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T: Fuel Tank Tank repair help

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi all,
After removing the flaking paint from my tank, found 2 dents filled with a load of filler. Fair enough, its of an age but after many cups of tea I'm unsure of how to tackle straightening out the dents. I don't really want to filler them in again, and would like to repair and push them out straight again.
Hoping someone may have tackled this before?
My thinking so far is: 1. as the dents are opposite the filler neck, a pusher rod and heat couldn't be done due to not having the access, without making access, as the tunnel is in the way 2. Possibly cut a small access hole in the base of the tank to get said pusher rod and heat to massage the dents out. 3. Carefully cut out the dents and form 2 new curved panels to be brazed/tig'ed back in.
Or pay someone handsomely to sort it out and entrust them with making the right call!

Would appreciate any help with the right way forward, thanks in advance.
 

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greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Its pretty common to see original tanks that have had parts of the base opened up to get at damage area's........I've done it on genuine tanks, pre war ones and alloy tanks as well. Sometimes you can cut a circular hole with a hole saw and then make up a larger OD disc to solder or braze on after.........Best to open it up as opposite the damage as you can........This might mean cutting into the tunnel section........so long as the parent material is sound and not rusty it is quite easy to do and patch up afterward. It does take some head scratching and some courage but it is not so bad........same with getting the tanks to align better over the UFM it is easier to simply cut off one of the forward mounts and reposition it to get a good fit........Good luck with it all.
 

Vsb

New Website User
VOC Member
CW Classic repaired a very dented tank from an early Norton dominator for me to a state where it could be rechromed without further filling of any sort. Ok it was thick steel to start with but I was impressed. All done through the filler hole. I couldn’t see how they’d done it even after explanation. The father Colin used to work for the Greece’s factory - they’re in Rawreth near Southend.
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Its pretty common to see original tanks that have had parts of the base opened up to get at damage area's........I've done it on genuine tanks, pre war ones and alloy tanks as well. Sometimes you can cut a circular hole with a hole saw and then make up a larger OD disc to solder or braze on after.........Best to open it up as opposite the damage as you can........This might mean cutting into the tunnel section........so long as the parent material is sound and not rusty it is quite easy to do and patch up afterward. It does take some head scratching and some courage but it is not so bad........same with getting the tanks to align better over the UFM it is easier to simply cut off one of the forward mounts and reposition it to get a good fit........Good luck with it all.
Thanks Greg,
Its pretty common to see original tanks that have had parts of the base opened up to get at damage area's........I've done it on genuine tanks, pre war ones and alloy tanks as well. Sometimes you can cut a circular hole with a hole saw and then make up a larger OD disc to solder or braze on after.........Best to open it up as opposite the damage as you can........This might mean cutting into the tunnel section........so long as the parent material is sound and not rusty it is quite easy to do and patch up afterward. It does take some head scratching and some courage but it is not so bad........same with getting the tanks to align better over the UFM it is easier to simply cut off one of the forward mounts and reposition it to get a good fit........Good luck with it all.
Thanks Greg, i just wasn't sure what the 'people in the know' would do how to tackle this.
As the price of original tanks being so high, I think it's weighing down on my decision making ! Thankfully the base metal is in good condition being dry stored for many years. I've ordered some rod to make up a planishing dolly on a stick to put through an access hole, to work against. Just trying to work out were that will be to get in a hole saw or cutter.
Appreciate your advice. Thanks
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Tack weld a fixing in the centre of the dent and pull out with a slide hammer. Fill any imperfections with body lead smoothed with a moleskin cloth. I caught a mole in the garden last week, if I'd known I could have sent it to you! I did all this on my S8 Sunbeam in 1970.
Cheers Bill
Thanks Bill, it was the first attempt after much indecisiveness on my part ! I tacked 2-3 large headed nails on to the worst parts. Then heated the dents area, and slide hammered gently with a modified car dent puller. I did work to an extent, but found it was to putting pull marks (like pinching chicken skin) on the nail tacked areas. I was struggling to pull a larger speaded area without over heating and tearing the tank metal.
I have used this in the past and has worked lovely.
Cheers
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Some of the other videos that accompanied the one posted by Bill Thomas are really instructive, I had not realised that the work these chaps are doing was even possible, or some of the tools used. If you did not view some of them them then I recommend that you do. It is clearly a skill which can be learnt and has tools which could be copied.
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
CW Classic repaired a very dented tank from an early Norton dominator for me to a state where it could be rechromed without further filling of any sort. Ok it was thick steel to start with but I was impressed. All done through the filler hole. I couldn’t see how they’d done it even after explanation. The father Colin used to work for the Greece’s factory - they’re in Rawreth near Southend.
Thanks Vsb, I may use CW Classic if I can't get the dents out myself, seems only a few people around Uk wise than tackle this type of thing it seems apart from the automotive pointless dent world. They probably have many clever tricks up they're sleeves
Cheers
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Can't really see that a bit of filler is such a bad thing,
If you have watched a few USA Custom Car stuff, They use it by the ton !.
Brother Ron made me a Special Petrol tank to take Oil one side Petrol the other,
Like an "A" Twin, I can hardly pick it up :D .
 

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vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I note amongst the hundreds of Indian tanks on evil bay there is a smattering of alloy tanks that have started to appear. Our tank with the carb breathing hole was specially made. anyone tried an Indian alloy one?
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Tack weld a fixing in the centre of the dent and pull out with a slide hammer. Fill any imperfections with body lead smoothed with a moleskin cloth. I caught a mole in the garden last week, if I'd known I could have sent it to you! I did all this on my S8 Sunbeam in 1970.
Cheers Bill
Ha ha, if it wasn't for my cat enjoying the odd Mole, I may well have taken you up on your offer!
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
There is a few on youtube for ideas.
Thanks Bill, Its very impressive how only using the steel rod the dent can be manipulated out with a bit of pressure in the right place. They're quite addictive to watch, with some of the dents in what looks like impossible area to repair.
As the tunnel is high on the Vincent tank, it's impossible to get a rod in over to the opposite side to the filler neck unfortunately.
Cheers
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Can't really see that a bit of filler is such a bad thing,
If you have watched a few USA Custom Car stuff, They use it by the ton !.
Brother Ron made me a Special Petrol tank to take Oil one side Petrol the other,
Like an "A" Twin, I can hardly pick it up :D .
I agree, though I just want to get the worst of the dent removed, so its easier to work with cleaning the inside and less prep work for painting.
Cheers
 

Herman-Handlebars

Active Website User
VOC Member
Some of the other videos that accompanied the one posted by Bill Thomas are really instructive, I had not realised that the work these chaps are doing was even possible, or some of the tools used. If you did not view some of them them then I recommend that you do. It is clearly a skill which can be learnt and has tools which could be copied.
Absolutely, I found myself watching multiples as they make it seem effortless! They seem to have a different pusher rod for every eventuality
 

Oldhaven

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
You have the advantage, (I guess), of having to repaint anyway, but here are pictures of my tank before and after, and the paint was saved through this technique. I would not be so sure it is impossible to reach the dents over the tunnel as these guys are pretty ingenious, but in your case it may be more cost effective to cut an access hole.

 

Marcus Bowden

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Talking about tanks, can someone let me know what code/number or name colour of the maroon "A" tanks were please as I just about to give Old Harry a facelift, Christine has seen what a lovely job Pau Adams did on the Comet tank so she wants the same on the Rap. Thank you sorry for butting in but not sure how to start a thread.
bananaman.
 

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