1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Clear coat gas tank?

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by jaydee75, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. jaydee75

    jaydee75

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    As the original owner of my Mk3, the black paint and gold pin striping is getting pretty thin. And when I gas up, the paint suffers from splashing droplets etc. I don't want to get a new paint job, because it's only original once.
    I'm thinking of spraying 2K clear, 2 part urethane over all for preservation and protection. I'm especially concerned that there might be a reaction with the black or gold.
    I wonder if anyone has done this and how did it work out.
    Jaydee
     
  2. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    You won't get a reaction from paint that is that old.

    I might suggest Pore15 -Glisten as a tough clearcoat that will handle the fuel.
    PS, it cures slowly so give it plenty of drying time.
     
    nortriubuell likes this.
  3. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    I have used the 2K clear gloss over my tank that I painted with rustoleum black gloss. It was completely compatible, even while being applied without any extended gassing off time between applications.

    I bought my india made interstate tank with no paint. I painted the tank rustoleum gloss black, then I masked the pinstripes and stenciled the norton logo in gold rustoleum paint. I may have gently wet sanded prior to using the 2K just to remove some of the orange peel. The 2K worked really well. I had one slight sag that was my fault for loading up the coat too much in one spot and and some noticeable orange peel for not loading it up enough in another spot, but it does resist any fuel spillage well.

    A few weeks ago I decided to fit interstate side covers to my bike since the early roadster side covers I was using always bumped into the bottom of the interstate tank rubbing the color off both... which sucked. So I did the metal work necessary to mount the new side covers to a bike with a central oil tank and ordered the 2K again to clear coat the side covers and rub out the imperfections of last years first coat of 2K on the fuel tank to give it a second coat. Long story short, I had no compatibility problems with the 2K again. I even touched up the underside of the tank with black rustoleum where the side cover had rubbed the paint off of it, then sprayed the 2K over that spot an hour later with no reaction.

    Overall, the 2K has worked good for me. I'm pleased with it's result. It did cost $40. for a single can, so it's not cheap. Full disclosure: I've sprayed finish my whole life for a living, and only recently have done less of that, so I have a lot of experience, so I get a good result based on my skills and the products working well.

    The 2K is good stuff. It's totally impervious to the non-ethanol fuel I use. I haven't had any brake fluid hit the tank since I got rid of the stock lockheed master cylinder, so I don't know if it withstands brake fluid, but not much does...
     
    XTINCT, nortriubuell and JimC like this.
  4. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Side stand bolt broke on me a week past and suffered a tip over leaking past cap on my lacquer painted tank. Ethanol does a number on it. Just finished repairs two days ago with more lacquer & lacquer clear and may have to use some of this 2K , or whatever, soon because lacquer ain't cheap.
    Who makes, where is, etc.?

    OK...Found info. Glad topic & info came up. You guys are mind readers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  5. alan hodge

    alan hodge VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2017
    try spraymax clear make sure you have a respirator
     
  6. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    40+ years ago I sprayed a clear polyurethane over a Candy Lacquer. Looked great, till it diamond cracked. I was told because I mixed lacquer with the Poly..
    I am no expert but I think the original paints are lacquers?
    I know things have progressed ALOT, but I would do a test. Maybe the underside of the tank, or a sacrificial side cover.
     
  7. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    I do it outdoors with a dust mask when the wind is not too high. Got COPD to boot. Primarily concerned with particles & mask catches most of those.
     
  8. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    The old lacquers were very touchy about everything, but these acrylic lacquers seem to be a bit more forgiving. Used to be if you hit over some enamel it would crackle right up and peel. My fill cap is painted with rattle can acrylic enamel and went right over with clear the other day...stuck right on with no ill side effects.
    A test area is a wise choice though because of Murphy's Law. I shall pull out a piece of scrap and conduct a test because it took me forever to float the haze out of this due to humidity.
     
  9. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Actually, the old nitrocellulose lacquers were easier to use and easier to touch up, but they didn't resist chemicals very well. My dad was the foreman of a finishing shop for 35 years. I worked with him since I was old enough to sandpaper...

    He's gone now 20 years, no surprise he died of lung cancer, but he always said he retired just in time because the old material was easy to use and it cured by solvents gassing off primarily which is a simple process. Those old lacquer products were being replaced by catylized material that was much more chemical resistant than the old stuff, but harder to get a perfect result with. I'm sure the newest chemistry is improved from it's earliest versions. Early conversion varnish was difficult to do well, but hard as hell when it dried.

    The 2K was compatible with rustoleum. That means you can lay down a simple solid color cheaply, and use the 2K to get improved chemical resistance in your top coat. Of course a professional job is always better for many reasons...

    You have to be careful topcoating any paint that gets effected by a solvent. Sometimes the solvent (like E10 fuel) softens the underlying paint and will react when the top coat hits it. I've heard it called shrink, reaction, aligator, wrinkle, etc... My roadster tank has the exact problem right now. It's gotten hit with brake fluid and fuel and the last time I painted it, the new paint reacted, sending me back to square 1, so I need to strip or sand down to bare metal again to get past the chemically effected paint layers... It sucks, but that's how it goes.
     
  10. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    I was fortunate because the clear was heavy enough that the ethanol only got through in a small area and damaged the black, but my air brush made short work of that. Decals weren't damaged either so really good.
    This new lacquer sets really fast so you have to move or you've got a problem. Only thinner I've got locally is a medium which doesn't slow it enough for daydreams. Good thing is you can pile it on with no worry of sags or runs.
     
  11. MichaelB

    MichaelB VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    I was only 17 when I tried my hand at that custom job. It look so good, people wanted me to do their's. It was so much work, I didn't want to, let alone know what to charge.
    Then it turned so bad, that was the end of it. First and last custom paint job. It stayed that way till I blew the motor, rod through the bottom. I traded it for Snap On tool box.
    People laughed. The guy I traded the box for sold it to a little shop in Santa Fe Springs that specialized in Brit bikes, mostly Triumphs. Made no sense to me because it was a Honda CL450.
    Why he wanted a Jap bike with an exposed rod and crap paint, I'll never know. That little shop went on to become JRC Engineering... Ever hear of them?? https://jrcengineering.com/
    Sorry for the tread drift, brought back memories.

    Anyways, I am watching this with interest to see what is what.

    BTW, I still have the Tool Box............
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  12. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    I painted both of mine with clear polyurethane mixed with pearl (SS clone) and metalflake (Titanic) over acrylic enamel base coat over primer. The poly is highly fuel resistant and very tolerant of wet-sanding and re-coating. The SS clone's bronze gold pearl is several years old and looks new. Not sure of it's compatibility with stock paint or lacquer, but it really protects and preserves.

    Be sure to use a respirator when painting with urethane. A dust mask is not sufficient. It actually took a couple of haircuts to get all the overspray fog out of my hair despite wearing a cap.
     
  13. Madnorton

    Madnorton VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    I believe Glisten has been revamped to a 2K product now. There maybe a user in NZ who can explain why, basically a leak of ethanol fuel damaged his old spec ethanol resistant Glisten lacquer. PORE in the US were not even helpful, and their importer in the UK said that he would not recommend it as a fuel tank lacquer as there are better coatings out there.
     
  14. maylar

    maylar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    I've painted a lot of motorcycles and a few cars over the last 40 years or so. In general terms, you don't want to put a "hotter" paint over a more benign paint. Hotter in this context refers to the solvents or reducers. In order of solvent activeness it would be enamel, lacquer, then urethane. Lacquer will bubble enamel, urethane will damage lacquer. The posts here indicate that some urethane clears are compatible with lacquer and that may be true, but I've seen my share of horror stories and I'd certainly want to test an obscure area before committing to spraying a coating on my tank.
     
    comnoz likes this.
  15. Danno

    Danno

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Urethane seems to do pretty well over acrylic enamel. I used acrylic enamel as a base coat because the poly is so thick on it's own and I didn't want a lot of buildup. Maybe because they're both a type of plastic.
     
  16. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    I am certainly not a paint professional and have only tried a few different products but,

    The only Pore15 Glisten I have used was not a lacquer. It was acrylic enamel and hardener.

    It produced a considerably harder and more chip resistant finish than PPG 3000 did.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  17. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Well I'll watch as this debate rolls onwards and continue to carefully fill my tank from a can in the shed where I conveniently have access to items for immediate clean up of any spill or splash on my lacquer.
    I've never mixed either unless by accident and always had misfortune when it occurred, except when using a sealer prior and at times that would bugger up.
     
  18. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Here is the way this dilemma would work out for me:

    1.) I'd like to preserve the original paint job so consider putting a poly clear coat over it.
    2.) I realize that by doing this I destroy the original patina and the original paint job in that it is no longer original.
    3.) I decide to ride and enjoy my original paint job until such a day that I repaint the tank, either with new or original paint formulations.
    4.) I consider buying another tank to use and hanging my original on the wall because I'm afraid to get gas on it.
    5.) I realize that by the time I am ready to sell my bike that gasoline will not even be legal and that having it original doesn't matter to anybody left alive.
    6.) I go back to riding my bike and enjoying the patina of my original tank.
     
  19. jbruney

    jbruney

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    My original was pretty much dead when I bought it from South Texas sunshine. It was lacquer, and from very faint almost rubbed out brush strokes, don't believe it was a spray job. White lead had been used to smooth any irregularities in the tank. Picture shattered glass down to primer.
     
  20. jaydee75

    jaydee75

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Thanks for all the interest and comments guys. I'm planning on proceeding with the 2k clear. I'll be the guinea pig.
    The main reason I want to preserve what I've got, is the gold pinstriping. It shows the factory guy's brush strokes and brush redips and has a definite handmade appeal. Sometimes imperfection is better than perfection, (like patina). I can't really wax the tank because the gold is getting very thin.

    My black is pretty good except for a drip of DOT 3 that ate it on the front right side.
    Best I can tell the original paint is lacquer, because a splash or drop of gasohol dulls it immediately.
     

Share This Page