Repairing Dents in Steel Gas Tanks

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Hi kent. Great site!

I have a couple of old motorcycle tanks that have minor dents. I'm looking for advise on how to best remove them. I have some metal forming experience working in a jewelry/light metals studio at school ie planishing, dapping, soldering, etc but no longer have access to the plethora of polished hammers, anvils and spikes that would see to be very usefull for this project. Short of drilling holes around the dent and pulling it out, the only acces behind the dent is through the gas filler hole. I wondered about filling the tank with shot or something to provide resistance to hammering (basically raising the dent from outside like raising a bowl). I have considered cutting out the dented section then straightening and replacing it but thats a little scarry. The tanks are steel not aluminum.

I would greatly appreciate any advice.

The Tinman Respondeth:

Well James, I use an interesting, but expensive tool called a Lenco machine. It spot welds a slide hammer disc to the dent, the slide hammer then yanks a bit, the disc is twisted to release it from the tank, and a new pull is made nearby. I have "walked" much damage out of double-walled construction and tanks with it. $2500.


See also:
How to Work Out Auto Dents with Hammer, Slapper and Dolly
Repairing Aluminum: Straightening Damaged Parts
Lengthening a Hood to Fit the Car

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