No vehicles can last forever. When you buy a car, you will inevitably have to take it in for repairs, whether it be due to a fender bender or worn out tires. The same is true for a motorcycle. On this two-wheeled vehicle, the part that is most easily damaged is the fuel tank. If you are not careful with your motorbike, you may end up puncturing or tearing it long before it is supposed to wear out.
If you want to avoid an accident, it’s crucial for you to take your bike into the shop at the first sign of fuel tank leaks. Leaving it unattended means that your bike becomes a fire hazard, endangering you and everyone else in the area.
One thing that you should know is that the cost of a fuel tank repair is often hundreds of dollars, sometimes comparable to buying a brand-new tank. If you have basic motorbike maintenance skills, you can opt to save that money and repair your fuel tank yourself. Here are the steps that you will have to follow to fix a leaky fuel tank:
1. Empty the fuel tank
Before you get your hands dirty, it is crucial for you to empty the fuel tank completely. When you drain the fuel, it’s best to put it into a gasoline container. This way, you can pour it back into your tank after it has been repaired. Drain your tank by removing the fuel line. Just get some pliers and use it to squeeze the tight clamp.
When it’s released, you will be able to take the fuel line out of the tank nipple. If there are any gas spills, make sure that you clean it up quickly to avoid staining your floor. Simply use a rag to wipe the spill and cover the area with kitty litter. This will soak up the remaining gas and make it disappear.
2. Remove the fuel tank
The next step is to remove the entire motorcycle fuel tank. You will have to locate a bolt in the centre of the tank’s underbelly. For most motorcycle models, finding the bolt shouldn’t be too hard. That being said, some motorcycles are designed differently and may require you to remove the seat to access the part underneath the fuel tank. Grab a wrench and twist the bolt until it comes off. Once you have the bolt out, you will be able to remove the tank from the vehicle. To take it off, lift up the back of the tank and tilt it forward. Then, pull it towards the back of the motorbike before removing it completely.
3. Prepare the fuel tank
It is essential to prepare the tank for the repair before actually beginning the process. It’s important to get rid of rust inside the tank first. Unscrew the cap of the tank and let it air out. If you want to speed up the process, get an air host and compress the air into the fuel tank. This procedure shouldn’t take you any longer than 15 minutes.
Then, get two quarts of acetone and pour it into the tank. Don’t forget to place any small nuts and bolts into the tank to be submerged in the liquid as well. After the tank is filled with acetone, wrap the fill hole with plastic wrap and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Make sure that you shake and rotate in many possible angles to get the nuts and bolts hit every part of the tank. This method will knock rust away and make the epoxy stick to the tank better. When you are finished, drain out the tank and let it dry.
4. Seal the fuel tank
The last step is to seal your motorbike fuel tank. Prepare the epoxy by mixing following the directions on the package. Once it is well-mixed, pour it into the tank. Once again, wrap the fill hole with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Turn the tank in all angles to make sure the epoxy covers all areas inside the tank. After that, drain the epoxy out and let the fuel tank sit for at least one day. Then, install it back onto your motorbike and fill it with fuel. It’s as easy as that!
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