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I have a gas tank on a B10 that has been setting out in the weather for years with no gas cap on it. The outside has surface rust but is in good shape. Any ideas on how to clean the inside. Tim
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Hi Tim, try a local motorcyle dealership or a gas tank repair bussiness, as they have a coating that they use on the inside of gas tanks that will make it better then new. Or try your local Murry's auto parts store as they should sell basically the same stuff that will treat the inside of your gas tank. The older Harley Davison's were real bad for rust and alot of the tanks are just not available or to costly to buy so they will use this reconditioner for the older gas tanks. I would not try to clean it untill consulting someone about it first depending on how bad it is. Because if there are places inside the tank that are rusted and might leak this stuff you can buy will take care of those area's also and you will have a like new tank again. I hope this helps and maybe someone else can give there opions also. Have a good one Tim->jackl-happyjack<-
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The stuff you need to use on the inside is called phosphoric acid. It will convert the rust to another substance other than iron oxide (but I can't remember exactly what it is called). You can purchase phosphoric acid at the auto parts store where it is sold as "Naval Jelly". Simply mix it with enough water to make it liquid and pour it in the tank. If the inside is VERY rusty, you might want to obtain a bunch of ball bearings (just the balls from the inside of the bearing) and put them in with the solution. Seal the tank up and slosh the solution and bearings around to dislodge any loose flaky rust. You will want to perform this operation until the tank inside has dark gray areas where the rust was, but no areas that appear rust colored.

Naval Jelly is available in various concentrations of phosphoric acid, so read the labels of the various bottles and purchase a couple bottles of the strongest formula.

After you are satisfied with the level of rust removal, rinse the tank out with water a couple of times, then dry it with a hair drier or even a compressed air line.

To coat the inside, the product you want to use is called "Kreem". It is excellent, and is available at many motorcycle shops, as well as by mail order from J. C. Whitney in Chicago. Kreem comes in a kit containing a two part mixture that you mix and then pour into the tank. You then slosh this mixture around inside the tank to coat all of the inside surfaces. This stuff will seal all pinholes and cover all of the interior surface to that it will not rust again. Kreem is also available with a small bottle of phosphoric acid for scouring the inside of the tank. You can use it or purchase the Naval Jelly, your choice.

I've used this procedure several times on motorcycle gas tanks and it works great! There is one caution though: Before the stuff sets hard in the tank, use a drill bit or maybe even a short, small burst of compressed air to clear the end of the outlet tube from the tank. On tanks with smaller outlet tubes, Kreem will cover or plug the opening, so you need to be sure to unplug it before the stuff sets 'hard'.

Good luck!

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Jack's right on. But first, you need to clean out any
rust. I'm not positive what the best solvent would be,
but it needs to be compatible with gasoline. I would
probably use kerosene.
You should put enough in to suspend the rust, maybe
a 1/2 pint. Then you need to put in a KNOWN
QUANTITY of abrasive medium. Ball bearings, nuts and
bolts, abrasive medium stones, really anything, but a
key is count how many you put it, and make sure you get
the same number out. Otherwise, the gas feed may plug
during operation, causing erratic engine operation.
So, just put in the solvent and abrasive, cap the tank
and shake, shake, shake. Drain the tank of it's contents
then repeat as necessary until the solvent comes out
clean. You will probably need to rinse and dry the tank
before coating it. I would clean with either water or
alcohol. If you can dry the tank quickly, water should
be OK, but if it takes a long time to dry, you may get
more surface rust. The alcohol should keep the rust away
long enough to get the coating in.
Good luck,
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Jack, Terry, Greg, Thanks for the information, you had some good suggestions and you got the gears turning in my brain. I have used Rustolem Rust Reformer on rusted metal with real good results. This stuff chemically changes the rust to a black rust proof coating. Rust Reformer is a liquid that you just brush on which I think makes it easier to use than naval jelly. One more thought that I had was once I buy the chemicals to treat the inside of the tank and the paint for the outside how does that compare to the price of a new tank, if there still available. I'd hate to wind up with a tank I spent $50.00 on and then find out a new one is $35.00. Tim
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