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Help my fuel tank is leaking

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by vladpp, May 8, 2008.

  1. Basicaly, i had my tank off because i had to do some electrical work, i leave it out of the bike for a couple of days and i notice that its coated in a shiny layer of petrol. so i give it a good wipe and it spings a leak. I go on the net to see what i should do ( i put it in a container first) and now it has three leaks.

    im not sure its an aluminium or steel tank.

    also there are some black spots around the holes, im worried that it might be rusted on the inside?

    is it posible to empty a tank and weld it?

    ill be back with a picture soon.

    Mod note - Please don't use all caps in the title - Thanx Flipper
  2. Are you storing it upside down/sideways? There's supposed to be a breather hole next to the filler cap.

    Been there, done that :oops:
  3. More information - rusted around weld lines? holes in the underside? If you have access to a digital camera take some photos and post them to photobucket.com. If it's rust, don't bother welding, the tank's rooted if it's rusted through the entire tank, go to a wreckers and get a scratch+dent special. If it just a crack, it may be possible to weld, just make sure the tank is completely empty (wash it out with metho then water), then vent the tank with argon or another inert gas prior to welding
  4. Here are some pics. Sorry about the poor quality, the flash wasn't going off. Ill try again tomorow in better light.


    I heard theirs an resin/glue/putty called Selley's Knead It Steel, witch is aperantly good for fixing holes in tanks:

    http://www.selleys.com.au/default.aspx?ArticleID=325#How to use this product

    Its not leaking out the breather hole as on my tank its a tube and its dry.

    The previous owner said that this bike is a grey import and that there are only about 80 in Australia. And the rego is currently expired, so if i get a wrecker tank it has to pass rwc.
  5. I had the same thing on my 20 year old, 'bout 6 months ago.

    Tank repair from stupidcheap fixed it in ten minutes.

    It's a tube of putty like stuff and you break a bit off knead it in you fingers
    till it warms up, spread it on the leak and go riding, no need to empty
    the tank, it will stop the leak and cure in about an hour.
    It sets so hard that you can drill and tap it after 24 hours.

    I've since used it to fix a weeping radiator, no need to drain, ten minute fix.

    It's about $20 I think and worth it's weight in gold to me.
  6. Little 'oles in or near the lowest point of the tank indicate rust from the inside.

    The various epoxy gunges will probably provide a temporary fix. However, take it from a Pom who's seen a lot of rust, that anything you do now will only buy you a bit of time. For a proper repair, hie thee to a wreckers and seek out their very best replacement. Fit it and then make sure that no water ever finds its way in again.

    Welding is possible. However, anyone who takes it on is likely to charge through the nose and it may end up costing more than a replacement. You are also likely to find that the whole bottom of the tank is a lace doily waiting to happen :( and doesn't have much sound metal to weld to.
  7. Sound like im gonna buy some time with the putty, while i look for a new tank. Can cleaning the rust of the inside then coating in sealant extend it for a little longer?
  8. there is a solution designed to reseal tanks, you add it to an empty tank then just rotate the tank so that it covers the inside of the tank completly when it dries it leaves a fuel proof lineing in the tank, you would need to open up the holes for your fuel tap, breather and filling point.
    I have never tried it and dont know whats its called but have heard good reports on it, mostly by riders restoreing old bikes.
  9. There are no proper solutions other than buying a new (great condition second hand, anyway) tank. Coating the tank is for tanks that aren't leaking yet and quiksteel and the like are for emergency solutions or car repair. I keep some under my seat as an emergency item...

    Any of those products work great until you have an accident and your petrol tank rips open and you get covered in petrol and flames and you spend the last few seconds of you life wondering WHY YOU DIDN'T JUST BUY A NEW fcukING TANK.
  10. you could try KBS Motorcycle Fuel Tank Repair Kit, there is a few kits around on Ebay.
    with out a doubt as bonkers says a new tank would be the best option but thats going to cost big dollars if you can find one, a second hand one for the same model of bike will be just as old and just as likely to start leaking soon. and if your going to have an accident thats severe enough to split your fuel tank you will have already gone over the handlebars and be bouncing down the road safe from any fires
  11. Thanks for the advice.

    I picked up "Selleys Knead It - Automotive" from Mitre 10 and sealed it up nicely. I can hear 'solid matter' (sounds like sand or DEAR GOD NO.... rust) inside the tank when i put my ear up to it. The fuel filter is doing its job as the fuel coming out of the tap is clean.

    I'll probably order a fuel tank repair kit in the near future and clean out the crap then.

    Again, thanks for everything
  12. Well I was exaggerating (I'd say you noticed) but what you said isn't quite true - the most likely cause of damaged tank is a slide and usually you go with the bike...
    That said, one pinhole leak means there's a hole lot more just below the surface. And even a few that are only being blocked by a layer of paint. Sand back that area and you've got a great chance of discovering some of them.
  13. Sanded and found another 4 so i puttied a good 8cm^2 (cm squared) of the tank.
  14. Fair enough. Since you don't want to replace it my only advice is watch it closely :)
  15. As much as i want to replace it (witch is not very) there is virtually no chance for me to find a replacement tank, unless i find a similar model but it would still not fit perfectly. The other option is a custom tank, but thats not a viable option in the near future as i don't have the money, considering i need $500 for rego + countless more helm/gloves/boots...
  16. Update:

    Another leak has sprung. Not going to bother with the putty again, will order tank sealant kit.
  17. I ordered the KBS tank sealer kit, should be in any day now.

    Not wanting to scratch the bottom of the tank, i have been resting it on the top, in my driveway and it kinda got scratched.

    So now ill have to repaint the top, however, seeing I'm gonna have to get the paint can out, should i strip the old paint off in order to see any pinholes under the paints surface? Or will the sealer fix it good enough?
  18. Any update on this vladpp? I have just gone through a few stages of tank cleaning and have found very similar leaks. First I ran through some Kero with a chain to scrape around. Second was the Chem wash from a M.C.S kit (similar to KBS). This went through twice until I could flush water through until it came out clean. Third was the Rust prep, and at the end of this the holes started to appear between the petcock and along the seam.

    I have held off on the Sealant until I figure out the best way forward to block the holes and provide some support for the weakened area. I am thinking of sanding the area down and then applying a type of epoxy. Any thoughts/experience?