Fuel tank restoration

1950 - 1952, M38, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38.
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Scott in NM
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Fuel tank restoration

Post by Scott in NM » Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:01 pm

Fuel tank is intact but needs a thorough cleaning. Is this something you can do yourself or is it something you should have a professional do? If you do yourself, what are your recommendations?

Scott


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dpcd67
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dpcd67 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:01 pm

Depends on how bad it is. There are do it yourself solutions you can clean them with. There are also solutions you can slosh around inside and coat them internally. I did one for my m38 but didn't trust it so I got a new one. I also have sent them to Rhino Renu. But that is so expensive it might be better to get a new one.
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dfield
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dfield » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:48 am

I just cleaned and lined my tank a few weeks ago. I used the POR15 tank liner kit. I haven't filled it yet. My tank was rusty with a few pin holes. As far as how well it worked, I don't know yet. The POR15 kit was easy to use. I took my time and it looks good inside. I found that I needed some extra metal prep to do a thorough job of cleaning and etching the inside. I searched this site before I purchased the kit and found some posts mostly by the MB/GPW guys. Some good reviews of POR15 and other products. I think it's worth trying on an original tank even if it doesn't work. I think repro tanks are expensive and I've read mixed reviews.

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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by M38Kurt » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:44 pm

The tank in my 52 had around 6 gallons of varnish in it. "Smelly Stuff"I have no idea how old the gas was. I used Muriatic acid to clean the tank with some 1/4" nuts along with a wire brush to clean whatever surface I could reach. Then used POR15. No leaks. Seems to be a good tank now. With the solder fixes and neck patch done on the tank in the past I figured I had better reseal.

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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by wc56daveyboy » Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:57 am

Find a local radiator shop willing to boil it out using their cleaning tanks.

Not all cities have these old time radiator shops left, however, due to environmental rules

Luckily here in Colorado springs remains an old radiator shop that still has their hot tanks. I’ve taken both my M38 radiator and fuel tank to them.

The fuel tank came out looking new inside.

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dfield
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dfield » Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:05 am

Radiator shop sounds like a good plan. I found one by me that wanted $400 to do my tank so I decided to do it myself.

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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by wc56daveyboy » Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:07 am

$400!! Just to boil it out? The Colorado Springs shop charged me $100 to boil it out

Or is the $400 price to clean AND reline?
I know some radiator shops offer the cleaning and relining services

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dfield
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dfield » Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:57 am

$400 was to clean and line it. I still think $400 was too high. I think the POR15 will do the trick.

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dfield
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dfield » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:47 am

Just in case you're interested, there is an NOS M38 fuel tank on Ebay right now. Looks nice.

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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by JMZ421 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:57 am

This tank sold for $1,433.00. Better off parting out a nice M38 instead of selling whole, I guess.

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dfield
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by dfield » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:31 am

That's a lot of money for a gas tank.

Ken Perkins
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by Ken Perkins » Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:21 am

wow, guess my spare tank tripled in value :shock:
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Re: Fuel tank restoration

Post by Chuck W. » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:31 am

Just my 2 cents worth...I have used the POR fuel tank liner kit and found that the tanks must be absolutely clean and dry. Even a drop of sweat from the end of your nose will ruin the mixture. I have been using a product called Red-Kote from Diamond Industries with great success. I find it to be more forgiving, although the tank still needs to be as clean and dry as possible. I have probably lined 8-9 mule gas tanks and two M38 tanks with absolutely no problems. The only time I tried to use the POR kit, the liner failed within a year. Was probably something that I didn't do right.
The Red-Kote is available at O'Reilly Auto Parts around here.
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