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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a steel tank from an 8HP Briggs horiz. shaft that sprung a leak today while splitting logs; (the 8HP Briggs is what powers the splitter, duh) and the splitter I am using isnt mine(yet anyway; the owner is moving a couple hours away the end of next month; IDK if he's taking it with yet; if not it could possibly "become" mine as he sheds "extras" that he won't have room for in the U haul;
I have successfully brazed tanks like this before; as well as larger ones (like from cars)
Fill them up with water as full as possible with the "holey side" as the high point; (this purges the fumes) and keep them full of water to within a couple inches of where you are brazing; any full-er and the water will steal your heat as it is a huge "heat sink"; any less and you run the risk of going ka boom.
BUT on this particular tank it is not cooperating; the hole is ~1/4" off the bottom on the front face;
I have ground, wire brushed, sanded the paint off around it so as not to contamimate the repair; (though the flame kinda does that on its own)
and I have tried to fix this stupid thing 4X; as soon as I turn the thing upright with the water still in it it seeps; the 2nd time I noticed the crack grew from ~1/2" to about 1-1/2" long; and also the 1st time the tank was still "Warm" so by flipping it upright I "quenched" it too fast;
but I'm typing this,as I let it sit outside and (naturally) cool; I've got a good solid couple days' worth of splitting to get done; I have more (at a different location; I have 2 "stashes") but that stash can wait a lil longer if need be.
My thoughts are to try this sealer in the tank later this week when I can let it sit for a couple days to cure; but I'm trying to get this thing to hold for the next 2 days at least. any ideas? (Dont say "different tank" either please)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll have to look; meanwhjile I'm still up later than I should be, trying to get this tank to hold so I can re install it tomorrow AM. I did have an extra Cub Cadet one up in the attic; though not my 1st choice (cuz the machine aint mine) I am thinking of that.
Id rather get this one to hold; though I cant get the wire wheel on the drill or the air tools out at nearly midnite around here! (the torch is a "quiet" tool)
 

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I have used JB-Weld to seal gas tanks that seeped after I soldered them. I used a wire brush and lacquer thinner to clean the flux off the soldered places. I mixed the JB-Weld a little thin and it has held for the last 2 years.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well I'm gonna try again; gave up about midnight; here's how it went; sand/scuff, fill w/water, tip up so leak is highest point, braze up, let cool, hold tank upright w/my finger over drain fitting, watch for a few mins, see it seep, wire brush and scuff flux off, light torch, heat/re puddle brass, add some more brass (brazing rod) repeat; I gave up at midnite; I remember working in the steel mill; piling more weld on top of cooler panels on a furnace with moten steel at 3100*F didn't stop the water either; we always had to carbon arc the old weld beads out, and get down to "base metal"; so I guess today I get the flapper wheel out and grind it down, then maybe a trip to the glass bead cabinet and start over; what was most aggravating was watching that crack "grow" (basically started as 2 pinholes spaced not unlike snake fangs though I could see the crack between the pinholes) by the time I gave up last nite it was ofer 2" long and started to branch like "birdfoot"; I do have some 1/16" regular OAW weld rod; I may try to weld instead of braze; I really don't wanna get the MIG out when the tank's full of water; I dont feel like gettin sapped.

the worst part? I've successfully done these repairs before on thinner metal even; my 85 Dodge Diplomat comes to mind; that tank had a ~3"X3" area with alot of pinholes that I fixed and was still holding 2 years later when I sold the car; so why it "isnt working" this time, I dont understand.
 

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If the crack spread I'd drill a small hole at the ends of it that should help to keep it from running on ya. other than that I'm not sure what to tell you as you seem to know how to braze and have done it gefore with success. And JB Weld does hold good on gas tanks.
 

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Old Stonebreaker
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I agree w/ Dave on the drilling holes. You had so much water in it, I doubt there'd be any danger to let it dry out good and braze it dry. Maybe the proximity of the water to the area you're brazing is stressing the metal too much and making the crack grow. I too have brazed a few gas tanks and I just dry them out w/ a shop vac blowing air in them 'til all the gas has evaporated. Then I attach a garden hose to a vehicle exhaust and let it run in the tank for a few minutes to remove all the oxygen. I can understand reluctance on your part. I've done this many times w/o incident and still here to tell of it, but I make darned sure ALL the gas is evaporated.
Mike
 

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I agree about the water. It is keeping the metal too cool. By this time the tank should not have enough vapor to ignite from your torch. I would empty the tank and let it dry good and try brazing it again. Before you add more to the spot, try grinding a little off to make sure you are working with a clean surface. That what I was taught in school last summer.
Dave
 

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The voice of reason !
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well I'm gonna try again; gave up about midnight; here's how it went; sand/scuff, fill w/water, tip up so leak is highest point, braze up, let cool, hold tank upright w/my finger over drain fitting, watch for a few mins, see it seep, wire brush and scuff flux off, light torch, heat/re puddle brass, add some more brass (brazing rod) repeat; I gave up at midnite; I remember working in the steel mill; piling more weld on top of cooler panels on a furnace with moten steel at 3100*F didn't stop the water either; we always had to carbon arc the old weld beads out, and get down to "base metal"; so I guess today I get the flapper wheel out and grind it down, then maybe a trip to the glass bead cabinet and start over; what was most aggravating was watching that crack "grow" (basically started as 2 pinholes spaced not unlike snake fangs though I could see the crack between the pinholes) by the time I gave up last nite it was ofer 2" long and started to branch like "birdfoot"; I do have some 1/16" regular OAW weld rod; I may try to weld instead of braze; I really don't wanna get the MIG out when the tank's full of water; I dont feel like gettin sapped.

the worst part? I've successfully done these repairs before on thinner metal even; my 85 Dodge Diplomat comes to mind; that tank had a ~3"X3" area with alot of pinholes that I fixed and was still holding 2 years later when I sold the car; so why it "isnt working" this time, I dont understand.
I know this may sound dumb to you but instead of brazing have you given a thought to using silver solder (like StayBrite) and if you're still worried about the fume I think you are safe now but if not drain the water dry it out and use a hefty soldering iron about 80 watts should do.

I've used StayBrite silver solder for just about any kind of repair or fab you can think of, including repairing fuel tanks and even building custom ones.

It's very strong and the joint is stronger than the metal around it !
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
what is so "special" about this "stayBrite" brand?
and as far as brazing it dry that's what I wound up doing; and the cracks would radiate in all directions; not continue in a straight line; I gave up and found another tank; after chasing cracks for ~4 hours;
this was the 2nd tank that cracked on this engine (at least) the splitter owner put this engine on the splitter; he'd gotten this engine used somewhere along the line, with a bad tank; and replaced the orig tank with this one. I have the original that he'd saved; the whole bottom has a lengthwise crack;
this is the old "square" Briggs tank; I had an oval, Kohler-ish tank up in the attic that I dug out and mounted on there so we could use the machine. I may go look for some of thiis "sta-Brite" stuff;

and since when did safety glasses skyrocket so bad in price? I went to the welding supply house and got 2 pr of "shade 5" safety glasses I was expecting to pay $10-12 for BOTH pairs; no, it cost me $27. not a mask or goggles just regular safety glasses taht were tinted to the "usual" shade for torch work.
 

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The voice of reason !
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what is so "special" about this "stayBrite" brand?
and as far as brazing it dry that's what I wound up doing; and the cracks would radiate in all directions; not continue in a straight line; I gave up and found another tank; after chasing cracks for ~4 hours;
this was the 2nd tank that cracked on this engine (at least) the splitter owner put this engine on the splitter; he'd gotten this engine used somewhere along the line, with a bad tank; and replaced the orig tank with this one. I have the original that he'd saved; the whole bottom has a lengthwise crack;
this is the old "square" Briggs tank; I had an oval, Kohler-ish tank up in the attic that I dug out and mounted on there so we could use the machine. I may go look for some of thiis "sta-Brite" stuff;

and since when did safety glasses skyrocket so bad in price? I went to the welding supply house and got 2 pr of "shade 5" safety glasses I was expecting to pay $10-12 for BOTH pairs; no, it cost me $27. not a mask or goggles just regular safety glasses taht were tinted to the "usual" shade for torch work.
StayBrite isn't a wonder fix at all but it is a great low temp silver solder so I thought it may help with the cracking (less heat), and I wonder if rubber mounting the tank would help ?

I hate to say it but you sound just like me, maybe we should get out more lol.

Seems like everything has taken a huge jump in price then I realize it's been 20 years since I last bought the thing I'm trying to replace, but then I ask how much are my eyes worth and put a crowbar in my wallet and pay the price.

Heres the link to Staybrite have a look:

http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/consumables/alloys.asp?id=32
 

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An old time mechanic showed me a neat way to fix a pinholed gas tank..my '63 VW Beetle had a drip at the bottom of the tank,he said he could fix it without pulling the tank or draining it..

We waited till the car was nearly out of gas,and jacked it up to one side so the gas would run to that side and not leak out of the pinholes...then he used emery cloth to shine the metal up around the leaky area good,and then took a copper penny (old "wheat" pennies are best as they are real copper,not zinc phonies!)..he put the penny on a large bolt and heated it up,put "tinners flux" on it ,and put a good blob of 50/50 solder on it,and he pressed it against the gas tank,and you could hear it go "sssssssss" as it cooled--held it there for a few moments and when he released it,it was perfectly bonded!..lowered the lack,no leaks!..

I have brazed a few tanks myself,but I find sometimes solder is nessasary and better after brazing,because the braze rod didin't flow well enough into the leaky area,and the high heat needed to melt it caused more damage than it fixed (like your cracks!)..if your paranoid about the tank blowing up,an old fashoned soldering iron you heat up with a torch can be used with success...todays "lead free"solder wont work well though,you'll have to scrounge up some old solder somewhere..
 

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The voice of reason !
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An old time mechanic showed me a neat way to fix a pinholed gas tank..my '63 VW Beetle had a drip at the bottom of the tank,he said he could fix it without pulling the tank or draining it..

We waited till the car was nearly out of gas,and jacked it up to one side so the gas would run to that side and not leak out of the pinholes...then he used emery cloth to shine the metal up around the leaky area good,and then took a copper penny (old "wheat" pennies are best as they are real copper,not zinc phonies!)..he put the penny on a large bolt and heated it up,put "tinners flux" on it ,and put a good blob of 50/50 solder on it,and he pressed it against the gas tank,and you could hear it go "sssssssss" as it cooled--held it there for a few moments and when he released it,it was perfectly bonded!..lowered the lack,no leaks!..

I have brazed a few tanks myself,but I find sometimes solder is nessasary and better after brazing,because the braze rod didin't flow well enough into the leaky area,and the high heat needed to melt it caused more damage than it fixed (like your cracks!)..if your paranoid about the tank blowing up,an old fashoned soldering iron you heat up with a torch can be used with success...todays "lead free"solder wont work well though,you'll have to scrounge up some old solder somewhere..
60/40 tin/lead solder can be had at just about any electronics store or supply house it's still very common you can even find it at craft stores that sell jewelry making supplies.

Thats why I like StayBrite it flows just like a regular solder and is 50 times stronger.

Thats a neat trick with the penny providing you can still find wheat cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That should be a relatively common tank. Why not find one on ebay?
cuz it aint my machine; it's "on loan"; so I found an oval Kohler type tank to put on there to get done what we need to; I think once the owner gets done pulling all his crap out of the weeds (he has to completely clean up his property before the new people take possession within a month) there may be at least one better candidate for it out there.
and I thought it would be a simple fix.
 

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The voice of reason !
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cuz it aint my machine; it's "on loan"; so I found an oval Kohler type tank to put on there to get done what we need to; I think once the owner gets done pulling all his crap out of the weeds (he has to completely clean up his property before the new people take possession within a month) there may be at least one better candidate for it out there.
and I thought it would be a simple fix.
At least you tried to fix it I know a few people who would just say oh well it's your problem not mine.
 
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