Cleaning a gas tank in California?

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BuddyTheRoadster
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Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:49 pm

I’m pulling my roadster out of mothballs. The last time I saw it, the carburetor had varnished up, and I’m expecting the gas tank to be similar. Is there an effective cleaning solution I can do at home? I know MEK worked, but it’s illegal in my state. Any suggestions are appreciated.


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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by tdump » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:55 pm

Boiling a grundy carb in water and soap has broke free gumy fuel for me but for the gas tank,I don't know how you would boil something that big to get the grundge to melt or run out. In all honesty,for the tank,may just as well buy a new 1 and sell the old 1 at a swap meet to someone that can get stuff to clean it with to make up some of the cost of the new 1.
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by AndyClary » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:21 pm

A good radiator shop can clean your tank. Unless it is a 26-27 a new tank could be cheaper.

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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:50 pm

I know MEK worked, but it’s illegal in my state.

Are you sure? Three different paint stores told me lacquer thinner is illegal in California. I bought it at Home Depot.
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BuddyTheRoadster
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Sadly yep. Lacquer thinner, paint thinner, and acetone are available. (They’re not what they used to be, but that’s usually the case with chemicals.) MEK, tuolene, xylene, and surprisingly denatured alcohol are pretty much illegal to sell in out here.

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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:26 pm

My favorite chemical ban was in the Central Valley town where the city fathers passed an ordinance against deadly hydrogen dioxide — H₂O. :D
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:21 pm

Yeah, well. Apparently carbon was found to be carcinogenic. So now, burnt toast, diamonds, and organic chemistry are dangerous to your health. :lol:

Anyway, I was hoping someone had an effective homebrew solution. I’ll get the car from storage tonight and go from there.


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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:30 pm

it is very difficult to beat this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/POR-15-40101-Cle ... NrPXRydWU=

I would purchase the whole gallon and when using it, not be in a hurry for it to work. When sealing gas tanks, I give both this, as well as the metal prep (which you do not need if the tank has no rust) each a day to work, all the while slowly turning the tank a little bit each hour.

The POR gas tank kit is absolutely wonderful if your tank leaks, though I always buy and use extra cleaner and extra metal prep.
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Oldav8tor » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:43 pm

I'm with Scott. I used a PQR-15 kit to remove varnish, rust and coat the inside of my 10 gallon round tank. I also used the metal prep to de-gunk my gascolator. I haven't used it on a carb but don't see why it wouldn't work. Just follow the instructions and you'll be happy with the result.
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by perry kete » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:52 pm

White vinegar is a mild acid and I use it as a cleaner on many items but I never tried it on gasoline varnish.. I wonder if you let it soak in white vinegar for a while if it would loosen the varnish for you.
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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by lesvonnordheim » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:39 pm

Go to an Automotive paint and body shop supply store in Calif. and ask for "Paint Gun Wash". It's available in 5 gal. containers and it works like Lacquer thinner.

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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:04 am

Internet searching
the "Goof-off" product (be careful around paint & plastic) sold in CA
from earth911.com
Vinegar
Heavy-duty varnish remover, soap-scum and rust hero, sunburn soother
We could write one vinegar tip a day for the whole year and still have leftover uses! According to Heinz, a whopping 90 percent of American household buy vinegar, so we’ll assume you can find a bottle tucked away somewhere in your kitchen.
Vinegar’s natural acidic content makes it an ideal solvent and stubborn stain cleaner. With a little elbow grease and a sponge, you can wipe away hard-water and mildew stains in your shower – that’s a major breath of fresh air compared to bleach-based multipurpose cleaners.
As proof of its power, vinegar can tackle even the toughest of substances: varnish. One blogger used a 50-50 mix of warm water and white vinegar to strip the varnish from his hardwood floors. With a set time of just half an hour, the old glue easily peeled away with a basic floor scraper.
While it’s tough on stains, vinegar is gentle on the skin. The Vinegar Institute recommends using white distilled or cider vinegar to relieve a nasty sunburn. You can also add two tablespoons to bathwater to soothe dry, itchy skin.

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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Mark Nunn » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:40 am

TRDxB2 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:04 am
Internet searching
the "Goof-off" product (be careful around paint & plastic) sold in CA
from earth911.com
Vinegar
Heavy-duty varnish remover, soap-scum and rust hero, sunburn soother
We could write one vinegar tip a day for the whole year and still have leftover uses! According to Heinz, a whopping 90 percent of American household buy vinegar, so we’ll assume you can find a bottle tucked away somewhere in your kitchen.
Vinegar’s natural acidic content makes it an ideal solvent and stubborn stain cleaner. With a little elbow grease and a sponge, you can wipe away hard-water and mildew stains in your shower – that’s a major breath of fresh air compared to bleach-based multipurpose cleaners.
As proof of its power, vinegar can tackle even the toughest of substances: varnish. One blogger used a 50-50 mix of warm water and white vinegar to strip the varnish from his hardwood floors. With a set time of just half an hour, the old glue easily peeled away with a basic floor scraper.
While it’s tough on stains, vinegar is gentle on the skin. The Vinegar Institute recommends using white distilled or cider vinegar to relieve a nasty sunburn. You can also add two tablespoons to bathwater to soothe dry, itchy skin.

...and you can wash your old barn cat in vinegar to remove the smell after he catches a skunk. Just wear gauntlets when doing so to prevent a trip to the emergency room. Trust me.


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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by Original Smith » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:17 am

I used carburetor cleaner years ago. I put in a handful of CLEAN pea gravel and tossed it around. That worked for over 50 years until I got a bad tank of gas a couple of years ago. I took the tank to a local radiator shop to have it cleaned out, and here is where I made my mistake. Don't assume the radiator shop will get it 100% clean. I should have put cleaner in the tank after I got it back and flushed it several times to make sure there was nothing left. I'm now using a fuel filter, and changing it every hundred miles until there is no more evidence of crud. The last filter completely plugged up, and wouldn't allow the car to run.

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Re: Cleaning a gas tank in California?

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:58 pm

I had a nice oval tank that had a distinct rattle. Was told it was likely a rusted out tank baffle. There have been a few threads about the baffle that should be on the underside of the gas cap. Mine was gone so maybe that was the cause. I shook the heck out of it and pulled out a few wasp nests. Even so that didn't get one stubborn one and given the size of what I got out it must have been really big (the biggest piece is thumb size). :idea: Vinegar is used to expose fossils in lime stone. So I tried pouring some vinegar in the tank and position it to dissolve the remaining nest (some of what is in the white dish). Flushed the tank with hydrogen dioxide — H₂O to get the remaining grit out. And repeated the vinegar wash for any rust. It did such a good job dissolving rust, it opened up two small pin holes on the wasp end of the tank from the inside!
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