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 Post subject: Fuel tank refurbishment
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2021 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:31 pm
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
Can anyone suggest anywhere that refurbishes metal fuel tanks?

My 99T tank has loads of rust inside it and with the layout of the internal baffles and the access holes it is almost impossible to get at to DIY clean it and i don't have a tank big enough to soak it in.

i've cleaned up other metal tanks myself in the past but the one i did before both had better internal access so you could reach inside it and I used my bath to soak it in because it was the week before i ripped it out to replace it! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:01 am 
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Have a word with some electroplating companys and see if it is something they would be prepared to put in their pickling tank. The other option is a radiator repair company, this is the sort of work many of them used to take on.

Be prepared for some holes afterwards though!

You can get the slosh around sealants which claim to encapsulate any loose rust but wouldn't be my choice except as a last resort perhaps until you can find a better tank.

Ideally try and find a plastic tank from an early 900 with injection and vertical spare.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:51 am 
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
99 Pete wrote:
Have a word with some electroplating companys and see if it is something they would be prepared to put in their pickling tank. The other option is a radiator repair company, this is the sort of work many of them used to take on.

Be prepared for some holes afterwards though!

You can get the slosh around sealants which claim to encapsulate any loose rust but wouldn't be my choice except as a last resort perhaps until you can find a better tank.

Ideally try and find a plastic tank from an early 900 with injection and vertical spare.


I have found a couple of companies that claim to specialise in refurbing tanks. i will give them a shout tomorrow.

I am wondering if I could use a wheely bin as a tank to submerge it in a caustic soda/phosphoric acid solution?

however, cleaning out the side with only the level sender connection is going to be a nightmare as the hole is so small... unless I enlarge it using my hole saw and then use an adaptor plate to put the level sender back.

I didn't know that any c900 tank was the same! I wonder if Jamsaab have one (Martin has everything! :) )


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:53 pm 
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Location: North Bristol
Car Models: 900
You can have ‘bags’ installed in metal tanks, a friend did with his Audi Quattro that was suffering a similar problem.

That said a 99 fuel tank would be fairly easy to make for a tank fabricator.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:35 pm 
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Rather than put it in a wheely bin you could just blank off all the connections and fill it up with acid but don't underestimate the cost of the chemicals and the hassle of disposal, you really need enough to fill the tank right up.

I'm reasonably confident that a plastic tank from a '79 or '80 900 EMS, GLE or Turbo will go in a 99 turbo hatchback as the back ends of the cars are basically the same. After '81 the 900's had a different boot floor with space saver spare. The floor was also shaped to accomodate a slightly larger fuel tank which is why they can't be used in a 99.

If you do find a tank from a 900 try and get all the associated hoses and pipes as they might be slightly different.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:08 pm 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
I get decent results using a black plastic rubbish bin full of citric acid. Its cheap to buy in powdered form from ebay and lasts for many repeated uses. It removes rust pretty well but is better at removing any zinc plating on parts.

You need to have a plan sorted for how to protect the inside of the tank once the rust has gone and you are back to bare metal

When i took my tank off over winter, i found it to be perfect inside and put that down to what looked like galvanising inside it. Needless to say, i left that well alone but, if yours has let you down, a soak in citric acid will likely remove that as well so be warned.

Im a fan of electro plating but im really not sure it would reach into the corners and behind baffles due to the way the coating flows from anode to part. Assuming you find somewhere willing to do it!

Never used slosh tank sealers but read about them and with good prep, they are reported to work well and last.

Having followed your updates, im sure you will sort it 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:17 pm 
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Steve Briance wrote:
I get decent results using a black plastic rubbish bin full of citric acid. Its cheap to buy in powdered form from ebay and lasts for many repeated uses. It removes rust pretty well but is better at removing any zinc plating on parts.

You need to have a plan sorted for how to protect the inside of the tank once the rust has gone and you are back to bare metal

When i took my tank off over winter, i found it to be perfect inside and put that down to what looked like galvanising inside it. Needless to say, i left that well alone but, if yours has let you down, a soak in citric acid will likely remove that as well so be warned.

Im a fan of electro plating but im really not sure it would reach into the corners and behind baffles due to the way the coating flows from anode to part. Assuming you find somewhere willing to do it!

Never used slosh tank sealers but read about them and with good prep, they are reported to work well and last.

Having followed your updates, im sure you will sort it 8)


Sorry, didn't explain that very well, I wasn't sugesting the tank should be plated inside. Just that electroplating companys have large tanks of pickling acid for cleaning components prior to plating. Pickling acid is 35% diluted hydrochloric acid and strips corrosion from steel very effectively, parts need to be totally immersed though, no good just brushing it on. Components are then transferred to a rinsing tank that can contain inhibiting agent to prevent fresh corrosion.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:07 pm 
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
The chemicals are all cheap enough off ebay.
Caustic soda is sold as a drain unblocker so I was assuming i could just put it down the drain once i'm done and get double value from it!
The hydrochloric acid i have is also labelled up for use as a toilet cleaner so should also be good to go down the drain.

normal bins are a good idea. I have one of those at the end of the garden I can reclaim

I have hit it with a bit of diluted hydrochloric acid today and it takes the rust off but only where there isn't a layer of crustyness on top of it - that doesnt move and I clearly need to get that off first. I can wire wool/brush it at the pump end but unfortunately now it is a bit cleaner in there I can see that there is not one but 2 baffle plates down from that end and I therefore don't think I can get inside 2/3rds of the tank without cutting a hole in the top (which I am not adverse too!).

If i can get it clean I have used the POR15 tank sealing kit before and it works pretty well. It lifted a bit in places after 10 years or so in my landrover tank - but the rusty-all-over coverage in this tank should stop that!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:50 am 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
The citric acid is a food additive so can also be thrown down the drain or, put in a cake if you wanted double value from it! :lol:

I have had many months of service out of my bin of citric acid which makes it really good value if you anticipate having more parts to sort out.

Its probably not as downright aggressive as HCL acid but a tip if you go for it is make the citric up with hot water and it becomes more effective, dont know if this would apply to other acids but it seems like the sort of thing that would. Just be careful using hydrochloric as it would need really thorough rinsing out afterwards or else it hangs around doing what it does...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:52 am 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
Hmmm, just wondering if the crud you mention might be a layer of grease (dried out petrol) stopping the acid getting to the rust? I only say that as the slosh tank kit includes a strong alkaline degreaser as step one.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:46 am 
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
Martin at Jamsaab says that none of the 900 plastic ones fit directly in the 99 as they used the metal tank on the early cars with the same floor so I'm out of luck there! (and Martin knows his stuff!)

I have rung Hartlepool Radiator Company who advertise via fueltanks.co.uk who sound like they know what they are doing and you are looking at around £320 + VAT for them to sort it out - which includes cutting it open to access the inside past the baffles, shot blasting it inside and out, fixing any holes and then sealing it inside and out. (cost may be lower if it has no holes after they blast it), plus collection/delivery costs if you don't drive it there. comes back with a 3 year warranty on their work.

I think cutting it open is required to get past the baffles and clean the end 2/3rds of the tank.

Based on the fact it is going to cost me at least £50 in chemicals and sealant/paint plus probably 2 days of tricky/messy work I am getting tempted by paying them for it!

Steve Briance wrote:
Hmmm, just wondering if the crud you mention might be a layer of grease (dried out petrol) stopping the acid getting to the rust? I only say that as the slosh tank kit includes a strong alkaline degreaser as step one.


Its got to be!. It does actually come off fairly easily if you can get in there to give it a scrubbing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:29 pm 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
Ouch, thats a big bill but, if they offer a 3 year warranty it sounds like they have confidence in the quality of the repair.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:11 pm 
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tomarse wrote:
Martin at Jamsaab says that none of the 900 plastic ones fit directly in the 99 as they used the metal tank on the early cars with the same floor so I'm out of luck there! (and Martin knows his stuff!)


Martin might be mistaken, I just had a look at some old parts microfiche and while 1979 injection 900's still had a steel tank, 1980 models had plastic tanks. 1980 models still had vertical spare and '99 type' boot floor.

Have a look through this thread, several pictures and references to the plastic tank in his car.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=188165

I accept however that the tank you need is going to be very hard to find as you are restricted to injection models from just one model year.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:36 pm 
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
It took a long time and hurt my wallet a bit but I have my tank back now and it looks really good!
I got a mounting ring installed on the fuel pump hole so that I can use a more conventional fuel pump via an adaptor plate (I'm planning on using a range rover one)

Image
Image
Image

You can see where they have chopped holes into the 3 tank sections to clean it up and then welded them back up. They went in on both sides.
Image

It is coated both inside and outside and everything i can see and reach inside looks amazing compared to the rusty mess it was before! I am looking forward to ditching the boat tank!

this was from Hartlepool radiators (https://www.fueltanks.co.uk/services/fuel-tanks-renu/)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:12 pm 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
Nice update! Tanks looks good. What did they coat outside in? Mine had what look like 'spray on' rubber on it. Yours looks similar but black.

Its reassuring bolting on a good job like that - fuel system reliability starts at the back.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:43 am 
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Location: Crewe
Car Models: 78 99T,99GL LPG
Steve Briance wrote:
Nice update! Tanks looks good. What did they coat outside in? Mine had what look like 'spray on' rubber on it. Yours looks similar but black.

Its reassuring bolting on a good job like that - fuel system reliability starts at the back.


The outside only feels very slightly rubbery - a lot like truck bed liner paint . The inside feels hard and is smooth.
It is some mystery American stuff called "Renu" and they seem to be very vague about what it actually is https://www.gastankrenu.com/how-it-works/

My tank originally had a rubbery coating over it (which was coming off in sheets with rust underneath it). They have removed this


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:35 pm 
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Car Models: 1972 99L 2 door
I know that peeling feeling.


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