Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?

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Hi all, im having serious trouble with my interstate fibreglass tank, went to check it the other night and there was no fuel in it, but there was a hole in the bottom where its bubbled up and leaked out :x I have the tank on the bench and am going to cut it open from the bottom and clean it out like in Jeans thread, i was just wondering if any ones got any more tips there more than welcome to comment/help? Im thinking (although not sure) of maybe using the product below link to re glass the two pieces back together once ive cleaned out the old liner and general tidy up, what are u guys thoughts on the product below Vinyl Ester Resin and fibreglass tape/mesh on the joins to re join the top and bottom of the tanks?


http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Vinyl-Ester-Resi ... 1148wt_911

Thanks Heaps

PS I need a steel tank of some sort i think :wink:
 
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PS I need a steel tank of some sort i think

If not steel at least a metal one. Judging from the posts the last couple of years I concluded that lining the tank was not for me. Works for awhile, then creates problems with the liner dissolving and eventually leaking again. I went with aluminum.
 

rvich

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First thing you need to do is figure out of you have enough fuel tank left to save. The gas has eaten the existing resin out of the cloth in one spot, it is possible that the whole tank is saturated with gasoline which would make it near impossible to work on. I would map out how you want to cut it open and do that first. I would try to cut at enough of an angle so that the bottom of the tank couldn't drop inside while inverted, probably down the two long cuts parallel to the tank but wouldnt worry about that across the tunnels. I don't know how possible this might be but it would aid in reconstruction. You will learn a lot while cutting as to whether the existing structure still has any integrity.

Once inside I would look for blisters that are probably full of fuel and cut and/or grind them open to drain them. Poke around with something like an ice pick to find soft spots that need to be ground out. I would abraid the inner surface really well and then soak it in a good bath of something like Simple Green to try to break down the fuel. Then I would let it dry for a long time before applying new resin.

I wouldn't spend any money on resin until I got a better look at the project.

Russ
 
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rvich said:
... it is possible that the whole tank is saturated with gasoline which would make it near impossible to work on. I would map out how you want to cut it open and do that first ...

Gas is very very volatile, it will not "stay"in the fiberglass cloth, at least I don't think so, the chemists can corect me if I am wrong. Vinyl Ester resins I was told would not be dissolved with ethanol, so that is the thing to use if epoxy resins are too expensive. I think it would cost more to fix a fiberglass tank with epoxies than to buy a steel tank, vinyl ester resins are about 25% of the cost of epoxies. I bough a gallon of resin for $100 and I have a lot left from the tank I did.

Buying resin on e-bay may not be a good idea, the shipping costs would probably eat the savings over buying locally

Fixing fiberglass is a lot easier for the home mechanic than fixing a steel or aluminum part, if you make a mistake, just cut it off and redo it, the material cost is not high.

Jean
 

rvich

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Yes Jean, gas is very volatile...which reminds me...Be careful not to ignite the damn stuff!
 
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yes good point dont want it exploding on me :shock:

i found the same place that i linked above also sell EPOXY Resins, not sure if its the right type but they dont seem that expensive at all?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Epoxy-Resin-Kit- ... _927wt_911

Then after i get it back together i was gonna use Caswell, which they sell here in Australia:
http://www.caswellplating.com.au/store/ ... ank-sealer

il start this weekend and try post pics as i go, should be fun, the only worry i have was JOINING the two seperate parts (top and bottom) back together without adding too much size to the actual tank after putting the fibreglass tape/bandage and then recoating it in resin? Any Thoughts...

Adam
 
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If I remember correctly from Jean's thread he brushed a coat or two Well over the entire inside of the tank and bottom "before" putting it back togeather. I think that you can be assured of better coverage and addheasion if you do that to. Good luck. Glenn.
 
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Down and dirty is patch exterior with JBWeld then acetone wash the insides, which will indeed dissolve soften the resin, but so what you want what ever else dissolving resins to mingle with the acetone, which is then heated-blown out till dry.
Then two part epoxy coat the insides, in a few stages-layers and then re-finish tank.
If IS tank is an unwanted item, I'm in market for one to put my ashes in.

hobot
 
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Oh yeah vinyl ester is about imprevious to solvents we'd encounter in pump gas.
Search it and see. Heat is its main enemy but needs about boiling even then.
 
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The funny thing was the fuel I bought was premium and meant to have no ethanol in it, I think they must have added it somewhere doing the shifty. JEAN I like ur idea of coating the inside of the tank do I recommend just using the vinyl ester resin mix or fiberglass tissue/tape also to coat the entire inside? Thanks everyone
 
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For the cost I would be inclined to use epoxy, its not too expensive, in NZ a 4ltr of West system and hardener can be bought for around $150NZD. This would be much more than you need. As for putting the bottom back in have a look at some boat repair web sites, the methods will be slightly different than some shown here.
 
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interstateOz I have a Fastback and only run PULP in it and I started to have a problem straight away, blue sticky colour in inlet manifold and started to run rough. I used Caswell and the only thing I would say is make sure its a warm day as it runs around inside the tank better. Fuel delivered to work the other day and I asked the tanker driver about how they mix the different fuels. E10 91 they fill the tanker then mix in the 10% ethanol 95 PULP same but no ethanol 98 PULP has ethanol added to 95 to boost to 98. I did not think the 98 had ethanol but until I find out for sure I wont be using it. I think the reason my tank melted was it had what looked like a epoxy repair in the bottom near the front mounting on the inside but no sign of any damage on the outside. I leave fuel in it, 95 PULP, for months on end when not in use, too many toys to play with, and have not had a problem in over 18 months. I know it has been recommended on here to drain the tank when not in use but I don't plan to ride the Norton in advance, I just get up and get the urge to ride the Norton, just check the tyres and away I go.
Ian
 
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I was thinking vinyl ester is the stuff that doesn't work with alcohol. The words to look for, such as in the Caswell tank repair product, are Novolac and phenolic.
 
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yeh im really not too sure to go either epoxy west system or a vinyl ester resin, apparatly the ration when mixing is harder to get correct and must be far more precise using epoxy than the vinyl ester resin, but the vinyl ester resin has a higher shrink rate than epoxy 5-10%, but the epoxy is slightly harder and stronger than vinyly ester resin, although i did read somewhere that vinyl ester resin wont stick to epoxy but epoxy will stick to viny ester resin??? Who rewally knows i think either will work as long as the Caswell is donr correctly.
 
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Dies anyone know can i do 2 coats of Caswell sealer in the tank? does the tank sealer stick to itself well or does it only stick to the fibreglass?

Thanks
 
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interstateOz said:
Dies anyone know can i do 2 coats of Caswell sealer in the tank? does the tank sealer stick to itself well or does it only stick to the fibreglass?

Thanks

From what I've read here it doesn't stick to anything after a couple of years.
 

rvich

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FWIW-West Systems does not recommend using their epoxy in tanks exposed to ethanol. They have a pro-series that requires being baked to 140 degrees F to cure properly that is more resistant to ethanol but it still requires a coating with something like Gold Seal or Red-Kote. They have not experimented with Caswells and have no data.

Russ
 
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interstateOz said:
yeh im really not too sure to go either epoxy west system or a vinyl ester resin, apparatly the ration when mixing is harder to get correct and must be far more precise using epoxy than the vinyl ester resin, but the vinyl ester resin has a higher shrink rate than epoxy 5-10%, but the epoxy is slightly harder and stronger than vinyly ester resin, although i did read somewhere that vinyl ester resin wont stick to epoxy but epoxy will stick to viny ester resin??? Who rewally knows i think either will work as long as the Caswell is donr correctly.


The mixing of epoxy has to be done accuratly, the hardener is part of the system and not just a catalyst (as it is for polyester), there are lots of ways to do this though, small graduated measuing cups work fine, use two, one for the hardener and one for the resin, tip them into a third container and mix well.... Personally I find epoxy much nicer to use than polyester. Epoxy will stick to polyester and vinyl ester, polyester will not stick well to anything (including itself once it has hardened), I dont know a lot about vinyl ester though. I only mentioned the West system as I have some and know what it cost, there are other brands and compositions that may be more appropriate for fixing a fuel tank.


Some interesting bits here:
http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-b ... s-278.html
 
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I finally cut the tank open, heres some pics:

Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?

Just before cutting open.
Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?

The hole underneath.
Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?

Cutting.
Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?

Fibreglass Tank Issues: Vinyl Ester Resin?


There were actually another 2 bubble spots not shown in the photos.
Ready to prep now :D
 
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