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Chad89GT

  • Karma: +5/-0
Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« on: March 02, 2015, 02:06:56 pm »
Just picked up a set of older aluminum saddle tanks that have been sitting for a while.  There are "rocks" inside that crumble into powder when you squeeze them with your fingers.  Assuming that's corrosion?  Or something else? 

I can get them out easy enough but was wondering if there's any sort of chemical/acid that can thoroughly clean the inside to get rid of any remaining corrosion.  Any other recommendations?

I'd prefer to clean these up and use them as you wouldn't believe the cost of aluminum sheet here in Hawaii.  Making new tanks is not really in the budget.

Any help appreciated!

Chad
  • Boat #1: '72 Tahiti Tiger
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jet fever

  • Karma: +7/-2
Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 04:28:58 pm »
You know theres plenty to pour in I always find the hard part dumping out the old dirty stuff. 

Some Chevron with Techron might do it.
Maybe Coke if you use that you could dump it and not feel too bad. 

The main thing is pulling the tanks and making sure you get all the loose crap out.  Good luck and stay patient. 
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GT Jets

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Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 06:00:58 pm »
Go grab yourself some Parsons cleaner with ammonia. Pour a quart or so in the tank and swish it around. It should break loose a ton of crap. Ammonia dissolves aluminum oxide like crazy.

Be sure to wash and rinse the hell out of them when you are done.

GT

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  • Boat #1: 1992 Carrera 20.5 Elite (I/O bitches)
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If i get some free time tonight at work, ill play with it and post it for everyone to see.

Time to man up and yank it John!  :banghead:
Ray

Chad89GT

  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 06:09:42 pm »
Thanks for the info!  I'm actually going to drill a drain hole in the lower corner then weld in an NPT bung once they're cleaned out.  Will be good to have a drain plug on there just in case.
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GT Jets

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Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 06:37:51 pm »
Thanks for the info!  I'm actually going to drill a drain hole in the lower corner then weld in an NPT bung once they're cleaned out.  Will be good to have a drain plug on there just in case.

Welding old gas tanks is extremely dangerous. Be sure to consult a professional that specializes in tanks.

GT

Sent from my SM-G900V using SoCal Jet Boats mobile app

  • Boat #1: 1992 Carrera 20.5 Elite (I/O bitches)
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If i get some free time tonight at work, ill play with it and post it for everyone to see.

Time to man up and yank it John!  :banghead:
Ray

jet fever

  • Karma: +7/-2
Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 06:54:08 pm »
Absolutely

That empty gas tank is more dangerous than a full gas tank.  Hit it with a torch is risky and frankly "the juice ain't worth the squeeze"
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Chad89GT

  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 07:05:24 pm »
Appreciate the concern, guys.  Tanks have been empty for years and will have been flushed several times before welding occurs.  Even then I'll probably fill them with water before attempting.  My good buddy is an ex-navy weldor and currently welds for the Coast Guard.  He'll be in charge of burning metal in this project :)
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Bunger

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Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 07:35:58 pm »

Appreciate the concern, guys.  Tanks have been empty for years and will have been flushed several times before welding occurs.  Even then I'll probably fill them with water before attempting.  My good buddy is an ex-navy weldor and currently welds for the Coast Guard.  He'll be in charge of burning metal in this project :)

I took hauls balls advice and filled then up stainless hardware and water and drove around with them in my truck for a week. Maybe try CLR and water to break down the corrosion


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rutsracer

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Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 08:20:28 am »
Put a hand ful of drylwall screws in it and shake.Its one hell of a work out but it works. Then use a magnet to take out the screws.
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samson429

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Re: Best Way to Clean Inside Aluminum Fuel Tanks?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 10:21:12 am »
I used a buck of stainless bolts and hot water, then got a box of TSP from Home Depot and would pour a decent amount in with hot water and shook the shit out of them and repeated this till I was pouring out clean water


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