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Old 03-22-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
2manyrides OP
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Steel tanks and storage

I'm sure this has been discussed here some where. Help me out.
After draning and drying, I had stored multipal steel tanks with their gas caps on and closed petcocks. Years later finding rust.
I know I could use muratic acid, and I found a link to this stuff;
(evapo-rust) in another thread.
http://www.orisonmarketing.com./corr...vapo-rust.html
Don't really want to have to coat them inside.
I'd just like to store these extra tanks with out them rusting up.
I have 1984 paint job on a tank still new and unused that's been stored since then in protective foam and shrink wrap. I worry about what I'll find if I open it up.

Any Ideas will help me decide which way to turn.
Thanks
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
marksbonneville
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I give mine a coat of oil (atf or marvel) inside before I store them, plus I leave the cap and petcocks off and only cover them with a rag. I just pulled a tank out that was stored 15 years with no problems. I do not like coatings unless I have no other choice, I use vinegar to remove rust and coat it with oil. But I live in a dry climate so that helps.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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To store a raw steel tank and prevent it rusting you have to remove all water and air which rust feeds on.

Keep the tanks full of something. Kerosene, antifreeze, old motor oil? Check them on occasion and top up. Even if you do get either surface rust or sludge from your fill liquid ... both are easy to clean out when you want to use them.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marksbonneville
I give mine a coat of oil (atf or marvel) inside before I store them, plus I leave the cap and petcocks off and only cover them with a rag. I just pulled a tank out that was stored 15 years with no problems. I do not like coatings unless I have no other choice, I use vinegar to remove rust and coat it with oil. But I live in a dry climate so that helps.
markbooneville,
Can you elaborate on the vinegar method?
Just a coating of oil has worked well for you then...

I Have not had, nor coated a tank yet and don't want to start. But from what I gather, once it's been infected with rust, it will keep coming back unless as rufusswan says, I keep it full.

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Old 03-22-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
marksbonneville
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I have found that one of the nicest rust removers is apple cider vinegar. I soak rusted parts in it for a day or two and it removes most all of it. I had a triumph tank with some scale rust so I cleaned it with soap and water, dried it, capped the petcocks and filled it to the brim with vinegar, a couple days later all rust was gone. Then I cleaned it again put it in the wife's oven to dry and oiled the inside with auto tranny fluid, good as new.
I have been using vinegar for years, its cheap, safe and works as well as any expensive industrial stuff. I keep a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff in the garage.

When I'm done with the old stuff I spray it on my driveway to give it a nice redish brown tint.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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FYI on coatings

I had a tank here last year that someone used the coating product "creme" in it. What a mess, so I tossed in a gallon of acetone and within a few days ALL the coating was gone. I then did the vinegar soak and everything was fine. I never understood why they coated this particular tank, but I would not feel comfortable with the creme product.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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i have used navel jelly and a bunch of bolts/screws with good success to get out really bad rust...as for storage it seems a light coat of oil would work well
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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+1 on the vinegar method. I've used it for years on tanks, metal brake lines, small metal parts etc. I use white distilled vinegar, so apparently the type of vinegar doesn't matter much. I too keep about 5 gallons on hand. It can be re-used several times before it gets too contaminated.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:38 AM   #9
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Steel tanks and storage

Looks like I need to source some vinegar.
Right now I have 2 XS650 tanks, and a BSA tank to clean up.
These are all just mildly rusted so a clean up and a protective film is what I'm looking for. Thanks for the responses!

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Old 03-25-2009, 10:04 AM   #10
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it works good

Hey marksbonnieville,

I got 3 gallons of white vinegar at smart+final for about 12 bucks.
Filled it to the brim and closed the cap.
Came back the next day and opened her up. Could see floating rust on the surface, but not a pristine clean look on the steel.
Touched it with a tooth brush on the center hump and all suface rust "wipes" off. There's no scrubbing needed, it just needs to be touched.

So now I need to get some sort of medium to shake up in it. Then do the rinse+dry.
Thanks a million times!

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:16 PM   #11
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I'm glad it worked out for you. I usually get whats left over removed with a good hot water rinse, then let it sit in the sunlight. You could always drop a 3 foot small chain in the tank and swish it around with water.

Mark
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #12
Rich Dubbya
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What ever happened to topping off your tank and adding some Sta-bil ? Or long term just keeping it empty and no moisture ? Hang a clean dry rag from the top when you close it can absorb moisture which works .
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:01 AM   #13
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I've been wondering what to do about the rust in the tank of my gn250 for quite some time. The poor lill' thing sat in a carport shaded but not sheltered from wind born rain and filth for a decade before a friend at work donated it to me. I hope to get it rolling nice and reliable as a fun little mini-chopper trainer and have done quite well detailing it, put new tires on, replacing and unsticking things. This vinegar idea is giving me some hope that the project can be finished w/o too much more cash thrown into it.
Oh, and the tank was left full according to the PO, but that fuel evaporated and corroded into some awful looking crud that boiled out with hot water and soap in chunks of gritty grimy stuff. The next phase of rinsing w/ acid removed more but it was still ugly. Over the last couple of days, I even strapped it to the mouth of a cement mixer with bits in it to "roto-scrub" the insides. Hence leading us to the next phase the vinegar.. :)
I gotta get some pix of this posted, if I can figure out how.

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:28 AM   #14
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I went with distilled white vinegar (it's cheaper and has the same acid concentration), all I can say is "Wow!".. The little GNs gas tank still needs a good rinse (the small chain idea sounds good too), and it should be ready to ride again. A fuel filter/contaminant separator will also be added to be sure all is well. I hope to get pix together,, what a wonderfully cheap way to get the rust out. I was poised to bite the bullet and buy some wonder goo for roughly 100$,, how silly that would have been.
Thanks y'all for sharing the ol' skool lore.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:45 AM   #15
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I can't say enough about the effectiveness of vinegar...

I have lill' GN250 that was donated to me because it was so thoroughly corroded up. I just finished cleaning out the tank last week,, vinegar ate the rust, didn't just loosen it,, destroyed it.. Two stages of quick flushing, with hot soapy water and then mineral spirits and that baby is clean.

I rode it 100+ miles yesterday to work and then the long way home,, the fuel filter shows no signs of debris.

Incredible stuff..
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