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Old 10-27-2018, 03:12 PM   #1
Len Mendonca
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Default Gas tank seeping.

My 1931 model A pickup truck gas tank is seeping where the steering wheel shaft attaches to the bottom of the tank. I am looking for an easy way out, like something you put into the tank. I suspect the previous owner used a pour in sealer. I have owned this 1931 Model A pickup truck for 2 years and I saw evidence of a leak but now it is more obvious. I understand ethanol eats away at some of the pour in sealers.

Is there an easy way out for this?

Last edited by Len Mendonca; 10-27-2018 at 03:19 PM. Reason: add something to make it more clear.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:34 PM   #2
100IH
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

No easy way out unless you live in Tennessee. All sealers should be considered bad. Some may work but if they fail you have a bigger problem. If sealer works now, realize that alcohol content is going up. Many posts on tanks. it is the big problem facing every Model A. Welcome to the Barn Len.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:18 PM   #3
Synchro909
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

The first thing to do is install the 1931 steering column support like Ford used. They are available from the vendors. I make a RHD version and I've seen cases where simply installing the bracket was enough to stop the leak. Others have used an epoxy putty applied to a thoroughly cleaned underside of the tank and got a seal. The worst cases had to use a sealer. There are plenty of those and I'd advise not skimping when making your selection and following the manufacurer's instructions carefully. There are plenty of sealers that are alcohol proof and if applied properly, won't come adrift
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:25 PM   #4
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

For my info - thought I read that on 31s it attaches to the bottom of the dash?


Was moved to the dash because of this problem, people using the steering wheel to help getting in sand out of the model a, loosening the rivets.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:52 PM   #5
1929
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

When I saw a Model A owner get in my car by pulling on the steering wheel, I immediately took it off the tank, and changed to the 31 bracket to the dash board as Synchro states. I had a minor leak at the shut off valve and put some epoxy there, no leak in over 2 years.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1929 View Post
When I saw a Model A owner get in my car by pulling on the steering wheel, I immediately took it off the tank, and changed to the 31 bracket to the dash board as Synchro states. I had a minor leak at the shut off valve and put some epoxy there, no leak in over 2 years.
I saw a Zenith carb on Ebay a month or so ago and it had a red spot on it. I asked the seller what it was and he said it was something called Red Seal or something,he said it was temperature and fuel proof.I have yet to search and find a product like this with the word red in it and he did not give me anymore info.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Years ago I bought a two-part epoxy tank sealer from Napa that went on the OUTSIDE of the tank to fix rust through, I have the same problem with the steering bracket seeping on my 29 Fordor. I've been going to try the sealer. It stayed somewhat flexible but was paintable. For the time being I just wrapped a rag around it but it does smell like gas in the car sometimes.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Closed Cab PU View Post
For my info - thought I read that on 31s it attaches to the bottom of the dash?


Was moved to the dash because of this problem, people using the steering wheel to help getting in sand out of the model a, loosening the rivets.
Yes, it was moved away from the tank, but not until about April or May of 1931. My 31 Town Sedan is still tank mounted.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Buy the 31 mount that moves the brace away from the tank. On some cars you will have to make an adapter to make it do the job, but it is easily done with common tools and no welding, just drill some holes in a bar to match the dash support and the column support, buy a few nuts and bolts and a couple of hours work you are done. Do not reattach the column down by the tank and center the column so that it doesn't touch the old mount on the tank. You will have to remove the dash rail and reinstall it, not a hard job at all. I made one for my 29 roadster and it has functioned well for several years now, since I first read about the leaking problem and looked at how the column is mounted to the tank. If it doesn't leak, it is just a matter of time until it will. Mine didn't but why wait until gas is dripping on your legs to try to be safe?
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I did what Synchro909 did and no more problems
Gerry Birch Bay WA
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Per Steve Plucker's site, about mid-1930 the tank bracket was shortened and the column lengthened for more legroom. That's what the 31 bracket will fit. For the earlier tanks, you'll need to fabricate a spacer of some sort.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:14 AM   #12
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I was kinda holding off on giving my opinion on this, but I think if you add sealer to the tank, you can pretty much plan on a failure due to the previous owner installing a sealer that is not working. Sealers will not bond to other sealers, especially when they have started degrading. Additionally, the sealer would need to be sloshed and drained which typically requires removing the tank from the vehicle. IMO, there really isn't an easy way except to sell the vehicle to someone else who can deal with the problem. Otherwise, you need to remove the tank, soak it in hot caustic to soften the sealer, -then remove the sealer by scraping followed by removing the bracket, welding up the rivet holes and redrilling new ones to rerivet the bracket back on.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I had a leak around the shut off valve. I cleaned the area and cleaned the area again then applied JB Weld for gas. So far no leaks for 2 years!
If the leak comes back I’m going to have to fix it the proper way by removing the tank, and welding it up.
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:53 AM   #14
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Talking Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
Yes, it was moved away from the tank, but not until about April or May of 1931. My 31 Town Sedan is still tank mounted.
Now Tom, are you talking about your "SteadyBreaker" or an actual Model "A" Ford? LOL 😂

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Old 10-29-2018, 10:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Everything that Brent states is correct. I am in the process of sealing my gas tank, but that's another story. A couple of weeks ago at Hershey I had a conversation with the Bill Hirsch people about gas tank sealers. He sells a sealer that they claim to be impervious to ethanol fuels. If you used the sealer that was used in the '70s and '80s, it's only a matter of time that the ethanol gas will break down the sealer. There has been a lot of talk on a couple of other car related sites about people having clogged fuel line and finding out it was the sealer.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

It kinda is a shame the Model A gas tank is where and what it is.Before I get chastised let me explain.As the Model A is in its 90th year to me it seems the only thing that will hold it back for another ninety or mayby even 50 more years is metal fatique in the fuel tanks.This would be a great item to reproduce or even come up with some sort of a replacement but I doubt anyone will want to invest in the project as it could even be a legal nightmare. Reproducing a tank that was deemed unsafe almost 90 years ago,even somesort of plastic tank with a steel dash and cowl the new manufacturer would most likely be liable in an accident that mirrored one years ago. Point has been seen just recently with early Mustang fuel tanks,the fuel tank that was actually the trunk floor.Lawsuits against Ford in rear end accidents in 1965-66 Mustangs that were restored went to go against the restorer and the tank reproductions even though the original design was Fords.I still only have one worry about my '31 Ford future and that is the gas tank,mainly though it is how am I going to match up the color. I do have some first had knowledge about aforementioned Mustang rear end damage.I was sitting at a stop light in my brand new 1965 Ford Mustang with for sale signs on it,(Vietnam) and was hit full bore by a Comet Caliente,55mph in a 35 zone. crunched flat all the way to the rear window,no explosion.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:22 AM   #17
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I ain't recommending this procedure for everyone, it did work for me. shortly after restoring my roadster 32 years ago, my column bracket started to seep. not wanting to remove the tank and damage the paint, I did the following: sandblasted the area around the bracket without damaging the surrounding paint (not easy). ran a hose from another cars exhaust into filler hole, a needed safety measure. with a common propane hand held torch, heated area til old solder ran out. did this twice. resoldered with with acid core, keeping heat mainly on bracket to draw solder in. cleaned up area carefully, and repainted with rattle can. over 33000 mi and still ok. this was a desperation effort, but it worked.
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Old 10-29-2018, 11:32 AM   #18
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 37 Coupe View Post
It kinda is a shame the Model A gas tank is where and what it is.Before I get chastised let me explain.As the Model A is in its 90th year to me it seems the only thing that will hold it back for another ninety or mayby even 50 more years is metal fatique in the fuel tanks.This would be a great item to reproduce or even come up with some sort of a replacement but I doubt anyone will want to invest in the project as it could even be a legal nightmare. Reproducing a tank that was deemed unsafe almost 90 years ago,even somesort of plastic tank with a steel dash and cowl the new manufacturer would most likely be liable in an accident that mirrored one years ago. Point has been seen just recently with early Mustang fuel tanks,the fuel tank that was actually the trunk floor.Lawsuits against Ford in rear end accidents in 1965-66 Mustangs that were restored went to go against the restorer and the tank reproductions even though the original design was Fords.I still only have one worry about my '31 Ford future and that is the gas tank,mainly though it is how am I going to match up the color. I do have some first had knowledge about aforementioned Mustang rear end damage.I was sitting at a stop light in my brand new 1965 Ford Mustang with for sale signs on it,(Vietnam) and was hit full bore by a Comet Caliente,55mph in a 35 zone. crunched flat all the way to the rear window,no explosion.



The reason that Model-A tanks are not reproduced is not due to a legal issue, -it is a simple financial feasibility issue. To manufacture tanks to fit all the Model-A needs, tooling would be required to manufacture 5 different tanks. The ROI would never support that. In addition, there really is not a need for tooling-up as there are plenty of existing original tanks that can be properly restored to fill the needs of current & future restorers.


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Old 10-29-2018, 12:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Wonder if any NOS tanks show up or ever did? Probably not in last 50 years.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:00 PM   #20
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

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Originally Posted by 37 Coupe View Post
Wonder if any NOS tanks show up or ever did? Probably not in last 50 years.


Yes, I have been involved in the hobby for about 50 years and can recall seeing one or two NOS tanks. And likely some NOS have been used which no longer makes them NOS. Again, what do you think is gained by using an NOS vs. a restored tank?
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I think if you use a good quality sealer, and follow the directions to the “T”, it will work for you.

Remove tank, coat at least twice, and let tank stand for a couple of days before the second or third coating.

Take your time!!!! Read instructions!!!! Don’t take short cuts!!!!

We have had really good luck doing this. I even think that a good sealer will seal over one that was not done properly. If they seal over rust, why not other potential problems.

What do you have to loose.

Last edited by WHN; 10-29-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Not sure,just I have been following parts like NOS 37-36 Ford parts for years and not Model A,just wondered if ever shown up.I imagine that a NOS would be rust and fatigue free if stored properly. Some NOS parts were manufacture seconds and needed work when it came to a dealership at least sheet metal parts. I bought a NOS 46 Ford fender once that had an issue when stamping out and I was told parts like this were never tossed but depended on the body shop to address.
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:09 PM   #23
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I think as a stop gap repair you should add the later 31 style brace. This will help take the pressure off of the tank. Then you can clean up around the old bracket and seal it with "Seal-all" gas tank sealer or the epoxy gas tank repair kit. This will buy you some time but in the end you'll be removing the tank and doing it properly.

Hope this helps The Old Tinbasher
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:14 AM   #24
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Someone put the dash mount on my 29 Tudor, then soldered the bracket without removing the tank. You can see the thick solder around the bracket, but it's well sealed, and the tank looks like new inside. You can use the large old soldering coppers to safely solder the tank.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:27 AM   #25
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I too was a victim of this tank damage due to the steering wheel mount. I did not want to remove the tank either. But in response to some advice (even some scoldings to "do it right" from this forum) I did. It was not an easy task but in the long run beneficial. In the process, since the firewall is part of the tank I replaced all the ignition wiring as well. For the tank I removed the riveted mount and TIG welded the the rivet holes. Then had the inside coated by a radiator shop. Repainted the entire tank with a rattle can. Color is one slight shade lighter but un-noticeable. 3 years later, not a drop leaking.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

My restored car developed this same exact problem. I installed the later style bracket from the dash after the problem developed. My plan was to "seal" around the old bracket where it was weeping, but in 2 years there is no evidence of any gasoline weepage around the old bracket. Go figure!? Maybe that will be your easy way out as, so far, it has been for me.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:40 AM   #27
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len Mendonca View Post
My 1931 model A pickup truck gas tank is seeping where the steering wheel shaft attaches to the bottom of the tank. I am looking for an easy way out, like something you put into the tank. I suspect the previous owner used a pour in sealer. I have owned this 1931 Model A pickup truck for 2 years and I saw evidence of a leak but now it is more obvious. I understand ethanol eats away at some of the pour in sealers.

Is there an easy way out for this?
Gas seepage or leaks of any kind are bothersome from a safety standpoint. And doing a repair with sealer does not solve the original leak problem, it just band-aides it! And once the sealer starts breaking down, ya got bigger problems. The easy safe way to fix this is really not easy but is the right way. Take out the tank, and do it right! Everything else in my estimation, just prolongs the agony.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:52 PM   #28
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

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Originally Posted by DHZIEMAN View Post
Gas seepage or leaks of any kind are bothersome from a safety standpoint. And doing a repair with sealer does not solve the original leak problem, it just band-aides it! And once the sealer starts breaking down, ya got bigger problems. The easy safe way to fix this is really not easy but is the right way. Take out the tank, and do it right! Everything else in my estimation, just prolongs the agony.
Like many who have posted on this thread, you seem to assume the sealer will break down. Why? I used sealer for the first time over 20 years ago and that tank still doesn't leak a drop. It is one where I used one of my 1931 style column support brackets and then sealed the tank. I expect better sealers are available now than when I did that, too.
A good quality sealer properly applied will outlast us and most likely, the car.
I've also had good success when treating a rusty tank by using phosphoric acid (which leaves a white powdery residue) to clean out the rust, then using the best sealer I can find. In my most recent job, I solved both problems (rust and a leak) at the same time.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:33 AM   #29
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I used 31 bracket and sealed around tank bracket with Marine-Tex Gray epoxy. 8+ years and not a drop leaking.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:02 PM   #30
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

I just bought an NOS Model A tank at the latest Hershey. Until I stumbled upon it, I didn't think they existed.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #31
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbearson View Post
I just bought an NOS Model A tank at the latest Hershey. Until I stumbled upon it, I didn't think they existed.
Was it a '31? or an earlier one?
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:55 PM   #32
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Default Re: Gas tank seeping.

After the "stop gap" methods; the permanent method. Right TinBasher?



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