Mailmans XS2 , the rebuild.......again

Mailman

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All right, I had two separate threads going that gave the back story on what happened to my XS2 and why I’m rebuilding it again.

But here’s the thumbnail version, in case you missed it, Marbles Motors in Texas installed a liner in my tank when they painted it. It failed, in fact it literally melted, as I wrote about here,
http://www.xs650.com/threads/failed-gas-tank-liner-marbles-motors-got-it-wrong-twice.58302/

The failed liner trashed my motor , as talked about here,
http://www.xs650.com/threads/mailman’s-xs2-pulled-the-engine-for-top-end-repair.58865/

There was a lot of cross talk and diversions in those long threads so this thread will cover moving forward with rebuilding the motor and replacing the gas tank all in one place.

In this first post I’m going to focus on where all the problems started, The Gas Tank.

I am not going to try and salvage my original gas tank, at least not now. There are just too many problems with it, so I put on a search for another one. @GLJ had a couple he offered up, so did @gggGary and @Beags64 . Thank you all gentlemen, these are not exactly easy to come by. In the end I found one on EBay that I bought. The guy that sold it didn’t know what it was for, he wasn’t into bikes, to him it was just something to sell. Photo from the ad
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It looked straight and fairly clean inside from what I could tell. I offered him a lower price and he took it.
When I got it I was delighted to see that it looked very clean inside , probably 75% rust free with a few rusty patches, and it came with both petcocks, side emblems and gas cap. ( all of which I am going to attempt to restore )
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I was so excited that this tank was in really good shape, that I started disassembling it as soon as I removed the tank from the box. That’s when disaster struck.....of course! :banghead: The pin that holds the gas cap latch was bent, I was trying to drive it out, tapping on a punch with a plastic hammer and it got stuck, I tapped harder, probably too hard and POP ! I broke one of the ears for the gas cap latch off! :doh:
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50 years this tank survived with almost no rust or dings and I break it within five minutes of getting my grubby little paws on it! I just about blew a fuse. And with that I walked away for the day. :(
I returned to it the next day with a plan and unfounded optimism. I removed all the paint from around the mounting ears , ground the paint off of the mounting ear and ground a bevel on the sides and top of the ear.
Then checked my alignment.
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I applied JB Weld in the crack, and underneath the ear and pushed it place and then for good measure a small amount on the end.
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I gave that 24 hours to set up. The next day I scuffed up the surface of the JB Weld and built more up until I eventually had epoxy all the way around both ears, for symmetry a strength.
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Another 24 hours later and I started contouring the JB Weld with a Dremel. ( This was not the final appearance, it got better.) Then I put the gas cap on and checked function and fit, the repair will be hidden beneath the cap, and it feels very secure.
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To be continued in the next post........
Stripping the tank and rust remediation.
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Mailman

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Gas tank continued........

After repairing the gas cap mounting ear, I was dying to know if there was any body filler on this tank, it was hard to tell under that thick black paint, so I took a sanding block and I cleaned off all the creased edges and man my hopes are getting higher, it looks like it’s nice and straight.
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So I hit it with this low VOC paint stripper I had lying around and the black paint, whatever it was, melted like a stick of butter on a hot day.
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It didn’t touch what was left of the underlying factory paint, and here is what I was left with.
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I had one small dent in the nose of the tank.
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I continued to sand until the tank was mostly bare metal. I uncovered three very small dimples on top.
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And some patches of relatively minor rust pitting.
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About this time, the rust remover that I ordered from Amazon arrived.
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Works through chelation, like Evaporust, but much more cost effective, $39 for a qt of concentrate that makes four gallons. Non toxic, non caustic and odor free. I filled up my tank and let er soak overnight. The next day it was clean as a whistle,
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I dumped it out into a tub, saving it for the moment in case I want to use it some more. ( When you’re done with it, it can be poured right down the sink! )
I rinsed it with clear water three times and dried it out with a blow dryer and a heat gun, switching back and forth.
It dried nice and clean, with a little flash rust starting to appear by the Petcocks and a couple other spots, so I mixed up a little acetone and motor oil and sloshed it around in the tank to protect it.
It made four gallons and I couldn’t use that much so I poured the rest into a bucket and threw a forty five year old set of screwdrivers that I had into the bucket. They weren’t scaly rusty, but had a brown patina that old tools sometime take on, when they came out, I was surprised to see they were black, even after rinsing them off.
But then I hit them with a hand held wire brush and viola!
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To be continued........
What about paint?
 

David Toll

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Nice work Bob as usual.
Paintwork on the original tank was an expensive job I believe, (sorry to remind you), so, what will you do with this one?
Obviously you'll stick to the original colour but will you fork out for a professional job once again or attempt a rattle can job with white vinyl decals from Diablo Cycle? If you have the paint code used on the side covers, you can have an aerosol can matched up. With your characteristic attention to detail, you would be capable of doing a top notch job with the canned paint. The decals can be applied wet for ease of alignment and and squeegeed smooth to dry. Not sure about how a clear would react with the vinyl - you would need to check with the manufacturer, but there are water based clear finishes available in a spray can. Nice, dry, dust free environment with minimum humidity would enhance the finish. You could do it and this would be the cheapest way I imagine.
 

Rasputin

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It’s a puzzle to me why they would, and how they could fit an aluminium ring to a steel tank. Is it trapped between two steel parts, or pressed onto the filler neck? I’ll have to inspect mine.
Keep plugging away. Great thread.
 

Mailman

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Nice work Bob as usual.

Thanks David!

post #48 has a nice solution on stopping petrol or fumes from getting under the paint around the filler cap.

That was a really good article, I’ve been thinking about incorporating some JB Weld in or around the filler neck, somewhere, I just haven’t finalized my thoughts on it.

Maybe a postage out to Kansas in your future?????

More paint info will be forthcoming! Soon.
 

Mailman

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It’s a puzzle to me why they would, and how they could fit an aluminium ring to a steel tank. Is it trapped between two steel parts, or pressed onto the filler neck? I’ll have to inspect mine.
Keep plugging away. Great thread.

Yeah I’ve been trying to figure it out too. I can see what appears to be drips of some kind of solder inside at the bottom of the ring. If you look closely you can see the wavy edge.
 

Mailman

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Gas tank continued.....the paint job

I had decided to paint the tank myself with custom blended rattle cans and a 2K clear coat. I did tons of research and even started shopping for supplies. After thinking long and hard about it, I have decided to not go that route.
I have been talking to Jim and he has agreed to paint it for me.

Now this is where the purists are going to howl.
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I have decided to go with a solid color tank, just candy red. It’s faster, easier , cheaper and I think it will look nice.
And frankly I just want to get this bike back together and done. Jim does beautiful work and I’m looking forward to seeing it. It is winging its way to Kansas City as we speak.
Here’s how we think the combo will look together. Fingers crossed. Purists look away, nothing to see here! :D
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Next up, back to the motor.........
 
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