Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gas tank mounting for dummies

Alright, I'm gonna do a little how-to here. I mounted the gas tank from Lowbrow(V-Twin) on my frame today, this is what I did. This here is most of the supplies I used
A corded drill, dead batteries suck
A variety of Drill bits
Threaded 3/8"-16, 1" long bungs from Lowbrow. They have the cool tophat ones now that I want to try though.
Areosol layout fluid, flat black paint works just as well.
Anti Seize compound
a scribe
and a big Pepsi.

First off I taped off the caps (forgot to grab the plastic ones off the shelf) and tape blocked the tank so just the mounting tabs are out. I used premask because we have tons of it but any painters tape works.

Sprayed the tab with the layout fluid then figured out where I wanted to hole, I didn't measure I read the other day about how Von Dutch and Ed Roth never measured anything and I think that's so cool. I also have been making signs and laying decals for years so my eye for this is a bit more trained than the average, so you should just measure. Laid some lines then used an awl to punch a center mark. One thing I noticed about these tanks is that the tabs aren't exactly where they should be, so use your discretion on where to put the holes, mine aren't in the center of the tab, if they were the tank would have sat weird.
So I used a few bits, going up in size as I went, I also used a cutting lubricant, trust me, spend the few bucks to get this, your bits will last longer and it just makes your life easier. It smells gnarly when its burning off so you could wear a dust mask I guess. I didn't take photos of the holes in the tabs, I was having too much fun building.

So onto the frame, i had the tank zip tied on for a couple weeks, I'd move it around and stare at it for literal hours until I decided where I wanted it. Thats what the black mark is, the back of the tab. Spray it, punch it, drill it, increasing bit size as you go. The bungs I used have an OD out 3/4" so you need a bit that big. You can get away with doing it a bit smaller, like 0.74 then putting the bung in the freezer and hitting the hole with a torch then dropping the cold bung in and itll be solidly in there.

The front hole is from the old tank mounts that I cut off, I was going to fill it today but I decided to do it later. The other is mine, its a bit rough, I didnt clean it yet. I used a die grinder as well, because I couldn't find a 3/4 bit today and the good hardware store was closed. So I got close, then carefully grinded it out then filed it a bit.
This sucks. This is my least favorite thing, but it happens. The funny thing is I thought it would be really jammed in there so I grabbed some plyers and went to pull it out but I was wrong and it fell right in to the frame. So now I have a bit of a drill bit lost in there.
So once I got the holes drilled I threaded a bolt into the bungs and used that to hold them where I wanted them then tacked them in. This is where the anti seize compound came in. I put it on the bolt before I threaded it in, so that way when the bung heats up from the welding you don't get your bolt stuck in there. You really don't want that. after the tacks cooled I took the bolts out and welded them suckers in there.

After I welded them in, I ran a tap, just to be sure, and some slag flew into one of the holes and I needed to rethread a little.
I wasn't too worried about a perfect beautiful weld, because it was just getting grinded down anyways.
Here's the backbone of my frame, with bungs in and welds smoothed out with a flap disc. just needs a bit of sanding and you'd never guess that's not how its supposed to be.

Tank mounted, lookin' pretty sharp. This took me about two hours to do, it can be done a lot faster but I had some trouble with drilling, the die grinder idea didn't come to me til later then that made my life so much easier. Just need some washers on there and its good.
So there is it, easy tank mounting that anyone with a little ingenuity and the proper tools can do.
Enjoy and go build things!!

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