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Old 11-13-2020, 06:37 PM   #1
azlowrider95
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Default Cleaning tank sealer

Hey guys. Due to some health problems I've been off the road for awhile. My bike (2003 FXST)has been sitting over a year with gas in the tank so the inevitable rust appeared. Went through the carb and pulled the tank to inspect the rust problem. Filled the tank with apple cider vinegar and a hand full of nuts & bolts and let it sit for about 10 days, shaking the tank a couple times a day to loosen things up. Every few days I'd empty the tank, inspect the tank then filter the vinegar before filling the tank up again. By the color of the vinegar it looked like it was working good. Today I emptied the tank, filled it with 1/2 gallon of gas and gave it another shake to clean things up. Looks like it did its job removing the rust but it also took a lot of the sealer off. What I can see is some of it is still there and some of it is coming off in big chunks. It's an aftermarket tank with a custom paint job so I would like to keep it if I can. Would muriatic acid do a better/faster job or should I stick with the vinegar? Knowing that I got it all removed would be kind of a crap shoot. Any suggestions?
Thanks, Dan
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:53 PM   #2
Ratso
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

There must be more than a dozen archived threads on this subject. Your best course, probably, would be to search for "remove sealer," "sealer removal," or maybe just "sealer" and have a read of what comes up. (This site's search function is, one might say, eccentric, so persistence pays.)

That said, slightly dilute white vinegar removed all the sealer, both the crappy Kreem and the really stout original stuff beneath it, from my BMW's tank, but damn it took a long time, repeated vinegar douches, and a lot of scraping and fishing around to get the stuff out. I'd view muriatic acid with suspicion and keep a close eye on its progress, should you take that route.
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Old 11-14-2020, 02:57 AM   #3
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Default

I read here people wrapping in towels then in tumble dryer/washing machine/cement mixer
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:00 AM   #4
azlowrider95
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

I had done a search for the rust removal that worked out good. Just noticed the sealer peeling off after I rinsed it out. I'll do a search for the sealer removal and see what comes up.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

I have used methyl ethyl ketone (mek) w great results. Dangerous stuff but it works. If you donít clean the old lining out, it will come off and block tour petcock. Happened to me
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:37 AM   #6
azlowrider95
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

That's one thing I'm concerned about.
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Old 11-14-2020, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Richbob, what works even better is to put some old (clean) nuts & bolts etc. in the tank before you stick it in the dryer.

Otherwise, the tank might shrink.
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:43 PM   #8
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Well
I’d put on bonfire 🔥
But he wants to save the paint
Nuts 🔩 and bolts chain etc
Never done it just what I read here
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Acetone works well fro removing old sealer too. Use it outside unless you want to lose some brain cells.
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:59 PM   #10
Gary E
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Sheetrock screws since they have sharp edges and Acetone have worked well for me. The Acetone will wipe out a paint job.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:36 PM   #11
Larry Ritchey
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

I have put kerosene and other fluids that are not real explosive and a hand full of nuts and bolts then cap it off real good. Put it in the trunk of your car and take it to work with you. Turn it every day and after a week or so you will have a very clean tank.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:38 PM   #12
Gary E
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

And a very big problem in your trunk if it leaks.
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Old 11-26-2020, 12:49 AM   #13
Larry Ritchey
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

use an old petcock and gas cap to seal it. Do it right and it won't leak.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:42 PM   #14
karl wolf
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ritchey View Post
use an old petcock and gas cap to seal it. Do it right and it won't leak.
And put it in a plastic cement mixing pan...
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:49 PM   #15
Medyo Bastos
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Wrap it in blankets and duct tape and put into a commercial clothes dryer at the laundromat


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Old 11-27-2020, 12:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Invert it, inside to out, with a deft flick of the wrist. Kick it all around the yard. Be sure the cap is on tight.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:09 PM   #17
47Indianrider
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

I have used MEK on some Indian tanks that had a thick red coating in them. Fill about half full, seal it up and keep rotating 3-4 times a day and shake it up once in a while. After 2 days drain and repeat until it comes out clear.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:34 AM   #18
azlowrider95
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Well finally got it cleaned and sealed. Ended up trying a bit of everything that was suggested here. Started with the apple cider vinager then used the muriatic acid. Both did a pretty good job. Picked up a tank sealing kit from KBS to do the sealing part. Decided to use the cleaning solution that came in the kit so it wouldn't just go to waste. I was surprised how much more old sealer came out. Really looked good inside the tank. Put the sealer in and let it set up. Looks good inside the tank. The weather turned cold here ( at least for me) and a couple other things turned up so I haven't had a chance to get the tank back on. Probably have a chance next week. I would definitely recommend that KBS tank kit for cleaning & sealing a tank.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:53 PM   #19
magnum45pete
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

just when ya got rid of a shit sealer ya go & do it again !!... WHY ??... all it does is rot & cause more trouble than it saves.... should have repaired any leaks by welding, then treated with muriatic acid & then use it ........
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cleaning tank sealer

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum45pete View Post
just when ya got rid of a shit sealer ya go & do it again !!... WHY ??... all it does is rot & cause more trouble than it saves.... should have repaired any leaks by welding, then treated with muriatic acid & then use it ........
Ditto I'll second that.
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