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Rust removal from inside gas tank

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Frank The Tank, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. trance

    trance XS650 Addict

    I have a question. I've been doing the electrolysis technique on my tank. I got all the red rust out no problem, but am left with black flakes (not bright metal). These black flakes seem to be also attracted to the electrode, but they are not going away. I've given it maybe 5 tries and the tank still looks bad inside. I dried out the tank and am letting it rest (and probably rust...) while I recharge the motorcycle battery (I was using an old motorcycle battery and a 2 amp charger to do the electrolysis). Plan on trying again in a couple of days to see if I can get the black stuff out.

    Any ideas?
  2. ReycleBill

    ReycleBill Part Time Tyrannicide XS650.com Supporter

    You really need more power. I use a 10 amp charger hooked to 3 small deep cycle batteries (36 volts total) and even it needs to be bigger to do a really good job. A friend of mine uses his 225 amp welder and gets great results! Fast too.
  3. trance

    trance XS650 Addict

    ah. maybe that's it. but DC power right? my welder is AC. I'll look out for a bigger power source this weekend.
  4. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I have used it. I am convinced that it is the best solution. It works just as advertised. I should add that I have also done the phosphoric acid method and electrolysis. The only downside to using Metal Rescue is that it is more expensive than the other methods.

    I have a tank with a liner in it. The liner appears to be grey in color. I put a lovely paint job on this tank and when I put fuel in it, the liner lifted. How do I get the old liner out and not ruin the paint? The rust I can handle, the liner looks like a serious problem.
  5. ReycleBill

    ReycleBill Part Time Tyrannicide XS650.com Supporter

    Exactly! Same reason I can't use my welder. Must be DC.
  6. ronstern

    ronstern XS650 Addict

    I've used a can of nuts and bolts that I poured into the tank and placed into my wife's dryer. Cushioned it with blankets and watched it for an hour so that the tank did not move. After I got all the nuts, bolts and rust out, I poured in three gallons of white vinegar and waited for a couple of days. The insides cleaned up great and etched to the base metal. Didn't hurt the paint at all and doubles as a salad dressing.
  7. kolby

    kolby XS650 New Member

    i remember reading an article in one of my dad old chopper mags from the 80s they used kind of the same method but instead of nuts and bolts they used 2000 bbs and diesel fuel plug all hole and shake it profusely rinse out and reuse the bbs untill satisfied the final step you should let the vinegar set in the tank to etch it since its a weak acid. pick a good tank sealer and follow the steps
  8. sonicarb13

    sonicarb13 sonicarb13

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this here before but I have an old paint shaker on a stand that I modified to strap a tank to. I fill it with drywall screws and let'er buck for a bit. I tried nuts, bolts, BB's, and lava rock but the drywall srews have the sharpest edge. Rudimentary but it works wonders.
  9. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I used
    I put the tank in my wife's

    It worked very well.
  10. sonicarb13

    sonicarb13 sonicarb13

    Great idea jetmechmarty. I have that same media in a vibration machine. I'll have to try that next time.
  11. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    Jet, what are those triangular piece's?
  12. ReycleBill

    ReycleBill Part Time Tyrannicide XS650.com Supporter

    I was in the hardware store the other day buying paint to paint a bedroom and as they shook my paint I pondered where I might get my hands on a paint shaker. Haven't found one yet but if I run across one I'll snag it up.
  13. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    5 Lbs. Rust-Cutting Resin Abrasive Tumbler Media

    I can not remember who turned me on to this, or I would give proper credit, but it works the charm. The beauty of this stuff is that it does not cut the good metal, but cleans all the rust away. I put my tank in an old sleeping bag and put it in the dryer with a bunch of pillows, so it couldn't move. I let it spin in there for two hours. What was rust has been turned to dust. I shook out the media, then pulled the dust with the vacuum cleaner. It is ready for acid etch, Metal Rescue, or maybe even rinse it and line it! Other than all the dust it left, the rust removal looks pretty thorough.:thumbsup:
  14. tadd442

    tadd442 dude.....

    I used Gorilla tape to seal off the petcock openings.
    Did the electrolysis method first to get the loose stuff.
    I tried the "Acid Magic"...about 1/3 gallon, closed the cap & splooshed it around for a minute or 3. Dumped it out & rinsed with water.
    Then I dumped in a bottle of 2 cycle oil & about 2 cups of gas & splooshed THAT around to coat it until I'm ready for usage.

    The Acid Magic is considerably more user friendly than regular Muriatic Acid...barely even smoked....still worked great!

    Attached Files:

  15. locolobo

    locolobo XS650 Member

    Yamaman, I have access to 30%phosphoric via my job. seems like that would be close to the 70% @ 50%=35%. What do you use to neutralize the acid and also to coat the tank after using the acid?
  16. Br4denJ

    Br4denJ XS650 Member

  17. tadd442

    tadd442 dude.....

    I wound up using a kit as there really is no way of protecting the metal once it has been cleaned. This kit was EXTREMELY easy and did an amazing job!


    I did my XS2 tank, and bobber P-Nut tank (2 gallon) from Lowbrow Customs at the same time with this kit. I had enough left over to do a second 2 gallon tank if I wanted to.
  18. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Baking soda solution will neutralize the acid. Caswell liner is my choice.
  19. tadd442

    tadd442 dude.....

    I read that Caswell makes good stuff...so far my only positive experience has been with KBS Coatings.
  20. gravelman

    gravelman XS650 Addict

    the product i used is called flame sold by auto valet in canada use it straight up till its all gone then flush with hot soapy water till water comes out clear dry tank and coated with por 15 tank sealer it is the only sealer iknow thats ethanol safe the old kreem has had issues with peeling with todays fuels

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