Author Topic: Tank interior rust removal  (Read 2020 times)

Offline redbeeza

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Tank interior rust removal
« on: 26.01. 2011 17:06 »
Do any of you guys have a tried and tested method of cleaning the interior of a fuel tank?  I've got one of the Indian made replicas that has stood for a few months and it has light, dusty surface rust on the interior.  I'd like to clean it up before fitting it/running fuel through it.

By the way, for any of you contemplating buying one of these repro tanks, I have mixed feelings about the things.  The chrome seems good and it is dent free (the main reasons for wanting to replace the tank) but it is nowhere near the same shape and dimensions of an original tank when you have the two side by side.  The repro tank is very noticably bigger: I would say an inch longer and an inch taller in profile.  It has a rounder shape.  I haven't tried fitting it yet but I expect there will be problems.  No doubt there are several manufacturies and the types will differ a bit, but I spent a lot of time looking at these repro tanks and they all seemed pretty similar.
1962 A10 Super Rocket.  First Brit bike, first rebuild.

Online lawnmowerman

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #1 on: 26.01. 2011 17:33 »
Hi Redbeeza

You will probably find that when you fit the tank, if it is anything like my Indian tank, the standard tank support strap will be too short and you will have to make one up. Mine had a load of petseal in it and chunks have been coming out every time I have the tank off and flush it. Fortunately it has not started to leak yet.
Rust in the tank is a real problem as the ethanol in the modern rubbish sold as petrol attracts and holds water which then condenses out and rusts the tank. There are some rustproofing products available.

Jim
1959 A10 SR
1938 Wolseley 14/60
1955 Ferguson TEF20 tractor
1965 Ferguson 135 tractor
1952 Matchless G80 rigid
1960 BMW R60
1954 Matchless G80S
1955 Ariel 500 VH
1951 Sunbeam S7DL
1960 Matchless G12 with Watsonian Monza
......and loads of lawnmowers

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Offline wackyone

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #2 on: 26.01. 2011 17:49 »
Vinegar and a some salt mixed in ! works quick, 24hrs and you will strip the insides  ;)
I didn't believe it until I tried either   *eek* Give it a go, 13 pence bottles from tesco's basic range and some table salt from the kitchen ! Approx £0.59 pence per litre  *smile*
1956 A10 Gold Flash
Space for one more maybe a B31
and a  side car for the Flash
Gsxr 600 k1 street fighter

Offline wackyone

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #3 on: 26.01. 2011 17:51 »
ps, You will never put vinegar on your chips again when you see how it works
1956 A10 Gold Flash
Space for one more maybe a B31
and a  side car for the Flash
Gsxr 600 k1 street fighter

Online groily

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #4 on: 26.01. 2011 18:02 »
Dunno about the salt 'n vinegar thing, but why not?! Good flush afterwards and away you go!
Anyway, on the Indian tanks, I bought one a year ago odd (for my B31) and yup, there are some shape questions someone who knows more than me might ask. But, for an everyday bike, for an everyday price, I was pleased. Chrome not the thickest you'll ever see, but the centre hole was in the right place, the strap studs were BSC and the fuel tap threads were correct, the badges went straight on in what looked like roughly the right place - and it was clean as a whistle. Survived at least half a winter and hasn't even gone rusty yet. I'd have said mine was a tad shorter than the one it replaced, but I couldn't s
Bill

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #5 on: 26.01. 2011 18:11 »
funny things PCs, got a bit ahead of itself.
. . .ay what the 'original' one really was either to be honest. Long and short of it is I'm quite happy with what I've got, what it cost and how quickly I got it. Looks quite OK to me, doesn't leak like the old one, and problem solved. Might not suit a concours job, obviously, but it's horses for courses and you pays your money . . . .
Bill

Offline Goldy

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #6 on: 26.01. 2011 18:32 »
To clean the inside of the tank, plug the tap holes and put a handfull of nuts and bolts inside with a pint or so of white spirit. Shake the tank giving circular and forward and backwards motion, upright and upside down. Leave it to soak for a while and then do it again. Empty the bolts and rinse out.
My Indian tank is about 2 years old, the chrome is good and I would say its good value for money.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

Offline redbeeza

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #7 on: 26.01. 2011 20:01 »
Thank you for the advice and comments guys.  I'm going to run the bike with the old dented tank for a while until I get used to riding it, then have a go at fitting the repro one.

I would agree that for the price the repro tank looks good.  The bolt hole looks like it's in the right place.  In fact the bolt hole in the original tank is a bit off centre!  I think the strap studs must be BSC as well, cycle nuts won't fit and nor will metric.  I did need to saw a bit off the metalwork at the filler cap neck to get the cap to fit, it looked like it hadn't been ground to shape, I used the old tank as a guide.

BTW after the ride out to the MOT station the alloy (and some of the chrome) has taken a hammering.  We'd had a few downpours during the mild spell after the big freeze which I thought might have rid the roads of the salt.  No chance, the header pipe finned collars were encrusted with corrosion after a day.  I don't have a pressure washer (or a hose pipe) so gave the bike a good manual wash 'n' rinse and drip dry.
1962 A10 Super Rocket.  First Brit bike, first rebuild.

Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #8 on: 26.01. 2011 21:59 »
I leave it rusty and use an inline filter and no gauze on the tap.

Offline Stu55Flash

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #9 on: 27.01. 2011 00:50 »
There was a method in one of the bike mags. It used electrolysis, using old fashioned washing soda, a battery charger and a bolster chisel as the anode. Never tried it but washing soda cristals are avialble from Wilkos in the UK for less than a £1.

Washing soda is great for flushing out your coolant system on you classic car also. I used it on the tractor -  much better than the relatively expensive rad flush.   So get some in quick before it sells out!

Stu
"Keep a distance from lady "L" drivers in cars. Some are not mechanically minded, are slow to acquire road sense, an are apt to panic..." The Pitman Book of the BSA Twins.
Golden Flash Plunger 1955, Francis Barnett Falcon 67 1954, Ferguson TEA Tractor 1951. Looking for another project!

Offline Goldseeker

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #10 on: 27.01. 2011 09:45 »
Just thinking if the old Coca Cola trick would work, Ive used it to free-up rusted nuts.  *eek*
Col.

RGS Rep.
Triumph Rocket 111 Classic
BSA Rocket 3 Mk1

Offline Goldy

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #11 on: 27.01. 2011 11:05 »
Redbeeza. I think that you will find that the studs on the indian tank are UNF.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
56 C12 BSA project ongoing

Offline mike667

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #12 on: 27.01. 2011 11:16 »
i've had lots of experience removing rust - for minimal rust vinegar (acetic acid) will work well - for more substantial rust i typically use either phosphoric acid or muric acid ( hydrochloric acid) - the hydocloris works very well and is quick - you can get muric acid at most pool cleaning supplly places or hardware store - my favorite clearer is "the works" toilet clearer available at most hardware stores and big dept stores- it has hydrochloric acid in it. best way is remove tank, cover in saran wrap to avoid damage to paint through either spill or you whacking it in something  - plug tap holes w/ rubber stoppers -  add clearer - for acid types 1-2 hrs all thats needed - vinegar, other stuff (coke etc) 24h min. Cover gas hole w/ wrap and put cap on swirll tank gentle every few minutes (with acids) - after time wash tank w/ water - if storing tank squirt wd-40 in it to prevent flash rusting and mix around- if not refuel asap.  best way to prevent future rust - i add a teaspoon or two of 2 stroke oil to tank of gas (has rust inhibitors) - also good trick is throw a magenet in there to catch rust particles/flakes that may build up and come off and plug fuel taps
m

Offline Alan @Ncl

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #13 on: 27.01. 2011 12:04 »
I too had A10 tank problems recently after having, lamentably, left it standing in the back of the garage for 15 years, half full with fuel (you might well say I deserved nothing less). First hint of trouble was when I struggled to get the cap off.  Then on looking inside, I found horrible thickish brown liquid that smelt vile.  On emptying, found to my horror lots of what looked like rust.  At this stage I thought I was doomed but since it was not leaking, persevered with stone chippings and detergent (wish I had looked at this forum earlier but I am a relative newcomer).  Eventually removed vast quantities of this stuff (see pic attached which is only a fraction of what came out) so I concluded it must be mainly degraded fuel, rather than rust, as if it was rust, I think the tank would have been like a sieve by now.  The tank seems relatively OK after this and is back on with fuel in.  I am still mystified as to what has been going on here so any comments would be very welcome.

Offline chaterlea25

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Re: Tank interior rust removal
« Reply #14 on: 27.01. 2011 13:08 »
Bran flakes ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ????
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)