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1918 Buick Fuel Tank


ADade
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Looking for a vendor here.  A year ago I started working on getting my 1918 Buick E-4-34 back on the road.  It had been sitting unused since about 1960 and although in reasonable cosmetic shape, all those years of disuse had taken their toll.  For instance, the fuel tank was leaking the most disgusting old fuel you've ever seen.  I removed the cylindrical tank and had it stripped and lined inside and out, then had it painted and remounted it.  "That's one issue behind me" I thought.  WRONG!  We got the car started (after major engine work), but couldn't keep reliable fuel flow, so I crawled under the car to remove the fuel line and found that the underside of the fuel tank is bubbling with fuel seepage across the entire bottom that's kept in check only by the paint!  Isn't it great to have to revisit an issue you thought was behind you?

 

So I've decided the only good course of action is to get a new tank built, but I've been unable to find a fuel tank builder who can (or will) create a cylindrical tank.  Anybody have a suggestion for someone who can do this work?

Fuel Tank.JPG

Fuel Tank2.JPG

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Alex,

You said that you had it stripped and relined.  Did you have it ceramic lined?  It is my understanding that this is the only type of coating that will stand up against this crap that tries to pass for fuel these days.  Linings, Incorporated out in Ravenna, Ohio did the tank on my 1920 and they have the tank off the 1916 as I am writing this.  Their phone number is - (800) 939-1016 and Dave Pahls is the person that you would want to talk to if you need to.  The other issue that is really important is the type of paint that was used when you had the tank painted.  I am not a painter you must understand and there are guys on here who will be able to help you with the technical information.  There is a type of paint that will not be harmed if any fuel should come in contact with it.  That is what you will want to use.  I am sure that someone will chime in and give you the correct stuff to use.  All that I am going to say is - ask me how I know this.  Been there Done that.  Sometimes a person learns things the hard way.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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My 15 Speedster tank was in bad shape with several dents and holes.  I even found where a previous owner had a penny soldered over one of the larger holes.  I left the penny in place for good luck!

So, I had it cleaned and tinned by a local company that re-tins commercial kitchen pots & pans.  They also poured a strip of extra tin that I used to solder several holes before it was painted.  It took a bit more work to make it smooth enough for a skim coat of body filler prior to paint.

 

1915 Bumble Buick.jpg

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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Alex,

You had the best in the business then.  How about the paint?  If fuel sloshing around in the tank ever gets outside the tank somehow (under the filler cap, siphon tube connection, and fuel gauge) it will destroy regular paint and run down to the bottom side of the tank to drip.  You have to look at all of the possibilities.

 

Terry Wiegand

Out in HOT Doo Dah

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Jet Glow (an aircraft paint that is fuel resistant) made by Sherwin-Williams. Some of the others used in aviation is ACRY GLO also by Sherwin-Williams.

 

https://www.swaerospace.com/products/exterior/topcoats/jet-glo/jet-glo-information-about

 

https://www.swaerospace.com/products/exterior/topcoats/acry-glo

 

https://www.swaerospace.com/products/exterior/topcoats/acry-glo-hs/acry-glo-hs-information-about

 

 

 

Coloring the Sky
Jet Glo® Urethane is commonly used as an overall topcoat on high-performance aircraft. The system provides a simple 1:1 mix ratio and is available in thousands of solid colors. 
Benefits:
  • Proven Durability and color retention
  • Smooth spray application
  • UV resistance
  • High gloss appearance
  • Superior Skydrol® and other hydraulic jet fluid resistance
  • Salt and chemical resistant
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Unlimited color availability

 

Edited by RatFink255 (see edit history)
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I don't know much about this subject but the radiator company that did my  22 radiator also does fuel tanks.  They told me the POR product (which I thought I was going to use) eventually cracks because it is a very hard coating and thin and then it's hard to get it all out when you try to clean out the mess.  They also told me that they put a rubberized coating in all of the modern and commercial tanks they work on. Has anyone heard of that?  I guess there are a lot of ideas on this subject and makes you wonder what the right answer is.  Likely more than one answer that works????

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When I had a new one made for my 25-45 I had a talented fabricator use my old one as a pattern,  easy enough to roll some sheet metal of the proper guage into the correct size and weld in ends and all fittings in the proper place.  Check around for sheet metal shops or shops that fabricate tanks ie wine making tanks.  Leon

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We had to build a brand new tank for my 27/27 last year and it came out perfect!  As you will see from the pics below, the 14+ years my car sat with old fuel in tank since the prev owner passed away in 2004 wasn’t kind to the tank!

 

we don’t know exactly how long it sat as we only got out of his widow that he passed away in Dec 2004 and the car sat for some time before that and ever since!

 

I was lucky enough to have a talented coworker at our dealership who made the tank for me and then after tons of research and having experience with a few of the traditional coatings inside and out, I decided to go with KBS Coatings and I love this stuff!!!!  I coated the inside of the tank with the KBS Coatings “Gold Standard” Tank Kit which is three parts and is safe for ALL fuels and then I used KBS Coatings on the outside which also was three parts/steps and the finish came out great and is moisture cured!!! Looks them up, you’ll thank me later!!

 

 Here is the old original rotted tank filled w 3-4 inches of black sludge and the new tank!  We even did the recessed end panels so it matches the original tank exactly and aids installing the tank as well!

 

 

 

 

 

C342A77F-1E76-40E8-98B4-F97BF6D4F59A.jpeg

E56E2242-DC83-456B-85C0-B366B84D7814.jpeg

Edited by Crazyfamily (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Crazyfamily said:

That’s the original rotten tank and the brand new tank we made and coated inside and out, I saved the filler neck, the fuel gauge neck, and the fuel pick up line and bung off the original tank and reused them on the new tank!

That does look great -- What I'd like to do is to get a new tank built (and I was planning to reuse the filler neck, fuel gauge neck and supply like fitting from the old tank as has been suggested). Then I'd think it would be a good idea to line the new tank, and use the aircraft paint suggested above, provided I can find an acceptable color as the tank is very visible at the rear of the car.  Still looking for someone I can trust to cut out the old fittings and produce the new tank. 

 

As usual, you guys are being very helpful -- much appreciated!

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4 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Crazy,

That new tank looks great.  Your problems should be gone with this unit.  Could you give us the link on this coating that you used.

 

Terry Wiegand

Out Doo Dah Way

 

Sure thing!  Here is the link to the KBS Coatings Tank Sealer and below that is the KBS Coating that I used on the outside of the tank.  Also request their free catalog and you get a 15-20% off coupon in it as well.  They make a bunch of colors and finishes as well.  I could not find one bad thing said about them anywhere online and I watched tons of videos (I mean 100's) and reviews, every Auto based TV show has used their products as well.  I am EXTREMELY happy with them!

 

Here is the tank sealant:

 

https://www.kbs-coatings.com/KBS-Tank-Sealer-System.html

 

Here is the coating I used on the exterior, also you can spray it or brush it and it lays down nicely by brush as that's what I used.  I am also using the matte finish KBS Coating on the undercarriage of the car as well:

 

https://www.kbs-coatings.com/RustSeal.html

 

And I top coated it w/ this even though it wasn't really necessary since it is really under the car!  The "Rust Seal" isn't UV protected so if it's exposed to everyday sunlight then they recommend top coating it w/ something UV protected like their "

 

https://www.kbs-coatings.com/RustSeal.html

 

Top Coat I used but again is not necessary if not exposed to constant UV:

 

https://www.kbs-coatings.com/BlackTop.html

 

 

A few video's w/ info:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3pAaXS6Ngc

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78RsQfGWT0g

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17pakzLfY00

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf2veir5VHU   (For a motorcycle but same kit)

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We're thinking about modifying this tank https://www.speedwaymotors.com/EMPI-00-3887-0-Stainless-Steel-Gas-Tank-10-x-33-Inch-10-7-Gallon,294345.html?OriginalQuery=141-3887

 

We'd have to cut off the ends and weld on new ends that aren't domed, then cut the old threaded necks off the old tank and weld them onto the new one.

 

Then we'd have to paint it.

 

Much cheaper than having a new take created from flat stock.  I'll check out your links above as well.

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If you are going to build a new tank, why not use Stainless steel so you don't need to worry about internal corrosion.  Any vented gas tank will collect water in the bottom regardless of the fuel used.  I have seen stainless tanks with flanges inset deep enough that the old tank ends could be inset to give original appearance.

 

Bob Engle

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I was planning to use a stainless dune buggy tank as a starting point (https://www.speedwaymotors.com/EMPI-00-3887-0-Stainless-Steel-Gas-Tank-10-x-33-Inch-10-7-Gallon,294345.html?OriginalQuery=141-3887)

 

As you mention, the ends are the problem.  My original tank is 30" long by 10" wide, so by using the 33" tank I have 1.5" of extra length on each end after removing the domed end caps.  I haven't seen tanks with inset flanges on the end -- can you send a link?

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11 hours ago, ADade said:

My neck is welded, not riveted, so that's not a problem here.

 

yeah I guess some are welded and some are riveted w/ a gasket between the tank and the necks.  We wanted the look of factory (on our car)  but the security of it being welded so why not!  Good luck w/ your build....

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Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear -- I haven't found tanks with inset flanges.  My latest plan is to cut the ends off the original tank and, without cutting the new tank, solder the old ends on, covering the domed ends of the new tank.  Probably difficult to envision, but I'll send pictures.  I ordered the new tank yesterday and it should be here next week.

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