2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #38[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
How To Fix A Rusted Fuel TankSooner or later, all steel fuel tanks are likely to have the same problem. They will begin to rust, flake and develop pinhole leaks.
But there's an inexpensive way to repair old tanks, says Gackle, N. Dak. farmer Roger Gutschmidt. He successfully fixed his own fuel tank after noticing that rust flakes had started to collect in his fuel filter.
"The first thing I did was clean out the inside of the tank with the pressure washer, using hot soapy water," he explains. "This removed the loose flakes, which I could look for by using a flashlight to see inside the tank. Then I tipped the tank upside down and let it drip dry for a few hours."
Next, Gutschmidt poured about a pint of a product called "POR-15 U.S. Standard Fuel Tank Sealer" (POR stands for Paint Over Rust) into the tank through the top, immediately tipping the tank "every which way" so the product could completely coat and adhere to the entire inner surface. Finally, he poured out any excess product.
"Of course, you have to use some common sense. You can't let the product run into a fuel line and if you have a shut off valve in the bottom of your tank, you have to take that out and screw a pipe plug into its place."
Gutschmidt let the product dry for 24 hrs. before reinstalling the tank into the tractor.
"This is an amazing product. It gets hard as a rock and leaves a glossy coating that you can't scratch off with your fingernail. It's a permanent fix," he explains.
This company also makes a wide selection of other products, which Gutschmidt highly recommends. They include a high-temperature paint (for restoration work on tractor frames and firewalls), rust preventative paint, engine enamel, and repair putty and fillers.
"You brush the paint on right out of the can. It's a lot more expensive, but if you're going to go through the work of fixing an older piece of equipment, you want something that's going to last," he points out.
Some of the major automotive supply stores sell POR-15 products, or you can buy online at www.por15.com. A quart of fuel tank sealer is $36.95 plus shipping. The company's website says the product is impervious to all fuels, including the new Stage II fuels which have a high alcohol content.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gutschmidt Manufacturing, LLC, Roger Gutschmidt, 6651 Hwy. 56, Gackle, N. Dak. 58442 (ph 701 698-2310; shopdoc@drtel. net).
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