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How to Clean out the Gas tank on a 32 Packard


scott12180

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I'd like to clean the rust and dirt out of the gas tank on my 32 Packard.

I was going to use sharp rocks or nuts and bolts and shake it with dish detergent as I've done before, then use a sealer. 

But for one thing:  The baffles between the three chambers of the 25 gallon gas tank don't have holes but a screen between sections.  So whatever I put into the filler will not get into the other two chambers.  And I doubt that gas tank sealer will either .....  or it will seal the screen between  the baffle.

 

Any suggestions?  I've a couple of ideas but appreciate your advice. 

How about EvapoRust? Or what? 

 

--Scott

Troy, NY

1932 Packard 902 Victoria Coupe

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Yes, the internally baffled tanks do present problems.  And I agree with Rusty, once it starts it will never stop unless it's dealt with properly.  I wish I could offer specific help, but all I can offer is assurance that it can be dealt with.  My '34 Packard has the same 25 gallon, triple compartment tank and about 20 years ago I started picking up rust in the fuel filter.  I took the tank to a nationally recognized premier restoration shop that specialized in prewar senior Packards.  What they did or who they sent it to I do not know, but it was fixed and has remained trouble-free to this day.

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Just went through this with a '36 Cord gas tank. Left Evaporust in it for two months -- it did nothing. Also tried rotating the tank with rocks inside. Again, little to no improvement. The rust was too severe. Eventually sent the tank to Renu. Do a search on that name and you'll find information on their process.  

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We're lucky to have a radiator shop in town, still operating, and they do gas tanks.  There are times they need to cut holes, or squares, in the top of the tank, to get in around the baffles.  They then clean with acid or other chemicals, and can coat the inside.  A bad tank can cost a couple hundred dollars.  The professional service that does them is, I think, in the 300 to 400 range, not counting shipping.

 

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This article discusses the electrolysis method:

http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public4/gas-tank-cleaning-1.cfm

 

If you can find a radiator shop that will boil it out, that usually works well. I would rip out those screens, they're useless. Today's roads are much smoother and the function of the baffles/screens aren't needed.

 

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I don't entirely agree with Friartuck.  On mid-30s and earlier cars where the filler cap is only 2 or 3 inches above the level of fuel in the top of the tank, a LOT of gasoline can spew from under the filler cap on turns.  I see it regularly on my friend's 31 Pierce Arrow; reasonably sharp turns at nearly any speed can dump gasoline all over the rear apron, fender, and highway,  His tank was serviced many years ago and the baffles removed.

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I used Gas Tank Renu on my three compartment tank.  They drilled 6, one inch diameter holes in the tank (two in each section), knocked out all the crud, then media blasted the inside of the tank.  This is followed by soldering patches over the holes from the inside and adding solder over the patch to bring it flush with the outside of the tank.  They then coat the inside of the tank with a gas and alcohol proof sealer.  That is how I received my tank at a cost of $300.  I then filed the solder flush, added some body filler, sanded, primed painted like any other part.  You would never know any of this was done unless you took a bore scope to the inside from the fill hole.  My tank also has a "dip" tube pickup inside which apparently caused no issues.  I was really impressed with the process and results.

Scott

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  • 2 weeks later...

The rust can be easily removed from inside the tank with a mixture of one part of molasses and 9 parts of water.

 First wash with a solvent or detergent that will remove the gas residue.

Then fill the tank with the molasses solution and let it sit for 2 or 3 weeks and then flush out with a pressure washer as well as you can.

 

 The screens may hinder the removal of the crud and the tank will start rusting immediately. It may be a losing proposition in the end.

 

 You will need a good gas line filter and it will have to be replaced often.

 I use the clear plastic ones so the dirt can be seen.

 

 

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I also used Gastank Renew on my Olds about four or five years ago. I think it was $350 or $400. Money well spent rather than trying to do it yourself with various chemicals and processes with unknown results. Lifetime garantee too. For a 32 Packard why not do it right the first time and save yourself the hassles and worries that you didnt get it all?

 

Note I am not related to the company just a happy customer.

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