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1975 PK - getting it running


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#1 LA2TN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2016 - 05:57 PM

Hey guys, it's been a while since I've posted on here. My intent was to get the PK running this year, but I moving 350 miles back home to north Louisiana, remodeling house, etc... getting the PK going hasn't been high on the list. I was messing around with it this afternoon and the two items that need attention first are the gas tank and battery. The tractor needs a new battery which I will do this week. The tank is dry and has rust in it. Are there any techniques that are best for cleaning rust inside a gas tank?

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#2 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2016 - 07:23 PM

Shake/blow out any loose rust.  If it's heavy fill it 1/4 full with warm soapy water, throw in a handful of 1/4" nuts, and shake it like a madman.

 

If there is any varnish get that cleaned up with some carburetor cleaner.  The varnish will hinder the rust removal.

 

Remove the fuel tap and plug the hole (plumbers putty will work).  If I understand what I see in your pictures get a pipe plug to replace the fuel barb - you'll need it later anyhow.

 

Head to Home Depot and get some Phosphoric acid.  It's in the paint department.  http://www.homedepot...30220/100406369

 

Mix 50/50 with warm water and fill the tank.  The acid will dissolve the rust.  There will be some bubbling and some is likely to come out the top of the tank.  Put it over a catch basin.  The acid will not harm what's left of the paint.

 

Once it's clean (or the acid is depleted) bubbling will stop.  You'll be able to see down through the solution then.  If it's clean dump the solution, but if there is still some rust you might give it more time.  If the bubbling has stopped for an hour or two and there is still rust you might want to do the acid wash again.  50/50 is a pretty strong solution so unless it's really bad one shot will probably do it in an hour or two.

 

Immediately after dumping the acid wash it out a couple times with warm soapy water and rinse a couple times.  Then either heat/blow dry it or rinse with acetone or lacquer thinner.  That newly etched metal will rust very quickly unless you get the acid washed out and dry the tank.

 

To keep it from rusting again I like to use an epoxy liner.  I like Caswell, but there are other brands.  You need to make sure the outlet remains open and the threads for the barb don't get fouled.  On your tank I'd be inclined to grease up a pipe plug and install it before lining the tank.  When your excess epoxy gets like rubber pull the tap and cut the epoxy away.


Edited by MiCarl, December 04, 2016 - 07:25 PM.

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#3 LA2TN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 04, 2016 - 10:21 PM

MiCarl - thank's for the detailed instruction. I will follow your directions. I have a couple of questions though. What does varnish mean? Would this varnish be in the tank? When I remove the fuel tap, would it be better to put a plug in or plumbers putty? The objective is to protect the threads for the fuel barb correct? Also, I'm assuming I'll need a couple gallons of acid? What is the tank capacity? Thanks for the help!

#4 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 06:47 AM

I just cleaned a rusty tank with CLR. Did a pretty good job!


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#5 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 07:36 AM

MiCarl - thank's for the detailed instruction. I will follow your directions. I have a couple of questions though. What does varnish mean? Would this varnish be in the tank? When I remove the fuel tap, would it be better to put a plug in or plumbers putty? The objective is to protect the threads for the fuel barb correct? Also, I'm assuming I'll need a couple gallons of acid? What is the tank capacity? Thanks for the help!

 

Varnish is residue from evaporated fuel.  If you have any in the tank it'll shield the rust from the acid.  It's easy to tell - varnish is shiny, if the rust is dull there isn't varnish on it.

 

The acid won't hurt the threads, anything to keep the acid in will do.  You do need to protect them from the epoxy because it'll keep you from screwing the fuel barb back in.

 

The fuel outlet isn't something I can give you a lot of advice on.  I've done motorcycles but their fuel taps don't typically screw into the tank.  There is just an oval hole at the bottom of the tank and the tap (with gasket) is held snug with a pair of machine screws.  What I do is grease the screws and install them and cover the oval hole with duct tape.  When the epoxy is almost cured I pull the tape and cut out the epoxy.  I also remove the screws and chase the threads with a well greased tap.  If you have or are willing to buy a pipe tap for that hole then chasing the threads before the epoxy is completely set would probably be a good idea.

 

I don't know how large that tank is, but I specified a pretty strong solution for you.  I typically do motorcycle tanks of about 3 gallons and use only a half gallon of the acid.  You can dilute it out, it just will work slower.

 

By the way - removing the rust isn't necessary with an epoxy liner.  In fact, they claim it works better if there is some surface rust in the tank for it to stick to.  I do it because people that are paying me several hundred $$ to fix a tank don't want to see rust when I'm done.  If you don't care about the appearance or are using a colored epoxy (Caswell is clear) you only need to remove loose rust with the nuts and soapy water.


Edited by MiCarl, December 05, 2016 - 07:39 AM.

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#6 eastcreek OFFLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 09:49 AM

I had a Cub Cadet with a rusty gas tank. A friend suggested just sloshing boiling water around in it. I was a little skeptical at the time but figured water is cheap so no harm in trying. I let it sit for a while with boiling water and then sloshed maybe two more tank fulls through it. It came out much cleaner than I'd have thought and I used it problem free for about 4 years before I sold that tractor.


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#7 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 07:54 PM

Hi, I agree with KennyP use some CLR or try vinegar straight in the tank   there has been 3 other things recommended that you can try if these, as for the varnish lacquer will dissolve it and clean the tank you do not need to fill the tank with any method use chose to try  1/3 full is plenty then slosh the tank around. 

 

I'm editing my post I had a senior moment I was thinking of another acid (Muratic acid) witch requires extreme caution when using Sorry all.


Edited by MNGB, December 05, 2016 - 10:29 PM.


#8 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 09:57 PM

 Phosphoric acid is a very strong acid and I don't recommend the untrained  to use it it can cause severe burns,

I'm cleaning up a rusty Brinly 3-pt plow.  I've got a can of straight Prep & Etch on my bench I've been running the hardware through.  My fingers have been in the can a number of times the past week moving parts around - no burns.

Phosphoric might be a strong acid, but at the concentration in that bottle it's no big deal.  Probably wouldn't want to get any in your eyes and I do wash my hands after handling the wet parts.  I know from previous experience it will sting if you get it in a cut, but so will vinegar.

 

I do want to point out that it is very aggressive on zinc.  It will turn pot metal to Swiss cheese.  You don't want to use it on anything galvanized unless you want to strip the coating.



#9 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted December 05, 2016 - 10:31 PM

Hi Micarl, sorry I was thinking of Muratic acid not phosphoric acid, your are right it is safer to work with. Oh well it was a long day.


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#10 LA2TN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2016 - 12:55 PM

I'm still working on the tank.  After further inspection, it looks like my dad has already lined the inside of the tank with epoxy (or something) in years past.  Although I don't think the top of the tank is lined because you can stick your finger in there and pull out gunky rusty stuff.  I've rinsed it with some hot water and put some vinegar in there for a day or so.  After dumping it today I discovered that it may already be lined with epoxy.  Should I just keep rinsing with water?  Or should I still use the phosphoric acid?  

 

I did buy a new battery (dang those things are expensive!)  and put that on but I need to buy a new positive connector as it's corroded badly and falling apart.  While I'm at the store, I was going to get a nipple and elbow to replace the oil drain plug to ease the task of draining the oil.  Does anybody know the size plug to replace with a nipple?  Is it 3/4"?  I have downloaded the owners manual to my 1975 PK but I don't see anything on the K321 Kohler engine other than "refer to engine manufacturer".      


Edited by LA2TN, December 07, 2016 - 12:57 PM.


#11 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2016 - 01:23 PM

Hi you could rinse the tank another time with the vinegar and it should be good, as for the engine manual go here to Kohlers manual site, what kind of battery did you get? I use a Garden tractor battery 300 CCA costs about $30.00.

https://power.kohler...engines/manuals



#12 LA2TN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2016 - 03:12 PM

Hi you could rinse the tank another time with the vinegar and it should be good, as for the engine manual go here to Kohlers manual site, what kind of battery did you get? I use a Garden tractor battery 300 CCA costs about $30.00.

https://power.kohler...engines/manuals

MNGB - thanks for the info.  I took the battery that my dad had on it, which was 8 years old, to an auto parts store and asked for an equal replacement.  It's got 580 CCA.  Thing was $122.  I'm wondering I should take it back at get the $30 garden tractor battery???  I almost fell on the floor when I heard the price.  It's been a while since I bought a battery so I thought they had gone up.  I was expecting about $60-$80.     

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#13 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2016 - 04:22 PM

If it's got a liner I wouldn't use phosphoric acid.  If it gets under the liner it could create a real mess.

 

If you want to be sure it's lined clean it out well and put another coat of epoxy (make sure you get the top.  It won't hurt to have a 2nd layer of epoxy.



#14 MNGB ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2016 - 06:41 PM

Hi if you can return the battery I sure would a GT battery is all you need (300 CCA) and I feel a GT battery is a better fit as its not as tall and the seat will not contact the terminals which is what happened when I tried an auto battery in mine until I got a GT battery.

For the GT battery terminals you can get them from an electrician they use them all the time for connecting large cable wiring.


Edited by MNGB, December 07, 2016 - 06:43 PM.


#15 LA2TN OFFLINE  

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Posted December 08, 2016 - 03:03 PM

Hi if you can return the battery I sure would a GT battery is all you need (300 CCA) and I feel a GT battery is a better fit as its not as tall and the seat will not contact the terminals which is what happened when I tried an auto battery in mine until I got a GT battery.

For the GT battery terminals you can get them from an electrician they use them all the time for connecting large cable wiring.

I returned the battery and got one with 350 CCA for $47.99.  A lot better than $122.99!!  Thanks!


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