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I have a gas tank on one of my spares that has a big dent in the top... like someone stood on the tank. I figured I'd pop the dent out with a little air pressure. I plugged the filler hole with a tapered dowel wrapped in Saran wrap. I applied air pressure to the fitting at the bottom of the tank. Compare and contrast the two tanks. Which of the two did I work on?



 

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You are not the first person to try using air to pop out a dented gas tank,,

you are not the first person to have the same result either.
 

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I hate when people do that. If you ask about procedures on how to remove tank dents some moron always mentions air. And this is exactly what happens.



I gave a tank away with handlebar dents that couldn't be pulled without a magnaspot. Would have been better just to file with bondo and be done with. Instead air turned the tank into a taco.



You might be able to save it by bolting it down to a piece of wood and put a 2x4 in the center and a jack under it and slowly push it back into position.



Someone did similar last year. Thought it might have been bluefox but it wasn't as far out of wack.
 

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Next time someone tries to use air, which rarely works, put a couple ratcheting tie down straps around the tank first. The straps keep the tank from spreading out. They MAY even bring your tank back into shape somewhat.



I agree Don, I just shook my head when I saw this. Live and learn I guess.
 

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Next time someone tries to use air, which rarely works, put a couple ratcheting tie down straps around the tank first. The straps keep the tank from spreading out. They MAY even bring your tank back into shape somewhat.



I agree Don, I just shook my head when I saw this. Live and learn I guess.
The hardest part of any sheetmetal is the crease there fore air cannot work without distorting the straight sections first. You may be better off by cutting a hole in the underside and gently working the dent out or by gaining acess through the filler.
 

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Yes, Don, it was I. It wasn't one of my better ideas. I did manage to restore it to original condition by using a small hydraulic jack positioned in the center of the upside down tank and pushing against a web strap that I attached to the rear mounting holes. I used a towel and 2x4 against the tank bottom to keep from creasing the bottom of the tank. I remember also using a ratchet strap at the front end to help pull that together at the same time. Some memories are vague, as I have been trying to forget this.







I have also heard about filling the tank with water and then freezing it. The expansion is supposed to pop out the dents. In retrospect, this seems to be an even worse idea. You have NO control over what areas expand. It would likely pull the tank apart at the seams.



The best bet is to use a U shaped padded rod thru the filler hole to tap out the dent from the inside. I had done this on my tank, and got probably 90% of the dent out before I tried the air trick. Or take it to a body shop and see what they say. Some of these guys that work on hail dents can caress out the wrinkles in a pug.
 

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Harbor freight and Princess auto sell 'industrial suction cups'. If there is enough of a seal in the dented area, you might be able to get the cups to hold, then pull them out from the outside, usually with no further damage. Otherwise, there's always the body shops way of welding on some rod, so you can pull it. That however does more damage to the finish than if sucessfull with the suction cups.
 

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I leave the body work to those with the "Magic" as anything with a crease is going to take some filler, sanding, filler, wet sanding....



If it's just a ding with no sharp folds or creases and is reachable sometimes they can be rubbed out from the inside... but I have rarely seen one that was accessible. The Latest thing I've seen is to Glue a slide hammer to the tank and pop/pull.
 
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