A motorcycle fuel tank is a fairly thin piece of metal that can easily be punctured or torn. Imperfections in the design or manufacturing of the tank can also cause problems. If your motorcycle fuel tank has a leak for any reason, it’s pertinent that you get it repaired immediately because it can catch fire and seriously injure you or someone else. Costs of a mechanic or purchasing a new motorcycle fuel tank can run to hundreds of dollars. You can repair them yourself, however, and this article will show you how.
Step 1 - Drain the Fuel Tank
In order to repair a leaky motorcycle fuel tank it first has to be drained. Make sure you drain the fuel into a gasoline container. To remove the fuel you have to first remove the fuel line. Do this by squeezing the retaining clamp with a pair of pliers. Once the clamp is depressed you can pull the fuel line off of the fuel tank nipple. If any gas is spilled clean it up with a rag and cover the area with kitty litter in order to properly soak up the gas.
Step 2 - Remove the Fuel Tank
Look under the motorcycle fuel tank for a bolt located in the center of the tank. The seat may have to be removed in order to get access. Remove this bolt with your socket wrench. Once the bolt is removed you can now take the fuel tank off of the motorcycle. As you lift the back of the fuel tank you need to also tip it forward. Pull the fuel tank toward the rear of the motorcycle as you do this.
Step 3 - Prepare the Tank for Repair
Remove the cap of the fuel tank and allow it to air out. You can make this go faster by putting an air hose in the tank and turning on the compressor. It should not take more than 15 minutes. Rust may have developed and should be removed. Pour up to two quarts of acetone into the tank along with the small nuts and bolts. Place plastic wrap around the fill hole and secure with a rubber band. Shake the tank and rotate it so you can ensure the nuts and bolts make contact with every area of the fuel tank. This will knock rust away from the tank as well as create scratches which will give the epoxy something to cling to. Drain the tank and dry it as you did previously.
Step 4 - Seal the Tank
Mix the epoxy according to the directions on the package. Once the epoxy is mixed you can then pour it inside the fuel tank. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the fill hole along with a rubber band. Slosh the epoxy around and drain the tank. Allow the epoxy to cure for at least a day before replacing the tank and filling it. If there is still a leak do the procedure again.