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Rust in Gas Tank

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    Rust in Gas Tank

    I have attempted to remove the rust in my tank using some methods I did not think through before I did them.

    First off was rocks. I used perfect, sharp little rocks. They removed some, but it was obvious that this would not solve anything. Then began the hell of getting the rocks out. The person that said they pour right out and the remainder can be shook out over the lip, lied.

    Next, I was told, use sand. "It'll pour right out the petcock hole." Well, it doesn't. More than HALF of the sand didn't come out. I don't know if there is a ridge there or what, but the stem filter and socket for the petcock are out.

    I have been shaking a gas tank for 8 days now, and I'm tired, demoralized, and not thinking clearly. Is there something simple I am overlooking? My next step tomorrow is to begin cutting up an otherwise perfect original grey tank. If the paint wasn't so pretty, I would have done this much differently.

    I think there are a few guys on the forum who have used media to get the rust out of tanks on here. Walnut shells and the like. Rocks as media is definitely a new one for me . I would try a wet/dry vac, if the sand is dry I would think it would get most of it at least. If you get the sand out... there are other chemical treatments/liners for rusty tanks too like POR-15 or Kreem.



      Get a POR kit, works great!
      J.D. Hord
      Keeper of Engine Nomenclature, 9th Order


        I would use a combination of a vacum cleaner in the filler cap hole while shooting compressed air up the petcock straw.

        As JD states the POR kit works much better than the tank kreem products but for just a little more than the price of the kit you can have someone else do the work. Most radiator shops offer a fuel tank restoration service. Most warranty their work and they won't damage the outside finish. Try an call a few. Also if you can get the bulk of the debris out of the tank they will remove your remaining geology when they condition the tank.
        Faster than your mother... She's what the pros use.


          Great thread... A friend just got a 86 Yamaha Radian that the tank is all rusted.

          Have you guys heard of the old school Coca-Cola and Ball bearings?

          As for getting sand out... why not just flush the tank with water and then dry it REALLY well with some rubbing alcohol/ gas?
          BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ NT650 Streetbike, DUCATI: None at the moment.
          Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
          "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."


            I found a product called Rusteco

            Absolute best way would be to submerge the tank but thats a little pricey. I bought their sampler pack and used the gel and rotate method to keep the inside of the tank coated. Then I used playground sand (baked in oven to remove moisture) and bb's to polish the inside. Waaay more environmentally friendly than kreem treatment.


              personally, I took the easy way out and bought a new tank.

              but this is directed at "Crash", I'm assuming thats you in the picture. that's one hell of a get-off and to catch it on film.... I run the crash truck for our local club and CCS on ocassion. any injuries and where'd it happen?
              1988 Honda Hawk
              mcra track crash truck


                Actually that's a classic pic of Kevin Schwantz having an out of body experience. You know what they say, "If you love your motorcycle set it free. If it doesn't come back you probably just highsided." -C.

                Although I have had a few of my own, including a couple of great saves. The best post race comment directed at me, "I can't believe you saved that! You got bucked out of the saddle so high that I actually started to stand up on the pegs because I thought I'd be running you over."

                Karen, I want to thank you and the entire support crew (corner workers,EMTs, crash truck, as well as grid marshals, and tech) that make racing possible. Your always there when racers need you the most, and always patiently waiting (usually in freezing rain or baking sun) when they don't. From the bottom of my heart thank you.

                And for all you racers... Give the corner workers and crews a wave and a nod on the cool down lap. Acknowledge their efforts you bastards! You know what they say among the corner workers don't you? No wave, no save.

                (Seriously they would still save your self-centered ass even though you don't deserve it.)
                Faster than your mother... She's what the pros use.


                  Originally Posted by Crash
                  Actually that's a classic pic of Kevin Schwantz having an out of body experience. You know what they say, "If you love your motorcycle set it free. If it doesn't come back you probably just highsided." -C.
                  "If you love your motorcycle set it free. If it comes back, you probably just highsided."



                    on behalf of our crew, thank you, its great to be appreciated. but realistically, we are looking at you racers, thinking "how do they do it?" between the god-awful heat of most race weekends and wearing full-racing leathers, its amazing what y'all can do.

                    1988 Honda Hawk
                    mcra track crash truck


                      rust in tank

                      i also have an '86 Yamaha Radian tank with lots of rust and HOLES and about 2 pounds of epoxy holding the fuel in, which i have to replace at 2 month intervals!! (the epoxy)

                      also, using nuts and bolts to swirl in the tank makes it easier because a magnet will retrieve them.

                      also, i suspend with a fine wire a couple of magnetic stick-on sheets in tank at bottom to catch rust before it gets into fuel filter and clean them off periodically......
                      "It's only getting worse."

                      MY rides: '97 VFR750, '90 Red Hawk, '88 Blue/Black Hawk, '86 RWB VFR700 (3), '86 Yamaha Radian, '90 VTR250, '89 VTR250 (2), '73 CB125, '66 Yamaha YL-1

                      Sold: '86 FJ1200, '92 ZX-7, '90 Radian, '73 CB750, '89 all-white Hawk, '88 blue Hawk, '86 FZ600, '86 Yam Fazer 700 , '89 VTR250, '87 VFR700F2, '86 VFR700F.


                        im kinda suprised none of you have tried electrolysis.....


                          Yep have used the POR15 repair kit twice now on 2 different tanks and it works fine but you MUST follow the instructions exactly.

                          As to getting sand out you could let it dry out and then rig up a small pipe attached to your mums/wife/girlfriends vacuum cleaner and suck it out.
                          "Life may begin at 40, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 150."

                          • '88 in Candy Flair Blue + '90 in Italian Red
                          • Ohlins Rear Shock
                          • F2 front wheel
                          • VFR750 rear wheel
                          • Hiperform seat&headers
                          • MSMotorsport Seat Cowl
                          • Steve Lenac Tokico six pot caliper


                            Thanks for all the help. I'll try to address everything best I can.

                            The theory on the rocks was, the extra mass of each rock helps it dig into loose/puffy rust.

                            I smacked my head when I read about magnetic stuff as media.

                            The sand doesn't wash out. Tank position, water trajectory, water volume, and verbal abuse makes no difference.

                            Around 2000, I looked for a new tank. I have yet to see one.

                            Locating POR anything locally is a fool's errand. An automotive specific paint supply place had quarts of just the coating for $50. I may ultamately get a tank kit over the net.

                            I contacted 10 different radiator places, and they all cried about working on motorcycle gas tanks. Every time I heard "like a bomb" I just thought about that movie where everyone says "you'll shoot your eye out." Oh wait, one place said they would send it out. For $1000 I would get back a sandblasted inside and out tank.

                            Vacuum cleaner approach will begin in a few days. Right now I'm cooking with a coat hanger, which is what I should have done in the first place. Maybe I will have a few pictures toward the end of this.


                              well, I bought my tank new in 2000, guess I was lucky to get it.
                              1988 Honda Hawk
                              mcra track crash truck