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Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank?

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RTR

05-27-2011 20:06:43
74.248.177.7



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Hey guys. WHat is the best way to clean a dirty old gas tank that has several years of varnish and trash in it from 3 gallons of old gas left in it. I am planning on removing the entire tank from the tractor. I have a steam pressure washer, but was wondering besides washing it; what the best way to get the varnish cleaned out. I don't want to get my freshly rebuilt carburetor back and have a dirty gas tank. THANKS!

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tempola

05-29-2011 10:17:54
174.125.72.88



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
believe it or not.....Draino.



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RTR

05-28-2011 16:31:21
74.248.177.119



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to sflem849, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
THANKS!



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David Beasley

05-28-2011 16:28:52
66.0.41.226



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
A few years ago, a buddy and myself restored old motorcycles. I worked at a marble quarry.Specifically,I was a crusher operator. I would take some marbles and b-b's and drop into the tank and bunjie cord it to the back-head of the crusher. In about 20 minutes they would look good as new. Later, we found a gear reducer from a lube oil pump and powered it with a washing machine motor. We rigged up a couple of clamps and an "idler" and the apparatus would spin the tank slowly and clean it up good. I know not everyone has access to these things, but if you tumble more than two tanks a set-up like this is worth its weight in gold. A word of caution: If you mechanicaly tumble a tank check on it frequently! It is possible to pound a hole in a weak, rusty spot...been there done that!

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RTR

05-28-2011 07:31:43
173.112.111.59



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to janicholson, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

We live in Alabama, and haven't seen E85 around.



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F-Dean

05-28-2011 07:19:46
75.207.163.79



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Just run Gasohol in it. The 10% alcohol will disolve the varnish. However, it can lead to Carb and fuel filter issues.

Regardless, use a fuel with ethanol and check your fuel filters.



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sflem849

05-28-2011 06:25:36
69.197.84.78



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
The best way to scrub it is with a chain or with a bunch of large nuts. If you use nuts it is best to count them going in. A chain you can wrap a wire around to retrieve it easily. Not sure if your tank has baffles, but you will never scrub behind those.

Where do you live that you can't get E85? It's everywhere in WI, IL, and IA.

I would certainly try E85. It is way cheaper than the rest. I wasn't agreeing that E85 would do nothing for varnish, I have no idea. I do know it scrubs a fuel system squeaky clean. Not sure what it cleans out, but it does knock gunk loose.

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RTR

05-28-2011 06:11:02
173.112.111.59



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to jal-SD, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Thank you su much for the info. yeah I saw some jelled gas in the sediment bowl too, su looks like I'm gonna pour about 1/2 gallon of acetone in it.
How long should I let it in the tank? Will sloshing it around be sufficient? If not the what's the best way to "scrub" it since there is limited opening. thanks!



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Tom Fleming

05-28-2011 03:27:09
67.20.243.240



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
there are a few steps to cleaning out an old gas tank. First, you need to get the old fuel/varnish out. That requires acetone. Gasoline and E85 will NOT cut varnish. sorry guys. Then, after the varnish is out, if there is rust, muriatic acid is the most thorough.

muriatic will not clean varnish.

Acetone will not clean rust.

Not trying to be a jerk here, but simple chemistry dictates what disolves what. There is difference between jelled gas and varnish. methylene cloride will also cut the varnish. There are other products out there like Navel jelly (phoshoric acid), carb cleaner, brake clean, etc. that will work. The ones I have listed will produce the quickest and best results for the least amount of money. I don't want to get into an E85 debate on how "good" or "bad it is, and that it will eat concrete, titanium, and Star Ship Enterprise battle shields......................

IMHO.

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billde

05-28-2011 05:39:27
72.26.95.33



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to Tom Fleming, 05-28-2011 03:27:09  
E85 WILL cut varnish, I've used it on the last 3 tanks.



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sflem849

05-28-2011 04:55:14
69.197.84.78



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to Tom Fleming, 05-28-2011 03:27:09  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

That's right.



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RTR

05-27-2011 21:11:35
74.248.177.7



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to janicholson, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Does it work as good as the laquer thinner or acetone?? I'm not even so sure where they sell that stuff around here. Why would I spray the tank down with WD-40. Do I spray it to remove the varnish, or after I clean it? THANKS!



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billde

05-27-2011 21:07:39
72.26.95.33



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Another vote for E85, it works and much cheaper than laquer thinner or acetone.



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mark binfield

05-27-2011 20:59:48
216.229.21.11



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
muriatic acid works well in a diluted state. then wash out with water to nutralize the acid. dry thoroughly. if your not going to use it for a while, spray down with wd-40



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RTR

05-27-2011 20:39:15
74.248.177.7



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to janicholson, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Ok, so you guys think the best way to clean it is to plug the bottom hole and put in a gallon of laquer thinner? Can I just shake the tank to stir it around or should I do more?? I am taking the tank completely off to repaint the tractor anyways. Do you guys think that after I rinse it with the laquer thinner that I should clean it with the steam cleaner and let it dry? How long do I let the laquer thinner sit in the tank before draining? THANKS!@

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davediehl@hotmail.com

05-27-2011 20:28:51
209.45.205.13



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
Laquer thinner works very well. Dump in 1 gal and stir it around with a broom handle. Drain and fill with gas.



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ken steele

05-27-2011 20:28:16
75.224.181.197



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 Re: How can I clean Varnish out of a Gas Tank? in reply to RTR, 05-27-2011 20:06:43  
put a gallon of E-85 gas in it will eat the varnish



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