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There are many ways to clean rust from a tank. Here's one I used that is simple, quick, and inexpensive:

• Remove the cap and petcock from the tank.
• Remove as much gas as you can. Use a rag to absorb what doesn’t drain out.
• Allow the tank to air out. If you have a vacuum cleaner that can be used to blow rather than vacuum or a leaf blower, that will speed up the process. SAFETY NOTE: Do not suck gas fumes into a vacuum cleaner! An explosion could result!
• Shake any loose rust out.
• If the tank has heavy rust, put a hand full of nuts or drywall screws in an old sock, place inside the tank, and shake it up and down and side to side for 5 mins. Remove the sock. If any of the nuts/screws escape from the sock, they can be removed with a magnet.
• Plug the cap and petcock hole with good quality duct tape or rubber plugs.
• Squirt an entire bottle of The Works toilet bowl cleaner inside the tank (available at Wal Mart for about $1.25) and slosh the liquid all around in the tank. Be sure not to get it on the paint! Let it sit for three minutes and repeat 3-5X. All the rust should be gone by now.
• If you have another tank to treat or want to use it to clean your toilet, simply pour The Works into a bucket and filter it through a coffee filter or rag and return it to the original container. If not, pour it into the toilet for disposal (the liquid, not the rust flakes).
• Rinse the tank with water 4X.
• Immediately spray WD-40 inside the tank to prevent flash rust and blow out the tank with compressed air (leaf blower) until dry. If you are in a humid area and flash rust is a problem, adding some Naval Jelly or Ospho to the tank instead of WD-40 and swishing it around will kill the rust. Drain the Naval Jelly or Ospho, spray with WD-40 and dry the tank.
• Replace the petcock and cap, mount tank to bike and fill with gas.
• Topping off the tank after every ride will minimize condensation in the tank and reduce the possibility of the tank rusting again. Adding a few ounces of Sea Foam to every third tank of gas will also remove moisture from the fuel and help keep the carb or injectors clean for maximum efficiency.
 

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nice break down on this cleaning procedure bud... im gonna copy and paste this to my Rebel files :)
 

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I like the budget part of this write up.
 

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Yeah, +1 on using "The Works" cleaner! Last year I stumbled on that product at The Dollar Tree store and couldn't believe how well it worked to disolve rust from a tank.
 

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good write up...i went very old school on cleaning mine, filled it about 1/2 full of distilled water, and used fish aquarium gravel in it, shake shake shake, drain, refilled shake shak shake, drain and re-filled repeated several times, then dried it and used THE WORKS, once it was all cleaned out and dried it looked almost new
 

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Thanks Flite. I pulled the tank off my project scooter today and to my surprise its metal. On a 150cc scooter. The bottom of the tank is rusty and I can't spare $50.00 for a treatment kit. You saved my day. Thanks again.
:Thanx::Thanx::Thanx: :thumb::thumb::thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keep it full of fuel, add a little Sea Foam periodically, and it will stay shiny and bright indefinitely!
 

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Well, I was wondering if I should keep the tank full or not to prevent rust. Bike only 1 year old, 2nd owner. I guess I will have to keep my little 1 gallon gas can full and top off after each ride.

Hope I never have to clean tank, but thanks for a good set of instructions should it come to that some day.

judy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Keeping the tank full minimizes the amount of air in the tank. The less air, the less moisture that can condense out of it and run to the bottom of the tank, causing rust. Sea Foam contains isopropyl alcohol, which will mix with the water, allowing it to be removed from the tank. Ethanol gas will do the same as long as it doesn't sit in the tank too long.
 

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“Liner” tearing...

The information here did wonders for me on my 78 CB400 thanks. However I am wondering what to do about what looks like a liner that was used in the tank and is now tearing up. The inside of the tank had some white stuff in it that looked like what used to be a liner and now the “liner” is deteriorating. Any idea of how to get it out. Thanks for the walk though again.
 

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Its usually a messy procedure involving MEK or some other heavy duty solvent, letting it sit in the tank, dissolving the old liner, swishing some drywall screws in there with the solvent to break up the rest of the liner then recoating with a better liner. Liners are usually put in because of leaks. In order to preserve your paint extreme care must be used and even then it could get damaged.
Take a look at the Caswell website and check out their gas tank sealer. They even have instructions for removing failed old liners.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I used paint remover to remove peeling Kreem in a tank. If you go that route, use at least two quarts of remover, rotate the tank periodically to distribute it over the liner and give it lots of time to work. And I did get some paint damage. Fortunately, there were no holes in the tank. Have no idea why the PO had it lined, other than he believed everything the dealership told him.
 

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I haven't used it, but I did read about a POR-15 gas tank sealing kit, which even comes with a special solvent to remove any previous rust or tank liner. After you remove the rust/liner and let the tank dry out, you put the POR-15 in there, which is like an epoxy, and dries as hard as JB Weld all around the tank. I might need to use it in the near future. If I do, I will post here.
 

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Worked great, only thing I would do different is leave the tank in a different position each time you let it soak. I have a little gunk in the front upper tank but the rest is gone.

Thank You!!!
 

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Quick question so that I can head to the store before it closes. If I can't find this particular brand of cleaner, what active ingredients are in it so I can buy another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I believe it's around 18%-20% hydrochloric acid.
 
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