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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2009
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J34035-
Since you have an inspection port you can easily get inside with a long handled scrubbing brush dipped into 'garage floor cleaning compounds'. These compounds will tend to soak up a lot of the semi-liquid crud and when they 'dry' can easily be handled. Otherwise, just knock the crud to the bottom and then soak up with paper towels ... which you will later 'burn'.

Recent commercial developments by some manufactures of chemical 'tank cleaners' will make your job easier (and dont need the tank to be removed - too late on your part). These 'cleaners' emulsify/dissolve the fungal crud from the tank walls, prevent the future agglomeration (small particles sticking together making larger and larger particles) of particles but let those unagglomerated particles freely pass through the 'common' fuel filters. "Starbrite Tank Cleaner" , etc. is one of such products that have great promise in remedying a very nasty job of 'tank cleanout'. You might want to slosh one of these chemical tank cleaners inside your already removed tank as an aid to your clean-out.

To prevent such fouling in the future, only keep in your tank the amount of fuel you NEED (plus some reserve), DONT continually top it off, remove the fuel when the boat is inactive for loooooong periods of time (ie.: winter). OR install a high flow recirculation polishing system that continually filters the fuel when the engine is running.
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2009
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Thanks for the feedback. Just as a note, this boat (and tank) is almost 20 years old and as far as I know, has never been pulled and cleaned, so I figure it is due. I do try to keep only the diesel in that I need and I have an external pump with a filter to clean or polish the fuel to about 10 microns. I will look at Starbright as a cleaner and this weekend will pull the access cover to see what I really have to deal with. Hopefully it is not too bad. My goal is to go back next spring with a totally clean fuel system and avoid the clogged fuel filter problems I had this year. Always happens at an inconvenient time (is there a convenient time to have a problem?). Thanks to all, good advice.
DD
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2009
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all that sludge may be keeping the pinholes from leaking if its' that old. Knowing what I know now. any old tank should be replaced (imho). new ones really aren't that expensive.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
all that sludge may be keeping the pinholes from leaking if its' that old. Knowing what I know now. any old tank should be replaced (imho). new ones really aren't that expensive.
That may well be good advice. Putting a leaking tank back into service would be not so much fun. Thanks for that heads up.......
DD
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2009
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Replace it with new and you should be good for another 20 years.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
all that sludge may be keeping the pinholes from leaking if its' that old. Knowing what I know now. any old tank should be replaced (imho). new ones really aren't that expensive.

Good Call!!
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  #17  
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For an easy clean: pour in 2 litres (that's metric system) of gasoline.
Swirl around an pour it out, you will see the sludge come out with it.
Repeat as needed..
The small amount of gasoline left (after you poured it out) will do no harm to the engine, because its so dilluted w diesel.
Easy and cheap.
The big advantage is that you don't have to thoroughly dry the tank as you would have to w water.

Grtz from europe :-)
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  #18  
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tank clean

I removed my 18 gallon Monel fuel tank and cleaned.

1)removed the remaining fuel (took it home and mixed it with my tractor fuel)
2)Rinsed tank out with 2qts mineral spirits, with a handful of (steel) nuts in it. Used tape to seal the openings, then rolled the tank over and over in every direction.This way it loosened any on or behind the baffles. Poured out the mineral spirits in suitable container.
3) Used 1qt of West Marine citrus bilge cleaner and 2 gallons water and repeated the rolling process. poured out soap mixture.
4) inspected tank with flashlight and extendable inspection mirror.
5) Removed the (steel) nuts witha magnet, (thats why I used steel nuts stainless will not stick to a magnet)
6)Rinsed tank with lots of freshwater.
7) used a wet dry vac. to get out as much water as possible.
8) poured in 2 qts. Isopropyl Alcohol , taped openings and rolled it around. Poured out alcohol.
9) Left the tank in the Sun for 2 hrs. with the inspection port up, any water and acohol then evaporated.

26 yr old tank looked brand new. Cleaning it was the easy job. Getting it in and out out was tough. Comleted whole job with new fuel lines and vent hoses and gaskets. In a long 10 day.
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
all that sludge may be keeping the pinholes from leaking if its' that old. Knowing what I know now. any old tank should be replaced (imho). new ones really aren't that expensive.
mmmmmm..... maybe the organic acids in all that sludge is 'causing' the pinholes.

Pin holes in fuels tanks are easy to repair ..... just cut the top of the tank open (large 'sister flanges'), clean the tank, apply fiberglass tape to all the weld seams, and then 'line' the whole tank with a thickened epoxy or cloth and epoxy. Can be done 'in' the boat.
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motovationcycles View Post
I removed my 18 gallon Monel fuel tank and cleaned.
If you ever sell this boat, remove the tank and keep it. Nothing beats MONEL for fuel tanks. Of course you'd need a second mortgage these days to buy a MONEL fuel tank.
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