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Lined Monster Steel Fuel Tank - Caswell

Earlier this winter, I discovered a fuel leak (weep) coming from right side tank "crap pockets" of my 2006 Ducati S2R 800 "Matrix" Monster. (original 620i.e. Matrix moved all the cool Matrix stuff onto S2R800)

Noticed two small blisters at bottom of right side crap pocket of the fuel tank and saw wetness from gasoline. A small spot on the floor where it had been dripping clued me in to the issue, at first I assumed oil drip but checked with the sniffer and realized it was fuel. Damn, I hate ethanol in gasoline!

Drained the steel tank and removed the internals (fuel pump, filter, fuel level sending unit etc.) did aggressive bolt and acetone rust removal iterations, used a heavy magnet to aid in capturing loosened rust fragments. Popped the blisters and cleaned up exterior:





Opted for Caswell Motorcycle Gas Tank Sealer in Battleship Grey. I ordered one kit at first but then thought better of it as I read more and bought a second kit. With the Matrix fuel tank no longer available from Ducati, I did not want to leave coverage to chance.

The kit as sold is advertised as enough to line a 5 gallon tank, not all tanks have identical surface area and I venture to say the Monster has probably the most surface area of any 5 gal tank I have seen. The kit was enough to cover the entire interior of the tank by following instructions to the letter. By all accounts it is quite temperature sensitive so I was sure to have my garage at 74F for two days for the tank and the two kits of two part epoxy to thermally stabilize before beginning the application.

Again, for the Monster, one full Caswell Motorcycle Gas Tank Sealer kit is enough, minimal to no waste. Using a decent small silicone spatula to get all the resin and all the hardener out of the cans into the mixing tub and then work immediately to thoroughly mix the the epoxy (Caswell recommends about two minutes to mix) followed by pouring into the tank and beginning the coating process. I opted for two kits, to do a second application, which I did about 16 hours after the first application. Caswell recommends that if a second application is desired to do so within 24 hours of the first for best adhesion.

The most time consuming phase, besides cure time, is preparation. Preparation is key from the initial tank removal and getting the loosened rust out of the tank, to cleaning (use Acetone to rid of fuel and any trace oil or anything to interfere with the epoxy bonding) to protection for all painted surface of the tank. Caswell suggests that you need not remove all the surface rust which is good because my rust problems were in the crap pockets i.e. the lower aft ends of the Monster fuel tank. In addition to slapping the sides of the tank by hand to vibrate and loosen larger rust deposits, I used 30 drywall screws and acetone to agitate and loosen remaining rust. I did get some of the screws wedged into the crap pockets and it was a pain in the butt to get them all out, which I eventually did.





I spent a bit of time cleaning the vent lines that pass through the tank and capped them inside the tank with rubber fuel line. The fuel supply line I closed off with fuel line, but the return line is in the bottom aft portion of the 620i.e. steel tank and with some effort, inserted a plug into that line opening to keep any epoxy out of that line obstructing it.

Used an o-ring with an aluminum disk inside the fuel sender nut to close the bottom opening in the tank (fuel sender hole) and purchased an expansion plug (5") from McMaster-Carr (2613K29 - Wing Nut Expansion Plug with Zinc-Plated Steel Plate, for 5 Pipe Size) for the top of the tank where I removed the entire gas cap assembly.

I used 3M duct tape and it placed over the four pin holes I found in the right side crap pocket. Duct Tape, 3M Painter's tape, Glad wrap, aluminum foil and more Glad wrap applied to the entire tank to protect the paint. Preservation of the paint was vital to me, so I let very little to chance. I mentioned Ducati no longer has this Matrix tank available for sale. Finding the paint match is extremely difficult although I did get some touch up from a company in the UK. I do have a set of the Matrix tank decals should my project and this solution fail. Finding a Ducati Monster steel tank in good condition these days is quite rare. I considered the aluminium tank offering from TECKNORACE, which is beautiful but, the $2K or so cost is a tough one to swallow without trying this tank liner product first.

The tank is sealed now and curing. The "crap pockets" are filled with epoxy and pinholes are closed. Some touch up paint will be applied. As the pin hole spots are not in sight line, I am not sweating it, touch up paint will be fine.

 

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Touch up paint applied

Little dabs of Touch up paint applied, found the paint on eBay UK, (Ducati Touch Up Brush Paint VERDE MATRIX DUC.6002M) to be followed with some finish work and clear coat.



Sanded and repainted the black bezel... will wait until next weekend to replace the internals and fuel it up. So far, please with how Caswell applied and how it appears as it is curing.

 

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I try not to let this kind of thing bother me but the brushed aluminum just looked out of place to me. I hope that I don't develop a CF fetish.





(I know. The reflectors and stickers have to go)
 

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I try not to let this kind of thing bother me but the brushed aluminum just looked out of place to me. I hope that I don't develop a CF fetish.





(I know. The reflectors and stickers have to go)
The aluminum kind of matched the frame, so it didn't look that bad. But, the black CF is much nicer.
 

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Rode in a frigging downpour today. Weather forecast was small % chance of showers. Never trust the weatherman, or woman. It was only partly cloudy and pretty nice when I left. About 3/4 through the sky was black ahead and I decided to skip the last twisty road through the mountains and hit the freeway. Too late, it started to rain then pour maybe 10 miles from home. Temp dropped from about 56 to 46, according to the bike.

So, I can't see much due to rain and fog on face shield. Wondering how close to the wear bar is that front tire? Crossed a couple intersections running like a stream a good 2 or 3 inches deep. Made it home OK.

They say the Joe Rocket Survivor suit is waterproof. Well, water found it's way past the main front zipper, even though the covering flap was snapped. Glad I was near home to get off the cold wet clothes. The Givi top case kept it's contents dry, and the bike did not miss a beat.

Still, I hate when that happens. Ride safe, try to stay dry.
 

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Much better weather. Rolled the odo past 10,000 miles today. >:)

It is a 2014 model, so time for new belts. Also oil change, bleed that pesky rear brake.
Looks like the front tire is getting shagged. Gotta pay to play. :crazy:
 

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Made a license plate relocation bracket for my 2013 1100EVO. Really pleased with how it turned out from the first try. Keeps the tail tidy and local fuzz off my case. Cheers.
 

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Those look great! I ran some Rizoma’s on my 2006. I miss having an air cooled Monster...great bikes to ride but the swelling tank and the bad valve guides made me sell it when the warranty was up.
Yeah, I hate the swelling. I think it has created issues with the stripes on the tank over time. I’m thinking of coating the inside, stripping the paint and wrapping it with one piece or doing some tricolor scheme to it.
 

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Changed the oil on my new to me 2016 Monster 1200R. The oil filter was an absolute pain to remove, luckily I use the K&N filters with the 17mm built in bolt, so next time should be a whole lot easier.
 

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Took it out for a dance in the canyons. She does not want to slow dance, but that's OK, I rather like ridiculous bursts of acceleration and buzzing through the curves. >:)
 

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what gets me, I see bikes that are 4 or 5 yrs old, and still have those damn stickers on them. are they lazy, or do they think it' illegal to remove them?
Some I leave for reference, others I’d like to remove but I don’t want to damage the paint . How did you remove them ?
 
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