After you dent your gas tank, often you end up with a hot mess to look at after you’ve attacked it with a hammer, chipped half your paint away and perhaps even had an unintentional crack welded. Do not fear, this is common and the good news is that it’s pretty easy to whip that dent into primo shape both cosmetically and functionally with just a little work.
First things first, here at StuntBums HQ we’re bondo haters. It not only takes away from your dent’s lip, but it’s too much work and too much hassle down the line. We like to ride more than we work, so we always advise to just clean up the tank with some spray paint to keep it from rusting, then use grip to cover up the uneven surface left behind by your first-class hammer smashing job.
What you'll need
- Something to sand with
- Spray paint
- Surfboard pad or HT Moto grip. Note: The surfboard pad is easier to apply, but it’s $50+ for a single tank’s worth. For ~$80 you can buy a giant roll of HT Moto grip that can be used on 6+ tanks.
Prepping the tank
To get started you need to get the tank prepped and cover up any exposed metal with a base coat of spray paint in order to keep it from rusting. Just grab some sand paper, a sanding wheel – whatever you have and at least give a single beer’s worthy effort at sanding the surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but clean up the big flakes of paint so your grip has half a chance at staying stuck in your tank. After you’ve prepped, grab some tape to mask off the perimeter and cover up the dented area with a few coats of paint and let it dry.
Applying the grip
If you’re using surfboard grip
After the paint has dried, go ahead and take off your gas cap, lay down your pad, cut out the gas cap and trim the edges. You’re done. Since the surfboard pad is much thinner and malleable, you don’t need to do much work to apply it well.
If you're using HT Moto grip
After the paint had dried, go ahead and take off your gas cap and vaguely lay the grip in position. Once you’ve got it in place, cut out your gas cap hole and vaguely trim the edges so it’s easier to work with and position.
Now, take it back off and apply contact cement to the tank and the HT Moto grip. This isn’t 100% necessary, but I’ve found the contact cement works much better than the standard 3m adhesive over time. Once both surfaces are ready, get a friend to grab a heat gun and carefully start applying the grip from front to back, using the heat gun to help get the grip to fit in every nook and cranny.