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Antique Motorcycle Gas Tank

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  • Antique Motorcycle Gas Tank

    My 47 Indian has a tank that was lead/soldered together, I dissassembled it to do repairs, and I need to know everything about how to reassemble it, including what kind of solder. Will solder pull right into the seams like soldering copper pipes? What kind of torch tip? Etc. Your advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    If you follow these instructions, it will pull in like copper pipe.

    There are two ways you can do this. One is by heating the area with a torch (see below)and that'll work, but it will be harder to do and the results might not be what you like. The other is by heating the seam with a tinners iron (preferred-most often used for copper roofing, flashing, and gutters).

    Tin the mating surfaces by cleaning them very thoroughly, apply tinning flux such as Dutch Boy tinning flux (sold in the plumbing department at Lowes) and heating with an Acetylene Tinner's Iron.

    OA flames introduces the problem of having a lot of heat concentrated at the flame if you adjust it right. If you try to reduce the heat by adjusting the mixture, you get a carburizing flame that will pollute the solder. If you adjust the heat by backing off, you're too far away and it's hard to control.

    I recommend NOT using OA flame to solder. If you HAVE to use a flame, use a MAPP torch.

    Anyway, remove the residue with laquer thinner.
    Flux the mating surfaces with a good quality flux such as Stay-Clean flux.
    Clamp the shells together. A perfect fit is KEY. You cannot bridge gaps easily.
    Use a silver bearing solder, such as Stay-Bright silver bearing solder.
    Add just enough solder to flow under the iron.

    This package contains a half pound of solder and flux and it's probably what you want. It's generally in stock at Airgas.
    Last edited by Bodybagger; 05-23-2009, 03:21 AM.

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