View Full Version : Fuel System: How to store a gas tank?

09-27-2012, 07:31 PM
I just reinstalled the gas tank on my '64 Cruiser. It had been leaking fuel from a small hole on the bottom. A local radiator shop brazed the hole shut. The remainder of the inside of the tank looked like new. I sloshed some PPG Metal Cleaner DX579-01 around inside the tank to get rid of the surface rust that formed after the shop pressure tested the tank in a water tank. It was completely dry inside by the time I installed the tank on the Cruiser. The car is on blocks until I have time to strip the paint, repair rusted areas and repaint it. I don't know whether to leave the fuel tank empty or fill it with gas and add some fuel stabilizer. Our climate is pretty dry and soon everything will be frozen until next April. Anyone have any experience one way or the other?

09-27-2012, 07:56 PM
I always heard that you should either keep a gas tank full, or you should keep it empty for storage. It seems that the corrosion occurs at the edge where the fuel meets the steel, so if you leave it full, the line is way up at the top and not much condensate forms there, and if it is empty, the condensate evaporates before it gets a chance to corrode the steel.

Since you just had the tank cleaned, maybe this would be a good time to treat the inside of the tank with a preservative? POR15 has a nice product, so does Eastwood, and a few others. But since you have it clean and corrosion free, now would be the time.

09-27-2012, 08:06 PM
If it's empty and clean inside, don't mess with it. Leave it empty and clean until you use the car after the paint job. You never know how long the car will be off the road, and how long that funky gas (it will get funky) will be in the tank.

09-27-2012, 09:01 PM
How about getting some dessicant packets and then sealing them along with the tank in a bag. A friend stores his lesser used antique cars that way and just bakes the dessicant in the middle of winter to re-dry it. He says he has been reusing the dessicant over and over and the cars are staying preserved as if they were in AZ.

09-27-2012, 10:21 PM
I put my NOS tank in a vacuum bag the kind you suck down with a vacuum cleaner for 2 years and it was just like new when I installed it.

09-27-2012, 11:20 PM
Thank you everyone! I appreciate the response. I thought about just hanging it in the shed with the opening sealed and, if I had done that, the desiccant packets would have been a good addition. However, the tank is back on the car and I really do not want to take it off again. I put it back on the car because I don't want to end up with a car that has a lot of pieces missing. It is a mental thing :) I am more likely to fix it some day if I leave it intact. It is so easy to "borrow" from one to fix another, like the solid state voltage regulator I removed to put on the other Cruiser that I am driving (I have two new regulators on the way). So, I will take RadioRoy's advice and just leave the tank empty. As dry and cold as our climate is, I think it will be okay. ~ Dale

09-28-2012, 09:18 AM
Off the wall idea...

What if you filled it with diesel fuel? Obviously needs to be drained before putting gasoline in it again. I dont think diesel goes "bad" does it (I know I have heard of it possibly getting mold? it it though...).... OR, how about kerosene. Idea being put something sort of oily in there that does not turn to goo for a considerable while (couple of years or more).

09-28-2012, 03:56 PM
I doubt you will have a problem with the tank rusting when it's zero humidity due to winter sub-zero temperatures. However, you could take the dessicant packages and tie them to a string to drop down the filler neck. You just pull on the string when you want to retrive them to dry them out again.

Just a thought...

09-28-2012, 04:28 PM
From the FWIW Dept...

For decades, we 'Fogged' the inside of all fuel tanks built for service and the inside of fuel tanks on vehicles destined for long term storage with Nox-Rust (or the Mil-Spec equivalent thereof).

09-29-2012, 03:00 PM
Thanks for the tip. I looked up this product online and it is quite impressive. I don't know how I'd apply it, though, especially now that the tank is on the car.