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Tank and Fairing


I have lumped the tank and fairing together mainly because they complement each other and are, in fact, attached to one another, the lower fairing mount being the cross brace of the tank.


I shot the tank, both fenders, and the rear cowl in the same session back in July of 2013 and then went on to pin-stripe the individual pieces as time permitted. Unfortunately, when I put fuel in the tank I discovered a pair of weeps in it necessitating a repair and repaint.


The tank is a UK tank for this year bike. Prior to buying it off e-bay, I considered a couple of the aluminum road race tanks that are available. I found them to be very expensive and usually required an extensive wait. But, I still wanted a more "Cafe" looking tank than the US tear drop tank that is normally found here in the States. When I saw this one up for auction it seemed like just the compromise I was looking for.


When it arrived, I found it to be still in original paint, there by giving me the gold and white paint scheme that I would extend to the front fender and rear cowl. And the inside looked very clean. While I doubt that the e-bay seller had any idea that it had leaks, probably, when it got removed from what ever bike it was on, that was most likely the reason; it appeared to have been put on a shelf and stored for many years. What caught me was the fact that the leaks were both at the top of the tunnel and were not at all conspicuous when I examined it. I have since learned that this was a common problem and the lower brace was added to reduce the incidence of it.


While I did look it over and even put solvent in it to check for leaks, I was mostly looking for pin holes in the bottom. Either the solvent wasn't thin enough to show up or I just didn't get it full enough to expose them. Oh well, only one course of action available.







Grinding along this weld exposed a seam that was clearly beginning to fail across its entire length.






The tops of both the front and rear of the tunnel got re-welded.


But, before proceeding further, I figured I better come up with a way of testing to see if I had gotten all the leaks.


I found a plumber's plug at Home Depot that, while not an exact fit to the tank fill hole, was close enough that I thought I would be able to work with it. As it turned out that might have been quite a chore with out the lathe.



The lower plastic cone turned down rather easily to fit inside the filler hole. But, rubber doesn't really like being "turned". Eventually I managed to get it whittled down enough that it too would pass through the neck, and when tightened, made a good seal.






I reinstalled the petcocks, including the copper fuel line pipes, and found that the pipes fit the clamp-on fitting of the air pump perfectly. By closing the opposite petcock and opening the one attached to the pump I was able to charge the tank with air. And, with a little soap and water, revealed this.






Either this was lurking under the paint or the weld exposed a fracture that was about to open. Which one was irrelevant, it still had to be dealt with and finding it now made all the work of making a pressure testing system worth the time and fiddling.




Eventually, after some brazing, testing, grinding, and more testing, followed by sanding and filling, we arrived here. Once in primer AGAIN!!, I can finish sanding and prepping for paint, AGAIN!!















  Until I got here.


 Eventually both of these pieces will get striped but for now there are additional things that must be taken care of.



Prior to painting the faring came the positioning of it and the glassing in of the mounting studs. I ordered the fairing from Glass From the Past


and it is their Dunstall Replica half fairing. It comes without any mounting hardware or mounting instructions. It took quite a bit of fiddling to find where I wanted the fairing to sit on the bike AND then provide mounts that would hold it in that position.


If I were going to build 20 more of these mounts I certainly would not need them to be this complicated. However, never having built anything like this before, every thing had to be adjustable so that I would be able to fine tune how it would ride on the bike.




The '71 frame, even though it is an OIF, still has the two mounting points on the steering head. I have heard that these were intended as mounts for a side car but that is just conjecture on my part. On later frames these mounts were deleted. That would require some kind of "U" bolt arrangement to which one would affix a mounting plate. Having these mounts gave me a place to start.



When I got this far I was able to begin positioning the faring. By tightening the pivot bolts the mount would stay in place well enough for me to test fit the faring. I would shorten this upper link several times before finally being satisfied. Shortening the link had the effect of pulling the mount and the fairing rearward.



Next came the lower brace. Lots of adjustment. Lots of complication.







I needed something to glass into the fairing so came up with these. They are just pieces of scrap sheet metal drilled with holes and to which I welded a stud. Once I was satisfied with the positioning of the fairing and had the perforated pieces bent to conform to the inside of the fairing, I glassed them in place. After a day of curing I removed the fairing to complete the glassing/reinforcing.








During this time the "love bugs" for which Florida is famous literally swarmed around my shop. This would go on for several days and would not only get into my glass but also another project that I was working on simultaneously. While it didn't really hurt anything as far as the glassing goes, they would also get into the glazing compound that I was using on the trunk lid of my Jag project and could not be "picked" out without causing additional work. What a PITA!!


 When I ordered the fairing I saw that they offered a "dash" for it as well. I went back and forth about whether to include one of those with my order or not and finally decided yes so one came with the fairing. I would find that this was a very wise move as once I got into setting the fairing up I realized that trying to make a dash would have been a very big job indeed.


The dash came with holes for the tach and speedo and places for two additional gages as well. To this I added various switches and indicator lights. All this required additional wiring and so the dash got it's own electrical system complete with terminal blocks and a relay.






I wanted to be able to remove the faring with a minimum of effort so began fitting all the wiring with quick connect plugs. However, as the project grew I found that, while the plugs would definitely make it easier, removal of the fairing would still be somewhat of a chore.