Gas Tank Rust

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Captain Ron
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Gas Tank Rust

Postby Captain Ron » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:41 pm

My Dad's 1948 Cub was in storgae for almost 30 years. Last year I started a restoration on it- it runs beautifully, but I keep getting a plugged fuel strainer from the loose rust. What Should I Do?

Larry in WNY
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Larry in WNY » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:21 pm

On my rusty fuel tanks I used 2 gallons of phosphoric acid from Home Depot & 6 gallons of water. Add water first then acid. Let it soak for a week. Empty into a plastic tub in case you need to use it again. I put a pipe plug in my tank. After draining acid flush it with water. I added some acetone to get the water to evaporate faster. The acid will dissolve some of the rust and stabilize the rest into a hard coating. Chunky pieces may be removed with a shop vac.(after the acetone has evaporated!) This is the 2nd tank I treated. It looks better than it started. If the temp was above 32 F I would have let my tank soak another week. Sealer kits are available if you want to coat it.

Phosphoric acid is used for etching concrete but has a chemical reaction with rust which converts it to a stable form. I still need to add fuel to see how long it lasts. The 1st tank I did on my 58 had less rust and more gunk in it. It cleaned up really well back to bare metal. The 2nd tank was very rusty and looks better that it was.

Caution: It will discolor concrete and leave spots on paint. Rinse off any spillage with water. Use gloves and goggles. I didn't notice much odor from it. It's a weaker acid.
Larry

Gary Puckett
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Gary Puckett » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:46 pm

I have used this product and method on a Honda 750 motorcycle tank. I put drywall screws in it and shook it everyday. It cleaned up pretty well. I have seen videos of a tank tied to cement mixer letting it rotate with nut and bolts inside to break up the rust. I am not sure this is practical and should be tried at home.

coppersmythe
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby coppersmythe » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:07 pm

hello all from the balmy deep south . i used muriatic acid and water to clean the tank , and red-coat to seal it ( FOLLOW DIRECTIONS !! VERY DANGEROUS ) . 4 years later , no problems yet . coppersmythe......................................

ScottyD'sdad
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:50 am

When you rinse the tank, pour the water into a clean, white plastic bucket. That way, you'll be able to see when the rinse water is clear of rust chips, that you won't notice, if poured on the ground. Clean the bucket, between rinsings.
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txcublover
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby txcublover » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:47 am

I recently did this on my cub. Here's the recipe I wrote:
Items:
  • White distilled vinegar (I bought it in two gallon cases at the local Sam's Club for $4/case, and I needed 7.5 gallons).
  • Dawn soap
  • Something to plug the bottom of the tank (I bought a new sediment bowl setup from TM, as the one I had was starting to corrode badly, as I result I just left the old sediment bowl in place for the rest of this)
  • Some way to drain the tank back into the vinegar bottles once the job is done (I put a fitting on the old sediment bowl and used a rubber fuel line for this).
  • 50 nuts or larger washers.
  • Baking Soda
  • 8 Gallons of non-ethanol gasoline
  • Marvel's Mystery Oil (MMO)
Process:
  • Drain and discard any fuel in the tank
  • Remove the tank from the tractor
  • Wash the tank with some dawn and water to break apart any petroleum products left in the tank (they create a barrier for the acid to get to the rust, and make the process take longer). Get the soap out, but don't worry about a few ounces of water left in the tank at this point.
  • Ensure the bottom is plugged, however you intend to do that.
  • Add vinegar until full to the very top. As the vinegar evaporates and/or has a chemical reaction it releases gas into the air that will cause any exposed metal at the top, including the gas cap, to rust very badly in no time. Use the baking soda to neutralize any vinegar that was spilled on the paint.
  • Each day, top off the vinegar in the tank (I found that I am bad at hitting the tank, so I kept the baking soda handy for this).
  • After 7 or 8 days, drain the vinegar back out into the vinegar bottles.
  • Add the cleanest bottle of vinegar back into the tank and throw in the nuts and washers, shake it around for 30-45 seconds (make sure you shake them all around the tank, these will knock any slightly loose rust off).
  • Dump the tank upside down and empty out all the washers and nuts (and loose rust).
  • Add some more water for another rinse, swish it around to pick up any leftover rust pieces, washers, or nuts, and then dump it again.
  • Add and then drain acetone to eliminate any leftover water.
  • Install the new sediment bowl on the tractor (Only if you are replacing it)
  • Put the tank back on the tractor.
  • Add MMO to the tank.
  • Fill with gasoline.

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Don McCombs
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:26 pm

What is the purpose for the MMO?
Don McCombs
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txcublover
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby txcublover » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:44 pm

Don McCombs wrote:What is the purpose for the MMO?


It's just a common fuel additive, and I copied these from my notes (I add MMO to the fuel for my lawn tractors and now my Cub).

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Don McCombs
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Location: MD, Deep Creek Lake

Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:05 pm

OK. I thought maybe it played some part in your rust removal plan.
Don McCombs
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txcublover
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby txcublover » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:07 pm

Don McCombs wrote:OK. I thought maybe it played some part in your rust removal plan.


No, though as I think about it, if someone does it fast enough it could help reduce the flash rust that occurs right after one cleans a tank this way.

Truth is that I want to do this again, and this time line it with something. Hopefully I'll be set up to take videos by then and will be able to post a how-to video.

Jim in SC
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Jim in SC » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:23 pm

I found that it helps to put a magnet in the tank after cleaning to attract any loose pieces that you may have missed. I just put the magnet inside the tank, near the petcock.
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Sir Winston Churchill / George Orwell.
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Jerry's cub
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby Jerry's cub » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:06 pm

I used a magnet on a flexible piece of small tubing picked up a lot of rust.
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jsfarmall
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Re: Gas Tank Rust

Postby jsfarmall » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:38 pm

How good are you with a welder? Yes a welder on a gas tank. Just answer and I can tell you what I did with my H


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