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Cleaning a gas tank without pulling it?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boeing Bomber, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    I'm getting some sediment from my '41 Ford gas tank, and it's clogging my inline fuel filter ever few months. I've read what is involved in pulling the tank, and that seems to be a real headache at best. If I have a drain plug, I'll empty it that way. perhaps I can pour some miuratic acid down the filler, and blow compressed air in it for a while, then drain that, pour some gas down it, and drain it again. Then blow out the fuel line. Whatcha think?
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571


    You will continue to fight it until you take it off and clean it out properly. Its just the way it goes.
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,084

    from California

    I figure if there is something that will stop my car while driving down the road to who knows where I would fix it right the first time.

    just went through this in my 61 Dodge, new tank, sending unit, all rubber hoses, fuel pump, fuel filters and blew out all the steel lines. one less thing to worry about.
  4. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    Don't waste your time and materials. Drop it, clean it and flush out all the rust and dirt that is still in there. Keep flushing it out the fill tube until it runs clear. If you don't get that stuff out you will be just chasing your tail.

  5. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    Fill the tank with water. Turn the car upside down and shake it. .
    OR drop the tank and do it the easy way. Otherwise it will take you to the intersection of nowhere and oblivion where you will have the added adventure of fuel pump and carb wonderment.
    Balls in your court.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,597


    Or carry a glove box full of inline filters and the tools to change them. It took about 10 filters and three years of time before all the dirt worked it's way out of the tank I have in my 71 GMC daily. That thing has a 35 gallon stainless steel tank in the front of the bed though.
  7. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    All right, all good points of wisdom. (Except fill with water, turn upside down and shake. LOL)Guess I'll just bite the bullet and do it right the first time. Sure like the feeling of driving down the road knowing I wont have any problems. Maybe I'll get lucky and it wont be as hard as some of the stories I've read here about what's involved in pulling the tank. It's almost time to park it for the winter anyway. I'll add it to my list of things to take care of while it's down. Reality Sucks.
  8. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 768


    There is no point wasting time and money trying to do it insitu....take it out and do it`ll be glad you me, been there ,done that..
  9. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    One last thing, I like the idea of taking it to a radiator shop and having them boil it out, then seal it. But has anyone heard of what the new stuff they put in gas these days will do the sealer?
  10. Oldmanolds
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 930


    Yep I agree with all the previous posts. Man I fought it and it drove me crazy. Took a day and a half but never a problem again.
  11. BlackLion
    Joined: Aug 11, 2011
    Posts: 119

    from Nashville

    UUUUGGGHH!!! I gotta do this. I was told of a coating that once clean you could roll around inside. Supposed to work like a champ. I might have to try it, unless anybody can warn against it.
  12. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,483

    abe lugo

  13. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    I did the radiator shop boil for my 61 Galaxie. It came out looking like new inside. I took a lighted scope and looked in the tank which convinced me that was the direction to go. You'll be happier. Kinda kidding about the water, I'd never do that.
  14. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    I did that headache with my '40....Buying a new steel tank was worth the time and $$ !!!!!!

  15. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    Suggest dropping the tank, stick a digital camera inside, take pix of all sides and top & bottom, then, decide how to restore the tank. Here is a before & after of my avatar tank. Ended up using the POR 15 gas tank restoration kit. I'd say it worked. :cool:

    Attached Files:

  16. nickk
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 749


    if a new tank is relatively cheap go that route, if not no biggie, clean the tank as best as you can. getting the tank boiled and sealed at the radiator shop works good too most of the time, but ive had 2 outta about 6 didnt work, i had one (idk why) but a lot of big holes was created when it was cleaned and one i think the guy just didnt do something right. but anythings better then nothing
  17. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    WOW, hate to think mine is like yours was, but it probably is. I'm going to look into that POR 15 kit. I like all their other products. Besides, MAC'S sells the brackets if they're too far gone. Not crazy about taking a die grinder down there though, if it comes to that. Maybe if it does, I'll drain it and fill it with water first.
  18. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,231


    If your tank has baffles in it, it's more difficult to clean. Do yourself a big favor and buy a new replacement tank. Make sure it will accept your stock fuel sending unit.
  19. Rod and Wheeler
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Rod and Wheeler
    from NOR CAL

    There no baffles in a 41 tank and if your running late model engine buy after market tank from tanks has baffles and larger capacity 16 gals, and a 3/8 fuel in. outlet. not 1/4 inch like Drakes . I just did this set up last week Yogi,s owns Tanks INC. Don't waste your time messing with the gas tank. with today's fuel there is no guarantee that coating the inside of your will last.
    Joined: Aug 22, 2011
    Posts: 1,247

    from mass

    Definitely drop the tank as most have said. I battled this problem all spring and finally pulled the tank and bought the tank cleaning kit from Eastwood. After flushing it out with gas and getting some mud out of it I scrapped the cleaning and bought a new tank. The 32 tank had baffles so it was never gonna be clean and sealed right. Just my 2 cents...good luck !!
  21. carlos
    Joined: May 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,382

    from ohio

    Bite the bullet,take it off ,learned a long time ago first place to start on an old car is a good clean gas tank.If I buy an old car thats been sittin a long time I will disconnect the tank and not even try to start it from it only askin for trouble:cool:
  22. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,840


    new tank, and treat it with sealer, might have fuel lines half full of rust, more fun driving without that sort of headache.

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