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braising gas tank

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I brazed some holes shut using a plumbers propane torch with a cylinder of MAPP gas and a fluxed brazing rod. No fumes in the gas tank, of course. You can braze with MAPP gas, it gets hotter than propane.

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I'm not knocking that, but you can get by just fine with soft solder on a gas tank, that is what a radiator shop would do.

 

The fumes are a problem. It makes me nervous as hell. First choice back in the day was to take it to the radiator shop. They can boil it out and get rid of the gasoline scum that is the source of the fumes and of course they are all ready with solder and torches too. The trouble is, there aren't many radiator shops left.

 

Another old method it to fill the tank with CO2. You leave a little bit of flow to make sure there is no oxygen in the tank. IIRC the CO2 is heavier than air, so you want the opening at the top.

 

Yet another way is to fill the tank with water, with the damaged area at the top just barely out of the water. You can't have the water screwing up your solder job, but the tank really needs to be almost completely full, so that there isn't room for fumes. Any fumes that exist are going to burn. Don't blow yourself up.

 

I recommend talking someone else into doing it.

 

 

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I use an old American Beauty 100 watt soldering iron. I unplug it after it gets hot, just to make sure there is no spark. Flux, then solder to tin the area.

 

Using a wire brush is more scary to me than touching an unplugged soldering iron to the tank, wire brushes make sparks! You can always make a jumper wire to electrically attach the soldering iron to the tank to insure there will be no sparks.

 

Small holes can be soldered closed (1/8"). Larger holes may get a sheet metal screw (cleaned, ready for solder) inserted, then soldered in place. Larger holes get a piece of copper (flashing works great) tinned then placed over large hole and sweated in place with large iron.

 

Only ever used a torch of any type to install filler necks and other such large metal parts. Then the above NO FUMES warning holds!

 

Buying a new tank is always safer....👍

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Eric Gange's Garage, near where I grew up, had this problem sorted.  Remove tank, drain petrol, face tank across the yard toward the paling fence, and insert lighted oxy torch in the filler neck. When it bounced off the fence, it was safe to weld on. Eric was a bit rough around the edges, but he could fix most things. Personally, I'm a little more circumspect, and leave the garden hose running in the tank for a while, THEN use Eric's test. Haven't had one take off yet, but I do hold my breath.

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You don’t want to use MAPP gas for brazing or soldering as it is not clean enough!

This was told to me by the Rep from the welding supply company.

mapp is used mostly for cutting and heating .

The old heavy  electric soldering Irons work well.

Rince the tank out or I put them in the electrologist tank and that gets rid of the rust and other gunk then you can wire brush it up and soldier it and you should have a good repair.

Check the spots where the bands go around the tank.

I use a old camper fibreglass bath tub to to do some of my bigger items.

Those plastic barrels works good also.

When you are done with the repair I would put one of better sealer's in the tank . this will help keep rust out of the gas line.

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Many tanks are partially full when  leak is found.  My cousin ho ran a service station and bulk dealer in the prairies just fulled the tank right to the top and thendid the repair using his propane torch.  He said there were no fumes under the tank, so it might burn but would never explode.  It worked well for him fo many years.  Repaired lots of tanks and never had either a fire or an explosion.  I stood well back the first couple of times I watched him.

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Buy some dry ice, and crush it and place it in the tank. It’s pure CO2, wait about an hour and the tank will be full of inert gas. That is the best way to do it.

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all of those methods work, but to make it quick and easy, simply run the engine(can be from a different car), and place a hose from the tailpipe to the tank filler.that will fill the tank with carbon monoxide, and render it safe to use a torch. i've done this a few times.

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A cautionary tale. A friend asked us to braze an old Harley tank that obviously had not held gas for many years. Not even the slightest trace of a gas smell. Shortly after I started heating the tank with an acetylene torch there was a loud WHOOSH accompanied by flames out the fill hole. After I ran home to change my pants I reasoned that at least now we knew it would not explode again. I was wrong. Another WHOOSH accompanied by flames. This from a tank that had not held gas for likely decades. Now we just run a hose from our Tig welder's Argon tank and let it flow while we make any needed repair. Be careful out there.

 

 

 

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great topic and one I need to address- I will find a radiator shop...........

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If you have perforations you probably need a patch because of the extent of thin metal. Better to open the tank right up and address the whole interior. Some cars have what you might call anti-slosh chambers where rust collects. Once you are inside you can really see.

 

Years back I had a '56 Olds with a rusty tank that I never dropped, but used as a daily driver. There were always fine rust particles in the bottom of the carb and the spark plug tips turned brown. You can live with stuff like that, but today I would cut the top out and clean it thoroughly.

Bernie

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 There were no after-mart gas tanks for my car, so I filled it up with water and sandblasted the whole under side, and then fiber-glassed it.

 It is still holding very well.

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Posted (edited)

I have used fiberglass many times sometimes just covering the entire tank.  Never a leak even after years of use That is what I used to fix the holes on the top of my Plymouth tank 17 years ago. Then I cleaned out and coated the interior and POR 15ed the outside. No problems.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook (see edit history)

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You will find people who will tell you that works. I don't believe it. Someone suggested it to me years ago, and I put some on a piece of steel, let it cure, and then dropped it into a bottle of gasoline. After 2 days it was soft and gooey. I could stick my fingernail in it and sort of push it around.

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I have a tank repair material like JB Weld. Have never used it, but the guys on the Ford Barn swear by it for around where the steering column mounts to the tank.

 

no more leaks.

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16 hours ago, edinmass said:

Buy some dry ice, and crush it and place it in the tank. It’s pure CO2, wait about an hour and the tank will be full of inert gas. That is the best way to do it.

This is the best way as Ed says. Never use water or the exhaust from a car unless you have a bomb suit handy.

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Sure, if you have a store that sells dry ice in your area. We lost our solid CO2 source when the Ukrops grocery chain was sold to Martins/Royal Ahold (Now Ahold Delhaize).

 

Note, this does not mean I endorse exhaust method.

 

Water works well, as long as the tank is full of water. But of course, then it is hard to solder.....  Any non-liquid area in a tank will be gasoline vapors-act accordingly.😨

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16 hours ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

all of those methods work, but to make it quick and easy, simply run the engine(can be from a different car), and place a hose from the tailpipe to the tank filler.that will fill the tank with carbon monoxide, and render it safe to use a torch. i've done this a few times.

 

I think you meant carbon  DIoxide, not MONoxide, since carbon monoxide (CO) is an OSHA Category 1 (extremely flammable) flammable gas.  Carbon DIoxide is, of course inert, and being heavier than air is considered to be an atmosphere (air) displacing gas.

 

Be careful out there.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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50 minutes ago, capngrog said:

 

I think you meant carbon  DIoxide, not MONoxide, since carbon monoxide (CO) is an OSHA Category 1 (extremely flammable) flammable gas.  Carbon DIoxide is, of course inert, and being heavier than air is considered to be an atmosphere (air) displacing gas.

 

Be careful out there.

 

Cheers,

Grog

Correct.  Carbon monoxide is the blue flames you see in an anthracite coal stove fire. Antique stove guys call them "The dancing blue Ladies".

 

Paul 

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13 hours ago, PFitz said:

Correct.  Carbon monoxide is the blue flames you see in an anthracite coal stove fire. Antique stove guys call them "The dancing blue Ladies".

 

Paul 

i'm obviously not a chemist  lol, i just thought about the gas that kills you in auto exhaust. pretty much any non-flammable gas would work i guess

 

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14 hours ago, capngrog said:

 

I think you meant carbon  DIoxide, not MONoxide, since carbon monoxide (CO) is an OSHA Category 1 (extremely flammable) flammable gas.  Carbon DIoxide is, of course inert, and being heavier than air is considered to be an atmosphere (air) displacing gas.

 

Be careful out there.

 

Cheers,

Grog

Technically carbon monoxide is not flammable.  Like oxygen, Co2 is an accelerant but will not burn by itself.

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57 minutes ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

i'm obviously not a chemist  lol, i just thought about the gas that kills you in auto exhaust. pretty much any non-flammable gas would work i guess

 

 S'ok. You just don't ever want to see those "Blue Ladies"  dancing around a gas tank. :D

 

Paul

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Posted (edited)

Not to nit pick but,...

 

CO2 is carbon dioxide which is inert. That's why it's used in fire extinguishers.

CO is carbon monoxide, which is indeed flammable. Like gasoline, it's even explosive when ignited with the right mixture of air. 

 

The reason carbon monoxide doesn't explode in car exhaust is because there is more CO2 and other by-product inert gases than CO in the exhaust, thus diluting it to a non flammable mixture.

 

Many an anthracite coal stove owner has had to change their underwear after the stove door was blown open when the CO and O2 were the right proportions and a flame came up through the too-much coal they just piled on and smothered the firebed, and then closed the secondary  damper too soon to dilute and carry the CO up the chimney.   The mild ones are known as "puff backs". The really big ones, called "boomers", can remove stove parts to other parts of the room.  Hence why stove guys love to see those "Blue Ladies" dancing on top of the firebed - a sure sign that the firebed is safely burning off the CO before it can become a high enough concentration in the stove to be explosive.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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