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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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Old 11-14-2013
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another tank cleaning issue

I've read probably all the way posts on the subject but still don't have clear solution (no pun intended). I have a 1971 Pearson 30 with a 1991Yanmar 2gm20f which probably has the old A-4 tank still in it. I know there is crud on at least the bottom, problem is, no inspection port and narrow, deep fill port only. The tank looks fine so don't want to replace, plus it would be a bear to negotiate it out and in. Some have implied getting a service to do it under these conditions but putting out one last shot at maybe someone finding a new solution. I probably can't jiggle a rag on a stick too much so my options are limited.
Any help appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

Install an inspection port. In a previous discussion "Cutting Access Hole in Stainless Steel Diesel Fuel Tank" there was some valuable info. As usual on the forum, there was probably a bunch of half-baked suggestions also. The trick is to devine the difference.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

Thanks Hudson, you think this is better than just getting it cleaned, to hopefully last a few, five years? I will have to pay a pro to put one in in any case.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

On a side note. Back in my diesel/veggie conversion days for my truck I remember galvanized tanks being unsuitable for diesel. If the boats tank was originally for an Atomic there would be no way the tank was galvanized, would there? just wondering. Gotta be aluminum or ss right?
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

I would doubt that tank is stainless. On my 72 Catalina is was not anyway. Monel was a popular choice then. Mine looked good on top, but once I poked around it was obvious it needed replacing. I ended up cutting it in pieces with shears. That was no picnic for sure, but great to get it out.

Lots of help on the Moyer Marine forum as well.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by alechich View Post
I've read probably all the way posts on the subject but still don't have clear solution (no pun intended). I have a 1971 Pearson 30 with a 1991Yanmar 2gm20f which probably has the old A-4 tank still in it. I know there is crud on at least the bottom, problem is, no inspection port and narrow, deep fill port only. The tank looks fine so don't want to replace, plus it would be a bear to negotiate it out and in. Some have implied getting a service to do it under these conditions but putting out one last shot at maybe someone finding a new solution. I probably can't jiggle a rag on a stick too much so my options are limited.
Any help appreciated.
As was said, install a clean-out port. They sell ready made ones that are easy to install. You might also want to see my tank replacement web page. It has many photos of ours that sounds similar to yours.

Our page is at; Guenevere's Projects, Fuel tank replacement


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Re: another tank cleaning issue

Ok, thanks to all. Here's the thing, I love my boat but I've shed too much blood and tears on it already, not going to go through tank removal unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

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Originally Posted by alechich View Post
Ok, thanks to all. Here's the thing, I love my boat but I've shed too much blood and tears on it already, not going to go through tank removal unless absolutely necessary.
It IS necessary! (how do I know?) not a matter of if it will fail, but when.. and it will fail. Remove it and be done with it. "Looks ok" doesn't work either because the pin holes are nearly microscopic. Love your boat .. not your tank.
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

I can't argue with the wisdom of installing a good sized inspection port, it's the best way to go. On my own boat, while my engine was out I simply removed the tank and used a pressure washer and degreaser to clean the tank out. Simply stuck pressure washer wand in every orifice and rinsed till no more stuff washed out. No problems since reinstall and 20+ hours on newly rebuilt engine.

HTH

Eric Irvine
Bristol 29.9
"Selkie"
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Old 11-15-2013
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Re: another tank cleaning issue

Thanks Denise and Eric, I'm not planning on removing my engine and if that's necessary to remove the tank I'll try any other option. No one yet has commented on tank cleaning services. ? Also why would I think there are pinholes if there is no evidence of leaking fuel? As indicated, the tank looks fine of what I can see of it (it rests partly in a wooden box) so why should I assume there are pinholes? The aluminum (I think) looks strong and I don't see or smell any evidence of fuel. The engine doesn't seem to use any fuel, I could probably cross the pond by power on one tank. (;
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