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I found my wonder car, a 1988 Grad with only 12K miles on it. Looked and ran great, drove it home. After 1000 miles it started missing badly. Took it to the shop, ignition checked out OK, fuel system clogged. Took off filter and cut it open, it was PACKED with what looked like fine red powder. Fuel pump not putting out well.

I am nearly certain this is from a rusted fuel tank (makes sense). They probably stored it empty for a decade or two, and it wasn't properly cleaned out or restored before it was sold to me. Caveat emptor.

I plan to remove the filler tube and look inside the tank. It should be pretty obvious. What next? I can find a new tank (IAP). Best to go with new or try to restore original? What else in the fuel system should be replaced? Is there just one fuel filter? So far we are looking at tank, fuel filter and fuel pump plus some hoses (20 years old). Anything else?

I discovered that the fuel guage reads 1/2 when tank is empty. I wouldn't be surprised to find it corroded inside too. Anyone else run across this?

Thanks. I want to do whatever I can to make this a reliable "new" 88 Grad.
 

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I am in the middle of the same process. Removing the tank is a piece of cake ones you have siphoned out all the fuel. I'm gonna just tell you know, cut your losses and spend the $60 bucks on the por-15 tank renewal kit. It works great and saves countless headaches. I probably spent $60 trying various crafty methods to get the rust out with minimal success. I ordered a new pump and sender from IAP. But wait, before you toss the old one, you will need the housing that holds the fuel pump, the sending unit from IAP does not include this piece. I am 2 weeks into my search for a new one. Hope this helped. Additionally, I used a die grinder and surface prep pads to remove the rust from the exterior of the tank, reprimed it, and sprayed it with a rubberized undeercoating you can get from auto-zone. have a good one
 

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I'll second that. If the tank is solid and only suffering from surface rust inside, then the POR-15 kit works very well. It includes a cleaner, a metal prep product and lastly, the paint/sealant. Follow the instructions closely.
 

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Had the same scenario with our 85 about a year ago. Pour half a tank of gunk into two 5 gal. buckets and set them in a utility building to evaporate. Before you give up on the sender try de-gunking it first. I think I used Greased Lightening to break down the gas varnish and once I had it was no longer locked in one position and looked and worked great. I've been told POR are great products but I guess I'm cheap. That said here is what I did, dumped degreaser in tank to dissolve the varnish first, you will need to do this even if using POR and you may not have varnish but your sender being stuck makes me very suspicious;) Once the funk is gone buy yourself 2 gallons of Muratic Acid at any hardware store fill tank 3/4 full with water only then add the 2 gallons. I think I let mine merinate 2 days, dump into 5 gal buckets and see how well you did getting the varnish out, If you got it all it will look like new money, the acid will not do anything to the varnish only rust. Degrease as necc. them pour the acid back in if you find rust where the varnish used to be. Once finished rinse with water and add a little Metal Prep or Conditioner to keep it from starting to rust back and your done. It's not hard work just tedious and most of this you need to do to insure proper adhesion of the POR. Oh yes and as for the Muratic Acid, since one of the most common uses of it is cleaning and etching concrete, pour it on your driveway, Lather, Rinse, Repeat with waterhose:)Good Luck however you go.
 

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DO NOT USE MURATIC ACID!!!! Yes muratic will remove the rust, but not only does the muratic remove the rust it also eats metal. Secondly, it changes the composition of the remaining steel making it very brittle. The acid you want to use is phosphoric acid. Not hydrochloric or sulfuric. Another problem is that it actually inhibits rust after it dries. You can actually watch pieces rust in front of your eyes. Their is a chemical called Octylphenoxy Polyethanol Ethanol Triphenol Methane, or OPETM, check the web. the ingredients in por-15 metal prep are phosphoric acid, zinc phosphate, and OPETM. Another bit of info about the muratic acid, if you leave it in your garage uncovered, every piece of steel will rust, tools, car parts, everything. I found this out from experience.
 

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Yep, your right to not leave it in an open container indoors and you are right again that it eats metal, it is corrosive after all but some folks say Coca Cola will eat metal as well. Yes the piece will begin to rust back before you very eyes that is the reason for the metal prep or conditioner which stops that in short order, I believe it is a phosphoric acid product. Now I'm afraid you will have to show me for me to believe that muratic changes the molecular makeup of cold-rolled steel, after all I'm not storing the acid in the gas tank and all I can say is It has worked for me everytime for the last 11 years:)
 

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The muriatic acid has a grater effect on some of the seperate elements in the steel. Thereby removing tin, and other such less molecularly dense materials faster then the more dense. This results in a porous (microscopic) surace. The materials that it doesn't remove are much harder but don't bond as well with the other elements. This creates the brittleness. This is also why it rusts so quickly, more surface area for the iron to oxidize.
 

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It does make everything porous including the 3 clawfoot porcelain bathtubs I have painted after cleaning and etching them with muratic. I'm not a chemist and I appreciate the input. I was offering it up as an inexpensive fix with a product that is readily available and inexpensive and if I submerged steel in muratic for long periods I could see where it would do damage but a 2 day soak in a 15 or 20 percent mix doesn't alarm me. It was a metal cleaning and chroming company in Erie Pa. that turned me onto this as an alternative to bead blasting all the small parts in antique gas pumps. I had 3 water tight 5 gal. buckets,out in the backyard, one had a 50/50 muratic/water mix, second one had water for a fast dunk after bucket one, then bucket three was Dupont metal conditioner mixed with water by label instructions, I would drop them in it, pull them out and towel dry them before allowing them to air dry as per directions on the bottle. After that point they were clean as new metal and the metal prep kept them from rusting indefinitely as long as kept dry. As for the porous texture, it is no worse that what you are left with after an item is sandblasted, and gives a nice preped surface to e coat but this is only with the 50/50 mix, the much more diluted mix I used in the gas tanks did not yield these results from what I could fill sticking my hand in the tank afterwards it felt smooth.Now folks what you NEVER EVER want to put in Muratic is any aluminum It will get scary! And South I don't wont you to think I am arguing with you cause I'm not and I know this isn't for everyone and heck anybody with a login name like yours is alright with me! You show up down here next month for this Italian Car Sunday Drive they are planning thru the mountains and I'll buy you a cup of coffee.( If you are interested in the drive I posted info in the Events section):):)
 

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No problem at all. Muriatic acid does work, the problem is that many of these tanks are getting so old they are to the point that the rust on the outside is getting close to meeting the rust on the inside. It may not be more than a few thousands thick in some places and you may end up with a giant strainer by the time your all said and done. Phosphoric acid will dissolve rust rather rapidly but unoxidized metal pretty slowly. If you can find zinc phosphate solution cheaply you could use the phosphoric acid to remove the rust then swirl the zinc phosphate solution to inhibit the rust. But its much easier to just order the por-15 kit and be done with it. Its much safer to use and wont burn your skin or kill your grass. I think it's 5 oclock somewhere, bottoms up!!!!
 

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Do you guys do anything to clean out the fuel lines when coating/replacing a tank? I image if my fuel pump was killed by sediment that there's some crap in the fuel lines after the pump as well.

Any suggestions on how to clear out the lines? Use the compressor to clear from the Spica backwards?
 

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Do you guys do anything to clean out the fuel lines when coating/replacing a tank? I image if my fuel pump was killed by sediment that there's some crap in the fuel lines after the pump as well.

Any suggestions on how to clear out the lines? Use the compressor to clear from the Spica backwards?
First of all, I'll second the recommendation to use the POR15 kit. I did this about 12 years ago when restoring the tank on my '62 Giulia Sprint and it worked great. Plus, the final coating left in the tank is obviously a hard, epoxy-like coating which should seal small pinholes, and prevent any future attack on the interior of the tank -- just like they advertise.
As for clearing the lines, I would remove the lines from the car in order to do the best job of cleaning (using solvents, compressed air, etc.). You should also consider just replacing the lines (either bending new ones yourself or sourcing pre-fab lines).
Jim
 

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I used Red Kote, obtained from a local auto parts house for about $29 for the quart and it took about two thirds of it for the Berlina. Also had to replace all filters and fuel pump. I can't say how it works in the long run, but so far it seems okay. http://www.usaimports.co.uk/FBO_Pages/red_kote.htm has some info.
 

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I found this article, from Yesterday's Tractor Magazine, that seemed to be right on topic. Have not tried the product, but I'm considering it. Hope this info is helpful.

Chuck

http://www.ytmag.com/reviews/review1297.htm
 

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I read the article and like paint, 90% of your work is in prep. Patience is a virtue not many people have. But there is one small detail that I would do differently. Rather than roofing nails, I would use a single piece of (lightweight) chain. That way you don't leave a nail or 2 in the tank. Curious to know the price difference of the kreem and por.
 

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I have a 71 spider and it looks to me to have a drain plug on the bottom of the tank. Tried to remove it but gave up cause it was to stubborn.Have any of ya all ever removed it and how ?
 

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Rather than mess with harsh chemicals yourself, I recommend taking the tank up to a radiator/tank shop and have them inspect and clean it. Probably cheaper to have them do it anyway.
 

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If I could buy a new gas tank from IAP for my gtv6 for under $300 I'd buy it in a heartbeat! With your Spider that's what I'd do!
GV
 
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