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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2014, 11:35 AM
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Gas tank weld failure

Would really appreciate some advise from someone who knows metal fabrication.
Got a Sporty tank on a CFL frame. Nice secure bung mount on back and a really crappy single flat tab that is welded to the bottom front of tank. There is a single bolt that goes into ,not through the frame on the front. The weld has fractured where it attaches to the tank. Had the tab reinforced re-welded and re-fractured. Underside of tank very concave and does not touch frame. Can't afford to destroy airbrush paint on the side of tank. The bottom of the tank is black and can be fixed post welding. Please advise and thanks.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:10 PM
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Is the tab wide enough to use a rubber isolator like the factory EVO Softails use?
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:05 AM
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Under the tab? Yes we tried that too. I would be willing to ship the damn thing if there is someone that can no kidding fix this once and for all. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:34 AM
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It will actually work much better if you use the grommet as designed through the tab but most likely the tab is not wide enough?
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:28 AM
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pushrod is right. You need some type of vibration damper. My tank is mounted on a steel plate that is bolted to the frame. The tank attaches to the steel plate with bolts through the plate into bungs welded in the tank. Between the tank and steel plate is a solid piece of vibram to protect the bungs, and tank for that matter, from cracks due to vibration.


Last edited by Rhode Warrior; 10-23-2014 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:21 AM
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Thanks--the 124 on the rigid bike is borderline violent, vibration is the problem. So without destroying the paint any other thoughts on fabricating ?
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:30 AM
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The tank design

Here is a pic if it may help?
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Gas tank weld failure-img_2752.jpg  
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2014, 02:18 PM
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Im not a fan of tabs on tanks like that,, can you post up some pics of the area that keeps cracking?
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993SSP View Post
Im not a fan of tabs on tanks like that,, can you post up some pics of the area that keeps cracking?
I will have to go to the shop where it is sitting quietly to get some--
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:55 AM
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If you could show a good photo or two of the area of the tank area where the cracking.

Of course if you have had gas in the tank I would not weld on that tank.
No matter how much you wash out that tank, it is still an explosion hazard.

It will not explode right away it will take a minute or two then BANG!
If you are lucky you will just be scared and your eyebrows will be singed and your hearing will be fuzzy for a while. Hopefully no eye damage with your welding helmet on.
Again i would NOT weld on this tank if it has had gas in the tank.

I am just being truthful.
I would buy a new tank and keep that airbrushed tank up on the wall.
The inside of the tank must also have a liner installed like Caswell's with white colorant. .
If you do not seal the tank it will start rusting right away.

So any tank you get will need to be welded (if it needs it) BEFORE you put the liner in the tank. Then paint the tank and put clear fuel proof paint over it.
Most tanks you buy from a manufacturer are welded correctly.

This is not your fault. Whoever welded on that tab to the edge of the tank caused these problems.
The tab for mounting the tank needs to spread over a wide area so all of the stress is not concentrated at the place where the tab attaches.


PS...I am a certified welder and a certified welding inspector with the American Welding Society.

Last edited by donald branscom; 10-29-2014 at 06:58 AM..
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-29-2014, 08:27 AM
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A few things. First off, the the mounting bolt needs to go thru the frame or into a threaded bung welded inside the frame, not just threaded into the tube, thats like two threads and thats it. More than likely the vibration of the bolt AND the weak mounting caused the crack in the tab since the tab is obviously weaker than the tube. I prefer to drill all the way thru the frame and make a spacer just shorter than the frame tube itself. The spacer needs to have the same ID so your mounting bolt will fit right thru. Weld the spacer in and now you maintin the frame strength as oposed to having just a hole. A threaded bung works too, but extra care needs to be taken when welding it in to protect the threads. So I prefer the thru spacer, so there is no fear of stripped threads now or anytime in the future. I have run frisco mount tanks using that method for 10 plus years on bikes with no rubber gromets and had zero tank or frame failures totally solid mounted. You can use a leather washer to both protect your paint AND aid as a vibration dampner. I would recomend the thinner leather washer as it doesn't allow as much flex as the thicker rubber gromets.

Welding a tab onto a tank is not an issue for paint or saftey if prepped correctly. First off, empty the gas and run dish soap and water thru the tank with a garden hose util there are NO suds, this will take awhile. Let dry, use compressed air to blow it out and let it dry more. You can use dry ice (but you will have to regulate the outside temp of the tank with warm rags to avoid paint chipping) or run a garden hose from your car exhaust and run it to the fill hole to neatrulize the gasoline fumes.

Use several cold wet rags around the paint to keep the heat from the welder on the tab and to keep it from radiating to the tank to burn the paint.

Good luck, but please research the above mentioned ways of purging the gasoline fumes from the tank, as there is alot of info on the net on that issue. I always use dry ice, but I have never had to try to save any paint.

Good Luck,

Sixball
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-29-2014, 12:06 PM
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Gas Tank weld

Thanks for the detailed replies guys! This is how I hope to fix it without ruining the tank. The guy who did the first re-weld has agreed to try again on his dime. I appreciate the advise and will pass on to the shop. Unfortunately my mechanical skills are uuuhhh limited.
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maraz View Post
Thanks for the detailed replies guys! This is how I hope to fix it without ruining the tank. The guy who did the first re-weld has agreed to try again on his dime. I appreciate the advise and will pass on to the shop. Unfortunately my mechanical skills are uuuhhh limited.
I will definitely let ya'll know how it goes--thanks again.
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Old 10-29-2014, 03:45 PM
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Go to Ebay or Google results for Sportster gas tanks.
You will see at least 3 versions of mount tabs welded to the different types of sportster gas tanks. Just choose one of those proven designs.

If you go online and look up the amount of DRY ICE. and test procedure to safely weld on a gas tank there is a lot of information. You can get dry ice from most real welding stores.
Link for you below.
Petroleum Equipment Forum - Tank Inerting

Last edited by donald branscom; 10-29-2014 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:43 PM
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honestly the way i have welded all my gas tanks regardless of fuel was a thorough dawn flush followed by a 100% water fill, i leave no room for air whatsoever and an open cap. ive never experienced flashes or pops using this method.
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