Fuel tank cleaning and coating - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel tank cleaning and coating

My local radiator shop want to cut a hole in my fuel tank to clean and coat the inside. They tell me its because of the baffles inside.
Is this necessary?
Will the coating cause problems down the road?

Please share your insight and concerns.
Ulf

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:46 AM
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Very likely . pick a spot that will be hidden after install. Also make sure they are only going to coat inside .. I made that mistake once and they coated the whole outside with hard rough crap.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:59 PM
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I just had my tank cleaned and coated. I did not have them cut any holes because my tank was clean inside but I had then fix (braze) the vent tube where it enters the tank because it leaked. Most of the motorcycle gas tanks I have had coated they had to cut one or two small holes in the bottom to properly clean it. For the Alfa tank, I would have them cut the top of the tank where you don't see it. You do see the bottom! Tell them not to paint the tank. I have had tanks come back rattle can painted. Also, make sure the coating is Ethanol proof.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:01 AM
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As these fuel tanks are in excess of fifty years old, it's no surprise that most need some attention. Many have been damaged by idle years with various aqueous and chemical "soups" left brewing inside the tanks.
Some may be saved without disturbing their original construction but many need to be opened for mechanical attention and media blasting.
Attached here are a number of pics comparing Spider (53 liter) and Sprint V (80 liter) tanks, which give you an idea of the external differences between the tanks.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:07 AM
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External damage to this 80 liter Sprint Veloce fuel tank requires opening for mechanical repairs and media cleaning.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
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External damage to this 80 liter Sprint Veloce fuel tank requires opening for mechanical repairs and media cleaning.
Wow, great photos...

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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George is the master of the annotated photgraph!

I suspect he spent countless hours watching Alice's Restaurant in which Officer Obie spent time at 'the scene of the crime' taking 'tire plaster tracks, footprints, dog smellin' prints ... and 27, 8-by-10 colored glossy photos with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.'

I have been the recient of many of these photos that have taught me more than several pages of verbiage on the subject

Thanks, George!

Ray

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 12:54 PM
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But luckily he didn't have to sit on a bench smoking sigs, with mother rapers and father rapers.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:12 PM
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OK, while we're talking gas tanks, I had mine "boiled out" by the most reputable guy in Tulsa, He does, or did, all the vintage work in this area.

After some time, and reading a number of BB threads, I thought I should take the tank back and have it lined or coated.

Long story short, the guru had sold the business and the tank came back coated in some hideous blue stuff and it appears that something is rattling around inside that sounds like large flakes or chunks of something that shouldn't be there!

I have no idea as to what it could be, but I don't want it in there; recommendations, please.

Thanks

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:43 AM
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You won't like this answer .. but it would solve your fuel tank problem permanently:
https://classicalfa.com/750-082-750-...der-fuel-tank/

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:49 AM
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I know

Tony Stevens sells one that is powder coated gloss black, ($1,079)as well.

I would hate to guess what shipping from merry old England, would be!

Ray

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'64/66 Giulia Spider finally back in the garage and painted
'75 Olandase Blu Alfetta Sedan 2.0 & '88 Red Milano Verde; both long gone and dearly missed
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raimondo View Post
OK, while we're talking gas tanks, I had mine "boiled out" by the most reputable guy in Tulsa, He does, or did, all the vintage work in this area.

After some time, and reading a number of BB threads, I thought I should take the tank back and have it lined or coated.

Long story short, the guru had sold the business and the tank came back coated in some hideous blue stuff and it appears that something is rattling around inside that sounds like large flakes or chunks of something that shouldn't be there!

I have no idea as to what it could be, but I don't want it in there; recommendations, please.

Thanks
The only correct fix is to have a reputable radiator shop cut a hole in the top find the loose piece, repair or remove it, and re-weld the hole up -- then coat the inside. The trick is finding the right shop.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
The only correct fix is to have a reputable radiator shop cut a hole in the top find the loose piece, repair or remove it, and re-weld the hole up
I would term that action: "the incorrect fork-up" ..
Many's the tank that has been destroyed by such actions.

These fuel tanks were constructed of sheet-metal .8 mm (about 1/32") and terne plated on both sides for protection from corrosion. The black paint on the exterior is there simply for aesthetic reason.

Terneplate, steel sheet with a coating of terne metal, an alloy of lead and tin applied by dipping the steel in molten metal. The alloy has a dull appearance resulting from the high lead content. The composition of terne metal ranges from 50–50 mixtures of lead and tin to as low as 12 percent tin and 88 percent lead. The tin serves to wet the steel, making possible the union of lead and iron, which would otherwise not alloy. Terneplate is made by a process similar to galvanizing or tinplating—i.e., by dipping the sheets into a series of heated baths, the first of a zinc chloride flux, followed by the molten terne metal, and finally one of palm oil. Terneplate has the strength and formability of steel and the noncorrosive surface and solderability of terne metal. While it is still used for roofing, gutters and downspouts, and casket linings and in the manufacture of gasoline tanks for automobiles, oil cans, and containers for paints, solvents, resins, and so on, it has largely been replaced by other, more durable steel products that are easier to manufacture.

Welding on them is difficult and it destroys the solder coating but there are techniques that can be employed to open the tank, clean it internally and return it to service.
If unmolested, most can be repaired however it is a dirty, labor intensive job that I've done many times but do not relish tackling.
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Last edited by GTD; 04-20-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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" hideous blue stuff" . you didn't say if this is on the inside or outside. The last tank I did, was a blue-black color on inside .. according to my trusted vendor the "best stuff".
He said the "white stuff" flakes off in a short time.


"appears that something is rattling around inside" . like a ball (used to knock rust loose during cleaning)? or a baffle that the rust is no longer holding in place? The wrong cleaning solution can also dissolve the solder. What you need is inside view (like the great pictures in post 5).
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
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I would term that action: "the incorrect fork-up" ..
Many's the tank that has been destroyed by such actions.

These fuel tanks were constructed of sheet-metal .8 mm (about 1/32") and "tinned" or solder plated on both sides for protection from corrosion. The black paint on the exterior is there simply for aesthetic reason.
Welding on them is difficult and it destroys the solder coating but there are techniques that can be employed to open the tank, clean it internally and return it to service.
If unmolested, most can be repaired however it is a dirty, labor intensive job that I've done many times but do not relish tackling.
Well the key word here is reputable . I have a shop I have used for years and they know how to do it right. I had my tank recently brazed for the repair of a leaking soldered vent tube. Really, soldered? I then had the tank inside coated and the outside painted in a polyurethane automotive paint.
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