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molasses in the gas tank


Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Well I've got the sump drained and the carbs off and tank petrol taps are clogged with a molasses like substance that does not respond to gas or degreaser. It's like cigarette tar.
Is it old gas or the remains of some kind of stabilisation technique, as the bike has not been going for at least 20 years? What can I use to remove it and what is the recommended etcher/coating for refinishing the inside of these tanks?
It's all collected on the inside round the holes to the petcocks
The tank looks like it has a rough coating inside its not rust, it's smooth, as if the tank has already been coated once before?
Also can any common tool be used to remove the oil filter nut?
thanks to all :cool:

Somewhere in Newfoundland



Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Buy new petcocks, buy a proper oil filter wrench from any of the Vincent parts stockists- and the other tools that are unique to the Vincent at the same time.., or- call one of the 3 really nice folks who specialize in Vincent restoration in North America.. They will make your bike perfect so that the next time you come 'ome for a bit your bike will be ready and waiting for you- either Phil Mahood, Glenn Bewley or Sam Manganaro are all dedicated craftsman who will do a wonderful job..If I have omitted anyone in North America please forgive me.. This person is located in NFLD., so he needs a specialist in North America..
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roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
For petcocks I use gas taps(as in house gas) from a plumbing merchant. They cost next to nothing+ work real good. As for the black fuel remains, the only thing I have found effective (easy) is industrial strength paint stripper.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
After not tending to leaks, my muffler had a lot of baked on oil and paint stripper cleaned it and the exhaust pipes up nicely, so I agree that it would attack your sludge. You would have to be very careful if you wanted to preserve the paint on the outside!

The gas taps mentioned above have metric (formerly BSP), so probably rare in Canada. I got a set from VinParts, but if you travel to the rest of the world, you could buy them there. I had to touch up the outlets with a countersink to seat well on the fuel pipe ends.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I use a 1 11/16"AF socket on my oil filter nut because there isn't room to fit the standard Vincent tool there. I used to use a 1" Whitworth box spanner but had trouble getting enough leverage to undo the nut.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I use a K1 spanner that I have ground away to miss the "richness in casting" around the plug hex. I have a tube spanner that I got from Uncle Ron years ago that fits there (I think) plus the Sprocket nut.
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