Rusty gas tank

Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:37 pm

Whats the best way to clean out a badly rusted gas tank? My 43 "H" needs help really really bad!

Re: Rusty gas tank

Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:20 pm

dennis bushnell rigged up a e tank inside the gas tank and cleaned one out. pm him and ask how he did it 8)

Re: Rusty gas tank

Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:50 am

I washed the one on my "M" with a phosphoric acid based product from Lowe's, turned the rust to a hard black coating. Poured in a little diesel to keep it oiled til I put it in service. When I installed it a put a 2" copper standpipe up in the tank for good measure. Gettin' a little bit of rust in the sediment bowl now, but not bad. I've cleaned it twice in the last two months.

Re: Rusty gas tank

Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:19 am

The best and easiest way to clean the inside of a rusty gas tank is to drain it, un-mount it, swish about a quart of lacquer cleaner around in it, drain it again, let it air dry for a day or so, put two to three quarts of clean 1/4" to 3/8" crushed (squareish sharp edged) gravel into the tank, put the cap back on, strap tank securely to the outside of a tractor rear wheel, drive a round for a couple of hours with the rocks tumbling all around inside the tank.

You have to drive around at a slow enough speed so that you can hear the gravel 'tumbling' around inside the tank. If you drive too fast, the centrifugal force just keeps the gravel pined in one place and no 'scouring' will take place. Check the progress with a flash light and repeat as necessary. When all clean, wash out with detergent and water - then wash with alcohol and blow dry with a shop vac blowing into the tank. Lightly oil the inside with some kerosene and drain. -- Good as new !!

Hope that this helps, NJDale

Re: Rusty gas tank

Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:22 am

While I was composing this Dale made his post. The procedures are quite similar:

Put a gallon or so of pea gravel in it and tumble it for a few hours. This can be done by jacking up a rear wheel on a tractor and strapping the tank to it then carefully put it in gear and let it go. The tumbling action will knock all the loose stuff loose. Be sure the wheel on the ground is chocked well and the brake is locked on that side. Use extreme caution if you do this and keep the area cleared of all obstacles and keep visitors away. (the noise will do that)

Re: Rusty gas tank

Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:06 pm

If you don't want to try the gravel method, check with your local radiator shops. Some of them offer a procedure where they steam clean the inside of the tank then coat it with an epoxy to prevent further corrosion. I had this done to the tank on my H and it worked like a charm. :D

Re: Rusty gas tank

Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:34 am

Thanks guy's,I'll let ya know how it turns out.

Re: Rusty gas tank

Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:34 am

I've cleaned a couple using the pea gravel method and strapping it to the back rack of a ATV and joy riding a few hours. Stop every so often and turn the tank. :lol:
Worked great. :wink:

Re: Rusty gas tank

Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:54 pm

I used the "e-tank" method on my Cub and it worked very well.


Re: Rusty gas tank

Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:29 am

I took a tank to the radiator shop yesterday. $30-$40 to clean and repair if needed. For that price I don't shovel rocks. :D

Re: Rusty gas tank

Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:23 am


Ask them how much to seal the tank with Red Kote. I did Ellie's a number of years ago and I still have a perfectly clean tank. Well worth the money.

Re: Rusty gas tank

Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:43 am

I went to pick up the tank and ask about the Red Kote. He said the gas tank was in the cleaning tank for 3 days and still not clean enough to coat. So, back in the tank for another soak.

Re: Rusty gas tank

Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:03 pm

I took the tank into the shop and it was so bad they had to sand blast it. They had to cut a hole on the other side of the tank behind the baffle in order to get it 100% clean. washed it out several times and it's going back on this weekend along with a arb overhaul and new lines. Thanks for all the help.

On another note, She pops out of 4th gear,only 4th when power is applied. I begining to think I got "hosed" :cry: on this machine,simple case of buyer beware! I still LOVE her though! :||): I take it she'll need to have the trans overhauled to fix this?