XT225 Custom Tank Build

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by underkill, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. motojon

    motojon Adventurer

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    agree. I put a 5 gallon tank made for a xr600 on my dr350. took a few hours and had to make a couple of brackets. also had to shorten the seat about an inch. nothing to difficult. still interesting to see the work that others can do.
    #41
  2. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    While I think it might be possible to retrofit a plastic tank from some other bike to the XT, I doubt that it would have been that easy.. Besides tracking down a tank that would atleast be close enough to bother with (i.e. not hitting the handle bars), new tank mounts would have to be fabricated, new seat mounts would have to be made, and the side panels would have to be modified to fit back on the bike.. It aslo would have cost much more money since we would have had to buy the tank and a new seat.. As it is, we'll only have about $75 into the tank, it uses all the factory mounting locations and the stock seat.. which allows her to switch between the new 5 gallon tank and the old 2.4 gallon tank (something that would be lost if new tank mounts were added to the bike).. Plus it is way more fun to fabricate a one-off tank out of metal than to just modify some mounting points to fit a plastic tank to the bike :wink: :lol3
    #42
  3. drhach

    drhach We can't stop here, this is bat country!! Supporter

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    Everyone's a critic. Personally, I think this is really cool. I experienced the same thing that you did with the welding. I tried to TIG my swiss chees tanks and I just kept burning through. I'm sure a more experienced/Qulaified welder could have done it. I finally scrapped the whole project. Make sure that you seal the tank from the inside when you are done (POR-15), even if you're sure that you got all of the pinholes. Also, you may want to pressurize the tank and check it again, just to be sure. Keep up the good work.
    #43
  4. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    Thanks! I've decided I'm going to get a TIG before I do anohter big sheet metal project.. THe Brazing really helped alot with not blowing new holes in thinner areas of the tank.. Yea we'll pump a few psi in it to check for more leaks once we get the obvious ones fixed.. We are going to put a tank sealer in it too, just to be safe.
    #44
  5. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    Why drive this:
    [​IMG]

    when this:
    [​IMG]

    is obviously way more durable and less prone to dents and easier? :rofl

    Sometimes we like to do shit just because no one else has done it and to see if we can...

    also, I really like the seat on the XT. It's wide and comfortable. And the tank that we've made is very comfortable to me as well. I would have liked to just slap a plastic tank on there, but in reality it would have been at least the same amount of work to get the plastic tank on and get everything else to fit and work right.. then I wouldnt be able to easily swap between tanks... so really the only benefit the plastic tank has to a the metal one we made is that its for droppable... Nice to have, but I need this tank for a 3000 mile trip in 3 weeks or so.. If you know of any plastic tanks that bolt on with minimal fabrication let me know. :freaky
    #45
  6. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    You have stepped up to a challenge the manufacturers refuse to address! A 5 gallon tank on the market would be a boon for the supplier and consumer.
    I have ridden our XT225 with a 5 gallon jug in a milkcrate attached on the back. It really adds some wag to the back in regards to handling. Be careful first time out that the added weight up front doesn't induce headshake.
    If you want to make ebay cash I am sure you could sell these things for a mint.:evil
    #46
  7. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    Because we can, if you have no vision to create things beyond what some manufacture makes for bikes, then it is pointless to try to explain it to you.. Besides, we're not building the bike into something its not by adding a larger metal tank.. It's still an adventure/dual sport bike.. And using a stock tank as the base platform allows us to switch back and forth between the stock tank and the 5 gallon tank.. Doing it your way would require us to buy 2 tanks that dont' fit on the bike and a seat that doesn't fit on the bike.. Leaving us with a useless stock tank and seat and $500 less money.. I'm not sure why you think a metal tank is so much more prone to failure than a plastic tank.. Believe it or not, you can poke holes in the plastic too.

    A side tank would only add about 1 gallon of fuel anyway.. We'd have to have 2 side tanks and a front number tank to get the same amount of fuel.. Also, I think side tanks would be way more prone to damage from a drop then a larger main tank.. since the handle bars would hit the ground before the main tank.. What's there to protect the side tank?
    #47
  8. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    Haha thanks, We thought about making other tanks for people.. but I really dont' want to be responsible if they're unhappy about something.. We'll watch for the headshake, but she's so light anyway that the extra 30lbs of weight from the fuel probably won't make any difference.
    #48
  9. moterbiker

    moterbiker Gypsy diver

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    Looks great, way different way of doing it than I was thinking. We would love something like that for our XT's.

    Stuck near you right now with my sisters rugrats crawling all over us in Chesapeake as I type. Looking forward to heading home tomorrow for some quiet :rofl
    #49
  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    ahhhhh... you don't have to fill it full all the time either.

    And then again, I kept my original tank intact. I got a spare for the Exxon version and generally only put it on for long trips. When it is on I only put in as much as I need, but I do that with the stock tank too.
    #50
  11. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    *random rant at asshat deleted*
    #51
  12. Onederer

    Onederer Crunch Nugget

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    Good work. Have you modified metal tanks before? Skeptics love to see failure, so.......

    Get back to work with some postive thoughts and post some frigin finished, ready to ride pics(and some ride pics):clap :lurk
    #52
  13. Blinkerfluid

    Blinkerfluid Long timer

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    Thanks.. No I haven't ever modded a tank before.. infact, this is my first sheetmetal project ever.. It's turning out ok, though I'm not 100% pleased with the results.. I think I may make another one sometime down the road once I have some better sheet metal tools.. It's difficult to shape sheet metal with just fender dolleys.. we have an english wheel and an anvil now (the anvil will hope the most) so hopefully the next one will turn out even better.

    We'll do some more work to it tonight.. hopefully we can get it all smoothed out and ready for paint.
    #53
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Dude, you've been shitting all over this thread, and throwing in some back handed compliments.. if you don't have anything constructive to say, :stfu. Now, I gotta clean up your crap. We were all enjoying this home project till you started with your :topes Check out Jo Momma, you'll be welcomed with open arms.
    #54
  15. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    I'll definatly test ride it a lot with the new tank, since right now it gets very wobbly at high speed. My tires are worn to hell deathwings though, so I think once I have new tires on there it'll even it out a lot. Also, I only weigh ~120, so 50lbs of fuel will put me right at the weight of most of the people ive seen who ride these bikes.. Hope it works out, I guess we'll see!

    Anyway, finally got somewhere on the tank. The brazing worked pretty well, but for some reason there would just keep being pinhole leaks... in the same spot... every time we checked... it got very very old... We tried body solder to smooth the tank out instead of bondo, but this particular tank was just an experiment.. Needless to say we learned a lot, but at this point its just not worth making it "perfect".. im fairly sure we'll be building another one sometime in the future and it will turn out better... so, I started in on the metal filler putty which I used on the top half of the tank and liked a lot... Figured a layer of that on all the welds and crevises on the bottom half should eliminate a lot of room for failure... Still haven't finished that, need to go to NAPA... But started in on the body putty last night to just smooth out the welds a little bit on the top half (bottom half is still drying with the metal filler)... It looks like with minimal thickness, the body filler should do exactly what I wanted.. the low spots in the tank itself won't be eliminated, but the obvious weld seams are... so... all in all i'm pleased...

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, I realize it looks like shit right now between the bare metal, rust, weld seams, brazed seams, old paint, burn marks, metal filler, and bondo... but.. theres a light at the end of the tunnel! Hope to have the seams sealed with metal filler before lunch, and the inside rust removed with ospho (we'll see how that works... this tank was rusted to hell... if i werent going to cut it up, i'd be pissed about it.. ) and with any luck, the inside tank sealer drying nicely! We found the KREEM stuff at the local motorcycle store, so we'll try that out and tell y'all how it goes... :clap
    #55
  16. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    If anyone was interested i've been using the 'metal filler' by Permatex.. I can't ever get the ratio right on JB weld... so this is like metal play-doh, just slap it on there and let it dry... It's worked out pretty good so far. The stuff I applied last night didn't work so well though because the tank apparently had a little bit of water left in it and when I sat the tank up to do the bondo, the metal fillered parts got wet.. so they never dried... so i had to flake it off and start over.. ohwell.. now I know..

    I'm really pleased with how the body filler worked out though... just a thin little layer really smooths the seams out.. (even though it might not show up in the photo...)
    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. johnnyandjebus

    johnnyandjebus Been here awhile

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    Not sure if I have posted on this thread already, I'm to lazy to go back and take a look. The tank is looking great, I am looking forward to seeing the final results.

    I have a DR350 that needs a bit of tank expansion, give me your address and I'll send it your way :deal


    John
    #57
  18. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    Well, haven't quite finished up the underside; would like a bit more metal filler, just in case... and we didn't get to ospho the tank or get started on the inside liner.. ended up christmas shopping instead somehow... BUT I did end up finishing the body filler on the topside of the tank and sprayed a layer of primer on there so it didn't look so shitty... The tank is still a bit lumpy but... meh.. its going on a dirt bike.. the next one will be better... Anyway, here it is!
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So there it is! hopefuflly tomorrow I can get the rest of the body filler on and smoothed and finish the tank liner... and then next week can begin the actual PAINTING!!!!!! :clap:clap:clap:freaky
    #58
  19. scrminbanshee

    scrminbanshee Ready to travel

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    :lurk :lurk :lurk :lurk this thread is fun....
    #59
  20. underkill

    underkill Horsepower Junkie

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    Well was up until 1 last night and woke up at 8 this morning and got to work again.. This is getting ridiculous! :rofl

    Anyway, added another coat of metal filler to spots that had leaked before just in case... another 40 minutes until that's dry. Then I get to add the Ospho. Unfortunatly you need to let it dry "overnight". Well.... how long is that? what if you pour the stuff in at 12 at night and wake up at 6? is 6 hours ok? or should I leave it in for 24 hours? or what? blah... not very specific are they? ohwell... I'll probably sit out there with the heat gun the whole time keeping the tank warm... Iv'e found nothing dries out here since its like 40*ish outside...

    Here's the stuff I've been using so far:
    [​IMG]
    the generic body filler from NAPA. Haven't ever used this before but it's pretty sweet... I can see why filling dents and crap with it is retarded, but for just smoothing things out its cool... easy to sand... now my garage is covered in pink powdered sugar... nice...

    [​IMG]
    I had debated over what type of primer to get... self etching, filling, sandable, basic, matches the paint, blahblah... so I got the primer that matches the paint i'm going to use. I had originally planned on sandblasting the tank so paint would stick better, but it just never happened unfortunatly.. so maybe I should have picked the self etching because of the bare metal surfaces? ohwell, I bought this and used it already so we'll see how it turns out. Goes on really thin though... and makes me realize that I probably should have sanded the tank with a smaller grit sandpaper first.. but really, its' going on a dual sport, so theres no sense in fussing too much over the perfection of the paint...

    [​IMG]
    Heres the Ospho... apparently it turns rust into somethign thats not rust and then it dries and you can paint over it. I used something like this before on an engine and thought this was it, but it wasn't. I used 'Naval Jelly".. which is magical jelly that eats rust.. works AMAZING btw... but for the inside of something like a tank, it wouldnt work anyway.. the ospho is liquid and will slosh around and coat all the surfaces... should be pretty sweet.. i'll report back on this one later.

    [​IMG]
    Started a thread about gasoline resistant paint elsewhere on the site... Found out that a couple types of spraycan paint is gas resistant... I used this brand in chevrolet orange on my car and loved how it turned out... very thick feeling and glossy... and its holding up to my abuse alright so far, so I decided to use it again on the tank. The color is 'cast coat aluminum'... I used the cast iron before and it turned out nicely, but was too dark for what I wanted... and the Krylon x-metals silver base coat goes GREAT over sandblasted metal and the clearcoated (FYI... lots of my engine parts are done in it... looks slick!) but the krylon wasn't gas resistant.. I have a habit of getting chemicals everywhere so I knew I needed good paint! :eek1

    This thread:
    http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=82760&highlight=intake
    [​IMG]
    and those valve covers! convinced me that the cast aluminum color was what I wanted... hope my tank comes out looking that nice! (doubt it, but a girl has to have dreams right?) :clap
    #60