Gas Tank Internal cleaning and Coatings - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 500
Main Motorcycle: 72 TR6
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 122
Question Gas Tank Internal cleaning and Coatings

need a little younger bro has an old tank with some rust in it. What is the best way to clean and coat the inside??I know there is an existing thread here someplace.....
willtheking is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2010, 02:33 PM
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: 1971 T100C
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Posts: 425
Other Motorcycle: 2011 Triumph 1700 Storm
There is lots of info on this. Some guys have used the "Works Toilet Bowl" cleaner and it did a great job on removing rust. I've used the electrolsis method on three tanks including the Triumph and I was amazed at how well it worked. Google "electrolysis rust removal gas tank" for more info.

As for a liner, there are several. I've used the Kreem products several times with good results. Caswell plating and POR 15 are highly recommended as well.

Whatever method or product you use it is essential to follow the manufacturers directions to the letter.

toxic is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 05:58 AM
Main Motorcycle: T140 E
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Reading Berks UK
Posts: 8,308
Other Motorcycle: 56 Plunger Tatty Cub
Extra Motorcycle: CZ winter bike
a little old school technique is show in one of Plewsy's vids. You fill the tank with some gravel and make like a cocktail barman.

An improvement on this is to add the stone (or some say nuts threaded with string) and wrap the tank on an old sleeping bag/blanket/duvet and shoe it in the drum of an old cement mixer. pacxk it so that it rotates and doesn'r crash about/ 15 mins should do it.
DAVE M is online now  
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 01:06 PM
Main Motorcycle: 1966 Thunderbird
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northeastern GA, USA
Posts: 1,228
Other Motorcycle: 1979 BMW R100RS
To my mind, the 2 top products are Caswell Plating and Bill Hirsch. The Caswell leaves an epoxy coating that can seal pin holes and other irregularities. It is also very useful in restoring Norton and BSA fiberglass tanks. The Bill Hirsch product is a coating that stops the rust and protects the metal, but will not seal leaks. So it depends on your tank's exact needs.

After discovering Caswell epoxy coating about 10 years ago our shop has used nothing else. The Caswell web page answers your question and says to use the "shake, rattle, roll" method with sheet rock screws. The Caswell epoxy method is one of the few that tell you NOT to remove every scrap of rust simply becasue the rough surface helps it adhere.

We are now getting in bikes that used Kreem about 10 years ago. The stuff is awful. It comes off in big sheets (looks like latex paint) and clogs your entire fuel system. Then you have to stop and remove the rust AND the Kreem. I can only say if you use Kreem that you will be exceedingly sorry down the road.

The GABMA newsletter. What's on the back of your toilet?
GABMA is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 02:20 PM
World SuperBike
Main Motorcycle: '68' T120 Bonneville
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: corpus christi, texas
Posts: 1,825
Other Motorcycle: 2006 T100 Bonneville
Extra Motorcycle: '79' T140 street tracker
Originally Posted by GABMA;1542134 I can only say if you use Kreem that you will be [COLOR=blue
exceedingly sorry[/COLOR] down the road.

Now you tell me!
jimmy bush is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 02:45 PM
Main Motorcycle: Royal Enfield Electra
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: france
Posts: 970
Other Motorcycle: 2003 thunderbird
Lucky this topic came up.

I have just bought a long range (22 litre) tank for my bike, It has very fine coating of rust inside which will colour your fingers if you rub the insides. Not flaking, just a fine surface coat.
I have been advised to put some diesel oil and some ball bearings in there and shake it all about.
Anyone got a better solution?

A wise man learns from his mistakes..
A genius learns from other peoples mistakes.
panda is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 02:57 PM
Main Motorcycle: T120R Bonneville (mine)
Senior Member
Plewsy's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Teesside England
Posts: 1,547
Other Motorcycle: I wish
This is the vid DAVE M mentioned
what I did to mine, it worked great I also coated the tank with phosphoric acid, great stuff for neutralising rust.
Plewsy is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 03:43 PM
Senior Member
Thruxton-Texas's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 964
I recently used a product called KBS on a 34 year old Yamaha tank. It's supposed to be an improved version of the POR-15 formulation and dries to a hard silver colored finish. I found it on E-bay for about $45.00 USD. The kit comes with a cleaner, an acid etch solution (to neutralize the rust) and the coating itself. FWIW, this is roughly how I went about it:

1. I had the tank soaked in caustic for 10 days at an auto machine shop to remove the paint. This didn't remove all the paint but revealed some JB Weld patches used in it's past life to repair rust holes . The inside of the tank was clean enough to repair these by brazing without fear of an explosion.

2. I sloshed the diluted (w/boiling water) cleaner inside with nails to break out any loose rust and rinsed it out.

3. Did the same without the nails with the acid (I assume phosphoric) etch solution and did a thorough rinse afterward.

4. I dried the tank over the course of several days with a hair dryer (only when out in the shop to keep an eye on it) blowing into the filler neck. IF THERE IS ANY MOISTURE IN THE TANK, THE COATING WILL FAIL. This is true of most/all other brands.

5. I sloshed the sealer inside and poured out the excess. If it puddles, the coating won't harden properly in those places.

I'm happy with the results and the coating dried to a hard finish..................James.
Thruxton-Texas is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 08:26 PM
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: Mine
Senior Member
t100rc's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 625
We've been using the POR15 liner with great success. First, try to remove as much loose stuff and scale as possible. You can get the whole kit with the Marine Clean (cleaner), Metal Ready (PH adjuster, metal preparer), and the POR15 liner from Eastwood.

I've also heard good things about the epoxy liner.

DO NOT GET YOUR TANK "RED LINED" ... the plastic liner ... as we're seeing them being destroyed by modern ethanol gasoline.

'70 T100
'56 T110 (in progress)
Crossroads Cycle
t100rc is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 11:10 PM
Main Motorcycle: 1966 Thunderbird
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northeastern GA, USA
Posts: 1,228
Other Motorcycle: 1979 BMW R100RS
All fuel tanks were once coated. If you have rust, that simply tells you that your protective coating is now gone. Once rust starts, it simply gets more and more aggressive.

Removing rust is easy. There are tens of household chemicals that will do that job easily. The issue is this: after removing the rust, how do you restore the coating so the rust won't eat the tank up? And with classic fuel tanks costing around $400, this is a big issue.

Believe me, you don't want to "cheap out" on this repair.

The GABMA newsletter. What's on the back of your toilet?
GABMA is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply
All posts must adhere to Forum Rules

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter your valid email address, that can receive an automated confirmation message. Otherwise, you won't be able to gain full access.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gas Tank Cleaning with Vinegar Snakeoil Classic, Vintage & Veteran 29 05-03-2014 06:41 AM
Fitting the older smaller gas tank with the new internal pump LuckyBonnie Air Cooled Twins Talk 12 02-08-2013 10:36 PM
oil tank cleaning ?. thekeyman Classic, Vintage & Veteran 2 01-24-2010 04:49 PM
cleaning out old gas tank? soonertriumph Classic, Vintage & Veteran 3 05-31-2007 11:28 AM
Fuel tank cleaning and sealing jnutter Classic, Vintage & Veteran 5 04-08-2007 08:52 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome