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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this subject has been covered in depth, but I'm new, so bear with me. I just purchased a 1998 TRX300FW 4x4 last week. Runs good (no smoke), but idles erratically. I opened the gas cap to add fuel and saw rust in the tank. Decided to check the bowl screen in the petcock. There is none and I found the petcock will not shut fuel off completely. Petcock bowl was full of rust sediment. Drained the tank as best I could, but I think sediment is preventing complete drain in normal and reserve petcock settings. Time to take off the tank. Looks like I'll have to remove the carb and check it too for rust debris. Oh well.

What have you guys been using to clean tanks and rustproof them? I have seen videos on muriatic acid, vinegar, etc. Just looking for real-world experience before I get in too deep, haha.
 

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The acetic acid in vinegar is effect in cleaning rust out of a gas tank. Clean best you can and just fill with white vinegar and let sit over night. Next clean it up and seal with POR-15.
 

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Evaporust, boiling hot, is good. I also like boiling phosphoric acid. But all of these take time and agitation with nuts , bolts, washers, screws, railroad spikes, whatever you can fit down the tank cap hole to break and scrape the rust loose.

In the finest traditions of Louisiana ******* engineering technology, I very recently duct taped my spare CB500 fuel tank to the rear wheel of my grandsons 250ex. With the rear tire elevated and a fan blowing on the engine for cooling, I tumbled that tank for maybe an hour and a half with the phosphoric acid and the railroad spikes. But it was clean after that. Then I immediately dried the inside with a thousand watts of heat gun heat because it'll rust again very quickly and the POR15 urethane does not stick to water or phosphoric acid.

It's a brand new tank on the inside after that but we need to discuss this process here some more in greater detail before you begin.

Rick

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I've heard of a lot of guys using vinegar then some kind of coating on the inside. I haven't ran into a rusty tank as I usually just avoid buying them lol


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3 lbs of BBs and filled it with 2 gals Walmart vinegar
Let it sit a couple hours and shook the BBs around til I got tired of doing it thataway
Bubble wrapped and put in cardboard box
Tightly secured in my little cement mixer and spun three hours
Mixed a solution using some hot tub pH chemical (cuz rust can't happen when pH is high)
Drained out vinegar and put in high pH rinsate
Dried with my heat gun--not too hot or you'll scorch the paint
Looks like New in there
I didn't coat my tank and frankly didn't need it I keep the tank full and no rust in there
 

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I just recently cleaned up a 200sx tank that was pretty nasty inside. There was a mix or rust and varnish. I had bought this stuff a while back: Industrial Rust Eliminator concentrate mks 1 gal compare Evaporust Metal Rescue | eBay. I dumped all that in the tank and added hot water and let it sit, and every so often I would shake it and change the position. It ended up looking about new inside. Wish I would have taken before and after pics. Then I dumped the solution into clean milk jug to keep for the next time.

Rob
 

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How are you guys coating the entire inside with POR15? I've used it, and I'm not completely impressed- I'd be real reluctant to use it inside the tank, where it could flake off and clog things up.
 

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3 lbs of BBs and filled it with 2 gals Walmart vinegar
Let it sit a couple hours and shook the BBs around til I got tired of doing it thataway
Bubble wrapped and put in cardboard box
Tightly secured in my little cement mixer and spun three hours
Mixed a solution using some hot tub pH chemical (cuz rust can't happen when pH is high)
Drained out vinegar and put in high pH rinsate
Dried with my heat gun--not too hot or you'll scorch the paint
Looks like New in there
I didn't coat my tank and frankly didn't need it I keep the tank full and no rust in there
This is the one, gravel and a cement mixer for a few hours. Change the position now and then so the gravel gets all nooks and crannys.
 

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How are you guys coating the entire inside with POR15? I've used it, and I'm not completely impressed- I'd be real reluctant to use it inside the tank, where it could flake off and clog things up.


I think they make a specific product for the inside of gas tanks. I've had some issues with the regular POR-15 flaking as well but only when I didn't use their preparation products with it.


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Yes. Preparation is key. There are several POR15 paint and anti-rust products but only one fuel tank liner from POR15. I'm afraid some people have used the wrong POR15 products inside their tanks because my first one that I did way back in 2009 is still perfect. No flaking and absolutely impervious to rust.

Rick

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How are you guys coating the entire inside with POR15? I've used it, and I'm not completely impressed- I'd be real reluctant to use it inside the tank, where it could flake off and clog things up.


I think they make a specific product for the inside of gas tanks. I've had some issues with the regular POR-15 flaking as well but only when I didn't use their preparation products with it.


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Ok- I didn't know that they made a product for tanks. I'm here to learn!
 

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I have a TRX250 tank where the inside resembles a 20 year old boat anchor! Rusty is an understatement, I'll post a pic on here tomorrow.
I don't hold much hope of being able to resurrect it though.
 

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I recommend buying just the POR15 fuel tank liner directly from POR15.com. It is 14 bucks or so and does not come with the cleaning and etching fluids. Buy a gallon jug of a phosphoric acid product at Lowe's or Home Depot called "Prep and Etch". You will save money buying just the urethane from POR15 and the cleaning stuff locally near you.

But hear this. Don't use muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid or pool acid to clean and etch your tank. Those things are too strong and can eat good metal in your tank. Stick with just the phosphoric acid and let it's gentleness work more slowly on your rust. A little heat with it and some tumbling will assist the process greatly.

Rick

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I took off the tank and removed the petcock. I'm not sure if it's even a Honda petcock. There was no filter / "sock" on the standpipe, and it was about 3 inches tall and only open at the top. As a result, it allowed about 1/2 to 3/4 gallon to remain in the tank and be unusable. I am going to get some phosphoric acid solution at Home Depot to use, after tumbling the tank with some type of aggregate to break up scale and such. Obviously a new petcock assembly will be ordered.
 

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Quartz would be good--silicon--it won't be dissolved by acid and it has sharp edges. You could also use coarse sand (large granules).
 

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I have a TRX250 tank where the inside resembles a 20 year old boat anchor! Rusty is an understatement, I'll post a pic on here tomorrow.
I don't hold much hope of being able to resurrect it though.
Interesting. I picked up a TRX250 a while back to grab the rear end and it had a plastic tank.

Of course, it had no front fender so I'm not sure the tank is original, or even for a TRX250
 

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I have a TRX250 tank where the inside resembles a 20 year old boat anchor! Rusty is an understatement, I'll post a pic on here tomorrow.
I don't hold much hope of being able to resurrect it though.
Interesting. I picked up a TRX250 a while back to grab the rear end and it had a plastic tank.

Of course, it had no front fender so I'm not sure the tank is original, or even for a TRX250
It is interesting because my other TRX250 has a plastic tank too! I was surprised when I saw the steel tank under the plastics. I assumed that the plastic tank was a replacement for a rotted out steel tank. I'm not sure on this one.

Still no pic of that rusty tank though, had a busy day and didn't get chance. I'll find time tomorrow.
 

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I had a horrible tank on a late 70's Honda ES3500 Generator. I got it cheap, but the tank gave me fits.

This thing had 1/2 inch thick sludge coating the inside of the tank, and it wouldn't come out with nuts and bolts and anything mild.

I ended up having to use muriatic acid and a pressure washer to get that crap out of the tank. That acid works, but I would use it as a last resort, because once it eats the rust and crap off the tank, you can almost watch it flash rust after you pour out the acid and flush the tank clean. It is too harsh, and the tank will rust again very quickly.

With that generator, no replacement tank available, and nothing to lose, so I tried everything.

Vinegar is the best bet for minor rust. It takes longer, but will eat the rust and not eat away much metal. Milder is better in this case.

I used vinegar to eat the flash rusting away from the muriatic acid, and then flushed it out good with water, and then sloshed premix around in the tank to coat the inside and keep it from rusting again. A good coating of oil/gas premix has worked fine. I store the generator dry, so no rust in the tank, and no gas to go bad in it and goop up the carb.

It won't be used unless we have a long term power outage. I got it for my sister who is a caterer and has a dozen fridges and freezers she'll need to keep going. The ES means electric start, so all she has to do it pour gas in and crank it.
 

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I had a horrible tank on a late 70's Honda ES3500 Generator. I got it cheap, but the tank gave me fits.

This thing had 1/2 inch thick sludge coating the inside of the tank, and it wouldn't come out with nuts and bolts and anything mild.

I ended up having to use muriatic acid and a pressure washer to get that crap out of the tank. That acid works, but I would use it as a last resort, because once it eats the rust and crap off the tank, you can almost watch it flash rust after you pour out the acid and flush the tank clean. It is too harsh, and the tank will rust again very quickly.

With that generator, no replacement tank available, and nothing to lose, so I tried everything.

Vinegar is the best bet for minor rust. It takes longer, but will eat the rust and not eat away much metal. Milder is better in this case.

I used vinegar to eat the flash rusting away from the muriatic acid, and then flushed it out good with water, and then sloshed premix around in the tank to coat the inside and keep it from rusting again. A good coating of oil/gas premix has worked fine. I store the generator dry, so no rust in the tank, and no gas to go bad in it and goop up the carb.

It won't be used unless we have a long term power outage. I got it for my sister who is a caterer and has a dozen fridges and freezers she'll need to keep going. The ES means electric start, so all she has to do it pour gas in and crank it.
Yeah, some acids are brutal aren't they! Even the vapour of some is enough to eat through metals.

Here are those pics of my TRX250 tank, it's in a sorry state!
 

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