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Author Topic: Removing tank dents  (Read 1747 times)

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Offline 1GChicagoR5

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Removing tank dents
« on: February 16, 2013, 08:43:36 PM »
So my tank has a few dings in the left side towards the rear of the tank. Previous owner said he went down on the bike a few times, but these dents came from stupid movers tieing the bike down wrong, and it tipped over while in transit...  :armscrossed:

The damage


I'm thinking I'm gonna have to have the tank re painted. Gonna keep the colors, but maybe play around with different layouts. There's alot of saddle wear on the top of the tank where the seat meets as well.  :thumbsdown:

What do you guys think? Who's removed dents from tanks? The picture makes it look a little worse than it is, but it's certainly not nice to look at.  :cry:
1998 Honda CH80 Elite.
1971 Yamaha R5-B

Offline drtbkr

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 08:17:46 AM »
Thats fixable. I fixed some major dents in metal tanks mostly by putting a long stell rod in the fill hole, bent to get in the location. Then with a body hammer on the outside and the rod inside used as your dolly. Put pressure on the low spots from inside and use your hammer to work the high points down. This is a "hammer off" techineque. Go slow.
A stud gun and slide hammer work to but still will probable need a little hammer work.
Then fill,  prime , paint.
Any bodyshop could fix it too

Drtbkr
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Offline jimbo184

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 08:45:37 AM »
Bondo auto body filler is your friend! Super easy to use and can offer perfect results. I filled some tank dents and the recesses for the bolt-on Yamaha logos on my R5.

Jim B

Offline 1GChicagoR5

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 01:38:41 PM »
Maybe I'm just naive but I'd rather not slather some bondo and block it out and spray over it.

I want to FIX it.

Thats fixable. I fixed some major dents in metal tanks mostly by putting a long stell rod in the fill hole, bent to get in the location. Then with a body hammer on the outside and the rod inside used as your dolly. Put pressure on the low spots from inside and use your hammer to work the high points down. This is a "hammer off" techineque. Go slow.
A stud gun and slide hammer work to but still will probable need a little hammer work.
Then fill,  prime , paint.
Any bodyshop could fix it too

Drtbkr
I might be able to do that first technique. Maybe I'll use that axle you sent.  :laugh:

I've watched "custom" shows quite a bit, and body work has always been one of those things I've loved to watch people do, It's amazing what some people can do with simple tools and patience. And experience.  :drama:

The thing I thought about was the second part you mentioned, weld a stud on there and slide hammer it out, then finish it up with a hammer.

I'd like to get it to the point where I wouldnt need to cover it in bondo, but I guess I will have to put at least a thin layer on there, never gonna get it back to the original shape of the tank.

And I'm Planning to paint the whole tank, the top of it is really faded from gas fumes.  :ohdear:

Any advice? If I plan on painting the whole thing, would I want to strip it before I start or does it matter?
1998 Honda CH80 Elite.
1971 Yamaha R5-B

Offline 06CCDMAX

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 02:11:42 PM »
I plan on making a "hammer" out of a  piece of brass round stock, and put it on a slim handle.  I have some dents I want to do, but I can't dolly them as the paint isn't damaged (yet) and I intend to keep it that way.  Both on my RZ and my RD250. 
Something like my Martin Fender bumper (which is WAY too big to fit in and use inside a tank.)


Edit:  If I can't get them out simply bumping the inside, I'll make a plastic dolly for the outside to hopefully avoid paint damage..
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 02:12:50 PM by 06CCDMAX »
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Offline 1GChicagoR5

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 05:51:36 PM »
Interesting.

What would a rubber mallet do to a painted tank?
1998 Honda CH80 Elite.
1971 Yamaha R5-B

Offline drtbkr

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 07:15:58 PM »
Its best to keep filler no more than 1/8" thick.

Drtbkr
Lawrence, Kansas

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Offline bikboi

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 07:32:20 PM »
I've had some success using a variation on the above.  I took a 3/8" steel rod and threaded it on both ends for a egg shaped steel ball I made (w/threaded hole).  Then I bent the rod into a "S" (one sharper-one more gradual).  I screw the ball on which ever end might work best and try to lever out the dents by bracing against the tunnel.  A little time/patience and a slapper will get most of it out but I always seem to ruin the paint.
Initially I tried to bang the dent out from the inside.  That didn't work too good cause there wasn't enough "swinging" room.  Now, I just bend the rod as necessary to get the ball where I want it and "lever" off the tunnel to push it out.
It's a bit easier since your R-5/DS-7 tank has a big cap opening...

Offline 1GChicagoR5

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 07:43:50 PM »
Hmmmm. Thanks again guys.

Would you say that if I can go the stud and slide hammer route, that I should? Seems like it be the way to go, although I don't have a problem hammering on things.

Its best to keep filler no more than 1/8" thick.

Drtbkr
Ok so I'll probably have to use a little bit at least to get the line back, right? Put on a little extra and sand down from there, right?

I've had some success using a variation on the above.  I took a 3/8" steel rod and threaded it on both ends for a egg shaped steel ball I made (w/threaded hole).  Then I bent the rod into a "S" (one sharper-one more gradual).  I screw the ball on which ever end might work best and try to lever out the dents by bracing against the tunnel.  A little time/patience and a slapper will get most of it out but I always seem to ruin the paint.
Initially I tried to bang the dent out from the inside.  That didn't work too good cause there wasn't enough "swinging" room.  Now, I just bend the rod as necessary to get the ball where I want it and "lever" off the tunnel to push it out.
It's a bit easier since your R-5/DS-7 tank has a big cap opening...
Interesting, any pictures of that tool?

And yes, the gas tank opening is like a mason jar. HUGE! Did the pump nozzles used to be bigger back in the days?  :laugh:
1998 Honda CH80 Elite.
1971 Yamaha R5-B

Offline boars

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 06:38:39 AM »
Interesting thread  :clint: my tanks got a nice big dent in it, certainly looks fixable though  :haw:

Personally I like videos of how to fix things... so off to youtube I went.

 Ugh... so many videos of people attempting to use compressed air and a hair drier - then several hundred people who do it for a living and explain very little of their process if they even show it at all. Found this (the surface trace) idea pretty damned novel however:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RxP-T8fTm8

Also found the $10 fix interesting...  not exactly a craftsmanship award winner however:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyadH7arQxA

Tanks can have the damned things in the most awkward positions  :doh: Probably should deal with the rust in it (mine) first...  :ohdear:
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 07:33:40 AM by boars »

Offline jinglebuddy

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 06:59:40 AM »
The dents seems pretty sharp, and it looks like in the place where it's quite difficult to reach.  It's just me, and it may be a bit too much work for you, but what I would do, I would cut the bottom of the tank off, and go in there with a dolly and a hammer/slapper.  Once well planished, you don't have to bondo it at all, just use the filler primer and good to go. 

Offline rgrant

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 07:27:22 PM »
I have rd350 tank with some pretty deep dents in it.  I tried levering them out, the gluing and pulling kit, no joy.  So I stripped all the paint off, washed it out several times then baked it in my outdoor grill.  It smoked pretty heavily for about 10 min. and I let it bake for about another 20 min. I'm pretty sure any gas residue that was in the seams is gone.  So I'm going to pressurize it and heat the dents with a torch until they come out.  It will be in a jig to keep the sides where they should be and strapped down.

Offline 1GChicagoR5

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 08:13:12 PM »
So I watched those vids, some of them seem pretty viable. I came across one video (can't find the link now) that showed 4 different ways to get dents out of a tank, first one was gluing something on there, yanking it off, repeat. Second one was the lever from the inside method. Third was heating it up with a hair dryer (thought a heat gun might produce better results) and then spraying with compressed air can upside down for the freezing coolant. And the last method was putting one of those blood pressure bands in there and pumping it up, That method actually seemed to work pretty good.

It seems to me that (like most things in life) everyones got a method that they know works. All kinds of ways to skin a cat as they say, right? Who the hell skins cats anyways?  :umm:

The results on that puller seemed to be a good value for your buck. I could see that being made for about 10 bucks if that.

What I think I'm gonna end up doing, is hopefully not cutting my tank in half, but if it comes down to that, my dad mentioned they have a welder for around 100 bucks at the local hardware store.
I think I'll try the glue and pull method to get the majority of the dents out and then use the lever method to get all the little stuff out after the major work has been done.

Grant, I was wondering about that, I've seen people do that to pipes, including expansion chambers, but I was thinking about plugging everything up, How much pressure could you really get into it? That would be the best method for getting the original shape back though, right?

Anyone ever watch the show wheeler dealers? 2 blokes from the UK flip cars. On one episode I think they had a ferrari dino and they had to pull some dents out of the "Wing" as they call it over there, front fender.  :laugh: What he ended up doing was welding a bunch of "Keys" to spots on the fender close together, and ran a bar through the loops in all the keys, so theres a bar across all of them, and sort of like that 10 dollar puller, slowly added tension against the bar to pull the dent out.

After much googling I managed to find the video! What do you guys think about this?

http://www.discoveryuk.com/web/wheeler-dealers/videos/?video=wheeler-dealers-ferrari-308-gt4-repairing-a-ferrari-dino
1998 Honda CH80 Elite.
1971 Yamaha R5-B

Offline EvanWilliams

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 12:51:20 AM »
cut a hole in the bottom of the tank, pop dents out, weld back shut

Offline gearhead

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Re: Removing tank dents
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 01:07:33 AM »
heat it up and hit it with dry ice very easy  not to much time or $$$$$$$$