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  • No earth shattering Kaboom !

    I oxy cut the tops off the rivets on the rusted cross member under the M5 this afternoon, the one right next to the fuel tank. Many, many wet rags were used, and a very enthusiactic helper with the hose, (when I'd say hose it after a cut I'd cop a soaking as well). So apart from a few minor burns from dropping hotties, no earth shattering Kaboom, as Marvin the Martian would say. (and before you ask - to remove the tank on an M5 you either have to remove the cab, or the gearbox, so it wasn't an option I entertained).

    Hopefully this will end the Studebaker bad luck hoodoo that hit Matthew and Kmac350.
    Last edited by Aussie Hawk; 03-15-2012, 02:18 AM.
    Matt
    Brisbane
    Australia
    sigpic

    Visit my Blog: http://www.mattsoilyrag.blogspot.com.au/

  • #2
    Good on ya, Matt - keep those bad vibes away! (and be careful as well)

    Would love to see a pic of the Valiant - friend I had in high school in SA had a similar Ute that his father used on their orange block. And with the tray top on it the tyres would go up in smoke pretty easy...

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    • #3
      I saw (from a great distance) a guy who did some welding on a gas tank after first dumping about 1 lb of dry ice in it. I don't think I would ever try that but he said he said he'd been doing it that way for many years and never had one blow up. Might try it if I had to weld NEAR a gas tank and had no choice though.

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      • #4
        It's funny in retrospect, but I watched (from a distance, thank you) as a guy tried to fix a leaky tank from a '32 Caddy years ago. He filled it with water before applying the torch flame. But in the course of moving the tank this way and that, a small pocket of air (vapor) developed. >POW!< He didn't suffer physical damage, but he didn't, thereafter, argue with sending the tank out for professional repairs either.
        No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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        • #5
          I have welded on water-filled gas tanks on several occasions. The thing to do is, when possible, to ignite the gas pocket deliberately from time to time, as the heat of welding drives more gases out. It's not scary at all when you are expecting it....
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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          • #6
            I saw the remains of Van Nuys Radiator after they were welding on a water filled gas tank. Not sure how it happened but there were obviously fumes trapped somewhere. Blew the windows out and unfortunetly killed the owner and injured his helper. I vowed to never weld on a gas tank, ever. I send them out. Call me chicken but I'm still in one piece.
            Dan

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            • #7
              I spoke too soon about ending the Studebaker HooDoo, hopefully the 'Law of Threes' comes into force and it ends with me. Although I didn't blow myself up by oxy cutting so close to the M5's fuel tank, some of the water my enthusiastic assistant used to circumvent any possible fire ended up in my right ear, result - ear infection. Visited the Emergency Dept of the local Hospital early Saturday morning with a throbbing ear and shitty disposition. It's Sunday 3 pm now, ear still throbbing despite antibiotic ear drops despensed by the Hospital - Disposition calmed a little by self prescribed scotch whiskey. Got the rear brakes rebuilt on the M5 - supporting enthusiasm was a struggle, but got it done. Makes me realise we take our health for granted, (well I do anyway).

              Hope you all had a good weekend, Studebakering or other pursuits.
              Matt
              Brisbane
              Australia
              sigpic

              Visit my Blog: http://www.mattsoilyrag.blogspot.com.au/

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              • #8
                A brief chemistry lesson about welding on a gas tank. Combustion/explosion requires two elements, fuel and oxygen. Fuel is available in the form of vapor even if the tank is drained. When welding heat is applied fumes are driven from the metal to resupply a hazardous mix. Water is H20 so is useless in depriving the O portion of the equation as the O in H20 will mix with the gas fumes and explode. I survived my first try and did not do it again. By the way, diesel may make a greater boom than gasoline if the temp is raised to the right degree, more BTU's, you see.

                The safe way to weld a gas tank is to insert a hose into the tank and connect the other end to the exhaust pipe of an idling engine. Have two openings in the tank so that the exhaust may enter one and leave from the other. That other opening might be the gauge orifice or a return line tap. Run the engine until you see exhaust exiting the tank, (put a squirt of oil in the carb if the exhaust is invisible). Two things make this a safe proceedure. The exhaust is carbon monoxide, the O has been removed by the combustion in the engine and C0 is heavier than air so that it settles into the lowest part of the tank forcing the air out. When exhaust is visibly exiting the upper level of the tank the air and thus the O has been purged. There may be gas fumes remaining in the tank but the other element of combustion is absent.
                Keep the exhaust flowing thru the tank while welding to keep any air from seeping in. Guaranteed to work.

                During WW2 the gasoline supplied to most of our troops in the Pacific was shipped in steel 55 gal drums. Those that were damaged and leaked needed to be repaired before returning for refilling. My friend's job was to oxy weld these potential bombs but with the aid of a Jeep to supply exhaust and a flex hose he was safe. He would remove both bungs and lay the barrell on its side inserting the hose in the lower bung hole and wait until the exhaust exited from the upper hole and weld away. We have tested this, (from a distance first), on junk gas tanks and never could get a pop from them. So if you ever are in a situation where welding on or next to a tank is required inject C0 and be safe. This will work with a partially filled tank as the gasoline refuses to ignite without the O. Good luck, be careful.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aussie Hawk View Post
                  I spoke too soon about ending the Studebaker HooDoo, hopefully the 'Law of Threes' comes into force and it ends with me. Although I didn't blow myself up by oxy cutting so close to the M5's fuel tank, some of the water my enthusiastic assistant used to circumvent any possible fire ended up in my right ear, result - ear infection. Visited the Emergency Dept of the local Hospital early Saturday morning with a throbbing ear and shitty disposition. It's Sunday 3 pm now, ear still throbbing despite antibiotic ear drops despensed by the Hospital - Disposition calmed a little by self prescribed scotch whiskey. Got the rear brakes rebuilt on the M5 - supporting enthusiasm was a struggle, but got it done. Makes me realise we take our health for granted, (well I do anyway).

                  Hope you all had a good weekend, Studebakering or other pursuits.
                  Excellent choice of medication. Always seems to help.

                  Chris.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Matt, I am really sorry for your ear infection. When I was a kid I surfed every day and after a few months I got water in my inner ear so bad I had to have tubes put in my to drain them. I would wake up with a puddle of salt water on my pillow, and it wasn't drool. It left me with 2 hard lumps under my chin next to my throat that were hard deposits of salt and sand that had to be broken up with antibiotic injections right into them....no fun. Yet another chapter in my novel of idiocracy.

                    Get well and post some pics of the cross member Matt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Boy, I'd like to take issue with the use of vehicle exhaust to purge tanks for welding. In an ideal world, it works, but not for the reasons given by Studer 35. Carbon monoxide is itself a combustible gas, and will ignite and burn readiy. It was a major constituent of "producer gas" or "town gas", which, back in the days before plentiful natural gas, was manufactured by reacting steam with with burning coal, and sent by pipes through cities for lighting and for heating and cookstoves. Back in the first half of the 20th Century, it was not uncommon to hear of somebody committing suicide by placing their head in a gas oven, and turning on the gas, un-lit. City gas plants would have big cylindrical structures, called gasometers, that stored the manufactured gas as a big bubble under a "can" floating in water. The one in Vancouver, B.C. hung around until the mid-1950's, because I remember seeing it. It was a big deal there when natural gas was first piped in.

                      Secondly, a properly-tuned vehicle emits very little CO. Some, and enough to kill you if you idle it in a closed garage for a spell, but it's not a major constituent of vehicle exhaust. Biggest will be nitrogen from the air the engine took in; it doesn't go away, as it's non-combustible. Next would be water vapor, followed closely by CO2, both also non-combustible. What remains are trace amounts of unburned fuel, and unconsumed oxygen, plus trace amounts of carbon monoxide. If the vehicle has a catalytic converter, neither the CO or the unburned fuel should make it past the cat. But unconsumed oxygen will.

                      The explosive range of gasoline vapor in air is usually given as 1.4 to 7.6 percent by volume. Flood the tank with enough air, steam or engine exhaust to push the concentration well below 1.4%, and you should be OK. Or fill the tank completely with fuel, except for the bubble of vapor where you weld...trouble is, the welding process may introduce air.

                      My concern with the use of air, or steam, or engine exhaust for purging a tank is that if something goes wrong with the purging process, you could wind up with an entire tank filled with an explosive mixture, which is indeed enough to kill the welder and anyone nearby. If you fill the tank with water, except for the smallest possible bubble to permit the welding, you are guaranteed to create an explosive mixture, but in such a small quantity that its explosion won't rupture the tank. I like to have one of the tank's existing openings share the bubble, so that fumes created can vent out, and be safely ignited.

                      Also, before you start, ask yourself if it must be welded at all. If all you have is a pinhole from rust in the bottom of an otherwise-sound tank, or if the soldered-in outlet tube on a Studebaker tank has come loose, then the best repair is to clean the metal well chemically, or by hand sanding (no grinders!), and then soldering using a big soldering iron and flux-core solder. I have an old two-pound soldering copper that you heat up with a torch, at a place remote from the tank, and carry hot to the job. If the metal has been properly cleaned, it gets the job done, and no risk of ignition at all.
                      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                      • #12
                        The jeeps of WW2 didn't have cat converters so that was not a consideration. The reason people die of 'carbon monoxide' is that they suffocate, because there is not enough oxygen to sustain life. Picture a GI in dungarees and no shirt, smoking a cigarette, sitting astride a gasoline drum and welding it with oxy/acet and that was my friends job. If you cannot monitor a hose carrying exhaust from an engine to the tank to be welded, so that it keeps functioning, then leave welding, driving, and other tough tasks to someone else.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aussie Hawk View Post
                          I oxy cut the tops off the rivets on the rusted cross member under the M5 this afternoon, the one right next to the fuel tank. Many, many wet rags were used, and a very enthusiactic helper with the hose, (when I'd say hose it after a cut I'd cop a soaking as well). So apart from a few minor burns from dropping hotties, no earth shattering Kaboom, as Marvin the Martian would say. (and before you ask - to remove the tank on an M5 you either have to remove the cab, or the gearbox, so it wasn't an option I entertained).

                          Hopefully this will end the Studebaker bad luck hoodoo that hit Matthew and Kmac350.
                          Maybe you should have used an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator!
                          Chip
                          '63 Cruiser
                          '57 Packard wagon
                          '61 Lark Regal 4 dr wagon
                          '50 Commander 4 dr sedan

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                          • #14
                            When we had a 1973 Ford Torino station wagon I noticed and could smell a small gas leak adjacent to a tank support strap. My friend who had a gas station/auto repair service fixed it and I think an electric welder was involved as I recall. I'm not sure as I didn't want to be there when he did it and stayed outside until the procedure was completed. Whatever he did worked.
                            Last edited by Bob Bryant; 03-19-2012, 08:52 PM.
                            "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

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