Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

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Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby ricky racer » Sun May 29, 2016 8:28 pm

One if my recent Cub acquisitions had a really rusty gas tank. It was rusty only on the bottom of the tank, not the sides or top. It was pretty bad. This evening, after pulling the sediment bowl, I dumped about a half gallon of muriatic acid in it and about the same amount of water. Of course the tank and hood assembly was removed from the tractor. I had no idea how long to let it soak, an hour, a couple hours, overnight? Well I let it soak for a little over an hour and during that time on a couple of occasions I sprayed inside of the tank with the garden hose nozzle. Upon draining the tank, I couldn't believe it. The inside of the tank looked like new!! It took sseveral flushings to get all of the little flakes washed out but I'm real happy with the results. I just thought I'd share.
Last edited by ricky racer on Sun May 29, 2016 9:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Super A » Sun May 29, 2016 8:41 pm

Muriatic acid is the heat for cleaning a gas tank. It's been a while but I think the recipe I used was a cup of acid per gallon of tank capacity and then fill it full of water, let sit overnight. If a person can sit with it, mixing it stronger like you did is the way to go!

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Eugene » Sun May 29, 2016 8:43 pm

You might consider putting something in the tank to prevent rust. I use Red-Kote.

It's summer, well temperature wise. I use the sun to fully dry the tank and then to fully cure Red-Kote. I usually let the tank set in the sun for a full day to make sure it's dry and then another day after the liner is installed to make sure the liner is fully cured.
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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Puffie40 » Sun May 29, 2016 10:51 pm

Another thing to help it along would be to drop a handful of crushed pebbles into the tank with the acid solution and shake the tank around for a while. Given the odd and bulky shape of the cub's tank, it would be best for your sanity to rig some sort of machine to shake it for you

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Super A » Sun May 29, 2016 11:31 pm

Puffie40 wrote:Another thing to help it along would be to drop a handful of crushed pebbles into the tank with the acid solution and shake the tank around for a while. Given the odd and bulky shape of the cub's tank, it would be best for your sanity to rig some sort of machine to shake it for you


If you want to protect your sanity, don't put anything in the tank other than the acid solution. That's the whole reason I use it, it will take a LOT of shaking to get all the hardware/pebbles/etc. out of the tank. A good strong solution will get ALL the rust with the right amount of time.

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby clintmo » Sun May 29, 2016 11:42 pm

I had great success with it recently as well. But I can tell you it doesn't take long at all for rust to return to that nice clean tank if you don't get something on that shiny metal quick.

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Mon May 30, 2016 6:37 am

If you coat the tank, follow the label instructions. I've known several people who didn't, and the stuff flaked off, and made a worse clogging, than the original rust, did.
When rinsing the dank, drain it into a white bucket, then you will see when no more rust flakes are coming out.

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Super A » Mon May 30, 2016 8:08 am

I wonder if you put a shot of two cycle engine oil in the tank and filled the tank full of fuel that would coat the tank and prevent rust? I mean, the tanks spent most of their lives bare metal.

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby tst » Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am

rinse the tank out with baking soda to neutralize the acid or it keeps eating away the metal

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby ricky racer » Mon May 30, 2016 8:51 am

clintmo wrote: But I can tell you it doesn't take long at all for rust to return to that nice clean tank if you don't get something on that shiny metal quick.

Clint


Man, you're right! I went out this morning and it was covered with light surface rust. I hosed it down with WD40 to stop the rust.
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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Sailor » Mon May 30, 2016 11:04 am

tst wrote:rinse the tank out with baking soda to neutralize the acid or it keeps eating away the metal

Excellent point!
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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Super A » Mon May 30, 2016 12:20 pm

It's been so long I have forgotten all the steps. I learned this on the ATIS list many years ago:

1. If there's varnish/sludge in the tank, soak it with a lye solution first. Stronger the better. (Take appropriate safety precautions)
2. Treat with acid.
3. Rinse with baking soda to kill the acid.
4. slosh around some acetone to help "dry" the tank

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby CSA_CUB » Tue May 31, 2016 7:44 am

I've got one like this glad I ran across this post.
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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Gator809 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:44 pm

I use a method very similar to super a

Wash tank out with water, preferably a pressure washer.

Put muratic acid to 1:1 with water in the tank.

Put a pipe plug in the drain hole, and several layers of aluminum foil under the gas cap to protect it and seal the tank.

Slosh the tank around a lot. Tying it to another tractor tire and driving around a bit works great. Better yet, jack the rear end of said tractor up, put it in a higher gear and let it run at idle for a while. Tie the tractor off to a tree so if it falls off the jack more than likely it will stall and die instead of running all over the place.

Drain the tank where you want to clean some concrete or kill weeds. Water down the runoff very well.

Flush the tank with water and baking soda to neutralize the acid.

Dry the tank with acetone, fill the tank, slosh around, and drain back into container for later use.

Let it air dry in the sun for a bit, and use a tank liner of your choice.

You need to use a liner because the insides of most tanks are tin or zinc coated, and the acid will strip a lot of it away, making it more prone to rust.

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Re: Cleaning Out A Rusty Gas Tank

Postby Puffie40 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:08 am

had anyone tried a electrolysis method to clean a tank?


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