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Well, I have been really really busy as of late, many of you are at home and are now working on some long term projects, and this is the perfect time to catch up on them “Need to do” lists that you have mentally noted and tucked into the back of your skull, and I do get a lot pf phone calls, emails and texts asking how to repair this, service that or get them out of a pickle.
Nine out of ten times I can help them or at least steer them in the right area and get them on the road, but sometimes there just isn’t a way of completing the issue unless I can physically see it and this is the case with what I have been doing this weekend.
The Cafe Racer machine is synonymous with things like Clip on’s, loud exhausts, sleek designs and even some streamlining of the body work. And the other day a rather Large parcel turned up and on inspection I could see it was a Honda CB500 Gas tank, and it really did need some help. The Customer had seen my machines and noticed the knee inserts that I hammer and shape into the tanks and wanted to have a go himself- Nothing wrong in that but he went a bit too heavy and put a crease in the tank one side and tore a hole on the other.
This is a tough repair to be honest but I am here to help and over the weekend I am going to attempt to have a smooth hammered Cafe tank all in primer with gas cap and lock and can get him out of his proverbial pickle that he is in. he did a pretty good job to be honest but sometimes these can go pear shaped real fast once you have crossed a line of hammering.
But, nothing ventured, nothing gained is something I tell my self a lot and its time to resurrect an old gas tank and get it to the look that he wants.
I have looked at the gas tank and I am afraid its 86’d, it has too many holes, tears and had to grab another old gas tank to try and emulate the look he was going for, its not the same color but its going to be painted anyway.
Sometimes the gas tanks are bad inside anyway and can tend to have hair line splits, then when you stretch the steel the hairline crack opens up and you then end up with a lot of work to try and fix, sometimes the steel is so thin in places, it is super hard to weld up, even using a Tig, so the thing is to evaluate the time its going to take, and when I did, well, it is far easier to get another gas tank and just begin from the start.
So, another Honda Tank was located and now I am about to start on the knee inserts, but first, you need to remove the tank emblems and the plastic trim that has hardened like a rock and will easily crack off anyway, take out the petcock too.
People ask me all the time, “What hammer do you use to make the knee inserts?” And this is my personal choice of implement. I prefer the Egg shaped hammer as I can control where I want the metal to go to an extent, some people use other bodywork hammers, it’s Just personal choice.
As you may well be able to see, I tap and tap until I see the side of the tank stretching and then just take my time and keep hammering, it has a long way to go but you will see this change quite quickly and I guarantee to you, your arm will be aching thats for sure.
Take your time as it is way too easy to over hammer and get a crease in the side and that will be a bugger to pull back out, so just go slow, its noisy but its worth the effort of you want hammered knee inserts in your gas/petrol tank. there was a bunch of dents in the right side of this old tank anyway but I got that all sorted after some manipulation with hammer and heat.
As you can see, it is a slow process but dont give up, the more the do, the better it is, I can hammer with either hand now, but I have made many of these over the years but still find it therapeutic.
Well, almost there, just a little bit of spot filler and wet n dry sanding and we shall be ready to send to the customer.
The customer should be well happy with this, he will of course paint it what ever color he likes, this paint is just red Oxide high primer, but covers well and i like using it.
I am now ready to add a New Gas cap and locking mechanism of which will be Genuine Honda.
So, the New OEM Chrome Gas cap is now to be fitted, I prefer fitting these before main paint as when you remove it for final paint, the holes line up nice and the cap shuts good and snug.
I also fitted a Locking clasp mechanism which is stock Honda and these not only work well, it is a nice look against the tank.
I just make sure that the gas cap locks and unlocks and sits well, as if you fit these out of square, sometimes the cap will stick and you cannot get it undone, so just take some time.
So there you go, thats all fitted up and I am more than happy at the way this tank looks now, it took a little time but it was well worth it.
Have a go your self, I am sure that you will get a lot of self satisfaction from changing your old gas tank into a cool unique Custom style.
This is now ready to get packed up and shipped to the customer, thanks for following this Gas Tank conversion and hope that you enjoyed the coverage I have put on my blog this weekend.