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Old 04-22-2007, 06:22 PM
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prepping a motorcycle gas tank....

I have a guy who wants me to paint a brand new motorcycle gas tank. The tank is bare steel and appears to have some type of oil on it to keep it from rusting. Could I clean it well with wax/grease remover,, epoxy,,let flash,, and apply high build? I've never applied high build on top of epoxy before, is it possible?

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Old 04-22-2007, 07:00 PM
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I don't know about your epoxy question but, I've painted a lot of cycle tanks in the past and the first thing I've always done is seal the inside before painting the outside. That way any overspill won't affect the paint finish as it can be sanded off. I've used Cream Cote and had good results, have'nt tried any of the POR products yet.I've always been more of an old school painter, Lacquer and enamels/acrylic enamels.
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:48 PM
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The aftermarket tanks come unpainted steel with a cosmoline type waxy oil coating usually, spray it down good with a solvent based wax and grease remover then follow that up with a waterborne wax and grease remover, then sand with 80 grit, apply two coats of epoxy and let it set overnight. Then decide whether you'll need to use any bodyfiller or go directly to a high build surfacer. Most of these tanks need to be skim coated completely to get them shaped right, most of them are so bad that they aren't even close to being symetrical side-to-side. When you get the sanding all done use epoxy as a sealer before your paint and when the paint is done seal your paint edge at the fuel filler hole with a coat of epoxy. A good epoxy primer is very fuel resistant, basecoat isn't and if you don't seal up the edge of your paint it'll eventually wrinkle when exposed to gasoline. I usually just mask and spray some epoxy or brush a little over the edge under the gas cap area-works fine. Bob
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:49 PM
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This guy was given some type of 3 step sealer for the inside but one of his friends told him not to use it so he told me not to bother with it Can epoxy just be sparayed over if it sets overnight or do I just scuff it? In regards to the filler hole being epoxied afterwards, I'm not real sure what you mean but wouldn't the clear coat protect it from gasoline?

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:27 AM
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Yeah, you'd think the clear would protect the the basecoat but I've seen many that have wrinkled, since I started using the epoxy I've had no failures.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:06 PM
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that is a very common problem with custom painted tanks. just the fuel vapors will work their way onder the base and primer and it will bubble all around the gas fill. you must seal this edge. do yourself or your buddy a favor and seal the insode of the tank too. if its one of those import aftermarket tanks you have about a 40% leak rate on those. they all have tags that say they are pressure tested from the factory. let me tell you the welds still leak.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:25 PM
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I agree but his friend told him that the sealer will come loose inside the tank and get into the gas and plug the fuel filter, is this possible or does that stuff adhere pretty well to the inside of the tank? What exactly do you mean seal the top with epoxy, I'm picturing epoxy primer The threads of his gas tank cap are on the inside of the tank (the gas cap screws IN the tank,,not ON the tank). Does this still pose a problem?
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:49 PM
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if the sealer is done properly it wont. problem is most people dont do it right and most of the store bought tank sealer kits are crap. i use an epoxy base sealer so it actually kicks off, its not air dry. i use the same epoxy sealer on the edge of the gas fill area as i do in the tank. all i do is sand the metal up to the edge of the paint with 150 then i'll use 220 and sand the clear on the paint edge around the filler neck. you only need to go about 1/8" onto the paint and maybe 1/8" onto the metal. you dont need to go down to the threads. your basically just sealing that open paint edge around the filler neck, thats all.
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