Ducati Oil Catch Tank

Ducati Oil Catch Tank

A nice little fabricated aluminium oil catch tank to fit up behind the head stock and between frame spars on a customers special build Ducati motorcycle.

Initially a simple card mock up was made and changed several times just to get the tank to sit tight up and at the right angle to the frame miss all parts required.

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Once the mock up was complete and we was happy with it, I cut out and pressed up the tank in 2 sections of 1.5mm ns4 aluminium.

Just to make sure I tacked the tank up and we tried it in position to ensure it wasnt going to catch anything as it is maneuvered into place. Once held in position we could see what actual room we had available to us and where we could put breather, site glass, filler cap (to empty in this case), and of course the mounting points. Very little room was left and we decided to mount the tank on welded brackets to each side frame spar, this also then needed thought to be able to bolt the tank in position. The best idea we came up with was to machine top hat, blind threaded bosses to weld into the bottom of the tank. Shown below.

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Now the mounting top hats are welded in we can see that there is very little room for the breather and inlet pipe, made from 6mm aluminium tube with a 1mm wall thickness.

67062_10201573501611065_1449171905_nSo above you can see that the bottom of the tank is quite “busy”, the pipes had to be welded into the bottom of the tank as there was no room above or down the sides of the tank to run flexible hoses.

1380439_10201573500891047_1419960809_nSo if we look at the other fittings on the tank you can see the black filler bung is on the top, the sight gauge is mounted half way down the tank (black with clear lens) and if the oil mist ever fills enough you will see oil in the tank.

Both of these fittings had a simple little machined threaded boss with a “flange” round the top. My customer actually provided the machined fittings, only the filler threaded fitting had very little top flange to weld to. This with aluminium can be a problem as unless we have a flange with a little “meat” on it will rapidly be saturated in heat and “blow” away before we fuse to the main tank.

Aluminium dissipates heat very quickly unlike stainless steel or mild steel, but as this tank was so small and thin it quickly became “heat saturated” and you really have to watch the heat input otherwise the weld will “flood out” and look poor as well as being uneven and have massive excess penetration into the tank.

249077_614518415260670_1364078305_nAbove you can see how small the flange was on the filler boss, only approx 2mm in section.

67062_10201573501611065_1449171905_nSo once complete and welded up the tank needed to be tested for leaks, a simple process whereby we block all the holes up, add air pressure into the tank and simply brush soapy water around all the joints and welds. If there are any pin holes then the air will bubble through. Luckily this had no such issue.

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Above you can see the finished article and the basic drawing we worked to.

Now the tank is complete my customer is taking the whole bike to Italy to a specialist frame builder to have a frame built.

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