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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 11-01-2012, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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tank sealer the wrong way

I guess that I should just keep my mouth shut about the mistake I made while tring to seal my tank but maybe it could serve as a preventative lesson for my fellow forum members.
I recently ordered some Dragons Blood Red tank sealer from Caswell. It is epoxy based and is supposed to be alcohol proof, so to speak. I had the tank all cleaned out and ready by the time it got here so when it arrived I grabbed it and headed for the tank on my 71 T120R. Since it was about 70 degrees F outside I mixed a little THINNER in the mix as per instructions. This was my fatal flaw. Somehow I was thinking that PAINT THINNER was the same as LACQUER THINNER and I am here to tell you that it is not. It ruined the complete job and left me with globbed up stringy clumps and drips all through the inside of the tank. The sealer was set up but not in the rite places and a huge mess.
I contacted Caswell and they told me where I went wrong and told me to get some paint stripper with Methylene Chloride in it to try to break the sealer down. It is working but will take another two or three days to get it all out. Speaking of out, the sealer cost 65.00 including shipping, the stripper was another 30.00 the lacquer thinner that I bought to do the final rinse was another 25.00 and that just brings me back to where I was before I started this lesson.
Something about draining swamps and allegators comes to mind.
I have seen a couple of other people on the forum getting ready to or thinking about sealing their tanks so I thought I'd give them the benifit of my experiance. Some things require following the directions exactly as written and these sealers are one of them.
thanks, Bruce57
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bruce57

We all do dumb stuff. OK so it cost a couple of bucks and some time at least nothing more was hurt than your pride. You learn from your mistakes.

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Old 11-02-2012, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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that sucks Bruce.....but thanks for sharing, i'm SURE we ALL have stories that are that bad or worse....Rick
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Guess this makes you a human being, Bruce. And I have to say that you are a secure human being. Not many folks would admit to that mistake and doing so with the intention of preventing others from making a similar mistake is commendable.

Good luck on the next try.

What you might want to do on the second go round if you use Caswell's again, is put your tank in the over and get it up to temp. Maybe 100 deg or so. Then ask Caswell about warming the sealer up and if you should do it before you mix it or after. Raising the temp of epoxies also speeds up the cure time. The tech guy at Caswell is pretty helpful so give him a call. I actually drove to their place to pick my kit up and still did not ask enough questions. Came out okay, but boy is that stuff thick if it is not a hot summer day. I did mine in the basement during the winter. Can you say frozen molasses?

regards,
Rob
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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POR 15 kit for me. It has lasted really well and gas a silver paint look to it. No mixing anything.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'v e used POR15 for other things, like sealing up rust in the wire tunnel on an original paint Knucklehead. I used the same to repair a vinyl seat on my tractor that is still as repaired 3 years later. Urethane is an amazing product.

That said, I've also read horror stories about tank sealing projects that resulted in blistering and bubbling sealer after claiming to have followed the directions to the letter. The issue with a POR15 screw up is you need an atomic weapon to remove the stuff. So, although I think it is probably the best sealer out there, since I can't get inside the tank and scrub every nook and cranny clean on my hands and knees, I'll defer to Caswell's sealer if and when I need one. My general rule is remove the rust and go with no sealer if at all possible.

regards,
Rob
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bruce57

Try and find a local radiator repair shop that deals with antique gas tank repairs, and has a suitable tank to 'boil out' your messed up tank.

My tank had so much varnish in it from sitting 15 years, you could smell it from 100 feet away and the local
trick' painter said to clean it before he would paint it for $700.

Brought it to 'Duracor' radiator shop in Prospect, Ct., where it was submerged in their tank for 7 days, then sealed with a proprietary red goo.

The original paint and graphic scallops and pinstripes were un-touched (lacquer paint).

Best $100 ever spent, going on now 4 years.

Some things are better left to the pro's - if you can find them!

Edit: Don't forget to put a new gas cap on after sealing the tank.
The old ones develop a ton of fine rust dust up inside with age.
In my case, cheap insurance looking at $400 + with new Mikuni carbs.

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Last edited by Morris the Cat; 11-02-2012 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Details!
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your support guys. I am still surprised how easy it was to get off track and wind up with the wrong thinner. The funny thing is that when I went to the local hardware store and asked for lacquer thinner they also handed me a jug of paint thinner and said it was the same thing !!! That is what made me go ahead and write a post about the wrong thinner. I may wait untill next summer to seal the tank. It seems like the tank and sealer kit need to be at about 80 degrees F in order to work rite. Well, at least with the Caswell sealer anyway. I am concidering Morris's recomendation and take it to a radiator shop if I can find one near here that does that kind of work.

dl.allen- I keep seeing stuff about por 15 not holding up to the alcohol in the gas which is why I used the Caswell product. After this attempt at sealing my tank I wonder if most of the bad reports about the por15 are not just bad sealing jobs from not doing a good job on installation. I dunno. I think I may let a radiator shop worry about it, lol.
thanks to all for your interest, Bruce57
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ps morris the cat-- I may be buggin you about those mikuni carbs soon as that is what I'm running on my bike as well. I will need to clean them sometime this winter.
Bruce57
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You don't have to take an intelligence test to work in a hardware store, or Lowes, or Home Depot, etc.. The only questions I ask in those stores anymore is "Where is...."

regards,
Rob
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