DIY Tech Tips- Mounting A Horseshoe Oil Tank

Article By: Tyler Malinky

Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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A stock style horseshoe oil tank is a timeless classic and looks good on stock bikes as well as choppers. When running a custom rear fender you have to fabricate rear oil tank mounts, as with a stock setup the rear oil tank mount bolts to the fender. If you want to run a narrower fender, or a different size rear wheel and want to keep your fender following the profile of your tire, you need to fab some custom mounts. I ran into just this issue when building my ‘59 Pan in a repop ‘52 rigid frame.

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Note that I did replace the curved upper crossmember with a straight one because the one on my new frame was way crooked from the factory! This style oil tank (pictured Left) mounts will work with either style crossmember. H-D oil tanks from 1958 to 1964 have upper tabs on them that work perfectly to make custom mounts. The pre-58 tanks however, do not have these tabs and won’t work with this mounting method.

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If you want to run the earlier style tank without the upper tabs, you could also fabricate a lower support bracket to go from the bottom oil tank mounting holes down to the rear of your trans mounting plate. I used some of our Lowbrow finger rubber mount tabs that have a stainless steel spacer / washer and a rubber isolator grommet. They are 1/4” thick mild steel, easy to weld and more than beefy enough to withstand a rigid ride.

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The military spec grommet compresses down nice and tight for a totally solid mount. By utilizing the stock front oil tank mount on the seatpost and welding these tabs in place it rigidly mounts the oil tank and keeps a very clean, finished look.

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