replaceing fuel tank

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:37 am
Location: knoxville tn
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100a & 2000 Sportster 1200

replaceing fuel tank

Postby T-Rat » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:33 pm

My fuel tank on my 1983 1100 interstate that I just bought is full of rust. This bike has been sitting for several years before I got it. A friend gave me a tank that he had that is a lot cleaner then the one on my bike. He doesn't remember what year model wing it came off of. Today I pulled the tank out of my bike and laid them side by side. The good tank is a little smaller than the one that came off of my bike. The filler neck is also slightly smaller in diameter than mine. it looks like it will bolt up in the frame but I am not sure. Has anyone run in to this and does anyone know if it will actually fit? Thanks for any help!

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Re: replaceing fuel tank

Postby spiralout » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:19 pm

Sounds like he gave you a tank from a GL1000. I just went and checked both of mine and the O.D. of the 1000 filler neck is 1 3/4" and the 1100 neck is 2 3/16". They are not interchangeable.

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Re: replaceing fuel tank

Postby tom84std » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:12 am

You could remove everything from the rusty tank. Put in a couple of handfuls of 1/4" nuts and bolts. Duck tape the openings. Wrap it in a blanket. Put it into your clothes drier and pack another blanket or two around it. Tumble on cool for 15-30 minutes. You want it pretty much centered inside the drier drum and packed fairly tight. Rinse several times with water, sloshing violently and set it (open) in the hot sun to dry after removing all of the puddle. Do it when your wife is gone for the day. I'm always surprised at the quantity of powdered crud I get out of my tank this way. If there are any pin holes this will expose them.

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Re: Replacing fuel tank

Postby rkmason » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:43 pm

I recently cleaned up an '81 GL1100 gas tank using a combination of electrolysis (using a battery charger) which removed 80% of the rust & crud and phosphoric acid (Metal Rescue from Home Depot or similar) which took care of most of the rest of the stuff. The combination works well if you give both the electrolysis and phosphoric acid each at least a week to work. There is online how-to info around about how to do the electrolysis.

As tom84std says, you may find you have some pinhole leaks afterward. My tank had one pinhole which had to be brazed.

Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:37 am
Location: knoxville tn
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100a & 2000 Sportster 1200

Re: replaceing fuel tank

Postby T-Rat » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:50 pm

Thanks everyone for the looks like a couple of weeks before I can spend much time on the wing.......whole lotta other stuff to get done. I'm gonna try to slip the 1000 in tank just to prove to myself that it won't work. I'll let everyone know how that goes. Then I'll decide what to do about a tank. This is gonna be a drawn out process and I'm really not in that much of a hurry since I have another bike to ride. I just wanta get this 83 wing on the's to nice a bike to let it just rust away the way the previous owner was doing.

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Re: replaceing fuel tank

Postby tallman21 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:17 pm

do a search on this site or cleaning rusty gas tanks. I cleaned out mine a few years ago and used vinegar. Basically i filled it all the way up with vinegar and let it sit for 2 days. then i drained it and rinsed it with water. It got about 90% of the rust out and the rest i kind of scrapped away with a long handled wire brush. I got my reserve tank to finally start workign too using this method.

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