Author Topic: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!  (Read 24419 times)

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Offline MoTo-BunnY

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2009, 06:12:25 PM »
I have used Klean-Strip "Prep & Etch" phosphoric acid several times now for cleaning out rusty gas tanks (readily available at Home Despot for like $8 or something). It removes the rust well and also leaves a zinc-phosphate coating that helps prevent flash rusting. Once done, I neutralized the solution (you mix it with some water) with baking soda and water then rinsed it out with naphtha and alcohol solvents to remove any residual water. Then I coated the inside of the tank with ATF (a nice, thick oil that really coats and stays there and is easily washed out with gas) and some Marvel oil to prevent rust until I use it next.

I'm sure "The Works" works but I liked the zinc phosphate coating that the Prep & Etch left behind, as you will find the freshly cleaned bare metal with flash rust SO fast without it.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 06:15:05 PM by MoTo-BunnY »
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1970 Taco Model 22 deluxe w/3.0HP Briggs & Stratton MiniBike
1973 GMC Vandura 3/4 Ton Van (350CID V8)
1973 Dodge "Chinook" RV (360CID V8)
1985 Toyota Tercel Wagon SR5 (4WD - 3A engine)
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Offline coldright

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2009, 07:57:37 PM »
Phosphoric acid is also known as Os-Pho (tradename), correct?  It leaves a white residue and can damage paint... 



Offline MoTo-BunnY

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2009, 09:30:07 PM »
Phosphoric acid is also known as Os-Pho (tradename), correct?  It leaves a white residue and can damage paint...  

I'm not sure how someone could trademark phosphoric acid - it's a pretty common chemical?

I would think ANY acid will damage paint - why would you be worried much about that with cleaning the inside of the gas tank? I mean, I assume you would plug off the holes when cleaning the inside and generally be careful, right?

Also, as per the instructions, you dilute it and it takes a while and sporadic agitation to work but wow does it work. Left my various tanks' insides just spotless with a dull grey coat of zinc-phosphate. I cleaned a CB750 DOHC tank for my friend that had really nice paint and it was fine - no spotting or harm what so ever, though I would rinse the outside of the tank off with water between agitations (allowing my little arms to rest from the work out. .  .lol)

I cleaned my CB500 tank almost 3 years ago and the inside is still spotless (though, I also always keep the tank full before it sits and put a shot of Marvel Mystery Oil in the tank with each fill-up, especially in our rainy winter weather, to prevent any tank rust.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 09:31:58 PM by MoTo-BunnY »
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hoppin' on down the bunny trail . . .

1973 Honda CB500K2
1970 Ding-How aka Nova R-S w/3.5HP Tecumseh MiniBike
1970 Taco Model 22 deluxe w/3.0HP Briggs & Stratton MiniBike
1973 GMC Vandura 3/4 Ton Van (350CID V8)
1973 Dodge "Chinook" RV (360CID V8)
1985 Toyota Tercel Wagon SR5 (4WD - 3A engine)
1982 Toyota Pickup Truck (2WD - 22R engine)
1962? DriveX Pack-Mule (Tote-Gote clone)
1989 VW Jetta GLi 16V
1991 Diamondback Mtn. Bike



Offline coldright

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2009, 11:02:38 PM »
my bad, not "trademark" more like AKA...   :-\ :D



Offline srust58

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2009, 10:35:09 PM »
I have used Klean-Strip "Prep & Etch" phosphoric acid several times now for cleaning out rusty gas tanks (readily available at Home Despot for like $8 or something). It removes the rust well and also leaves a zinc-phosphate coating that helps prevent flash rusting. Once done, I neutralized the solution (you mix it with some water) with baking soda and water then rinsed it out with naphtha and alcohol solvents to remove any residual water. Then I coated the inside of the tank with ATF (a nice, thick oil that really coats and stays there and is easily washed out with gas) and some Marvel oil to prevent rust until I use it next.

I'm sure "The Works" works but I liked the zinc phosphate coating that the Prep & Etch left behind, as you will find the freshly cleaned bare metal with flash rust SO fast without it.




I have been a little unsure of using this due to the zinc phosphate coating that it leaves behind.  My experience with boats is that galvanized metal is not used for fuel tanks as that gas reacts with the zinc coating.  In your experience this seems not to have been a problem yet.  Does the zinc phosphate coating stay intact or does it slowly dissolve or fade away?
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Offline MoTo-BunnY

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2009, 11:33:06 PM »
It seems to stay, from what I have seen, as the inside of my tank is still this perfect dull grey color that it gained from the phosphoric acid treatment. Prior to cleaning, it was more of a shiny steel color (with some rust) but is now universally dull grey. It has lasted now for almost 3 years of near daily driving. I also have used SeaFoam and Marvel Mystery Oil in the gas so it does seem to stand up well even with additives usage, though I'm sure some may have washed off it was probably minimal?

Even with our very rainy Oregon winters, there is just not as much as even a speck of rust in the tank. Even up by the neck area, where I see a lot of small spots of rust on otherwise clean fuel tanks on bikes (probably because it doesn't get submerged in gas much) there isn't any rust forming on my tank. I do use the aforementioned Marvel oil which really helps on keeping rust from happening in the tank, but still there isn't a speck anywhere so I think the zinc phosphate coating seems to really help in corrosion prevention.

Also of note is that I clean and check the gap on the plugs with every tune and noticed no coloring changes on the electrode compared to before the tank treatment, so it doesn't appear to be contaminating the combustion process, either.

Zinc in oil is good, of course (ZDDP - at least if you are running an older engine without catalytic converter) but I'm not sure about doing anything in gasoline - especially in the trace amounts were talking here. Googling around seems to bring up a few mentions of it, including people wanting to actually zinc plate the inside of a motorcycle fuel tank, but nothing that I could find negative.  Could it be just be a potential complication if emissions systems are involved? (why ZDDP is no longer in common regular motor oils, as it can contaminate the catalytic converter and O2 sensors, etc.)
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hoppin' on down the bunny trail . . .

1973 Honda CB500K2
1970 Ding-How aka Nova R-S w/3.5HP Tecumseh MiniBike
1970 Taco Model 22 deluxe w/3.0HP Briggs & Stratton MiniBike
1973 GMC Vandura 3/4 Ton Van (350CID V8)
1973 Dodge "Chinook" RV (360CID V8)
1985 Toyota Tercel Wagon SR5 (4WD - 3A engine)
1982 Toyota Pickup Truck (2WD - 22R engine)
1962? DriveX Pack-Mule (Tote-Gote clone)
1989 VW Jetta GLi 16V
1991 Diamondback Mtn. Bike



Offline srust58

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2009, 11:11:03 PM »
Thanks for the report.  I might give this a try on a tank that has light surface corrosion on a XS650 I just picked up.
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Offline natewatkins

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2009, 06:18:40 PM »
I know this is a bit late but something I used to seal up a leaking tank is a product from Eastwood. My CB550 has a rusty tank and I plan on using this to get all the rust out and to seal it to make sure it doesn't get worse.

http://www.eastwood.com/ew-gas-tank-sealer-kits-for-cycles.html

It is a little expensive and the only thing you  need to get is some muriatic acid and this will remove the rust, etch it and seal it. This stuff works amazing and I have known a guy to patch a tank with several pin holes in the gas tank of a 56 ford.



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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2009, 10:24:34 PM »
i too have done this, two years back when i got my 350.  tank had a lot of rust in it, poured it in, swished it around for 10 minutes, spilled  a ton out of the cap, ruined the faded paint, rinsed it out with the hose, took my girlfriends hair drier, set the tank vertical in my garage and the hair drier pointing in the hole, dried it up, no flash rust or any start of any in the two years its been waiting for me to get to it!  this stuff will ruin paint immediately so watch out!



Offline shiznits75

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2009, 10:34:40 AM »
  This is what I use also and it works pretty well, after the rinse, I swish a bottle of marvel in there to coat also.



It seems to stay, from what I have seen, as the inside of my tank is still this perfect dull grey color that it gained from the phosphoric acid treatment. Prior to cleaning, it was more of a shiny steel color (with some rust) but is now universally dull grey. It has lasted now for almost 3 years of near daily driving. I also have used SeaFoam and Marvel Mystery Oil in the gas so it does seem to stand up well even with additives usage, though I'm sure some may have washed off it was probably minimal?

Even with our very rainy Oregon winters, there is just not as much as even a speck of rust in the tank. Even up by the neck area, where I see a lot of small spots of rust on otherwise clean fuel tanks on bikes (probably because it doesn't get submerged in gas much) there isn't any rust forming on my tank. I do use the aforementioned Marvel oil which really helps on keeping rust from happening in the tank, but still there isn't a speck anywhere so I think the zinc phosphate coating seems to really help in corrosion prevention.

Also of note is that I clean and check the gap on the plugs with every tune and noticed no coloring changes on the electrode compared to before the tank treatment, so it doesn't appear to be contaminating the combustion process, either.

Zinc in oil is good, of course (ZDDP - at least if you are running an older engine without catalytic converter) but I'm not sure about doing anything in gasoline - especially in the trace amounts were talking here. Googling around seems to bring up a few mentions of it, including people wanting to actually zinc plate the inside of a motorcycle fuel tank, but nothing that I could find negative.  Could it be just be a potential complication if emissions systems are involved? (why ZDDP is no longer in common regular motor oils, as it can contaminate the catalytic converter and O2 sensors, etc.)



Offline mystic_1

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2009, 10:45:20 AM »

Banging stuff around in your tank to attack the stuff inside does work and is easy if not invigorating.  I use roofing nails cause they are 'pointy' and some tanks have 'pointy' areas, like my 71 BMW R75/5. 



Just make sure you get everything back out again!  I recently bought a batch of three tanks at a swap meet, two of them had objects lodged in the corners, one had a roofing nail, the other had a drywall screw.  :)

Use a flashlight and one of those long grabby things they sell at the auto parts store.

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Offline Don R

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2009, 10:01:42 PM »
A local mechanic bought my brothers 1100 yamaha. He cleaned the tank with something, possibly the works. Did not remove the petcock, closed the cap and promptly blew the tank up! BEE careful.
The wheel keeps on turning and you cant slow down, you can't hold on and you can't let go, you can't go back and you can't stand still, if the thunder don't get ya then the lightnin will.



Offline Don R

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2009, 01:59:02 PM »
I just did my wrinkle tank with muriatic acid because that is what I had already. I followed what was posted here. I only used about a pint and that was plenty, I closed the lid on a plastic bag to seal it and sloshed carefully. About 5 minutes it looked clean so I dumped the acid, flushed with a soda solution and ran a hose in it full blast for several minutes to wash out particles. Then dumped the water washed twice with methanol to remove the water, (again because I had some already.) dried with a heat gun and coated with a mix of 2 stroke gas, stabil and sea foam. I can put the rebuilt petcock on and use it until time for paint.  D. :)
The wheel keeps on turning and you cant slow down, you can't hold on and you can't let go, you can't go back and you can't stand still, if the thunder don't get ya then the lightnin will.



Offline rjz5400

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2009, 08:57:46 AM »
i totally tried acid three times and the last time i use dollar store the works and it was spotless. i wrinsed with baking soda water and soaked it with wd40. i am gonna slosh a little gas around today and hopefully stay rust free.
it did turn solid wierd black and rust after a couple hours so i just sloshed the works leftover in there around and it got it right off. then i immediatly procedded with the nutral wash and wd40 coat.
thanks for the tip



Offline Don R

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2009, 06:49:03 PM »
I just did an indian tank and we didn't soak with laquer thinner first. There was a lot of crud in the back corner that the acid didn't penetrate well. When we flushed with water we got chunks of dry crud out but when I rinsed with methanol it came out like coffee. We flushed several times with the alky and did the acid one more time now it's as clean as a whistle. And no leaks thank goodness. ;D
The wheel keeps on turning and you cant slow down, you can't hold on and you can't let go, you can't go back and you can't stand still, if the thunder don't get ya then the lightnin will.



Offline MickeyX

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2010, 03:08:58 PM »
So I started with this...


put in the works and added about 2x water. I agitated it a few times over the course of an hour and then got this amount out about 5 times with running water through..


Then it looked like this...


It started flash rusting immediately so I will do the baking soda thing next time. I wasn't too worried over it because knew I was going to do another round of Works since there were some areas in there that didn't get enough exposure from me not flipping it over between slosh sessions. The top crust is loose but still covered in rust. I will do it full strength tonight after work but, so far, I think it has worked pretty well. That wasn't exactly a small amount of rust in there and I diluted it on top of that. This is a very viable way to clean the tank, definitely.


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Offline ev0lve

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2010, 03:17:18 PM »
Hit it full strength for sure. Worked (too) well for me and nothing but bare metal at the end of an hour of sloshing it around.

Don't be surprised if your formally gas tight tank suddenly has pinhole leaks though.  ::)



Offline MickeyX

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2010, 03:30:32 PM »
Well, then I guess I'll learn to fix that next. ::) There's always something, isn't there? I wasn't worried about preserving the paint as I will be stripping that off next. My biggest concern was to find out if I can get it clean and then bother to spend the time painting it. Instead of the other way around. See, I'm paying attention sometimes.  :D
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Offline Frankenkit

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2010, 11:46:31 PM »
The key word, here, is "Sometimes". ::)
"Moderation in all things - especially moderation. Too much moderation is excessive. The occasional excess is all part of living the moderate life."
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Offline rickmoore24

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2010, 09:27:03 AM »
I just performed this little trick on my build and it worked great. I did use the baking soda and water rinse, dried it as best as I could with some new clean shop rags and a coat hanger. Then I used a bottle of Heet and some gasoline to coat it. It worked great, no flash rust.  :)
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Offline Frankenkit

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2010, 11:01:30 AM »
yeah, I used the Works last night, full strength for about 45 mins, then dumped, flushed with baking soda and water to neutralize the acid, shook out as much water as I could, then used Iso-heet (supposed to be ok for diesel engines and as we're going to coat the sides of the tank w/ diesel when we get the chance, we figured "why not, might be better, costs the same.")

Used a blow drier on "low" to blow some warm air through the tank so it wouldn't have condensation problems after having been rinsed with the cold water.  Came out great. Pics to follow.  oddly there's a couple fingerprints or something on the spine that didn't clean up so great but the inside of the tank is spotless. so weird.
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Offline Beastman

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2011, 02:59:59 PM »
+1 on the phosphoric prep+etch.  I did it in an afternoon.  No flash rusting and it's been a couple of days.  Here was my procedure:

1: drain the gas, as much as possible. 
2: pour in 1 gallon full strength phosphoric prep+etch (home depot $15)
3: gave it a couple good shakes, let sit, shake more, let sit, repeat.
4: drained the prep+etch.  Rust was gone as far as I could tell.
5: rinsed 2x with baking soda+water
6: rinsed 2x with just water
7: poured in a bottle of heet, sloshed that around for a few minutes
8: added 2 gallons of gas

No flash rust.



Offline Kong

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2011, 08:14:18 AM »
The thing that bothered me about the first post, and still does, is all that heavy flake rust that came out of the tank initially.  It sounded to me like you had a lot of metal loss, which I'd be willing to bet is heaviest at the bottom back seam.  Thought I'm not much of a fan of sealing tanks I'd have to say that if you've had 1/4-cup of scale rust come out of the tank it might be something worth considering.
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Offline AndrewCola

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2011, 12:35:28 PM »
Nice. I will try this on my friends cb550.
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Offline 92sc300tt

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Re: De-Rusting a tank with "The Works" Toilet cleaner -Very Easy!
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
I just started derusting my tank with "The Works" which I was able to get at dollar general for a $1. I have a before picture and will post some after pictures once I am done.

 

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