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-   -   Need advice on Heinrich tank (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=837992)

TEXASYETI 10-31-2012 10:46 AM

Need advice on Heinrich tank
 
So, I managed to score a g/s Heinrich tank from a fellow AdvRider and was looking for your thoughts.

The tank was "customized" to clear aftermarket forks by putting big dents into the front lobes on either side.

http://careerstdnt.smugmug.com/photo...-CTMm9p6-L.jpg


I am wondering about having the dents removed and restoring the tank back to its former glory. But there is also a part of me that likes the dents because they are a part of the life the tank has led.

I have a reputable BMW airhead shop here in town quoting me 325 bucks for their body man to fix the tank. Not sure if he is proposing to try and push, pull, cut out, flip, and replace, cut out and replace with new metal, or just put new metal over the dents. I'll see what he says later today.

So, leave it alone or fix it. I really am conflicted and your thoughts are welcomed!

disston 10-31-2012 12:40 PM

Beware he doesn't want to just fill the dents with body putty.

I'd be for fixing the dents if the end result will fit the future use better and it was done in a way that was considered permanent. Pulling would be the best I think but I certainly don't know if this can be pulled. If you do a lot of cutting and welding new material on it gets dangerous, IMHO.

The way dents are repaired on older cars is to bang the metal out to the original shape as close as possible. This is a wrinkle sort of finish and then this is smoothed with a limited amount of body filler. If I just had to have the original shape I think this would be better than welding new metal.

I'm not a welder tho, maybe one of them knows better than me.

daveoneshot 10-31-2012 04:43 PM

Looks like a steel tank, right ? I would choose to see the metalworker's other projects and talk it over. I'm a beginning metalshaper and know only a few things about the craft, but this tank is a big job to do nicely. Go see the guy.

SOLO LOBO 10-31-2012 04:55 PM

Just paint it and ride... don't ruin the history and story of the tank.

bmwhacker 10-31-2012 06:25 PM

Man, that is a BIG ASS Heinrich tank.:eek1

I'b be tempted to restore it to its' original shape / condition as long as you can find someone to do it correctly.
If you bought it "right" it will only increase the value. ...but if you use it as is...and scratch it up, that will just add to the "patina".
I have a smaller Heinrich tank with the top tool box.
I found reproduction tool box covers but opted for a used, slightly beat up original.
The dents / dings give the cover "patina" and character.

Hiatt 11-01-2012 04:46 AM

If you are going to make it as it was, it looks to me like the rear end has been chopped off too. That part will be harder than the front.

Do what you want. In the end, the only real value is what it means to you. If I were going to sell it, I'd probably restore it.

JH

TEXASYETI 11-01-2012 06:00 AM

The rear end does look funny but compared to this other one, I do not think the rear has been cut off.

http://careerstdnt.smugmug.com/photo...-R5mdSbX-M.jpg

Talked to my guy today and he said the metal is too stretched to try and pop em out from the backside. He says he and his metal guy think that cutting the dents out just inside where the metal begins to curve inward and then fabricate new pieces to lay in the opening.

Hiatt 11-01-2012 06:56 AM

I have one that looks just like that. When I stripped it to bare metal, it was easy to see that the back end had been cut off. I am no expert on these tanks by any means. I am just relaying my experience. I did not change mine as I prefer it not hanging over the nose of the seat like all the others I have seen.

JH

disston 11-01-2012 07:18 AM

Certainly there are people that know better than I know but the thing about cutting and welding new metal bothers me. Maybe this is not as hard to do as I think but metal is not all the same. Even if you call this metal Steel it is unique. Even if you have a general idea as in it is Mild Steel it is unique. Even if somebody says it has 0.2 Carbon in it is is still unique. Maybe I'm getting across what my concern is. Any new metal added to the tank will not be the same and then a process of electrolysis will be set up.

Maybe this is not a big concern on motorcycle tanks? I used to work on boats and they talked about this stuff all the time. I don't understand it always but I think it's a concern.

Good luck. I'd still want the tank as originally made. Unless you change the front forks of the bike and the dents have some purpose again.

BTW, you are going to do something with it, why not strip the paint now so you can see what's ahead?

TEXASYETI 11-01-2012 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hiatt (Post 19945882)
I have one that looks just like that. When I stripped it to bare metal, it was easy to see that the back end had been cut off. I am no expert on these tanks by any means. I am just relaying my experience. I did not change mine as I prefer it not hanging over the nose of the seat like all the others I have seen.

JH

Gotcha. I think mine might be original as it does hang over the seat a good bit. More than actually in the second pic I posted.

SOLO LOBO 11-01-2012 08:02 AM

Here's a shot of my old Heinrich... It actually sucked to ride with... splays your legs widley, holds the fuel really high up... while I love the look and would have another given the chance it wasn't the best choice (IMHO) for a G/S that gets ridden off-road.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...o/DSC04661.jpg

bmweuro 11-01-2012 09:44 AM

With these tanks getting harder and harder to find in any condition fix it and if you found someone to fix it that cheap and he will do it correctly for that price I say fix it. Just for reference I would charged someone $100.00 to boil the tank out, $720.00 in metal working labor and $400.00 for body work ready for paint. Again if he will do it correct for $325.00 do it.

mark1305 11-01-2012 12:16 PM

I'll be a contrarian and vote for keeping the dents - or bar reliefs if you want it to sound classier. If they need smoothing to be perfect, do that so it looks like higher quality while refinishing.

My personal experience and opinion is that bar-tankinterference is a PITA. You have a case of compromise between form and function that may work to your advantage in real world use.

And has been mentioned, its part of the history of the tank. Although the above paragraph would be my main guiding point if it were me deciding.

gsd4me 11-01-2012 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TEXASYETI (Post 19945606)
The rear end does look funny but compared to this other one, I do not think the rear has been cut off.


Correct. While not as common as the `over the seat` style, it is a style that was offered by Heinrich, I imported a new one into Australia for my 80/7 in around 1978.

I had an inverted `V` (^ like this) welded from the tank to the rear mount to better handle the weight in that area.

ontic 11-01-2012 05:14 PM

A nice one in Germany

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/321013875...#ht_500wt_1219


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