Dirty Tank

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850cmndo

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So, I've been fighting with this dirty roadster tank. It sat on the shelf for a few years and I admit to not storing it properly. I've rinsed it out but still get enough junk past in-line fuel filters to foul the carbs. Drained it and found it to be rusty and dirty. What really caught my eye was the bottom. Whatever has settled there looks like a black membrane, for lack of a better term. I poke it with a long screwdriver and it doesn't disturb it. It's a one owner and I've never made an attempt to line it so it has to be from old fuel. My question is, how caustic is the prep solution used in the Caswell lining kit? Does it eat everything in site? I'm resigned to the fact that I need to treat this thing but want to know if I need to do something drastic to clean it. I'd hate to dip it in acid as the tank itself is sound and the paint is fine. I figure someone out there has seen this sort of thing, or worse. Thanks in advance.
 
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Fill it with vinegar and let sit for a few days. You'll be amazed what pours out of that tank.
 
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850cmndo said:
No kidding? Like white vinegar?...and to the top I suspect.

Yup. $5 worth of no-name brand vinegar from the grocery store will do the job on gunk and light rust. I'm about to do it to my roadster tank as well. Just rinse with water after and blow the tank insides dry with compressed air. I'd try vinegar first before going with muriatic acid. Why not try the eco friendly method first?
 

850cmndo

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Yeah, I'll do that. Waiting for the last of the fuel to evaporate. Dumb question but, will vinegar hurt paint and do I want to slosh some sheetrock screws around in the tank?
 
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I don't think vinegar will hurt the paint but just wipe up any overspill just in case.

I'm just about to try it. I've heard from the old grey beards that vinegar works great and all I have is some light surface rust in there so I figured vinegar would be better than harsh chemicals. I'm unsure if the vinegar will eat that black stuff you have but after a couple of days soaking it may.

I'm just gonna let it soak for a couple of days.

A trick I also learned is filling the tank with a handful or two of nuts, small bolts, ball bearings ect and then wrapping the tank in a good heavy blanket, and secure or tape the blanket really well around the tank. Pack the dryer full of blankets or towels ect around the wrapped tank so the tank won't bounce around but is held in place with the blankets. Set dryer on the cool setting and let it tumble for an hour or so.
 
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850cmndo said:
Gonna have to think about that dryer thing.......

it is like having a parts tumbler in your basement but just don't let the ol' lady catch you. I have not had a tank crusty enough to try that method yet but I think and heard it works fantastic.
 

850cmndo

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Funny you should mention the ol' lady. There's a time or two I would've tried it on her.....
 

DogT

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Hey, if I had killed my old lady the first time I thought about it, I'd be out of jail by now.

Dave
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Figured I'd report back. Filled rusty roadster tank full of vinegar which cost me about $5 for 6 litres.

I was going to leave it in for a few days and forgot about it. Vinegar was in the tank for 5 days and tank is clean as a whistle. No rust, no gunk just a clean tank. I didn't have to recycle or properly dispose of anything. I just dumped the rusty vinegar into a gravel filled corner of my back yard.

The next step was to crack open a cold bottle of Rolling Rock and enjoy my rust free tank.

Since it took only a few minutes to rinse the tank and blow out with compressed air, I had plenty of time left over for yard work. :x
 
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Since it took only a few minutes to rinse the tank and blow out with compressed air, I had plenty of time left over for yard work.

that's a shame.

perhaps you need another hobby - I have a boat for sale..........
 
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Coco said:
Figured I'd report back. Filled rusty roadster tank full of vinegar which cost me about $5 for 6 litres.

I was going to leave it in for a few days and forgot about it. Vinegar was in the tank for 5 days and tank is clean as a whistle. No rust, no gunk just a clean tank. I didn't have to recycle or properly dispose of anything. I just dumped the rusty vinegar into a gravel filled corner of my back yard.

The next step was to crack open a cold bottle of Rolling Rock and enjoy my rust free tank.

Since it took only a few minutes to rinse the tank and blow out with compressed air, I had plenty of time left over for yard work. :x

Sweet, were you able to get a picture of the inside of the tank before and after?
 

850cmndo

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Update. I didn't try the vinegar trick as I just couldn't picture it cutting this mess at the bottom of the tank. It was suggested I take it to an outfit near me called Gas Tank Renu,http:www.gastankrenu.com . A gentleman here with the local chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America said their members had very good results with them. As my Interstate tank was a mess following a run-in with Creeme years ago, I took them both in. I have them back and will be back on the road soon. Check out their site.
 

850cmndo

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Well, so far so good. I'm running clear lines and seeing no sign of this "red stuff" breaking down. Bike starts, runs and idles as it should. Nice not having to worry if the thing is going to start. Gawd....what a weight off.
 
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850cmndo , I checked out the website you listed . Sounds interesting . So they were able to strip and coat the interior without harming the exterior paint ?
 
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