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what is the right way to clean out a gas tank?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 54 cornbinder, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. 54 cornbinder
    Joined: Aug 12, 2011
    Posts: 8

    54 cornbinder
    from nc

    I have a gas tank on my 54 IH pickup that has varnish and rust in it . I want to clean it out good before I take it to the radiator shop to be coated . The last one they did had rust particles in the coating . I wasn't satisfied with thier efforts on cleaning the tank .
  2. last one i did i cut open and sandblasted, then tig welded it
  3. Oldsmobucket
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 330


    ive tried cleaning a few with no luck. i ended up buying new ones each time. been stuck on the side of the road too many time because of rusty fuel no fun
  4. That is probably the shittest job to do on a restoration.

    Filled the tank first with muratic acid and let it set overnight.Used an old inner tube chopped up and duct tape to cover the fill hole and over the sending unit hole.Put a plug into the fuel line.

    After I dumped that load out into the old ladys rose garden,I then used many more GALLONS of muratic acid that I filled multiple times with as much fluid in it each time that I could still pickup and shake the tank.Had a length of new chain inside the tank to act as a scraper.

    Once I had it clean enough I followed by washing the muratic acid out using GALLONS of M.E.K. and finally a gallon or so of lacquar thinner.It was actually shiny inside where I could see.

    At that point sealing the tank is easy.Just follow the instructions on the can.

    Ruined two sets of coveralls,took 3 days to do it (air drying)and 6 months later the tank developed a tiny pinhole seepage.No rust in the fuel line though!
    I guess I didnt get the sealer in every nook and cranny.

    Finally got a new tank coming.:confused:

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

  5. GREASER815
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 973


    Take it to a better shop. Around here $100 will get one blastd clean, and coated, and painted up decent.
  6. jimcolwell
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 474

    from Amarillo

    Pour in a box of Cascade. Slosh it around with water and let it sit.. Pour the water out and rinse with clean water. Stick a heat gun in the fill hole and let it run untill you can.t touch it. It's ready to install.
  7. I use dish soap and water to cut the varnish and all the loose stuff. Then I use "The Works" toilet bowl cleaner for a few rinses, until the metal is shiny clean and the rinse water comes out clear. I then fog it with WD40 to keep it from flash rusting and use a hair dryer to dry it out.
  8. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    I like doing things myself, but this is a job where a professional can do a job that's probably a lot better than I am capable of with my ham-fistedness for what I feel is a reasonable price, usually $100-150 for a complete clean out and sealing.

    Seeing the time that it would take me to do the job, and how little free time I have, I don't do them myself.
  9. Redz Rodz
    Joined: Oct 4, 2002
    Posts: 490

    Redz Rodz

    i'd watch that "works stuff " saw my kid blow alot of stuff up with it ,alot of raditator shops cook them out & seal them .
  10. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,566


    Dad used to keep a coffee can full of marbles to pour in, then used compressed air to knock all the crap out. Rinsed with alcohol to get the crud out, dried it in the summer sun.
  11. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,298


    Find a better shop, buy a new tank or fit a replacement.

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