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Indian gas tank saga #780836 08/07/19 5:55 pm
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MarcB Online Content OP
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After much deliberation and feedback from the forum, I broke down and ordered a UK-spec tank for my Spitfire from Royal Chopper out of New Delhi, India. This particular vendor has a decent reputation and, at $240 USD, the price was right. Shipping was and extra $100 USD but it arrived via DHL in 3 days. Communication from Royal Chopper (sorry, I don't know his actual name) was top notch and total time between money sent and tank received was 31 days.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Because of the horror stories about these made-in-india tanks, I had two requirements: 1) not painted, and 2) not chromed. This way, I can drop it off at my local welder to have it pressure tested and have any leaks fixed ahead of time. I'm expecting there will be some work to do and likely a few fitment issues, but I will post more as I make progress.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

So far, it seems like a decent product, thought I haven't held is side-by-side with the fiberglass tank to compare dimensions.

More to come...

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Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780844 08/07/19 7:42 pm
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Irish Swede Offline
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Alky in the gas won't phase THIS one.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780848 08/07/19 9:10 pm
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raf940 Offline
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hope it works out I would like a chrome sided tank for my 68 A65 but saw a bike for sale with a tank from Punjabbia and said chrome had 'fallen off'


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando
2 olive drab WWII military bicycle replicas
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780851 08/07/19 9:19 pm
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Allan Gill Offline
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You could buy it like this one and have it chromed locally.


beerchug
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780861 08/07/19 10:38 pm
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NickL Online Content
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Getting chrome plating done in the civilised world has become stupidly expensive.
It would probably cost twice the price of the tank.
The chrome on my indian made tank is fine, should've let them do it.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780910 08/08/19 11:56 am
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MarcB Online Content OP
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I mounted the tank to the frame last night and here is what I've found far regarding the fit:

  • The width of the tunnel exit at the front is about 1" narrower than the glass tank. If I press the front of the tank too low, it grabs on to the gusset at the neck of the frame. It's not too narrow to fit the throttle cables and wiring harness, but it's close. I think I'll gain a bit more gap after I fix the next issue.
  • On an original tank, the tunnel is not a flat plane end-to-end. It's flat until about 6" from the front (where it meets the neck of the frame), and then it kicks up to meet the top of the tank. The India tank is flat front to back, meaning that the front of the tank actually sits too low using the stock rubber piece. I'll have to find a taller rubber or make one to compensate.


Otherwise, fit is good.

One other difference that doesn't impact the usability is that the tank is flatter on top, so measurement from left to right side is actually about 1" shorter than original. This isn't noticeable unless you have a tape measure in hand, or look at the tanks side-by-side. It does mean the center bolt is pretty close to the top and may need to be shortened, though it's unlikely once I can get the front of the tank a bit higher.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #780923 08/08/19 3:10 pm
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Danam Online Content
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I wanted to share my experiences with purchasing an India made tank. I purchased a chromed steel, 2 gallon tank in the A65 Hornet style. I paid $175 + $100 shipping from Royal Choppers on eBay, this includes two fuel taps and a gas cap. I think this is a great price after seeing the rusted, dented tanks going for $300 on eBay. They told me to expect shipment about two months. At about week 4 I received an email with photos of my completed tank, then received the tank a week later. The chrome finish looks great, the welding underneath looks hand made-which it is. The fuel taps they included are just crap, don't even bother. The gas cap is used OEM, and will work. The fitment is where most people are concerned, it doesn't fit perfectly. The two studs underneath are supposed to line up with the tank bracket, they are too short and not in the right spot. I will need to grind them off (just two standard bolts really) and weld longer ones in the correct location. The tunnel is too narrow at the top and does not allow the tank to sit as far down as it should with the rubber pads, I will need to cut the pads down. It looks like they used some kind of sealant inside, but I will seal it again with POR15. Over all I think this tank looks great on the bike, I will get the fitment sorted and hopefully it will not leak, I would not advise purchasing one if you are looking for a concourse resto, or if you want a plug & play part. You will need to make some adjustments. I believe this is acceptable with the price I paid, you will not find a cheaper replica tank that doesn't require some mods.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781047 08/09/19 10:44 pm
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Have you sent a message to the tank's builder to correct these problems?
He may want to know this to make corrections, to prevent future customer complaints.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Irish Swede] #781053 08/10/19 12:01 am
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Jon W. Whitley Online Content
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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
Have you sent a message to the tank's builder to correct these problems?
He may want to know this to make corrections, to prevent future customer complaints.


Excellent call !!


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781085 08/10/19 9:01 am
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Its my understanding that the Indian made tanks that are available now are much better quality than when they first appeared on the market. I have heard accounts of many people being very happy with them.

I bought an Indian made tank for my Triumph about 10 years ago and ended up not using it due to some quality issues. I could have had these issues fixed but opted to find an original tank instead. The trouble I had was that an original tank for my bike (1938 & 39 only) was stupidly expensive when I eventually found one. That original tank also had lots of issues which I had to fix. In the end I spent way more on the original tank and fixing it than I would have done on the Indian tank and fixing that.

The point I am making is that its worth doing the maths on original vs replica.

None of this will matter if you need or want original but for some it might make sense.

I look forward to seeing how this tank works out.

John

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781457 08/14/19 5:20 pm
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MarcB Online Content OP
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Initial report from the welder is that the tank pressure tested fine and no leaks were found. No additional welding necessary.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781472 08/14/19 8:35 pm
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Does the tank have sealer in it? If it does it does not mean the tank was welded properly. It could mean that the sealer was put in as a shortcut and if the sealer breaks down the tank will leak. I would have required them to deliver a tank with no sealer and no leaks.


I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
1967 BSA A65 West Coast Hornet (under rstoration)
2001 Kawasaki W650
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Spitfire Ken] #781499 08/15/19 2:02 am
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Danam Online Content
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These guys are using grey paint inside that only looks like sealant. I put gas in and it shriveled up immediately, revealing a totally rusty inetrior. I know I left somewhat positive comments above, but I've decided that the tanks are garbage. I can't use POR 15 now because I can't get what ever they put in there out.

Last edited by Danam; 08/15/19 2:04 am.
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Spitfire Ken] #781528 08/15/19 12:10 pm
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MarcB Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Spitfire Ken
Does the tank have sealer in it? If it does it does not mean the tank was welded properly. It could mean that the sealer was put in as a shortcut and if the sealer breaks down the tank will leak. I would have required them to deliver a tank with no sealer and no leaks.

No, no sealer. The only thing I saw inside was overspray from when they primed the outside. I'm planning on running some Phosphoric acid (Klean Strip) inside to neutralize any rust and prep it for gas. I'll try and get pictures of the inside once that's done.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781536 08/15/19 2:42 pm
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I just received my A65 single carb 4 gallon tank from Royal Choppers. So far they have great communicators. I wantEd the tank chromed no paint. They masked off the chrome scuffed the area to be painted and add red primer and grey primer. The inside had what I think is grey primer which I am removing prior to caseload lining

Total cost was $300

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Richard Phillips] #781537 08/15/19 2:48 pm
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I’m using a mix of mineral spirits 75% and 25% lacquer thiner to remove what I think is primer. Also tossed in some deck screws. I’ll etch the metal and add caswel.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Richard Phillips] #781563 08/15/19 7:10 pm
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Danam Online Content
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I tried to explain to them why it would be better not to treat the interior at all, than to have some weak paint covering up rust. I ca't convert the rust if it's painted. (They denied the rust was under the paint). Richard Phillips, perhaps you should start the process with gasoline, that will dissolve it.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781583 08/15/19 10:32 pm
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raf940 Offline
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if you do not get every molecule and i mean molecule of rust gone via blasting and acid wash then in a few months after beautiful final paint is applied the paint will start bubbling up ….I know from experience


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando
2 olive drab WWII military bicycle replicas
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781647 08/16/19 3:08 pm
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Richard Phillips Offline
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I sent RC a note. They said it was red oxide but it’s not it’s grey primer.
I have 90% of the internal paint removed. I see surface rust. I’ll put gas in the tank to see what happens to get the rest of the paint out. Then wash with soapy water and some flexible brushes..
Next phosphorous acid rinse with baking soda. Clean again with hot soapy water. Then Caswell.
A lotta work that I didn’t expect. Very messy.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781649 08/16/19 3:50 pm
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Richard Phillips Offline
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I sent a note explaining I wanted to give constructive criticism about grey paint and how it has to be removed. The surface rust may be the metal composition or if they are using copper in the process the must block any entrance to the tank and fill the tank with water to sink it.
Also let them know this was to help them succeed.

Marc I suggest yo get all the paint out prior to acid etch. The acid remove the paint.

I have a scope I want to look inside my tanke. I might be able to photograph it through my cellphone camera

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: Danam] #781711 Yesterday at 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Danam
I tried to explain to them why it would be better not to treat the interior at all, than to have some weak paint covering up rust. I ca't convert the rust if it's painted. (They denied the rust was under the paint). Richard Phillips, perhaps you should start the process with gasoline, that will dissolve it.


There is a better than average chance that the grey inside your tank was the finish on the inside of the 44 gallon drum it was made from.
If you think they are hand beaten from virgin deep drawing steel you are sadly mistaken.
Same story for a lot of the mudguards.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: BSA_WM20] #781732 Yesterday at 12:48 PM
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Richard Phillips Offline
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There is no way the painted material of the so called fifty gallon drum could survive the plating process.
RC claims they use fresh sheets of metal in their triple plated parts. I would like to know how one would use a fifty gallon drum to build a fuel tank painted or otherwise. In order to weld you must have ultra clean metal. Examining the interior the welds are also coated.
The copper is extremely corrosive. I suspect they are submerging the tanks in the copper with out filling the tank with water and plugging the holes to weigh them down in the process.
I was in the chrome plating business for ten years. Many replayers did not use copper for motorcycle fuel tanks for that reason.
I think the fifty gallon material is a myth or perhaps the drums are melted down as recycle metal.

My tank is now cleaned an ready acid etch. The process of removing the coating was very messy.

Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: MarcB] #781795 Yesterday at 11:22 PM
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NickL Online Content
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You blokes are a fussy lot,when my indian tank arrived, i just fitted it, filled it with fuel and rode the bike.
It's a beezer, not a swiss watch.

Last edited by NickL; Yesterday at 11:22 PM.
Re: Indian gas tank saga [Re: NickL] #781802 4 hours ago
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MarcB Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by NickL
You blokes are a fussy lot,when my indian tank arrived, i just fitted it, filled it with fuel and rode the bike.
It's a beezer, not a swiss watch.

The main issue is the guys who got the bad tanks squawk a lot louder that those, like you, who've had no issues. Skews the impressions toward more bad than good.

So far, everything I've heard about these tanks regarding poor workmanship doesn't apply to the part I've received. Fit was a bit off but it appears that they build the fiberglass replicas with the same tunnel as the steel ones, so using the 2 gallon steel tank rubbers instead of the original shorter ones will work fine for me.

Very happy with the product. Prepping for paint next.


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