So, you’ve noticed a dent on your motorcycle tank? These dents aren’t a rare sight and are often seen on older, second-hand bikes.
Regardless of whether your bike is new or not, a dent can be quite annoying. Even if it’s a small one, it’s probably quite visible at least to you. This is a good enough reason to try and remove the dent from a motorcycle gas tank.
Luckily, the problem is fixable in a few simple steps. Continue reading as we explain each step in detail, including the list of tools you’ll need.
Different Types of Tanks & Their Challenges
Not all tanks are the same, and for this reason, some require a different approach to this issue than others. Most gas tanks have openings at the top which allows you to fill them to the maximum.
However, these openings aren’t at all large, which tends to make the process somewhat tricky. Some tanks are double-skinned which looks like you have a tank inside another tank. This can be a problem because if you apply pressure from the inside, you’ll pressure the inner shell and not the outer where the dent usually is.
On the other hand, if it’s a single skin model, the problem is much easier to solve. Experts do it by attaching a flag-like object onto the tank. Its flexible mounting is easy to attach to any angle, but this is best left to professionals and other people with some more experience. The lines on the “flag” show the dent quite clearly, and as you’re fixing it, the lines become less and less visible.
If you need to learn how to clean your gas tank, see our guide.
Tools or Kits You Can Use
The first thing you should remember is never to use more than 5 pounds of pressure. This is the general rule of thumb and applies to all of the methods and tools you might use.
Most people will tell you to use a can of compressed air. It’s the easiest way of fixing the issue at home and without too much hassle. However, this depends on the actual dent since some might be too big than a can of compressed air can fix.
If you’d prefer something else, consider using heat to warm up the tank, making the metal it’s made with a bit easier to work with.
How to Use Compressed Air and Heat
Before you do anything, make sure to burn the leftover fuel in the tank. Empty it and throw in a lighted match. Step aside and allow the flame to burn out, burning all the fuel. Now the tank is safe to work with.
Use a hair dryer to heat the surface. Point its nozzle at the dent with about an inch of space between them. Make sure its setting is on a high.
Move it back and forth for about a minute allowing the area to heat up. Turn the dryer off and set it aside.
Quickly grab a can of compressed air, not letting the heated area to cool too much. The best way to spray the dent is by turning your can upside down. This way, you get liquid carbon dioxide instead of compressed air.
Spray it onto the dent and a one-inch area around it for about thirty seconds. It’s a simple process that’s nearly impossible to do incorrectly. Wait for about two minutes allowing the difference in temperature between the liquid carbon dioxide and heated dent to pop it out of the tank. It should leave the surface smooth.
To find out how to remove your gas tank, read our guide.
Is it Better to Go to a Specialist?
Some dents are bigger than the others and thus easier to deal with. It’s up to you to make the judgment of whether it’s better to see a specialist or not.
If it’s a small dent and you feel like you can do it, you should give it a try. If it’s something bigger and looks tricky to fix, you might want to have a professional do it for you.
Getting this done by a specialist isn’t always expensive, so don’t let that scare you. It depends on how easily approachable the dent is, as well as how big it is.
Is It Dangerous to Fix or Leave As-Is?
Generally, fixing it isn’t dangerous as long as you empty the tank and burn any excess fuel that’s onto the inside of its walls. Leaving it dented is even less harmful, but it can seriously ruin the aesthetics of your bike, especially if the damage is quite prominent and easily noticeable.
As you can see, removing a dent isn’t such a complicated process in theory. It takes a few steps and a little time, but it much depends on the severity of the damage.
Most dents are fixable, even the large ones, but you might want to consider getting a specialist do fix those. If the damage isn’t as severe, you can probably fix it using the method we’ve discussed above.
Either way, you cannot go wrong by trying to remove it yourself. The method we mentioned above is easy to try, and you can always get some professional help if you see that you can’t handle it on your own.