Sunday, March 13, 2016

Two Wheeler Tank Sealer

 I'm a little late getting todays post out. I was gonna write it last night but my wife and I went out to dinner and I was introduced for the first time to martinis. Of course in my uncouth ways, I was chasing that with beer. I'm sure that didn't go unnoticed. Anyway, when I got home I was in no mood to write a blog.
 Yesterday was one of those rare warm march days that are becoming less rare around here. I started out by fixing the rattling front brake caliper on the sporty. I bought the part last spring and just got around to the repair. Ya. The second pic shows the bent "anti rattle clip" or whatever HD calls it. Not sure how it got bent but the noise is gone.

 After that I strapped a new rear tire to my sissy bar and rode to the shop to do one last burnout and swap it out. The tire change went fine but trying to seat the bead was a pain. The tire would fill up but one spot of the tire wouldn't push tight to the edge of the rim evenly. I had to deflate and clean/inspect that section of tire a few times and it finally took once I got aggressive on how much pressure I was willing to use to get it to seat.
 A new tire means a test ride and I took advantage of the nice weather. I broke in that tire with a 200 mile tour of area back roads. Some of the lesser roads still have sand on them so I wasn't testing lean angles. I did not balance that tire, just lined the yellow dot on the Dunlop with the valve stem and everything feels fine (for a sportster).

 When I got home I decided another warm weather activity that needed doing was coating the fuel tank on Brookes Rebel. Traditionally I do this with Kreem. The process involves degreasing the tank, using acid to remove the rust, another rinse, a chemical that removes water and then quickly adding the actual coating product. I've had good luck but have heard a lot of people complain that Kreem doesn't work and I suspect that they had issues with one of the steps. Like many tasks, prep work is the most important step.
 This time I wouldn't be using Kreem. Brooke bought a product called Caswell Tank Sealer and this would be my first experience with it. This is a two part epoxy. The main difference on a metal tank is that you don't etch the tank to bare metal. Get the loose rust out and call it good. According to the instructions the most important thing is accurately and completely mixing the two parts if your not using all of it. I had a kit for sealing something much bigger than a two gallon Rebel tank but mixed all of it when I discovered how thick the mixture was. Even after adding a splash of xylene to thin the mix it still moved like cold syrup. The Rebel tank doesn't let me see much at all inside the tank so I had to imagine where the mix was flowing. This is much easier when the mix is thin and flowing evenly.

 After feeling confident everything was coated, I removed the plug on the tank petcock and propped the tank to drain the excess. We went to dinner and when we came back hours later I noticed a lot of epoxy had drained and it was kinda gummy. I was nervous I hadn't done something right and it wasn't going to set up. The martinis insured I would sleep well despite my concerns. This morning when I inspected the tank I was pleased to see a rock hard 1/2" thick layer of epoxy in my catch bucket. I'll bring home an inspection camera tomorrow and see if I lined the entire tank.

 My impressions of the Caswell product are good. It is easier to use than some other products and doesn't smell as bad (if at all). There are no chemicals left over to deal with either. A quick look at their site tells me pricing is comparable too. I think I'd be willing to try it again.

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