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Old 08-02-2015, 01:29 PM   #1
Charlie S
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Default Clean out old tank sealer.

The tank I plan on using was molded to fit frame in the 70s. Held up really well, but there's one big problem. It's got some fifty year old sealer inside that must have become brittle and finally starting to break up. Maybe the white stuff. What would you do to get it out? A friend suggested really strong paint stripper and sealing openings for a couple hours, but I've never heard of that. Muratic acid? Can sure use your input. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

A non chemical way... Fill it up 1/3 full with drywall screws and soapy water. Plug holes well. Wrap in blankets. Drive around with it for a few days and rotate it every so often. take a peak. You'll know if it's working. We used to tumble them in a dryer, too.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:05 PM   #3
magnum45pete
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

cut it open,...clean it out.....weld it up.......DON'T SEAL IT AGAIN.......use it
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:29 PM   #4
old.wrench
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

Charlie,
Crapped-out tank sealer is always a pain in the ass to remove.
Some of the older compounds like Creme (or whatever) will usually break down fairly well with a good paint remover.
The last tank I had to clean out, I used Klean-Strip Premium sprayable grade. It is thinner than the brush-on grade but just as powerful, if not stronger. It's far easier to use than the brush-on stuff - you can actually pour it into the tank and get complete and even coverage. Be aware that it will probably take two complete application cycles to get rid of all the old sealer. Have fun !!!

edit: you mention that your tank is molded - also be aware that paint stripper will do a pretty good job of removing bondo.
Muriatic acid will not break down tank sealer.

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Last edited by old.wrench; 08-02-2015 at 02:43 PM. Reason: ad mo
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
Dr. Benway
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

MEK and drywall screws. Keep it off the paint, of course.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
Ratso
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

I called Kreem, Incorporated, and they recommended acetone as the only thing to try removing it with. Instead (and at a savings of $20 a gallon) I tried white vinegar. After a 10-day soak the vinegar has removed the Kreem (and some of BMW's factory-applied red sealer as well) but the stuff has not dissolved -- I've still got a tank full of sealer flakes and chunks. I'm trying to save the paint so have been reluctant to go near the tank with acetone.

Therefore I'm following this thread closely.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:39 PM   #7
johnjzjz
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratso View Post
I called Kreem, Incorporated, and they recommended acetone as the only thing to try removing it with. Instead (and at a savings of $20 a gallon) I tried white vinegar. After a 10-day soak the vinegar has removed the Kreem (and some of BMW's factory-applied red sealer as well) but the stuff has not dissolved -- I've still got a tank full of sealer flakes and chunks. I'm trying to save the paint so have been reluctant to go near the tank with acetone.

Therefore I'm following this thread closely.
we have in the past added marvel oil to acetone to cut it after it has done its job, now we only use a medical grade 100 percent acetone that you get in gallons from a beauty supply for 16 bucks

i have had luck draining some cutting it with marvel and then pouring the rest off with out hurting the paint -- try it on something so you get the right mix
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

I disagree with the drywall screws as they can be a pain to remove. I like acetone and a brass chain, small links chain that I can easily remove. I like to shake it around. Wiith the Bondo you may not want to try the dryer but I've heard that before too.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

magnet affixed to a hanger will get the last of the screws out.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

After a 10-day soak in vinegar, I blasted out my tank with a pressure washer. Big sheets of old Kreem came out. Think I'll slosh some acetone around in there, drain that, and run a tank or two of gasoline through it, see how many fuel filters I can plug up. Then drain it again and use POR-15 to reseal it. I am told that the step one POR-15 treatment (it's a three-step process) will dissolve and/or readhere whatever old Kreem remains in the tank by that point.

I'm pretty happy with the vinegar treatment, especially considering its low cost and low toxicity, but it has taken a while.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

PLEASE don't re-seal it less it leaks when you put gas in it.... sealants cause more problems than they solve and all WILL PEEL in time, some sooner than others but they all will fail....
flush it out a few times and use a filter, if it dont leak and ya not blocking filters ya dont need it anyway....... sealants are one of the worst things invented for motorbikes !!...... when they melt they also can and do fuck up carbs and the motor top end...... I cant say how I hate the bloody stuff strongly enough..... My $00.02 Rant is over.........
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:02 PM   #12
Charlie S
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

Progress? Report... First day used brass chain (not cheap) and pieces of brass rod I chopped up, with a quart of acetone. Shook it every time I walked by. Today, second day, drained white (from Kreme) milky mixture, a lot of small particles into a bucket. Pen light showed white Krème in tank breaking down. So, dumped in most of a gallon of fresh acetone, will keep on shaking, drain Sunday. If clean enough, I'll gas flush. If it looks really clean, I think I'll mix some heavy oil to gas mixture, if not I bought a quart of Red-Kote off "the bay" $24.95. I wrapped the tank in two separate sheets of plastic, to save the original bondo work. Tank has high filler tube. Covered the opening with clear shipping tape, then duct tape, and duct tape down sides, Minor leak was cured with radiator hose clamp. So far so good. Here's a hint, based on when I was younger and employed at Martin Oil. We had to clean sludge out of those huge storage tanks. We had to wear hazmat like suits, full respirators with outside air and boots with brass sole rivets. Shovels were fiberglass, hand tools made of brass. We were explosion proof with just gas, I think acetone is even more explosive. Please, avoid using anything that could cause any sparks. Thanks for the info, guys.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

one i did to remove rust (not sealer that time) was to half fill with old Bolts and water(sealed the cap on with gaffer tape and a bung in the outlet) wraped it in foam and jammed it in an small electric cement mixer and let it run slowly for 24 hours.... was like new after a few flush through's with fresh water, when dry I swilled some clean motor oil in it, drained the excess and then used it with just an inline filter without any problems whatsoever, the bolts were remover easy with a magnet...
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:10 AM   #14
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Default Re: Clean out old tank sealer.

Maybe acetone or MEK (it's another ketone. close enough, but costs more and much more toxic to work with). NO muriatic acid near metal. That's HCl and will eat right through steel 100x faster than phosphoric and cause rust like crazy even if you rinse and try to neutralize it. It's bad news on aluminum too.

Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) is great for steel/iron prep (that's what's in naval jelly) but you need the ketone for the sealer. BTW, some concrete bleaches are phosphoric (like Krud Kutter), others are hydrochloric. Great for cleaning rusty steel parts or etching before paint. Just don't let it sit too long or it pits.
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