Hello everyone, I'm new to the Forums and new to riding. I just bought my first ride, a sweet little 1983 CM250 Custom. I've seen this referred to as a Rebel or at least a cousin of the Rebel. So I hope you can help me.
Here's my situation:
The gas tank on the bike is not the original and has some damage. In my new-bike-owner enthusiasm I decided to buy another tank that is the original color, etc for the bike. Found one on-line and bought it.
Here's the prob: the new replacement tank does not have a key for the gas cap. I can't get inside so I don't know about rust, etc. The key to the gas tank on my bike doesn't work on the replacement tank.
How can I get a key that will work on the new tank? OR how can I switch the gas cap on my bike to the new tank?
Once I get this key problem solved I will then need to assess the inside of the replacement tank. I assume there will be rust. What do I do then? I've heard many solutions such as acid clean the inside, Kreem coat the inside, etc. What has worked for you? and what will be most effective for the long-term of the bike?
Thanks in advance for helping out.
A locksmith could probably get the tank open, but it might cost more than it's worth. If Henryinva's suggestion works (I've never had the need to try it), and doesn't warp the tank, you should then be able to switch out the lock from your old tank and put it on the new one.
I prefer acid cleaning with a couple of hand fulls of metal nuts. Remove the cap, petcock, and any other attachments to the tank. Cover all holes except the cap with good quality duct tape. Have a box of baking soda, a pint of phosphoric acid, an empty bucket, and water hose handy. Wear rubber gloves, eye protection, and old clothes or an apron. You do not want to get any acid on you or the outside of the tank. Put the nuts in the tank and carefully pour about two cups of muriatic acid (available from pool supply and home improvement stores) into the tank. Cover the hole with duct tape, put your gloved hand over the tape, and shake that thing for all you're worth for about a minute. Check to see if you have any leaks, and if so, wash and neutralize with baking soda. You may need to "burp" the tank periodically to relieve pressure by lifting the tape over the fill vent. Repeat until all areas of the tank insides have been treated. Immediately pour out the nuts, acid and crud into the bucket and rinse the tank with the water hose. Do this until the water is clear. Add about 1/4 cup baking soda to the inside of the tank, add some water, and slosh it around the entire insides. You want to neutralize any acid which might remain. Pour the contents into the bucket and thoroughly rinse the tank. Once you are sure you have removed all foreign material from the tank, shake out all the water you can and immediately add the phosphoric acid to the tank. This will chemically react with the tank and help prevent future rusting. Slosh this around in the tank until you are sure the entire insides have been coated. Wait five minutes and pour contents of the tank into the bucket and add the rest of the baking soda to the bucket to neutralize the acid. Rinse the tank with the water hose, remove the tape, and use a hair dryer to dry the tank. When dry, reinstall the petcock, cap, etc. If you keep the tank full and use SeaFoam periodically, there is no need to Kreem the tank. Install an in-line fuel filter before mounting tank.
WARNING!! If the replacement tank is badly rusted, this procedure may cause it to leak.