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We looked at a bike today. '03, 1600 miles but...... The throttle is stuck (grip won't turn) and there is a ton-o-rust in the tank. Not just a little surface rust but LOTS of it. The bike starts and runs okay at idle.
I have resurrected bikes before and disassembly, cleaning, inspection and repair are not a problem for me. My auto experience with pre-war cars indicates that a rusty tank is a BIG problem. Any suggestions on how best to tackle this or should I just pass.
 

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any idea what the bike has been through? If it'a a native to Phoenix, I wonder how it came to experience so much moisture...sounds like the the throttle might be corroded as well. See if the seller will let you remove the tank and petcock. Slosh some gas or kerosene around in the tank and let it drain out into a clean container. If you have rust flakes, the tank will need to be coated (check out POR-15). I recoated my tank this fall - not too difficult. If no flakes, I think that there are some rust neutralizer products that work OK in fuel tanks - much easier than re-coating. Any evidence of water in the crankcase?
 

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Can't imagine how you'd get a lot of rust in an '03 unless the tank (and bike?) were submerged. Any possability that could be the case because it sounds awfully strange that the throttle is seized as well.
I would stay away from it if I knew for sure it was under water.
If the owner has some plausable reason why the tank is so rusty you can clean it out and get it lined. As well you would almost certainely have to clean the carbs and change the fuel filter.
Just be suspicious...and careful.....Mike
 

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Sounds like it might need a lot of work as the others have said. Maybe it was a hurricane Katrina salvage. I guess you could run a CARFAX on it to see if it was hurricaned or some other previous lemon.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
More on Rust

The bike was purchased new here in Phoenix. The original owner passed away and the current owner bought it from his widow in '04. Hasn't been ridden in over a year. There was about 1/2 gal of very stale fuel in the tank and the inside of the tank was rusted. The most severe rust is in the filler neck then there is some scattered surface rust throughout the rest of the tank that I can see. Por 15 or some of the Eastwood products should work but I am not willing to purchase it before I know the extent of the damage. Any other ideas.

Enjoy the ride!
 

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rust in tank..i seen it also..i saw it from bikes sitting,not used for 2 years..i would get tank off and rinse it out and use as said here, a tank reconditoner..

i cant figure why it rusts but it must be from sweating do to cold/warm atmosphere in garage..

it seems if you drain your gas down to nothing, it does not rust or if it is left full..but leave only a gallon of gas in tank and it will rust..

i seen it happen to generators at work..ones that were dry on gas did not rust, ones that were half full, rusted..
 
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Re: More on Rust

deeppurple52 said:
Por 15 or some of the Eastwood products should work but I am not willing to purchase it before I know the extent of the damage. Any other ideas.
POR-15 is excellent. If you use it, you could also use a 50/50 mix of muriatic acid and water prior to treating. You'll get flash rusting if you only use muriatic acid.

The rust shouldn't be too severe if it only sat for a couple years. I just used POR-15 on a tank that sat for 30 years :shock:
 

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When I bought my Yamaha, it had a really bad case of rust in the gas tank. What I did was remove the tank, removed the shutoff valves and duct taped over the holes. I then put about 6 lbs of BBs in the tank along with about a half gallon of vinegar. I then closed the cap and shook the thing ever which way for about a half hour. Drained everything out and then repeated the process. When I was done I rinsed it real well with high pressure water then blew it dry with my shop vac hooked up to blow. It didn't completely remove the rust but it got rid of all the scale rust and I've not had any trouble with it since. I also installed in line fuel filters and the one time I checked them, there was virtually nothing in them but a few tiny specs.

sanoke
 

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A good ole fashioned radiator repair shop can boil out the tank, and pressure test it. It will shine like new, but you will have to repaint it.
 

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Second what rickbb said about your good old local radiator shop. We have one here in Ocala that does the clean & boil out procedure then recoats the inside of the tank with a red colored resealer that does a real good job. I've had 2 car tanks done and a portable generator tank done with great results. All were VERY nasty with rust and jellied goo from spoiled gas. The generator tank was a Kawasaki orange color on the outside that the paint was not damaged at all on afterwards.
If the bike is a real bargain, I say don't let the tank rust scare you off. There are reasonably priced ways to cure that problem.
 

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The tank on my Honda ATV has rust in the tank, nothing real flaky
and it has never even plugged the strainer on the valve. I think the
rust comes from the tank not being kept full in off periods, allowing
condensate to form with temperature changes. Its an '87 model ATV
and the carburator has never been off, and the bike runs like new. I
do run some Berrymans B-12 through it on occasion though.
 
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