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R.E. tank restoration question
#769354 03/27/19 2:48 am
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I am currently restoring a 1966 Royal Enfield Interceptor from the ground up, and I am at the point where I am going to send the tank off for paint while working on other sections. I wanted to remove any rust and seal the inside of the tank prior to having it painted.

My question is, for light interior rust inside the tank, and to seal the tank for future use, what is everyone using? The man that is going to paint the tank suggested using Kreem which comes in a kit to prep and seal it, but I noticed the reviews on it seem to be less than stellar.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Restoring 1966 Royal Enfield Interceptor 750. Looking for parts!
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Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769385 03/27/19 2:10 pm
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I'll tell you what I've been doing for over 10 years. Go to Home Depot, Lowes, whatever and get yourself a couple of gallons of Kleen Strip metal/concrete prep. fill the tank with it and let it sit a day or two. drain it out and flush it out with plain water then dry the tank out with compressed air and maybe a little heat from a heat gun or hair dryer paying attention to the seams to get the water out. Repeat until all you see is clean slightly gray looking metal.Then paint the tank and use it! Kreen is absolute crap, don't use it for anything. I can't tell you how many tanks I've had to strip failed liner out of, not a fun job! I've got two tanks of my own that I did with the described method and they have remained rust free for 10 years or more. I have many customer bikes out there that I treated the same way, no comebacks at this point. i wouldn't consider lining a tank unless, maybe, it had leaking seams and even then you're much better off soldering the seams or using brass. Most of the failed ones I've had to repair were due to not getting all the rust out in the first place, some simply applied over the rust. That is a guaranteed failure waiting to happen! I have used Caswells in extreme cases and on fibreglass tanks with good success, again being sure the inside of the tank is absolutely clean! That's my method and my experience.
HTH
Don R.


71 Rocket 3
72 B50 MX
66-71 A 65 Bitsa
96 Trident 900
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
D.W.R. #769388 03/27/19 2:48 pm
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I agree with D.W.R.

Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769408 03/27/19 6:26 pm
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OK, well, that's two for the Kleen Strip. To coincide with what you're saying, most of the negative reviews regarding the Kreem kits did mention having the liner flake off and clogging the carbs, etc.

Just to be sure I'm on the same page, would this be the same product you're using?

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Restoring 1966 Royal Enfield Interceptor 750. Looking for parts!
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769415 03/27/19 8:09 pm
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Plus another one for DWr's recommendation. I don't know if the product in your photo is what DWR used. But that is what I would use - a phosphoric acid base metal cleaner. It converts iron oxide (rust) to iron phosphate - which is more or less inert, and won't continue to rust.

In the past - several times I have used water and gravel to break down the rust. Others use small nuts and bolts. Slosh it around til the rust is worn down then flush well and dry well. Then use the metal prep.
Al


Al Eckstadt
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769416 03/27/19 8:17 pm
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Ross Thompson did my S ll tank.
He has at least 40 years experience,and his work is second to none.
He uses POR-15 exclusively.


1969 BSA A65T w/A70 engine
1970 Royal Enfield Interceptor S ll
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769421 03/27/19 8:38 pm
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If the tank only has surface rust with no hint of pinholes, I would chemically remove the rust and not use any liner. But pressure test it first (only a couple of psi)
Liner can fail and is horrible to remove . Use it as a last resort

Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769435 03/28/19 1:33 am
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In the auto body repair business, phosphoric acid was known as "metal prep," and was used for a final wipe on steel parts before spraying primer. It was used to dissolve any remaining rust that might be hiding in pin holes in the metal.

In our shop we kept a plastic bucket with a lid, containing a solution of phosphoric acid diluted with water.
When we sandblasted small motorcycle parts we would then soak them overnight in that bucket.
The next morning the parts would be removed and dried with a light grey coating of the solution, ready for primer.

NOTE: springs would NOT be put in that solution, because something in the steel used for springs would be
DISSOLVED by the phosphoric acid.

Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769441 03/28/19 2:58 am
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You should have the early style tank and not the little chrome peanut. This is good, the chrome peanut has the thinnest shell of any Britbike fuel tank I have ever seen. Your tank has thicker metal.
First you need to neutralize the rusty interior. A couple of handfuls of bigger nuts and bolts well shaken and flushed with old petrol will get the loose scale out. Then fill the tank with phosphoric acid available from a pool supply place. This is dangerous stuff. Work outside, rubber gloves, protective clothing and face shield are recommended. Don’t inhale the vapours! You need to let it sit for little while then carefully strain the acid back into its original container. You can use it again on any rusty steel.
The rusty interior will turn into a hard black surface.
Next comes the sealer. Both Creme and Por15 always come off after a few years. I used Caswells two part epoxy sealer on the aforementioned chrome peanut on my Series 2 Interceptor about 10 years ago. Did the job on a tank that had a bunch of tiny pinholes in the bottom and would “sweat” fuel all over the engine.
Check it out. https://www.caswellplating.com/epoxy-gas-tank-sealer.html
Good luck
Don


1965 Royal Enfield Interceptor
1969 Triumph Tiger 650
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
Keane Lucas #769454 03/28/19 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by Keane Lucas
Ross Thompson did my S ll tank.
He has at least 40 years experience,and his work is second to none.
He uses POR-15 exclusively.

Unfortunately for us, Ross has retired.

http://www.execulink.com/~rosst/

Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769466 03/28/19 11:45 am
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Phosphoric acid converts the outer layer of Iron to Iron phosphate, unlike iron oxide this phosphate is a similar density to Iron so acts as a mild anti rust layer, rust has a lower density and promotes more rusting. Iron phosphate is not as effective as Aluminium oxide but every little bit helps.

Kleen strip sounds like muriatic acid which is dilute hydrochloric acid, removes rust but does not leave a protective layer so rust blooms can quickly appear.

Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769475 03/28/19 2:39 pm
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Rufusneckbone, yes that is the stuff! Kommando, Kleen Strip is phosphoric and does exactly as advertised as far as a phosphate coating layer. To all, yes it can be used over and over if strained and it absolutely will eat spring steel for some reason, I'll leave that to the metallurgists.I worked in the automotive body business over 45 years so this process is nothing new to me, just passing on what I learned in all that time. As mentioned, if you have a bunch of rust through pin holes you don't have much choice but to line the tank. If, however you can clean the rust out completely and leave a phosphate coating why on earth would anyone apply a sealer that may someday put you in a worse position than you were in to begin with! Before someone says it (I know they're thinking it), you DO NOT need to "neutralize" the acid with baking soda or whatever, it may actually be counterproductive to the phosphate coating. One other thing I want to address is "turning the rust black", there are products out there that claim to turn rust into a black primer type substance, that's not what Kleen Strip does. It completely eats the rust away and all you have left is a gray colored bare metal with a phosphate component etched into the surface.I hope this clears up some issues/questions.
Don R.


71 Rocket 3
72 B50 MX
66-71 A 65 Bitsa
96 Trident 900
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769525 03/29/19 4:05 am
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Thanks everyone for all the info. Thus far I had been using Krud Kutter on any small nuts and bolts as I removed them. I believe it has a mixture of phosphoric acid, and has done wonders for eating the rust off of the smaller parts that hadn’t been totally pitted and eaten up with rust. I am trying to clean and re-use as many fasteners as possible, since they tend to add a lot of extra cost to those Hitchcock’s orders.

I will try to use the Klean Strip this weekend along with some added scrap fasteners to knock the scales loose. I figure after that is said and done, any pin holes should make themselves known, and I can assess the need for a lining then.

Thanks again for everyone’s help. I am very thankful I found this site. I am going to have a ton of questions while I try to get this beast back on the road.


Restoring 1966 Royal Enfield Interceptor 750. Looking for parts!
Re: R.E. tank restoration question
rufusneckbone #769533 03/29/19 12:00 pm
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My home market tank, bought off e-bay, went through cleaning and pressure testing and painting. Then it leaked at the low point on the left side.

In the future, if I'm using an old tank of unknown history, I'll give it the old ball peen hammer test as used on air compressor tank bottoms.

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Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.

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