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Author Topic: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?  (Read 2674 times)

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Offline CB13

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Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« on: March 19, 2011, 04:37:51 AM »
It's not to bad.....just a little surface rust. 

Offline dave500

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 04:44:28 AM »
inside?remove the tap and wash it through with degreaser then soapy water,then rinse it like heck,you could then rinse some phosphoric acid or metal prep through it,if your going that far you could then use a quality liner product,if you want,a dozen large nuts in the tank during the washing stage can knock off unseen crud,count them in and out.

Offline nomad

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 04:45:28 AM »
Best way...?  Pay someone else to do it.
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Offline dave500

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 04:50:52 AM »
too bad you dont live next door,ill do yours for money!

Offline CB13

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 05:14:17 AM »
too bad you don't live next door,ill do yours for money!


Too bad!!  Or if you lived next door I'd buy the beer and you could come over and do it to be nice.  What brand of "restoration" chemicals, cleaners, or sealer has anyone used?

Offline dave500

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 05:17:50 AM »
ive used both the por 15 and kbs brand,both worked fine,i paid particular attention to the drying out phase though,it must be dry,dry dry before you pour in the sealant,dont rush this job,this is when some get unsatisfactory results(read schithouse).

Offline nomad

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2011, 02:29:04 PM »
The POR-15 kit for a tank is $40. http://www.por15.com/CYCLE-TANK-REPAIR-KIT/productinfo/CTRK/  By the time you factor in shipping, call it $50.

A guy in another thread found a local shop that would do everything for him for $35 (seems low to me, but hey... if they'll do it for that, then that's an awesome deal).  http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=85582.0

I found a local shop that's doing everything for $125.  Call around to your local radiator shops and see what they charge.  Even if you can find someone that's charging $100, believe me when I say, it's worth the $50 extra you'll pay to have someone else do this.  Look at it like this... you have never done this before and for $50 (if you can find someone to do it for around $100) you can get a professional to do it right.

To me, this is some of the better money I've spent on this project.  Again, this is just my 2 cents.
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Offline dave500

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 01:30:01 AM »
they wont do it as good as youll do it,the attention to detail wont be the same.

Offline Retro Rocket

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 01:40:45 AM »
If its only light surface rust then just clean it with some acetone and a hand full of small nuts an bolts, shake the #$%* out of it to remove the surface rust and then fill it full of fuel...Without ethanol.....
You could also go to a radiator shop and have them do it as well, put a small amount of diesel Wd40 or something similar and swish it all around to stop it flash rusting..
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Offline Hot500

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 03:59:34 AM »
I had a badly rusted (heavy scale) sl350 tank. I tried the electrolisis method with mild success. Then I tried the two litres of molassses mixed with water. Filled the tank to the brim, left it sit for three weeks and couldn't beleive what it did for that tank.

Not a spec of rust left. Leaves a grey coating over the metal. This stuff EATS rust. Will not harm clean metal, paint or anything else.

Absolutely brilliant, and cost me $4.00.
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Offline Kong

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 04:50:45 AM »
If its just got some very light surface rust why are you doing anything to it at all?  Light surface rust doesn't hurt a thing, just put an inline filter between the tank and the carbs and change it with the first couple of tanks full.

You won't accomplish anything by washing it out with soap and water and you won't accomplish anything by putting acetone in it and unless you know it to have leaks or untrustworthy repairs there is no reason at all to use any sealer in it, let alone POR-15.  Soap and water are great for lifting and removing oil and grease, but you don't have oil and grease inside your tank.  Acetone is a great solvent, particularly on adhesives and oil, but you don't have adhesives and oil in your tank.  POR-15, though recommended often, fails often too.  There are better sealers to be had (Caswell); think of POR-15 as being like a McDonalds hamburger - lots of people eat them and love them, but they are hardly food at all and in the end are probably a lot worse for you than the hunger that prompted you to eat it in the first place..

If the rust bothers you a great deal go buy a gallon of phosphoric acid (farm supply store), dump it in the tank (with the petcock and cap on) and slosh it around for a day (put it in the back of your truck or if you trust it not to leak in your trunk) and drive around with it, then dump the stuff, rinse/flush it out with a gallon of fresh gas, and use the newly cleaned tank.
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Offline Retro Rocket

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 04:03:16 PM »
Quote
you won't accomplish anything by putting acetone in it , Acetone is a great solvent, particularly on adhesives and oil, but you don't have adhesives and oil in your tank.

You forgot to mention the nuts and bolts, the acetone is cheap, you could also use petrol, its just a solution {liquid} to hold all the crap and help the nuts and bolts do their job,  its the nuts and bolts that will rub the surface rust off, works a treat.....Actually i have also successfully used clean gravel and prepsol {acetone}  to clean the inside of a tank.
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Offline Accolay

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2011, 04:29:51 PM »
This was King's idea, but it worked great for me: dollar store liquid toilet bowl cleaner. Don't forget to rinse!
1977 CB550F

Offline Kong

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 05:09:07 PM »
Quote
you won't accomplish anything by putting acetone in it , Acetone is a great solvent, particularly on adhesives and oil, but you don't have adhesives and oil in your tank.

You forgot to mention the nuts and bolts, the acetone is cheap, you could also use petrol, its just a solution {liquid} to hold all the crap and help the nuts and bolts do their job,  its the nuts and bolts that will rub the surface rust off, works a treat.....Actually i have also successfully used clean gravel and prepsol {acetone}  to clean the inside of a tank.

I have also heard of guys buying a bag of steel shot (the stuff used to reload shotgun shells) and dumping it in the tank with various cleaning liquids.  I think that is probably a good idea if there is a chance of scale rust, but if its just light surface rust I don't think I'd bother. 
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Offline DukieDukenDuke

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 05:11:13 PM »
The search function is clearly not strong with this padawan...
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Offline fmctm1sw

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2011, 07:31:49 PM »
In my own experience the best way to clean out the inside has been The Works toilet bowl cleaner.  That stuff is also the best way to eat holes in the bottom of a weak tank too.  I've never been able to stop a tank from flash rusting after using the toilet bowl cleaner and I tried it all:  WD40, filling it with gas, 2 stroke oil, etc.  That being said, even POR-15s people will tell you not to line a tank unless you have to.  I'd try some of the other methods mentioned but when it's time to bring out the big guns, toilet bowl cleaner has gone through badly rusted tanks that I had.  I did a tank two years ago with toilet bowl cleaner and  POR15 kit.  I have some photos here somewhere....
re: burnouts thread 
Quote from: 754
Dude is that a tire ? or an O-ring..??

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Offline srust58

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2011, 10:43:12 PM »
In my own experience the best way to clean out the inside has been The Works toilet bowl cleaner.  That stuff is also the best way to eat holes in the bottom of a weak tank too.  I've never been able to stop a tank from flash rusting after using the toilet bowl cleaner and I tried it all:  WD40, filling it with gas, 2 stroke oil, etc.  That being said, even POR-15s people will tell you not to line a tank unless you have to.  I'd try some of the other methods mentioned but when it's time to bring out the big guns, toilet bowl cleaner has gone through badly rusted tanks that I had.  I did a tank two years ago with toilet bowl cleaner and  POR15 kit.  I have some photos here somewhere....

But did you try a water/baking soda rinse?  You need to neutralize the acid, young Skywalker. ;D
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:53:05 PM by srust58 »
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Offline Kong

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 06:12:54 AM »
If it is your intention to put an acid in the tank to remove the rust what do you think you accomplish by neutralizing the acid before you dump it in the tank?
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bollingball

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2011, 06:39:27 AM »
Kong the POR 15 does not fail IMO the person applying it does ;)

Offline fmctm1sw

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2011, 12:49:01 PM »
If it is your intention to put an acid in the tank to remove the rust what do you think you accomplish by neutralizing the acid before you dump it in the tank?

He meant after the acid rinse.  That's something I haven't done actually.  I have two 550 tanks, I'll try that next...
re: burnouts thread 
Quote from: 754
Dude is that a tire ? or an O-ring..??

2008 XR100
1973 CB350F (Road legal)
1975 CB550K (Road legal)
1983 GL650I http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=132802.msg1486130#msg1486130
1973 CB750K3 (http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=92888.0)
1984 Kawasaki KLT-250 (AKA 3 wheeler of death)

Offline whtwter

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2011, 02:20:19 PM »
Vinegar, takes a few days but works great and isn't toxic like a lot of the other things being used good for cleaning nuts and bolts too.http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63659&highlight=vinegar&page=6 look at post 109 for a before and after.
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Offline cobrajunkie

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2011, 02:38:26 PM »
I found a place about 45 minutes away that stripped and cleaned inside and out for $100.  Not cheap but it's like new and ready for paint.

http://www.amerstrip.com/


Offline cookindaddy

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2011, 02:56:55 PM »
Hot500 - two liters of molasses and the rest water, leave for two weeks - really??! What was the ambient temperature when you did this? It is still cold here so maybe I should bring in inside?

I might just try that. Most of the other methods suggested here are going to be harmful to the nice paint and decal that still are on the outside of the tank that I would like to clean. I may just try your approach.

The whtwter vinegar approach might be a close second.

THANKS!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 02:58:33 PM by cookindaddy »
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Offline Bankerdanny

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2011, 03:16:24 PM »
In my own experience the best way to clean out the inside has been The Works toilet bowl cleaner.  That stuff is also the best way to eat holes in the bottom of a weak tank too.  I've never been able to stop a tank from flash rusting after using the toilet bowl cleaner and I tried it all:  WD40, filling it with gas, 2 stroke oil, etc.  That being said, even POR-15s people will tell you not to line a tank unless you have to.  I'd try some of the other methods mentioned but when it's time to bring out the big guns, toilet bowl cleaner has gone through badly rusted tanks that I had.  I did a tank two years ago with toilet bowl cleaner and  POR15 kit.  I have some photos here somewhere....

I used The Works on mine last Saturday (and rinsed with baking soda afterwards). It turned out very well.

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Offline cookindaddy

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Re: Whats the best way to Clean a gas tank?
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2011, 03:37:57 PM »
Bankerdanny You photo looks pretty good. What concentration of The Works? Did you mix it with water in the tank or outside the tank. How long did you leave it? Was there a lot of gas produced?


« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 03:50:08 PM by cookindaddy »
George with a black 78 CB750K (in Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada)
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