77 Peugeot Gas Tank Restoration

Jonathan Schafer /

So I've got a Peugeot 103 that I have come upon and am doing a complete restoration on it. It was complete when I got it, but needed some love; fresh paint, engine gone through, new tires and tubes, fresh cables, fresh stickers just to name a few items. One issue that concerned me was the crusty, rusty gas tank that needed to be addressed. I needed to be able to twist and turn the tank as to be able to flush and wash it out, so disassembly to the bare frame was my solution to both that, and being able to get good coverage on paint when the time comes....

First, I started with flushing out the tank with high pressure water to get all the big chunks of rust out, then let it air dry for a few minutes while I prepped for the next step. I found this product at my local Harbor Freight called, EvapoRust. Bio friendly, non toxic, easy on the skin, can be dumped down the drain when finished, all good things. I filled the tank with this, sealed it from both ends, and let it sit overnight. The next morning, I noticed a pinhole leak at the bottom of the the tank that had developed over night. Oh well, not worried, hopefully it seals. I shook up the contents of the tank to suspend any solids in the Evaporust before I dump it back into its container for its next use. Next, I washed out the tank several times again with water to get any remaining loose rust and evaporust liquid out. After shining a light into the tank, there was a, "night and day" difference. 0 rust whatsoever. Crazy! Next I had to seal it.

This next step had to be done rather quickly, otherwise the tank can and will flash rust. I used 8 ounces of POR-15 Gas Tank Sealer. This this is extremely toxic and stinks to high hell, but gets the job done. I started by heating up this stuff in a double boiler to about 160 degrees F, while at the same time am blow drying the gas tank until its completely dry of any water or contaminants. After pouring the liquid into the tank, I again closed off both ends, but this time, slowly rolled the tank over and over, making sure to cover all the surfaces, and especially the spot where that pinhole leak was. After continuously rolling this for about 20 minutes or so, open up one end and drain the remaining liquid for a bit, then let it set for another few days before filling; in my case, until it's put back together. These are my results. I'm very satisfied with how it came out. Don't think I'd change a thing. The ribs and large holes your are seeing in the photos are the tank baffles for those who might be curious. Now onto paint...let me know whatcha think...

Cleaned  tank.jpg
treated tank.jpg

Re: 77 Peugeot Gas Tank Restoration

When the gas tank is part of the frame, like for this bike, rust holes could make that bike dangerous to put back on the road. Just sealing holes is not going to improve the strength that may be diminished. Consider having it welded/reinforced and also an aftermarket cross bar--one bad hit to your front wheel while at speed, disaster. Or find another frame...

Re: 77 Peugeot Gas Tank Restoration

Jonathan Schafer /

Thank you for the concern. The bike is getting repainted soon. At that time, I'll be taking it down close to bare metal and exposing any issues. If need be it can be welded, hopefully not, but it's an option. The outer frame was actually quite rust free. Even the inner fenders and such were clear of any rust. The only reason it's getting repainted is because the clear coat is gone, and anytime I wipe it with a wet rag, paint almost comes off.

Re: 77 Peugeot Gas Tank Restoration

I believe 103 tanks are brazed onto a structural downtube. however, tanks on frames like motobecanes and others are integral.

Re: 77 Peugeot Gas Tank Restoration

> jumpsuit steve wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> I believe 103 tanks are brazed onto a structural downtube. however,

> tanks on frames like motobecanes and others are integral.

Wow! Good to know. My bad thinking the Pug and Moby were built similarly. One more reason to keep a 103 high on my want list. Since it's not a monocoque like a Moby, plug and play

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