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-   -   How to build a Sportster gas tank for dummies....and cheapskates. (

JC 03-27-2010 08:44 PM

Damn Ron love the tools, and that's a method I've never seen before. That's the great thing about metal work, everyone has there own methods. Was I reading right that u welded from the inside?

oilburner 03-27-2010 08:49 PM

Dude, that is great! never thought of building the sides the way you did, that pattern rocks. This truly is a great way for someone without all the equipment to still build a tank. Great job so far! (and thanks for the compliment). Mark.

vision 03-27-2010 09:52 PM

Mark- No need for thanks your tutorial is a service to this forum and really explains the theory. All I am doing is showing how to put that into practice with minimal machinery and the least amount of shaping possible.

JC- Yea I weld on the inside when it is possible because later I will make the final passes on the outside but this allows me to lay in more metal. And JC PLEASE steal this idea or any other because I am going to steal all sorts of ideas from your bikes on this build and if you took something from what we do it would just be closer to fair :cool:

Now this step is totally optional but it does give the tank a bit of an (God I hate use the term but) ..."Old School" flavor to it. This is kind of a tribute to the guys that were Hot Rodding gas tanks when I was knee high to a grasshopper and stil looks damn cool to me.

vision 03-27-2010 09:58 PM

I am gonna have to wait a bit on the pattern because I was damn near the point of beating my keyboad to bits trying to resize it to print the right size. Here is what I got now and if you make this print out with the top piece being 16 5/8th (or so) inches long then your a better man then I.

vision 03-27-2010 10:21 PM

OK dishing complete and we pretty much know how this tank is gonna look now. The next step is fitment and in my case I am trying to get this sucker to fit on of all things....A 2004 Sportster. The backbone is almost 3 inches wide and it uses a hard-mount set-up so none of my normal jigs are going to work....Thats why they call it custom eh?

vision 03-27-2010 11:12 PM

Just a side note here to anyone who is doing this at home and has seen the TV shows where they act as if the tank is going to be sprayed directly with paint. Guys do your best on the body work. It takes some time but the more you do it the better and quicker you get. You dont need to make the tank feel like glass on the outside but this example shows you what plays on some production bikes.

*getting up on my soapbox now*
This tank was made by splitting a Chinese Sporty tank in half then wrapping sheet metal around it to extend the tank then welding it back up. If the maker could be bothered to do a little bit of hand pounding this 1/4 inch (almost 3/8ths in some spots) thick layer of bondo could be reduced to a thin film. The main problem here was not that the tank maker wasn't good enough (I know for a fact he was) but my guess is that the company that put in the order wanted em fast and wanted em cheap and this was the only way he could do it and still make money. Don't fall into the "well fix it with bondo" trap. If you are making this yourself and you get this far then put in the time it takes to get your tank the way you want it in metal.
-Rant over-

vision 03-28-2010 01:18 AM

So getting back to business the next step is to burn in the cap bung. Easiest to do it now when you have access from both sides.

vision 03-28-2010 01:21 AM

Then flip it over an put in a bottom. I like to make them in one piece and then cut out for the tunnel because it makes tunnel installation a bit easier.

vision 03-28-2010 01:26 AM

Next we check tunnel depth. This one is going to be a "frisco" where the tank almost just sits on the backbone.

vision 03-28-2010 03:59 AM

Didn't get the mounting done like I hoped but getting pretty close. Tomorrow hopefully I get these mounts finished, drop a petcock and crossovers in, test the tank and finish off this thread and then start on my seat. An engine and carb (thanks UKLee) are already both on the way :3dSMILE:

pop 28 03-28-2010 04:04 AM

nice work... i appreciate the schooling... this is what i enjoy about this site, the tech

->Bullet<- 03-28-2010 04:13 AM


Barefoot Choppa 03-28-2010 06:07 AM

Pretty cool Vision:cool:......guess this is right up my alley since I was recently called a dumb-ass.:rolleyes:

JC 03-28-2010 08:22 AM

Not worried about it my friend, I'm glad you like my work well enough to imitate. It's an honor.

Hey and by the way there is no "dummy" in tank building.

vision 03-29-2010 04:58 AM

Ok so remember when I said even a moron like me could do this? Well the caveat to that is that sometime even a relativity simple bracket takes us several tries before we come up with something that even works. I was originally going to make a really cool looking bracket here but as the frustration started mounting and the scrap pile growing I retreated and decided to re-think it over a beer. The result (4 beers later) was me just deciding to make something that would work and worry about aesthetics later.

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