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Leaky Polyethylene fuel tank

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by yruhot, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. yruhot
    Joined: Dec 17, 2009
    Posts: 564


    OK I've got a friend that bought a 1929 Ford Model A street rod project. After about 25 years plus he is about ready to get it on the road. When he bought the project it came with two Polyethylene Saddle type fuel tanks the tuck up under the running boards. Well One tank has a nasty leak around the threaded bung. I don't know it if hit something at one time or what but we have tried about every type of glue,goop, JB weld, resin, but nothing seems to work. Have been looking at plastic welding but was wondering if they still make those tanks, can't seem to find them on the web but was wondering if they are still being used in street rods. I see them for just about any other type of vehicles on the road. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks YRUHOT........Doug
  2. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,992


    When this happens on an RV fresh water tank made of the same stuff, we use a soldering gun and some scrap plastic as filler rod. Melt them together to fix the leak. But that is for a water tank which will not catch on fire if it still leaks later on after the fix. Use your own judgement on this one.
  3. LongT
    Joined: May 11, 2005
    Posts: 968


  4. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Your buddy may have a problem in addition to the one he thinks he has. Older poly fuel tanks may not handle today's gasolines, the gas can eat them up. When I was in the boat business we were having fits with poly fuel tanks where they were disolving and the fuel systems were getting plugged up severely. I have seen tanks that were a week old become soft internally and start to put nasty stuff into the fuel. You can't imagine what it does to fuel pumps, injectors, or carbs.

    I understand now that the gas tank companies have addressed this problem, but if your buddies tanks are 25 years old I seriously doubt if they will work.


  5. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,474


    Weld it! HDPE is easy to weld using a hot air gun.
  6. he may have the saddle tanks made by LTL
  7. Same problem here on my '47 Ford coupe.
    Tank has a build date of 1997 and was installed 2 years ago when the build was completed.
    The threaded bung for the rollover vent leaks bad when it's topped off.
    Tightening it doesn't fix the problem.
    Should I goop it up or toss it and start out with a newer poly tank?

    On the other side of the coin my '32 with a poly tank and my '36 with a poly I no longer own were installed about 8 years ago and never leaked a drop.
    What gives with these things?
  8. matthew mcglothin
    Joined: Mar 3, 2007
    Posts: 970

    matthew mcglothin

    Trash it. its not worth the headache .
  9. sumner41
    Joined: Oct 2, 2009
    Posts: 32


    I would replace tanks with stainless steel tanks. todays fuel has ethanol which will eat plastics and rubber as well as draw moisture into sytem. you can thank the corn lobby for this. nasty stuff,does nothing for economy. it is actually a solvent
  10. yruhot
    Joined: Dec 17, 2009
    Posts: 564


    Long T, I believe these are the ones or they look a lot like those. Wow soo much good info from you guys and lots to think about as far a solution to this tank issue. Thats why I love this site. I will pass this good info along to my friend and we'll continue to try and find a fix to his problem. One of my ideas was to get a steamer trunk on his luggage rack and install a Jaz type fuel cell with a sending unit and be done with it. OR a Beer Keg inside the steamer He wasn't too sure about that. Well it would look like most other Model A going down the Thanks again. If someone has more input just add it to the others, can't have too much information.
  11. DERPR30
    Joined: Jun 3, 2010
    Posts: 833

    from HARVEY LA

    If it leaks toss it to the curb leaking gasoline can cause all kinds of headaches
  12. Dr. Frankensickle
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 383

    Dr. Frankensickle
    from Kansas

    Bullshit,will be called on this.I have placed all kinds of plastic tubing of various types in e 85 ,pure ethanol and pure methanol,for over a year and pulled them out as a kind of test.Absolutely no problems with the plastic.I also have a 7 ft boa constrictor pickled in pure methanol coiled into a 5 gallon bucket,It has been in the same bucket for 10 years,no problem with the bucket,also holley carbs that run alcohol are an opaque plastic and the give no issues what so ever.I have these floats and have soaked them in e85,methanol and ethanol so I kinda know what my results are.All this anti alky talk tends to torque my nuts a little too tight.It's a dead horse subject on here and elsewhere.I personally know petro engineers who will admit that it is other compounds and chemicals added to modern gasoline that make it go bad after a few months and attack rubber hoses ect.back to the tank subject.....I would try plasic welding just to see what happened,however I would also put in a new tank just to be safe.
  13. yellow dog
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 501

    yellow dog
    from san diego

    As the Dr noted, HDPE is one of the more chemical resitant polymers. It is not good when exposed to UV or ozone....34 yrs in ChemE
  14. yruhot
    Joined: Dec 17, 2009
    Posts: 564


    Thanks Yellow dog..we don't have much uv out here Just a mushroom cloud or two though. YRUHOT...doug and thanks guys for your imputs
  15. flthead
    Joined: Jan 13, 2013
    Posts: 43

    from Midwest

    Replace those junk plastic tanks with aluminum or stainless. What is your car worth? If you can afford a hot rod, you can afford, that it is safe.

    Keep your gas leaking junks in your garage.

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