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Thread: Gas Tank Coating Removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    777

    Default Gas Tank Coating Removal

    When I received the gas tanks for my '47 FL they were internally coated with a red (supposedly) protective coating. I hate this stuff, but I decided to leave it on and hope for the best (yes, I was lazy). Now, apparently the pass-over line gets clogged and the bike runs on the left tank only. I haven't disassembled the tanks yet nad he carburetor strainer is clean, but I'm fairly certain that the coating is flaking off and causing the clog.

    Does anyone know a safe and effective way to remove this internal coating?

    Thanks...
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,496

    Default

    Bill!

    I would try blowing out the line first, before going to a lot of trouble. It might be something else.
    A turkey baster with a vinyl tubing extention worked for me. (It was a mayfly exoskeleton.)

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    25

    Default

    There are hundreds of posts on various sites discussing this issue. I had the same problem with my 42WLA. Constant clogging of filters and carb jests as the crap flaked of the interior of the tank. I did not, nor do I intend on re-lining.

    The options I found were:

    1. Cut the tank, blast and re weld. You just can't blast inside all the nooks and crannies with a conventional blast gun unless you cut the tank. I'd hate to destroy an original tank by cutting, but this will be the best way to clean 100%. I did not chose this option.
    2. Insert some abrasives (rocks, nuts, bolts) and tumble for a while knocking off all the old crud. (will damage the areas inside where rust might have begun to eat away at the metal. might also pierce the tanks and make small dents) I don't know why people choose this option for an old tank.
    3. Hot tank like a radiator. I wanted to do this, but ALL of the radiator shops in my town of 50,000 have quit dipping tanks in the old style due to environmental issues. (This might be the best way, but I was not able to try it)
    4. Use a very caustic material like MEK, to eat away at the lining. This is the method I used and although it is not environmentally friendly and the fumes can be deadly if the procedures are not followed, this will literally eat all the crud out of the tank. I let mine sit and fume for about 5 days turning to make sure the MEK could work on all surfaces. I followed up with a rust remover after wards.

    Using option 4 I cleaned out my tank about 99%. I will let the NOS filter catch the rest. I ran the bike for several miles with a clear line and clear in-line filter just to see if anything was left. After about 80 miles, the clear in-line filter had no more crud. Now the problem is to keep the tank from rusting. Just keep it full and use a water remover like Stabil or sea foam. I also use AV gas in stead of auto gas.

    Others with more experience should weigh in on my comments. I have only done my one tank and read 100s of post about the subject, evaluating the merits and detractors based on all the comments and images posted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    I live in central Colorado
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I had the same problem with a tank coated with tank "Cream" of the 80's and 90's. Never had gas in it for 20 years. (plenty of time to cure) First tank full of gas and the stuff started coming off and it was a restored bike with an excellent paint job so I was really in a fix !! I did find a place in Calif that could dip it to strip the inside WITHOUT damaging the paint !! And it did work. BUT it cost over $350. to do it. If you want to spend this kind of money the place was called "Rusteco" I don't know if they still offer this service but it is worth checking out.
    best of luck Man, Travis The Nimbus Nut
    The Nimbus Nut

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    777

    Default

    Thanks to all for the above options.

    Cotton: I do plan to disassemble the fuel system and take a close look at, and evaluate the tank interiors before exercising my usual M.O. of slamming a mouse with a bazooka.

    17thairborne: I used to work in the bridge painting industry and have a full 5-gallon pail of MEK, but I'm reluctant to use it because of the damage that the fumes may cause to the paint, even with the caps installed. While I know that a re-painting is a distinct possibility, I'm certainly trying to avoid it. Were you able to MEK-treat your tanks and not damage the paint?
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    428

    Default

    I used paint remover very carefully poured in with TAPE surrounding the gas cap area. Shook it around with a piece of chain, nuts, bolts to help. It worked... and I did not ruin my paint. I was extremely careful. GOOD LUCK!!
    Jim

    AMCA #6520

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,496

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 17thairborne View Post
    ...I also use AV gas in stead of auto gas...
    That's great, 17thairborne!

    If one only rides in a circle around a friendly airport.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Actually Cotten I did that for a living in an A-10. Av gas has lead which helps a lot.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 17thairborne View Post
    Actually Cotten I did that for a living in an A-10. Av gas has lead which helps a lot.

    Cheers
    So... .. ...

    What good does that do the daily rider, for whom it would actually be prohibited?

    Some of us like to travel.

    ...Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Cotten,

    I'm not a daily rider, and I don't worry about every government regulation. It's use due to the lead content, less tendency to build lacquer makes it better than the crap that is put in most blends today. I can't remember when anyone opened my fuel cap to see what color my blended gas was.

    Not much in our live isn't prohibited today.

    Anyway, sorry that this thread has gotten off track somewhere.
    Last edited by 17thairborne; 07-07-2016 at 11:58 PM.

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