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Post Info TOPIC: Repairing rust holes in a metal tank


Super Guru

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Repairing rust holes in a metal tank
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OK – so this doesn’t feature a TTR tank but the principles will be the same!

I went into my workshop one morning and it stank of petrol. The cause was a filler patch on the bottom of my BSA C15 petrol tank falling off and petrol dripping out of various pinholes where the tank had rusted through.

Leaky_tank.jpeg

Having attacked the tank with a cup wire brush in the drill, the rusted areas and pinholes were clearly visible.

Leading the red tank 3.jpg    Leading the red tank 4.jpg

Having looked at various options, I decided to try the “professional” approach and repair my tank with solder.

My mate Rik had bought a tin of Fryolux Solder Paint (not much in the pot for £32!) and had some lead sticks and oxy-acetylene so I took the tank out to him. Rik had done soldering several decades ago and me never but we were both keen to have a go.

Leading the red tank 2.jpg 

NB Before attempting a repair using naked flame of any description please ensure that the tank has been full purged of fuel and fumes! Secure the tank and work outdoors preferably to avoid fumes.

Leading the red tank 1.jpg

First up we tried with oxy-acetylene but it didn't work too well as the heat didn't spread sufficiently so, instead, we used an ordinary propane plumbing torch which gave much better results. After our first messy attempts, the results gradually improved with practice.

Leading the red tank 5.jpg

 

Leading the red tank 6.jpg

Leading the red tank 7.jpg

Leading the red tank 8.jpg

Leading the red tank 9.jpgLeading the red tank 10.jpg

In retrospect it would have been a lot easier with a solder paddle - lesson learnt there. Anyways up, the job was done and the leaks cured! I have got a POR15 kit so will use that to seal the inside of tank just to be sure.

I have got a metal TTR tank that needs a repair so might do a show and tell on that at some stage.

I hope that helps someone.

Brian



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Exeter, Devon, UK

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Veteran Member

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Good job chaps, I’ve a raid tank with the same holes in, I might give this a go. I did have some success with plastic padding leak fix though only managed to sort out one side of the tank, so this method looks more likely to sort it 👍

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pug


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Top Job Brian never entered my head to try solder I brazed a pin holed tank last year as luck would have it the school still has oxy/acetylene gear I cant stretch to them bottles as well as the mig and tig it was a bastard to get it to flow out as it wanted so much heat and on a thin tank its not good. most of what we use to braze up use to be 2 smoke exhaust pipe headers that always ended up rusting like cullender back in the 80s and never had much of a problem even with all the contaminates it went well most times

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Super Guru

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Thank you Martyn - compliment appreciated - especially from a man such as yourself who is so handy with the engineering and workshop tools!

This is an example of the wooden paddle I mentioned - see here. The idea being that you wipe it in tallow so it gets a very thin coat and floats over the solder whilst tidying up the finish. I have read elsewhere that you can also smooth the molten solder with a damp cloth.

Frost UK seem top be the UK stockists for Eastwood kit (they do some excellent video tutorials) and sell a soldering kit here.

I guess that, if you only have one tank to repair, it is a fine financial balance between buying the kit and doing the job yourself or doing the preparation and taking the tank to a professional. However, finding a soldering expert and, taking into consideration the time and effort in getting the job done by an outsider, might make the investment in the kit better value for money. And, after doing the job, you still have the kit and remaining materials to store away or sell on (or start a little business repairing other people's tanks if you find you are good at it!).

Brian



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pug


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Putting yourself up for a job hear Brian one or two metal TTr tanks needing attention sat in peoples sheds and garages needing repair the one I did was a Yamaha 350 lc they suffered back in there day with rusty tanks so you can imagen what it was like after 35 years and it was the best one he could find after paying £300 for a copy one from India that looks kind of right but isn't then paying £200 for the 2nd hand holed one described as little rusty but holding fuel. The tank that was on the bike you could put you hand in the holes on the bottom I had a horrible feeling he was gong to ask if I could do anything with that one and my metal bashing and tig skills would not have been up to that.

Martyn

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