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I got a dumb welding question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by burt banjory, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    I'm about to start some welding on my Coupe deVille-just body repair work-and have a dumb question. Do I have to remove the fuel tank?

    Seems like some people will tell you "absolutely, yes" but every time I've had exhaust work done, I've sat there and watched the guy just go to town without taking out the tank. He did his welding outside though, I'll be in a garage. Not sure if that makes a difference.

    I've also read stories in welding books about guys welding on an oil tanker truck and having it explode on them...something about fumes coming from the tank being ignited by the sparks.

    Sorry for the dumbass question but I don't know anyone personally who does this kind of thing, I'm on my own here. Just don't want to blow myself up. THanks.
     
  2. houston
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
    Posts: 24

    houston
    Member

    how close are you gonna be welding to it?
     
  3. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,540

    The Shocker
    Member

    Only time i have ever removed the fuel tank for welding ,is when i was welding in a new trunk pan.Im still alive after hundreds of times welding on car bodys and such.If your gunna be close to the tank welding ,i would recomend welding outdoors though.If the fuel tank is leaking or stinks like gas ,i would remove it ...
     
  4. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307

    onlychevrolets
    Member

    I weld on cars every day at work and I've never taken a tank out for that reason. At least four or five times a day I'm welding within a foot of the tank. If you can't smell gas you are OK.
     
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  5. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478

    budd
    Member

    nothing is ever for sure but i have never removed a gas tank, i just welded a patch on a pickup the other day 2" from the filler cap, i checked to be sure everything was tight and no leaks, one thing is an empty tank will explode but a full tank will not, just make sure there are no leaks and no vents near where your welding, to be honest i have never head of anyone removing a gas tank for any other reason then that area needed replacing.
     
  6. 35mastr
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,899

    35mastr
    Member
    from Norcal

    And how bad does it leak??
     
  7. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Nobody in their right mind welds on a car inside a garage with gasoline in the vicinity. Nobody that has ever witnessed a car fire in a garage will ever weld again with gasoline in the vicinity. Only those that have gotten away with it, to date, will advise you otherwise. If you leave the tank on the car, take the car OUTSIDE.

    Nobody knows what started this fire. My friend Buck Shaver didn't live to tell about it.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=350088

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  8. If you're not welding very close to the tank, I woulnd't be too concerned about removing it. Just use your best judgement as you know where you are going to be welding. Do you smell gas? Is there any visibal leaks?

    If you're REALLY concerned but don't want to take it out, start up a fan and aim it out your open garage door so the air flow goes past the tank and out the door. Probably overkill though. But better than waking up dead.
     
  9. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    Thanks for the responses guys.

    That is a chilling story 29nash, I'm sorry about your friend. I hate reading about events like that but they serve ars a reminder to keep your eyes peeled and stay focused on the big picture when you're doing stuff like this.

    As far as I know there are no fuel leaks, on the tank or otherwise. I am welding in a two car garage, and do plan on using a fan for extra ventilation. I don't have any gas cans or anything laying around. There is carpet on the floor, so that's definitely coming out first!

    I have to make sure my welder works first though. I bought it on Craigslist a year ago and haven' even plugged it in yet. So if I can't get that thing up and running by myself I may have to ask for your help again! THanks everyone.
     
  10. georgedombeck
    Joined: Jul 4, 2009
    Posts: 77

    georgedombeck
    Member

    If I weld near any gastank I take a large bath towel and soak it with water then drape it over the tank.
     
  11. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    BTW to those who asked I'll be welding all over the place (you should see the rust on this thing). Biggest offenders and probably the places I'll start with are the front edge of the hood and rear edge of the decklid. It's rotted all the way through, all the way across.

    After that, around the windsheild/rear window, various spots on the fenders/quarters, roof, the usual rocker panel spots, etc. Luckily no floorpans or trunk floors or anything like that.

    Got my work cut out for me, no pun intended.
     
  12. hvychvy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,874

    hvychvy
    Member

    If you are going to be anywhere near the tank,I'd take it out.Sounds like its going to be sitting awhile anyway,for all the work.
     
  13. the metalsurgeon
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,239

    the metalsurgeon
    Member
    from Denver

    like all the above say ,if you need to weld a lot on your car you may as well take it out.But for a small amount of welding your fine.You could always cover your tank in damp rags.
     
  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,116

    The37Kid
    Member

    Sometimes taking a tank out poses more problems. A friend was pouring gas out of a tank into storage cans, one tipped over at the same time the oil burner kicked in, almost lost his house from the fire.
     
  15. lets see some pic's of your project dude!
     
  16. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    OK you asked for it...it ain't pretty or as cool of a car as some I've seen on this site but here she is.

    1968 Coupe deVille

    [​IMG]

    I just replaced the tailshaft/extension housing seal Friday night. Contrary to what the shop manual tells you to do that thing did NOT just pry out with a screwdriver...

    The goal is to lower it, install dual exhaust, a six pack carb setup, and paint it metalflake powder blue with white interior. Stock wheels/slightly wider whitewalls. Oh, and fix the rust and chrome. ;) I have a coupl other ideas for interior/exterior details too.

    Sorry I know this is primarily a pre-65 car forum but I knew if anyone could help me with welding it would be you guys.
     
  17. Rooney00
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 312

    Rooney00
    Member

    What part of California are you in?
     
  18. houston
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
    Posts: 24

    houston
    Member

    Seems to me you would be better off trying to find a better hood and trunk lid. And then you can turn your attention some where else that cant be replaced easily.
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,167

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I only take out a tank when I have to weld the tank itself. Boiled out, and back-purged, or course!
     
  20. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    Rooney00 I'm in Orange County. I was just up in your neck of the woods a couple months ago (well Fresno actually) playing a gig.

    houston I have considered just replacing the sheet metal where I can, but it is looking pretty cost prohibitive. The only guy I know of that has 68 Cadillacs in his yard within a day's drive is asking $200 for the hood, $200 for the decklid and $250 for the left fender...vs. $9 in sheet metal stock and some spare time when I get it. I'd just rather save that kind of dough to put towards paint or exhaust. I have to replace the fender though, the front is so tweaked out of shape it's unusable imo. Worse than it looks here:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    carcrazyjohn
    Member
    from trevose pa

    Nice caddy ,As for your question ,If sitting a long time you will have to replace the fuel pickup,If not go ahead and weld Just check all the rubber connections and hoses. Vapors in the air are flammable. Was 68 the first year of the 472
     
  22. hvychvy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 1,874

    hvychvy
    Member

    Cool project.
     
  23. 37FABRICATION
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 672

    37FABRICATION
    Member

    A few Caddy's I've done (sorry not responsible for wheel choice)...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. 37FABRICATION
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 672

    37FABRICATION
    Member

    And yes, to prevent gray hair or prevent serious injury and/or death, remove the tank...
     
  25. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    carcrazyjohn
    Member
    from trevose pa

    I forgot to add .Keep a fire extinguisher handy ,And also a bucket of water or hose.Always allow yourself time to checkout garage a couple of hours before you go to bed.One time I was welding my lawn mower handle and the grass that was on top caught fire .Gas soaked ,Full tank of gas. I ran the mower down the lawn away from all the cars ,Ran out back and turned hose on ,I forgot about the fire extinguisher on my garage wall. I did something dumb that day .Nothing happened Only had 4 cars in the driveway and 2 in the garage .It made me think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  26. I'm with only!! I have been a collision tech for almost 20 years and the only time I remove a tank is when I am replacing a rail its bolted to!!!
     
  27. burt banjory
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 33

    burt banjory
    Member
    from California

    Damn this is what I mean...some say it's okay to leave the tank in, others say it should be removed.

    I was kind of hoping there would be a unanimous consensus that it's unnecessary. I think I'll go with my original plan, to remove the tank. Better to waste time doing the unnecessary than spend the rest of my life with half my face melted off.

    Thing is, I don't know where to put it if I do remove it. Guess I could put it on the side yard, but then the vapors are exposed to god knows what.

    The more I think aobut it though...you park your car in your garage, next to the water heater...open flame. If you're smoker, you probably smoke in your car, right? Or standing next to it? If the fuel vapors aren't iginited by either of those you must be okay as long as you can keep the random sparks to a minimum.
     
  28. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,500

    oilslinger53
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from covina CA

    Unless it leaks, and you need to weld within an inch or two of the tank, leave it in. If you're still worried, just keep the tank full. The more air thats in the tank, the more likely it is to explode. If it does ignite DO NOT use water. Gas floats on top of water and hosing it off will just spread the flames.
     
  29. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    I also do a lot of welding on cars. If you can smell gas, find and fix the source, be the tank, vent lines or hoses, whatever. Its the vapors that explode.

    I would be more concerned about old body filler, wiring behind where your welding, undercoating, seam sealer, critter nests and interior/insolation/carpet burniing then any issues with gas IF you can not smell any gas.

    Bottom line, know whats behind what your welding, and know where your sparks are going. Glass pits real easy, plastic and any cloth based material catch fire quickly and self feed. Undercoating and rubber smolder for a while before they burn, usually. A steel fuel or brake line struck by the wire fron a welder will start burning instantly and water will only spread it. Have a spray water bottle close by, and a big fire extingusher. If something doesn't smell right, or something smells like its burning, stop welding and check it out. If you see a glow off the side through your helmit, stop and check it out. A quick spray with water will put out most quick flair ups, but if you get a real fire going, you have about 30 seconds to get it out before it is out of control and will distroy stuff. Being a bit scared while welding on a car is not a bad thing, common sence should be the rule of thumb here. Gene
     
  30. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,942

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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