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Dragonklutch
Posted on Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I've read a lot of stories about the paint bubbling on Buell tanks and it has on mine. Getting set to repaint my bike but have not read anything on a fix for the problem. Does anyone know if stripping it down bare and using high end quality primer and paint fixes the issue?
2002 S3T
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Jamie04
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 07:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I did exactly what you describe (i.e. strip all paint off, use epoxy primer, then sealer, then paint) with good results so far. No blisters yet in three years. The key seems to be long cure times between steps. (I mean like a month between steps!) As someone else here said, "wait until your dog cannot smell the paint" before going to the next step. Good luck.
{http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/476 23/822975.html?1518796221#POST2619750,http://www.b adweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/47623/822975.ht ml?1518796221#POST2619750}
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Jamie04
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Regarding stripping the old paint off of the tank. I would not recommend to use chemical stripper for this task. Because the nylon tank is somewhat porous (compared to metal) I fear some of the stripper would migrate down into tank surface and stay there regardless of how much rinsing is done. Then those remaining traces of stripper may reduce the bond of the new primer to the tank. I have no proof of all of this; just a guess. I used sandpaper for stripping. Later, between the cured coats of primer/sealer/paint, a quick scuff with 400 grit will improve adhesion of the next layer.

(Message edited by jamie04 on April 15, 2019)
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Thanks for the info and links. Such a long time in between steps though, geez makes it hard if your you laying down graphics to. The wed article on blistering and bubbling was good. Seems more to do with temperature and humidity consistently rather than length of cure time. The older post was a bit discouraging hearing that it continues to happen after a few years no matter what. Has me thinking more about building a paint booth in the basement were I can control the temperature and humidity at all times. I guess it's just comes down to, do your finest and see what happens.
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well I don't have to worry about stripping it off, not sure what type of paint this is but it feels like a vinyl wrap almost, very thick and stretchy. I wonder if it does have something to do with the fumes seeping through the tank materials because it doesn't happen anywhere else on bikes but the tanks.

(Message edited by dragonklutch on April 15, 2019)

(Message edited by dragonklutch on April 15, 2019)

(Message edited by dragonklutch on April 15, 2019)
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Normthenomad
Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Remove all the old paint, wipe with 3M adhesive remover. use a dremel tool to carefully open up the bubbling spots to about 3/4inch away from the bubble tapering up so you wind up with a cone shaped depression. Some of the gas will have migrated so you have to make sure you open the surrounding material to get rid of that too. Do not grind through the tank. let it dry for a month or so. then go to West systems epoxy and get their barrier coat and some filler and epoxy. Fill the divots, barrier coat paint and prime. I also used red coat to line the tank. Did a Manta tank in only 3 months and a 150 dollars. Don't think I'd do it again but it damned sure won't ever bubble again. Good luck. Do not use chemical Jamie04 is right about chem stripper.








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Upthemaiden
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 07:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The best option still in my opinion, is to the tank and try to make a nice cover for it, like the X1s use. Lay some fiberglass over your tank(or carbon fiber if you're fancy), paint that, and never worry about it bubbling again. Just make sure if you go that route, you do it when the tank has just has gas in it. They swell a little because of the gas, and if you do it on a tank that's been empty for a long time it'll be slightly smaller, then it'll swell and the cover won't fit anymore.

http://badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/47623/6 24358.html?1302133275
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General_ulysses
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 09:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

This has been discussed ad nauseam here before. If you search my old posts I referenced (and quoted) some expert advice on what causes the bubbling. IMO one of the best things you can do to prevent bubbling (outside of getting a cover or a metal tank) is to NOT use vinyl decals. I have had several plastic Buell tanks get the bubblage. Every single one of them bubbled around the decals. The decal is made of vinyl and appears to expand and contract at a different rate than the underlying paint does (when exposed to temperature variations). Gas spillage and long term UV exposure on the decals may also play a role. This eventually causes it to grow to a size larger than the original and delaminate (i.e. "bubble"). So the best solution - if you choose not to get a cover or metal tank - is to not use vinyl decals and instead have the logo/graphics painted on with a stencil (using the same type of paint used for the base). There are many people here and elsewhere that can create stencils for you pretty inexpensively.
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 04:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Well I would like to thank you all for your opinions and help. Still doesn't explain why you don't see bubbling on the other panels that are exposed to the sun also (fairing and tail decals). All I've ever read or have seen was on the tanks. I'm looking into paint stencils so I don't have to reapply decals. If I had big bucks I'd love an aluminum copy made but that ain't happening. So it's back to do your best and hope it works out in the long run without repainting again in 3 or 4 years. This is definitely a hot subject, because yes it has been talked about from the links sent and searches done. Hopefully one day the answer to this puzzle is solved for good. Thank you all again and do truly appreciate your help.
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Normthenomad
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 09:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The tanks are porous,some may have been contaminated during molding process, they expand and contract with heat cycles the older they get the more brittle they become. Gasoline and the additives it contains will eventually work it's way to the surface and will bubble under the paint. I lived aboard and cruised a sailboat made of fiberglass for fourteen years. With time and flexing water would penetrate the gel coat and find it's way into the laminate and cause "blisters". The Manta tank I repaired showed exactly the same problem. Spoke with West systems epoxy and they agreed that this was the cause of my "bubbles" and given the fact that gas has less surface tension and vaporizes at a very low temp this explains why the bubbles appear more frequently in the upper part of the tank. The Manta tank had them all over except for about 2 inches from the bottom even had them where a tank bra would cover[didn't ever have one], Anyway, the process I posted worked and it was a lot less time and aggravation than the bottom of a 37 ft. boat. But the people at West system have had years to play with different composite constructions, I followed what they told me and it worked. Would I do it again? probably not.





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Guell
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 07:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Normthenomad,

If it worked, then why wouldn't you do it again? I am curious as i'm planning on a rebuild on my s1w at some point and want the paint to last.
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Ceejay
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

The tanks need to “breathe” as gasoline has a fairly low vapor pressure. This is the reason why the bubbles appear near the decals as the decals don’t allow the vapors to escape so the vapors are trapped under the decals and push out where they can.

A low build primer is necessary and do not add bondo or other filler types to remove imperfections as they will trap the gas vapors/fumes. Typical paint breathes well, but primer and heavy clear coats do not, and will trap the vapors as they release from the plastic which causes the bubbling.

Somewhere on here (badweb) and probably in my toolbox is a PPG cut sheet on how to paint Buell tanks.

Hope that helps
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Normthenomad,

Thank you, just copied and pasted your instructions to my notes. Definitely a timely process but well worth it in the long run. Bike is gonna be down for a year to finish anyways (engine build also and was to freaking cold to work in garage this winter and the wife wouldn't let me bring it in) so I may as well take the time to do it right.

Anyone that does stencils please let me know. Decals are becoming to expensive and rare these days, not to mention color choices, not as many to choose from.

Wow for an old subject there still is a lot to talk about on this. I'm blown away every time I come back on here. Thanks guys

There is a slim chance I may have it done by the end of August.

(Message edited by dragonklutch on April 17, 2019)
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Falloutnl
Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 04:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'm going with a set of new decals from Twin Motorcycles. Paint of the tank was fine, logo itself started bubbling. Will let you know how the new decal holds up.

(Message edited by falloutnl on April 18, 2019)
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General_ulysses
Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 08:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Falloutnl IMO I would avoid using decals. I would go with a painted stencil instead. The common theory about gas vapors being trapped under the decal is speculative with no evidence to support it. Not saying I know for certain what's going on with scientific certainty either, but I have owned three stock Buell tuber tanks and all three exhibited the exact same failure mode - only the decals bubbled.

Here's a discussion from a few years back with some quoted input from Al Lighton citing what Buell itself describes as the problem:

http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/476 23/735229.html
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Normthenomad
Posted on Friday, April 19, 2019 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Guell, I'm almost 73, 90 days waiting isn't on my dance card anymore. Yet here I am thinking about sending Hammer performance or Nhrs a box full of money so I can ride a 100+ hp Buell on the street. Go figure.
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Friday, April 19, 2019 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I just turned 60, got all my engine parts and heads done from Zak and Dan at NRHS. Great guys!!!!
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Harleyelf
Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 01:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I'm 66, got a 1250 kit from NRHS four years ago, it's still fun to ride.
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Dragonklutch
Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

We are way off topic here guys, but let's give a big hand to Eric Buell for building these bikes, and Hammer and NRHS for helping use keep these bikes going. Without them we wouldn't be beating the hell out of pumped up HD's and a lot of muscle cars at the races. My bike is down from the last 3 years of punishing street races with no regrets. Can't wait till this beast is finished.
Happy Easter everyone

(Message edited by dragonklutch on April 21, 2019)
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