AHa

Red Cote Arrrrgh!!!!

Recommended Posts

So back in the early 90's the gas tank in my 1940 Chevrolet PU sprang a leak and my mechanic sealed it with some gas tank sealer. Fast forward to this year and the leak returned. So I went out and bought some MEK, stripped the old sealer out, and proceeded to recoat with Red Cote. I read where one guy thinned the Red Cote out and put two thin coats on instead of just one. I thought that was a good idea so I thinned the sealer, poured it in the tank, sloshed it about, and poured it back out. I looked in the tank and everything was well coated but an hour later it looked like there was air trapped in the rust and the air had escaped leaving small round areas with no sealer visible. So I thinned the remaining Red Cote and repeated the process. The problem began when the temperature had risen and the sun had chased my shade away. The second coat puddled inside the tank before I could get it back out. Red Cote will not dry once it has puddled and the gas will leach it out and gum up the carb. So now I had to restrip the tank of Red Cote because it had puddled. I am now pouring in the acetone, sloshing it about, and pouring it back out but each time I repeat this process, the acetone comes out red. Damon Industries informs me that all the Red Cote has to be removed because it will not stick to itself once you have tried to remove it. I am so frustrated with the whole process I can't see straight. It is looking like I'm going to have to buy 16 gallons of Acetone at $20 per gal, fill the tank up, then drain it out to get all the Red Cote out of the tank. I don't know if anybody makes replacement tanks for 1940 Chevrolet trucks. My tank overall is in good shape and I coated the outside bottom of the tank with POR 15 and there is no leak in the tank anymore. I just can't seem to get the Red Cote stripped out. I did a lot of research before choosing Red Cote and couldn't find any warnings not to use it in warmer weather. So there you go.

1940 chevy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can buy a reproduction (new) tank from "Chassis Engineering" for $250.00.

OR you could make a set of "saddle tanks" from a pair of pony kegs yourself and mount them to the running boards.

If they held beer, they must be clean inside.

 

Mike in Colorado

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a radiator shop in Denver NC that will soak and strip a gas tank.  Not sure how their process would work on red Côte, but might be worth asking.  They did a tank for me in 2014, and I think it was around  $100, including some type of red sealer applied after the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had good success with Red Cote just following the directions on the can. 

 

It has been sold by Clark's Corvair parts for years. I've done new and used tanks. No issues.

 

Been in my 8N tank for 15 years, with 10% ethanol sitting in there for those 15 years. Yes, it is the "new" alcohol resistant Red Cote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that a mullet haircut that the guy in the red sweater has?   Mullet's and old trucks seem to go together in the early 1990s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, FLYER15015 said:

You can buy a reproduction (new) tank from "Chassis Engineering" for $250.00.

Mike in Colorado

 

I agree. I personally think that coating a tank is a last resort strategy when you can't find a reproduction tank. I've had it done twice and won't ever do it again if I can help it. $250 seems like a very reasonable price for peace of mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had used it without thinning, it probably would have worked as expected. 

The technical specs explain what happened:

 "Red-Kote dries faster than many other sealers saving you time." 

"You can reduce time further by thinning with Acetone and using two thin coats instead of one thick coat." 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I finally got all, the Red Cote out of the tank and resealed it. Red Cote may be the best gas tank sealer out there but it is extremely finicky. I noticed that even at 65 degrees it started skimming over quickly so it is a quick dry sealer and there is no time to dawdle. I suspect my experience is atypical but a word of caution is deserved. NEVER try to seal the tank when it is warm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I have failed again. To recap, I had the tank sealed some thirty years ago and the sealer failed this year. I stripped the old sealer out using MEK, but the tank was clean other than the sealer. After stripping the metal was clean except for some surface rust. After treating with the Red Cote the first try I could see the tank was well coated but after a couple of hours there was spots with no sealer. Today, I recoated the tank after stripping the Red Coat out and again after sealing everything was well coated but after work I came home to find dry spots in the sealer. Something is chasing the Red Cote away. My next strategy is to restrip the tank and use some metal prep.

 

I can't find a replacement tank for a 1940 Chevy pick up. The 1940 is really a one off year. The 39 is different and the 41 is different. Plenty of places sell 1940 car tanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have also seen procedures where a panel is cut out of the tank; sufficient in size to allow the interior surface to be cleaned and scraped by hand.  When all is clean, then the panel is welded back in place.  I was ready to do this on one of my projects, but then was able to scope the inside walls of the tank, and learned that after sitting for 50-plus years, it was remarkably clean inside, and needed no attention.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The reason I chose Red Kote is because of the many great reviews. Also the fact I could buy it at my local Oreillys. All the other coatings have some detractors and must be ordered. I am not saying my problem is Red Kote's fault; I don't know what problem I'm having yet but I think it is prudent to document the problem for other people trying to coat their tanks.

 

I spoke with Damon Industries again this morning. The Chemist does not know what is happening but agrees that something is not allowing the Red Kote to adhere to the tank and the result is the Red Kote is repelled from those areas. She is recommending a 30 minute bath in Hydrochloric acid, 4 to 1 ratio, with a quick wash of Acetone afterwards. She said to never use phosphoric acid. So, I am getting pretty good at this now. Maybe I should start a business.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've been very satisfied many times with Gas Tank Renu. They cut open the tank, sandblast it inside and out, re-coat it, and give you a lifetime guarantee. Drop it off, pick it up three days later, ready to install. $400. If the tank is out of sight, it's the only way I'll try to use an old tank. Their exterior coating is textured so it's not appropriate for visible tanks but they'll do just the inside but can't offer the warranty. You're clearly having adhesion problems, there's surface rust in there, nothing you pour in there and slosh around yourself is going to be 100% effective. You're going to spend a bunch more time and aggravation trying to get it right in your driveway. I know $400 can seem like a lot of money, but given that I never have to ever think about it again (this is where someone chimes in and says Gas Tank Renu failed that one time and they wouldn't honor their warranty and they also killed his mother) it's worth it to me every single time.

 

What's your time worth? What's peace of mind worth?

 

Just a satisfied customer (we've had them do more than 20 tanks for us without ever having a problem).

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Matt. You are right on so many levels but I'm invested in this process now. It's me against the tank and I can't give up. Its a man thing. I'm sure you can understand. It is really foolish on my part but isn't that what it means to be a man?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, AHa said:

Thanks Matt. You are right on so many levels but I'm invested in this process now. It's me against the tank and I can't give up. Its a man thing. I'm sure you can understand. It is really foolish on my part but isn't that what it means to be a man?

 

That's the sunk cost fallacy talking. Do you want results and to drive your truck, or do you want to fight a war whose outcome is still uncertain? I understand getting invested in stupid stuff (I might be the king of such undertakings), but sooner or later you have to choose a different path to success if the one you're on isn't getting you there. Don't conflate manliness with foolishness. There are plenty of smart yet manly men, but not a whole lot of manly fools.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just buy a new tank.  These trucks are well supported by vendors due to their popularity.  The stripping alone would run you more than the cost of a new tank, and add pollutants to the world we live in.  Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I was wrong, I can buy a new tank for my truck. A google search turned up nothing but a call to Jim Carter produced a new tank for $380 with $180 shipping to my location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...