electroplating attempt per verses a big flop so far... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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electroplating attempt per verses a big flop so far...

...so what am I doing wrong?

A few weeks ago I traced my "bike can't idle and eventually dies after 10 minutes of riding, then is fine again later" problems to clogged fuel intake parts due to rust in the tank. I emptied the gas tank into a tub and there was lots of flakes of rust of various sizes. Oh boyo.

I tried following the directions in the Verses that calls for:

- Sodium Carbonate (got it from a pool supply store near me)
- Water (from the tap)
- 14 gauge copper wire (I used 14 gauge speaker wire)
- medium sized steel bolt (plenty of these)
- battery charger. I only had a Battery Tender Jr., so I went to Sears and got a Die Hard 10/2/50 Amp Automatic Battery Charger with manual mode.




I set the charger to 10 Amps and put it on low maintenance (non-auto) mode, figuring that the auto mode would shut off at some point.

But, nothing really seems to happen with the mixture in my tank. The battery charger's ammeter is stuck in the red zone (no draw). If I click the bolt to the tank there's a spark so I know there's power there, but after an hour, nothing seems to be happening. Plus the duct tape I have seems to be really cheap and is leaking the sodium carbonate solution through the petcock hole.

I can get better duct tape, and/or apply more layers, but what's wrong with the charging situation? Or am I just not being patient enough?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 10:40 PM
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I've never tried it. Here is a step by step from YouTube. Maybe it will help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8vT2...eature=related


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 10:41 PM
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Same problem I had. I connected a volt meter to the electrode (or anode, or whatever the proper term is) in the tank and bare metal on the tank and never got a reading. Figured the charger sensed that there wasn't a good connection and wouldn't charge.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 10:46 PM
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Is the solution strong enough, (1/4 cup of sodium carbonate to each 2 gallons of water?)
Is the negative cable attached to the tank, and positive to the bolt? Not reversed.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Is the solution strong enough, (1/4 cup of sodium carbonate to each 2 gallons of water?)
Is the negative cable attached to the tank, and positive to the bolt? Not reversed.
Yeah, I made 4 gallons of the stuff initially and used 1/2 cup of sodium carbonate.

Black = ground = negative, right? Then yes. The black lead is attached to one of the bolt holes on the tank (the left mounting bracket), the red lead attached to the copper (speaker) wire that is wrapped around the bolt that I drop into the solution in the tank.

What model of battery charger did you use? I'm wondering if even in non-automatic mode, this charger isn't "too smart" to send a current through.

How long does it take for something to happen? Most of the time in chem class back in school, doing stuff like this would see an immediate reaction, certainly within a few minutes... I gave it 30 minutes of nada (went off to do other stuff) before looking at the meter on the charger and seeing it was still in the red zone. But if I click the contacts together, or touch the bolt to the tank metal instead of the solution (like clanking it against the lip of the gas cap opening while pulling it out to look at it), I get sparks a-plenty, so the charger is definitely running.

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Same problem I had. I connected a volt meter to the electrode (or anode, or whatever the proper term is) in the tank and bare metal on the tank and never got a reading. Figured the charger sensed that there wasn't a good connection and wouldn't charge.
So what'd you do in the end for the tank rust thing? The acid route?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
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So what'd you do in the end for the tank rust thing? The acid route?
Yup. If you go that route, get better duct tape before you start. Rather than buy the minimum I could find of a gallon of muriatic acid, I went to Walmart and got a bottle of "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner for $1.12. IIRC, it's 30% hydrochloric acid. One bottle did two tanks and had some left over. No disposal problems, just use it for its intended purpose!

Rather than depend on duct tape alone, I cut out two plates to cover the fuel level sending unit and petcock holes. Put a couple of layers of duct tape over the petcock holes to serve as gaskets and backed them up with the plate. On the sending unit hole, cut a small piece from a plastic bag and placed it between the plate and sending unit gasket and used the gasket to seal the hole. I used the respective bolts to tighten the plates against the tape and tank. Absolutely no leaks. I also plugged the vent hole with a small bolt taped in place before covering the entire cap hole with tape.

Dried it out with the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner and still got some flash rust. Humidity was high and the temperature was hot. Phosphoric acid (like naval jelly) took care of the flash rust and both tanks are now shiney bright. I top off the tank after each ride to minimize condensation in the tank.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
What model of battery charger did you use?
I have not actually used the process. I was just following the directions in the vulcan verses.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
Yup. If you go that route, get better duct tape before you start. Rather than buy the minimum I could find of a gallon of muriatic acid, I went to Walmart and got a bottle of "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner for $1.12. IIRC, it's 30% hydrochloric acid. One bottle did two tanks and had some left over. No disposal problems, just use it for its intended purpose!

Rather than depend on duct tape alone, I cut out two plates to cover the fuel level sending unit and petcock holes. Put a couple of layers of duct tape over the petcock holes to serve as gaskets and backed them up with the plate. On the sending unit hole, cut a small piece from a plastic bag and placed it between the plate and sending unit gasket and used the gasket to seal the hole. I used the respective bolts to tighten the plates against the tape and tank. Absolutely no leaks. I also plugged the vent hole with a small bolt taped in place before covering the entire cap hole with tape.
Thanks for the tip on "The Works", that should be easy to find/get. I see Home Depot carries something similar, "ZEP acidic toilet bowl cleaner", that should be equivalent except that it comes in a 128 oz. jug when all I need is about 12 oz.

What do you mean by "plates"? Metal plates? I have no metal plates lying around, or metal cutting equipment other than a pair of tin shears... Hm. Maybe I'll pick up some thin metal plates at Home Depot?

"Sending until hole" and "vent hole" - er, I must have missed these. I only taped up the petcock hole. The gas cap I didn't tape shut with the sodium corbonate solution because I wasn't shaking the tank, now that I will be, I will pay attention to that. The sending unit, hm, I just plumb forgot that has its own hole, that must be where a lot of the leakage came from. But where's the "vent hole" though?

"Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea." (Despair.com)

Last edited by robardin; 11-20-2009 at 12:27 PM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2009, 11:17 AM
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Try 'Gaffer Tape'. Looks like duct tape but is very strong and will not harm paint. It's used in the sound and stage industry.

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