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Best way to remove rust from fuel tank

Discussion in 'Mowers and More' started by GBertolet, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. GBertolet

    GBertolet Well-Known OPE Member

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    I have an old roto tiller with a rusty metal fuel tank. I already tried Evaporust on it. It didn't do much. What is a good method of removing the rust? Also how clean is clean? Should the inside be all bare metal? There are no loose flakes of rust on the tank now. There is just a brown rust covering, with a slightly rough texture.
     
  2. Mike C.

    Mike C. Well-Known OPE Member

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    You won't get it to bare metal again,in my opinion/experience.I usually start with a handful of 3/8 nuts and shake the hell out of it or strap it to something that rotates.In other words,get as much of the loose crap off as possible,rinse-repeat if necessary.Then use Evaporust and let it soak for several days.Honestly,I've never seen anything that works any better than ER.Your only choice if you're still not satisfied is to coat the inside of the tank with the correct product of your choice.
     
  3. jcf86mod

    jcf86mod Well-Known OPE Member

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    Might sound left field, but I used apple Cider vinegar, and some clean round stones, and shook them all up for 10 odd minutes. Empty out, rinse and repeat. After 3 or 4 rounds of this, was clean as. Agree you'll never get it back to bare metal tho

    Can't remember who told me that, but it worked for me, and taught me never to leave a fuel tank empty for long periods again:)
     
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  4. nbb_

    nbb_ Well-Known OPE Member

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    Start like mentioned above with nuts or stones to remove any loose flakes, them I would try this stuff.
    20210118_150957[1].jpg I've had pretty good luck with the way it has done the rust clean. You will need to seal the cleaned surface after use.
     
  5. GBertolet

    GBertolet Well-Known OPE Member

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    I just filled the tank up with some 3/8" nuts, and shook the heck out of it for several minutes. The insides are real smooth now, still rust colored yet. The nuts really did a job. I put the used Evaporust back in, and put the tank near the woodstove. I think the warmth might help. I will see what it looks like tomorrow. If there is nothing happening, I will get some Krud Kutter and try that. Thanks for the good info.
     
  6. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Pinnacle OPE Member

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    A guy I know used this on an old tractor gas tank. There are many different brands and sizes.[​IMG]

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
     
  7. Only the Tony

    Only the Tony Hiding in the back of the class. GoldMember

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    Second on the Red-Kote. Used it on a diesel tractor tank years ago and still no leaks. Don't get it on you or anything you don't want it on. Got some on the jacket I was wearing and I wore out the jacket but not the drips.
     
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  8. Stevetheboatguy

    Stevetheboatguy mountain dew and ibuprofen please

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    Just did the 20gal diesel tank on my tractor. First thing is wash it with a degreaser and rinse it out. Seal up all the openings except for the fuel fill. Pour in enough muriatic acid to slosh around and then go to town tipping it and rolling it around. Check it out through the filler every once in a while. Add more acid if you loose any. When it's de rusted to your liking neutralize the acid with a base (baking soda) and flush it clean with warm water. It will flash rust but it won't effect the red kote if you apply it. And if your not going to red kote it. You can give it a mist or fog of wd40 to keep it from flash rusting.

    Gloves, cartridge type charcoal respirator and proper ppe are a must for this method. But it is the most effective way to get one clean if it cannot be dipped into a hot tank.


    Steven
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
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  9. ElevatorGuy

    ElevatorGuy What are you doing with the wood?

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    I think red kote is what my neighbor used on my generator fuel tank. E free fuel since that happened!
     
  10. mcginkleschmidt

    mcginkleschmidt Super OPE Member

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    No doubt muriatic acid will clean metal, at least for a while. The problem with muriatic acid is it is hydrochloric acid (HCl) and chloride and metal will initiate rust big time in your tank, not unlike adding salt (NaCl) to your tank. Probably a better and safer choice for acid cleaning metal would be phosphoric acid (H3PO4) or nitric acid (HNO3) as both are chloride free.
     
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  11. Xr650jkallen

    Xr650jkallen Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    MEK works great on rusted metal.
     
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  12. Stump Shot

    Stump Shot Disciple of Monkey's GoldMember

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    A 50/50 concoction of automatic transmission fluid and acetone mixed together and put in the tank and every now and then slosh it around will after a while have it to clean bare metal. Then flush out the remaining concoction and rust and good to go.
    A bit of Marvel Mystery Oil in your gas will keep things in order and on those old timer engines the valves lubricated somewhat.
     
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  13. Xr650jkallen

    Xr650jkallen Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    Atf and acetone is my go to for penetrating oil.
     
  14. Mastermind

    Mastermind Leader Of The Clique Staff Member GoldMember

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    Red kote is the best thing.
     
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  15. bigbadbob

    bigbadbob Here For The Long Haul!

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    I use broken glass from a tempered window.
     
  16. Mastermind

    Mastermind Leader Of The Clique Staff Member GoldMember

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    That is a great idea.
     
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