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Old 07-22-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
ManxRacer
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Default Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

I am in the process of trying to salvage an old fuel tank and decided to try Metal Rescue. I bought one gallon. The problem that I found was that the Metal Rescue liquid has to stay in constant contact with the metal for up to 24 hours. With a 4.8 gallon tank, you would need to buy five gallons to fill the tank to keep all surfaces in constant contact. Since I only had one gallon, I poured it in the tank and tried to swish it around every few minutes for several hours, then left it leaning one way or the other every few hours. It didn't work except on the areas in the bottom of the tank that were constantly submerged.

I thought about filling the tank with marbles to take up space before pouring in a gallon of Metal Rescue, but could not find a source for five gallons of affordable marbles! Any other thoughts on how to displace four gallons of space in the tank?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Maybe go to the hardware store and get a bag of rock. You can usually get a bag of river rock or pea gravel for a few bucks.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

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Maybe go to the hardware store and get a bag of rock. You can usually get a bag of river rock or pea gravel for a few bucks.
I thought about that too, but was concerned that any iron in the rock would neutralize the liquid.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Plain ol' white vinegar. Wish I had known this years ago. You can use it over and over...it gets kinda brown, but works great. Do a quick search, there are a couple of threads about it.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:21 PM   #5
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Plain ol' white vinegar. Wish I had known this years ago. You can use it over and over...it gets kinda brown, but works great. Do a quick search, there are a couple of threads about it.
Really? Will give it a shot.

The Metal Rescue worked well, but like I said, only on the parts that were continuously submerged. Will see what vinegar will do.

BTW, I've used several tank liners in the past (Kreme, Caswell, POR-15, etc.) but just wanted to get this tank back to clean bare metal.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Vinegar will not take the liner out if there is still some/all left. It will remove the rust. Also, The vinegar will need to be neutralized with baking soda or the tank will flash rust almost immediately. I wash the tank in boiling hot water/baking soda and then dish soap afterwards...The heat from the boiling water helps the metal dry faster than it can rust. It may still flash rust over a few days if not treated with something to keep it clean...paint ...liner...oil....
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

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Vinegar will not take the liner out if there is still some/all left. It will remove the rust. Also, The vinegar will need to be neutralized with baking soda or the tank will flash rust almost immediately. I wash the tank in boiling hot water/baking soda and then dish soap afterwards...The heat from the boiling water helps the metal dry faster than it can rust. It may still flash rust over a few days if not treated with something to keep it clean...paint ...liner...oil....
Makes sense. Thanks.

I don't have any liner in the tank. It's just metal with a thin coat of rust (except in the bottom) at this point.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Vinegar is the way I do it as well.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Depending on how rusty it is, you may need to leave the vinegar in the tank for up to a week.
I use white vinegar as well and it works. $0.99 store will have the cheapest by the gallon.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

I just did a tank with stuff called Unrust. Its actually a great product. You can get it at their website: www.unrust.com or give them a call at: 423-946-7696
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

One or two handfuls of small nuts like 1/4" always worked for me. Use plenty of elbow grease.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

This has been discussed many times here, and on other sites. Many ways to get it out, as many as there are members, it seems. I have used vinagar, but seems that the dark type works better, because it has a higher acidity than the white type. Have used nuts and bolts, and elbow grease. Most of the new tech products, have a high price to pay, sometimes, more than a new set of tanks. But my favorite, is BB's in the tank, triple hand full, and install cap and plug in the gas feed port. Wrap in a heavy blanket, duct tape together, and put in a clothes dryer for a hour, sometimes more. It gets 99 percent of the rust out, just not in any pitting that may be there. If there is anything left, I fill with dark vinagar, and it is close to 100 percent. All in one day.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

^^^^ thats how its fucking done.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:59 PM   #14
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I'm sure your wife loves you, haha.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

....Shovit nailed it on the head!....and after neutralizing the vinegar, and to keep the inside from re rusting prior to install or use.....a good dose of WD-40 then tape up / seal it from outside elements until you are ready to get back to it....
Just remember, if you are going to re-paint, or do any welding repairs (tig/mig) this may contaminate things so a good "flush' may be needed....
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

You could use the reverse plating method . Where you use a trickle charger and a clean strip of sheet metal as a sacrificial anode . Fill the tank with soapy water , hang the metal strip in the filler neck be sure it is not touching the tank . Hook ground to the tank and hook positive to the strip . The rust will attach to the strip . Depending how much rust there is it will take a day or 2 and you will need to change out the strip when it gets covered with rust.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

^ yeah done the battery/sacrificial anode method and the dryer method.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

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I'm sure your wife loves you, haha.
Just to show you how much my wife loves me, she let me put in bunk beds, so I would have a place to park two bikes, in the bedroom. Yeah, a keeper in my book.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

Get some citric acid. You'll find it at hardware stores in various guises. Usually as a concrete etching compound. Mix it up with water and soak the tank for a couple of days.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tank De-Rusting: Need Suggestions

GEt some molasses i hear works well
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