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Apr 26th 2017, 07:42 PM   #1
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Stop tank rust (almost) before it starts?

My 46-year old Honda twin has been pretty understanding about being stored for a few years of 100% Willamette Valley humidity with an empty tank (and an old cracked fuel cap seal) in an unheated, uninsulated garage.

But there are light spots of surface rust starting to appear inside the tank now.
I've replaced the filler cap seal, but any thoughts on how to arrest this incipient rust before it becomes a real problem?
Apr 26th 2017, 11:59 PM   #2
 ShootPDX's Avatar
  May 2016
  Happy Valley area (Clackamas)

  SV650S Silver - HD 1250 Hammer Sportster w/Screaming Eagle stuff - GSXR-750 K12
I've heard Kreem doesn't work worth a darn...most people use POR-15...and they make a cycle-sized kit for lining your tank.

Mac's Radiator on Foster will do it...but...I've never priced a tank strip/repair/coating with them...and I've heard tell that sometimes a used or aftermarket tank is in the same ballpark.

If you don't care about the paint on the outside...there's tons of metal stripping places in PDX that will (chemically) do it on the cheap...but...then you have to figure out how to do the tank re-lining on your own...
Apr 27th 2017, 10:01 AM   #3
  Jan 2016

  2017 Kaw Ninja 1000 ABS (Z1000SX)
I'm sure you are aware, you should always store your tank full of fuel? Non-ethanol preferably, with stabilizer.

An even better strategy for long-term storage is to fill the tank with kerosene. That will keep it in good shape indefinitely.
Apr 27th 2017, 08:20 PM   #4
 DocB's Avatar
  Feb 2016
  Poulsbo, WA

  Aprilia RSV Mille, CB77 (AMA Nat'l landspeed record holder), CB750K, CB750F
The electrolysis method works great. I've done a couple of tanks that way, using sodium carbonate (bicarb baked at 400F for about 20 minutes will turn into sodium carbonate), a piece of steel, and a 12V battery charger. Only takes a couple of days if the rust is light to moderate. Lots of youtubes of the process.

You can stop there. As a follow up I soaked the tank with mild oxalic acid overnight (a good slug of Barkeeper's Friend in water).

For a more rust resistant finish I tried home Parkerizing one derusted tank with Jasco Prep and Prime (phosphoric acid) and some filed down pennies (to reveal the zinc). The acid is mixed with distilled water and goes in the tank and heated to around 190 degrees. Pennies were suspended in the filler hole. Seemed to work sort of, the tank has a light gray finish inside.

But I would suggest just doing the electrolysis, call it good, and keep gas in it. I have sprayed fogging oil in tanks that were going to sit empty for a while and they seemed to stay clean.
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Apr 27th 2017, 08:51 PM   #5
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
  Jan 2016

Terrific. Thanks everybody. I pulled the tank a weekend ago, flushed it with kerosene (dissolved some old varnish, thankfully not much) replaced the filler cap seal with a new one and at the moment it's sitting in a heated room in the house.

I'll try the electrolysis method before putting it back into service. Plenty of overhaulage to be done before then. Hope to have it back on the road this summer.
Apr 28th 2017, 08:44 AM   #6
  May 2016
  SW Portland

Don't let the tank sit too long while dry. It may "flash rust" a bit(it probabaly already has) just from the moisture in the air. Not really a big deal, but something to take note of in the tank cleaning process. Also, not sure if you have an in-tank fuel pump/filter combo but it helps to backwash the filter with some clean gas and replace the screen if you have one.

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