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Old 04-01-2011, 02:50 PM   post #1 of 19
Obscured_by_Clouds
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Default Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

How do you keep metal tanks from rusting inside?

If they do, how do you treat it to keep it from getting worse?
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:56 PM   post #2 of 19
Steve (Magnolia, TX)
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

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Originally Posted by Obscured_by_Clouds View Post
How do you keep metal tanks from rusting inside?

If they do, how do you treat it to keep it from getting worse?
My answer to both questions is the same (only in my case... it was in reverse order).

POR-15

Let me start off by saying that I am, in no way, affiliated with POR-15... I am just a satisfied customer. There are other comperable products on the market that may work just as well (even better)... it's just that I'm not familiar with them.

POR-15 offers an acid etching compound that will convert a rusted surface to one that will adhere paint... then there is a solvent-safe paint that coats the tank.

Check out their website (www.por-15.com) and see what you can find.
They also have an eBay store, where they sell their products.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:21 PM   post #3 of 19
Don B.
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

I clean them out w/battery acid, flush them w/ water and look inside w/a flashlight; if not totally clean I put the acid back in let it sit some more. If you don't treat it with something it will rust up again pretty quick. I've had a couple that I did this to, and even following w/a baking soda and water mix, if I let them sit a week? I gotta repeat the acid.
I found the best coating to be Bill Hirsch, they are the only one that certifies comatibility with E 85; the thing being that even if you don't run E 85 there is "some" alcohol in all gas now a days and that alcohol will eventually eat most of the other coatings, they don't say either way whether alcohol laced gas will screw up their coatings; it does on some.

I have also used KREEM, big with the motorcycle guys and had good luck but have heard others say that they have had it peel and clog strainers and filters.
Judging by my luck w/POR 15 on "accessible" surfaces ("can we say mixed bag") if it holds up great. but I have seen it "not" stick and peel right off too. and this is on 2 parts treated the same way at the same time out of the same batch. considering the hassle and potential issues with it peeling off the inside of a tank, IDK if I want to chance it.
IDK what the name of this other product is, "red" something or other, that I have heard great stuff about, them and Hirsch I have heard the least complaints about possible problems about; I will try some of the "red" (I think it's "Indian Red" or "red Indian" or something like that)

but; I took a 3 qt tank off a 5HP Briggs horiz engine (the style where the carb mounts to the tank and has 2 tubes protruding into the tank) to the local radiator shop; he raked me for $50 for that 3 qt tank!!! IDK what product he utilizes. I bought a qt of the Hirsch stuff and have done 6-7 tanks so far from that one quart. The one taht cost me $50 was on my Trac vac which is the most "seasonal" piece I have and sits the most from one leaf season to the next vs a mower, snow blower etc.
On my harley golf cart that I had given to me, the PO had had the tank steamed cleaned by another radiator shop in town but did not get it coated. this tank is ~2-1/2 gallons I guess; it has not yet had gas put into it since he had it cleaned, but he gave me the reciept for having had it done within 2 weeks prior to abandoning ship on that project (I have since found and solved his problem that made him give up on it) and saw that this other shopp charged him $50 just to steam it clean. YIKES!
SO, since I had the Bill Hirsch stuff here anyway, I took advantage of its fresh-clean-and not-yet-had-gas-in-it condition and coated it. It sticks great to freshly cleaned tanks.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 PM   post #4 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

There is a product called KREEM that a lot of people, me included use, for tanks. It is as stated complicated and time consuming but it works. If you have a "Gas tank - ReNu " near you they have a treatment for sale for tanks. I think Stiners Tractors also has a tank treatment. I did not know about POR-15 having a treatment. I need one more tank done so I will look at their stuff.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:20 PM   post #5 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

http://www.caswellplating.com/vht/index.html look for the gastank sealer kit without a doubt the best stuff I have ever used on a gastank
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:44 PM   post #6 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

I use muratic acid in my antique tractor fuel tanks .I follow that with a metal conditioner such as http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-fast-etch.html or PPG DX520. This makes a good corrosion resistant surface that Pour in tank liners will really bond to. The caswell tank liner that monte433 mentioned sounds like a good product. I think I will try that in my next tank.

Last edited by cjet69; 04-01-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:09 PM   post #7 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

I've used the Kreem treatment on a motorcyle tank and it turned out awesome. It has been 10 years or so since I've used their products but I would not hesitate to try them out again.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:10 PM   post #8 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

Keeping the gas tank FULL during periods of storage will prevent condensation, then rust from forming.

Some people even resort to using Stabil, or an equivalent fuel stabilizer for the storage period. Personally, I don't use Stabil. I have no problems with my equipment in the spring. As much as I use my stuff, that first tank goes dry pretty quickly.

I also store my stuff with empty carbs. Turn the fuel off and run the engine until it dies.

All the above products are great for repair of a rusty gas tank. Kreem is the best. IMO
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:28 PM   post #9 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

I don't understand the logic of leaving the gas tank full to prevent condensation, but emptying the carb. Isn't the carb subject to the same heat-cool cycles that cause condensation?
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:22 PM   post #10 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

Bluewrench, If the tank is full there is NO AIR in the tank. That is were the water comes from. The moisture in the air condensates on the inside walls of a half empty tank due to temp. changes. and goes to the bottom of the tank.
As to the carb, the small amount of gas in the carb will evaporate leaving "Varnish" coating in the ports and passages and small parts like the needle valve. Then you have to take it apart to clean it. Unless you have a real old carb it is cast "pot metal" or aluminum and will not rust
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:27 AM   post #11 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

My neighbor had a very old IH tractor with a sorrowful, non-replaceable fuel tank. The sight bowl filled with rust debris in less than ten minutes operating time. I flushed the tank with water from pressure washer. Got all the hard and loose stuff out. Closed up all except the fill port and put in twenty (Count them!) square head bolts and nuts. Put in some MEK along with it and sloshed it around and emptied. Counted the bolts and nuts removed. After letting it dry I wire wheeled the outside bad area and smoothed a layer of JB Weld. Let that set up, then poured in a quart of Red Kote. Tipped the tank every way possible and then set the tank with the fuel port down and into that quart can to empty out the excess. After an hour, I sealed the quart can and let the fuel tank rest right side up again. Painted the exterior IH red again and it looks brand new. That's been about five years ago and the fuel sight bowl is now constantly crystal clear. Red Kote is far cheaper and far easier to use than any other product I've read about. It's like coating the inside with red rubber.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:59 AM   post #12 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

Red Kote $35/qt
Caswell $70/qt
Kreem $35/kit
Por 15 $70+/kit



Sheesh! I can buy a new tank for that.


OK, I know most of these can do more than one tank, but I'd be concerned about shelf life after I opened any one of them. Most things dry out or degrade once the initial seal is opened no matter how tight I close them back up.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:43 AM   post #13 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obscured_by_Clouds View Post



Sheesh! I can buy a new tank for that.

so, just buy a new tank then.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:00 AM   post #14 of 19
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

I have used battery acid in the past but now I prefer the electrolysis method. It does a swell job cleaning rust out. I use a pipe (electrode) with rubber short pieces of rubber tubing on it's ends to insulate it. Think dogbone shape.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:23 AM   post #15 of 19
Steve (Magnolia, TX)
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Default Re: Treatment for rust inside metal gas tanks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obscured_by_Clouds View Post
...Por 15 $70+/kit



Sheesh! I can buy a new tank for that.


OK, I know most of these can do more than one tank, but I'd be concerned about shelf life after I opened any one of them. Most things dry out or degrade once the initial seal is opened no matter how tight I close them back up.
Wow!!! Did their prices go up that much? I bought a kit last year (maybe the year before?) for $45

I know that with POR-15 it has NO shelf life, after it's been opened. I don't know what size tank you're treating, but... I'm treating (my Ford) tractor fuel tanks... 10 - 13 gallons, or so. I've done 2 at a time before (this last time)... but I had both tanks ready and I poured the sealant in one... sloshed it around... then drained it into the 2nd... and sloshed it around. It worked for me.

However... a new tank for these old Ford tractors is in the neighborhood of $200. I sealed and treated 2 for $45.
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