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mtskull

Fuel tank repair

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Hi

Can anybody recommend somebody to repair a petrol tank (preferably in the West Yorkshire area)?

The tank in question is approx 20 gallons capacity, measuring 48" long, 12" wide and 10" deep. It is made of galvanised steel, with riveted and solder sealed joints. It is generally sound but unfortunately the last inch of the bottom of the tank at both ends has corroded into pinholes where water has been  trapped between the tank and the chassis outriggers that support it.

We have considered slosh sealants and have had quotations for repairing the tank with a resin coating but, although we will use these methods as a last resort, we would prefer a more traditional repair if at all possible. 

Thanks

Andy

 

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45 minutes ago, mtskull said:

Hi

Can anybody recommend somebody to repair a petrol tank (preferably in the West Yorkshire area)?

The tank in question is approx 20 gallons capacity, measuring 48" long, 12" wide and 10" deep. It is made of galvanised steel, with riveted and solder sealed joints. It is generally sound but unfortunately the last inch of the bottom of the tank at both ends has corroded into pinholes where water has been  trapped between the tank and the chassis outriggers that support it.

We have considered slosh sealants and have had quotations for repairing the tank with a resin coating but, although we will use these methods as a last resort, we would prefer a more traditional repair if at all possible. 

Thanks

Andy

 

Try a radiator repairer as they often repair tanks.

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this may help as   beside radiators they also repair fuel tanks including metal tanks they are NORTHERN RADIATORS LEEDS ON O8OO 002 9625 OR 0113 243 5051

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Thanks; we did ask Northern Radiators but they were only interested in doing a resin coating repair.

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Hi I have used this firm, they are based on the Wirral, at Ellesmere Port. They have rebuilt radiators for me and repaired pin holed fuel tanks using traditional methods. They are very well regarded in the area.

http://radiatorrepairs.co.uk/

 

Regards

John

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have you thought of doing the repair yourself using solder.

it's really easy, i did one of my cromwell tanks and didn't struggle. just make sure the area is really clean. i used normal plumbing joint solder laid on top of the hole then applied heat with a blow lamp although you might want to use a large soldering iron  as sometimes the flame made the joint dirty if it take take quickly enough

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Or just cut the area out, weld in a patch and just to be on the safe side, coat the inside with a sealant such as POR.

Jon

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While I agree that it is possible to repair fuel tanks at home it can be  very dangerous. People need to be aware of the serious risk of explosion, if the tank is not thoroughly purged of any vapour before the application of any heat.

John

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1 hour ago, MB1944 said:

While I agree that it is possible to repair fuel tanks at home it can be  very dangerous. People need to be aware of the serious risk of explosion, if the tank is not thoroughly purged of any vapour before the application of any heat.

John

I'm with you on that one. I'm certainly not brave enough to apply heat from a blow lamp on to a petrol tank.

The problem is, it isn't just a matter of filling one hole; the corroded areas are full of pinholes and deep pitting. (How to get that clean enough to solder?) . Also, the corrosion extends to the seam, so it would be more a matter of: purge tank, drill out rivets, unsolder seam, cut out corroded area, weld in new piece (to galvanised metal), re-rivet seam, re-solder seam. 

I'll leave all that to the professionals (if I can find any).

Andy

 

 

 

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Hi

Thanks again for all your suggestions, in the light of which I have been having a rethink....

I have been fortunate in finding somebody local with experience of petrol tank repair and, although he is no longer in the business of repairing them, he did offer to purge the tank for me. After steam cleaning at 155 degrees C for 45 minutes there was no hint of petrol vapour present and he proved the process by dropping a burning rag into the tank (while I stood a long way away).

With that part of the process out of the way, I am inclined to try Rick's suggestion of running solder into the pinholes, of which there are only 2 or 3 at each end of the tank. There is a lot of work to do elsewhere on the vehicle before the tank needs to go back on, so before we get to the soldering stage each end of the tank is going to spend a few weeks in turn immersed in molasses solution to get rid of all the rust.

My logic is that there is nothing at stake except the cost of a little solder and flux and, if my soldering efforts turn out to be unsuccessful, we can still revert to plan A and call upon the professionals.

Andy

 

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i think you'll be surprised how easy it is, the only requirement is shiny steel surfaces . if you get it clean it will solder

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22 hours ago, eddy8men said:

i think you'll be surprised how easy it is, the only requirement is shiny steel surfaces . if you get it clean it will solder

Hi

Glad to see that you have purged the tank of any fuel....

The above is very very important, you need to get a good clean oil/rust free surface.

I prefer to use a large soldering iron as a blow lamp tends to oxidise material at the point where you are applying the solder. If you do use a blow lamp apply the heat a little way from the 'hole' you are trying to fill and let the solder flow.

I have also used a large steel soldering iron, this is the type you heat up with blow torch before use.

I would also suggest that to try filling a few holes in some test pieces

Let us know how you got on

Cheers

Richard

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Don't forget that you need to use a suitable flux when soldering.

John

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Posted (edited)
On 15 May 2019 at 8:42 AM, johann morris said:

Or just cut the area out, weld in a patch and just to be on the safe side, coat the inside with a sealant such as POR.

Jon

Thanks Jon. Being a dab hand with the MIG, this would normally have been my first thought (once the issue of purging had been overcome).l

In this case the complication is the proximity of the damaged area to the riveted and soldered end seam;  in order to weld to clean metal it would first be necessary to drill out a large number of rivets, unsolder the seam, take the tank end out and then remove all traces of solder adjacent to the area that's going to be patched. After patching, rivet the end back in and re-solder, then repeat the operation at the other end.....

As it looks as if am going to be sealing with solder come what may, I think I'll give all the drilling, cutting, welding and riveting a miss. In the end, if for some reason a soldered repair isn't successful, then I'll be no worse off than I am now and it will be time to let the professionals look at it.

Andy

image.jpeg

Edited by mtskull

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It looks like the tank has been repaired previously, if so, the metal underneath that patch is going to be truly rotten and to be repaired properly is going to need to be cut out. As others has suggested try solder first, good luck.

Jon

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, johann morris said:

It looks like the tank has been repaired previously, if so, the metal underneath that patch is going to be truly rotten and to be repaired properly is going to need to be cut out. As others has suggested try solder first, good luck.

Jon

There is no previous repair or patch, what you can see towards the middle of the photo is some tape covering the drain plug hole.  The damage is confined to a handful of pinholes within the rusty strip (the way the tank was mounted couldn't have been better designed to trap water). I have since cleaned it up with a wire brush and it isn't actually too bad, so I am optimistic. I won't be soldering for a few weeks though, as the tank is currently standing on its end.in a molasses bath to remove all the remaining rust.

Andy

Edited by mtskull

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