Author Topic: Cleaning an oil tank  (Read 940 times)

Online Greybeard

  • Jack of all trades; master of none.
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 6858
  • Karma: 38
Cleaning an oil tank
« on: 24.08. 2013 13:57 »
The oil tank on my plunger GF has a slight oil leak so I bought an old tank off Ebay.
The replacement tank had the remains of the original paint and a layer of thickened oil inside. First job was a soak for a couple of weeks in a tank of caustic soda solution with frequent agitation and turning. After rinsing off the CS solution I used my bench wirewheel to remove paint and some light rust from the outside. The CS had not completely removed all of the interior oil crud so I rinsed the tank with diesel and then White Spirit followed by a blow job from the airline. When the interior was dry I could see some light rust inside and pondered how to clean that off. I cut about 10 small pieces, ( about one centimeter square) of ScotchBrite pan scourer and bunged them inside the tank then with the other holes blocked but not air tight I used my fingers to seal the filler hole while playing my compresed air nozzle into the tank and moving the jet of air around. I did this until I got bored. The Scotchbrite pieces thrashed about the tank and cleaned off some of the surface rust. Next experiment was to remove the scourer bits and do the same thing with some Mung beans, (found in the kitchen). The beans are about match-head size and very hard. They rattled around very satisyingly. I cleaned up inside the tank by blowing some small pieces of rag around in the same way. I checked very carefuly that there were no stoway beans left in the tank. The tank interior is now clean and I've taken it to be sprayed.

Online Triton Thrasher

  • Scotland
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2009
  • Posts: 1604
  • Karma: 20
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #1 on: 24.08. 2013 16:57 »
The usual way is to use nuts and bolts or other small pieces of steel, shaken around in the tank with kerosene.

Scotchbrite is impregnated with an abrasive which will not help your engine.

Online RichardL

  • Outside Chicago, IL
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 5469
  • Karma: 50
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #2 on: 24.08. 2013 23:12 »
Well, that sounded like more trouble than just repairing your original tank. You know that old saying, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020. This year it's a solo or pillion ride in dapper attire. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.


Offline Tomcat

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 415
  • Karma: 2
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #3 on: 25.08. 2013 09:37 »
I use citric acid to remove rust from steel. It's cheap (like me) and available in the supermarket. Make a solution with water and soak parts for a couple of days. Cheers Tomcat
'48 A7 '59 SR '74 850 Commando TDM900

Online bsa-bill

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 5662
  • Karma: 66
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #4 on: 25.08. 2013 10:54 »
Quote
available in the supermarket

Hi Tomcat - what's it sold as, I can't think of anything other than Lemon juice in our local UK supermarkets
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline fido

  • Ferdinandovac, Croatia
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2006
  • Posts: 692
  • Karma: 9
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #5 on: 25.08. 2013 14:39 »
Citric acid is used in jams and certain drinks and should be found on a shelf with things like pectin but if the supermarket does not have it, try Boots, Wilkinsons or a wine making equipment shop. It will be a powder, not a liquid.

Online Greybeard

  • Jack of all trades; master of none.
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 6858
  • Karma: 38
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #6 on: 25.08. 2013 14:45 »
Well, that sounded like more trouble than just repairing your original tank. You know that old saying, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."

Richard L.

It would mean taking my bike off the road for a while and there is no where near me to have it done anyway.

Online Greybeard

  • Jack of all trades; master of none.
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 6858
  • Karma: 38
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #7 on: 25.08. 2013 14:51 »
Scotchbrite is impregnated with an abrasive which will not help your engine.
YIKES!

[Me blushes with embarassment!]

I will make sure the tank is thoroughly washed out before I use it.

Online bsa-bill

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 5662
  • Karma: 66
Re: Cleaning an oil tank
« Reply #8 on: 25.08. 2013 16:49 »
Quote
found on a shelf with things like pectin but if the supermarket does not have it, try Boots, Wilkinsons or a

thanks Tomcat, it's also used in flour improver (I bake my own bread most of the time) and I always wondered if it could be had on it's own so I could make my own improver (it's pricey)
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco