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Petrol Tank Sealers

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Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Wed Aug 15 2012, 23:09

I've discovered a few pin-hole leaks in the top of the Homelite tank, which I think could be contributing to the running problems, so my question is....

Does anyone here have any experience with any petrol tank sealer??? It always used to be Pet Seal, but I've been told that it hasn't kept up with modern fuels & deteriorates because of the something-or-other (is it ethanol, methanol, or something else) they put in it these days???

The Americans all seem to rate Kreem tank sealer, is this one any good????

I looked on eBay & found about 5 or 6 different types, something called POR-15 looks pretty good.

Anyone know which is best, or better still which ones to avoid???

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by Biggsy on Thu Aug 16 2012, 05:54

i had some pin holes in my lister d tank, i took it to a local fabrication shop and they soldered up the holes and tank is now sealed again. Very Happy

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by pauldg on Thu Aug 16 2012, 07:07

I haven't used it myself, but a load of classic bike types I know really rate POR-15. Apparently you have to follow the directions properly though, so it'd probably be no good for me to use Laughing

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Thu Aug 16 2012, 09:46

I spent much of last night looking into it, it's a bit of a minefield.

I'm edging towards some stuff called "Bill Hirsch" Gas Tank Sealer. The manufacturer claims it's the worlds number 1....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190706497700?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_3191wt_1139

But I've now found some stuff by 3M called "Scotch Clad". I'm starting to think the cheaper brands won't be as good, after all, most of the classic & vintage bikers never actually ride their machines, I know that much from my dad's mates, but I suppose it wouldn't do any harm to ask a few of them.

It also looks like I will need a rust remover & a tank cleaner/degreaser, the whole lot's going to come to over £50, I can see that much.

Oh well, the neighbours can rest easy for a few weeks then, I won't be firing this one up for a while.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by stationary stu on Thu Aug 16 2012, 10:07

I bought some tank sealer as one of my tanks was very rusty inside it sealed all of the inside of the tank but it took a few days as I had to move the tank (oval tank) every day to coat it all. It wasn't expensive about £12 a litre but what you didn't use went back in the bottle, It was from a chemical company sorry can't remember it's name I still have some but no idea where I put it but I'll have a look for it. That could be used for small pin holes no problem. The only problem is trying to get a coating onto the tank near where the cap fits on.
I heard good reports and I was going to use PDR15 but decide to try the cheap route first and it worked very well.

http://www.frost.co.uk/automotive-tanks-products.html?p=1

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Thu Aug 16 2012, 11:27

Well I'm starting off by stripping the paint from the outside of the tank first, as apparently that's the way to go. Any large holes can then be repaired first, ready for a dose of tank sealer when funds allow.

Thanks for the link Stu, I might go with one of their kits. They seem very reasonable, especially considering you get the 2 stage cleaning kit thrown in as well.

I might also have a shop around locally, see if there are any places where I can go in & actually look at products before I buy. I think the American based products are the way to go, as they have quite a large ethanol content in their fuels, & that's what eats through the older tank sealers. We've only just started getting that rubbish added to our petrol recently (well, comparatively recently) & the ethanol content is only likely to go up in future.
Horrible stuff!

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by pauldg on Thu Aug 16 2012, 11:37

The ethanol content isn't likely to go up - it's certain to... It's actually legislated to carry on increasing. I don't think it's actually a bad thing myself, it means there is effectively more fuel left Cool

It may be a nasty, but it needn't be a problem as newer stuff is designed to cope with it while, because of the huge classic car market, there will always be a supply of 'normal' fuel for those who need it. Just the same as you can still obtain real TVO and 4* - if you know how to.

Meanwhile, back at the tank sealing ranch........

One of the guys who recommended POR15 to me has trials bikes and uses them. He's not had any problems with it. I've never been keen on chemical sealers myself, I've soldered and welded tanks in the past though and probably will do again when my bike gets it's turn with the spanners - if for no other reason than it's pretty much free as I don't have to buy stuff to do it. Just have to make sure it's going to explode on you when you get the torch near it.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Thu Aug 16 2012, 15:52

Would you solder a colander though? This thing has quite a lot of holes in it.

I've soldered tanks before, usually it's cylindrical tanks & it's a line of holes along the bottom, this thing seems to have rather a lot of very small holes in it. I started to put a ring round each one last night, but got fed up after a few....



& as I've started to strip the paint I've found more & I've found some previous repairs. I think a chemical sealer is going to be my best bet here, but I'll take some more pics as I go, once the paint is stripped off & we can see the extent of things.

I'm always open to other ideas.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by stationary stu on Fri Aug 17 2012, 10:57

I wonder if you could use plasic metal on the outside of the tank, don't think it's been tried and don't know if it would stand up to constant petrol on it. Just something to throw into the pot. Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by pauldg on Fri Aug 17 2012, 11:43

Some of those look like they'd be more than pin holes by the time the rust is gone... Most of the chemical sealers I've seen are only really designed to deal with things like leaky seams so I don't know they'd fix those. I'm probably wrong on that though.

I'd be trying to solder them up, using a very small flame (I've got a pencil torch thing) so as not to affect the pipework etc.

Some plastic/chemical metals can deal with petrol, I'm sure it'd be in the instructions Laughing

I can't say it'd be helping the running, looking at the tank and system it looks like it should be fairly well sealed - or at least balanced...

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Fri Aug 17 2012, 13:30

The quick steel putty seemed to do a good job of holding the petrol tap/filter thingy on, until I decided to drill through it.

I've stripped the paint off now & given it a good clean. There are one or two larger holes, one was previously filled with, erm... filler (I think). This one is a good 3mm or so & solder just drips through it.

I've had a little go with some solder & a blow torch, but it hasn't gone well, I'm a bit concerned about the sheer amount of solder on the tank already, now the paint's off you can see how everything is soldered onto this tank, the pipes, the unions, the filler(s), the petrol tap holes & the reservoir tube for the carb, all appear to be soldered, as well as the seams, so I'm a bit hesitant to apply too much heat to it, also I've always been good soldering electrical stuff, but never really got the hang of soldering up holes on petrol tanks.

I think I will use some of the Quick Steel Putty on the larger holes, then go for a chemical sealer on the rest.
I've done even more research into the various sealers & it looks like POR-15 might be the way to go, but it needs to be very carefully prepared before hand, so I will have to buy the rust dissolver & special de-greaser/de-glazer stuff as well. I've found a kit for less than £40, which is probably the best I'm likely to do.

I've got threads running all over the place though, including on some U.S. forums, so something else might turn up yet. I had thought about using a 2 part epoxy sealer, as I'm told that's what the trade use, but all I can gather you gain is an accelerated drying time, it looks like if you use a single part sealer & leave it for a good few weeks (maybe even a month) to cure, it should work just as well.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by nutgone on Fri Aug 17 2012, 13:36

Oh yes, & there's always a thing called "Petrol Tank Patch" (I spotted it last week in a motor factors) for the bigger holes, it might be better than Quick Steel Putty, especially as I don't know for sure that the putty will put up with petrol on a long term basis (sure it held the fuel tap on for a week or so, but that's not much of a long term test).

Thinking about it, I doubt it matters what I used to plug the bigger holes, as it'll be covered in the tank sealer anyway, & you can brush the sealer on the outside of the tank as well, which might be a good idea to protect whatever I use on the bigger holes.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

Post by stationary stu on Sat Aug 18 2012, 12:09

Nuts the tip with filling the bigger holes with soldier is to build up a little at a time and have damp rags on the parts of the tank where you need to stay cool. The thing is your not far off the price of getting a new tank made (not sure of price now but it used to be around the £60 mark) it maybe worth have a word with forum member Senior engineer (David) as I think he makes tanks. He might be able to just replace the bottom section that's the worst bit on your tank.

Stu.

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Re: Petrol Tank Sealers

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