Repair of a Simple Tank Dent
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  1. #1
    Member glas482's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    1989 TW200 Cincinnati, OH
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    I've never really cared much how my bike has looked as long as it's run well and been reliable. But in the past month I’ve added a Jimbo Shield, had my seat recovered, fixed the leaking fork seal and replaced the long missing fork boots along with making new foot peg extenders and adding handle bar risers. Those upgrades have me looking at my bike in a new light and my eye kept going to the dent in the tank.



    As far as dents go it was probably the best you could hope for. On the flat side of the tank, shallow, rounded and not creased. After looking at repair techniques on the interweb and investigating some kits I figured it was 50/50 if I could fix it myself. I decided to try the easiest method first. I saw several bridge and screw pop a dent kits but didn’t want to invest even the thirteen bucks Harbor freight charges on something that the reviews were very mixed for and I wasn’t thinking would really work.



    So with some chunks of 2x4 I cut down, old inner tube to cushion the wood, a carriage bolt I ground the head down flat on, a large washer I drilled around the rim to give the glue a better purchase, a wing nut to fit the carriage bolt and a piece of the old manure spreader for the bridge I assembled my homemade dent popper.



    HERE'S THE DENT TO START





    AND THE ASSEMBLED DENT POPPER





    FIRST I HOT GLUED JUST THE CARRIAGE BOLT TO THE CENTER OF THE DENT





    ATTACHED THE BRIDGE AND TURNED THE WING NUT DOWN A FEW TURNS





    THE FIRST ATTEMPT POPPED OFF PRETTY QUICKLY SO I ADDED THE LARGE WASHER AND LOTS MORE GLUE





    THIS TIME I USED A HAIR DRIER TO HEAT THE METAL SOMEWHAT AROUND THE DENT. NOT SURE IF IT HELPED OR NOT. IT DID SOFTEN THE GLUE SOME.





    I SCREWED IT DOWN UNTIL ONCE AGAIN THE CARRIAGE BOLT AND WASHER PULLED FREE. I WAS THINKING THIS ISN'T WORKING. BUT ON CLOSER INSPECTION THE DENT SEEMED TO BE BETTER.

    AFTER CAREFULLY CLEANING OFF THIS BLOB OF HARDENED GLUE AND SOME ADHESIVE REMOVER TO GET THE LEFT OVERS IT WAS ACTUALLY LOOKING PRETTY GOOD.



    HERE'S THE AFTER PIC. YOU CAN'T SEE IT BUT THERE IS STILL TWO SMALL DIMPLES I'M GOING TO TRY AND PUSH OUT FROM THE INSIDE OF THE TANK BUT I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH THE RESULTS.





    I'm not saying this will work for all dents or even most but it it's a quick and easy method to give a try.
    89 TW200
    08 V Strom DL650
    71 Honda CB350

  2. #2
    Senior Member PalmStateCrawler's Avatar
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    Nicely done. If you can buy it, you can alsk probably make it. Good looking bike. I really like the seat cover.
    '13 690 Enduro R too many frickin farkles...
    '07 KLX250 farkled (wife's bike)
    '86 BW80 farkled to size
    '10 TW200 you will be missed

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    I've got the same thing and maybe I'll give i a try. Nice job.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Nice job. looks pretty good. And just think how much further you can go now with all that extra gas in the tank.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Bullspit's Avatar
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    Nice job! I would have never thought to have used hot glue.

  7. #6
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Nice write-up! Like you I've found that this method requires some patience, and multiple pulls to get all of the dent out. I think that tapping the edge of the dent with a light hammer while pressure is applied would also help. You would probably want to put down some tape where you're tapping to avoid marring the paint.



    I"ve also wondered about applying some regulated air pressure to the tank and tapping around the edge of the dent. You couldn't use much air pressure, of course.



    I think you did a great job! The dent is barely noticeable now. Thanks for writing it up and sharing with the rest of us. Your bike looks great!
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  8. #7
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-dub View Post
    I"ve also wondered about applying some regulated air pressure to the tank and tapping around the edge of the dent. You couldn't use much air pressure, of course.


    I've also always wondered if it would work to fill the tank with water and then freeze it to see if the expanding ice would push the dent out?





    glas - nice job and nice work.

  9. #8
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    That's pretty slick, nice job.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  10. #9
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Increased air pressure and freezing water usually splits the seams open and makes the tank leak and is not a recommended way to remove a dent.

    Best to pull it out like was done or push it out from inside if you can reach it. Some people have used heat then ice or spray with freon to expand and contract the metal to pop out a small dent. If you were going to paint the tank again, then that little dent left over could easily be filled with Bondo or similar and sanded out and never be noticeable.

  11. #10
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glas482 View Post
    YOU CAN'T SEE IT BUT THERE IS STILL TWO SMALL DIMPLES I'M GOING TO TRY AND PUSH OUT FROM THE INSIDE OF THE TANK BUT I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH THE RESULTS.


    Cool! In the tradition of the best Mexican mechanics!



    Just get some cool logo to put over them and no one will ever notice!



    Pushing from the inside will likely just make the two dimples into six!
    Rocky
    2018 TW200
    2014 BMW R1200GS LC

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