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#107856 - 01/08/07 11:21 am How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
GladTraja Offline
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GladTraja  Offline
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Posts: 6
Stockholm
What is the best method to clean an oil tank that is rusty on the inside?


1968 T120
1983 TSS
Various other bikes
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#107857 - 01/08/07 12:17 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Tiger Offline
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Tiger  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,429
Melbourne Australia
Wash out with gasoline and drop a couple of handfulls of 1/4" nuts into the tank, you can then either shake it by hand for a long time or duct tape it to a barbecue rotisserie [or a lathe chuck] or similar.
The steel nuts moving inside the tank will remove the rust by abrasion, if you rotate it by machine you may have to change it's position on the machine to get all the inside clean.
You will have to wash all the dust out after cleaning, I reckon gasoline first, then detergent water, then clean water then alcohol to dehydrate.
Modern oil of good quality has very effective de-oxidants so change oil at short mileages when you first get the bike running.


1969 TR6R
7.62 x 51 is not a maths puzzle.
#107858 - 01/08/07 1:25 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,962
John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content



Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,962
Boston, Massachusetts
Don Hutchinson, the triumph painter, finds sheet rock screws and muscle power does a good job.


#107859 - 01/08/07 1:35 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 97
Dan Blair Offline
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Dan Blair  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 97
Washington, DC
That does work. Screws that are short and sharp are very good. I think Don's advice for me was '...shake until your arms are going to fall off, and then shake some more...'

#107860 - 01/08/07 2:47 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 662
Riff_Raff Offline
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Riff_Raff  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 662
Arizona Territory
Gasoline is excellent for hard parts cleaning, but if you're worried about combustibles, you could do the 1st rinse with gasoline to dilute & remove most of the old oil & then use mineral spirits along with the nuts, screws for the shake-clean.

Agreed on what Tiger said.....once clean, rinse with warm detergent water, then clean water, then either air-dry or alcohol.


"Factory Stock Is A Suggestion Only"
#107861 - 01/08/07 4:25 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 120
birdoprey Offline
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birdoprey  Offline
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Clean with lacquer thinner. Wash with dishwashing liquid and hot water, rinse with hot water. Plug all holes and completely fill with Muriatic acid diluted 2:1 or 3:1 (eye protection, rubber gloves, acid to water, etc. etc.), leaving no air space. Cheap and readily available at any pool supply place, give unused acid to neighbor who has a pool. Neutralize with baking soda, rinse with hot, clean water and dry with hair dryer or wife’s oven at low temp. If you are going to paint immediately do so before adding oil so as not to contaminate outer surfaces with oil film. Other wise, add oil and rotate so as to coat inside surfaces to keep down surface rust. This is the easiest, quickest, most effective way I have ever found to clean interior surfaces of rust and works for gasoline tanks as well.

Flame suit on and thoroughly covered up here,

Art.

#107862 - 01/08/07 5:05 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 194
bzzrd2 Offline
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bzzrd2  Offline
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Posts: 194
Trenton, ON
I can't imagine going through the trouble of cleaning and being worried ever time I started the mill. I would toss it and get another one. Just my 2 cents, although sometimes I make no sense.


No usable genuine parts were used in the building of my chopper. Even the cases were busted on the primary side. I respect the purist community and use after market pieces on this project wherever possible.
#107863 - 01/08/07 5:20 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 208
relicduke Offline
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relicduke  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 208
Nova Scotia
bzzrd2
I'll send you my address and you can send me all your dirty parts k? Some of us here in the third world gotta make do


poverty is the mother of invention
#107864 - 01/08/07 6:37 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 194
bzzrd2 Offline
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bzzrd2  Offline
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Posts: 194
Trenton, ON
relicduke
Of course I clean dirty salvageable parts. Rusty oil tanks are a different thing to me. That's the blood of your engine flowing through there.


Quote:
Originally posted by relicduke:
bzzrd2
I'll send you my address and you can send me all your dirty parts k? Some of us here in the third world gotta make do


No usable genuine parts were used in the building of my chopper. Even the cases were busted on the primary side. I respect the purist community and use after market pieces on this project wherever possible.
#107865 - 01/08/07 9:43 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 662
Riff_Raff Offline
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Riff_Raff  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 662
Arizona Territory
Just a friendly caution if you decide to use muriatic acid. It is good stuff, but don't leave it in there too long....


"Factory Stock Is A Suggestion Only"
#107866 - 01/09/07 12:45 am Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 804
andrewinpopayan Offline
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andrewinpopayan  Offline
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Posts: 804
Halifax, Butt end of Europe
Put a pound of buckshot or 1/8 bearings in there and shake or rotisary for as long as your patience holds out. Bake it in the oven for an hour beforehand, dry rust is MUCH more brittle than "standard" rust. then to the shot adda pint of gas and give it another shaking, rinse it out with lots of soapy water, dry off carefully (I didn't say not to put it in the oven, be careful) and keep it in a warm until you paint it and then fill with oil. Diesel is good to "wet" the inside if you aren't going to fill with oil straight away, but don't let it see oil before you paint it.
Oil stops stuff rusting by excluding oxygen, no oxygen = no rust

Rust is magnetic, so drop a nice sized magnet inside the tank, make sure that it is easy to "fish" out for cleaning later, also gives you early warning of stuff thats coming out of your engine as filings eek


99% of carb problems are electrical.

1959 3TA

BMW R1150 Oilhead
#107867 - 01/17/07 2:17 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 45
CarbDip Offline
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CarbDip  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 45
San Antonio, TX
Have you tried electrolytic rust removal? It's cheap and easy.

In a nutshell:

You'll need a plastic tub large enough to hold your part, a box of washing soda (sodium carbonate), a manual charger, and a sacrificial piece of clean metal to server as an electrode.

Put two tablespoons of washing soda into your tub per gallon of water that you intend to fill. Pour your warm water into the tub and place your electrode on one end. On the other end, secure the tank to be de-rusted. Connect the negative charger cable to the tank, the positive to the electrode and plug your charger in. Let it stew for a day or so and voila, you're tank is de-rusted. Brush the rust off with a nylon bush and treat it with diluted phosphoric acid to protect the metal.

I tweak the mixture so that 8 Amps are drawn through the electrolyte. The process will also remove paint, though it takes slightly longer. Of course, be careful with the charger and keep your workspace ventilated; the process creates a small amount of hydrogen.


'68 T100R
#107868 - 01/17/07 4:15 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 112
liaison Offline
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liaison  Offline
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Joined: May 2005
Posts: 112
Hammond, LA
I enthusiastically endorse the electrolytic method of rust removal, having used it extensively on the Enfield, which took a 17 foot salt-water storm surge in Hurricane Katrina and sat in the mud for 3 months before I got it. However, this method does not "remove" rust in the sense that the rust dissolves or falls off the part. Electrolysis breaks the bond between the rust and the sound base metal and, as Honda 160 points out, the rust is then easily brushed off the part with a nylon brush. I bring this up only because I cannot envision getting a nylon brush into all of the nooks and crannies of the interior of an oil tank, so I think if you are going to use this method you should still shake the tank with some sheet metal screws to be sure you get out all of the loosened rust. You shouldn't have to shake it nearly as long after doing the electrolysis.

BTW, you guys talking about shaking a tank with gasoline or muriatic acid in it are scaring me.

Brgds,

Jim

1966 Triumph T120R
19?1 Enfield India Bullet 350
2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom


Brgds,

Jim

1966 Triumph T120R
2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom
#107869 - 01/17/07 7:03 pm Re: How to clean an rusty oil tank  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 804
andrewinpopayan Offline
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andrewinpopayan  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 804
Halifax, Butt end of Europe
Honda, thats a brilliant idea. bigt


99% of carb problems are electrical.

1959 3TA

BMW R1150 Oilhead

Moderated by  John Healy 


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