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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Concours Expanded Tank Project - Part 1

Bought this tank off eBay a few weeks ago for $85.  Almost perfect condition with a very minor chip in it.  This was purchased so the I could 'chop' it and make an extended range tank out of it.  Above you can see the beginnings.The first job was to chop the top of the tank off which I successfully did using my Dremel - only took about hour after I marked up the cut line with masking tape. The three lines inside the tank were easily cut with a hack saw once I split the top. Once split I ground both edges and removed the paint all around these edges to allow for future welding.  I got some SAE rubber 1/4" fuel lines and six 1/4 - 1/2" tubular clips to rejoin the three fuel over flows allowing for the relocated top portion. That's why you can see the top portion sort of floating in space.

In this view you can see the top portion of the tank approximately 1.75" above the lower portion.  The intent is to weld a 1.75" 20 gauge steel plate band to expand the capacity of the tank by about 0.75 gallons increasing my range by 25 miles or so.  May seem a lot of work for little but 25 miles can make the difference and I get a one off bike that looks pretty standard.

In this picture and the one below you can see the three lines with the rubber extensions and the tubular clips.  This worked out very well because it is securing the upper section in approximately the correct position prior to welding.  The height of lift, hence the increase in capacity, is restricted by the the clearance needed to allow the handlebars to turn on lock - so worthwhile checking these sorts of things out but you commit to cutting and welding.  I am fortunate to have a little more clearance than standard because I have 1.25" risers installed on the bars. 

One of the areas I have yet to determine what I am going to do about is the silly little tank top 'glove' compartment.  Initially I though I could get another on off eBay and with slight modification install it on the higher tank. On inspection the front will foul the steering/bars so I need to devise a modification inclusive of a front portion height reduction to allow fitment.  Also the modified tank will have a vertical section rising vertically from the side fairing which are flush with the standard tank.  My idea here is to get a pair of side fairings off of eBay and make a modification to them with fiber glass to 'french the tank back into the fairing.

Any way good progress for one days work and I am encouraged.  The next stage is to see my friend Ervin, who has a MiG welding machine, and get some 20 gauge steel - the fun should start then. Once welded in place, the us of some Bondo will 'fill the gaps, some rubbing down and to the paint shop for some lovely layers of paint and lacquer.

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