Suzuki Srad Fuel Tank Pump Flange Modifications

Suzuki Srad Fuel Tank Pump Flange Modifications

A typical fault with the Suzuki SRAD tank was the pump seal arrangement on the bottom of the tank.

If the pump and flange plate were removed for any reason and then refitted, there was a big chance that with a fraction excessive tightening of the clamp bolts that the spot welded flange would distort and then the sandwiched seal ring would not pull tight against the flared opening flange of the tank.

Major problem if you had done the above, filled the tank and had fuel pouring out the bottom of the tank on a nice hot engine / gearbox casing. Very poor design by Suzuki really.

Anyway, my customer having spent a good wedge of cash on getting his tank repainted was left in the same position the first time he put new fuel in his nice newly painted tank. Upon inspection it could be seen that the flange the clamp bolts thread into had distorted and hence the seal ring was not sealing against the tank flange lip.


As can be seen from the image above the original set up takes the form of a 4mm thick flange that is spot welded to the main tank in between the threaded bolt positions, you may also be able to see the dimples in the tank under the positions where the clamping bolts sit through the flange so the bolts dont actually damage the tank shell. You can also see the pressed up flange around the opening that the seal ring actually seals against when the whole thing is tightened up. Clearly also shown are the positions where the spot welds have been positioned in between the drilled and tapped holes.

1451558_10201812688110578_1319495453_nAbove image shows where I have had to drill out the spot welds in the original flange in order to get the damn thing off – best spot welds I have ever removed! This took a bit of tugging and hammering to get off and the next image shows that I then had to do a little panel beating with a small aluminium block to level the panel work back up a bit.

1488167_10201812686750544_1878547800_nA little bit of flushing off and a bit of sanding down and cleaning up and we are ready to fit the new flange.


Laser cut, mild steel, thicker 6mm pump mounting flange offered up in place on the original tank. This will be tacked and welded in  place using a 10mm thick top plate to help soak some heat away and to help stop the new flange from distorting whilst welding.

1st we need to drill and tap out the holes. Drill out 5mm (4.8mm actually) diameter in order to tap M6. I did this using a battery drill set at low torque setting to prevent breaking the tap off in the hole. Notice that I didnt get the holes laser cut as this leaves a “hard” surface on the material which is a nightmare to thread out then, so all I did was get the laser to put a cross mark exactly where the holes come, ensuring dead accurate marking.

1461168_10201812687470562_548027505_nOnce all the holes were drilled and tapped out, a double check on the orientation and bolt the blanking flange up, sett up on the tank for accurate tack up.

1465371_10201812685430511_1213561555_nOnce tacked up, I removed the blanking plate and double checked the tack up and positioning. I had to make sure that I clamped the tank panel work tight up to the flange. Unfortunately even with the new flange tacked tight up I still had a gap to fill where the original dimples in the tank are, so I had to weld as cool as possible but a large fillet size to cover the dimples.

601593_10201812684590490_1838420620_nOnce the weld had had time to cool down I removed the blanking plate, although the flange had stayed flat and level there was a bit of shrinkage in the panel work.

The blanking plate was the used as a template to make a silicon rubber seal for testing, I also had to drill the blank plate and weld 2 pipe stubs on so that I could connect an airline and pressure blow off valve.

The seal and clamping plate were bolted back in place and tightened up I connected an airline one side and a pressure relief blow off valve the other. Spraying soapy water around the welded area and then pressuring up the tank if there is a leak you can see air bubbles bubbling out of pinholes etc.

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On to dry off, clean up, bit of paint and jobs a good un!

Just waiting for the laser cut nitrile seal to clamp up and finish the job.


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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.


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.


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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Moto Guzzi Frame, seat, tank modifications

An ongoing job we have at present is the lengthening of a Moto Guzzi Frame for touring 2 up more comfortably.

Our customer has brought the frame, seat & tank to me to chop about.

Initially I had discussed with the customer his requirements and this guy really knew what he was after (a seasoned Guzzi fan), I had descriptions, drawings and pictures. It is actually very refreshing to have a customer that has thought so in depth about his requirements before even bringing the bike to me. I love customers like this. Since our real forte is offering custom modifications to customers cars / bikes / vehicles or parts very often a project starts as something and ends up being either far more work or ends up being something different to what was wanted at the start. However, this is usually because people have good ideas and yet in manufacture / set up / mocking the job up things have to change a little sometimes due to dimensions, parts clashing, not lining up or physically unable to make something as first thought or designed.

Nice to know though that we always take great delight in customers actually going away with something they love. Our enjoyment is very often seeing a customers face when they collect a part and we know they love what we have done. I for one love to be able to work through a project with customers and lovemaking something out of the ordinary. Very often nowadays this is is helped along by parts being modeled or drawn up on a cad system first whilst pulling the “look” or design of something together – people love to see what they are getting for their money upfront if its possible at all.

Any way here are the first pictures of the Moto Guzzi mods, I will update this blog as we go along with pictures and descriptions.


Seat roughly chopped and extended 3″


Showing gap between seat and tank to be filled up


I am not happy with the way the tank sits on the frame at present so I am going to have to have a jiggle about


Once I am happy with the tank position, I need to check swing of forks to ensure they dont hit the tank on full lock


The tank actually sits pretty parallel to the frame spars but I think I am going to have to extend the seam around the bottom of the tank to cover the frame more especially around the area shown above, I am also going to have to move the tank back about 10mm to give sufficient clearance on the forks as they swing to full lock.





Seat fitted back onto frame and temporary mountings


Now I can see what gap I have from the new seat position to the tank – approx 10mm to move the tank back to clear forks on full lock.


OH DEAR. No going back now!


Tank end tacked back on roughly 75mm further back (just to give me an idea)


Tank back on frame with end spaced off and positioned to view the general look


Looking from above, again just as a rough idea we can see how the tank flows into the seat.


You can see from the picture above that I have dropped the tacked in position tank end down to try and get the top of the tank to flow into the seat nicely. This totally messes up the side of the tank in that the press lines in the tank sit approx 20mm lower on the end compared with the rest of the tank. Effectively the customer wants the back end of the tank to “flow” nicely along the frame rail so once I get the end in the correct position I will have to fabricate a “dummy” panel to make the tank flow with the bottom seam along the centre line of the frame top rail (if you understand ?). See the next picture to understand the flow of the tank lines.


From the above picture you can see that the lines in the side of the tank either need chopping and altering or we lift the chopped off end of the tank to get the lines level along the side view and then chop and lift the top of the tank to change the flow of the top of the tank.

All of the below pictures show you the issues we will have now we have extended the tank. The main tank will need slicing up and new material adding in to change the profile of the tank and ensure that the lines of the tank, position of mounting, bottom seam position are all aligned and “aesthetically pleasing to the eye”. This will be where the work starts!

20131013_185713 20131013_185636 20131013_185622

Next step was to start slicing the tank to open out the taper to “flow” towards the front of the seat.

Slicing the tank is not for the faint hearted as once this is undertaken, the plunge has been taken and there is no going back.


So there you go – above, tank sliced and “tabbed”, you can see that I have cut along the natural form lines in the tank. Opening these out has the effect of smoothing the flow of material back to the re positioned end panel.


Due to the nature of the tank I have decided that we also need to almost “scollop” in 2 new sections along the length of the tank sides to get the material to shape and look right as it meets up to the bottom flange (shown at the top, tank is upside down).


You can see on this view that I have tacked in a brace plate to ensure that the tank “top” & “bottom” stay at the correct dimension, whilst manipulating the panels to fit.


As you can see above I have added small tabs to keep the sliced sections apart evenly, as now I have to start removing the longitudinal tacked plates off  a couple at a time to begin the infill process.


Above, 1st infill panel shaped and tacked in place.


Once the top infill panel had been tacked in I can now work opposite and start fitting some infill material to the underside.


Whilst tacking infill panels into the extended tank it is critical to keep checking the dimensions of the gap to ensure that the shrinkage of the tacks does not shrink the panels in too much and create distortion or twist.


A good “fit up” is essential to keep the tank even and aid the welding process.


A better view of the underside infills


Now you can see that the side infill panels will meet up with the top infill panel roughly on the centre of the sliced press lines in the tank. The idea being that the new infill for the longitudinal will have a pressed line in it meeting up with the joint position of the new top and side infill metal. You cant see in the picture below but I have put a slight radius on the ends of the top and side infill plates along the joint so that I dont end up with a sharp pointed joint line as this needs to be a smoother radius to match up with the re fitted end panel and new press line in the longitudinal infill panel.


And both side infills


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Above – All joints taped up ready for purging the tank with argon to stop atmospheric attack on the back of the welds on the inside of the tank. Each seam was completed one at a time and tape removed as I moved around the joints to spread the heat to ensure I never allowed a build up of heat in one area, which will cause shrinkage and distortion.


Below, just to show that I have tried to complete all welded joints along an existing press line in the tank, therefore reducing chance of the welded joints shrinking and “sinking” if I chopped and joined the tank on a flat panel / slightly shaped there would be more chance of distortion / sinking where contraction has taken place along joint as it has cooled.


Common rule in engineering “majority of metals expand upon heating but, nearly always contract more upon cooling”. Using this rule of thumb a skilled engineer will be able to level a flat bar of solid metal e.g. a flange, by strategic pin point heating using an oxy-fuel gas torch.


Some of the welding does not look good as quite a lot has been welded using the “pull” mig welding method, or “stitch” welding method, and in some instances what we term “backstep” method. All of these methods are used in completing differing joints due to gap, thickness of metal, joint set up and various other anomalies.


Above a view on the underside of the tank


You can see above where I have seam welded the small lip where the edges join around the end


Cut out and patch in of new filler neck and cap assembly.


Mark up for chop out


Cut out and mark up for shaping and fitting into existing tank


Shaped panel with new drain pipe added before we graft in new filler cap


Tank cut out and panel shaped (bit of panel beating here to reshape panel), offered up for fitting


Better fit


Grafted in / welded and flushed in


From another view


Back end where welded flange has been previously repaired – not pretty

We need to do something with this and to fill the gap between the tank and frame spar.


Infil panel and scallop around head stock


From riders view


Front flange extensions to cover frame drops tacked on to existing tank.

Note these blend into new mounting bracket panels.


Scalloped out infil panel for lower rear of tank to blend in with chassis better


Welded / blended and reshaped front flange extension


Tacked on infil panel (looks better when side panels on)







Pressure tested and ready to fit properly. Now the whole set up wants to be fitted with all panels and motor / carbs / re-trimmed seat and new mounting rubbers to sit properly on the bike frame and then the work begins, skimming and paint prep.

Hopefully another happy customer ?


I was not fully sure this job was feasible until I visited Flash Customs for a consultation.
With a full discussion of what was wanted, I was assured it was and it was clearly described to me how it could be done.
I was pleased that I was kept informed every step of the way. The finished article is testimony to the bespoke services that Flash Customs can offer.I would not hesitate to recommend their services. Thank you.

Richard Cresswell


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Ducati Wheel Speed Sensor Bracket

I have recently been asked to manufacture 1 off replacement Ducati wheel speed sensor bracket.

The original one was manufactured as 2 separate pieces and then welded together. This had been knocked and bent.

I managed to straighten this out, nick through the existing weld and re-weld around 3 sides to”repair” the original.

Knowing that this original design may have a weakness where the joint between the 2 parts are only able to be welded on 3 sides, I machined the item as a single part, using a manual lathe and mill.

The material I used was HE30 Aluminium, or  what is now commonly known as “6082 grade alloy” or “T6″.

Particulars of this grade of material is ideal for this application – “Alloy 6082 is a medium strength alloy with excellent corrosion resistance. Alloy 6082 has the highest strength of the 6000 series alloy. Due to the higher strength of Alloy 6082 it has replaced Alloy 6061 in many applications. Alloy 6082 is typically used in highly stressed applications, Trusses, Bridges, Cranes, Transport applications, Ore Skips, Beer Barrels, Milk churns”. (taken from 30/9/2013).

A more typical application for this grade is aircraft parts, billet alloy slab yokes, fork clamps, handlebar risers.


Above image shows 1 piece sensor bracket, machined from billet T6 Alloy, etch primed and painted silver


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Motorcycle – Cafe Racer, Polished Aluminium Dash Assembly

Lovely little job here, drawings were supplied by customer which we duly transferred to a 2d cad program ready for loading onto the laser machine in order to cut the main parts from 10mm thick aluminium.

Laser cut parts

Laser cut parts

Once parts had been laser cut, I had a very good friend drop them on his cnc mill, and counter bore the back of the cut holes, smaller ones were for various warning lights and needed to be recessed to allow for the fixing nut, the large clock apertures counter bored to allow the rolled aluminium clock tubes to sit neatly into them.

Trial assembly

Trial assembly

The clock bodies / drums were fabricated from 1.5mm thick ns4 aluminium sheet, cut, rolled and tig welded together, re-rolled and checked for size against the recess diameter in the back face and also the bottom discs.

Clock bodies rolled, welded and checked fro size

Clock bodies rolled, welded and checked for size, polishing begins

Once all parts were manufactured a mammoth polishing effort commenced

Showing underside of assembly

Showing underside of assembly

Several grades of soap and mops were used in the polishing process, even wet and dry grades were used on the face to try and remove as many marks as possible. Its always handy to have a good polishing motor as the mops can really drag the spindle speed down. Ideally you want to be polishing at about 2800 rpm, with good quality mops and soaps to get a good finish. Its important to start with a rough sisal fast cutting and hard polishing mop, they are particularly useful for first stage polishing on all metals including aluminium, brass, copper and steels. These will remove light marks left from preparation and are usually used with Brown metal polishing compound on soft metals or Black metal polishing compound on steels.

After a couple hours polishing

After a couple hours polishing

Stitched polishing mops are versatile cutting and polishing mops for general polishing but are less aggressive than sisal polishing mops. Stitched polishing mops are ideal for use on aluminium, copper, brass and steel and can be used with -Brown, Blue, Black, Green or white polishing soaps.


Ready for soft loose leaf final polishing mop. The most popular type of finishing mop, loose fold polishing mops can be used with Blue, White, Pink and Jewellers Rouge polishing compounds. Loose fold polishing mops are manufactured from 100% white soft cotton, with no hard pieces.

Finally polished and ready to pack up and despatch to customer

Finally polished and ready to pack up and despatch to customer

After polishing with mops and soaps I always use a good metal polish to bring up a bit better and add a lustre to the parts.

Hopefully soon have a picture once fitted to the bike.


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