Gas tank cleaning and refinishing - Team Camaro Tech
Tech 2002 General Tech questions from 2002
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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While rebuilding the rear suspension on my 69, I pulled the gas tank off. Since I have it off, I would like to clean off the nasty undercoating that is all over the outside. Problem is that I can't get it off because it's so thick. Any suggestions? Would a radiator repair shop be able to hot tank it to get the crap off? I thought about buying a new tank but there is nothing wrong with this one. No dents, holes, or rust, just a bunch of nasty undercoating.

If I can get this one cleaned, any suggestions on what to use to refinish it?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 08:32 AM
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It can be hot tanked. The undercoating is petroleum based. Paint thinner can soften and remove it. If you can get the undercoating off and the tank isn't too discolored, you can clear coat it. Good Luck

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 08:33 AM
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Before taking it somewhere, try using one of those heat guns that takes paint off of stuff, I think one is made by Wagner. Get it at any hardware store. That is what I'm using on my wheel wells and it is working pretty good.

Heat it up until soft and then use a putty knife to scrape it. Then try some laquer thinner to clean it up.

Be careful with heat around gas tanks though. Still might be some in there that might make it go boom.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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I just called a couple radiator repair shops and both told me that hot tanking will not cut through the undercoating. Looks like it's going to take some elbow grease to get the job done.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 09:03 AM
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Pep boys sells a stripper called Aircraft stripper or something like that. It's a brush on jel. Works well and isn't overly messy if you work it a section at a time. Get some good gloves, several widths of scrapers and some old tarps that you can throw away when done with them...

Heat and flames are very dangerous around an empty gas tank, fumes are what cause explosions... I know the poster above said use caution with heat!! It needs to be said over and over!!!

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...Dennis
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 09:23 AM
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ive used aircraft stripper. it works excellent. the KEY is, good gloves and ventilation. this stuff is nasty.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 12:24 PM
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Ok listen up and open the garage windows. Go get about three gallons of Diesel fuel. Put the diesel fuel into a spray bottle and cover the area that you want the undercoating removed from. Soak the snot out of it, and let stand over night. Be patient and please be careful. Althought the flash point is higher it's not worth taking chances so do it out side if possible. After a day the diesel fuel will soften up the coating so you can literally scrap it off like butter. You may have to soak the crap out of it but trust me it works. My bottom of my coupe was undercoated from front to back. I work a month on it and the only thing that sped up the entire process was this stuff. Warning !! it does smell so as I said take it outdooors and wear some old crappy clothes. Try it, I think you will be suprised..Good luck and be careful...

Wacky

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1969 Fully Papered and Documented Coupe.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 03:43 PM
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I just cleaned a new subframe and my suspension parts. First I used Gunk spray liquid degreaser. It smelled like a large percentage of it was diesel. It did a so so job, but did cut the worst part of the grease. Perhaps straight Deisel will work better. Oven cleaner worked better, but still wasn't up the the chore with the undercoating. (Are those gas tanks aluminum or steel? If they're aluminum, I'm not sure what oven cleaner will do). Propane torque on inner fenders was very slow and cumberson...an even worse idea on a gas tank. I do want to try the heat gun approach. Make sure to get a scraper with a slightly dulled edge so you don't gouge your tank all over. I'll practice on the front fenders and then apply the same technique to the tank. Let us know what works best for you Indy. Then I'll know what to do.

Merry Christmas...don't drink and drive.

-dnult
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 02, 06:35 PM
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I vote to just buy a new fuel tank!

I recently bought a new one for my 69 Nova from Spectra Premium. It looks perfect compared to my nearly 30 year old stocker with paint and dents. The insided isn't much prettier either-debris and rust!

The new tank cost ~$250 delivered with new straps. It looks very, very similar to the original.



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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 02, 12:04 AM
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I used a cheap can of "Red Devel" gel paint remover. Slopped it on leave it work awhile, turns the undercoating to goo and you can scrap it right off. One more coat and you'll be amazed at how well it will clean up.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 02, 12:18 AM
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These are some great ideas. I can't wait until the next time I have to clean/degoo something.


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 02, 01:49 AM
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Indy Z11 mail me. If interested I have a brand new NOS tank I will sell you reasonably.

Wacky

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1969 Fully Papered and Documented Coupe.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 02, 03:24 AM
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One word of CAUTION DON'T GO ANYWHERE NEAR THAT TANK WITH AN OPEN FLAME.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 02, 06:24 AM
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I used Bix tough job (name?) paint stripper to clean mine. Worked like a charm. You can get it in aerosol spray , pump spray or brush on at most hardware/ paint stores. This is terrible smelling stuff so dont use it in the garage with the doors and windows shut and be sure to wear gloves. I used a metal scraper and a scotch brite pad since I planned to repaint my tank anyway. I would keep open flames and concentrated sources of heat away from a gas tank

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old Dec 25th, 02, 05:24 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by L48M20:
I vote to just buy a new fuel tank!

I recently bought a new one for my 69 Nova from Spectra Premium. It looks perfect compared to my nearly 30 year old stocker with paint and dents. The insided isn't much prettier either-debris and rust!

The new tank cost ~$250 delivered with new straps. It looks very, very similar to the original.



<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

L48M20

CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE SPECTRA IS LOCATED, I NEED A NEW TANK ALSO
THANKS



[This message has been edited by cottonpicker14 (edited 12-25-2002).]
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