In this step by step how-to guide video, Tyler shows you how easy it is to install our Lowbrow Customs Dimpled Oil Tank Triumphs utilizing our Lowbrow Customs Rubber Mounted Bracket Kit for oil tanks. With our pre-made brackets, bungs and fabrication parts, we try to save you time and money all while giving you the most optimal and secure ways to mount an oil tank.
There are many options on how to mount an oil tank but we've found this one to not only make life easy but keep your oil tank secure and riding forever right underneath you. With the rubber mounted bracket kit you can guarantee your oil tank will not vibrate and crack any of your killer welds. So, fire up those welders and let's get after it!
Lowbrow Customs has custom oil tanks for your Triumph or British motorcycle as well as Harley-Davidsons. You can check out our oil tank comparison video if you want to see more information on our oil tanks versus other ones that are out there and inform yourself on what oil tank you need for your build.
This oil tank made specifically for Triumphs' because it has the proper plumbing and you can get more information from that video I referred to but there is the proper return tube with the feed for up to the rocker boxes on this Triumph and this bung is threaded properly for the stock style oil-feed fitting. It has a filter screen that fits in there and that's where the oil feeds to your motor, Any case, this tank is made specifically for these bikes.
In addition to the oil tank, the mounting kit that we make specifically for this makes installation a complete breeze. We've got two brackets here that are rubber mounted and they're designed specifically for 1963 to '70 Triumph frames, but all of our oil tanks have the same center-to-center mounting points and bung locations so these brackets could really be used on any of our oil types. I'm going to go ahead and put these brackets on the oil tank and show you how it fits really nice into position. If you did not have any oil tanks yet, read a complete post how we made the custom oil tank with very detailed steps.
Step1: Put Brackets On The Oil Tank
One thing you might notice about these brackets is that they're rubber-mounted. This is a quarter-inch mild steel, extremely beefy you never want your oil tank mounts breaking while you're riding, have your oil tank come loose or worse yet actually snap off of your bike and we designed these mounts to make installation a breeze and ensure that won't happen.
There are rubber grommets in here and then we have these custom machined alloy top hats that slip in there and so when you bolt it in place with this five 16-18 threaded hardware, it gives a little bit of wiggle to these brackets. Now, what that means is vibration from your bike or bumps in the road aren't going to transfer, direct your oil tank potentially causing failures at any of the welds or at the mounting points. It's just going to give that tiny bit of give that allows you to ride it really hard and simply just not worry about any of this breaking.
We've got these mounting brackets coped specifically for this vertical seat post. As I slip it in here, you can see that it's a perfect fit. It leaves about a quarter-inch between the custom oil tank and the seat post. It allows you to really install this at any height you want. I tend to like to install these as high vertically as possible, keeping in mind it's a center fill cap and you do want to make sure whatever seat you're mounting doesn't interfere with that cap.
Also, you want to watch when you're mocking this up that you have the chain on your motorcycle because you want to have plenty of clearance between your chain and the oil tank because under-load and more under deceleration when you let off the throttle. Your chain will actually move quite a bit and waiver and you don't want that slapping your oil tank because it will end up eating a groove in there and then you have a whole nother problem to deal with.
Step 2: Strip the Paint off of the Seat Post Tube
To prepare for installing these brackets, what I need to do is go ahead and strip a little bit of this paint powder-coat, whatever this is on here, off of the seat post tube and I'm going to go ahead and get ready to tack weld this into position. So I don't waste too much time stripping a bunch of paint that's not in the way, I'm going to go ahead and hold this in position.
This is basically a little grease pen. I'm just going to make a mark where to clear the paint. The other thing you can do is take a scribe or anything sharp and even just make a little scratch, some sort of reference. Then before I go ahead and strip that paint, I'm going to cover it up, the engine with the sheet.
It's a really good use for some old sheets from Goodwill or in this case. What I'm using here is just a little angle, a little die grinder. Hooked up to my air compressor, we've got some air plumbed here in the garage and these little quick change, basically, it's a scotch-Brite pad and there are different roughnesses available. These are really handy. Instead of- you could use like a flap this kind of grind or something but I'm going to go ahead and see if this will work because I don't want to go taking material, steel off of this at all, giving it a lumpy finish or anything like that. All I'm going to do is strip the paint off. I'll give this a try and see how this works.
Step 3: Align The Tank
All right, that Scotch-Brite pad works quite well to get through. Maybe this is spray-paint on top of what's probably the factory epoxy. It's pretty thick layers as you can see. What I'm going to do is just go ahead before I consider that part done, I'm going to just hold the tank roughly in position again. That looks pretty good. I essentially just want to make sure that when I'm welding that the paint's-- if it's too close to the weld area, it starts smoking and it just stinks and I don't really want to breathe that in.
Step 4: Use Emery Paper To Get Last Paint Off
It's a little hard with this hardtail bolt in place with that grinder to get into this edge here. I'll take a little piece of Emery paper real quick and sand that up and get that last little bits off that are in the way and it should be good to go and ready to weld. This is Emery paper, you can find it at any hardware store in like the plumbing section. I like it because it comes in rolls and it's inexpensive and this is 120 grit. This works really well. You just rip a piece off as needed. I always have several rolls around and you can hold it and easily sand to the tubing.
Get a couple of these thicker stubborn spots that I couldn't quite get at with the dye grinder I was using. We'll go ahead and hold this up again, double-check, fit right here.
Step 5: Make Clean and Prepare Before Welding
All right, it looks like I'm going to be ready to align this and tack weld it in position. I'm going to go ahead and blow the dust off, remove the sheet, wipe these areas down, clean the bracket and get ready to weld.
A little bit more weld prep. Since I'm going to be TIG welding this, these brackets are clean but you never know if there's a little bit of oil on them or anything else. I'm going to go ahead again with my little dye grinder and a worn-out scotch Brite pad, I was going to go ahead and hit the edges and the COPE where I'm going to be welding and then I'll go ahead and wipe this down and weld it up.
This helps keep me from getting frustrated by pulling impurities into the weld. It's a little bit of prep time goes a long way. Actually, a good amount of prep time can save you gobs of time when welding because once you have an issue, pull some oil into a weld or something, it'll get pinholes, it looks bad, it's frustrating so proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance.
Step 6: Tack weld
All right. Now, everything is prepped and clean and ready to tack weld one thing I would suggest after a lining, getting some tack welds in place. My goal is going to be two tack welds on each bracket. I'm really going to then look at it from different angles, ensure that it's not slightly angled wrong or not too high, not too low whatever because it's a lot easier to break some tack welds and just restart as far as positioning as opposed to completely welding everything up, standing back happy with your work and realizing that it's crooked.
If you're like me, that will drive you nuts and you will be cutting it off and redoing it. I'm going to go ahead and get my gloves on and get this done. In my case here I'm using a Lincoln electric TIG welder, you can also MIG weld. This is all mild steel, stick well, do whatever you want. When it comes to positioning, you can clamp or use magnets or you can do whatever you're comfortable with based on just how I'm used to doing things and also because it's just fast and I find it easy. I'm just going to visually align everything and check it.
Align and Check before Welding
As my friend, Greg once said, "If you stare at it long enough and you can't tell if something's crooked, then it's not." It's good enough. What I'm going to do here, I've got the bracket against the seat post. I'm going to go ahead and put all the way up till it touches the frame rails. You absolutely do not want to mount it so the tank is touching the frame rails. I'm going to drop it down so I've got an eighth inch or 200 file clearance between the frame rail and the tank itself.
You'll get a tiny bit of movement in the oil tank from the rubber mounts, but not very much. Probably like 20,000 or something. Not very much to worry about it all. What I'm doing is I'm going to visually eyeball the line of the tank and make sure that it's parallel to this seat post tube and before I go ahead and get too far into welding.
I'm going to like I said tack weld, eyeball it from all sides and if it's not right on, I'll just go ahead and break those tack welds and do it again. I'm going to go ahead and get everything set up so once it's in position, I can use my foot pedal here and get at least one good fusion tack and then grab my fill rod and get a heavier tack on there on the top bracket.
Align and Check after Welding
I've got the first tack and I noticed as I eyeball from above, I'm actually looking also to this battery box as well as this cross member, just for a visual. I can see that the oil tank's slightly this way, but when I push on this bracket, it straightens out perfectly. If you're familiar with welding, throwing a tack off to one side it's going to go ahead and pull the material that way and you want to compensate for that. Again, it's a good reason to take your time. You've gotten this far setting up. The last thing you want to do is rush right at the end and have something minor crooked.
I'm basically going to put that pressure on, get another tack in there, eyeball it again, grab my filler rod and put a couple more tacks on that upper bracket and then move to the lower one.
I could actually feel the tank pull this way as I tack cooled. It looks spot-on, but I'm going to put my torch down and take a better look at it just to make sure I'm not wrong and actually there's a good reason. There's a good reason I stopped because it actually-- I've got okay clearance on this side but it tightened up as the bracket moved over to this side, right here. What I'm going to do is take a look. It looks like my brackets actually lifted up slightly.
Again, that's from it pulling from welding. At the top here, it's going to want to bring that bracket up. I'm going to take a moment to lightly tap down on this to get this lower bracket to seat totally and go ahead and get some tacks along the bottom of this top bracket and that'll hold it in place. Sometimes this will just break the tacks right off which there's no big deal. It can be a little annoying.
It moved it a little bit.
Again, I'm looking also to make sure this brackets' perpendicular to the seat post too.
Everything looks good. I have sufficient clearance from the oil tank to the frame now. I'm going to go ahead and throw another little tack well to the corner of that top bracket and then go ahead hold the lower bracket in place, tack well that and be ready to finish weld.
Step 7: Finish Weld The Brackets
Cool. Time to tack the bottom bracket.
All right. After tack welding, I went ahead with my fill rod, got a little bead on both sides of the upper and lower bracket just so I was confident they wouldn't move because now I'm going to go ahead and unbolt the oil tank and finish weld the brackets.
One other thing I might mention is before finish welding, you want to go ahead and remove your top hat spacers and the rubber grommets because if you don't, you're just going to melt them and be calling us for new ones.
Okay, hardware spacers, grommets all out of the way. Now, we've got a nice clear shot more or less and finish weld this up and be done.
All right. Welding is all done. That went pretty fast. We'd let this cool down enough. We'll go ahead and I'm going to put the hardware in. Bolt the tank in place. Check fitness. Got that all in. It's a bit of a snug fit with the rubbers in there. When this was going together for final assembly, say the oil tanks plated or painted or powder-coated, I'll take it a little WD-40 or something on your finger and just wipe it on the rubber grommets and it lets it just slide into place and obviously I'd be a little more careful so I don't knock this into the paint on the frame or anything, but so far we are looking perfect.
There you have it. One securely and beautifully mounted oil tank. It took us not too long especially considering I also had to talk to you guys while I did it and we're going to set everything up to film it. Just one more element of this bike done and we'll wrap up some more fabrication on it and have it painted, plated, ready to go riding on the road this spring.