Author Topic: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...  (Read 1597 times)

chuckleberry709

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Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« on: January 03, 2017, 10:34:53 AM »
Hi folks. I'm a newbee to this forum and also very happy to be the new owner of an 84 VT500 Ascot. I'm looking forward to "doing it up", maybe into a street tracker look. I've always wanted one of these bikes with the bulletproof little vee and low maintenance shaft drive, and finally found one in pretty not bad shape with only 10k showing on the odo.

But before I can get started on the makeover, I have to solve a leaky fuel tank problem. It's a very slow weep on the 2 back corners, not even dripping but enough to make a smell and ruin any new paint job. From the looks of the inside, someone at some point tried one of those fuel tank sealants but did a very poor job of it and failed miserably.
 
My question to all of you fine folk is do I try to re-seal it with a new sealant product or forget it and try to find a replacement? What's the best sealant product to use? How will I get all the old failed sealant out of the tank?

I have done a bit of online searching and so far have only found one used tank from an 83 VT and it's not cheap! There's lots of tanks out there for the 82-83 FT's but the tank on them is a bit different and will screw up the look I'm after. I'm not even sure if they'll fit.

Which leads me to the next question.....does anyone know if there is a tank that will fit the 84 VT from another Honda or for that matter any other Japanese, or an aftermarket? The internet is full of used and aftermarket fuel tanks of all makes and models and in all conditions, but hardly any VT500's.

Sorry for the long winded post and all the questions, but I wanted to try and cover everything with one shot. Hopefully someone out there can steer me in the right direction. Cheers and Happy new Year to y'all!


J6G1Z

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 05:31:40 PM »
The VT Ascot fuel tank often begins to leak at the lowest point due to water collecting & rusting through the steel.

Avoid using gasoline with ethanol added.

The 1983-84 VT500FT Ascot fuel tank is the only tank that will fit properly. The VT500 Shadow fuel tank will fit the frame, but is the wrong profile & looks wrong. The Ascot side plates will not fit with the Shadow tank.

I've heard good things about the tank sealant from Eastwood's but I've never used it. Don't know what you will need to do to clean & prep the interior of the tank properly.

The Honda Ascot IS the original Street Tracker.

Good luck
J.

chuckleberry709

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 05:41:40 AM »
Hey thanks for that info J6G1Z! Been doing some research and I think there's a way to clean out the old sealant and start anew. Looks like the previous owner used the stuff from Kreem as it's a off white/beige color. I'll look for the Eastwood product and do a bit more research in that direction.

Yes, the Ascot IS the original street tracker! Been wanting one of these for awhile and finally got this one for a very reasonable price. Not much needs to be done to transform this little beauty into a real head turner.

Thanks again for the info, I'll keep y'all posted on how it turns out.  :)

CB

jay

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 06:42:36 AM »
Hey chuckleberry709, I am a newbie to this forum also, and recently acquired an 84" vt500. plan to do the same or similar design route, Tracker or Cafe' Dime City Cycles has a product called RedKote, from what I here it is a very good product and an easy application compared to Kreme or the Caswell products. I haven't used it but I have dealt with Dime City for years and if they recommend it should be a good product to use.

-Jay

chuckleberry709

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 05:53:33 AM »
Hi Jay! Thanks for that info! I've heard of Redkote, and actually saw a Youtube video of someone using it, looks like good stuff. I've been on the Dime City Cycles website too, looks like they have a lot of gear for customizing our VT's and get the look we're after. Prices are not bad either but right now the USD is killing me on the exchange rate to Cdn. And with
Trump soon at the helm, that's probably not going to get better, probably worse. Good for Americans, not so much for us Canadians looking to do some shopping in the US.

Thanks for the info and good luck with your project! I'll keep you posted on my progress and let me know how yours is going. Stay tuned! 8)

CB


jay

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 10:05:12 AM »
Hi CB, will do on the progress on my project. Just finished re-building the carbs, and getting ready to start on all the plastic bodywork. The previous owner brush painted the gas tank black over the original red, pretty messed up to say the least. All the plastic bits were rattle-canned flat black, poorly I might say. Spray cans can produce a nice finish if care and good surface preparation is used. Oh well that what is keeping me occupied over the winter!

Jay

J6G1Z

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 06:48:53 PM »
Man... I hate to see or hear that.

Many guys in this area find a clean original paint classic bike & the first thing they do is destroy its value by spray painting it black.  :'(

YUCK!

J.


chuckleberry709

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 06:27:50 AM »
Mine was repainted at some point too, albeit they did use a red close to the original color but didn't do a very good job. Looks like it only got one or two thin coats and they even managed to run it in a couple of places on the tank. Same on the covers.

I think I found a solution to my leaky tank. Instead of going through the hassle of cleaning out the old sealant and trying to reseal it again on the inside I used a cold weld 2-part liquid metal product from Permatex on the outside. I sanded the leaky area down to bare metal and applied a good layer of the mixture, let it set up for 24 hrs and then poured gas in the tank. It's been sitting with fuel 4 days and no leaks! 

So now I just gotta sand the repair down smooth and then I'll probably use a bit of body fill to blend it back into shape. I think this was way better than trying to reseal the inside and a lot cheaper too, the Permatex stuff was less than $10. I'm not much of a body man but not afraid to learn a few new tricks, so we'll see how it turns out. How hard can it be? Definitely not as bad as plastering gyprock walls (which I hate and suck at!)  ::)

jay

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 08:23:06 AM »
Glad you found an alternative repair method! I'm the same way, I'm not afraid to try something new, well can be a little nervous, but go ahead and have at it! I agree, when someone bodges up a paint job, with just sloppy work over a classic bike is just plain sad, I am lucky to have a reputable shop in my area with a great bunch of guy's who are really into classics and all manner of two wheel moto-fun. They are always very enthusiastic with advice and tips for my projects!

Jay

chuckleberry709

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 09:46:59 AM »
Lucky you Jay! In my neck of the woods there's not much in the way of custom shops for bikes. There's a few bike shops around but they mostly just do repairs and maintenance on the local bikes, nothing custom. Up here in north-eastern Canada the dealer's bread and butter is snowmobiles, quads, side by sides and boats.

I had a good laugh when I went into the local Honda shop here looking for new oil and air filters. When I told the guy what they were for, a '84 Ascot,  he asked "is that a snow blower??" Bahahaha! So that's what I'm dealing with!  ;D  When I'm ready I'll probably take my tank and anything else I want painted to a car body shop for a professional finish.

So I'm really happy to have this forum and all the brains on here to pick!

Thanks for your replies and stay tuned!

CB

murdo

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 12:47:11 AM »
I've had very good results with KBS tank sealers if you find that you need to seal it at some point in the future. Use paint stripper to dissolve the previous liner (may take a week or more) and finally wash and rinse with acetone or similar. I have never seen any products applied from the outside that totally seals the tank, works for a bit then starts to weep again (this is what was on my FT500 when I bought it).
Another option is to tin and then solder the bottom of the tank. Put a slight dent in the area to be soldered so you can build up the solder then file it flat before painting.

chuckleberry709

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 11:44:47 AM »
Thanks for the info on the sealer murdo (hope that's not short for murderer)!  ;) The stuff I used on the outside was just like metal when it set up, and I let the tank sit with gas in it for a week and no leaks so hopefully this is a fix. I'm almost ready for primer, just a bit more sanding. I'll post something when I get more progress.  8)

CB

joyride20

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Re: Leaky gas tank! Replace or renew? That is the question...
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 06:44:05 AM »
Thanks for the info on the sealer murdo (hope that's not short for murderer)!  ;) The stuff I used on the outside was just like metal when it set up, and I let the tank sit with gas in it for a week and no leaks so hopefully this is a fix. I'm almost ready for primer, just a bit more sanding. I'll post something when I get more progress.  8)

CB

How did the tank turn out?