Rust fuel Tank

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Martin.Williams
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Rust fuel Tank

Postby Martin.Williams » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Hi, I'm new to restoration, has anybody got any ideas on how to clean the inside of a rusty fuel tank? the outside is in very good condition, there is also a very sticky grease type substance in the petrol on/off tap which I'm guessing is in the tank to.

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robjameson
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Postby robjameson » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:19 pm

You can buy quite a few products to clean a tank then seal it (slosh, por15) I believe these help to clean the tank, or the old school method is to drop some nuts and bolts in the tank with some paraffin and shake it about.
Rob Jameson
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1956 Ariel KH (LARGE project!)

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adrie.degraaff
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Re: Rust fuel Tank

Postby adrie.degraaff » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:48 pm

Spraythinner or cleaningthinner will solve the sticky stuff.

Geoffbrown
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Re: Rust fuel Tank

Postby Geoffbrown » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:37 pm

Oh yes; I have found reverse electrolysis is the key to cleaning rusty tanks. You need a 12v DC supply (battery charger works fine) fill the tank to the top with water mixed with soda crystals. Then one line on the body of the tank and the other onto an anode (any old bit of steel will do) carefully placed in the solution without touching the sides, make it as long as you practically can (cannot recall which way around but it is obvious as within a few hours rust starts to accumulate on the anode if you have it wrong the anode will be deposited into the tank and no rust will gather). leave it for a week cleaning the rust off the anode daily and when no more rust gathers on the anode the inside of the tank will be really chemically clean - even shiny.....

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Richard Kal
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Re: Rust fuel Tank

Postby Richard Kal » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:54 pm

Take it to your local chrome plater, and he will be able to put it in his bath and de-rust it magnificently.

Relatively cheap, guaranteed result, and someone else has to handle the dangerous substances.

Richard

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ColinPeck
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Re: Rust fuel Tank

Postby ColinPeck » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:40 pm

Hydrochloric acid which is sold as brick cleaner will eat all of the rust, you'll soon find out if you've got any "pepper holes"! The stuff I have is min. 36% acid and is very strong, goggles and rubber gloves are a must as is doing the job outside. Probably what you can buy at a "public" DIY store will be weaker, it will still do the job but take longer. I have enough to fill a tank and have cleaned several with it, always over a big plastic container as a couple have developed leaks as the acid's done its job.
The acid won't touch "gunge" this will need washing out first, while we're on the subject of dodgy substances............. A strong solution of hot Caustic soda shifts most gunge, followed by a few very good rinses as it's an alkali and needs to be totally removed before the acid goes in.
A wash out with washing soda (alkali but much weaker than caustic) will clean out and neutralise the tank afterwards, I then splash some paraffin around the inside to protect it before fuel goes in. Once the rust is removed you can clean it further for a sealer if needed.
These are some before and after pics. of a Bantam barrel, I seem to remember this was after about a 2 hour soak in the acid.

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Colin
'53 Bantam, '55 Huntmaster, '61 Bantam, '79 GS 850, 2004 Burgman 650, 2002 Burgman 400


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