Gas tank cleaning

 

OK. You have a bike or are buying a bike with a rusted out gas tank. I mean, the outside is really clean, or can be cleaned up real nice but the inside looks like a place where the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born. Really nasty. The first thing you do is assess the situation. Is the tank a readily available off-the-shelf item that can be had for a few bucks? Probably not as tanks can be pretty expensive, especially if they are NOS or close to it. If all the badges on the outside are there and can be cleaned up nicely, the petcock is attached and gas cap is in good shape, you may have a winner tank. 

I've read articles about Kreem, POR-15 and a few other's out there but this one caught my attention for a few reasons. First of all, it's totally 100% biodegradable. Secondly, it can be used over and over again. And thirdly, I didn't want a coat of plastic on the inside of my tank, but rather a shiny finish such as the day it was first made. Fourthly, it won't sting or burn your hands or attack rubber or paint either. At all. Rusteco seemed the way to go. And it is. Might I remind you, I am not affiliated in any way shape or form with Rusteco, nor am I getting paid for endorsing their products. I tried it, used it again, loved the results and am only here to share the experience with you in the hopes that you too will be as pleased as I am. Check out their website at www.rusteco.com and see for yourself. Then try the product and I'm sure you'll agree that it's the cat's meow.

Step 1

Remove the tank from the bike, and remove all components from the tank, like the petcock, gas cap, rubber hoses and what not. Don't worry about the badges. Leave them there. They won't be harmed a bit.

Step 2

Drain all the gas out of the tank and run a garden hose through it on full blast so that the water breaks up any loose dirt and rust laying on the bottom of the tank. Do this for a while to make sure it's rinsed out thoroughly.

My friend Carl in Australia pointed out "After draining the fuel out and before putting the hose into the tank, mix up some laundry detergent or other type of detergent (dish soap?) with boiling water and wash the inside of the tank out. This will save the Rusteco from fuel tarnish residue and give it a cleaner surface to work on."  Good Point! Thanks mate! 

Step 3

This is very important. Dry the inside of the tank. Yup. Dry it real well. I used a hair dryer and propped the tank on different sides so as to get the water that settled out as well. It took a few hours for me to really dry it good.

Step 4

Once the tank is dry and still warm, take some duct tape and seal the tubes off at the bottom of the tank as well as the threaded fitting for the petcock. Leave the gas cap opening clear. The only opening at this point should be the filling hole or gas cap area. 

Step 5

I bought my Rusteco via the internet from the site and I bought the little gallon size of the greenish liquid. If you do or did the same, you will want to pour it all in the tank now. The idea is to fill the tank (it's easier that way) but like me, my tanks were 2.4 gallon tanks and consequently, wouldn't fill it. No biggie. Pour the gallon of Rusteco in the tank. 

Step 6

Now you want to let the Rusteco do it's job. First, once it's in the tank, you want to shake it up real good. Take your time, you'll be here a while. Shake shake shake for a while and turn the tank upside down and really soak the inside real good. Then let it sit for a few hours. I did this off-and-on for 24 hours. Noon Saturday to noon Sunday. I even got up at night a few times to go down and shake my tank. My wife thought I was nuts. But while I was down there, I turned the tank upside down to get the top of the tank that was only being treated when I shook it up.  By the way, you don't have to shake the tank at all if you have enough Rusteco to fill the gas tank totally. Shaking it is only the best way to coat the entire insides of the tank if you've only bought one gallon of Rusteco.

Step 7

OK. It's noon Sunday and you're really tired of shaking this tank around. Pour out all the Rusteco very carefully (so as not to lose any!) into a bucket. It will be a rusty brown color and depending on the condition of your tank to begin with, may have chunks in it too. How does the inside of your tank look?? If you want, you can run the Rusteco in the bucket through a coffee filter to get all the junk out of it and then pour it back in the plastic gallon container it came in. This way you can use it again. It can also be diluted with water to fill the tank and therefore not require you to shake the tank, but it takes longer because it's diluted with water. Remember, you do not have to shake the tank at all if you have enough Rusteco to fill the gas tank totally. Shaking it is only the best way to coat the entire insides of the tank if you've only bought one gallon of Rusteco.  

Step 8

Take the tank outside and grab the water hose again. Stick the end of the hose in the tank and turn it on full blast again. This is to remove any lose stuff and remaining Rusteco from the inside of the tank. Remember, Rusteco is not flammable and will collect at the bottom of the tank until you put a petcock on it and fill it with gas. This Rusteco will clog the petcock. Don't ask me how I know. Once the tank is rinsed out thoroughly, it's ok to take the duct tape off now, make sure that it's dry. You don't have to blow-dry it (but I highly recommend it, I did) but you are going to add the accessories to your tank again, then the tank to the bike and fill with fuel. So you may want to make sure now that it's real dry inside. 

Step 9

Once the tank is dry and you have added your petcock, and any crossover lines (new rubber I hope), vent tubes, breathers,  you may now mount the tank on the bike. Making sure that all components are attached securely, you may fill the tank with gas and ride your bike. Give the carbs a minute to fill their bowls with fuel and you can be on your way. 

  When I poured out my Rusteco from the tank, there was a lot of ..."junk" in the bottom of the tank that came out. I mean junk. I could not recognize the stuff that came out. I think some was of rubber and some of like a lint or something. Probably old tank liner stuff used previously. It was gross. But when the tank was finished, I looked inside with a flashlight and it was really shiny. Just like brand new. I can't think of a better way to achieve this goal as my paint job was not damaged, my hands weren't burned, my wife wasn't complaining about the stench (it doesn't smell!) and I could rinse the tank on my front lawn. 

I hope this helps you in some way, it sure helped me. 

For more information on RUSTECO and GreaseMaster products, please contact:

RUSTECO Service Center
2019 W. 16th Street
Long Beach, CA 90813
Tel:1-800-787-8326 (1-800-RUSTECO)
or 562-432-4868
FAX: 1-310-782-8939
E-mail:
rusteco@aol.com