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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    12

    Default Welding gas tank

    With all the different way's people tell you to weld a gas tank I wanted to tell you what worked for me. The gas tank on one of my bikes started leaking where I had a 1/8 pipe bung for a fuel gauge. I drained the tank and let it sit in the sun for two day's. I then filled the tank with Dawn detergent and water. people say it has to be full with out any air pockets. If it is completely full you will never get it welded with out water coming out where you are welding. I had the tank about 7/8 full and tig welded it with silicon bronze rod with no problems. Just wanted to let you know what worked for me.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    102

    Default

    I just drain all of the fuel, take it off the bike and shove my torch in the bung...BOOF! You can then weld anywhere on the tank that you want to. Everyone is so scared of the fuel in the tank. It is really no big deal.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    9,273

    Default

    My bro had his face shredded from the explosion trying to weld an installed oil pan because his boss wanted to cut corners. He's tough, and later joined the fire department after his plastic surgery healed.

    Less safe methods work most of the time....

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    12,501

    Default

    You can also use the exhaust of a car with a hose in the tail pipe running to what yo're welding...
    Take away the oxygen and no boom ....

    And that makes me think of a story about sailing ships that went boom .....



    Manure…

    An interesting fact

    Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before commercial fertilizer’s invention, so large shipments of manure were common.

    It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.

    Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

    Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term ‘Ship High In Transit’ on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

    Thus evolved the term ‘ S.H.I.T ‘ , (Ship High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

    You probably did not know the true history of this word.

    Neither did I.

    I had always thought it was a golf term.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    272

    Default

    There are some instances where you have to be very careful in welding like when welding on old propane canisters and such to turn it into whatever... but when it comes to motorcycle gas tanks you can reduce the risks of igniting anything that has permeated into the pores of the metal by filling the fuel tank with water or any other innocuous fluid prior to welding.

    I've turned old propane tanks into air compressor reservoirs using this method and kept my 'pretty' face (see the pretty cat in my avatar? I still look as pretty as his butt).

  6. #6

    Default

    Pues un-chingow de gracias Stew, did not know that.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Do not weld on a fuel tank that has had fuel in it! Even if you wash it inside.
    As soon as you start to weld on it the fuel vapors will build up from the fuel still in the fabric of the metal.
    A young man was killed last year by taking a grinder to a 50 gallon drum that was empty but had held some type of hand
    lotion that had a petroleum component. He was in a school shop class and the teacher was not there.

    Even a small lawn mower tank will make a small explosion if you weld on it.
    It does not matter how many times you washed it.

    Go online and read about all the deaths and injuries from welding on tanks that have held a petroleum product.
    This includes diesel,hydraulic etc.,. Many many true stories you can learn from.
    You will not see this stories on the evening news. I wish they would tell some of the stories.

    VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DP5l9yYt-g
    Last edited by Luky; 10-14-2018 at 11:37 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    711

    Default

    I've never done this, but I took an ICAR certified structural sectioning and welding course in my youth, and painted cars and did chassis work for a time subsequent to that.

    Our instructions were: If you must repair a fuel tank, remember that the fluid is flammable but the fumes are explosive.

    We were told to fill it with water, place a torch in the neck and drain the water from the tank slowly.. And that the end result was safe to work from that point.

    Again, I never did this but it was a pretty good course otherwise.

    Free advice is worth what it cost..


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    12,242

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chopprs View Post
    I just drain all of the fuel, take it off the bike and shove my torch in the bung...BOOF! You can then weld anywhere on the tank that you want to. Everyone is so scared of the fuel in the tank. It is really no big deal.
    Don't believe the hype.... You can get hurt doing that if you don't do it correctly...
    Last edited by Tattooo; 10-12-2018 at 6:15 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Don't believe the hype.... You can get hurt doing that if you don't do it correctly...

    Stupid is what stupid does. I did say to remove all of the fuel. I have been doing it for over forty years...

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    12,242

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chopprs View Post
    Stupid is what stupid does. I did say to remove all of the fuel. I have been doing it for over forty years...
    Just saying remove all of the fuel means nothing to a new guy that has never done it before... Think about it.........

    Just because you have been lucky doesn't mean anything... Yep your right... Stupid is what stupid does.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Tattoo, if you are looking for an argument you will need to look somewhere else. If there is just vapor in the tank it just goes "POOF". I have done it well over a hundred times and never once has one blown up. By the way, gasoline does no explode, sorry.
    Filling the tank with water will just make it more difficult to weld and limit your penetration likely resulting in a reduced quality weld.
    Last edited by chopprs; 10-12-2018 at 7:32 PM.

  13. #13

    Default

    Good to see you here Bill. This place is better for it.
    (Rigid79 from shovel forum).

    Quote Originally Posted by chopprs View Post
    I just drain all of the fuel, take it off the bike and shove my torch in the bung...BOOF! You can then weld anywhere on the tank that you want to. Everyone is so scared of the fuel in the tank. It is really no big deal.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chopprs View Post
    I just drain all of the fuel, take it off the bike and shove my torch in the bung...BOOF! You can then weld anywhere on the tank that you want to. Everyone is so scared of the fuel in the tank. It is really no big deal.

  15. #15

    Default

    agree with budd and chopprs I've been doing it that way since I was doing it in Vietnam '70-71. I was the only (gas) welder around. 3/4 ton Dodge Powerwagon trucks with no top would let water sit on top of the gas tanks. They were under the drivers seat. They would get so thin there was no welding the holes up as more would appear. So I would take sheets of metal the size of the top of the tank and lay it on top and weld all the way around it. Every time I did this I couldn't help but notice I was the only person at that end of the motorpool:-) But saying that I agree Tattooo has some good thoughts also. Pumping it us with compressed air and releasing it to let it help dry the tank out. Keeping your face away from the opening and After letting it dry out for a day or two make sure EVERY OPENING is open cause it will defently Whoosh! and just rinsing it out won't do shit.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    25

    Default

    An entertaining thread, for sure, but those of us who have yet to attempt modifying a tank would like some more direction please!
    MIG or TIG or gas?
    I have two tanks to modify, and I have a cheap MIG and a cheap TIG - which would be better? And any secrets with either method? Short runs? Thick / thin rod / wire? etc

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zedhead View Post
    An entertaining thread, for sure, but those of us who have yet to attempt modifying a tank would like some more direction please!
    MIG or TIG or gas?
    I have two tanks to modify, and I have a cheap MIG and a cheap TIG - which would be better? And any secrets with either method? Short runs? Thick / thin rod / wire? etc
    Hit up welding web or one of the welding forums. Look up some of the miller charts for material (type of metal, thickness, etc) vs. Filler type. You could read welding tips on those forums for days and still find new info

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zedhead View Post
    An entertaining thread, for sure, but those of us who have yet to attempt modifying a tank would like some more direction please!
    MIG or TIG or gas?
    I have two tanks to modify, and I have a cheap MIG and a cheap TIG - which would be better? And any secrets with either method? Short runs? Thick / thin rod / wire? etc
    I dont have enough skill with gas to do a tank, High Frequency TIG using pulse is the way i would go. im not a professional level yet, so i prefer to go with a bit of a cooler setting, just takes longer but penetrates fine.

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