"A Bird in the Hand" take 2. DR650 Deadtail Bobber

Hurco550

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While at Barber, I ran into a several time acquaintance named Butch, who is a big time elsinore guy. I actually sold him some parts a few years back. Anyhow, I took the tank over to him after purchasing it and he gave me some insight on the repairs. Unfortunately with the alloy tanks, you pretty much have to push dents out from the inside, meaning that I will likely have to cut a section out of the tunnel, push out the dents, then weld the section back in. It'll take some doing, but I'm sure I can manage it...
 

teazer

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The way that Yamaha alloy TZ tanks are usually repaired is to cut a small rectangle out of the bottom of the tank to get spoons in to hammer and dolly the dents out then weld the rectangle access door back in place. Using air pressure to try to blow the dent out often destroys the tank as it peels it open.
 

Tanshanomi

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The way that Yamaha alloy TZ tanks are usually repaired is to cut a small rectangle out of the bottom of the tank to get spoons in to hammer and dolly the dents out then weld the rectangle access door back in place. Using air pressure to try to blow the dent out often destroys the tank as it peels it open.
On two past projects, I created a pusher by putting a mushroom head (slightlty smaller than the filler opening) on the end of a length of rebar, then bending it however necessary to allow the head to push against the inside of the dent while the other end is in line with it outside the other side of the tank. Then, just some gentle pushing can coax the tank back into shape.
Sorry for the kindergarten-grade sketch, but I'm in the middle of my workday right now:

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It works, but there's several caveats:
  1. It takes a lot of crazy bending with lots of time-consuming trial and error to come up with an arrangement that will fit in through the filler hole, have a clear path into position, and still allow you to push directly on the dent.
  2. The more bends you have, the more stout your rod needs to be, so that your force goes against the dent rather than just bending the rod. You might even need to create some braces to triangulate it in places.
  3. You probably won't have much back-and-forth travel once you get your tool in place, so you might need extract and re-bend the tool several times in order to fully push out a deep dent.
  4. You have to be REALLY careful you don't distort the filler opening. On the first tank I tried this with, I carelessly banged the rod against the lip too hard, too often. I got the dent out just fine, but discovered on my first ride that the cap didn't seal properly. Fixing that was more of a nightmare than the dent removal.
 

Hurco550

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I started working through the process. There's a guy on Facebook named Joe Abatte who has some really good videos on fixing alloy tanks and even specifically elsinore tanks. I drilled a hole in the tunnel and started pushing dents out. I had to go out of town before I got to far into the process, but I think it'll work. The bad thing is how thick these are, which is also the good thing. Plenty of material to sand down.

Started by getting all the paint stripped off. That step alone made everything look 90% better.
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Even though I know I'm more than capable to weld this up when I'm done, it still felt wrong to drill this hole lol
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Annealed the dents. Most people know the acetylene smoke trick, but sharpie burns away at a similar temp.
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And now sitting here I realized I didn't take any more pics of the tools I made or of the tank after I started working dents out lol. I'll do that in a day or two.
 

irk miller

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And now sitting here I realized I didn't take any more pics of the tools I made or of the tank after I started working dents out lol. I'll do that in a day or two.
Teach much? LOL

Pretty excited to see this tank fixed.
 

Hurco550

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Teach much? LOL

Pretty excited to see this tank fixed.
Haha right?

Here's the "tool" I made. Nothing special. 5/16" rod bent up various ways to get into the dent from the access.
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I've also made a good bit of headway on the biggest dent. Still plenty of finishing to do, but getting closer all the time. Here's a before and after for as far as I've worked it out.


Before:
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As it sits:
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ridesolo

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That's coming along nicely. I think you may be able to get them to the point where you can keep 'em nekkid and polished.
 

Hurco550

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That's coming along nicely. I think you may be able to get them to the point where you can keep 'em nekkid and polished.
Thanks! Though there are enough other little dings that once the big ones are straight, I'll probably do a brushed finish and call it good. I got most of the other two big ones worked out though. Gonna grab a long sanding board from dad tomorrow so I can start finishing out all the low spots. Plenty of tedious work yet to come, but we'll get there.
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Hurco550

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Thanks gents! It's hard to see real progress in pictures, but it's getting there. It won't be perfect and it will carry a bit of "patina" in the end still. The one dent where it creased at the transitions from the top to the side is really kicking my butt too. I understand why the dudes charge big bux to restore these things. I'm probably 5 or 6 hours into it getting it to this point.

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Hurco550

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Well, I'm probably blowing this thread up with too many tank repair pics, but this side is about as done as it's going to get. Now I need to fix a few on the other side. It was what I called the good side, because now this side is way nicer lol.
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ridesolo

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Looks like you have been learning the Principles Of Patience, Grasshopper. Very nice!
 

Hurco550

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Thanks fellas! I really appreciate the kind words. I couldn't let the other side go. This was the "good side" originally and I thought that I would leave it alone, but it looked like garbage compared to the side that I fixed.
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The job is a way faster/ easier when you don't start with baseball sized dents, and I'm definitely getting the knack, though I'm pretty convinced I don't want to get in the business of doing this haha

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