How To Remove Rust From Motorcycle Gas Tank With Vinegar – Here’s how to easily clean a rusted fuel tank using electrolysis. The key ingredient in this recipe is time to let the battery and solution work on the rust.
So you just found a great bike project! The good news is that the tank isn’t a rusty nightmare full of holes, dents and bad repairs, but the bad news is that there is rust inside. It’s a bike that’s been sitting for a while, so even if you wish it hadn’t, you’re not exactly surprised by what you find. What are you doing ?
How To Remove Rust From Motorcycle Gas Tank With Vinegar
It’s exactly this type of situation that the Brick House Builds YouTube channel covers with this very handy how-to video. In it, BJ from BHB walks us through the process of using electrolysis to safely remove rust from the inside of a Honda CB750 fuel tank.
Motorcycle Gas Tanks
The list of required parts is simple. It uses a bicycle battery (a car battery would also work), clamps, a piece of round steel bar as a sacrificial anode, a modified plastic paint spray cap to hold the anode in place without letting it touch the tank metal, hot water and sodium carbonate. The most important part, however, is simply the timing. (You’ll probably also want a battery charger to keep your chosen battery charged throughout the process.)
Electrolysis is effective, but you won’t see serious results for at least 24 hours, and maybe even longer. Above all, you must be patient. Since the amount of rust varies from part to part, you should also be aware that you may need to use more than one round of the soda solution to safely remove all the rust from the steel part.
Fortunately, as BJ mentions, sodium carbonate, which is sold for swimming pools as a “pH booster”, is quite cheap. Plus, you’ll only need about a cup of baking soda for every five gallon bucket of hot water, if you follow BJ’s recipe. If you already have a spare bike or car battery as well as clamps, the most expensive part of this deal is probably your time. If you’re spending it doing other things (like working on other parts of your project), then that’s probably fine.
Then you just need to run a lot of water through the tank to rinse everything. After you’re done flushing, if you don’t plan on putting fuel in the tank right away, you can use something like fogging oil to prevent rust. All in all, it’s a pretty simple process and you might find yourself using it a lot if you decide you like working on project bikes. . But the problem of motorcycle fuel tanks rusting is a story as old as the motorcycle itself. Much like old cars, old tanks seem to have a character that newer gas tanks just don’t have anymore, making them even more desirable to save and reuse in any build. Personally, I tend to pick them up from the garage and inevitably use them on a build or donate them to a friend’s build.
How To Remove Rust From A Fuel Tank With Electrolysis
But before we start talking about how to save your favorite old gas tank, you need to make sure it’s worth saving. Some tanks may be rusted or have so much damage that it’s probably best to rehab them and turn them into garage art. That said, if you have the right set of amazing skills, you can save almost any tank. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. For this particular exercise, we will focus on how to salvage tanks that have common surface rust and corrosion inside the tank that needs to be repaired to prevent sludge from entering your carburetor or to stop further deterioration of the tank. So a quick inspection of the tank should reveal the extent of the damage. Is rust seeping through the tank and causing a potential leak? Are there cracks in the seams or welds? Once you determine if the tank is salvageable, we can move on to salvage.
So now we can start the rust removal process. I immediately plan to replace the valve and gas cap as part of the restoration. Partly because if the tank is bad, so are they, and partly because this next part could potentially damage the fuel valve and cap. You will need about two feet of dog chain, nothing heavy, just a light twisted chain that you can buy at a hardware store for a few bucks. The next thing you will need is a few liters of apple cider vinegar. Depending on the size of your tank you may need more or less, basically I like that I can fill the tank about 3/4 full.
Old motorcycle fuel tanks are cool and have character, but you’ll have to find out if they can be salvaged or not.
To begin, turn off the faucet, pour in about a liter of apple cider vinegar and lower the dog chain. Put the lid back on, play some of your favorite workout music, and start shaking. Shake it quite vigorously for a few minutes, turning it upside down and turning it in different directions. Open the cap and discard any large flakes you may have knocked out. With a flashlight, do a quick visual inspection, if you can see more pieces that can be detached with a good thump, pour some more into the container and shake it again for a few minutes. After you’ve eliminated all your pent-up aggression by shaking the crap out of the tank, retrieve your chain from the tank through the gas cap. If you have trouble with that, a magnet is your friend. I’d like to take a minute here to address some silly information I’ve seen floating around the interwebs – DO NOT USE GRAVEL OR LOOSE NUTS AND BOLTS. I’ve seen people recommend using things like gravel and loose tackle, but unless you have a few free hours to kill trying to get tiny latches and bits of gravel out of your tank, stick to the chain, it’ll save you loads of time.
Diy Tips On Removing Rust From A Motorcycle Gas Tank
The next part requires a lot less work. Fill the container (at least 3/4) with apple cider vinegar and leave it for at least 24 hours. Two days is better if you have the time and increase it occasionally. You don’t need to shake it like before, just roll it up. After 48 hours of soaking, simply squeeze out all the unpleasant liquid. To ensure that the tank gets nice and clean and to neutralize the vinegar, there is one last step you need to do. Take a gallon of distilled water, add about half a can of baking soda and rinse the tank thoroughly. At this point, it is a good idea to blow the inside of the tank with compressed air to speed up the drying of the tank.
At this point the tank should be in very good condition, but it could rust as it is an untreated metal surface. At this point, I highly recommend sealing the tank with a tank sealing kit to prevent rust and keep the interior of the tank looking good for years to come. This is also the best time to replace the valve and fuel cap. More than likely they are also in bad shape if the tank is. All in all it’s a pretty simple process, just take your time and get to work on these bikes.
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Learn How To Clean Your Rusty Old Tank The Cheap And Easy Way With Common Motor
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If the classic motorcycle you are rebuilding has been sitting for a long time, chances are there is rust in the gas tank.
But given the limited access and awkward nooks/cracks inside an old motorcycle’s fuel tank, some are easier than others.
One of the easiest methods is electrolytic rust removal, especially for removing rust from inside gas tanks.
Gas Tank Sealer
For automatic chargers you will need to route your connections from one battery to the tank. Hand loaders can be connected directly to the container. Click to enlarge.
Hang the sacrificial anode in the container so that it does not touch the sides (tennis balls are useful
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