In 1985 I recognised a distinct lack of a specialised fuel tank repairers in Brisbane or elsewhere in Australia. I started "Fuel Tank Repair Service". I have since changed the business name to "Fuel Tank and Radiator Service". This has developed into a long-standing respected name.
I do not advertise in the yellow pages as the majority of the fuel tank work comes as a result of word of mouth or other "fuel tank repairers". I find most radiator repair shops advertise fuel tank repairs, but they don’t want to get involved with the more complex jobs, replacing the bottom of 4 x 4 tanks for example. They are happy to do the smaller solder repairs, but are not equipped to tackle the more complex jobs.
I always have at least one veteran, vintage or classic vehicle tank in the workshop. A great revelation in tank cleaning came with the installation of a dipping line to handle the cleaning of rusty and dirty tanks. This can be done without the need to cut your rare fuel tank. Once cleaned there are a number of different treatments available to coat the inside of the tank (See "Red-Kote" below). The coating of the fuel tanks can be done for a couple of reasons. One reason is to seal any holes in the tank. The other is to simply line the inside of the tank against any further corrosion.
A regular task undertaken is the cleaning of "rotten" petrol. This is easily diagnosed, as the stench of the remains is impossible to ignore! After time the remains of the petrol turn acidic and can eat through the fuel tank.
Another recent aspect of the fuel tank business was bought on by the trend to replace motors in small cars with updated fuel injected motors. This often means that the tank has to be opened and a SWIRL POT is fitted. This modification can be to replace the existing plumbing with larger tubes, both for pick up and return. The fuel tank can be dipped and cleaned at the same time. The owner is generally making a large investment in the new motor and ancillaries, therefore a clean fuel system is essential.
In the past, I had avoided repairing motor cycle tanks as there was always the problem of keeping the custom paintwork on the tank whilst repairing it! When I dip a tank, cleaning it inside and out, the paintwork is lost or at least damaged. In some cases this is not important, as the tank is undergoing a restoration anyway, and this cleaning is a positive move.
Before applying RedKote I recommend Rust Remover to safely clean your bike tank without damaging the tanks paint work.
Please report back with your thoughts on Rust Remover.
The next and final step of tank cleaning and restoration, of course, is applying Red-Kote® tank liner.
The fuel tank can be modified by fitting a sump wedge. This allows fuel to be caught in the baffled wedge therefore preventing the pick-up problems associated with a flat bottomed tank with a radius on the rear corner and the standard pickup at the front of the tank. The threaded sockets allow a variation of BSP threaded fittings, eg. dash 8 or 10, to be screwed into the flanges as required.
The fuel tank is dipped, cleaned, tested and painted before the sump wedge is fitted.
Red-Kote® is a fuel tank liner available from Fuel Tank & Radiator Service to allow the treatment of rusty and pitted fuel tanks. Red-Kote® liquid comes in a quart tin and is a one part product. This allows the unused Red-Kote® to be returned back to the can ready for re-use.