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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

fuel tank repair

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el6147

04-20-2013 07:29:29
192.183.25.176



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On occasion the subject of repairing fuel tanks comes up, this is a repair that I recently done on a aluminum transport diesel fuel tank where the drop pipe from the pump wore a ring in the bottom of the tank, I repaired this tank by tig welding it and generally I don't pump exhaust into a tank that was used for diesel fuel but on this one I did use a hose from a diesel tractor. I have done this same repair on gas tanks but take special precocious measures to do so , most often I will let them sit for a extended amount of time to let the gas fumes evaporate and generally rinse them several times with fresh diesel fuel and depending on the situation pump either exhaust fumes from a diesel engine into them or argon (just because its the gas I have on hand for the mig welder). every situation is different I have also repaired gas tanks on pickups by soldering sheet metal patch's on them with a electric soldering hot iron. fuel tanks can be repaired if you use you head about doing it .

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guido

04-28-2013 14:50:16
71.168.192.111



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to BIG RUH, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Hello Stick welding,
I'm glade you pointed that out! I hope he was listening, probably NOT!

Being a gas fleet mechanic I have had to repair those same tanks he talks about. Steam cleaned, sniffed and then welded.

Guido.



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mmidlam

04-22-2013 08:55:40
75.7.200.202



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
I have put chucks of dry ice in a tank and let the tank fill up with its vapors before soldering. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. I pick up free scraps at a dry ice plant that was built next to an ethanol plant.



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Gchase24

04-21-2013 07:00:42
75.12.45.178



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
Forgot to mention . Nitrogen displaces the oxygen. Nitrogen should be used with caution. If used Do not breathe, it is deadly in small doses !!



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BigMarv1085

04-28-2013 14:21:35
98.92.116.52



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Gchase24, 04-21-2013 07:00:42  
nitrogen and diesel fuel ????



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Gchase24

04-21-2013 06:33:22
75.12.45.178



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
Worked in a chmical plant for 32 years as a process operator.
The way we prepared ANY vessel for welding in a Chemical plant was to fill it completely with water. Then purged with Nitrogen. I realize nitrogen is not ready available but that being said , Fill with water first then purge it with exhaust.Filling full of water displaces all volatile fumes. Purging afterwards drys the water.



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Stick welding

04-20-2013 13:04:14
96.53.210.246



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
TIG is the way to go but diesel exhaust doesn't do anything to prevent a fire. Diesel tanks aren't nearly as dangerous to weld as gas tanks but it makes no sense to rinse a gas tank with diesel. CO2 in the tank would be good, not Argon. Welding fuel tanks is a real touchy subject on an open forum and it's not a good idea to even suggest doing it. To give miss information is even worse. Someone could get seriously injured or killed.

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dr sportster

04-21-2013 11:42:18
68.196.138.173



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-20-2013 13:04:14  
Argon -inert gas having no active chemical properties . So why the no argon comment ? If you say cost ,okay maybe but argon is fine to purge a tank. Yes welding tanks is dangerous. Cleaning a tank with any soap that contains Naptha can cause it to blow , argon not so much.



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Stick welding

04-21-2013 12:26:59
96.53.210.246



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to dr sportster, 04-21-2013 11:42:18  
How many argon fire extinguishers do you see? Argon is very expensive. Nitrogen is a common purge gas.



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Dave in Tx

04-22-2013 20:29:19
166.137.116.40



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-21-2013 12:26:59  
Another thing about argon....I weld lots of tanks, both gas and diesel. I rarely take the fuel out of them. I purged a gas tank one time with argon cause I was out of my usual one. Gasoline will burn in a tank using argon. It won't blow but it will burn. I use co2 exclusively. Please, Please don't ANYONE do this without the rest of the schooling to know how. It is a process you must know in the correct order to be safe at it. A one quart empty gas tank off a lawn mower will clean a work bench and the stuff hanging on a wall. You MUST know the order in which you can do this!!!!!

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dr sportster

04-21-2013 18:51:05
68.196.138.173



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-21-2013 12:26:59  
Well I didnt' know there was a fire extinguisher that blew out nitrogen .I would reserve the fire extinguishers for putting out fires. Alot more welding shops have argon than nitrogen. Just curious as to why you said not to use argon. I had nitrogen to run air tools and fill tires at one time and the gauge cost 400 bucks so I think argon is cheaper if you don't have nitrogen.Filling the bottles was about the same cost.

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Stick welding

04-21-2013 18:57:14
96.53.210.246



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to dr sportster, 04-21-2013 18:51:05  
I sell welding gasses. Nitrogen should be way cheaper than argon. I toured a 150 million dollar air separation facility. They said as long as they can produce argon, all the oxygen and nitrogen is pure profit. CO2 is used to put out fires, argon won't put out a fire. Nitrogen is dry and cheap. That's why it's used for purging.



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dr sportster

04-21-2013 19:22:10
68.196.138.173



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-21-2013 18:57:14  
A tank purged with argon is the same thing as a tank purged with nitrogen . You are still not saying why you told the original poster not to use argon. As I posted not many welding shops have nitrogen but most have argon. So why did you tell him not to use argon?



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mnoliverguy

04-20-2013 19:08:11
68.235.72.38



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-20-2013 13:04:14  
Dave,

you are just jealous that you did not fix it,and like to tell everybody else how much you know. But some of us know how you are. Have you checked your tickets??????????



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Stick welding

04-20-2013 21:15:27
96.53.210.246



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to mnoliverguy, 04-20-2013 19:08:11  
No, but I'm in a position to check them because I haven't blown myself up taking bad advice.



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mnoliverguy

04-21-2013 09:59:05
68.235.72.38



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to Stick welding, 04-20-2013 21:15:27  
Davey

He must not have blown himself up or he would not be telling us about it. Would he? Mr Drama!!!



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Stick welding

04-21-2013 12:37:33
96.53.210.246



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to mnoliverguy, 04-21-2013 09:59:05  
By the sounds of it and reading other posters comments, it might just be a matter of time before he blows himself up or someone else blows up following the wrong advice. Repairing fuel tanks isn't something to experiment with. Once again you have contributed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the original post. So who's all about the drama?



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farmer boy

04-20-2013 11:26:43
199.167.109.42



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
There's no point using diesel exhaust to prevent accidents. Exhaust from an idling diesel still contains oxygen.



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Bob M

04-20-2013 14:33:38
67.240.171.136



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to farmer boy, 04-20-2013 11:26:43  
Indeed! The exhaust of a well-tuned diesel at idle contains nearly as much oxygen as fresh air.

If you're gonna use engine exhaust as a purge use exhaust from a GASOLINE engine. Or better yet purge the tank with CO2 from an extinguisher.



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Wile E

04-20-2013 09:44:09
71.82.72.237



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
Have you ever tried to use a product called Devcon Aluminum putty. I have used it on aluminum components for machine fixtures. (works well, but I have never used it for a liquid application)



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jon f mn

04-20-2013 08:30:38
70.196.133.117



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
What do you use for leak testing? I've always used Windex, it seams to catch leaks easier than soapy water and doesn't leave as much film to interfere with welding.



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jack345

04-20-2013 08:20:16
98.125.89.60



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  
Well done!



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el6147

04-20-2013 07:38:23
192.183.25.176



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 Re: fuel tank repair in reply to el6147, 04-20-2013 07:29:29  

one day I'll get this photo upload correct.



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