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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a new to me TW and I want to take the new clarke tank off my old TW before I sell it and put it on my new one. However, it looks like an HDPE blow molded tank and that really doesn't like to be painted without heat treating it first. Has anyone found good results, by this, I mean actually had good results painting the actual Clarke tank. If you did, how did you prep it and what paint did you use? TIA
 

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I was wondering the same thing. I had also thought about multiple layers of vinyl on it.



Does anyone know how well the vinyl lasts?
 

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biglefti, I think there was discussion about painting the new plastic clarke tank and that it wouldn't work or wouldn't last because of the vapors seeping through the plastic, or something like that. I think it was last year some time when everyone was waiting for the new tank. And come to think about it, when I see TW's on the forum here with the new tank, I can't remember seeing one painted. But it sure would be nice to better color match.



rmartin, I remember reading something about vinyl wrap on the plastic clarke tanks in "Help me fix this color" or something like that, by lizardbrth or purple, in performance and customization. Again might not stick real good or last. Jimbo C. wrapped part of his tank if I recall, and made holes in the vinyl. Anyway, there is some talk there of vinyl on the clarke tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm getting ready to take my summer motorcycle trip on my Goldwing, but when I return, I may be the first guy that tries it. I worked in thermoplastics for thirty five years and spent a good part of that time decorating the molded product. I know what it takes to prep them but just in case there was anything new (I've been out of the trade for 10 years now), I thought I would ask. You never know. It's funny, but I have asked questions like this on forums before and got some real far off the wall answers. However, some of those crazy answers would get me thinking in a different direction that would eventually lead to a better solution for whatever I was working on.
 

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if you're going to attempt it, i would paint the bottom or something you can't see and see how it turns out.



if you ask clarke, they will tell you they cannot be painted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7


The guy from Texas had a very good description of flame treating polyethylene. That is probably the method I will use. Many have talked about the tanks breathing gas vapors, but I really doubt that that is really happening. More that the paint just doesn't adhere to the poly and just starts peeling off.
 

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put a sticker on your tank and see if it bubbles up underneath. that should show you if the off gassing happens which would bubble paint, shouldn't it?
 

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Well, guess we will wait to see how successful the 'flaming' goes. I spent some time preping (sand, solvent wipe) and Krylon Fusion (plastic) paint. It bubbles as do my decals and scratches off easily, but I can live with it. Gerry



 

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Discussion Starter #11
put a sticker on your tank and see if it bubbles up underneath. that should show you if the off gassing happens which would bubble paint, shouldn't it?


Probably not, the non adhesive nature of PE is probably why it bubbles loose. Unless the PE is either flamed or electostatically treated, not much will adhere to it very long.
 

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I'm going to recommend Vinyl covering with a perforation pattern. I did this on my Clark tank job and I perforated it at 1 inch intervals with a leather belt punch tool that looks like a pair of plyers with a rotating spur with deferent hole sizes indexed on the rotating spur. I did this because most plastic tank sticker kits available via the aftermarket have them. (Hole patterns over the entire tank sticker), and have very specific instructions relating to cleaning and prep prior to applying the sticker kit to a fuel tank. I got the feeling they have had a few returned products and therefore refined the instructions with a venting strategy for the graffics themselves.

All plastic tanks with the exception of a very new version of portable fuel tanks that have an EPA approved non-permiable membrane installed will slowly weep or vent vapors through the plastic and cause bubbles to appear under paint or vinyl. even with a 1 inch spacing under my tank grafficks I still have to use a pin to spot relieve some small bubbles on the tank. I wouldn't attempt to paint a Clark tank.

I am happy with the little maintainence (so Far) that I need to perform on the Clark with the vinyl. it looks reasonably good and provides some protection to the tank.

Ride Well, Jimbo C.

PS: GIZMO !!! You are amazing Brother !!! I wish you lived close by. We (You, Ronnydog, and I) would have a great time.(what is that Flux Capacitor arrangement there?) !!!!

 
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