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Discussion Starter #1
Bro's RF tank is manky inside, rusty and shit stained.

I've haven't cleaned a tank out before, other than flushing with new petrol.

What's the best/cheapest/easiest options?
 

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I used S100, Purple Power, or sometimes Pine Sol, to clean out any grease/fuel. Sometimes I use vinegar. Then I de-rust with Phosphoric Prep and Etch from the hardware store (sold at Home Depot in the US). If it's thick scaly rust, i fill the tank with a cup of roofing nails or drywall screws to break it up. I finish up with a water/isopropyl alcohol rinse, then dry with a heat gun. I have a 100% success rate on saving tanks that still had enough metal to save. Only once, with a BMW R100/7 tank, was I not able to save one. That tank had about 2 inches of water/fuel sitting in it for years. Once I de-rusted it, there was a perfect line around the tank that was so thin I could push through the sheetmetal with a pick.
 

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Initially get some steel shot cut open a duck load or ask a waterfowler for some around 2 or 4 shot size, if you do not have any or know anyone get some small bolts and nuts throw them in the tank dry. shake the tank tip it one way or the other loosed as much of the rust as you can. When the tank looks to be just light rust all the heavy rusting is out, you need to block the tap thread or plate it off and add 9 parts water to 1 part molases to the tank fill the tank leave it three or four days.
Next drain the tank and immediately before the orange residue dries add a half pint of clean water with a table spoonfull of wash soda and add the shot shake the tank until you start to see the steel is clean. If its not clean enough or its got the dark pitting on the metals surface you just add the molases mixture and start again, repeat and repeat until its clean as you want it.
 

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I use the power washer to start, stick the end in clean as much as you can. Hit all the crevices where there may be sludge. I can get to most parts of the majority of tanks I've done. Clean out all the shit that will come and then fill it with vinegar and let it sit a couple days. Dump out 1/2 the vinegar (I pour it through a coffee filter so I can use it again) and add an abrasive, I like drywall screws they have lots of edges. Shake it in all directions, drain it, rinse it (until it runs clear), blow dry.
 

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.... Once I de-rusted it, there was a perfect line around the tank that was so thin I could push through the sheetmetal with a pick.
Like Irk_miller noted, seems the bigger challenge is replacing the rust that was at one time iron with something that will still hold fuel in a compromised steel tank.
 

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After the power washing and bolts/nuts/screws for heavy flaky rust, I have had good luck with oxalic acid sold as wood bleach in hardware stores. Boiling water and acid.

Always add acid to water and not the other way around otherwise the mixture does it's best impression of an erupting volcano through the filler and on your face. Don't ask me how I know...


Sounds like if it's recent you can just get by with powerwashing and acid. The nails/bolts thing is a PITA
 

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If you can't find some oxalic acid, just steal some of the neighbors rhubarb leaves and put them in a blender. It'll just take longer. There is a local fellow here that runs a business dedicated to repairing gas tanks. He told me that the best thing he ever found for removing that stinky varnish is MEK (methyl ethyl keytone). Not sure if those knobs in Brussels still allow that sort of thing, but you can still buy it here from auto parts stores if you ask. Never seen it on the shelf though. It's used in Plastic pipe glue primer as well.

I've never tried molasses for rust removal , but know some old farts who have and they swear by it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)

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Thanks all.
MEK is sold on ebay over here.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SHL-500ml-pure-Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone-MEK-Butanone-/272038690495
Edit: It's poly cement for model making. RF's owner is big into model building so probably has a fair bit laying around.

I'll post some pictures up of the tank later, a fair bit of shit came out when I emptied the foul smelling old petrol(gas).
Good to know. I just checked EBay on this side and they list it. Price isn't bad either. Definitely good stuff for removing varnish from carbs. Downside is that the bride will make a fuss about the stink.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think it is sufficiently explosive too? Youtube might have some fun videos...
I had a stuck fastener the other day and someone told me to heat it, considering I'd just emptied a gallon of petrol and nearly two cans of carb cleaner in my wooden shed/workshop, I thought better of it.



Sent from my SM-T530 using Tapatalk
 

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I think it is sufficiently explosive too? Youtube might have some fun videos...
As much as I like things that go bang, my neighbours are already a little skittish. Even when the lady next door sees me in the white coveralls and full face respirator, she craps herself. Good thing she wasn't home when I set off the emergency flare (big fat expired one from a local commercial fisherman). Fuck me are those thing loud when you start them... then the thing made an obscene amount of red smoke for about 5 minutes... and yes they will keep burning while under water.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As much as I like things that go bang, my neighbours are already a little skittish. Even when the lady next door sees me in the white coveralls and full face respirator, she craps herself. Good thing she wasn't home when I set off the emergency flare (big fat expired one from a local commercial fisherman). Fuck me are those thing loud when you start them... then the thing made an obscene amount of red smoke for about 5 minutes... and yes they will keep burning while under water.
I need some of these for Nottingham Forest football (soccer) games
 

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I haven't drummed up the courage to fire off another one, so you could PM me your mailing address if you're feeling brave. Might upset the postal folk and the local constabulary may take a dim view of you interrupting the game and starting a stampede.... second thought... would anyone at the game notice?

flares.jpg
 

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I haven't drummed up the courage to fire off another one, so you could PM me your mailing address if you're feeling brave. Might upset the postal folk and the local constabulary may take a dim view of you interrupting the game and starting a stampede.... second thought... would anyone at the game notice?

View attachment 97009
I'll just lob it at the away fans. I'd get arrested if it was posted to me, or arrested when searched at the game so, I'll leave it for now
 
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