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Old 02-25-2009
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Aluminum Tank Inspection Port

Does anyone have a suggestion for covering an inspection port in the top of an aluminum tank. I checked out the ones from Seabuilt......alot of cash. Any other suggestions? How about applying a good coat of 5200 to the tank and screwing on a new piece of aluminum, sound crazy. Don't need to remove again, atleast not in the next 10 to 20 years I hope. Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-26-2009
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Hey Dave

Here's what I have done with great success in the past:
  • Make up a cover that will close the hole with a border of about 20mm from aluminium of suitable thickness (probably a little thicker than the skin of the tank
  • Make up a ring the same size as the cover with the hole in the middle the same size as the hole in the tank but make this out of thicker again, say 3mm ali.
  • Drill the ring with the number of fasteners you plan on using. I would recommend using 5mm Monel pop rivets but if you're going to use self tapping screws drill the tank and the cover for the screws to fall thru and the ring for the screw to tap into.
  • Use the ring as a template and drill the tank and the cover plate the same. A good idea at this time is to mark the three sets of drilling so that they're easy to get lined up later.
  • Cut the ring in half.
  • After coating each side with a suitable fuel resistant gasket cement (don't know whats available in your neck fo the woods, I use Permaseal No. 2 non hardening) put the halves inside the tank and temporarily fasten them until the gasket cement holds them in place.
  • Once both are stuck to the inside of the tank install the cover (using gasket cement) and rivet/screw to the plates inside.
  • It is strong, it'll not leak and it won't distort the tank.
Hope this helps.

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Old 02-26-2009
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I wouldn't use pop rivets on a fuel tank, as IIRC, pop rivets have a small hole through them normally for the mandrel used to close them, and as such are not vapor tight.

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