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Ideas for stabilizing rusty exterior of gas tank

  • Tom P
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Over the past couple of months I brought an old 71 CT-1 from being a rusting non-running hulk, to being a semi decent looking, safe rider. It still has plenty of patina from the rust I've knocked off, and the interior of the gas tank okay, but the exterior has quite a bit of rust, and chipped paint.

At this point the tank seems to have full integrity, and there are no leaks, and I do not want to repaint it. I'm absolutely fine with the way the bike looks now, but I just don't want that rust advancing and causing a leak.

 So what are the best ways to stabilize the exterior of this? I've seen mention of clear coating the entire thing, but how would I prep it? Or is there another product that could be applied to it on occasion? Or just a heavy paste wax?

 
12 May 2022 08:10 #1

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You use metal etch from a paint store it will leave a zinc phosphate coating that you can paint or clear over. Some metal auto body parts come that way to keep them from rusting 
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Last edit: 12 May 2022 15:45 by Ht1kid.
12 May 2022 15:44 #2

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  • Tom P
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Would I put zinc phosphate on the entire tank? Would that destroy the paint that is on it? Again, I just want to keep it as is, but try to arrest any more exterior rusting.
12 May 2022 17:32 #3

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I’m looking to do the same with this tank. And I’ve wondered the same thing. So far I just wipe it down with WD40….
 
Schu

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Last edit: 12 May 2022 17:55 by Schu.
12 May 2022 17:36 #4

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I've been trying various waxes, even ceramic coating. I decided to try some Howard's feed and wax that I had. It's really designed for wood, has beeswax, carnauba wax, mineral oil and orange oil. I rubbed it all over the tank and let it sit for a while, then buffed it out. It turned the rusty spots darker, which tells me that it might have helped to seal them.

I saw a video of a guy that treats his Rat Rod, that basically has no paint on it, with just boiled linseed oil and something else added to it. It turns it darker, but he claims it retards the rusting.
12 May 2022 19:02 #5

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I'd regularly apply Gibbs Brand Lubricant. 
1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250
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12 May 2022 19:20 #6

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No you put metal etch only on the rust spots probably use a q tip to apply you can try it on the underside of the tank to see how it works.  Gibbs is good too as I use it also they say you can clear over it but I haven’t tried it 
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Last edit: 12 May 2022 19:27 by Ht1kid.
12 May 2022 19:23 #7

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If I use to Gibbs over the entire tank,  would it affect the paint? My tank doesn't have just chips where it's rusting, there's areas where the paint is rippling from corrosion underneath. However it's been like that for years so it seems fairly stable, I just would like something to seal it
Last edit: 12 May 2022 19:37 by Tom P.
12 May 2022 19:34 #8

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I haven’t tried it on paint maybe MarkT can answer that 
12 May 2022 20:41 #9

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I've used it on painted parts for long periods and I've never had it harm the paint.  You could try a test area to be safe. 
1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250
12 May 2022 21:40 #10

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