alex
alex SuperDork
11/13/11 4:59 p.m.

My TL has been laid up for way too long, which (in addition to being 13 years old) has seen the gas in the tank go bad, and rust/sediment to accumulate. It's nasty in there.

When I worked at the shop, we had good success just using water and granulated dish soap and lots and lots of manual shaking, emptying, rinsing and repeating. I'm just concerned that the crud is too pervasive and tenacious to remove with that method.

For the record, I'm planning to paint this tank, so if this is the time for something drastic like electromagnetic stripping majik, you'll have to hold my hand through it, but I'm receptive to the idea. So, what's your method for cleaning up really cruddy fuel tanks?

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
11/13/11 5:05 p.m.

Yank tank.. handfull of stainless balls or nuts and atf. shake hard

alex
alex SuperDork
11/13/11 5:16 p.m.

ATF, eh? Does that have any detergent effect, or should I still wash it before or after with soap and water?

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
11/13/11 6:17 p.m.

FIll with vinegar, let sit 2-3 day, flush and rinse with water, admire sparkly clean tank.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
11/13/11 6:33 p.m.
alex wrote: ATF, eh? Does that have any detergent effect, or should I still wash it before or after with soap and water?

atf / seafoam....seems to strip about anything out

alex
alex SuperDork
11/13/11 6:37 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: FIll with vinegar, let sit 2-3 day, flush and rinse with water, admire sparkly clean tank.

O rly? Like straight white vinegar, undiluted?

I like 'fill and sit' versus 'fill, shake like hell, empty, repeat until you can't lift your arms.'

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
11/13/11 6:58 p.m.

Yes, vinegar will work. I would still go ahead and clean out the big chunks first by putting in some hardware (nuts will work, or anything with some sharp edges like shingle nails) and shaking them around with hot water and soap.

There are plenty of discussions out there about using vinegar for rust removal, with a google search you can find out the particulars.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
11/13/11 7:21 p.m.

or this way if you like playing with electricity.

http://www.altelco.net/~jacil/clay/motorcycle/KElecSetup.html

mike
mike Reader
11/13/11 7:43 p.m.
Grtechguy wrote: or this way if you like playing with electricity. http://www.altelco.net/~jacil/clay/motorcycle/KElecSetup.html

Now that's interesting. I may have to try that over a weekend on some junk parts.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
11/13/11 7:45 p.m.

I have also heard milkstone solution will work. I am going to try it soon.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
11/14/11 5:39 a.m.

I've had really good luck with Eastwood's Metal Wash. It preps the metal for paint or powderdcoating. Doesn't leave a residue behind and removes schmegma.

The little can for $10 will clean a boat load of cycle gas tanks.

Dan

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
11/15/11 5:15 a.m.
alex wrote:
foxtrapper wrote: FIll with vinegar, let sit 2-3 day, flush and rinse with water, admire sparkly clean tank.

O rly? Like straight white vinegar, undiluted?

I like 'fill and sit' versus 'fill, shake like hell, empty, repeat until you can't lift your arms.'

Mmhm. Cheapest variant you can find. No point in fru-fru types. Not only is it less physically exerting, but it simply works better too.

porschenut
porschenut New Reader
12/29/11 5:13 a.m.

I just bought a yamaha 250 with similar tank issues. Once cleaned what is the most foolproof coating if there is rust inside? Or do I just clean it and fill with fresh gas? Lucked out on this bike, the tank was left half full but they did run the carbs dry. Pulled one side and it is spotless!

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
12/29/11 5:34 a.m.

Not a fan of coating gas tanks, I've seen a whole lot of them fail. A tank with gasoline in it doesn't rust, empty tanks do.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
12/29/11 10:35 a.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Not a fan of coating gas tanks, I've seen a whole lot of them fail. A tank with gasoline in it doesn't rust, empty tanks do.

This. I am having the problem of getting rid of pealing coating in my tank.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf Dork
12/29/11 1:33 p.m.

Todays p4 gas sucks very few coating seem to last and just like paint its all in the prep work but if you got it that clean theres no need to coat it to begin with...

Star washers and nuts work great for scraping rust out.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy SuperDork
12/30/11 12:46 a.m.
mguar wrote: Alcohol is your friend! it will soften everything.

alex
alex SuperDork
12/30/11 4:23 p.m.

^^Yep.

Good thinking on the alcohol. I like that.

And I, too, am not a fan of coatings for the reasons stated above. Just one more thing to cause problems. Get the tank clean by whatever means and keep it full of gas when possible. Once it's clean it will flash rust, but when it's in service it won't rust enough to cause any problems.

But learn from my mistake: don't let it sit too long.

The_Jed
The_Jed Reader
12/31/11 11:06 a.m.

When I was a kid we always used ATF, BBs and vigorous shaking. Then we dumped the mixture into a rag, shuffled it around to remove ATF and sludge, then shot stuff.

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