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Old 07-11-2015, 09:27 PM   #1
Shaft
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Default Saving Old Paint

So I have a cool old wassel tank with someone presumably back in the day welded a flip style cap on, mildly molded, and painted these awesome flames on. Now when I got this tank it was in pretty good shape for its age, faded and cracked paint but really pretty good. Unfortunately my bike spent some time sitting out in the elements and the tank has gotten a little more weathered. Primarily the top portion above the filler cap where the sun and rain got to it the most. Now it still isn't too bad but is clearly alot more faded and some of the paint has been chipping away. Is there anything I can put on it to revive the old paint or preserve it as best as I can? I do not know a whole lot about paint so any info helps.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

Looks like it might be lacquer. I'll let somebody answer who might be more familiar with that stuff.

If you get no answers, I'll take a stab at it, but be prepared to test everything in an inconspicuous spot! My experience is in modern paints, and if I had that tank, I'd be doing the same.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:51 AM   #3
Mike Britton
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

I dunno Shaft. That whole bike has the kind of patina you can't fake. I would just clean it well, wax the poo out of the whole thing and rock it!
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:27 PM   #4
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Would waxing it be safe for the paint? Sorry for the neivity, I like the look of it now, I just want to prevent it from getting too much worse if possible.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

I am doing the same thing to my old showbike right now. First you need to get the tank clean. First wet with soapy water. The shine you see when wet is all you can get. If that looks good to you then dry it and check on the underside if it is lacquer. Get some real lacquer thinner and if it desolves the paint you have lacquer. If not you have something else.
For Lacquer you have to use Lacquer primer and paint to fill in the chips.
If it is something else you can use stuff from you auto parts store. First primer than paint. Lacquer cannot really be bought in small quantities anymore and I had to buy quarts of primer, silver base coat, candy red and clear to have all the paint to touch up a few nicks.....
Check the paint type and report back with a pic of the clean tank when wet and we go from there.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

best to leave it as is - you want new looking thing go buy one but needs to stay un touched

dawn dish washing stuff with nothing it but soap is the best for cleaning right down to the nitty gritty
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:07 AM   #7
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I'll try cleaning it a little then leaving it. I don't want to make it brand new just wanted to preserve it in its current state. Thanks for the help guys
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

Clear it, clean out the inside and run it, that thing is beautiful!

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Old 07-13-2015, 11:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

I agree with buying another if you want it to look clean. Some people will pay a decent price for a tank that looks "survivor" as legitimately as that one. You could probably approach breaking even if you sold that one and replaced it with a replicant. Personally, I really like how it looks the way it sits, sometimes things have more value unrestored.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

You could wet sand and buff it but the cracks will remain. Buffing compound or wax will penetrate the cracks and have to be removed.
Some people call it patina and some call it failed paint.
Go with it as is because it matches the bike.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

What we did in the 70s, was to rub it down with a light coat of ATF....ya,really.....give it a week to set, then buff, then use an oldstyle wax like Siminiz Blue....would still leave the "aged look", but clean....we did it to our old hot rods we were sellin back then all the time....the ATF enhances color (renews) and negates the oxidation some, then ya just buff up what remains.....it works man....been doin it since 1974....
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

I was gonna say the same thing^^^. Used to have a buddy who did that to his elcamino every friday before he went crusin.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #13
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Interesting, I've never heard of that before. This tank is staying on my bike for sure, it fits it. Can't get better than old paint!
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

But! ATF is Not all the same....Dextron? dextronII? TypeF?
More info required!!!!
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:39 AM   #15
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^good point! I'm curious
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

If it's already starting to flake and lift, you don't want to get too aggressive polishing it, and don't put a bunch of oil (ATF) on there - that'll further promote the remaining lacquer to lift and peel.

Even a clear coat is a bad idea. Odds are, it'll yellow and lift and take what you had with it.

Clean it well with some mild soap and a soft cloth, then apply a thick coat of a quality paste wax (carnuba), let it dry and lightly rub it out to a shine. Reapply the wax every couple months and it'll last a long time.

(So you know I'm not entirely full of shit, I used to work on and detail a '40 coupe painted in '67 with black lacquer that was crazed and lifting on the tops of the fenders, the edge of the hood, roof, etc. It still shined nicely and remained looking killer for the five years I maintained it, and had been "crazed" for at least ten before I knew the car.)
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

i might have been watching 'fast and loud' and they were restoring an early 30's brit car. they said something about rubbing 'oil' on the paint and letting it set for 24 hours. Shows are sponsored by Meguirs, i think. Sounds like the ATF deal, but specific for restoring paint. Sorry i cannot think of the name of the stuff.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

Lol. It was regular Dextron. This was the late 80's.... Didn't say it was meant for preserving. He did it so the hood didn't look so bad.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAWS View Post
Lol. It was regular Dextron. This was the late 80's.... Didn't say it was meant for preserving. He did it so the hood didn't look so bad.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Saving Old Paint

Yaaa...old style GM Dexron....although Dex 2 works too....a lil more costly, but Marvel Mystery gives the same effect......in severe cases (just before a sale) we'd even use DOT3 brake fluid.......a buddy of mine in FLA had a bleached out minivan....told him to use the ATF....he actually sold it for $1000 more than he thought he would.....

The oils fill the cracks where mebbe wax had accumilated and neutralize them....not perfect, but close....then a quick buff with a liquid quikwax (let it set a day), and you'll be amazed.....

I wouldnt shit you guys, believe me....do a test on yer old lawn mowwr and see.....

Its just an old school quick fix....if it comes out good, and yer keepin it, go over it with Spraymax 2k.....costs a bunch but is gasproof.....this is a paintjob of a barnfind that sat outside for 5 yrs using the methods i described....
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