Best way to clean inside of fuel tank? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old January 26th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Best way to clean inside of fuel tank?

I love my truck. So there's Mobil 1 Synthetic 75W90 in the LT230 now (transfer case shifting is much better), all driveline zerks have been filled with Mobil 1 synthetic red grease (no more juddering on reverse), LT230 bolts have been tightened up to stop the slow leaks, Redline MTL put into in the LT77, and Rotella T 15W40 in the crankcase along with a new fuel filter and oil filter. I'm waiting on some replacement elbows for the intercooler piping from amazon to come in. Also spent a lot of time stripping, derusting and repainting the airbox and charge piping. Degreased/scrubbed the engine.

I replaced the alternator. The new 75A alternator seems to work well, although its tach output is 3x the actual RPM of the engine. The tach shows idle at 2800rpm, when in reality it's around a third of that. My guess is that the W output is outputting the unrectified power from all three windings, as opposed to just one. Annoying but not a showstopper. I'm looking into a way to drop from 3 phase to single phase on the W terminal. Although it is amusing to have to set my shift light at 9500rpm on a 200tdi. (If anyone has any ideas on how to clip 2 out of the 3 phases going to the W terminal, let me know.)

Of course I still need to finish up reassembly of the dash, but that is already 90% done and really is a quick job right now relative to the other things I have been dealing with above.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The real show stopper right now is the fuel tank. It's got this brown/rust-colored gunk in there. I don't know how else to describe it but it almost looks and feels like Rust-colored chewing gum mixed with varnish.

I tried draining the tank, but it doesn't seem to empty any of the stuff out. It stick tenaciously to the sides of the tank and comes loose in the fuel when filled.

During operation, the fuel pickup filter will clog rapidly with the gunk. This prevents me from driving more than 5-10 miles before the fuel pickup filter gets clogged and the engine sputters to a halt.

I think what I need to do is scrub the inside of the tank with a solvent that will dissolve the gunk.

Does anyone have any idea what this stuff might be, and what tool is best to scrub the inside of the tank? Mind you, there really isn't a lot of room to maneuver in the tank between the fuel filler cap and the drain plug. It would be a lot easier if I could get my arm in there, but as it stands now, even an extremely thin 5 year old couldn't squeeze their arm in there.

I guess the best alternative I can think of short of replacing the tank is to cut a large access panel into the top of the tank and create a 6 or 12-bolt coverplate that is bolted into place. But really I'd like to simply be able to pour something into the tank that will dissolve the gunk if possible.

Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old January 26th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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It's been a few years but when I cleaned up the tank on my Mustang I used one of the kits from POR-15. The stuff was pretty stinky but worked great with minimal scrubbing necessary. Make sure you buy something that has shipping restrictions because that means it's good!

not sure if their products harm diesels but I am sure you will overanalyze this for the next 6 months so here's the website!
http://www.por15.com/Fuel-System-Res...n/products/12/
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  #3  
Old January 26th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Charles Galpin
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How hard is it to pull the tank? You can put a chain or something in it and shake the hell out of it to get it to clean the inside out, not to mention flush it much more easily.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Thanks guys. lol Jeff, yes I overanalyze way too much

I'm pondering using evaporust or ospho, but at $20/gallon in an 11 gallon tank, it's getting up there into the more-expensive-than-replacing-the-entire-fuel-tank category of fixes.

I believe POR15 Prep-and-ready is $33.50 a gallon and has some zinc phosphate in it as well, but again at 11 gallons, that's a lot of money.

I would put in say 2 gallons, and scrub the heck out of the inside of it, but I'm not sure what to scrub it with, let alone whether that $40-some-odd-dollars worth will actually do anything to the crud.

Charles, I'll see what it takes to drop the tank this weekend. It shouldn't be too difficult. Unfortunately it may not help much since access to the inside of the tank doesn't get much better with the tank off the truck (unlike the NAS). The tank is under the RHD driver's side seat and with the seatbox cover removed, it's pretty much right there in plain sight. I guess it would allow me to move the job out of the parking lot onto my balcony.

When you say shake the hell out of it with a chain, do you mean by hand? Is the fuel tank that light?
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  #5  
Old January 26th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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I have used the por-15 product on several fuel tanks as well as old Jerry cans.

I remove the fuel tanks remove all fuel then let the tank dry, after drying out I fill it with gallon of dish soap and water, Then got to your bolt bin and take a handfull of nuts and bolts and drop them in.

Then I turn and shake tank letting the nuts and bolts loosen the crusty rust and clean the inside as you turn and shake.


Then remove all hardware and quick fresh water rinse and fallow the instructions on the por-15 can.

Works great!!
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  #6  
Old January 26th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
When you say shake the hell out of it with a chain, do you mean by hand? Is the fuel tank that light?
Without fuel it can't be that heavy. Bring it over and we can tag team it. Mmh maybe lets do it at Jeffs as I suspect it could get messy

Ed just described it better than I did. The general idea is the inside surface will get scrubbed and being able to turn the tank allows you to use very little liquid to do it. Throw a piece of chain or loose nuts and bolts, gravel, whatever in there.

I say clean it thoroughly and then access if POR-etc is needed at all. I suspect it just needs cleaning and then *USE*!
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  #7  
Old January 26th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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Just replace the tank if the inside looks rusty at all. Find a galvanized one.

BTDT tried to be cheap and cost more in the long run.

The gunk is residue from old diesel. Gasoline will break it up if left to sit for a few days.
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  #8  
Old January 26th, 2012, 03:21 PM
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Could you stick an soda/abrasive blaster hose in there and let it slap around like a crazy snake? That will loosen grim and grit up in a hurry.
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  #9  
Old January 26th, 2012, 03:53 PM
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muratic acid will clean the tank of rust and scale. It is availbe at hardware stores and is cheap $1.50-$3.00 a gallon.

Fill, leave in overnight or check earlier and drain. Tank will look new on the inside.

Rinse with baking soda and water

Then rinse the insideof the tank with some MEK(methel ethel keytone) to stop the etching process and remove water.

fill with fuel

done.



Used to use this process on old motorcycle tanks. Mind you that the MEK and muratic acid are both very caustic nd will eat rubber and plastic. If you want you can get a tank sealant to use after stripping it, or just keep it filled with fuel.

THe POR15 kits are using murativc acid to strip the tank of rust
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  #10  
Old January 26th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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Here's what will probably work out best in the end, if not it gives you an idea of how much they cost.

http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/Item--i-GRID010438

http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/Item--i-NRC9225P


The truck was stood for a couple of years all be it in a garage, so was the 110 while that was being rebuilt and the 110 hasn't had problems. Sorry you're having problems. I'd try petrol as a solvent first, The tank drops out really easily. Filler tube off the back, remove the front mounting bolt and then the rear ones, drain the tank first. It's not that heavy.

Glad you sorted the juddering out.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll take the fuel tank off friday night and proceed from there.

Ron, do you happen to know who sells galv fuel tanks in the UK?

Mike, thanks - like everything else with the truck, it's not a difficult fix, just need to figure out how to proceed, I guess. Really other than the fuel tank, the rest of the truck's been a peach.
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  #12  
Old January 26th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LAND-ROVER...#ht_1309wt_758

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  #13  
Old January 26th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Nice! Thanks Mike...is that galv?
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Looks galvy to me!
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Sweet, that baby is mine. $180USD shipped. That's $150 cheaper than a new ungalv one shipped to my door.

Thanks a bunch guys. Saves me a lot of time and money.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Seriously? You aren't going to at least pull the tank and clean it out? It might need nothing else!
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Old January 26th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Seriously? You aren't going to at least pull the tank and clean it out? It might need nothing else!
Stop being cheap like me.
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  #18  
Old January 26th, 2012, 06:22 PM
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I thought galvanized tanks were to be avoided on Diesel engines. It's even in the CFR.

http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/58-50-10-die...tanks-19849336

My 90's tank rusted out between the skid plate and the bottom of the tank. From the outside in. Inside the tank was spotless. The replacement tank got the skid plate pulled off it, and POR15'ed on all sides of both pieces. Inside the tank was fine and I left that alone.

I had a Volvo 122 with the same crap in the tank – sans diesel sludge tho'. I pulled the tank and threw a bunch of hardware in it. Some simple green I think and a few changes of water. Shook the hell out of it, then had a hell of a time shaking the hardware out. Chain would probably be better. But, it came up clean and didn't give any problems after that.

Also, I think a radiator shop can boil it out for you. ABrooks on here knows a good one.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Charles, I'll take a stick to the inside tonight and see how scrapable it is. This stuff is like old chewing gum on the inside of the tank, but if it scrapes easily, then I'll try to salvage. I'll throw some gasoline and leftover ospho in there too and see if it dissolves the crud.

I'm just a little leery of being pennywise and pound foolish. I can easily see myself spending $80 in cleaning chemicals to the crud out of this old tank, when an unrusted galvy tank might be better in the long run.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos
I'm just a little leery of being pennywise and pound foolish. I can easily see myself spending $80 in cleaning chemicals to the crud out of this old tank, when an unrusted galvy tank might be better in the long run.
Ed, and after you are finished smelling those chemicals, how are you going to dispose of them? Factor that into the equation.
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