The Newb versus the leaking gas tank! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Carbs and Fuel System
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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The Newb versus the leaking gas tank!

So I fill my tank on the way to work today and ride it around on some errands at lunch and then home in the evening and I notice a strong smell of fuel. I think maybe I left the petcock on and it overfilled the carbs or something.

I stop for supper and on the way out I notice the side of the bike is wet and smells of fuel. Looking closely I see trails in the chrome of windblown fuel and then I see an actual drop of fuel running off the bike!

I came home and drained the tank and removed it. Link below to pics for anyone who might be interested. It's a pretty newb procedure for sure.

But the tank is leaking alright, right along the mounting flange. Is this a common problem? What is the best way to fix it? What is the cheaper way?

Also while I have the tank off I set the one I am working on painting on it and noticed a lack of nozzle for the overflow hose or whatever it is. (See pics.)

Anyone have any clue what that means? Is my spare tank from a VN700 or something? Any problem not having the tube when I swap them out?

Of course the swap out might have to come sooner than later, now. Might have to ride it in "motley" state!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 12:09 AM
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The vn 700 tank did not have a vent in the rear. make sure the cap vent does not have a little cap over it.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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The cap vent... that would be under the gas cap, right? It looks to be unobstructed. So I should be OK then?

Also searched tank leak on the forums and it seems this is a pretty common thing, leaking around the mounting flange. Various solutions offered, JB Weld, etc.

Question to someone who's done it- is it leaking in a specific spot and if so can you just repair it there or do you have to do all around the flange, etc?

Any heads up would be appreciated.

Thinking of trying to quickly fix it so I can stay running while I work on my motley tins.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krebsne View Post
The cap vent... that would be under the gas cap, right? It looks to be unobstructed. So I should be OK then?

Also searched tank leak on the forums and it seems this is a pretty common thing, leaking around the mounting flange. Various solutions offered, JB Weld, etc.

Question to someone who's done it- is it leaking in a specific spot and if so can you just repair it there or do you have to do all around the flange, etc?

Any heads up would be appreciated.

Thinking of trying to quickly fix it so I can stay running while I work on my motley tins.
Been there, done that. Tried JB Weld, and it stopped the leak. However, when I tightened the tank bolt on that flange, the weld popped and she leaked again. Leak was right in the crease where the mounting flange base is spot welded to the tank. Buddy with a (wire?) welder fixed it. VERY IMPORTANT - whoever welds it needs to measure the precise distance between the two flanges. Once that is done, notch the corners of the flange, heat it and bend it out of the way so the welding tip can get in the crease. Once welded, reheat the flange and bend it back to the original position, then weld the notches you cut. Paint and you're ready to go.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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Currently 23,298 miles

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Last edited by flitecontrol; 05-14-2009 at 01:39 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krebsne View Post
But the tank is leaking alright, right along the mounting flange. Is this a common problem? What is the best way to fix it? What is the cheaper way?
Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Been there, done that. Tried JB Weld, and it stopped the leak. However, when I tightened the tank bolt on that flange, the weld popped and she leaked again.
I put the tank back on while the tank repair was drying.

My bike did the same thing. The guy I purchased it from tried fixing it with silicone... so I pulled the tank and noticed it was leaking from the left mount where it was spot welded to the tank. Here are the steps I used and knock on wood, so far so good.

1. Empty tank and fill with water.
2. Spread mount away from tank in the area where it is cracked.
3. Sandblast the area. (you will need to remove the petcock and make sure no sand is in the tank later)
4. Empty the water rinsing a few times to get any sand out, mount the petcock and let the tank dry.
5. Use tank sealer putty to fill the crack and make sure to push it through so it forms a lip on the inside (at this point the mount is still "stretched" away from the tank).
6. Smooth out the putty on the outside of the tank using just your finger.
7. While the putty is still wet temporarily place it on the bike and bend the mount almost to final fit leaving just about 1/4" gap so it will allow pressure to be put on the joint instead of possibly needing to open the distance and chance breaking the seal that was just put.
8. Prime using black primer, sand.
9. Paint with color that matches your bike. Let dry. (20 minutes or so)
10. Mount the tank back onto the bike.
11. Fill with petro.
12. Take it for a spin!

The bond should be strong enough that it won't break if you need to take the tank off again but I cannot be positive as I have not had to take the tank off since. I wish I had taken pictures of this but I was in a rush fixing the bike 4 hours before I had to leave for work and I wanted to take my bike...

Let me know how it goes.

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Last edited by VulcanCruizer; 05-13-2009 at 06:27 AM. Reason: added text
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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One thing I forgot to ask. Jacked up my bike originally by leaving it over the winter with fuel in the tank. Don't want to gum up the carbs again.

So I turned off the petcock, started the bike, and ran it until it died from lack of fuel before I drained the tank. So the carbs should be sitting there pretty empty.

Good idea or not?

And in this case, or if I had done nothing, how long is too long for it to sit with fuel in the tank before you have to do something or risk messing up your carbs? A month? 2? 3?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 12:19 PM
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Yea. The ethanol will gum up the carbs. You could use a fuel winterizing additive or use some sea foam before winter and it should be fine in the spring.

Have you tried repairing the tank yet?

1989 VN750
Purchased 4/26/2008 @ 27,320 Mi

Upgrades:
Travelcade Mustang Seat
SpitFire Tinted Quick Release Windshield
Degoat, Drilled & Jetted
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Johar Signature Grips
Deka ETX15L Powersports AGM Battery
NGK DPR7EIX-9

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 01:14 PM
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jb weld will stop a gas leak temperaroly but the gas wil eat through the jb weld and you will be stuck with the same problem... i have a tank i tred to repair by soldering but it still leaks... ive been told tank liners will work for small leaks however im not a fan i just replaced mine saved the headache from off and on fill with water dry ect...



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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krebsne View Post
The cap vent... that would be under the gas cap, right? It looks to be unobstructed. So I should be OK then?

Also searched tank leak on the forums and it seems this is a pretty common thing, leaking around the mounting flange. Various solutions offered, JB Weld, etc.

Question to someone who's done it- is it leaking in a specific spot and if so can you just repair it there or do you have to do all around the flange, etc?

Any heads up would be appreciated.

Thinking of trying to quickly fix it so I can stay running while I work on my motley tins.
Krebsne - I used a putty stick from NAPA specifically named Gas Tank Repair. It's an epoxy putty of some sort that you knead to activate and let cure for several hours. No need to water, dry tank, etc., as it's designed for adhering to wet fuel surface. Just break off what you need and save the rest in an airtight container. Dries to a very slightly flexible patch to withstand temp changes, etc. Works great and is about $7 or less. Check it out.

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