Tag Archives: Gas Tank Sealer

  • How to Seal & Restore a Gas Tank

    Over time, your vehicle's gas tank can start to corrode and even leak. That is why is is important to know how to restore your gas tank to rid it of any rust and seal any minor leaks. Below, we take a look at how to properly seal and restore your gas tank.

    Gas Tank Sealing and Restoration: Preparation

    The first thing you need to do is gather your materials. You will need: the Eastwood Gas Tank Sealer Kit, muriatic acid, 64 oz. of acetone, two gallons of hot water, a bucket and some safety gloves and goggles. If you have a small gas tank that holds one to five gallons, you will only need one pint of the Eastwood Gas Tank Sealer (included in the Gas Tank Sealer Kit). If you have a larger tank, use two pints per 20 gallon-capacity. If your gas tank contains baffles, increase the surface area, and be sure not to coat the tank if the tank, sealer or room temperature is below 60 degrees. Make sure the tank is completely dry and free of water before applying any surface prep solution or sealer.

    Make sure that you have enough time to complete the entire restoration job before starting to seal and restore your gas tank. The first thing to do is drain and remove the tank from your vehicle. Use warm, soapy water to wash out and rinse the tank entirely. Remove any valves, sending units, petcocks and internal filters from the tank, and make sure that the fill spout is the only opening in the tank. Now, it is time to start cleaning the inside of the tank.

    Gas Tank Sealing and Restoration: Execution

    First, mix the contents of your metal wash solution (from the sealer kit) with your two gallons of hot water in a bucket. Pour the mixture into the tank and slosh the contents around before letting it sit for five minutes at a time on each surface. Slosh the tank around again, and pour out the solution before thoroughly rinsing the inside with a hose. If any varnish inside the tank still remains, repeat the sloshing and rinsing process until all traces of varnish are gone. In an outside environment, add three ounces of muriatic acid to 60 ounces of water, making about half a gallon of 20-to-1 water-to-acid solution. It is important to wear your safety gloves and goggles during this process. Now add your diluted muriatic acid solution to the tank and slosh it around for about five to ten minutes. Make sure one opening is loosely capped to allow pressure to escape the tank. Repeat this step until all rust inside the tank is gone. Then, pour out the contents into a plastic container and neutralize the acid solution with baking soda until the fizzing ceases.

    After thoroughly rinsing the tank multiple times of all remaining solution, pour the entire bottle of Fast Etch (from the sealer kit) into the tank and slowly rotate it, allowing all surfaces to come in contact with the solution until the inside is consistently gray. Next, pour out the contents, and fill the tank will one quart of acetone. Slosh the acetone around inside the tank before pouring it out. Now, repeat this step with fresh acetone. After you empty the tank again, shake your Gas Tank Sealer, pour it into the tank and coat each inner surface by rotating the tank slowly. Open the fill spout, and let the tank sit for eight to ten minutes. Close the opening again, and slowly rotate the tank once again with the solution in it. Let the tank sit again for eight to ten minutes on a different side. Repeat this process multiple times until the inside has an opaque white coating. This solution should be allowed to dry inside the tank, each side equally coated. In order to properly prevent the sealer from collecting and drying unevenly on any one side, insert an air compressor line into one opening of the tank with all other openings closed, at between one and five psi. The tank should be completed dry within 48 hours at 60 degrees or warmer, and the coating should ultimately be rubbery with no odor emitting from inside the tank.

    If you want to further protect your gas tank from rust, use Eastwood's Tank Tone Metallic Coating. This solution contains zinc to prevent against any initial spread of corrosion inside your tank. After the entire process is complete, always be sure to store your Eastwood Gas Tank Sealer Kit at 70 degrees or cooler for an optimum three-year storage life. Also, for any clean up, use methyl ethyl ketone or acetone solutions, but be sure to dispose of them safely and legally. Be safe when working with these chemicals, and always make sure you use the proper equipment to successfully seal and restore your gas tank.

    To learn more about sealing gas tanks and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

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  • Restoring a Classic Motorcycle- 1952 DKW RT125W

    During the 40's and 50's, many motorcycles looked more like large bicycles with motors attached, and some were just that. I've always been a fan of the "stripped down" look from that era and I decided to take the plunge and find a motorcycle project.

    Recently I traveled to a very large collector car and motorcycle show and swap in northern Germany to find my dream motorcycle. I'm a classic German car enthusiast and it only made sense to look for a bike that shared the same heritage. DKW and Auto Union were companies that eventually became what we know as Audi these days. In fact each of the companies that merged are marked by a ring in the Audi logo. Back in the 40-50's DKW was one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world and they had a huge impact on the looks of motorcycles at that time.

    I was after their bread-and-butter bike, the RT125W. This bike is by far the most copied motorcycle in history. I recently stumbled across an article on Vintage Veloce where they listed and detailed all of the iconic motorcycles that were direct copies of the RT125 and RT200. Even Harley Davidson used the RT125 to make its Harley "Hummer". Many other "big boys" like BSA, Maserati, Moto Morini, Kawasaki, Peugeot, Triumph, etc all copied The RT125 and made their own version.

    After some searching and some translation help, I found the bike I wanted and a stack of Euros were exchanged. The motorcycle I ended up with is a 1952 RT125W that has some light patina. A nice Dutch collector was selling it along with 5 other similar style vintage motorcycles and they all were equally as nice! Even though the bike is missing the key, has flat tires, worn out grips, and has been sitting for quite some time dry, I saw potential. The key elements for me were there- it's mostly original with all of the key rare parts still intact including the tank, badges, headlight with speedo, engine, and fenders. It was love at first sight!

    Once I got the bike back to a friends shop, we quickly tore into the bike priming the carb and kicking the engine over until we got it to fire to life. SUCCESS! Once we knew the engine was good, we began tearing the bike down and boxing it up to ship back to the states. I'm patiently waiting as I type and I can't wait to start doing a light restoration on it. The first plan of action is to clean and reseal the original gas tank with one of our Gas Tank Sealer Kit for Motorcycles. Then I'll move on to degreasing the engine and mechanical parts with Chassis Kleen and getting things mechanically sound.

    Stay tuned for some tutorials as I work on the bike, and be sure to ask questions and make suggestions along the way!


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  • The cure for rusty-tank syndrome

    It's one thing to have to fight rust that is easily accessible, like on floor pans or quarter panels, where it isn't too hard to get to the problem area.  Nothing is worse than restoring a vehicle, only to find that the fuel tank you have in it is full of loose rust and coated in varnish. I recently fell victim to this exact problem with my VW pickup truck project. I had gone through quite an extensive job in getting this truck to the stage where it was almost drivable, only to be stopped dead in my tracks. If you are unfortunate (or masochistic) enough to have to go through this process, I decided to do a fairly universal "how-to" pictorial of how to go through this process.

    Now, faithful Eastwood readers, I feel that we are good enough friends that I can tell you "how it is" without sugar coating it. This job is going to be messy, dirty, and downright unpleasant. You have to figure, if the gas tank on the inside is rusty enough to cause an issue, the exterior of the tank and it's mounting points have to be that much worse. I found that that was exactly the case on my truck. It seemed like everywhere I looked, under the bed of the truck had surface rust, the outside of the tank being the worst of it for sure. As I dug into it, I found I really had to work to coax the nuts holding the gas tank straps to come off. Luckily I had grabbed a can of CRC Freeze-Off before starting on this. We just started carrying this product, and I will admit, I was a bit skeptical to say the least. I mean, come on, it "freezes" the rust off? But J.R. from our R&D fame assured me that it was the cat's meow as far as rust fighting penetrates go. So I doused the threads on the stud, and the nut itself, a few times with the freeze-off, and let it sit. After working the nut back and forth, a little tapping with a small hammer, and some baby-talk to it, I was able to get both nuts to thread off with out breaking a stud or having to cut the nut off. I would say that the freeze-off gets my approval!

    After assuring that I didn't have to cut off any nuts or mounting studs, I removed the fuel pump lines, the fuel filler hose to the tank, and any associated breather hoses. I then dropped the fuel tank down out of the truck. I've found that your average floor jack is perfect for this job. Once the tank was out, I set it on a fender stand to work on it (not before cleaning the acorns off the top of the tank!). I started by draining the fuel out completely. You can see from the picture of the pre-pump filter, and also of what was left in the drain pan, just how bad the rust and dirt inside the tank was. This was the 4th fuel filter in a matter of a week. Each time I would attempt to drive the truck and hit a bump, the filter would get clogged with more rust. Also note the pictures of the inside of the tank that I shot, if you look closely you can see the piles of rust still in the tank, along with all of that varnish! I tried to knock all the major rust off of the walls of the inside of the tank by dropping some old chain into the tank and shaking it around for a few minutes (I told you this wasn't going to be fun!). Follow all of this up by spraying the pressure washer inside of the tank, trying to flush all of that rust you knocked loose out of the tank.

    After getting the tank out and drained, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to just use our tank sealer kit and restore the inside of the tank, I was going to have to do something about how the outside looked. I decided to choose our Tank Tone Kit. This kit is made to help treat and convert surface rust on the outside of the tank and then you apply a silver coating that is fuel resistant and leaves the tank looking like the day the vehicle left the showroom. I needed to first, assess the corrosion and make sure that I wasn't attempting to restore a tank that possibly would rot out and leak after a year or two. I hit the tank with a wire brush and a metal scraper to get all of the heavy stuff off first. After checking the tank for any thin spots, I started applying the rust converter that is included in the kit. Luckily I have a small 10 gallon tank in that truck, so only one tank tone kit was necessary. I would suggest at least two kits for an average full size car or truck. Because of how extensive the rust was on the outside of the tank, I let the rust converter sit on the tank for a full 24 hours.

    I took pictures below showing how the converter progressed over this time. The last pictures you can really see how the surface has changed color of the rust all over!

    Here is the rust converter working after only a few hours on the rusty tank.

    Now here is after 24 hours with the Rust Converter working on the tank. Notice how much more of the rust has now been turned to a blackish purple color. The outside of the tank is now ready to be primed and top coated!

    This is where the process of restoring an old gas tank really begins to make you rethink why you are doing this project yourself, but I can assure you... if you stick with me, the end result is surely worth it! I used one of our Tank Sealer Kits For Cars, again two or more kits may be needed for larger tanks. I plugged the openings in the tank using tin-foil and appropriate length screwdrivers. This kept the chemicals from getting all over the place. The first step is adding a bucket of our metal wash, which has been diluted with two gallons of hot water. You then shake, and turn the tank to get the metal wash to soak into all surfaces and etch the metal. This is a process that you will be very, very good at by the end.

    After draining and rinsing the tank out, you follow up with a small amount of muriatic acid diluted in a half gallon of hot water. This acid is NASTY stuff, the bottle was smoking when I opened it... that is always a sure sign that this is not a chemical that you want to get on your skin! Again, mix the acid with the water, dump it in the tank, slosh the tank, drain, rinse. You can see how brown and contaminated the liquid coming out of the tank was still at this second step.

    At this point I tried snapping a photo showing how the inside of the tank was beginning to be etched and brought back to clean metal. Pretty neat to see, but tough to photograph!

    In the next step, you dump an entire bottle of fast etch in the tank again, to clean and etch. Once you have drained that all out, you add one small can of Acetone to clean the surface, and help evaporate any other water in the tank. Each of these chemicals are the same as the others, dump in the funnel, slosh around in the tank, drain out.

    After I got the majority of the acetone out, I let the tank sit upside down for an hour to let the chemicals evaporate inside. I then used 1.5 bottles of the tank sealer and sloshed it around in the tank. This time I took much more care, making sure all of the surfaces inside were covered and the sealer wasn't puddling or filling the center baffle. I let the tank sit upside down to avoid this and it also allowed the top of the inside of the tank to get some coverage.

    The sealer fumes are very intense, I got too close and accidentally breathed in the chemicals when trying to shoot the photo of the inside of the tank, and it made me gasp and nearly faint. The lengths I go through to get everyone a thorough DIY article took their toll that night! Crazy stuff. Subsequently I got a headache later on in the evening. Moral of this story is, DO NOT under any circumstances, breathe in, or inhale the fumes coming out of the tank after the sealer has been applied!

    The instructions then called for you to put an air nozzle in the tank and run it at at a low PSI to help dry the sealer and stop it from puddling too much. Since I don't have an air compressor at my home garage just yet, I decided to rig up the exhaust on the shop vac to circulate air inside the tank. I left it on for about an hour, and it definitely seemed to do the trick.

    Once the tank sealer had dried and there were little to no fumes remaining, I applied the Tank Tone to the outside of the tank. This really made a world of difference. I still have trouble convincing friends this is the same tank!

    As they say in the repair manuals, "installation is the reverse of removal," so I lifted the restored tank back up into the truck. Luckily it all fit back into it's home pretty easily, and I was left to admire my handy work, and reflect on the restoration process . As many can relate, sitting back and admiring your handy work can be a catch 22... while it allows you to appreciate the end result of the hard work you put into restoring something, it also allows you to see the imperfections and faults in everything around it! I now noticed all of the suspension parts, and brackets under the truck that had minor surface rust on them. Not to mention the spots on the floor beds of the cab where I had applied our Brushable Seam Sealer and I felt like those spots needed some undercoating to give that OEM finish back to the floor boards, and match the fresh look of the gas tank.

    So that begun the process of again using Rust Converter to treat and convert all of the surface rust, as well as prep the surfaces for top coats. I sealed the treated areas with Rust Encapsulator, and followed up with a top coat of our Satin Extreme Chassis Black. I felt this gave the undercarriage parts a nice understated "OEM" finish, and also gave me the piece of mind that the rust wouldn't be coming back to haunt me years down the road!

    All in all, this was a very tedious, long process. But, I am happy to report that since restoring the tank, the truck is now running well on its new engine, and is very close to being road worthy! I can't wait to hear what the exhaust shop thinks of the undercarriage of the truck when they build my custom exhaust this week!!!

    Keep up the hard work, and as usual, any and all comments, questions, and advice are welcomed here if you leave a comment!!


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