Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

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retrovan
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Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:17 pm

Hi Guys,
Had a problem with the Fastback fuel tank that started to rust again after cleaning it out, when restored since its long rest under a tree in Bloemfontein.

The prospect of splitting the tank and reworking it, did not Gel with me, as it would seem that the joint will start rusting again, or even worse, leaking.

So I opted for the DIY rout, so that I can be in control of the quality of the job, after all, this is not something you want to have happen every few years.

So Here is what I done,

Removed tank from Fastback, and removed all fittings, and senders so that the tank is bear.
Now I also removed the beetle tank, as it also re started rusting, (checked it when I found the Fastback tank had rusted) and I will explain why I am going to do both at the same time later.

My friendly local Electro Plating Firm took my tanks into their de-rusting tanks, and left them there over night.
R30 later they where totally de-rusted and rinsed out with clean water, neutralised, and clean.

I then when to my local Braemer Paints store and got me
Two, one litre tins of Sigmaguard 720 Neutral Base epoxy,
Two 250 ml tins of Sigmaguard 720 Hardener (grey)
One Litre tin of Sigma 91-92 epoxy thinners
Total cost R396.00 ex vat.

Returning home I placed half the thinners into the 1st tank and rinsed it out fully.
Then transferred the thinners to the 2nd tank, and did the same.
Stored this thinners from the tanks, to clean the brushes.

Now the reason for doing both tanks at the same time.....Well it takes one litre of epoxy to do TWO coats on one tank, and you can not store the epoxy once you mixed it, so you need to do two tanks OR half the epoxy and hardener before you start.
Now as you can get the mixing incorrect, when you half the epoxy, I decided to do it this way.

I taped up all openings with masking tape, except the filler hole one.
Mixed the epoxy, hardener, and thinners to a usable fluid thickness, as you need it to flow around the tank with ease.
poured it into the tank, and taped up the filler hole as well.
Now I slowly rotated the tank for a long time so that the epoxy will coat the inside evenly and build up a few layers.

Opened the filler hole and transferred the remaining epoxy to the 2nd tank.
Did the same here.

opened the filler and drained the remaining epoxy from the tank. Used a brush and coated the outside with a layer.
Placed both tanks in the shade, so that the epoxy can harden from the inside and not form a crust, trapping the thinners.

Let the epoxy dry for 3 days, then repeated the coating process with the 2nd coat exactly as the 1st coat.

Now I let it dry in the shade again for 3 days, and then dried, and removed the fumes with a heat gun set on low, do not burn epoxy, into the filler neck, then placed in sun for a day just to make sure the epoxy has fully set.

Painted the outside with a nice Black spray paint, and refitted the tank as normal.

Hope this will save you some bucks and frustration, as you now will not have to push the car home with blocked fuel filter.

Herman

Edit, 15 January 2018, just to say that the tank is still as good as it was the day I did the re coating, Proof it works. :D
Last edited by retrovan on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:37 am, edited 3 times in total.


1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Barry » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:16 am

Thanks Herman

I've done pretty much the same thing using 3M™ Fuel Resistant Coatings EC-776

Works well and seems to be holding up. I have heard reports of tank sealers failing though. Time will tell
Barry

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:19 pm

The product is correct, the same as the one you used, both being FR epoxy coatings.

I am assured that the only reason for failure will be incorrect application, and to thin a coat.

So should I have got it right, the tank should be able to last indefinitely.
The thing I like about this system, is that it covers the joint as well, so, even if the tank has rust from outside, it should still hold fuel without leaking.

Here is hoping.

Will let you know if there are problems.

Thanks,

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Junior » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:44 pm

Thanks for that!!! I will do it to my DKW's scooters and beetle's some time :hangloose: :hangloose:
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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:47 pm

Junior wrote:Thanks for that!!! I will do it to my DKW's scooters and beetle's some time :hangloose: :hangloose:
As long as I get 1st dibs on the DKW scooter when you DO sell one............ :twisted:

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Junior » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:43 am

:mrgreen: I still drive the 69 to school every now and again lol
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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by riaanj » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:26 pm

Sweet, I need to do it too, my tank is a bit rusted on the inside.. Thanx!
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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:16 am

Hi Guys,

Some one asked me how to do the tank, so I just bumped up this thread so he can find it easy.

Hope it helps

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Terry Phillips » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Thanks for that Herman,my 60 has surface rust inside, I read somewhere a guy used a cement mixer he secured the tank to that and then put a handful of screws, bolts and nuts in it then switched the cement mixer on for 5 min, he then also done some sort of a treatment to the inside of the tank, so I think I will use the cement mixer as it wont be to physical on the body.

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by jolas » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:25 pm

I poured paraffin into the last tank I cleaned out and put in a short length of 6mm chain - you can also tie the tank to a roof truss in your garage or afdak (or whatever), and then shake the heck out of it if you are a 1 man band. Worked very well. Don't forget to remove the sender unit.
Pour the used paraffin from the tank into a white bucket, let the crud settle, then pour carefully back into the tank start the process again (clean the crud from the bucket), and repeat over and over again until no more crud and rust flakes, etc comes out of the tank and settles in the bucket.
by fig » Mar 26, 2018
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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:39 pm

Thats a great idea Paul.

The best way I have heard is as follows....

Invite all the kids in the family, Lots of bolts ,nuts, chains, lemon juice and vinegar. half fill tank with water, place inside a 210 lt drum with padding on the sides, then let the kids roll it around the driveway.

Just make sure it does not leak.

No personal effort at all...... :lol: :lol:

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Poppy62 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:31 pm

Hi Gang,
I need to do my tank, very rusty inside. I was wondering how your epoxy coatings have held up? Any issues with it peeling / softening / dissolving after a few years?
Thanks,
Mike

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:37 pm

Poppy62 wrote:Hi Gang,
I need to do my tank, very rusty inside. I was wondering how your epoxy coatings have held up? Any issues with it peeling / softening / dissolving after a few years?
Thanks,
Mike
Hi Mike,
The two tanks are still working perfect.

Inspect it every time before filling, and there is absolutely no damage, " peeling / softening / dissolving" of any kind, even checked the fuel level line, and there is no marking or discoloration at all.

No must say that this method if the answer to fixing tanks.

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by Jdt1976 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:14 pm

Will E Coating work or a rusted tank?

If not, will it be better to E Coat before sealing it with the epoxy?

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Re: Rusty Fuel Tank Refurbish -DIY

Post by retrovan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:09 pm

Jdt1976 wrote:Will E Coating work or a rusted tank?

If not, will it be better to E Coat before sealing it with the epoxy?
Getting e-coat into a tank is not easy, it is sold as a "go anywhere" coating but its not, thats why OEM's still electroplate body parts.

Best is, fill it up with soap water with some crusher stone, and shake the Sh*t out of it, empty and rinse, dry in the sun or use heat gun, make sure all water is out and follow the system above.

All tanks done like this are still running today. and some had holes in them from the rust before coating.

E-coat is a type of primer and not a chemical barrier. Even powder coating inside will desolve after time.

No, if you going to do it, do it right.

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc twin 34ICT's (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback (2Lt.type4)twin 34ICT's( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van (2Lt type 4)twin 34ICT's(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc twin 34ICT's(Aqua Blue/White)

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