I have a 1949 Johnson seahorse 5h.p Model number TD-20. i need some help on the chrome or silvery stuff on the front and that wraps around the back is old and dull looking and i want to get it to shine again and i dont know if you can buff it or what you do to it to make it look good again. Also there are many dents in the tank and im not sure what to do but i dont want to weld it and cut it open. Any ideas. I have to put new decals and paint on it and i need ideas how to paint it and what to do for this . i fixed the carb and she ran fine. but any help will help me alot.
i attached some pictures so you can see what im talking about
FYI - it's not chrome, rather polished aluminum. If it is heavily oxidized, a graduated regimen of progressively finer sandpapers, wet sanding imperfections out, and eventually using polishing compounds would result in a bright finish. Would need frequent repolishings to maintain finish, as aluminum oxidizes easily. Some folks clearcoat them to keep the shine.
Another alternative to filling would be heat and pressure. Some folks have used an air compressor and a homemade fitting to get medium positive air pressure inside the tank, and then heating the dented areas with a propane torch to pop them back into shape. Care should be taken as it is possible to burst the tank with too much air pressure. And, of course, the tank should have NO gasoline residue in it whatsoever.
If you're thinking about the value of the motor when restored, stop now, as it isn't worth it. I sold a restored one on eBay about a month ago for $200. The TDs are very common. If you want to restore it, do it because you'll keep it and enjoy it, not because you think it'll be "worth" more.