View Full Version : Need Help with Cleaning Champion Gas Tank

07-09-2012, 10:59 PM
Any of you STUDEBAKER nuts know how to clean a fuel tank with rust in it?

Doug M
07-09-2012, 11:20 PM
I have put a hand full of small rocks in fuel tanks and shack it around it will break loose any flaking rust then clean them out if tank is still solid there are sealer for tanks if need be other may have a better idea

07-10-2012, 06:23 AM

You might want to do a little www research on gas tank renewals. Restoration companies like Eastwood sell products to renew the inside of tanks - the cleaning part might be included in some.

Don't know about the small rocks (some rust might need some big rocks) but more often I have heard about people using a piece of chain to do all inside the tank work...

Good luck

cultural infidel
07-10-2012, 08:36 AM
We have a shop that is a customer of ours. They do tanks and radiators. They clean/dip/seal for a couple hundred bones. Going to go that route with the wagon.

55 56 PREZ 4D
07-10-2012, 12:01 PM
Drywall screws. The black phillip tip screws available at hardware stores. A couple of bucks.
The sharp edges dig in.
Shake, rattle and roll. That gets the crusty stuff.
Acetone or a carb cleaner gets the yucky stuff. Another couple of bucks.
Maybe another round of drywall screws to make sure.
Now, this part is my idea and I don't know if it would work, I haven't tried it.
IF the tank does not have rust holes that need to be sealed.
You would want to protect the tank from further rust.
I understand that the original tanks were made from galvanized steel which protected from rust.
There are rust removers out there that both remove rust AND leave a phosphate coating that protects from rust.
They all contain phosphoric acid. OSPRO, PICKLEX, and others. 15 or 20 bucks.
Seems to me that a long soak, shake, rattle and roll with one of these would leave a protective coating.
I don't know if there would be any problem with the gas reacting to the phosphate coating ?
Has anyone tried this ?

07-10-2012, 02:07 PM
I would check to see if you have any radiator repair shops in your area. They are getting harder to find, but a place by me cleaned and sealed the tank for $100.

07-10-2012, 02:19 PM
I found an outfit called Strip Rite in Union Grove, Wisconsin. find one near you cost me $70. Tank look new after they were done.

Bo Markham
07-10-2012, 02:25 PM
Any of you STUDEBAKER nuts know how to clean a fuel tank with rust in it?

Foz to clean rusty metal. Will leave a rust inhibitive coating on the inside of tank. Acetone to clean varnish from dryed old gas.

07-10-2012, 02:55 PM
i used por-15 products on the avanti gas tank after cleaning with acetone:


was very pleased with the outcome. :)

07-10-2012, 10:46 PM
After I drained the tank on a friend's '47, I put a handful of shale type rocks, about 1"-2" in size, then I shook and tmbled for aobut 20 minutes. Then I removed the rocks, and "poured" out about 1/2 cup of rust flakes. I then blew and vaccumed the tank good, then used POR 15 gas tank sealer kit. (It was amazing how much orangeish crud comes out during the chemical cleaning process!) Anyway, the sealer set up real nice and I am happy with the results.

Da Tinman
07-11-2012, 01:37 AM

Don't know about the small rocks (some rust might need some big rocks) but more often I have heard about people using a piece of chain to do all inside the tank work...

Good luck

Chain isnt a good idea, my friend put a chain in his tank thru the sender unit opening, strapped it into the rear wheel on his tractor and plowed a field. When he opened it up to get the chain out,,,,, it had tied itself in a knot and he ended up cutting the tank open to get it back out.

Rocks or screws are much better.

07-13-2012, 08:55 AM
Does anyone know of a radiator shop near me. My zip is 65109.

07-13-2012, 02:15 PM
My ex neighbor had a Jag XK140 and cleaned(?) and treated the inside of his gas tank.. He had to unstick and clean the 3 SU carbs and pull the head and clean it after cranking her up.. What a mess, what a mess!!

07-13-2012, 02:59 PM
Gas Tank ReNu, period:

http://gastankrenu.com/ (http://gastankrenu.com/)

'No other way to go; have them do it once and it's guaranteed for as long as you own the car. You can find a dealer near you or ship it. This is not cheap but it is perfect.

07-13-2012, 07:37 PM
1 rusty gas tank
Get about 1' of old log chain, some rocks, screws, nuts and bolts and any other small objects laying around the shop. Add some mineral spirits and seal off the tank. Attach tank to a pipe and make a way to turn it (like a hog roaster). Turn it for about two hours, drain it into a barrel and let the empty tank sit in the sun for a few hours. May want to have some sealer added to it. Had to do this to Ely when I first got him roadworthy.

07-13-2012, 10:49 PM
I cleaned a tank on a car that was in storage since 1978, parked with a full tank....now about half.....

Dumped the varnish out, added three gallons of acetone....let it dissolve the gum...waited a day, turning it every few hours.....dumped that, did the Muratic acid.....put it back in, added a glass filter with a changeable or washable element at every rubber joint, before and after the fuel pump....now the car runs good, still have to rinse off the filter near the tank...but only every so often....

07-15-2012, 04:03 PM
In cleaning out old motorcycle gas tanks, my media of choice has been a tube of BBs. They're smaller and cleaner than rocks and junk laying around the shop. I do like the drywall screw idea, may mix some in with the BBs next time.