Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Unintended consequences

While the tank on my ‘65 Frankenbike was in generally pretty good condition, there was just enough rust in it to cause fuel problems when running. The fact that the original fuel filter was rotted out didn’t help either. And so I decided it was time for a vinegar soak to clean the tank properly.

After two weeks of soaking I poured out the acid and it was nearly black with rust. But the tank was nice and shiny inside, so, mission accomplished.

Or so I thought.

What I didn’t realise then, but do now, is that the fuel petcocks on these bikes were made of white metal, or pot metal, which reacts to vinegar by dissolving. A fact I discovered when I put gas in the tank and it immediately poured out all over the garage floor from a dozen small pinholes in the petcock housing.

As my father-in-law used to say, “Too soon old; too late smart.”

A new petcock is now on its way from Thailand and should be here in a few weeks. Which will give me time to find the source of the oil drips on the floor.


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