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How to clean the old gunk out of a Spridget gas tank?

BillyBud

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Anybody have a good method to clean out 40 years of old dried gas from the tank? Lots of methods online but figured I'd ask here before trying anything else.
I know I can use Evaporust on any rust sediment but this looks mostly (and smells) like old gas. Disgusting. Thanks.
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RickF

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Fill it full of water and put it on your BBQ grill. Boil the water for a few hours and the tank will come out clean. Only problem with this method is you have to have a way to dispose of the gunky water.
 

HealeyRick

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Fill it full of water and put it on your BBQ grill. Boil the water for a few hours and the tank will come out clean. Only problem with this method is you have to have a way to dispose of the gunky water.
Great to hear the tried and true Frank Clarici "Spritenut" method of cleaning the tank. He always used to throw a few stones in the tank and agitated them around to do a bit of scouring action. Make sure the tank is totally filled with water to expel any remaining gasoline vapor.
 

RickF

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Great to hear the tried and true Frank Clarici "Spritenut" method of cleaning the tank. He always used to throw a few stones in the tank and agitated them around to do a bit of scouring action. Make sure the tank is totally filled with water to expel any remaining gasoline vapor.
Hard to believe, but it's been ten years since Frank left us. šŸ™
 

Madflyer

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I went to the motorcycle shop. They have a cleaner sealer kit. Add a few nuts and bolts and seal tank my has been good for 27 years ( TR 6 tank apox 12 1/2 gal. )
 

twas_brillig

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Take the tank down to the carwash. Throw in a bicycle chain or chunk of chain and rattle that around inside to free up any chunky bits. If it's just 'gummy' old gas, maybe leave it after the car wash/chain efforts and put a couple of fuel filters in line, and change out the upstream one yearly (I'm guessing on this, but have run two sequential cheapo fuel filters on our dune buggy when I was concerned about the tank.
 

Bayless

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POR-15 has a 3 step process to clean then seal a gas tank but not cheap. I have used it several times over the years on tanks that may be harder to replace, including my Prefect, an old Packard and a prewar Mercedes, with good results.
 
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BillyBud

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I had the tank sandblasted outside and it appears to be sound, no rust. I like the river rock/stone or gravel method with some hot water and detergent, I think I'll try that first. Thanks all.
 
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BillyBud

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BTW, I assume that little broken cardboard ring on the fuel gauge sending float is what makes it have a "reserve" ~half gallon when the gauge reads empty, right? I'll have to cobble up a new one.
 

Madflyer

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Not really there is a tube sticking up from bottom not really a reserve just wont let water or dirt get to carbs. seal would be for water and fumes etc.
 

Pat MM

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Iā€™ve used about a pound of pea gravel after washing it out at the steam cleaner. You are the agitator!
It's a great workout.
To really get deep into the seams requires some type of chemical rust remover/etcher, like you stated. I really like Evapo-Rust and use it often. Just donā€™t leave it on too long, as it will eat the metal eventually.
 
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BillyBud

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This sounds like a job for the do it yourself coin op car wash sprayer after initial cleaning. Luckily I live in a low humidity state where everything dries out quickly.
 

Madflyer

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What ever you do end up by adding a liquid sealer any bear metal will rust and leak in time. it is a two part system mix poor into tank move around until it harden just a few min. as I remember. Rotate 360 deg for complete coverage.( Note gas fumes are as bad as gas and or water. )
 

DrEntropy

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Used nuts 'n bolts in water to loosen any scale, rinsed with water, then acetone. Agitating "vigorously" for that. Let dry for a day or two. We've done quite a few with "Red-Kote", by Damon Industries in Alliance, Ohio (no affiliation). Did our MGB tank in '07 with it and have no issues.
 
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BillyBud

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I used degreaser and then muriatic acid for a couple of days. Some spots were clean but lots of gunk persisted. Putting anything into the tank to agitate is difficult because the baffles in the tank restrict its movement. And then you have to get it out. In the end I just decided a new tank would be far less trouble now and probably in the future.
 

RickF

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I used degreaser and then muriatic acid for a couple of days. Some spots were clean but lots of gunk persisted. Putting anything into the tank to agitate is difficult because the baffles in the tank restrict its movement. And then you have to get it out. In the end I just decided a new tank would be far less trouble now and probably in the future.
shoulda filled it with water and put it on the BBQ for a few hours. :smile:
 
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BillyBud

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I once tried to weld gas tank that I had washed out with soap and water. At the first flame it went Whooomp and went from a square to a round gas tank. Scared the heck out of me. So cooking the tank over an open flame didn't seem like a something I wanted to do again given that experience.
 
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