The 101 Association, Inc.
For the preservation and enjoyment of 1928 to 1931 Indian Scout Motocycles
"You can't wear out an Indian Scout"

Fuel tank

  • 09 Sep 2020 2:16 AM
    Message # 9222084

    I have had to strip all the cellulose paint from my fuel tank, due to this crazy modern fuel which is a superb paint stripper, a fact that I was unaware, until now.

    The tank is a repro, replaced at some time in its past life. However I have the original tank, which came with the bike when I bought it ,but that needs serious work on the underside and will be fixed some time in the future and will replace the other tank.

    In the meantime I need to recoat the repro tank so I can get the bike running. I believe there might be a pinhole leak near the rear as paint was lifting in that area, far from the filler cap, where the other paint was lifting.

    I need to pressure test the tank. What psi should I use for this? 5psi?

    Two more questions. I have been told that to prevent paint lifting, I should use a two pack lacquer when it is painted. Is this ok ?

    I also need to know which is correct decal for the tank sides and can you buy them from any supplier. Obviously this will have to go on before top clear coat.

  • 10 Sep 2020 4:36 AM
    Reply # 9224757 on 9222084

    Hello Mike , 5psi should do plenty , maybe use warm water with some washing up liquid in that will show as bubbles in any holes or leaks !! Two pack is a good choice but can mark sometimes so whatever you use make sure you wipe off any spillage immediately ! Shoud use a good etch primer on the bare metal and two pack undercoat and top coat . transfers can be got either through the vintage club or Clasic Transfers or Pelders .Careful when clear laquering on top of transfers if water slide , a few ''dry coats'' with drying time inbetween before any wet coats . Good luck etc !! Ken

  • 11 Sep 2020 2:58 AM
    Reply # 9227455 on 9222084

    Hi Ken thanks for that.

    The other day I put around 5psi in the tank,through the fuel outlet and the tank cap was enough to seal it ok. For anyone else doing this, put your hand on the flat part of tank and if you can feel movement, you are putting too much in. That could cause the seam to move.I used the soapy water method.

    You can do the opposite and put water in the tank and the pressurize it and water will spray out from any holes, but as air is thinner than water, I prefer air only.

    I found that there was a leak round the filler tube thread base and this had been soldered on the inside but not well enough. I then put a fillet of solder right round the base of the short tube.  There was also a small leak at the rear end of the tank on the seam so did that and also have put a fillet of solder right round the seam. This will make for a smoother join when paint goes on rather than a step as it was.

    I am using Reface two pack filler which is good for hiding any lumps of bump and can be put on as thick as you like. You have to be quick spraying as it sets in half an hour or less on a hot day.

    By the way Ken, Reface advise not to use etch underneath, but just put on a well scuffed surface.

    I will check out the decal site you mentioned. Thanks.


  • 12 Sep 2020 10:40 AM
    Reply # 9230428 on 9222084

    Repairing this tank started me off on another project, to mend the original tank which also came with the bike. The bottom is like Irish lace but when I was de-soldering the seam, smoke started to come out of the filler hole.

    When I got the two halves apart, a sorry sight could be seen. Some one in the past poured in some kind of epoxy and sloshed it all around. When it set and expanded, it pushed up one of the tank mounting plates, the rear right hand one. So not sure what to do now. Half the metal would need replacing to make a decent job, but it will need a soda blast to see what the rest of the metal is like re. condition.

    See photos . The one of the bike shows the original tank before I stripped it out. I had just placed it in the frame for benefit of my sister, who wanted to take a photo of the bike.

    3 files
  • 12 Sep 2020 4:59 PM
    Reply # 9231092 on 9222084

    I hate tank liners! Acetone should take care of any difficult spots.

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