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Old 07-17-2013, 03:29 PM
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Default Restoring old PLASTIC tanks.

     

Ok in light of my new project I need an OEM tank of my resto.
Now the toss up is between a NOS tank for a lot of $$$$ or an eBay one to refresh... Here is the one on eBay I found



Now obviously saving a few buck and getting the tank looking good again would be great but if you think a NOS one is the way to go then I'll bite it....
Any suggestions?? As seen its a pretty good tank....

---------- Post added at 04:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:57 AM ----------

Bottom left is a bit of 'oranging' going on. I have seen people restoring old fenders etc but not tanks...I want methods that will sustain a good colour...etc etc
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:33 PM
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The previous owner of my '83 rm250 said that the tank on it had been restored via the wet sanding method. Not sure what grit they started with but know they ended with something very fine. It looks great, only dark spots were where the tank decals were. Almost 3 years later, it still looks great. Not as pristine as when we got it, but it is a racer and not a trailer queen.

I'll see if I can find out the process for you.
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:26 PM
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Hey char....
Did you ever manage to find out how they did the tank??
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:58 PM
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Sorry Steve, forgot all about this. I'll send an email tonight.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:00 AM
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Just wondering on this subject has anyone ever tried to use this type of kit on a tank? Headlight Lens Restoration System :3M US

I wonder if it only works because it is a much harder plastic?
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by char393 View Post
Sorry Steve, forgot all about this. I'll send an email tonight.
Your a star!!
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:44 AM
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Apparently using wet and dry to sand it (wet) until all the deep scratches are gone, and then using a clean, dry buffing wheel on a drill does the job... I saw a video on youtube where it seemed to work pretty well, but I havent tried it myself.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:50 PM
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I've done a few. My fingers hurt when I even read where someone is telling another person to work their way through various grades of sandpaper. It will eventually work but it is a lot more work than needs to be done. Here's my method.
If there are deep scratches to be removed:
>Draw a new single-edged razor blade (perpendicular to the piece) as many times as necessary across the bad spot.
>#800 / wet
>Polish with a propane torch.
Depending how good you were with the razor blade, you might be able to skip step 2. This method is good for sprucing up white plastics. They tend to get tattoo'd when you go down. The dirt in the scratches makes white look worse than it is.
Yamaha riders: The torch will take out those white creases that happen when the blue plastic is bent too far, or stressed with a fastener. You have to take it slow so the heat penetrates through the plastic before the surface boils.

Yeah, I would suggest practice with an old piece first. You will have to teach yourself the start/stop pressure on the razor blade pull, and the speed and distance to work the torch. Of course with a gas tank you would fill it with water before getting a torch close to it.
Those headlight restoration kits are a handy source of finishing abrasives if you don't buy in bulk. I use them on regular paint jobs but I've never tried them on modern bike plastics.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:02 PM
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Well there ya go... Sounds like far less work than the method I was told. Which was multiple grits of sandpaper.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:05 PM
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I assume this would be the same for a plastic gas tank?

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Old 10-22-2013, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papagonz View Post
I assume this would be the same for a plastic gas tank?

How to Restore Faded Plastic Motorcycle Fenders (For free) - YouTube
... close, with a couple differences. He was working on an old Honda with the harder type of plastics. The old stuff gets a damaged layer on the surface that must be removed before you can make it shine again. Gas tanks and more modern plastics are a lot softer and more difficult to put a shine on. The basic steps are the same: Scrape / smooth / heat polish -as needed. The razor blade step wouldn't be needed unless you were smoothing out scrapes and gouges.
In lieu of the heat step, applying a little "Mop N Glow" from under the kitchen sink might amaze you. Try it on a fender that's on its last days.
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