VF500F Gas Tank Repair

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by invisible cities, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. invisible cities

    invisible cities New Member

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    As has been some interest on repairing VF500F gas tanks recently, I thought I would share some intel on what I found when restoring the tank on my '84. The paint scheme on this bike is Candy Aleutian Blue with Fighting Red and Shasta White.

    While the paint on the tank was in near mint condition,

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    there were a few telltale signs of lower corner rust which is a common malady for these tanks.

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    To repair these small spots the tank was carefully masked off along the stripe line to protect the stock decals and the stock Candy Aleutian Blue paint.

    The corners were then media blasted and inspected.

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    Even though the tank was not leaking at the time you can see that there were lots of pinholes starting to work their way though the metal. These would have eventually opened up and worked their way through the paint causing one leaky tank.

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    After carefully welding the pin holes closed the tank was re-masked, primed and the Shasta White color was repainted to the stripe line.

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    To seal the inside of the tank and to protect it from future oxidation I decided to go with a Casewell product which has received great reviews here and on other sites on the web.

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    With the Shasta White painted and fully cured, but before clear coating the entire tank I boxed everything up and shipped to crew at Empire GP. Empire GP is vendor recommended by Casewell. They located in upstate New York.

    The tank was cleaned and prepped and then coated inside with Casewell's Phenol Novolac Epoxy Gas Tank Sealer.

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    You you can order this as kit directly from Casewell,

    Caswell Inc. - Epoxy Gas Tank Sealer

    Unfortunately Empire GP is no longer accepting new work when I last checked in with them. I took a look on Casewell's website and they have a new link to a restoration shop that specializes in using epoxy product, for those not wanting to tackle the sealing of the tank by themselves.

    One of the great things about this restoration method is that you are able to keep the stock decals. As many may know the tri-color wing is very hard to source, I have yet to find a decal company that are producing these.

    Once the tank was returned from Empire the entire tank was then clear coated, wet sanded and buffed so that the transition between the new Shasta White paint and existing decal was smoothed out.

    I hope this thread is of help to other owners who have encountered a similar issue but who would prefer not to repaint the entire tank.

    Keep an eye on those lower corners and ride safe!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  2. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    Great write up IC.

    Did you check (don't ask me how) if the coating made it into those troublesome corners?

    I had my old VF500 tank coated at a local tank place and I still got leaks in those same spots.

    I had a metal shop cut open the corners and the coating never made it into those spots.

    I eventually got a tank from eBay that was much less rusty and cleaned it out with all kinds of solvents.

    I have since instructed the new owner to try and keep the tank full whenever possible.

    (I'll try and get some pics of my tank pinhole leaks)
     
  3. invisible cities

    invisible cities New Member

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    If I could ask, which sealing product did the shop you took your tank to use?

    I did copy Empire GP on the restoration progress (welding the pinholes, etc) and they were aware of the tricky lower corners so I know they gave it their best shot.

    In part this is why I sent the tank to them as they have logged in many hours working with these types of tanks and Casewell gave them high marks. A bit of a bummer that they have shuttered their company but maybe they will accept work again in the future.
     
  4. slowbird

    slowbird Member

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    I don't recall what they used....i just know it didn't make it into the little "valleys" on either isde of the tank.

    Also it peeled off easily from around the gas cap neck and where the pump nozzle would rest.

    Mine were leaking in the same place.
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    After spending hundreds of dollars to keep repairing it I eventually just got a tank off ebay and cleaned the hell out of it.

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