View Full Version : Gas tank coating removal

11-03-2006, 03:38 PM
Does anyone have advice as to how to remove the thick epoxy
coating on my gas tank? I want to strip it and am having no luck.
The local radiator shop, which (supposedly) also renews gastanks, had the tank for quite awhile, but informed me today that they couldn't remove the coating; I'm not sure what they tried, I think some sort of media blasting. Don't know where to go from here,
the tank appears solid and the shop told me it was well sealed with no holes. There appears however, to be rust under the coating so I do want to strip it and recoat. In that regard, what is the best type of coating/paint, assuming I can get it stripped.....Tks

11-03-2006, 09:00 PM
Valleyguy. You might try carburetor cleaner. The kind you but in gallon cans, not the spray stuff. I know it cleaned the crud out
of the gas tank I used when I built my wife's street rod, and then I
coated it with the stuff I bought from J C Whitney. I can't say
this will work, but the next thing might be dynamite.

James K. Clark
East Tenn.
'55 Stude Prez. 2dr hardtop
Don't take yourself too seriously!

James K. Clark

11-03-2006, 10:58 PM
Have you tried Aircraft Remover?

Brad Johnson
Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
33 Rockne 10
51 Commander Starlight
53 Commander Starlight
previously: 63 Cruiser, 62 Regal VI, 60 VI convertible, 50 LandCruiser

John Ratliff
11-03-2006, 11:15 PM
I remember in the 60s I was working for a auto parts whse in S.F. One of the young kids was working there and he thought he would use some of the new tools over a weekend. Well he got grease and crud all over them so he just droped them in a 1gal bucket of carb cleaner on Sun. morning. When we came in on Mon. morning he thought he would just wipe off the tools and put them back in stock. Didn't work. Every thing with rubber or plastic on it when it went in didn't have any when it came out. [:I] He was'nt working there any more.

'56 Power Hawk

11-04-2006, 08:06 AM
Yes I tried aircraft remover but it had no efect. This stuff is
realy tough with a texture almost like undercoating. I'll try a
small sample of carb cleaner to see what happens... Wonder if a
propane torch will do the trick, any thoughts? (no, there are no gas fumes or gas residue left in the tank).

11-04-2006, 11:14 AM
Please reconsider the torch idea, you could be (unpleasantly) surprised to find enough vapors remain to ignite-BTDT. A heat gun would be a safer, having no open flame. My cars are not show quality, so I would be inclined to encapsulate the undercoating and the junk under it with more undercoating, paint, pour15, or some like product.

Riverside, Ca.
1957 Provincial X2
1958 Transtar
1963 Lark. F.S.

11-04-2006, 01:49 PM
Recently I was working on the sending unit on a full tank of gas. While the sending unit was out some gasoline overflowed onto the undercoated tank. I noitced it when I thought I had an oil leak under the tank when the gas apprently disolved some of the undercoating and it ran off the tank onto the flor. I believe most of the undercoatings are petroleum based.
Of course with media blasting and other stuff, I have found that a course wire wheel in a drill will eventually get it off along with a scraper, but it would be a lot of work.


11-04-2006, 04:14 PM
Point taken about the torch; I was mostly talking tongue-in-cheek about the torch, sort of a last resort right before dynamite.
I did put on a thick layer of another brand of paint stripper,
and after a little while some of the coating did come loose.
I have been working a wire wheel in my drill also, and it is slowly
coming off, so thanks for that tip as well. Interestingly, the
to side of the tank, which I am working on, appears to have rust over the entire surface, but the underside (which I havn't even touched yet), doesn't show any rust in the few places where the ocating is worn through- just clean metal... You would think just the opposite would occur. Anyway, I probably should have taken the advice about POR and just painted over, but I have this thing about rust... Thanks for all the help.

11-04-2006, 06:46 PM
Easy way out would be to finder another gas tank ( if possible )[?]


11-04-2006, 07:57 PM
Eastwood sells an Undercoating Remover. I have not personally tried it, but thought it might work for you.

Mike with Speedster

11-04-2006, 08:02 PM
Unlikely, since tanks are scarce; and junking one because it has too much stuff on it would be contrary to our goals.

52 Ragtop
11-05-2006, 11:38 AM
Best way i to take it to your local reddi strip, they will dip it and that will clean it inside and out, you'll get a perfectly clean gas tank back. But, be sure to coat the insideto help prevent rust. I use Red Kote form a radiator shop. It's about $20 a quart.

Jim Turner

11-06-2006, 08:14 AM
I did try to locate another tank first but the only one i
could find would have been $250 plus shiping; also there are
no local gas tank-renu shops near me, the closest being the
D.c. area and they quoted me a price of $250-400. so you
can see why i am trying the stipping process myself. I now
have about 90% of the coating off - working my buns off
with TAlstrip brand remover, wire brush and various scrapers. But,
I'm getting there.....Thanks for all your help.

11-06-2006, 08:37 AM
Rockne 10, My goal is to make my Stude as nice as I can. The tank has been coated once and he still has a rust problem. If he doesn't get all the rust this time he will probably need a tank sometime done the road anyway. I myself don't like to play around because a gas leak could cause a fire! This is just my view and I hope I don't offend anyone.


11-06-2006, 04:15 PM
If you do try to warm it up with a propane torch, you will be safe from explosions if you fill the tank to the very top with water. Do this at your own risk, though.

Anyway, I removed the undercoating stuff from my tank with a very sharp 3/4" chisel, very gradually. Then I prepped it and painted with POR-15. A good couple of days work.

http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
[i]The Red-Headed Amazon
Deep in the heart of Texas

11-19-2006, 06:54 AM
I might suggest to send the tank to Carolina Chem-Strip of Alamance and get it dipped. It will clean the whole tank down to the bare metal. Any rust will be chemically removed along with anything that isn't suppose to be there. I had my tank dipped, and it came out looking like a brand new tank. Cost $110.00
Carolina Chem-Strip of Alamance
348 MacArthur Lane (P.O. Box 4267)
Burlington, N.C. 27217


You might consider to get it treated with a rust preventive if you go this route to keep it from rusting while it is in transit back to you. I had a POR15 distributor seal the tank and finish it where it will never rust again, inside or outside. A local fella in case you want that treatment. Gary Chrisman 336-449-5407 or 336-449-6108

Don Dodson