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Fuel tank leak


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#1 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 03:08 PM

Last winter the steel gas tank on my 1250 started to leak.  On the bottom of the tank where the sediment bowl attaches, there is a NPT fitting on the tank.  The fitting appears to be part of a small round plate that was brazed to the tank.  It seems to be leaking from where that plate is brazed onto the tank.  There are no rust there so that's all it could be.  I picked up some "quick steel" fuel tank repair stuff from the local parts store.  It was more of a paste than an epoxy but it seemed to do the trick.  Once it set up I sanded it smooth and repainted the area.  No more leaks. 

 

A couple weeks ago I started to smell fuel again around the tractor.  Sure enough the bottom of the tank, right around that plate/npt fitting is damp with fuel again.  Nothing is dripping on the ground, but it is damp and stinks up the garage.  I haven't removed the tank yet, just drained it, but I'm guessing that repair stuff hasn't held up. 

 

Have any of you been successful in repairing a leak like this?  I suppose a new plate and fitting could be welded (carefully obviously) to the tank.  I've been hesitant to try the sealer that goes in the tank.  The stuff can come loose if it didn't adhere properly and I don't want that stuff getting into my carb. 

 

There are a couple plastic tanks on ePay as well as an alternative I suppose.

 

Any advice is welcome.


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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 03:13 PM

Been a firm believer and user of Red Kote for years, probably a good 7 years on a whole farmall cub tank I did with many pin holes and no leaks or problems of yet, also did this to 2 Bolens tanks with good results.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/...0009dd6&vxp=mtr


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#3 crittersf1 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 03:17 PM

Red Kote appears to be good stuff


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#4 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 03:21 PM

Been a firm believer and user of Red Kote for years, probably a good 7 years on a whole farmall cub tank I did with many pin holes and no leaks or problems of yet, also did this to 2 Bolens tanks with good results.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/...0009dd6&vxp=mtr

What do you use to prep the tank?  I do have some POR15 marine clean and metal ready. 


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#5 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 03:27 PM

Here's some good info on the prep process / application

 

http://damonq.com/te...ts/red-kote.pdf


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#6 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 04:47 PM

if it's a braze joint, the first thing I might try is re brazing it since welding it might not be as easy due to the braze present. If that failed, I might go with welding but the tank coating stuff would be good even if you do re-braze or weld it. Cant hurt to put it in as a preservative and a back up leak stopper.


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#7 fonz3482 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 05:09 PM

We used red kote to seal up several pin holes from corrosion on a high pressure line of a refrigeration circuit. The stuff works awesome!! I had my doubts, but its still holding with no leaks after 4yrs!
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#8 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 05:29 PM

I have used JB Weld Quick on several tanks, gas, water and diesel.  I have a tank on a gardener that has been repaired for over a year and still holding.  Repaired the right front corner on the tank of an old Chevy pickup we used at the local race track about 15 years ago.  They are still using that old truck and no leaks.  Need to get it absolutely clean down to bare metal.  Then wipe it down good with lacquer thinner or other NON PETROLEUM base cleaner.  De-natured alcohol will also work.   Any other cleaner could leave a film and hinder the adhesion of the bonding agent.  Possibly what happened to your first repair.  Good luck with it.


Edited by chieffan, September 03, 2015 - 05:30 PM.


#9 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted September 03, 2015 - 06:54 PM

Chieffan is right about that stuff. I have quite a bit of experience with JB Weld myself and can attest to it's usefulness in so many ways. Never heard of the Red Coat but I will keep my eye out for it so I can try it out. Sounds like good stuff. One side note on the denatured alcohol. If there is anyone reading this that has used it or plans to use it for any reason, and you don't have a habit of reading the warning labels on chemicals just know this.......It is a toxin that CANNOT be made non poisonous. It CAN be absorbed through your skin. ( not all chemicals are repelled by latex or nitrile gloves either, so check with your gloves manufacturer to make sure they are an effective barrier to the chemicals you are using. I'm not an expert so I won't make any glove suggestions ) Not to make anyone overly worried about it, as I have gotten it on my skin several times and I am still here and haven't gone blind yet. However, just wanted to make folks aware of it just in case they didn't know and had plans on having extensive contact or very frequent contact with it on your hands/skin.  I use it for various things but try to limit/avoid any contact etc. as much as possible. So, as for your fuel tank, let us know which option you choose and how it works out for ya.


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#10 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 04, 2015 - 08:42 AM

Thanks all.  I'm going to pull the tank and inspect the area better this weekend.  I wasn't sure about rebrazing the area.  It seems like there was some sort of green coating under the paint covering the brazed joint.  I'll probably go the red-kote route but want to inspect it first. 

 

after all these years the inside of the tank is still very clean and no signs of rust which is great.  should make a good candidate for repair. 

 

I'll follow up with some photos once I get it apart.


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#11 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 08, 2015 - 07:53 AM

Had a few moments this weekend to look at the tank.  There seemed to be a crack in the quick-steel repair stuff that I used around the drain on the bottom of the tank.  Perhaps it was just a line from me spreading the stuff and not a crack, not sure.  I sanded the whole bottom of the tank back down to metal.  I was kind of surprised that I could just chisel the repair stuff off of the tank where I had applied it. 

 

After getting the entire bottom of the tank clean, I thought, lets hold it up to the light and see if I can see where it's leaking from.  I could not see any daylight around the drain, but I did see a tiny pinhole in one of the corners of the tank.  I'm betting that this is actually my source of the leak and not the drain.  I'm thinking the gas was leaking form the corner then running down the bottom side of the tank and collecting around the drain (lowest point). 

 

I have some POR15 that I plan to put on the bottom of the tank and I've read that it'll seal up small pinholes.  I'm also ordering some Red Kote as advised above to treat the inside of the tank.  Hopefully with both approaches it'll be sealed up tight. 

 

Sorry no pictures as of yet.  My phone likes to tell me I have 50% battery life but after I take one picture it dies.  I'll try to have the phone fully charged next time I take a stab at the tank.

 

Has anyone put anything between the tank and the tank/battery support?  I am thinking some sort of cushion would be ideal between the two metal surfaces.  I've been contemplating either a rubber mat or perhaps rubberized undercoating.  I think truck bedliner is too rough and hard to offer any kind of protection. 


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#12 nyrobbie77 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2015 - 08:45 AM

Sorry for the long pause in the update on this.  Couple days after my last post we had a fairly bad accident which ended up totaling my truck.  No one was hurt thankfully, the truck did it's job and absorbed the impact.  Quite impressive as the damages totaled nearly $20k, yet my spouse said they barely even felt the impact.  The accident and search for a replacement vehicle has eaten up most of my time along with traveling for work. 

 

I did end up ordering the Red-Kote, though I have yet to put it on.  I ended up resoldering the joint on the bottom of the tank.  Also found one of the seals on the sediment bowl was leaking.  I could have sworn I saw a pin hole in the tank but after checking out again I couldn't find anything.  Leak tested the tank for several days and didn't lose a drop. 

 

I had a spare sediment bowl so I put that on, verified it didn't leak.  I also repainted the tank.  At work we have these nice 3M rubber strips with adhesive on them.  I put a couple strips on the bottom of the tank hoping to provide a little cushion and not have the tank sitting metal on metal.  The products we put them on are exposed to all kinds of weather so I do not expect to see any kind of problem with holding moisture. 

 

Tried to put the tank back in last night and found the shut off lever on the sediment bowl is too long to fit in the hole on the tank/battery tray frame.  So I ordered a new replacement from our sponsor at www.bolenspartsandsupplies.com

 

Winter's coming and I gotta get the ole girl back up and converted into snow removal mode. 

 

Below are some pics of the tank post repairs

Attached Thumbnails

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  • IMG_2189.JPG

Edited by nyrobbie77, October 20, 2015 - 08:46 AM.

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