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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have experience or come across some information about cleaning and painting a diesel tank?
I've pulled the tank and removed the hoses and gauges. The tank has full integrity its got a layer of rust coating the inside from sitting with 20 gallons of diesel in it for a year.

I am looking at doing a muriatic acid wash then pouring in something like POR15 as liner.

Thank you,
Grey
 

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As with all painting, the preparation is very important and you should not add products not recommended by the manufacturer, and follow the instructions:
https://www.por15.com/POR-15-Fuel-Tank-Sealer

When degreasing, note the part that says to add nuts and bolts. You can use sharp stones as well. If you hang the tank in a rope or a chain, the work gets more comfortable when you do the grinding of the inner surface of the tank. Put the chain or rope around the tank as a harness. You can now work one area, turn the tank a little inside the harness and work the next area. Continue until the whole inner surface is treated.

Use the harness when you roll the tank to coat the inside with the sealer, and let it hang there to drain afterwards.
This product is probably a PUR-based paint and unwanted stains are hard to get rid of. Cover the floor.

During work, play this on repeat:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. I am definitely looking into the suspension system.
I made a typical newb mistake and didnt provide dimensions.
-33 gallon
-cylinder shaped tank
-3" opening for fuel gauge
-3" filler opening
-0.5" for fuel line

Its a good sized tank and seems very rare that anyone has tried to put a liner in something that size.
 

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Being a diesel tank I am surprise it is rusted. Was it empty all these years?

I have some friends that have cut tanks open but being this is a cylinder that would be a big issue I guess.

I have used Muratic acid on small gas tanks with good results. However, I tried to remove rust off a metal sheet I repurposed as bench top and it did not work at all. I dunno why.

I guess the rock and shake idea is the best I idea but I would not por15 it. Too expensive and I don't think you can properly prep it. Also keep diesel in the tank.
 

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Done dozens of fuel tanks over the years. Tried the "Rock Shake". Tried acid (it'll create pinholes). Tried commercial chemicals.....

I've found electrolysis works the best. I had my doubts also, but once an old timer showed me how to do it, I don't use any other method. Arm & Hammer Wash soda is $4 for 55oz at Wally World and you don't have to hide what you're doing from the County Environmental Inspector when you flush the tank. With two 3" openings..... Piece of cake;)

 

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Being a diesel tank I am surprise it is rusted. Was it empty all these years? ...
I think you have some reading to do, start here:
http://www.mycleandiesel.com/pages/ProblemWater.aspx
http://www.mycleandiesel.com/pages/ProblemMicrobialGrowth.aspx
http://www.mycleandiesel.com/pages/FuelDegradation.aspx

...
I guess the rock and shake idea is the best I idea but I would not por15 it. Too expensive and I don't think you can properly prep it....
Why can it not be properly prepped?
Do you have any experience of the product?

Removing the heavier rust (without chemicals), followed by a rust converter and an epoxy paint could work. I do not know if that would be cheaper.
 

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Done dozens of fuel tanks over the years. Tried the "Rock Shake". Tried acid (it'll create pinholes). Tried commercial chemicals.....

I've found electrolysis works the best. I had my doubts also, but once an old timer showed me how to do it, I don't use any other method. Arm & Hammer Wash soda is $4 for 55oz at Wally World and you don't have to hide what you're doing from the County Environmental Inspector when you flush the tank. With two 3" openings..... Piece of cake;)
And this stops or prevents rust in the future?

I guess I was lucky. I used this:
https://www.hirschauto.com/ALCOHOL-RESISTANT-GAS-TANK-SEALER/productinfo/GTS/
15 years ago on a diesel tank (Ford Tractor 4000 -69), the inside of the tank looks the same today.

It seems unlikely that these products do not work (when done properly), since they have been sold for many years.
 

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Nope..... You use a sealer. You did read the original question, or do I need to point out it was how to go about "CLEANING" the rust out of the tank?

I'm real proud for you that you managed to successfully do that fuel tank, on your own equipment, 15 years ago.:)

I've only done a 1/2 dozen on tillers/mowers since this mowing season started in April, OTHER people actually paid me to do it, but I guess I should just digress to your extensive expertise....;)
 

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Nope..... You use a sealer. You did read the original question, or do I need to point out it was how to go about "CLEANING" the rust out of the tank?

I'm real proud for you that you managed to successfully do that fuel tank, on your own equipment, 15 years ago.:)

I've only done a 1/2 dozen on tillers/mowers since this mowing season started in April, OTHER people actually paid me to do it, but I guess I should just digress to your extensive expertise....;)
The original question is about cleaning and painting the inside of a diesel tank.
The original question begins with "Anyone have experience...". Since there were no answer given to the threadstarter, I thought I could help a little with the few tips I had.

I have done it one time and I take that as an experience.
I covered the cleaning and degreasing part in post #2. I wrote it as "You can...", not "I did...", but the tips I gave come from my own experience.

Instead of being rude to people, help the thread starter:
What sealer do you find works the best?
 

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Done dozens of fuel tanks over the years. Tried the "Rock Shake". Tried acid (it'll create pinholes). Tried commercial chemicals.....

I've found electrolysis works the best. I had my doubts also, but once an old timer showed me how to do it, I don't use any other method. Arm & Hammer Wash soda is $4 for 55oz at Wally World and you don't have to hide what you're doing from the County Environmental Inspector when you flush the tank. With two 3" openings..... Piece of cake;)

This tip could have saved me buying a new gas tank! Thanks.
 

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I haven't done a diesel tank but I did do a regular gasoline tank.

To clean it I used 3/8+ crushed gravel, filtered out all of the tailings. Strapped the tank to my 4x6 trailer and spend a couple hours on the roughest logging road around my area. Rotated it 3 or time on the trailer so all the inside surfaces got some attention.

After cleaning out all of the rocks and sediment used Caswell Gas Tank Sealer to seal the inside of the tank.

A couple gottcha's I found out the hard way.

Make sure you have put a good lubricated plug in your fuel line connection hole. I had to drill out the center of the bolt I used as a plug then thermal cycle it a few times before the epoxy let go of the bolt.

Use play-doh or similar putty around the filler hole neck. With the tank upside down to drain the extra epoxy some of it settle in the slots for latching the gas cap. It was bear to chip it out so I could use the gas cap.

I'd be concerned about the rust converter and paint on the inside of the tank. Some of the additives in gasoline and diesel don't react well with paint.
 

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Anyone have experience or come across some information about cleaning and painting a diesel tank?
I've pulled the tank and removed the hoses and gauges. The tank has full integrity its got a layer of rust coating the inside from sitting with 20 gallons of diesel in it for a year.

I am looking at doing a muriatic acid wash then pouring in something like POR15 as liner.

Thank you,
Grey
I have "cleaned" a tank by taking a length of chain and tying heavy fishing line to one end. Use PPE's. Pour in muratic acid. Drop the chain in, screw the cap closed on the fishing line. Kick it around the driveway for awhile. I cleaned out a 100 and a 180 gallon tank this way, more rolled them around the driveway than kicked, and it worked great. Muratic acid is nasty stuff. I use it to clean metal for welding. It is used for cleaning masonry work and hosed off into the yard. Just be careful and take precautions and use PPE's. Good luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sorry about the delay in my response. This is an important project for me as I am trying to see if those who can't afford a heavy duty truck can use an isuzu npr with some minor mods to haul heavy loads and reduce danger(braking) and stress on the basic farm truck. I have also seen npr's being used as tractors for haying in california but only in a photograph.

I am going to go ahead and try some of your suggestions in the following order.
1) without cleaning it I am going to do the electrolysis for 24 hours
2) dump bunch of nuts and bolts in there and roll it around (the tank still has a solid thick wall)
3) prep the metal with muriatic acid (minimal amount because I have no way of disposing of it)
4) POR15
 
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