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Old 03-22-2016, 09:13 AM
raul raul is offline
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Water drain tube

Hi, so I've decided, after having my 3rd xs in 15 years to finally do the special to standard tank swap for the extra miles. everything is nice and tank is about to be repainted etc. except I have a clogged water drain tube which won't clean out. I also additionally put in some guitar strings in there in a clever attempt to clean it. Almost worked, but wouldn't recommend it. I think this drain tube is a design flaw which the Special or Sport never had.

Has any of you successfully cleaned a completely clogged one out? Has anyone ever replaced one? How do you access it anyway? Should I even be too concerned or just leave the sucker alone and plug it. Any experiences/advice highly recommended..

thanks
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:24 AM
raul raul is offline
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oh dear

I just realized I've actually had xs's for 20 years, not 15
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:30 AM
Dbshea Dbshea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
I just realized I've actually had xs's for 20 years, not 15
Mine was not clogged completely but it wasn't clear. I had a can of seafoam deep creep and alternated spraying that and compressed air up from the bottom. I was cleaning out the inside of the tank at the same time so where the muck ended up didn't bother me. You'll just need to treat it like a clogged carb jet because without splitting the tank I don't see how you'd access it completely.
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:43 PM
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did you open the gas cap and blow some air through it , this sounds more like the tank vent ... the nipple thing at the back of the tank?? yes ??
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2016, 03:18 PM
DAVINCI DAVINCI is offline
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yes it the drain from the fuel cap recess to let rainwater drain off instead of pooling under the cap. If it pools in there you'll be starving for fuel as the water cuts off the cap's air vent, had that problem right after re-painting the tank. keep trying to clear it carefully 'cause if you bust it open inside the tank fuel will leak out of the nipple.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:41 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Hey Raul,

Folks have reported that drain rusting thru and ending up with a leaky tank like Davinci mentioned. I think I remember reading about someone being able to replace it, but it will require a skilled welder, and a properly cleaned, dried tank. So...before you get it painted, you might want to go ahead and try the guitar string or such...because if it's rusted, I'd rather have it break through now, so you would know that it needed fixing/replacing.

If you do get it clear, and can visualize it from the inside of the tank, and can't see any rust, then you may get lucky. But there's still a good chance that it may have rust on the inside of the drain tube even if you can't see any on the tank side. So...now to think about how to clean it to remove the rust....EvapoRust???, and then a way to try to seal the drain tube inside surface so that it can still function as a rain/water/excess fuel drain and not develop rust again.

OR instead of replacing it, if rusted/damaged, remove it, and have a pro welder to just seal up the top and bottom openings. However, as Davinci said, apparently rain water will block the cap vent?? I haven't looked that closely at the standard cap, but I do know that it's in a recess in the tank. The special is exposed and not in a recess, so even in the rain, the tank/cap will still vent properly because the rain just falls away from around the cap. Decisions, decisions. Good Luck.

T.C.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:25 PM
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fredintoon fredintoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
I have a clogged water drain tube which won't clean out. - - - I think this drain tube is a design flaw which the Special or Sport never had. - - - Has any of you successfully cleaned a completely clogged one out? Has anyone ever replaced one? How do you access it anyway? Should I even be too concerned or just leave the sucker alone and plug it. Any experiences/advice highly recommended - - -
Hi raul,
don't blame the designer, the fault is the effin' stylist's insistence on using a flushmount filler cap that forced the designer to use a drain tube.
But like you say, if he drain tube gets plugged the gas tank will fill up with rain.
If it can't be unplugged perhaps it can be replaced?
I've never done this but here's a thing to try.
Drill out the end of the tube where it fits in the filler cap pocket.
Cut off the tube's drain end where it exits the tank and drill it out too.
Now the tube should fall free inside the tank and can be fished out and discarded.
Make a new drain line from copper tube, fish it through the tank and braze it in place.
OR
Cut out the complete filler pocket and fit a generic raised neck filler cap in it's place.
A raised neck filler don't need no steenkin' drain tube.
And it'll also let you carry an extra cupful of gas, eh?
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2016, 10:47 PM
Bergman16 Bergman16 is offline
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I successfully roto-rootered mine out with a piece of bicycle brake cable and a cordless drill, very gently and at low speed. If it's in bad shape it could puncture it but nothing else worked. Last resort if you can't flush it out, I think.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2016, 11:02 AM
CaptonZap CaptonZap is offline
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Fred, good thought, but the problem is that about halfway on the inside run there is a standoff that runs from the top of the tank to the drain tube. So fishing the old tube out is problematic.
If you are concerned with the paint, the copper replacement tube can be soldered in, and the original paint that is discolored is inside the top cover, and below the top of the seat, so is not noticeable to a casual observer.
The new tube is unsupported in the middle of it's run, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on the drain hose where it exits the tank.
CZ
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2016, 03:14 PM
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Yep. The drain tube is the reason I got my '78 for cheap. PO stored it outside and since the tube is plugged from many paint jobs, the water will drain into the tank.

Rusty carbs ahoy! Really.. Very rusty when I bought it. Ended up using mild muratic acid on the disassembled tank to knock the rust out.

Carbs got cleaning several times.

My drain is still plugged. I tried piano wire and acetone but it is still pooched. Washing or rain is interesting.. I carry a roll of blue painters tape in the bag. Simply cover the cover on the tank with strips of tape. B0rked up my clearcoat from the crappy paint job that is on the bike...

I should repaint this year anyway. I will spend more quality time on the drain I guess.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:07 PM
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I used a broken inner cable from the speedometer to clean out the tube. As stated by Bergman16, go slow speed with a back and forth motion of the cable. Start at the back, and once in about 1/2 way, change sides and go down from the top. Once you are done, plug the bottom end of the drain, and fill it from the top with water until it's pooled up. Let it sit for about 1/2 hour, and make sure it's still pooled! If the water drains out the tube is probably beyond repair and will need to be replaced.
Correct way to do that is cut the bottom off the tank to gain access to the inside, and weld it back up once done.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2016, 07:21 PM
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When I stripped the paint off of a tank, it looked like the tube was braised with brass, at least where it passes through at the bottom.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:05 AM
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natemoen natemoen is offline
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When the day comes that I need to fix one of my drain tubes this is how I will do it. First I will drill out the top hole just slightly larger than the tube itself so that it's free. Then I'll cut off the portion that sticks out the back flush with the tank and then I'll drill it out just let the larger than the tube as well. I will reach into the filler neck once the end of the tube is free and work the tube back and forth until It breaks free of the center support. I'll take a long piece of copper tubing the same size as my new hole and I will flare the top end so that it won't slip through the hole that I drilled in the top. Could dent the top hole so that it fits the flare you make. Feed the extra long tube through the top hole and out the bottom hole. Braze the top in and then bend and braze the bottom part on.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:21 AM
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Since Davinci adressed the issues with SwampThing...I've had...no issues...
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2016, 01:23 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemoen View Post
...I will reach into the filler neck once the end of the tube is free and work the tube back and forth until It breaks free of the center support...
When I tried that, the support broke off, not the tube. And when it did, it broke the two spot welds to the tank top and left me with two holes to patch...
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