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Spectra Premium GM36 Fuel Tank


Dashmaster
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I removed my fuel tank this weekend to do the pump change. But found lots of what looked liked rusted and silver metal particles in the tank near the pump. I had this tank out 5 years ago when I first started working on the car. Its was rusty on the outside but looked good from inside for what I could see. I sanded and coated the tank outside with POR15. Never had a leak or anything. I should have sealed the inside with POR15 Tank sealer which I have used before but did not then.

I just ordered the Spectra Tank.  Do you think anything is need to help it better resist corrosion? 

Paint outside?, Wax Ouside? add Tank sealer to inside? Or just leave it alone?

 

Right now I am thinking of putting a coating of Turtle Wax ICE on the outside and nothing inside.

I will take pictures of the stuff found in the old tank, I plan to flush it out and tank seal it and keep for spare.

I can now see why my pressure was dropping over time. I will be installing new pump, strainer, and fuel filter when tank is installed. 

So what would you do if anything before installing the new tank?

 

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I would paint it a couple of coats of Rustoleum Satin Black paint like is used on outdoor wrought iron furniture. Since it won't be seen I would get the quart can and brush it on to get a heavy coat. Read the can. you may need to prime the bare metal before applying the paint.

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust 1 qt. Satin Black Protective Enamel Paint

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I too am going to install a new tank on my '89. I think I changed this tank once before but I'll have to check my records to be sure.

I'm not even sure as to whether it was a new one or a good used one. Either way it needs changed. (see attached pic)

I also wanted to do something to prolong the life of the tank because I'm really getting tired of changing these suckers out.

Over the years, I've had four Reattas (currently have three) and living in the land of snow and salt I can testify that these things don't last too very long. So... I'm considering truck bed liner as a coating to the exterior of the tank as opposed to paint or undercoating. What do you guys think?

 

John F.

 

P.S.,

You were right again Ron. In addition to the filler neck being rusted all to hell and leaking, the top of the fuel tank was leaking as well.

In photo 3, the close-up shows little wet spots where gas seeped through when I flipped it over.

I also had the sending unit fuel and vent lines replaced at a cost of 40 bux.

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That tank is worse than my old Tank was before refinishing the outside. POR15 is some of the best Rust Products that I have used. The outside of my old tank still looks great from when I did it. That tank would also need the inside sealer or it will do what mine did. I used POR15 on fuel lines and top of fuel pump housing. I am in a salt area also but have tried to keep mine out of it as much as i can. But its hard to do, any slight chance of slick roads they will salt or brine treat them.

Edited by Dashmaster (see edit history)
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I don't live in the rust belt like some of you guys do so my tank will probably last longer than I do. Here are my thoughts on patching up and reusing a rusty tank.

 

You can patch it up, coat it inside and out but does it makes sense to do so? In my opinion no. I have always heard that you never get rid of rust, you just cover it up and work around it. Eventually it will return.

 

Take the condition of John's tank for example. To recondition that tank right you would need to throw it in a hot tank overnight and then rinse it with hot water to completely clean it so it would be safe to work on. (Or you could make a hell of a mess in your yard trying to wash it out.) Working on an empty tank full of vapors is like working on a bomb. After a thorough cleaning you would need to grind/sand away the rust. Then prime & coat it with your favorite product inside and out. All that takes time and quite a bit of money for supplies. If your time is worth anything it would be cheaper in the long run to start out with a new tank. Beside that you could get your car back on the road much quicker.

 

I'm retired and have a lot more time than I do money. Normally I recondition parts whenever I can because I have lots of time. The gas tank is not one of the parts that I would try to recondition if it is rusted badly. The reason is because right now new tanks are available but down the road in a month, year or five years they could be discontinued. If that happened I would be wishing I had replaced that old rusty tank - that could start leaking again any day - with a new one while they were still available. I'm surprised that they still make that gas tank. I think the supply could dry up any day without warning just like a lot of other Reatta parts have..

 

I say buy a new tank while you still can at a reasonable price. Just like with the brake accumulators the price and availability could change over night.

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I agree with Hot Tank if you can. I had a 75 Impala wagon once that had tire separate and hit the gas tank, Tank started leaking at the seam. Removed it, drained, and washed out, took it to a repair shop they said it could not be repaired. I could not find another tank for the wagon. Tried the POR15 Tank Sealer and it never leaked again.

My old tank is siting outside with some gas in it. I plan to drain it completely, let it air out for a day, Wash it out with water, let dry

completely, Blow it out with air and use the tank sealer. This should save the old tank. New one I will use Rust-Oleum  on the outside, no need for sealer in new tank.

I purchased the new Tank thru the Reatta Store, Amazon is showing only 2 in stock now.  Rock Auto lists 2 tanks, The Spectra and a Dorman.

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"Guest" - Thanks for the tip.

 

"Dash" - Something I learned from Jim Finn about exhausting fumes from a fuel tank. An electric leaf blower or a shop vac. that has a port to attach the large diameter hose to. Stick the other end of the hose into the fuel sender opening and let'er rip. An extra length of hose probably wouldn't hurt. This would help by keeping the blower further away from the tank. Then In about a day or so of running the blower the fumes and any residual gas should be gone!

 

Ronnie - Yah, the tank is toast and the cost to do the job properly to try and salvage the tank would eat up any savings over buying a new tank. I have a tank coming from somewhere other than TRS. Reason being that TRS shows a plain steel tank with minimal if any exterior coating. The one I purchased is noted as having a black spray paint coating which I intend to enhance with some other coating as mentioned in earlier posts. I'm still thinking about truck bed liner coating. "Guest" mentions that it may lack flexibility and that it may crack at some future point in time thereby exposing the metal to environmental conditions. By my way of thinking, truck beds coated with this stuff are subjected to flexing and bending all the time by people walking on the bed of the truck as well as loading the bed with all manner of oddly shaped, awkward and heavy things (none of which resemble my nose). It is the whole point of brush/spray on bed liner in the first place. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this way. Any other thoughts or suggestions on the matter are greatly appreciated.

 

John F.

 

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the types of bedliner products vary wildly....some are as hard as granite, some are very "plasticky" and some are more rubbery. I found the more expensive Duplicolor spray on type to be more on the rubbery/flexible side but not as pretty a finish as the cheaper blue can which is more of the plastic variety but gives a nice textured finish. I just refurbed the tank on my 'chero and used the the rubbery one...so far I'm satisfied with it. 

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I still haven't decided on an exterior coating but I can say that the tank arrived today.

When I opened the box I was Shocked! Shocked I say. The tank arrived in great shape,but, unlike the photo in the listing, the tank was painted but, painted silver, not black. Bummer. The other thing I noticed, was that there is little in the way of baffling. Theres what I ``would refer to as a pan welded to the bottom of the tank in the area of the sending unit. I guess to help isolate the float assembly.

The other thing I've been noticing with these aftermarket tanks. There is no baffling at the end of the filler pipe to prevent fuel from splashing back up the filler neck and splashing out. This happens nearly every time when I fill-up the Driftwood that has a recently installed Spectra tank. I don't know who makes a real OEM style tank for our cars but it would be good to know.

 

John F.

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Anything can be done with time and money. The more money you have, the less time it will take.

I have photos of the back splash arrestor from an original tank that I broke open to see what's inside but they are on my laptop and it is currently mucked up. I was using it and my cat climbed up to lay in my lap. I fell asleep and woke up to find a whole slew of Windows had been opened because the cat rolled onto the keyboard and was holding buttons down. I believe that the operating system has a bunch of corrupt files not allowing it to function as it should. I ran a disk program from the BIOS and the disk itself seems OK. I may be able to resurrect Windows but I'm afraid I'll loose everything that is important to me in the process. You say "but you backup your important files on a regular basis don't you?" Well, uh, I meant to. I even just bought some high capacity USB flash drives to do just that several days ago. The cat must have known I was going to perform a backup and struck first. Anyway...

I don't have access to my photos right now so I'll have to wait to post any from that source for the time being.

 

Yesterday I finished sand blasting the rear suspension cradle and cleaning up my mess. Today I prepped the cradle with the prep spray for the KBS coating. It is currently air drying out in the heat and sun in my driveway. The instructions say that I can wait up to 30 days prior to coating it but I'll have done it long before that.

Oops... I just realized that this thread is about the gas tank. I havent's yet decided on the coating for it just yet. The idea of FlexSeal isn't bad. I need to read up on it first as well as some others.

 

John F.

 

Edited by Machiner 55
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After much searching and reading reviews on various products mentioned here and elsewhere I've decided to use the Duplicolor in the blue can. Even though "Eggs" said it is more plasticky, the reviews were more favorable than their "High End" stuff. 

Also it was more readily available. I didn't have to order it and wait. I need it now and I need it bad! :rolleyes:

Since the Spectra GM36 is already painted (silver) my prep will consist of scuffing the finish with Scotch Brite pads then wiping it down with acetone prior to coating it with the Duplicolor. The new straps are bare metal so I used the self etching (green) primer on them. I'll then paint them.

 

John F.    

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Tank Arrived today. Box was all torn up and taped, there was no packing to protect the tank in any way.

The tank is damaged and bent at one corner, see pictures. Tank does have baffles.

I am returning this tank I can't trust the seam. So I will just use POR15 Tank Sealer to repair my old one. 

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Dash,

 

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. I once had to send a tank back and it cost me 45 bux to do it. Hopefully you don't get dinged like that.

Before you pack it up and send it back, could you please post a pic similar to the middle pic in your post but of the "belly" of the tank.

I want to see the spot welds on that side. In advance, thank you for your time.

 

John F.

Edited by Machiner 55
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John, Sorry, I boxed it up this morning before seeing your post. I do not recall seeing weld marks on the bottom but I was not looking for them. This was purchased thru Amazon so shipping and return was free. I ordered the POR15 Tank sealer kit today, Hopefully I will get it by next weekend.

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Also this box was a Spectra Box from the markings. It was a mess so not sure how many time is was handled. I do not think UPS damaged it. There was no packing material to protect the tank in any way. So if anyone is planning on ordering one, there is good chance it may be damaged when you get it.

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Dash,

 

Thanks anyway.

When my tank arrived last week it too had a damaged area with a hole in the box. I was home at the time of delivery and the FedEx guy rang the doorbell and waited (instead of scampering off as they often do) for me to answer the door. He pointed out the defect in the box. and I said we'd open it right there in his presence. The box was made of cheap cardboard which was easily ripped open by hand (no cutting tool needed). We inspected the whole tank and could only find a small scuff on one of the strengthening ribs. I told him I was OK with that and the fact there were no dents or dings on the rest of the tank and sent him on his merry way.

The week before, my Mailman came to the door with a pretty well banged up and damaged box. I knew what was inside (Moog control arm bushings) and felt that there wouldn't be an issue with them (there wasn't) But I have to say, as with the tank the packaging left a lot to be desired. They could have at least jammed some newspaper around the boxed bushings to keep them from banging around.

My worst experience was receiving an AC compressor packaged inside the same box as a condenser unit sent to me by Amazon. How the condenser arrived without any damage from the loose compressor in the box amazed the hell out of me! The exterior of the box was dented and ripped open in spots but the items inside survived intact.Whew! Amazon needs to do better at there fulfilment centers that's for sure. I've got pictures of that, that I will attach to this post later.

 

John F.

Edited by Machiner 55 (see edit history)
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