Fuel Tank Pickup Troubles

boataddict

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2020
170
33
Point Pleasant, NJ
I'm going to pull the empty starboard tank this weekend and see what it looks like. If I feel like it's in good shape I'll try to deep clean it out. If not, then I'll confirm the dimensions and send the order.

Any other tips on how to best clean it out?
Also, how should I pressure test it?
 

seatux

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2006
3,066
171
Port Charlotte Florida
It's always a challenge to seal the tank good enough, so you can test it, Wood plugs dont work, the air "freely" flows thru a tapered plug. PVC plumbing fittings are helpfull, the test pressure is VERY LOW..( I dont remember off hand what it is) DONT go above it. Seal, pressurize, and turn off the ball valve and note the time.
I've read washing the inside with toluene works, but you should read about how dangerous that shit is before you decide to use it, I'd rather use lacquer thinner.
 

Ship

Well-Known Member
Supporting Captain
Dec 15, 2008
12,017
321
Atlantic City, NJ area
If you read the spec that was quoted earlier you'd see 5 psi.
. But don't test at that. 2.5 is about all our tanks will hold and that only if they're in good shape. Plumbing fittings work. Fernco (rubber)cap with ss clamps on the fill and pipe fittings on the vent and pick up. And return if your tanks have them.
 

petertr3

Well-Known Member
Supporting Captain
Jul 11, 2017
337
38
It's always a challenge to seal the tank good enough, so you can test it, Wood plugs dont work, the air "freely" flows thru a tapered plug. PVC plumbing fittings are helpfull, the test pressure is VERY LOW..( I dont remember off hand what it is) DONT go above it. Seal, pressurize, and turn off the ball valve and note the time.
I've read washing the inside with toluene works, but you should read about how dangerous that shit is before you decide to use it, I'd rather use lacquer thinner.
The guy who recommended toluene is an old school mechanic who just sold his shop after 40 years. They used to do some scary stuff. I looked at the MDS for toluene - you are right, it's bad stuff. However, I learned that denatured alcohol (yeah, ethanol, the crap that caused the problem in the first place) dissolves that crud well. MEK works too, but that's nastier than toluene. Pumping the gas out of the tank, flushing with a couple of gallons of alcohol and pumping out again may do the job without turning you into a mutant. I'm going to have to do something or just buy stock in Racor.
 

petertr3

Well-Known Member
Supporting Captain
Jul 11, 2017
337
38
With diesels you aren’t dealing with ethanol. It melts the built up varnish into gummy little boogers that clog filters like crazy. At least the Racor stops them before they can cause any other trouble.
 

boataddict

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2020
170
33
Point Pleasant, NJ
Good news!

I pulled the fuel tank on the starboard side. Little elbow grease and a half hour later it was out.

The tank actually looks really really good. If I can find a way to clean it really well I think it's definitely got quite a bit of time left in it.

Tomorrow I will start flushing it out. Still haven't decided how I'm going to do that yet.
 

seatux

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2006
3,066
171
Port Charlotte Florida
There are Ton of cleaners/degreasers you can use. Take all the fittings off, sit it on top of saw horses ( or something) fill it with cleaner and shake the saw horses and let set. They turn it upside down to drain, and put a pressure washer into ever one of the openings, and move it around to help break loose and rinse whats there. Then I fastened an electric leaf blower to one fitting, and a HD vacume to another, and let them run for awhile.
Then comes the fun part, coat the entire outside with marine coal tar epoxy.
 

boataddict

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2020
170
33
Point Pleasant, NJ
Cleaned the tank up really nice, so much gunk was inside- stones of it literally came out at one point.

Cut out all the soggy foam and cleaned up the compartment nicely. Tank was sitting on rubber strips already which is probably why it held up so well. Added a couple more strips and 3m 5200 to hold it in place. Kept a few small bit of foam in the corners just to hold it steady in place, but high enough that they won't get waterlogged. Pumped some fuel into it to help it settle into place while it cures.

Decided against coal tar epoxy after talking to some local tank builders. Apparently anodizing the tank is the way to go and the way it was setup before clearly worked wonderfully, so why change a good thing.

PXL_20220704_162525203.MP.jpg


The new fuel sender is not working still. So I suspect many of my gauges are just shot altogether. They were uncovered and exposed to the elements all those years so it's not super surprising.
 

Ship

Well-Known Member
Supporting Captain
Dec 15, 2008
12,017
321
Atlantic City, NJ area
I see the manufacturer tag. Does the year of fabrication match the year of boat. It will tell if the tank was changed out before or was original.
 


Latest posts

Top