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NOW WHAT!?! gas tank coating peeling in sheets!

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#1 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 07:17 PM

My son has a Cub Original. This machine was partly in pieces when he got it. So we took it the rest of the way apart, had it blasted and painted and we have been having all kinds of paint issues. Valspar Farm and Equipment primer with (expensive) from-the-dealer Case IH Federal Yellow. I won't be buying that overpriced crap again....

The next time I do one I am gonna try an automotive urethane single stage enamel.

Next problem; He has had this thing for 6-7 years now and it was painted, put into the attic and forgotten about. He reassembled it over last winter. 

It looked beautiful at first but without getting it out of the garage we have been having issue after issue with it.  mostly paint peeling type stuff. Quite aggravating when his goal was to have a "show toy".


well onto the latest headache.   It was running excellent one day, no fire the next. He had left the key on overnight and fried the points. Well we got new points and condenser for it ( were brand new when project was mothballed, might have 2 hours run time on it since re assembled. Maybe.)


go to start upon installing the new tuneup parts and... no fire. Engine has great compression, I verified spark, and it had 2/3 of a tank of gas.  Discovered the plug was dry despite enough cranking with choke on to choke a horse.  Spray Gumout in cyl and it would run on that.

I discovered that no gas was getting to the carb!  

chased that down to peeling tank coating applied about 5 years ago and it sat in teh attic empty for ~5 years, first had gas put in it a couple months ago, since being coated and stored.

I do not remember which brand I used, I am thinking that was the Bill Hirsch stuff. I know it isnt Red Kote because it is whitish.  I took the glass bowl off the filter and held a rag over the fill nipple with the gas cap off, opened the petcock blew air into the tank,  and after a "thud" I had flow out the filter housing. so I put it all back together and tried to start it. It ran briefly but then died like it was out of gas and would not start.
Again no fuel passing into bowl ass'y. So this time I removed the tank, and unscrewed the glass filter/petcock from it and saw what first looked like teflon tape dangling in the outlet hole. I blew into it with compressed air again, this time the tank off the tractor in my hand, and then I saw the sheets of failed coating/, it was peeling off like crazy. I took a long screwdriver and scraped what I could reach bare with almost no effort.


So the question is; Other than cutting the tank in half how in the world am I gonna get that failed coating outta there, so that I can try it again? (This time I will use Red Kote, since that is what I have on hand and so far have not seen this issue on the 5-6 tanks that i have done with it this year so far.... ) but I cant recoat it unless I strip the failed crap out of it.

He wants to put it in its 1st parade over the 4th, so I have a week to solve this or to come up with another CC Original tank as a substitute by then.....

Edited by dodge trucker, June 25, 2016 - 07:20 PM.

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#2 olcowhand ONLINE  


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Posted June 25, 2016 - 07:24 PM

May be that you can put gravel, or nuts & bolts in there, then shake, rattle, and roll it to get it all out.  If it's sheeting off that bad, it should knock it all loose.  You could strap the tank with the bolts or gravel, along with a little diesel or kerosine onto your mow tractor and take off mowing or just driving & see what happens.   You need to drive slow enough that you can hear the abrasive component grinding around.  Too fast & the stuff will centrifuge to the outside & just stay there.

 Kreem liner is white, but I've done many tanks with it & never had any issues even after many years.

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#3 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 07:29 PM

Plug the outlet hole, put a good hand full of huts in the tank and take it to a paint store and hopefully you can convince them to shake it in their paint shaker.  Would save a lot of hand shaking.  Should knock all that crap loos to it can be washed out.

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#4 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted June 25, 2016 - 07:39 PM

I'd just get another tank.  That's a bummer.  Never had any trouble with U.S.Tanks sealer [ from the makers or POR-15] even in ethanol and after many years.

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#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 07:40 PM

Use clean 1/4" nuts but shake it by hand. On a good heavy duty tank the paint shaker should be okay but yours is probably too fragile. I use air to blow out the small stuff every so often as I go when doing this for rust. When all done, I wash the nuts and put them back in the drawer. The tank sealer that my brother uses has an acid wash to use first. It gets the tank real clean. I have several tractors to paint this year and am leaning towards Rustoleum even though it doesn't get the shiniest finish. I've used it for over 40 years and it hasn't peeled on me yet. Good Luck, Rick

#6 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 08:48 PM

Some old tanks have a residual residue that can leach into the metal and cause many coatings to fail. You need to use an acid etcher to be sure the interior surface is ready to be coated, even if the manufacturer says it will coat over bare metal with no prep. You may try a strong stripping agent after the nuts and bolts method to get what has still stuck. Proper prep is the key to any good paint job or coating for that matter. Also primer must not be left without painting shortly after due to its porous nature letting moisture in and ruining your final paint coats. Environmental factors are also very important as a bad temperature or humidity will ruin any good finish.
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#7 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 09:49 PM

My two cents worth:

--Never mix brands of primers, sealers, paint and clear coat. That usually doesn't work out well.

--Like Eric said, primer is not meant to be left exposed for long periods of time. It is extremely porous. A sealer does better, but it's best to get topcoats applied fairly quickly.

--As far as why the paint is peeling, you most likely will never know the answer to that, but I suspect several years in an extremely hot attic didn't do anything any favors.

--If you want really nice paint products, go to an automotive paint supply house. Tell them what you are doing and when. They will fix you up. Take a chip or even a part with you and they can match it. They will do everything they can to help you be successful because they want you coming back.

--Remember it's all about prep. To repaint it right this time, you most likely will need to take it back to metal. Again, ask the real paint guys.

--See if a radiator shop will boil your tank out for you. Why did you coat it in the first place? Was it leaking from pin holes or have lots of rust in it? If neither one of those are present, I wouldn't coat it again. Keep it full of good fuel and StaBil.

--Lastly, there's no need to get worked up over any of it. That just leads to more headaches and kills the fun. Points aren't a big deal and neither is the fuel tank. Worst case you get another tank somewhere. The paint is another story. Start stripping, priming, sanding, primong, sanding, priming and painting. Take your time and when you get aggravated walk away for another day. That's all you can do besides leave it as is.

Good luck.
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#8 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted June 25, 2016 - 11:03 PM

As big a pain this will be, it is really easy. Find yourself a sandblaster and stick the nozzle in the tank and turn it loose. You will have to do it bursts of 5-10 seconds and dump the sand out of the tank in between bursts, but it will clean out the tank pretty quick. I had a rusty tank, sounds like you have loose coating, shouldnt take long. After all the sandblasting shop vac it out.
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#9 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted June 25, 2016 - 11:19 PM

I coated the tank just as a preventive measure, no real issues noted with it besides it had been sitting for years when we got it and I knew that this one would not get a whole lotta use, given what my son's goal was when he started the project. . This was not the first tank I had ever coated, and I have done others since/ but this is the 1st time that I have ever had an issue with one. 


I do not think that the tank is in "fragile" condition at all in this case, as had been suggested.


as far as the paint job on the frame and rest of the outside of the tractor, the IH stealership is the ONLY place we could find  IH Yellow in a quart. and I was told that the paint was canned by Valspar and that it was from the same product line that we got our primer and hardener from at the farm store. but because of some "exclusive rights" BS deal that the stealer was the only authorized place to get that color of paint. so that being said, the primer used was expected to have been "compatible".


We started with totally bare, fresh sand blasted metal. My big compressor was down so my son paid a commercial sandblasting business, something like $300 just to have it blasted.... and I then took the tractor (in pieces) directly from the blaster, to the local high school career center, where they had a real paint booth--- where the INSTRUCTOR of that class, laid the paint on himself. At the time, my son was a student of that same career center--- but he took a different class there.  He was allowed to go to the body shop and observe while they worked on his machine,  and "get his hands dirty" for part of it; he sprayed the wheels (with CC White) while the teacher was watching; the wheels remain perfect, no problems with the paint. The Cub Cadet White (really a "tan"/"off-white") we were able to get from the farm store where the rest of the primer and hardener was bought from.  I wonder why no story of "exclusive seller" there?

That machine had PLENTY of time to sit and cure, untouched. out of sunlight, bone-dry atmosphere.

so being that a BODY SHOP INSTRUCTOR did the paint job, we certainly did not expect such issues, that only adds to the aggravation.  The only way to truly fix the problem will be to re-disassemble the whole works and redo the whole dang tractor. 


Yes I know that the IH White is not truly "correct" for an Original, but once it was laid down my kid said he liked the way it looked better than if he had used a "whiter" white.  and besides everything on the tractor that was not painted yellow, is holding up great. All was applied with the hardener that was on the same shelf as we got the paint from,  like I said/ if there was an issue, I would have thought that the guy who we had lay down the paint, would have warned us of that possibility....


no, the points aren't a big deal, I agree. but it just another aggravation in a string of them.... the gas tank is a bigger deal at the moment...but he was all hyped up and anxious to put it into its 1st show next weekend/

and so is the fact that he spent the money on correct reproduction decals and spent so much time putting them on to get them right and now the paint fails.... If he'd had the thing in the mud, or tried to mow a gravel lot or something, it would be more understandable.... but cmon, he's run the engine with the tractor parked on concrete, and has driven around the block a couple times on pavement, no attachments even, I would expect the paint to be a little more durable than that....

I have seen machines painted with lower quality paint and then beat to death hold up better than this.

I have not used a paint gun in too many years, I don't think I even remember pressures on the air line, or how to adjust the gun.... but I do not think I could do any worse at this point.

I myself have an IH 1200 and a 129 that I intend to redo, and I must say that I will definitely NOT be using dealership sourced paint!


I had a thread on here a few months ago about the peeling paint, from a fuel leak the 1st time he put gas into it upon reassembly.... he did not realize that one of the rubber compression fitting inserts they used on this machine's fuel line was deteriorated and split, when he put it together.... and a stripe the width of the ignition coil underneath it on the frame itself, peeled within 2 hours of that initial time that gas was put into this machine...directly below the coil and the glass bowl filter screwed into the tank.  it took the paint then but did not touch the primer......  he pulled the engine, sanded it down and had the front section of the frame redone.

#10 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2016 - 12:01 AM

Here's my opinion on the sealer, if there's no leaks/rust don't do it, I did the tank on my Bolens, cleaned with vinegar, rinsed, final double rinse with acetone before red kote.  

#11 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted June 26, 2016 - 05:43 AM

I had the tank liner on our 165 Massey fail. It was a factory job and it's a much bigger issue on a worker, out in the field.
Until we can have the tractor fixed up and an engine job done too, we carry a section of rubber hose to blow back thru with.

One thing you might find helpful... Take the fitting out and solder a "stem" of 1/4 or 5/16 copper pipe to it. Then drill a series of holes at different heights. Hopefully it will give you a longer time between having to blow back thru

#12 Tecumseh power ONLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2016 - 07:39 AM

Sand blast the inside of the tank

#13 dodge trucker OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2016 - 08:28 AM

the only problem with that is not being able to see the sandblasting progress and know that I got every last bit without cutting it apart... but right now I am gonna check with someone local that I know and see if he may have another tank laying around for now,

and deal with this one later, if possible. I am not scrapping this tank.

#14 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2016 - 09:44 AM

If you had a cement mixer or some other slow rotating device (barbecue rotisserie ) you could fill the tank about 1/3 - 1/2 full of new sand and wire the tank to the inside of the cement mixer drum ( piece of wood clamped to the drum with a C clamp if you can't wire it to one of the paddles) - wash the tank out first several times with soapy water to get rid of any gasoline residue.  Turn the cement mixer on for a few hours and let it run allowing the sand to have a tumbler effect inside the tank - just an idea of how to clean any loose material off the inside of the tank. 

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#15 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 26, 2016 - 06:32 PM

Put different coins in it and shake around or use 29 Chev's idea to turn it. Maybe some paint remover or brake fluid in it too, soften the flakes. Just ideas.

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