Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by sportstermegster, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. sportstermegster

    sportstermegster New Member

    Hi everyone! I'm new to this wonderful group...and I figured if anyone could give me some good would be you good folks from "the family!" I was wondering if anyone else has experienced any problems with their gas tanks? I bought my 2003 custom XL Sportster 1200C - brand new, and after it had to sit in the garage for a while due to multiple foot surgeries and a stint in the hospital...I started having problems with it. Backfiring...hitching in low gears...stalling at lights or low RPM's...etc. I don't know anything about mechanics unfortunately...but I have a friend who went to Harley mechanic school. We replaced the coil...we emptied gunk found in the float bowl...we cleaned out the carberator - bike ran fine for 2 days, then fell flat on it's face! Finally, I had my friend take off the gas tank and empty it. Low and behold ... we found large chunks (and small ones too) of what looks like some kind of gray coating that is peeling off of the inside of the tank. all of the places that had already peeled...was now rusted. That is what we found in the float bowl...RUST from the gas tank! I took the tank to the dealership where I bought it...and they said since the bike is 5 years old, they can't replace it! The shop manager told me to blow out the inside with an air compressor - and then treat the inside with os-flow(spelling??). I wasn't able to get hardly any more coating to peel off- so was afraid to use the os-flow due to the chemical reaction it might create. Goowy mess not good! Anyway - long story short, just wondering if anyone has had this problem with Harley...or their gas tanks from this year. Any suggestions about how to get farther with the company or how to fix the tank on my own? I can't afford to buy a new tank right now. Help! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!:wall
  2. Moose

    Moose Member

    Well, I'll tell you about the cheapest way I have ever used to clean a gas tank. about a dozen marbles, 2 cans of Coke, some parts cleaner and rubbing alcohol.

    I bought a dirtbike from a farmer to restore and it had been sitting behind his barn for about 6 years. Needless to say it was a mess. I popped the tank off and removed the petcock. Rinsed it out with a garden hose, then I plugged the petcock with a bit of duct tape and added some parts cleaner and the coke, tossed in the marbles, put the cap back on and shook that thing like a martini for about 5 minutes, let myself take a break and repeated about 5 times. Making sure to alternate which side was down while shaking. I then dumped my mixture into a bucket. Rinsed with the hose again, then added the rubbing alcohol. Did a couple rounds of shakes and then dumped. The alcohol came out a little discolored, so I repeated. After I reached my satisfaction level with the "look" of the alcohol. I spent some time fishing out the marbles, then I used an air compressor to blow out the tank, I did this for quite some time. Then I put it all back together.

    Now that method worked great for me, but let us remember, that my project bike at the time was $75.

    Your local auto parts store might sell some tank cleaning and sealing products as well
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Moose has a good idea.

    I heard of a guy who took the tank and a box of 1/4 X 20 nuts, dumped them into the tank, wrapped the tank in a moving blanket and put it in the clothes dryer for a while. Came out like new.:D

    I don't think I would do this myself unless the dryer was outside in the yard without a gas hookup attached and the tank was purged of all fumes.

    The key is to store the bike with a full tank when not riding to avoid this in the future.

    You may want to forget about the tank liner if you get it nice and clean. They have caused a bit of problems for others when they start to separate from the tank.
  4. Canadian_Nightster

    Canadian_Nightster New Member

    Say the heck with it and buy a new tank! Why put yourself through all the frustration? Sorry to hear about your tank...I bet you can get another tank on eBay for almost nothing. Try there.

  5. wildspirit97

    wildspirit97 Senior Member

    I've done just about the same as moose only I used a box of BB's and Kerosene. It worked good for me on 1975 Honda 550 four that My dad let sit outside half full of gas laying on it's side.
  6. The Bad Man's Angel

    The Bad Man's Angel Active Member

    For those unfortunate customers who have had bad results from other inferior fuel tank sealers, we have developed these all new "HEAVY DUTY UTILITY & CYCLE TANK REPAIR KITS."

    They feature everything found in our regular UTILITY & CYCLE TANK REPAIR KIT, PLUS a quart bottle of our famous Tank Strip to first remove that inferior coating that failed you.

    Order one today or give us a call with any questions.


    Attached Files:

  7. sportstermegster

    sportstermegster New Member

    Hi! It's meg again! I just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to reply to my question! I can't believe I've had a Harley since 2002...and just found you all now!!! Each and every one of you are so greatly appreciated. Much love!