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Gas tank cleaning

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  • Fuel System: Gas tank cleaning

    I have a '64 Hawk R1 car that sat for 35 years or so without the gas tank having been drained. (I have finally learned my lesson and have drained all my unused cars of their gas.) Anyway, this one had between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of solid gasoline residue in the bottom--no liquid. Dropping the tank on pavement loosened some of the hard, crusty stuff and I was able to dump that out. But, most of the crusty stuff remained. So, I turned the tank over to a radiator shop (Petie's Radiator in Waynesboro, VA). The owner had to go through numerous steps to clean it out over the course of a month+. But, amazingly, he got all the crusty stuff and minor rust out of it. He charged only $75, but I gave him $100 and still figured I got a very good deal. He suggested that I put some kerosene in it and slosh it around to prevent flash rust. And, I will add a fuel filter close to the gas tank.

    I don't necessarily have any questions, just wanted to pass along my experiences. And, put in a plug for Petie's.

    CORRECTION: After closer examination there is some rust in there, AND the outlet tube is plugged. That tube has kinks is it, so I was unable to "rod" it out using a coat hanger. I'll try a speedometer cable. I guess I should have realized that that tube would be plugged considering the amount of solidified gasoline that was in the bottom of the tank. The shop got all of that out, but I guess he had no way of getting it out of the outlet tube. My guess is that the outlet tube, inside the tank, goes up, then down to the bottom of the tank.
    Last edited by Dwight FitzSimons; 07-31-2020, 06:11 AM.

  • #2
    While you have it out, and before kerosene, you may want to give it a treatment of Red-kote.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


    • #3
      Just finished '49 Commander's gas tank. I cut a hole in the top and wire brushed and vacuumed and wire brushed and vacuumed for a week! The crud in there was unbelieveable! I brushed on POR-15 tank sealer after using their prep. Made new top from junk top and sealed with cork gasket. I really don't think you can clean up a crusty tank in your driveway. It possible a radiator shop could do it in a tank. I peeled the old sealer out of this tank; it was amazing how easily it came out. It only added another layer of crud and nasty clogging debris.