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Old 08-05-2017, 06:52 PM   #1
wingski
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Default gas tank goo

When I bought my "29 cabriolet, the previous owner told me there was sediment in the gas tank. I wasn't surprised because every old car I've owned that had sat with an empty gas tank for a long time developed rust on the inside of the tank. He demonstrated how the A would start and run for a short period before starting to miss. He said that he had found that by draining the gas in the tank and putting fresh gas in the A, it would start and run until the sediment caused it to start to miss. I've found this to be true, but this car has the sediment bowl without a pumis filter and in-line filters for each of the carbs. I'll include a picture. You would think that the filters would take care of sediment for a longer period than it takes for the engine to start to miss. So, I removed the gas cap flashed a light into the tank. There was goo covering most of the bottom of the tank. I'll include a picture, but it isn't that good. My question is: should I take a wet/dry shop vac and try to suck the goo out while it is still wet or should I let it dry and try to vacuum it out when it becomes who knows what. I hope it doesn't harden. I figure that someone put something into this tank to clean it, and it turned to goo. I remember from years gone bye that they used to use acid on old tanks, but I don't want acid anywhere around my new toy. Help!
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:00 PM   #2
RawhideKid
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Default Re: gas tank goo

First off you NEVER take a vacuum to a gas tank of any kind as all you will do is suck the fumes left in the tank into the vacuum and a spark from that rotating motor will blow things uP!!

Second, I would open the hole in the cap and install a finger filter to raise the level some and see if you can get above the goo.

Barring that, some type of rags or towels to soak up the goo wouldn't hurt, just use something that won't come apart and make more mess.

One other thing, the inline filters you have are made for a pressurized system, they will be restricting the flow some. I wouldn't be using those.

Last edited by RawhideKid; 08-05-2017 at 07:15 PM. Reason: twinky fingers
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Good god yea don't use a vacuum anywhere near a gas tank.

But yea can you tell if some k8nd of tank sealer was used at some point and gumming things up
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:00 PM   #4
JOHN CT
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Default Re: gas tank goo

I hope he reads this post before he uses a shop vac. On his gas tank ��
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:10 PM   #5
Bob C
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Here's what you get when you vacuum gas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Z295lQgV0

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Old 08-05-2017, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: gas tank goo

I have used a wet/dry shop vac a few times but have stopped since I have heard some horror stories you can get a drill driven fluid pump at a hardware store.


the shop vacs have a separation between the motor and fan but the motor could still light off vapors or the seal /bearing could be worn out rendering it a bomb which would throw plastic shrapnel and flaming gas everywhere most likely resulting in lots of burns possibly death.

Last edited by mike657894; 08-05-2017 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Is your gas cap vented. I get sediment in my glass bowl bowl but it never gets to the carb.
Next time it starts to run rough remove the gas cap and see if clears up.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: gas tank goo

For $10 or less you can buy a syphon sprayer that will suck the junk out by using compressed air. This is what I used for a customer's dirty tank. After that I flushed the tank by running gas through a cloth into a bucket. Repeat until it comes out clean, then install the small filter in the tank valve and reinstall the valve.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Well, I'm still here and not vacuum blasted into space. Thank you all for pointing out my stupidity. I watched the video with the pyro and the vacuum. Wow, how did he not catch his foot on fire? My vacuuming boom would have been much, much bigger because I would have had 15 gallons of gas vapor in the shop vac. I guess I could blame the extreme heat for my even thinking about vacuuming out a gas tank, but my brain is to blame. It's just due to your warnings that my brain didn't go up in flames. Thanks again.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Ya know what I would do, I have this flex 3 eared pickup thing, I would use that to swab the tank with fiber towels, that way you can pull the towels out with it too.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: gas tank goo

My '27 Model T has the gas tank mounted in the cowl like a Model A except that there is no screen in the tank entrance. Last week I took off the sediment bulb and blew into the tank filler with my leaf blower. A big greasy mess came out. I don't know if this would work very well with a screen though.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Drain as much fuel out of the tank as possible. Pour in a half gallon or so of carburetor cleaner and rock the car from side to side let it sit, repeat, repeat repeat. Drain it out and flush with fresh gallon of gasoline. You may need to run that gallon of gasoline through the tank a few times to get it flushed out. Pouring the gas through a cheese cloth in between to filter out the chunky stuff. After your done pour the carburetor cleaner and the used gallon of gas into a bucket of hi dry to absorb it all so it can be disposed of. Installing a pencil filter after all said and done if you don't have one already is a good thing to do.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingski View Post
Well, I'm still here and not vacuum blasted into space. Thank you all for pointing out my stupidity. I watched the video with the pyro and the vacuum. Wow, how did he not catch his foot on fire? My vacuuming boom would have been much, much bigger because I would have had 15 gallons of gas vapor in the shop vac. I guess I could blame the extreme heat for my even thinking about vacuuming out a gas tank, but my brain is to blame. It's just due to your warnings that my brain didn't go up in flames. Thanks again.
Yup....'pyro and the vacuum' , and laughing while at it !

Anything that uses electricity/sparking , should be kept away from flammable liquid (i.e.-gas).
You are not stupid, because you had the sense to ask,eh
Now you can tell/help others how to stay safe in such situations...win/win !
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:07 PM   #14
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Hi Wing,

For Heaven's sake, for 80+ year old Model A gas tank cleaning, do not try "POR Marine Clean" which is a water based product chemically formulated in a scientific laboratory to totally dissolve and emulsify old gas varnish, old hardened axle grease, new & old motor oil residue, carbon on spark plugs, and even worse, it also totally lifts all other petroleum products embedded deeply in the pores of porous metal.

If this product is mixed with simple hot tap water, the horrible part is it works twice as fast.

Even more ridiculous than all of the above, this "POR Marine Clean" product can be strained through an old cotton T-shirt and used over and over, either re-heated or unheated and will remain stable for at least over 20 years from my experiences.

As long as we continue to tell others how bad "POR Marine Clean" really is, it will always be readily available, in stock, without having to wait for back orders.

Never mention that POR technicians at 1-800 numbers are available for free consultation for various product recommendations and uses.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 08-06-2017 at 02:30 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Tank sealer years ago where not made for ethenol. Ethenol will melt old sealer.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: gas tank goo

I use Marine Clean and love it it's a real industrial type cleaner that works great. And no worry about an explosion.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: gas tank goo

I took a garden hose to the gas filler in pickup tank full of mud and let it run out of the outside shutoff
valve hole- late 31. when the water ran clear, I took a shop vac and duct taped it to the gas fill. and BLEW air into the tank for another couple of hours. installed a pencil filter and good to go.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Some one has spent some time on this motor. How does she go aside from this problem? Or is this the starts but won't run engine?
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: gas tank goo

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardtimes View Post
Yup....'pyro and the vacuum' , and laughing while at it !

Anything that uses electricity/sparking , should be kept away from flammable liquid (i.e.-gas).
You are not stupid, because you had the sense to ask,eh
Now you can tell/help others how to stay safe in such situations...win/win !
Agreed, but that's exactly what Ford did when they put the light switch (which causes sparks) directly below the carburetor, which drips fuel when flooded.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: gas tank goo

You have 2 choices.

#1--Try all the self cleaning suggestions and you will be doing them as long as you drive your car.

#2--You can remove your tank and send it out to a shop that specializes in cleaning/repairing/sealing the tank and be done with it.

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