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Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

How to get rust out of old gas tank?

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10-04-2017 17:52:10

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I brought an old walking tractor back from the grave. Two months ago it ran great, then I let it sit until a few days ago. It ran for a few seconds and then that was it. When I pulled the fuel line to see if I had gas getting to the carb the fuel that was coming out looked like pink paint. Even with a fuel filter it went right through it. The old metal tank obviously needs some attention. Used plastic ones on ebay are $40. Similar used metal tanks are selling for $64. I only paid $30 total for the whole machine!! Has anyone had any look cleaning an old metal gas tank on an old Briggs?

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10-09-2017 16:24:22

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to fpappal, 10-04-2017 17:52:10  
Thanks for all the suggestions,
I ended up filling it with white vinegar and letting it sit over night. The loosened up quite a bit of the rust. I then filled it about a quarter of the way with muriatic acid and tossed in a handful of washers. I shook it up for about 5 minutes then dumped out the acid. It was amazing how much rust it dissolved in such a short amount of time. I filled it with water and flushed it out 2 more times, then I put a little gas in it and flushed it with that. Put on a new fuel filter and she fired right up (after I also cleaned out the carb).

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10-05-2017 12:18:16

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to fpappal, 10-04-2017 17:52:10  
I've used the nut/bolt trick before and it does work. But if you do it count how many nuts/bolts you put in and make sure you get that many back out. I would NEVER use rocks or gravel because they can chip and leave parts behind that will cause problem latter

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10-05-2017 17:17:17

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to old, 10-05-2017 12:18:16  
A piece of light chain works better than nuts and bolts as you only have one thing to fish out of the tank.

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10-04-2017 19:26:09

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to fpappal, 10-04-2017 17:52:10  
First clean the tank with this stuff. Go buy a gallon of E-85 fuel. Fill the tank and ajitate it real well. It will remove any crud, gunk, what ever is in there. DON'T run any of this stuff through your carb. You will have no rubber parts left. Also watch out for your paint. E-85 is a really good paint remover. Does your tank have a little setiment bowl on it or an inline filter? See what others advise too.

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10-04-2017 18:36:32

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to fpappal, 10-04-2017 17:52:10  
I've cleaned a few by pouring old nuts in them and then shaking them for a while. A long while. Gravel will work too, but you can get the nuts back out with a magnet.

If you really want it to last a while, and remember, anything you do to established rust has a limited life expectancy, you need to coat the inside with Red coat or some such fuel tank sealer. The thing is, that a quart of Red Coat probably will cost about what you gave for the tractor. (Which was a steal if it didn't take much to get it to run.)

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10-05-2017 17:16:09

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to t.r.k., 10-04-2017 18:36:32  
A piece of light chain works well too. Only one thing to fish out that way. Works esp well if you can lash the tank to a garden tractor rear wheel and go mow the lawn.

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10-05-2017 06:35:31

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 Re: How to get rust out of old gas tank? in reply to t.r.k., 10-04-2017 18:36:32  
Gravel and small rocks does the trick too. Guy down the road sold and packaged nails. Had a belt driven round drum. Would get nails in from everywhere in 50# boxes rusted up. Dump them in there with some rocks and half an hour later looked like they were just stamped.

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