De-rusting and re-sealing (cremeing) my gas tank

Posted in Maintenence and repairs on September 5, 2008 by austinsmotorcyclediary

Despite rust in the tank, and a sub-par paint job, the tank on my bike is in good shape. No dents, no holes, cracks or thin spots (best I could tell). After doing some looking, I decided that getting the rust out and resealing the interior would be the most cost effective, and best option. I will worry about the paint later.

The POR-15 Motorcycle Fuel Tank Repair Kit received the best reviews of any of the similar products that I looked at, and thus was my choice. I received the item a few days after ordering it, and was dismayed to see that the new seal would take 4 days to properly set.

I was concerned about finding an acceptable 4 days to be without my bike, however, the absence of a fuel hose (see previous post) gave me the perfect opportunity, and on a sunny Sunday morning I gathered my stuff and got ready to clean, shake, scrub and seal.

The process is 3 steps, and the instructions were decent. The first is an alkali cleaner, designed to clean out any loose rust and other particles. The second step is an acid, that eats away a layer of your tank and gets out the rust that has settled in. The third step is coating the interior of the tank with a new layer of permanent, anti rust, anti gas goodness.

Step 1&2 – The cleaner and de-ruster.
These were not so difficult. You mix the cleaner (Marine Clean) at a 1:1 ratio with warm water and shake, rattle and roll the crap out of your tank. I sealed the fuel lines leading out of the tank with duct tape, and also covered the main gas hole with duct tape (Note: If you want to preserve your paint job, you may explore other options for covering your gas cap hole. See tip at the end of this post). I mixed the cleaner and water in a large jug with a spout to help pour it. A very interesting and efficient addition to this process that I discovered browsing various forums, is to toss a hand full of old screws, nuts and bolts into your tank during this step. These items will help break rust away from your tank, and increase the effeciency of the process. WARNING – Before you add any foreign objects into your tank, make sure you can get them out. I luckily had the presence of mind to do this, and discovered that it was impossible to get the last little bit of liquid out of my tank due to raised lips around every hole in the tank (gah….engineers!). Had I thrown screws and nuts into my tank, they would still be there right now. I would also suggest having a chair nearby, as shaking a gas tank full of liquid for the recommended 20 minutes gets rather tiring. Once your done, empty the cleaner, rinse out with a hose and get as much of the water out as possible (Note: as my gas tank is a pain in the ass to drain, there was a minute puddle still in the bottom after this stage. It didnt effect the de-ruster process in the least. The derusting process is pretty similar, just after shaking you let the tank sit in different positions for 20 minutes at a time.

Step 3: Re-sealing/cremeing
Getting the tank dry was time consuming, although not difficult. I used a hair dryer, and it took about 30 minutes. Since I had a standing puddle of water that no amount of shaking, rolling or tiliting would get out, I found that rolling the tank around to get the water spread out inside the tank sped up the drying process immensly. Once I’d coated the inside, I drained as much excess as possible. I also ran some wire up through my hoses to make sure nothing had gunked them up. 4 days later, got the new hose, and put her back together.

Final tip:
I got some advice from a friend of mine after I completed the task. He was going through the same process, and said that he got some expansion plugs from a local tractor store that he slid into the openings on his tank. The theory is that it will let you slosh the stuff around inside the tank without it spilling out, and will not damage your paint. I wish I had thought of this, but if you’re going through this process, I would suggest trying it as they are only a few bucks a pop.

So four days later the tank was dry, the fuel hose was on…….and sadly she wouldn’t start. More on that to come.

First round of maintenence

Posted in Maintenence and repairs on August 17, 2008 by austinsmotorcyclediary

Having no idea what maintenence has been done when, I decided to start with the basics and begin the process of doing all the maintenence necessary on a bike. I enlisted the help of my brother in law, Hunter, as he was excited about taking this project on with me (ssshhh….don’t tell him the joys of cleaning chrome and metal up!).

Here’s a couple pics of Hunt looking oh so bad ass.

Are agenda for the day was: changing spark plugs and wires, air filter, oil change, final drive fluid change, drain and replace the coolant.

We got the the seat and gas tank pulled off, and everything was going swimmingly. Hunt picked up quick, and changed a few plugs on his own. The air filter looked like it was replaced recently, so we didn’t bother changing it at this point.

I didn’t take any process pictures, as these are simply procedures, but this is where things got interesting. If you know anything about Magnas, you know that the gas tank has a hinge on its base, which allows you to remove the seat and then raise the tank to get access to the air box, and other areas underneath. So you would wisely ask the question, why is the gas tank off? Well, let me give you a hint:

Yes, that is the fuel line, and yes I was unhappy about it.

Having accomplished our tasks for the day, naturally we wanted to fire her up and make sure we’d done everything right. Now, it’s always scary when you have performed fairly simple maintenence, and the bike won’t start. Hit the starter…nothing. Checked the kill switch, checked the choke, still nothing. At this point, we realized there was no gas in the tank. This was odd. I knew there was very little gas in there as I had decided not to fuel up the previous day knowing we’d be working on her, but it wasn’t bone dry. So off to the local gas station we went, got a can of gas and came back, excited and eager to take her for a spin. Nothing….well, not exactly nothing.

We proceeded to pour an entire gas can full of gas through the bike, onto the ground. I was very concerned. What we discovered was that the fuel line was extremely brittle (probablly the same line that was on it when it came off the factory floor), and when we raised the gas tank it was just too much for the line, which decided that a large hole was the best way to respond to this situation. I quickly put out my cigarette, fearing the worst, and we began mopping up gas. Trips to the local bike and auto shops proved in vein, and we had to order the part.

We were able to replace the line that runs to the resevoir tank, which was satisfying but largely not helping the overall situation. While I was a little disappointed that I will be without my bike as I wait on the part, it does provide me the opportunity to clean out the gas tank. There is a touch of rust in there, and I was trying to find 4 days to be bikeless in order to clean it out. Guess I’m a captive audience now.

Next on the agenda: gas tank cleanup, checking/lubing/replacing lines, fork oil….and yes, ooooh yes the carbs.

First look

Posted in Evolution on August 17, 2008 by austinsmotorcyclediary

Well, here she is. A 1983 Honda Magna V45 (750cc). She’s rough, and hasn’t had the TLC needed, but my goal is to get her up to speed and tune her up both mechanically and aestethically. Here are some initial pics.

There she is. I wanted to get a few pics to compare her too down the line as I add and change things on the bike. All I can say, is that she old but still runs hard.

And so, it begins…

Posted in Misc Bike stuff with tags , , , on August 17, 2008 by austinsmotorcyclediary

Well, after a long hard push to dig up the cash and find that “perfect” deal, I finally got my hands on a bike. And not just any bike. I picked up a Honda Magna V45 (750cc) in fairly good condition.

Of course the first thing I wanted to do was cruise….although, I may not recommend what I did.

So we (my loving wife) and I got up early on a Monday morning to go pick the bike up in East Dallas. Picture a calm morning, a few clouds in the sky, somewhat cool but not chilly as we depart on our 45 minute drive. We’re heading down there, grumpy. slugging bad gas station coffee. We arrive and the bike checks out. The owner has the title and hasn’t forgotten to tell us about any major parts falling off or anything of that nature.

Now, at this point in the trip, I had accepted that I would be riding home. What I had not considered fully were 3 other things. The first, was that I had not been on a bike in about 4 months. The second was that it was currently rush hour in Dallas, and the third was that I had an hour to be back downtown for a meeting. So as I gulped, and considered saying goodbye to my wife, I decided to just ride the thing directly to my meeting, in rush hour, having not been on a bike in months…..and yes, it started to rain. I was terrified. Those of you familiar with Dallas know that the drivers are a little less then sane on the best of days. Much against the odds the ride was fine. The bike is a little rough, but nothing a little TLC can’t take care of.

Welcome to the blog. I’ll be putting a lot of work in this baby, and documenting the process here. I’ll also be sharing other stories and just as I go. Ride safe.