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Gas Tank Hole #592696
03/30/15 7:18 pm
03/30/15 7:18 pm
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 34
Golden, Colorado, USA
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tommy b Offline OP
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Golden, Colorado, USA
A long time ago I had someone braze the rear support bracket in my tank. I then painted the tank, trusting that the guy knew what he was doing. Ever since then I've always had a gas leak. I recently discovered a hole in the underside of the tank at the location of a braze. Why he brazed it there, I'll never know. I would like to seal up the hole. The tank hasn't had gas in it for over 25 years, so I'm not afraid of brazing it. I know that I could line the inside of the tank with something like POR 15, but I'd rather braze it shut and be done with it. Fortunately, the leak is on the under side of the tank so if I mess up the paint a little, it won't show. If I did braze it, I would surround the area with wet rags or heat absorbing paste to minimize the damage to the paint. I'm looking for opinions and suggestions as to how you would seal this leak and why you would choose this method. The hole is about 1/8" x 1/4" and is surrounded with braze metal. All input is appreciated. Here are a couple of pics to show what I'm talking about.

tommy b





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Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592726
03/30/15 11:06 pm
03/30/15 11:06 pm
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 140
California, USA
c caspary Offline

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California, USA
tommy b

Since the hole is already surrounded by brass from a previous repair, I would repair it by brazing again - proper preparation and heat control and it should never be a "leaker" again

A sealer could be used in the event that the repair weeps a little fuel, but the size of the hole is too large, imo, to trust a epoxy type resin sealer ( the only kind I am familiar with)

Get her done!

Charlie


66 TR6 MkIII Rickman
66 TR6 Scrambler
68 T120 Flat Tracker
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592751
03/31/15 3:35 am
03/31/15 3:35 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,096
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
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I'm with Charlie. With the contamination from the original repair any other form of welding will become so contaminated it will likely be porous. If you donít want to braze it you will likely need to cut the current repair out and graft a patch of fresh steel in.

Regards
Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: R Moulding] #592754
03/31/15 4:26 am
03/31/15 4:26 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,738
OZ
Triless Online content
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OZ
Years ago, I heard this story of some local likely lads touring on their Triumphs. At one overnight stop, one of the lads struck up a clise friendship with one of the lical girls.
A day later, he mentioned to one of the other blokes he had this burning sensation in his crutch area, and feated he had contracted a social disease.
Down the track a bit, one of his riding companions asked why the lothario was only filling his tank three quarters full.
Said lothario pointed to a pin hole leak in the rear of his tank, in line with............

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: Triless] #592759
03/31/15 6:05 am
03/31/15 6:05 am
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 554
Queensland, Australia
T
Tiger100 Offline
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Queensland, Australia
Oh that burning sensation


Regards

Grant
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592771
03/31/15 8:42 am
03/31/15 8:42 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
G
Ger B Offline
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NL
Quote:
leak in the rear of his tank, in line with

That's the worst excuse I ever heard for getting that sensation after "I got it from the dump seat"... laughing

Last edited by Ger B; 03/31/15 8:42 am.

Ger B

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592776
03/31/15 9:06 am
03/31/15 9:06 am
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 191
Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA
R
Rob Harper Offline
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Blue Ridge, Georgia, USA
there's a product called Marine Tek that is specifically for patching a gas tank. I used it with success on a Triumph tank

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592781
03/31/15 9:20 am
03/31/15 9:20 am
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,510
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Online content

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Grind off the existing braze flat.
You will not get rid of all the braze and this will contaminate the joint if you try to weld it.
So braze on a mild steel patch. You are fortunate in the position of the hole in that you can braze on a small patch above and around the hole and it will not show when on the bike.
But don't assume that all the fumes are out of the tank.
I have only seen one gas tank blow when a welded repair was being attempted--and it was not a pretty sight.
Use the old dodge we used when repairing a tank in the pits between races.
Take out the gas taps (cocks) and connect a piece of rubber hose from your car exhaust to the gas cap opening and run the car for ten minutes.
This gets rid of all the fumes and you can then braze away.
HTH

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: Tridentman] #592791
03/31/15 10:52 am
03/31/15 10:52 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,013
Running from demons in WNY
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The engine exhaust works...In fact the Russians during WW2 directed some engine exhaust into aircraft fuel tanks to make them less likely to flame when hit by bullets...
I weld/braze bike tanks often, did three repairs just last week. I drain the fuel,remove petcocks and use the shop vacuum on "blow" with a home made adapter to ft the tank filler opening. About 1/2 hour to dry up any fuel fumes.Usually let the tank air out overnight, then the next day blow with vacuum for 5 minutes....
Before any open flame or welding I have a propane hand torch on a 6 foot stick.. light it and wave it over the filler opening.. It won't blow but it might momentarily flare...no big deal if your body isn't over the opening.But after doing the described I never had a tank flare ....


I ride dinosaurs that eat money
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592798
03/31/15 12:21 pm
03/31/15 12:21 pm
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 34
Golden, Colorado, USA
T
tommy b Offline OP
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Golden, Colorado, USA
Thanks for all the responses. I believe I will use low pressure compressed air hooked to one of the petcocks to blow through the tank while brazing. I like the suggestion to use a torch on a 6 foot stick. Hillbilly Bike, what do you use to confine the heat to the repair area? I don't want to have to repaint the tank.


Be patient with yourself. Good judgement comes from experience - and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

Learn from others' mistakes - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592859
03/31/15 7:16 pm
03/31/15 7:16 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 126
Northern Ireland
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B31 Ally Offline
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Northern Ireland
tommy b, do not connect an air supply to the tank while attempting to braze it, you will be making a bomb which will go off as soon as a naked flame gets near it and believe you me I have seen my share of bombs from where im from. You need to connect an inert gas supply to the tank, not an air supply that has oxygen in it. The easiest method is to start a petrol engine and connect a hose from the exhaust into the tank, this means there is no oxygen in the tank after you have expelled it with exhaust gas so an explosion shouldn't take place. Notice I said shouldn't take place. Also please be aware then you will be working very close to a source of carbon monoxide gas which can kill if inhaled in in fair amounts.
This is the way I braze petrol tanks after drying them out for a day or two and I haven't had an explosion yet. In saying that I am still on edge when I am brazeing as I know its a petrol tank and that there is still a chance that it could explode.
Don't let these comments stop you from fixing your tank, I just want to make you aware of the possible traps you could fall into. Hope it works out well for you.

Last edited by B31 Ally; 03/31/15 7:17 pm.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592865
03/31/15 8:11 pm
03/31/15 8:11 pm
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 34
Golden, Colorado, USA
T
tommy b Offline OP
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Golden, Colorado, USA
Thanks for the tip. I'll be working outside so CO should not be a problem. I guess I just run a hose into the fill port on the tank and let the exhaust gas escape around the hose an through the fuel valve ports, right?

tommy b


Be patient with yourself. Good judgement comes from experience - and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

Learn from others' mistakes - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592876
03/31/15 9:45 pm
03/31/15 9:45 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,036
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
My father was a radiator and gas tank repairman. He filled the tanks with water and with a small bubble at the point where he was working, he could repair the hole and not be exposed to CO, or any chance of an explosion and it's much faster to finish the job.

Well, that's how the pro did it.

Could be a problem getting a small enough air bubble right where that hole is, though.

I used to tig weld holes like this in fenders and such. I could weld this one up is about ten seconds. I'm not a welder, either. Just part of my job at the time. I personally don't see a problem with the brass. Just grind it off and go for it.

Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #592891
04/01/15 1:02 am
04/01/15 1:02 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,096
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
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Christchurch NZ

Bill. If I may ask, I am just getting into TIG. With MIG no matter how much I tried to grind, sand, buff or otherwise tickle the surface the braze would somehow still come through, contaminate the weld and make it porous. Are you saying that you donít have the same issue with TIG or that it just doesnít cause the same problems?

Cheers
Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #593002
04/01/15 2:54 pm
04/01/15 2:54 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,036
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Online content
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Maui Hawaii
Rod,
It's just the way I think. If someone tells me that it's going to be a problem, I'll consider it.
But I will still likely try the easy way first to see if it will really be a problem. If it is a problem, then I'll have more respect for whoever told me first it was a problem.

I know, a bit tweaked, but you know what they say. Believe half of what you see and yadda yadda yadda....


Cheers,
Bill

I found MIG to be ten times harder to weld with than TIG. I got it done, but with much more grinding afterward....


B.


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: HawaiianTiger] #593005
04/01/15 3:13 pm
04/01/15 3:13 pm
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,013
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content
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Originally Posted By HawaiianTiger
My father was a radiator and gas tank repairman. He filled the tanks with water and with a small bubble at the point where he was working, he could repair the hole and not be exposed to CO, or any chance of an explosion and it's much faster to finish the job.

Well, that's how the pro did it.


Bill

And I've been told that filling the tank with water will concentrate remaining fumes,if any, increasing risk of an explosion.And the water will act to make far more powerful "shaped" charge..Like explosives stuck to a ship hull underwater...
Your dad did it all the time and never had a problem so who's correct?
I believe there's many ways to do it safely.. Shops today generally use an inert gas because they don't waste time air drying tanks and having them hanging around the shop...Just like what Tridentman did on the race track to save time...


I ride dinosaurs that eat money
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: Hillbilly bike] #593010
04/01/15 4:24 pm
04/01/15 4:24 pm
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 332
UK and michigan
M
malla1962 Offline
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Posts: 332
UK and michigan
If I were you I would grind it back a bit and braze a patch on it
but im not you and I have the use of mig ant tig sets so for me I would cut it out and weld a piece in to it.

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: Hillbilly bike] #593042
04/01/15 9:21 pm
04/01/15 9:21 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,036
Maui Hawaii
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Originally Posted By Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted By HawaiianTiger
My father was a radiator and gas tank repairman. He filled the tanks with water and with a small bubble at the point where he was working, he could repair the hole and not be exposed to CO, or any chance of an explosion and it's much faster to finish the job.

Well, that's how the pro did it.


Bill

And I've been told that filling the tank with water will concentrate remaining fumes,if any, increasing risk of an explosion.And the water will act to make far more powerful "shaped" charge..Like explosives stuck to a ship hull underwater...
Your dad did it all the time and never had a problem so who's correct?
I believe there's many ways to do it safely.. Shops today generally use an inert gas because they don't waste time air drying tanks and having them hanging around the shop...Just like what Tridentman did on the race track to save time...




Unfortunately, my father is not around to ask questions regarding this. I used to hang out at his shop and help out some. I never heard of any accident that he ever had. He must have had some in the 20+ years he had his shop, though.

Just human nature. We make mistakes. But, I will emphasize to everyone that extreme caution be utilized when working around gasoline. Not only is it explosive, it is extremely toxic. My father did have lead poisoning once from washing parts is gasoline with his bare hands...his tongue turned black and he suffered from dementia in later years.

But he was the expert, not me. So I'll have to guess that the air bubble must be of a maximum size to avoid explosion hazard.

But I've worked on gas tanks, too. I've never had an accident and I didn't resort to any other technique other than rinsing the tank out and letting it dry first. I would run a torch over the open mouth of the tank before welding or brazing. I would occasionally get a fooomp sound when some residual fumes ignited but I cannot imagine how a tank could explode unless there is substantial gasoline left in it and subsequent fumes allowed to accumulate. Also with the petcocks out and the cap off, the conditions for an explosion are mitigated to a large extent.


This is all the safety procedures I used. I'm careful, not lucky.

I'll have to take others' words for it that they've seen a Triumph tank explode unexpectedly with the cap and petcocks off....

Cheers,

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: HawaiianTiger] #593044
04/01/15 9:31 pm
04/01/15 9:31 pm
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,849
Bishop, Calif.
D
desco Online content
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Posts: 2,849
Bishop, Calif.
Moral of story;
Let some one else do it.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: HawaiianTiger] #593045
04/01/15 9:44 pm
04/01/15 9:44 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,429
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline

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ohio, usa
Originally Posted By HawaiianTiger
My father did have lead poisoning once from washing parts is gasoline with his bare hands...his tongue turned black and he suffered from dementia in later years.


i hate it when you point out things like this. i'm running 100 percent diesel in my parts washer right now.


"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: HawaiianTiger] #593061
04/01/15 11:54 pm
04/01/15 11:54 pm
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,549
Vic. Australia
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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Vic. Australia
Originally Posted By HawaiianTiger
But, I will emphasize to everyone that extreme caution be utilized when working around gasoline. Not only is it explosive, it is extremely toxic. My father did have lead poisoning once from washing parts is gasoline with his bare hands...his tongue turned black and he suffered from dementia in later years.

Also be aware that unleaded fuel is more toxic than leaded. The leaded could give lead poisoning from skin contact (not from breathing exhaust fumes), but that's curable. The unleaded is full of benzenes and other VOCs, that are carcinogenic (in some countries 40% of the fuel volume). They're still working on a bandaid that cures cancer.
In Australia,after introduction of unleaded, the detection rate of cancers rose 30% in 10 years. Skin contact is the worst,even contact with used engine oil. Breathing unburnt fumes comes second, and then exhaust fumes from any engine that doesn't have a fully hot catalytic converter (takes about 5 minutes, but can cool of while idling).

Apparently fluoride is more toxic than lead, but they put that in the water supply (and almost 90% of it in other things you'll eat).

Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #593063
04/02/15 1:41 am
04/02/15 1:41 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,096
Christchurch NZ
R Moulding Offline
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Cheers Bill. I have a similar attitude was just curious. I've used MIG for 20 odd years and can stitch together many things most people shrug off as scrap. I decided to give TIG a try due to MIG making the repair to hard to work afterwards. Thus far results are acceptable but more practise required!

Never had a problem with gas causing tanks to go bang. Closest I came was after checking for leaks after welding. I wanted a liquid that would creep so opted for a little brake cleaner. After finding a pin hole I blew the tank through with compressed to evaporate the brake cleaner, I then left it a while I had a Beer. Soon as I struck an Arc with the MIG the tank went BANG and jumped best part of three feet! I then went for another Beer.

Regards
Rod


So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: HawaiianTiger] #593073
04/02/15 6:02 am
04/02/15 6:02 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,013
Running from demons in WNY
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Originally Posted By HawaiianTiger
rd.

But I've worked on gas tanks, too. I've never had an accident and I didn't resort to any other technique other than rinsing the tank out and letting it dry first. I would run a torch over the open mouth of the tank before welding or brazing. I would occasionally get a fooomp sound when some residual fumes ignited but I cannot imagine how a tank could explode unless there is substantial gasoline left in it and subsequent fumes allowed to accumulate. Also with the petcocks out and the cap off, the conditions for an explosion are mitigated to a large extent.


This is all the safety procedures I used. I'm careful, not lucky.

I'll have to take others' words for it that they've seen a Triumph tank explode unexpectedly with the cap and petcocks off....

Cheers,

Bill


So we're doing the same precautions more or less. Automotive tanks are more dangerous because of larger size and more nooks and cranny's.
I suppose you can have someone else do the repair and possibly get run over by a bus walking out of the shop.
I worked big construction as a career and it was always dangerous. One moment of inattention or failure to do a certain precautions and out go the lights..
I worked on live 240 volts bare handed in most situations...But I won't bungee jump....It's all about the individual's comfort level.


I ride dinosaurs that eat money
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #593102
04/02/15 10:57 am
04/02/15 10:57 am
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 34
Golden, Colorado, USA
T
tommy b Offline OP
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Posts: 34
Golden, Colorado, USA
Great responses, guys! I had a friend (25 years ago) weld a crack on this tank where the rear tab attaches to the tank. We stood the tank on its nose, filled it with water to just below where he was going to weld, passed a torch over the petcock hole then welded away. I believe that when you fill the tank almost completely full of water, you displace the gas fumes, you don't compress all of them that were there when you started, so you minimize the danger of an explosion. Notice I said minimize, not eliminate. You definitely have to be careful. I agree with Hillbilly bike's reasoning that automotive tanks are more dangerous because of their larger size. The reasoning of blowing air or exhaust fumes through the tank while welding is to prevent the fumes in the tank from reaching an explosive concentration. It will only explode in a certain range of mixture. The problem I see with using exhaust fumes is the if the vehicle is running rich (incomplete combustion), you're adding combustible fumes to the tank. With straight air added, I think you have a better chance of making the mixture over lean for an explosion to occur. The reason I want to braze it instead of welding is, like someone mentioned, contamination of the repair area with previous braze material. I think the best way to do this job is to lay a small patch of steel over the hole and braze it to the brass that's already there rather than trying to fill the hole by building up the brass around the edges of the hole. Any comments or opinions on this? I really enjoy posting on this forum because I get a wide range of opinions which helps me make a decision as to how I will proceed. Hillbilly bike, I agree. It's all about one's comfort level. I won't bungee jump, either. Nor will I work on live 240 volt systems.Thanks again for all the comments.

tommy b


Be patient with yourself. Good judgement comes from experience - and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

Learn from others' mistakes - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Re: Gas Tank Hole [Re: tommy b] #593103
04/02/15 11:06 am
04/02/15 11:06 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,552
Scotland
kommando Offline
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Quote:
The problem I see with using exhaust fumes is the if the vehicle is running rich (incomplete combustion), you're adding combustible fumes to the tank. With straight air added, I think you have a better chance of making the mixture over lean for an explosion to occur.


Its not just the fuel you are trying to reduce but also the oxygen, even a rich exhaust mixture will have the 20% oxygen reduced considerably. You need fuel,ignition source and oxygen for fire or explosion, eliminate one and it can't happen, two is better.

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