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TOPIC: Fixing the fuel tank

Fixing the fuel tank 03 Sep 2019 22:19 #202802

  • cobbadog
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Well as you may remember I did a restoration on my David Brown 30C Cropmaster tractor and a couple of months back I treated the inside of the dual fuel tank (petrol / kero) with some hydrochloric acid. This, at the time seemd to have eaten up the rust inside the tank and make it clean. I rinsed it for ages with fresh clean running water and then left the caps off to allow the inside to dry properly. Next I put the caps back on and stored the tank thinking all was good. The colour of the crap that came out was amazing and I was pleased.
Now these fuel tanks have a filler tube welded in place inside the tank and go down to about half way so when trying to clean it out it can only go out the fuel line hole or via a vaccuum cleaner. Well after the tractors debut at the Rusty Iron Rally and all the dramas I had with fuel blockages it was passed being obvious that this must be resolved. I searched fuel tank sealers and found 2 main products that would be similar. One is a POR product which comes with a good name and the other was KBS again a good name. So I kept following the links on KBS and found their website and watched the 4 videos of how to use the product. IT is a 3 step fix, 1 is to use a cleaner then you use an acid that etches the inside of the tank and finally the liquid sealer itself. Once the sealer can is opened it starts to cure from the moisture that is in the air and you cannot seal the can and store the stuff as it will go hard.
I had a question about this stuff so I rang the contact number and spoke with a bloke who was capable of answering my question to the point that I ordered a kit from him. My only issue was getting out the treatments as I go through each step as unlike a car or truck fuel tank I cannot turn this upside down to empty out the contents inside it can only exit via the fuel outlet which has a 5/16" copper pipe attach to it or via a vaccuum. With the first 2 steps they are a liquid similar to water in consistancy but the sealer looked to be somewhat thicker and would it run out of the fuel outlet hole and not block it. The reply was that it would run out long before it sets hard which was when I committed to this system. So later this week the package of 3 treatments should arrive and if I get time to pull the tractor apart I will make a start on the process. The cleaning and etching must be done on the same day but then the sealant can be done at a slightly later date but I will make sure how long that can be before starting.
Kit sizes come in sizes to suit a 45 litre tank which would only just treat the kero side of the tank which would leave me around 6 litres short to properly treat the petrol side of the tank, so I bought the 'large' kit which is designed to treat a 100 litre tank and was only an extra $30.00 so it made sense to get the large size. So I guess as I will have a heap of product I should also look at other fuel tanks around the collection and do them if any need it.
I will try and take pics of the process for those are interested. I know that by talking to the guy on the phone he was confident in his product and help me make my decision in buying.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette

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Fixing the fuel tank 04 Sep 2019 05:18 #202805

  • Mrsmackpaul
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I dunno your fuel tank at all

I do know that the best way to clean a tank is to just cut a good size hole in it and clean it out properly

I just drop a running air line for a couple of minutes to expel the fumes and then hook right in

Been petrol it is very safe compared to diesel

Paul
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging
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Fixing the fuel tank 04 Sep 2019 07:56 #202806

  • Zuffen
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I've POR'd two tanks in the last 10 years and both are going strong.

I would make every effort to do both tanks (and only both tanks) on the same day. I say this as rolling more than one tank around the yard is hard, even for a Schizoid like me!

Once you have cleaned and etched the tanks chuck the sealer in and you need to seal the tank and roll it around so the sealant gets into every corner.

With your tank I would wrap it in a few old blankets and roll it around on the grass going around and end over end.

You need to protect any threaded bungs as the sealant will fill the threads.

You do need to get the excess sealant out after you have it well coated as it causes problems if left in.

I allowed mine to drain out of the tank drain hole and then wound in a piece of tissue to clean the threads and keep them clear.

You do need to have the tank completely empty of rust and other crap.
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Fixing the fuel tank 05 Sep 2019 16:43 #202812

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Kit arrived yesterday and I have started to read all the destruction's on how to use it. Plus watching the videos on their website also gives you a better idea of the process.
The videos tell/warn you bout how to get a good seal especially at the filler neck. They suggested some heavy plastic which I do have and some rubber hose over the outlet/s. This tank holds 10gals in the front and 1.5gals in the back which equates to 45ltrs and almost 7ltrs respectively. Yes I will be treating both sides of the tank at once and picked up some brass fittings to screw onto both outlets and I will be removing the chain/s that hold the filler caps to the tank which will make it easier to then use the plastic to seal the caps as they also have a small hole in them for air intake as it is a gravity feed to the carby.
Wrapping the tank up in a blanket is a brilliant idea and will be put into action on the day. It was also demonstrated that acrylic thinners will clean up the sealant while still wet so if by chance some get into the threads or is blocking the outlets I can get it cleaned up.
Sorry about the pics laying down. I did correct this before posting but you know how computers can challenge you.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette

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Fixing the fuel tank 07 Sep 2019 15:53 #202856

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First step was to remove the chains that connect the screw on fuel caps, block up the outlets underneath and then get some plastic to use under the fuel caps to seal them off.
I mixed up the Aqua Clean at 1:1 using hot water and poured a litre in the back tank and 3 into the main tank. Kept giving it a shake and rotate every now and then and after an hour I dropped the back tank, smallest, and not much came out. Then the main tank was dropped and boy was there a lot of crap come out the outlet. So much that it was blocking it up so with the use of wire I kept shaking the tank more and kept unblocking the outlet.
As you can see by the colour of the cleaner there was a mess inside but I also got a good 2 handfuls of loose rust out on the first treatment. I flushed the back tank out and it was ready for the next step apart from drying it out with a heat gun. The main tank I had to keep filling it up with rinse water and unblocking the hole for quite some time.
In one of the pics you can see the filler tube and at the bottom of it the bottom of the main tank and it is still a mess. So I have mixed the last of the cleaner and put inside the main tank to soak overnight.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette

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Fixing the fuel tank 08 Sep 2019 08:53 #202862

  • Zuffen
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You could try a magnetic probe to collect as much of the rust as you can.

Every bit out of there is a good bit.
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Fixing the fuel tank 08 Sep 2019 16:38 #202866

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Thanks Zuffen, I will look to pick one up tomorrow when in town but I do have 99.9% of the crap out now.

After leaving the cleaner in the main tank overnight I drained a heap more out of the tank. If I had kept it all I could have made another Ford, a good 2 hand fulls of the stuff. So this afternoon I treated the tanks with the rust converter and should have time tomorrow afternoon to put the sealer in. Something that does take up time is getting the inside of the tank dry before changing from cleaning to rest prevention and then making it ready for the sealant. Because of the filler tube I was using a heat gun for a while then sticking the compressed air down the hole and sealing it with a rag. At first I kept the tank level but as you cannot see what is going on past the bottom of the tube I tilted the tank up at 45' and any moisture would run down beneath the tube. So I kept up the process until it was all gone.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette

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Fixing the fuel tank 11 Sep 2019 16:30 #202925

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Well I picked up an extendable magnet and got the rest of the rust out with no issues, so thanks for the heads up on that. Then out came the sealant and away we went and poured enough into the small tank and the rest in the main tank. Slowly rolled the tank around every 5 minutes to get an even coating on all sides and into the corners. Then it was time to drain out the excess. Of course the wind was blowing dogs off the chains all around the Village and I had a lot of fun trying to catch to excess sealant as you can only hold the tin out for so long before your arm wants to drop off and if you tried to have something sitting on top of a bucket or similar it would have jumped the fence along with the wind. So a little bit hit the ground and it was getting messy and the nitrite gloves supplied were starting to spread it all over the place so off they came and with a tin of thinners at hand I kept wiping up the mess until it finally stopped running out. Then every 10 minutes I would still rotate the tank to ensure it wouldn't pool up somewhere and be a problem. I always kept twisting a drill bit into the fuel outlet by hand to keep it clear and to original size. So the next day I had a look inside and took these pics. It looks good and now it just needs to cure properly before adding fuel again.
Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette

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Fixing the fuel tank 11 Sep 2019 18:27 #202928

  • Zuffen
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Well done.

It isn't a hard job, more fiddly, dirty and time consuming.

Well worth doing. You will reap the benefits for years.
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Fixing the fuel tank 11 Sep 2019 22:16 #202930

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Cobbadog,
Well done. You appear to have followed the instructions PROPERLY, which almost NOBODY does and then they complain when something does not work.. You tanks should be fine for ever.
I will drop off a couple of my tanks for you to do. I will even pay for the chemicals.

HA HA just joking. I will not drop any off!:P :cheer:
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,

Now I find I can't do any work in this position!
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