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Author Topic:   Cleaning out portable gas tanks
andygere posted 08-08-2000 02:18 AM ET (US)   Profile for andygere   Send Email to andygere  
My Montauk came with a pair of steel Tempo 12 gallon tanks. Other than needing some new paint, they are in nice shape. I poured out most of the gas into a jerry can so I could paint the tanks, and I noticed what seems to be sand inside. Does anyone know a safe way to get that last 1/2 inch of gas out and clean out the grit? Should I worry about it? I'm using a spin-on Fram water separating filter; is this likely to clog if a tank is run low or out? I hate to boot the steel tanks and buy plastic Tempos, because every one I have ever owned has leaked like crazy from the expand-contract issue around the fittings. I defer to the experts....
bigz posted 08-08-2000 06:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz
triblet posted 08-08-2000 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Be careful about what paint you use. Gas
will attack a lot of paints, and then
you'll end up with silver (or rust) tanks
and paint goop on the boat.

Chuck Tribolet

David Reid posted 08-08-2000 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Reid  Send Email to David Reid     
I recognize your rig from my old Montauk (now in the hands of a happy first-Whaler owner). My Tempo gas cans each had about a 1/2" plug that screwed into the rounded top side corner of the tank. Remove that plug with a fat screw driver (I had to use some vise grips as well because the plugs had frozen in place), and you should be able to wash out the tanks completely and free from the "lip" that surrounds the gas entry port.
dgp posted 08-08-2000 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Andy, if your planning to paint the inside of your tank with the paint recommended by bigz you need to prepare the inside of the tank prior to painting to remove any rust or scale. An old motocyclist's trick is to throw a couple of hands full of nuts and bolts in the tank, then shake the tank vigorously in all directions to knock off any surface rust. Don
tbirdsey posted 08-09-2000 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
bigz: Nice tip; I only hope I never need any of that stuff!!
andygere posted 08-09-2000 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Thanks for all the advice. I decided to siphon the gas out and suck the debris out with a siphon hose. This worked great, except the tubing was pretty fine and kept clogging. After getting the tanks empty, I had to add more gas, swish it around and repeat the process to get them clean. I was able to get just about all the debris out (looked mostly like rust scale) and peek inside with a flashlight. The interior coating of the tanks looked great, and I can only assume the rust came from somewhere else. Also, one tank was really loaded with crud, and the other had hardly any. I painted with a rust preventative primer and red Krylon. I fully expect to have to do it again, but they sure look sweet now. I'll probably spend the time to look for specialized paint next time.
Eric posted 08-10-2000 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
What did you do with the contaminated gas after this was all finished? Sure can't dump it on the ground! (dump it today, drink it tomorrow)
andygere posted 08-15-2000 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I filtered the gas and reused it. I didn't want to, but I couldn't figure out how else to get rid of it. The gas was fresh, so I stacked up a bunch of coffee filters in the funnel as I siphoned it out, and did the same when I poured it back in. It worked well, and I installed a fresh spin-on water seperating filter to be sure.

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