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Gas tank repair

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#1 poncho62 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2015 - 06:02 PM

A couple of my Kohlers have leaky gas tanks.....They are leaking on the bottom, probably due to rusting out. A couple of others I had, I used an internal sealer which was quite expensive. Also, it was very hard to get the inside clean enough for this stuff to work well with the baffle in the tank. 
I am thinking of trying fiberglass or epoxy on the outside. It would be a lot easier to clean the rust off the outside than the inside. 
Anyone have any suggestions what works the best.

Also, I wonder if there is a plastic replacement tank available for these? Somebody could make a killing if they had one for sale....lol

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#2 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted June 14, 2015 - 06:26 PM

Plastic tanks CAN'T be fixed, weird plastic in them.  Metal ones cab be soldered or welded maybe by right guy that has done them. Ask around at weld shops for those guy's. Big chance of BOOM going on, so don't reccomend home fixing. Clean enough, maybe JB Weld type of stuff will work if enough metal left to attach it to.  OR, swap meets have lots of engine items for sale at shows, maybe going to big one and buying another tank is best option. Still might need to clean it out, but better than one with holes.

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#3 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted June 14, 2015 - 06:39 PM

I beg to differ, GL. I have sealed up plastic tanks! metal ones with lots of pin holes is another story. Sometimes better to cut a section out and weld in new. Blast plenty of air through before working on it. I use a propane torch then to 'test' for fumes.

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#4 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2015 - 06:57 PM

I fixed my original Kohler tank. I couldn't find a newer/better one close, and I didn't want to have to make one.


The bottom of mine looked like swiss cheese, sol I soldered a whole new bottom on it. I don't recommend this as it was a LOT of work and messing around. Also, my tank was soldered together so  had to resolder the original joints because of all the heat. 


If its just a few pin holes from rust, clean down to bare steel, apply a good flux and use an iron to apply good heavy plumbing solder. Don't use a torch unless it's been empty for years or has been thoroughly steamed and purged. purging the interior with inert gas while soldering would also protect against explosion.

#5 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2015 - 07:51 PM

You didn't mention where the tanks were leaking at. I had a steel tank on a gardener that was leaking at the seam on the bottom at the end. Cleaned it off good with a brash wire wheel and a good cleaning with liquor thinner on a rag. Used JB Quick and let it set to 3 days before I put any gas in it. That was last spring and it is still holding with no problem. Trick is to get it good and clean and keep the fluid clear away for the repair area.

I also agree with KennyP as plastic tanks can be repaired.
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#6 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted June 14, 2015 - 09:34 PM

there was someone on Chicago CL selling NOS gas tanks like I think you have for $45/ea. I posted about this seller a while back, look in Chicago CL, farm and garden, put in hainesville for search    that is town that  seller is located.


That said I have gotten quarts of Red Kote at the local OReillys for $26/quart, enough for several tanks. 

clean out with acid (battery acid or Muriatic acid)  and then mix up some baking soda and water fo a flush, then let dry COMPLETELY  then coat away.  that stuff fills in pinholes, it don't hurt to put 2nd coat in once 1st coat dries.


1st tank that I "had" coated (ONLY one that I have "had" done) was a 3 qt tank, off a 5HP horiz. Briggs cost me $25 to have done. at a radiator shop, For the same $25 I bought a quart of that Red Kote and can do several myself.  I have since bought a few cans of the Red Kote and have done more of them than I can remember.

Edited by dodge trucker, June 14, 2015 - 09:45 PM.

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#7 Alc ONLINE  



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Posted June 15, 2015 - 05:35 AM

I soldered the fuel tank on my PK , I used a large iron which might be hard to find . Not sure how big an area your doing but for rusted tanks I would make sure the patch was plenty big so you don't have to redo it a few months later because of a new spot right next to the patch




#8 poncho62 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 15, 2015 - 02:44 PM

Thanks for the input guys......I am going to clean the paint off the bottom of the tank and see where its leaking....The soldering approach looks good if I can find a big iron

#9 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  



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Posted July 15, 2015 - 09:05 PM

Kind of red-neck, but if it's a single hole in relatively good metal (might even work in plastic..) JB Weld on a metal screw threaded into the hole. My SIL did a "quick temp patch" that has been holding for a couple years now on a junker mower he uses..

GENERALLY, just patching the outside (bondo or fiberglass) will leak again eventually - couple weeks, months, ????