Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Fuel Tank Leak
The above picture is my bike with the FXR gas tank. This tank has been on my bike for several years now and gave me good comfortable mileage range. A couple of years ago I detected a leak, it began with a hint of fuel aroma then some obvious signs of a leak on my primary cover just below the petcock. Nothing major it seemed. The petcock that was on it had the seal disintegrating from ethanol fuel right at the valve. There would be a steady drip when the fuel lever was in the on position. Instead of repairing the petcock my wife bought me a much better Pingle brand unit. Problem solved...for awhile. I rode the bike most the year and didn't notice a leak, except in the garage there would be a hint of fuel vapors; I assumed these were coming from my sons 1974 Nova project as it to, when sitting, would smell like this.
Well one day when getting ready for a ride, the bike had sat for two weeks with a full tank, it was almost empty and there was this nasty yellowish green stain all over the primary side and a dark spot on the dirt part of the garage floor where the bike sits. I pull off the tank and it looks to be leaking around the cross over tube nipples, JB weld to the rescue. I had no way at the time to pressurize the tank to check for leaks and calling a couple shops was no help. There looked to be maybe, possibly, kind of sort of a pin hole leak at the rear mount; so we JB Weld that as well. The only reason I used the JB weld was for not being able to find any shop that would test it and re-weld to seal it for sure.
On to a few weeks ago as the JB seemed to be holding pretty well after most of the year, one of my brothers and I were setting out to ride the Blueridge Parkway. All was going well as we neared the upper part of North Carolina towards Virginia, then I kept smelling gas. I'd look down and not see anything but the smell was getting stronger. Finally I look down between the seat and the rear of the tank as we ride and see the seat front is all wet. I quickly pull off into a vacant buildings lot and get off as my brother rides up behind me asking what's wrong. As I get off I say I have gas on my seat, as I turn I see a water fall of fuel cascading along the frame and all along down the side of my battery. It's leaking like a sieve. We get it back home, pull off the tank, put on the low riding range Peanut tank and then inspect the FXR tank. It looks like it's leaking at the petcock area (Picture below) and there is a stain. We hook up the air compressor with a short bit of fuel line to the petcock, put on the fuel cap, spray on soapy water all over the bottom of tank and it turns out to be the rear mount weld is the culprit.
I went looking around the net to places I have had luck finding deals before, logging onto www.chopcult.com I looked around and then went to read some of the articles. I read one about a guy from my old neck of the woods in Georgia, he's a one man shop who builds custom motorcycles and works on motorcycles and I see that he does all kinds of motorcycle related work. So I send Chad at www.Shop102moto.com an email in hopes he would tackle this job and I send along pictures. He replies that he can do it. I'm going to chance it and send him the tank in hopes he can fix my tank to be leak proof again. I'll post up the job when he's finished with it. I told him that this was a secret of how to adapt and mount these tanks to old Ironheads, guess the secret is out now.