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How to I clean a gas tank?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 scooter0000

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:52 AM

I have an 82 brat that has been sitting for a few years. I am sure the tank has rust in it. The seems to run well, but I don't want rust getting into the carb. So I need suggestions as to what I can do to the tank, filters, or whatever WITHOUT having to take the tank off and have it cleaned. Any advice will be great. Thanks

#2 rpholz

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

http://subaruxt.com/...php?f=1&t=10493

#3 mikaleda

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

The only way to properly clean it and not have problems later on down the road is to pull the tank and clean it properly and when done you want to re line the inside of the tank so it won't rust out again. This can all be done fairly easily other than pulling the tank. To clean all the rust out pull the tank drain it put in some fresh gas and a couple hand fulls of ball bearings and rock the tank back and forth on all sides the ball bearings will knock the rust loose. Drain the tank and rinse with more fresh gas. Then to reline tank go to the parts store and get some tank sealer it is a liquid that you coat the inside of the tank with let dry and re install

Edited by mikaleda, 18 January 2013 - 01:03 PM.


#4 markjw

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:18 PM

A lenght of chain to swoosh around in the gas tank works well to knock loose rust. I use soapy water instead of gas.
Once you get the tank out, you can usually clean the inside very well with a power washer. Either your own or the one at the car wash place.

#5 davebugs

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

I use gravel. Different sized from the driveway.

Then I take it to my local radiator shop and have them "red coat" it.

He can do a better job than me at about the same price as the materials would cost me. One of the few jobs I don't do myself.

#6 naru

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

WITHOUT having to take the tank off and have it cleaned. Any advice will be great. Thanks


Drain the tank.
Flush w/some clean gas.
Consider installing a filter on the suction side of the pump.

#7 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

i just drain all the gas out of the tank. then pressure was it and dump the water out of it and keep doing that untell nothing comes out like black gunk, paint, or rust/metal.(of coarse i let the gas tank sit for like a week to let all the water evaporate)

#8 92LoyaleH4

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Drain the tank.
Flush w/some clean gas.
Consider installing a filter on the suction side of the pump.


I have to disagree with the filter part...Rust sediment will find its way thru anything. I found this out with my motorcycle. Had technically 2 filters (petcock and inline charcoal) and my carbs got gummed up pretty quick.

#9 Hatchback Lou

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I've dealt with two different varnished/rusted fuel cells. There is only one good way to start the cleaning process- drop the tank. It's a PITA, but worth it. Peek in there after dumping it out, and decide if it is really rust or just varnish. If it's rust, take it to a radiator shop and have them cut it open and clean/re-coat the inside. This may cost you about $100 or $150 so it may be worth looking for another tank. If it's just varnish, then you can clean it out yourself proper with a mixture of kerosene and acetone, with a handful of washed gravel as aggregate. I've tried softer solvents like mineral spirits, don't waste your time and money with those- go for the hard stuff.:headbang: Loop some rope through one of the tank's mounting holes, and tie it to a tree branch or rafter. Then shake it (not necessarily like a Polaroid picture.) Tying it up is way easier than holding it up and awkwardly shaking it around yourself or even with help.

Hope this helps, and good luck! Any amount of work you're able to do is worth saving a BRAT!




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