delaminating and the decals are coming off the tank.

    Basically ruined a good tank as who knows how long it will take for all of the caswell to sheet off and/or will the chunks get small enough to clog up the fuel inlet.

    If you have a plastic tank any decal/paint/liner will be temporary.

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. muddriller

    muddriller Been here awhile

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    Has anyone had any experience with the heavy heat shrink plastic used to protect boats during storage? If you could wrap the tank and shrink it tight, the surface might take and hold paint or decals or maybe a vinyl wrap.

    Just an idea that struck while I was doing something more important.

    Todd
    #31
  12. mendoje

    mendoje Been here awhile

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    I see no reason why that wouldnt work.

    An idea I've been mulling over is just to lay on a layer of fiberglass or carbon fiber and epoxy, then sand, fill, and paint as usual. I wouldnt care if the new skin eventually debonded from the tank, as long as its locked in place around the contours of the tank, and that gas vapor did not pass through the glass/epoxy layer.
    #32
  13. Hamilton.Cooper

    Hamilton.Cooper Adventurer

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    I have had the same thought but I worry about the chemical reactions that may occur. These tanks aren't free you know :D
    #33
  14. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    Have you ever farted in your Aerostich?

    That stuff's gonna have to come out sometime!
    #34
  15. Bubba Bauer

    Bubba Bauer Been here awhile

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    If desperate enough to paint a plastic tank maybe you can get flexible fuel bladders which are to size to fit in the tank self sealing explosion proof what else u need :evil. Probably expensive though :lol3

    Something along these lines:

    http://www.atlinc.com/uavbladder.html
    #35
  16. tuna101

    tuna101 Been here awhile

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    It's fun popping all the bubbles! I gave up.
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  17. (I^2)R/746

    (I^2)R/746 Rider

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    Small production run plastic tanks, such as moto tanks, usually come in dyed plastic colors and are not paintable. The reason for this is that the cost for small batch, short run flourination of the plastic is prohibitive in light of the market for the product (market would not feasibly bear cost burden). Outside of a full tank coating I cannot see a cost effective remedy. What the hell am I talking about? Here is a short read on the process: http://www.thecarycompany.com/containers/plastic_bottles/fluorination.html

    Even larger scale manufacturers have found issues with the use of some of their plastic tanks, namely Ducati and their Nylon tanks, due to (popular opinion thinks) the introduction of E10 as a fuel. I am assuming that their tanks have been properly flourinated. Some interesting reading on what's going on with that here: http://www.ducatimonsterforum.org/index.php?topic=43639.0

    In the thread about the Ducati tanks there is some interesting information on the results of using the Caswell tank coating that are worth a skim of the thread. Anyone with results on this should post them up I currently have no need but am interested as I may in the future....
    #37
  18. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Florinated OE plastic (often nylon 2) tanks originally painted by the manufacturer can be painted no problem. Its pretty much a waste of time trying to paint anything else, as the plastic is porous and it time the new paint will bubble and come off.
    #38
  19. Bounder

    Bounder ExternallyDisplaced

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    I had an Acerbis Africa Tank which had been painted white.
    Not sure if it was the paint but I dropped it on a concrete floor from about 2 ft high and the tank shattered. Pieces were everywhere and the biggest bit was the fuel cap and surrounding area.
    I think long term exposure to fuel with no way of venting the vapours contributed to the plastic losing integrity and becoming brittle.
    Not a good thing to find out in the middle of nowhere that your tank is like cold toffee.
    #39
  20. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    Here is a KLR650 forum post on fluorinating a motorcycle gas tank cost:

    http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=110466

    Seems like the cost is ~$500.00 to fluorinate the tank- which then allows painting (without issues). If I had a new Ducati or bought a new Moto Guzzi, I would probably consider doing this.
    #40