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Discussion Starter #1
My 50-year-old John Deere 112 sat for a decade, now it's time to bring it back to life.
Lots of wasp nests and mice nest were under the hood.
Of course it needed a new battery. Then I found the starter solenoid was bad, so I replaced it. Then I had to buy a coil. Of course it needed a new spark plag. Then I found some the wiring was dry rotted and brittle, so I had to replace it. And it also needed points and condenser, why was I surprised?

It fired up and ran today!
I still need to change the oil…
The gas tank is full of rust inside!
So my question is, how do I deal with a rusty gas tank? ❓❗❓

I figured some of you guys have had some experience in rusty gas tanks.
Advice would be appreciated. ?
 

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If the tank comes out easily have it steam cleaned. You can also put in some crushed gravel and water to swirl around to break the scale loose but make sure you thoroughly rnse it out. Make sure you use a quality fuel filter and change it frequently. Of course if the tank is rusted through and leaks this is all moot.
 

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As Roy stated, "crushed gravel and water." If you don't happen to have gravel, 5/16" or 3/8" nuts & short bolts will work. If all else fails, go to a local sporting supply or Walmart and get some BB's... about $5 for 5000!
After shaking, pour water & "media" into pan and inspect for debris. Clean/rinse media & repeat until drain water contains no debris. Depending on how badly it's rusted, 4 or 5 times may be needed.

I've never tried this, but I've read that adding acetone to the empty tank will absorb any water remaining in tank. Acetone can be bought at most box stores, Lowe's, HD, etc. Something I did do for a porous fuel tank was coat the inside with POR-15 and it worked great. Fuel tank sealers can also be purchased at most auto parts stores.

Rust in fuel tanks is typically caused by condensation. Temperature changes on bare metal create condensation. Keeping your fuel tank full helps prevent this. Bob
 

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Acetone is also known as fingernail polish remover, available next to the fingernail polish in any grocery store, Walmart, drugstore.
 

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After using the rocks you can coat the inside of the tank with something like Red-Kote or POR-15 tank sealer to stabilize it and prevent further deterioration. Just make sure it's not rusted too thin in spots, in that case it'd be better to find another gas tank.
 

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I bought a used gasoline powered welder in the mid '70's. Around 2010, I went to use it and no fuel! I filled the tank and immediately noticed a puddle forming under the welder. I let it empty, removed the tank and looked at the bottom of the tank...it resembled looking at a window screen!! I threw about 5 or 6 handfulls of 3/8" nuts in and shook the he!! out of it. Drained & repeated. Drained water finally came out clear and I let it air dry for about 3 days while waiting for my shipment of POR-015 to arrive. I poured the POR-15 in the tank and rotated the tank 90º about every hour or 2. I coated all internal surfaces (I guess??), drained the small amount of POR-15 out and let it sit for a few days...I had no real use for the welder at that time anyhow! I put everything together and added gas...no leaks! Fired it up...18hp Onan (??) 2 cyl with a little vibration, but still no leaks. I used the welder a few times after that, with the same fuel in it after 3 years +/-, and eventually sold the machine. The process DOES WORK. Bob
 

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I had a motorcycle gas tank that was scaled with rust. Knocked off the scale with nuts and bolts - as mentioned above. Then filled the tank with apple cider vinegar for a day - Nice bare metal. POR-15 will then give you a permanent solution.
 

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I prefer plastic gas tanks over metal,if one can be found that will work in place of a metal original one..no more rust or leak problems..

I had put a large metal tank off a Kohler engine I had on one of my tractors,it held over a gallon of gas,and the small 6 HP engine I had on it didn't use much gas at all,so that much gas ended up sitting in the tank a long time and tended to get water in it from condensation,and it was already rusty inside,I had cleaned it out before using it,but the bare metal quickly rusted again..

After a few leaks developed,I decided to take it off and go with a plastic tank off a old Tecumseh push mower..it only holds maybe a quart,but the engine will run about an hour on that much gas,and that is about how long I use it each time--I'd rather have to refill the tank more often,than have to toss out a gallon of watery rusty gas that you cant run an engine with..I try to run it out of gas after every use,rather than leave any in the tank,or add a little fuel system treatment to what is left in it..
 

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It's MUCH better to top off your fuel tank, especially for any long term storage.

Air is the culprit that forms condensation. At a given temperature, air retains a given amount of moisture. When the temperature decreases, the air "gives up" the moisture in the form of water droplets, or condensation. NO air in your tank means no condensation.

This is the exact same principal as an air compressor and why there's a need to bleed/drain the water from your tank. As the compressor operates compressing the air, heat is generated and the hot compressed air absorbs moisture. Once in the storage tank/reservoir, the air cools down giving you condensation. Large industrial compressors can have "refrigerator dryers" that get the air from the compressor, cool it down to usually 36ºF and it then goes to the reservoir. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Rocks? Nuts and bolts?
Huh? That never would've occurred to me! Thanks guys!

I did go for a joyride today. The seat is pretty worn out and I got a wet Hiney.
It was hard to get into fourth gear, I think I better change the gear oil. The variator worked great!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The tank is very rusty inside. But it's not rusted through. I think it can be salvaged. Thanks!
 

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I would look into replacement with a plastic one, but you could put 1/2 pound of nut & bolts into it and take it to a paint store and have them use the paint shaker for a couple hours!
 

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although filling up the tank for long term storage will prevent condensation in the tank...it is sure to cause a problem with your carburetor.....better to run it dry for long term storage....especially with the"reformulated" gasoline that is all that is available in most of the country
 

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My 112 has a shutoff valve on the bottom of the tank, after each use I shut it off with the tractor running and feather the choke until it dies to run all the fuel out of the carb.
 

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i have a 1980 111 that was repowered by jd with a 12 hp engine. it sat for about 10 yrs before i got it. i had to hook up the kill switch and fix the brakes. and now i need to fix the carb. if i just shut it off it will drain the tank into the crankcase so i put a shutoff valve on it for now and when i get done i shut the valve off and let the carb run out of gas. the proper way to fix it is a new needle and seat but i haven't got that far yet. i need to fix my steering wheel, it split on me while i was mowing this is when i found out the brakes didn't work. the brakes work now. when jd put in the 12hp motor they forgot the spacer between the electric clutch and the bottom of the engine so my clutch would short out sometimes and jd doesn't sell the spacer anymore so i took some washers and cut notches in it to conform around the woodruff key and installed it after fixing the worn through wire it also helps to hook up the alternator as well. so far it has cost me about twenty dollars in parts. i am going to change the spindle bearings next they are sounding a little noisy. and the neighbor gave me a used 111 for parts it had a blown motor but the rest is ok.
 

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I tried putting a metal gas tank with water & black beauty sandblasting sand in it on the paint shaker at the parts store I worked at--the tank came out shiny as new inside,but there was water being sprayed out of it when I went to shut the paint shaker off--many pitted areas were now holes,some were 1/8" in diameter...

I was not up to trying to repair it with the coating stuff like POR-15,I just put it in my scrap pile and got a plastic gas tank off another engine instead..

Many carbs will let the gas end up siphoning into the crankcase or all over the floor of your garage or shed,even if the needle & seat were working fine while it was running..a fuel shut off valve should be standard equipment and USED every time you park the tractor when your done using it..

My dad had bought a new Montgomery-Ward riding mower,the first time he mowed with it and parked it in the garage that is built under the house,he forgot to close the fuel shut off valve--later that night in bed,he smelled a very strong odor of gasoline--his bedroom was directly over the garage...he got up and went to investigate,and found a full tank of gas had leaked out of the carb onto the garage floor!...had to leave the overhead door open for days to let the gas smell finally evaporate..

The concrete floor held a lot of the stink in for a long time--could have been very bad if it wasn't summer,the furnace is located in the next room only 10 feet away,had it come on to heat water,I'm sure there would have been a fire or explosion and the house likely would have burned down!..:eek:..we then got a metal shed to store the tractor in,and erected it away from the house..kept the gas cans in the shed too!..
 
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