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gretsch

Soldering fuel tank

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UCD
You can also purge the tank with a co2 fire extinguiser. NAPA also has a two part epoxy resin gas tank repair kit that works real well can be used on a tank full of gas has a bees wax stick to plug the leak then you apply the kit. i have used this hundreds of times to repair rusted gas tanks and rusted pick up tubes Maynard aka/UCD

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D-17_Dave
Purging the tank IS a must, and the CO2 method works. Although I use a torch with a brazeing tip whitch will heat the metal hot enough quikly and I use brass brazeing rods with the flux coating and the dip flux. The flux and the heat combination willclean the metal and the brass flux has a lower working [melting] temp. so it flows and sticks befor you melt holes in the tank bigger than what you started with. As for filling it with water, it works, but you should bake the tank afterwards to remove all the water, as the metal will be pourous and soak up some water that just blowing out with compressed air will not remove. That will cause severe tank rusting soon.

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powermax_paul
I really dont think you'd be able to heat up the base metal enough with a soldering iron/gun to get the solder to bond. I honestly think you need to use a torch and braze (which would be best) or solder the connections back in. To do that, you need to make absolutely sure that all gasoline fumes are removed from the tank. Use an air blow gun and set the regulator at, say, 15 PSI and just let it blow into the tank for a couple hours to dry it out. Then check for any remaining fumes. I think the best is to use your NOSE! If the tank no longer has a strong gasoline smell, you should be safe. You have to use some good judgement on this! If you are unsure, the safest alternative is to take it to a radiator shop and have them braze it. Paul

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Roy
Dry ice (CO2) works great if you have a handy source. It displaces the oxygen and gasoline fumes as it evaporates. A nitrogen purge also works if you have a source. I would be afraid of using carbon monoxide unless I knew I had fresh air to breathe. Roy

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Guest
My vote is to take it in to the shop for repair. Maybe I'm a bit conservative, but to me the potential risk far outweighs the minimal cost. I prefer going home with all my "parts" intact every night! Dan

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powermax_paul
I like Roy's Idea of putting a piece of dry ice in the tank. I don't like the idea of running exhaust of an engine into the tank. There's no gaurantee that that engine is running efficiently enough to remove all combustible products from the exhaust. You could still have an explosion with this method. Paul

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gretsch
What is the correct type and way of soldering metal gas tanks. I need to solder (fix) the pickup and return lines on a powermax gas tank. The metal is not cracked, the fittings have just come loose. Thanks

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ka9bxg
The hardest part is cleaning the tank before you start,to solider it.If you can steam clean the tank first it is best way to get all the fumes out of it,or fill it with water (full)or it could blow up.I use solider that I use on water pipe and the same flux.I have done quite a few tanks this way and they are still holding.I have taken a few tanks apart to repair damage done to the tank.Only way to get the dents out.Good luck and be very careful with the fumes.Bob

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MATTHEW
USE A LARGE SOLDERING IRON WITH ICID FLUX CORE. PLEASE NO OPEN FLAME. IF YOU ARE GOING TO RISK OPEN FLAME FILLLLLL THE TANK WITH CARBON MONOXIDE FROM A RUNNING VEHICLE OR TRACTOR WITH SOME TYPE OF HOSE SO THE CARBON MONOXIDE IS CONTINUALLY FLOWING INTO THE TANK. THIS WILL LESSON THE EXPLOSIVE NATURE OF THE TANK BUT NOT REMOVE THE DANGER. PLEASE USE THE SOLDERING IRON METHOD, WE NEED ALL THE TRACTOR COLLECTORS WE CAN GET, DON'T WANT TO LOSE YOU. MY 2 CENTS WORTH.

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gretsch
Thanks for all the advice and thoughts on this. I will probably let a radiatior repair shop do it for me. I would not be akin to experimenting with CO. It may increase the LEL (lower explosive limit), ie: higher concentration of fumes before an explosive atmospere is present in the tank. But it definately adds serious risk to the situation by being: odorless, invisible, heavier than the surrounding air, and displacing the oxygen being absorbed into your body. Your lungs more readily absorb the CO than the CO2 that we live on. It can sneak up on you without you knowing what happened and you may not live to figure it out. Very risky. My one and one-half cents.

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Woodydel
Doesn't anyone just wash out the tank with detergent? CO2 will cool the contents and gas will not vaporize. After the tank warms up, like while you are working, there will be first liquid fuel and then vapor from the gasoline. If you are then worried about residual water add a little dry gas...Detergent will not hurt your motor.. MadManX

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Marion_Kerr
Here's my method. I usually do not treat a small gas tank as an emergency repair. I remove filler cap and remove supply valve. I use a CO-2 fire extinquisher and purge it well. I then position it in front of a fan with a funnel stuck into the filler hole and let it "air-dry" for couple of days. Then, I use the CO-2 again and either solder or braze it with a torch. Soldering or brazing depends on if it has been repaired with either material previously.. I have repaired many tanks using this method since I was about 13 yrs old.. still here at 59... Good luck!!

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MPH
Looks like you got plenty of sound advice so don't follow my sure fire way to remove fumes, just drop a lit match in it or send it to a bush hi school and the kids will sniff 'em out free of charge..MPH Yea, it was long trip to fairbanks, gotta put better seats in my ole dodge.

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