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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009
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diesel tank cleanout

I have my diesel tank out of the boat, here at home. It was getting where I was replacing filters every few hours of operation, so after we hauled out, I pulled the tank and brought it home. Now for the question; how do I get it really clean? What chemical can I use to strip all the gunk out and have a pristine, clean surface inside? It does have an inspection port on the top center that can be opened to access the interior. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!!
DD
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Old 12-08-2009
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i'm not sure but i wonder if you have smoky exhaust and soot onyour transom?i'm curious as to wheather cleaning out tank will eliminate my extra sooty exhaust?
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Old 12-08-2009
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If you can reach the lowest part of the tank through the access port you can probably remove most of the crud by hand. The sediment might be a fibrous mass that will hold together (for the most part). Then I would probably just try to scrub the inside with a brush using soap and water.
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Old 12-08-2009
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farmuse
I don't think that would make much difference. The crud in the tank can't get past 2 filters anyway, so they clog. If you're getting soot and black smoke it means unburned fuel. The reasons could be a dirty bottom, clogged or restricted exhaust elbow (common), or injectors need retipping and are giving the engine the wrong amount of fuel.
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Old 12-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmuse View Post
i'm not sure but i wonder if you have smoky exhaust and soot onyour transom?i'm curious as to wheather cleaning out tank will eliminate my extra sooty exhaust?

Exhaust is not smokey, a bit of soot on the transom. I'm just looking for reliablilty. Tired of replacing expensive filters several times a year, so we do a cleanout!
DD
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Old 12-08-2009
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tale the tank to a rad and tank shop have it "pickled" I think it's called. or just get a new tank.
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Old 12-08-2009
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Cleaning it out shouldn't be too impossible with a long handled scrubber. After all that is what the cleanout is there for.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Dawn works really well to clean off oily products. I would just drain the tank, open the inspection port and go nuts with dawn. There are plenty of fancy products out there but they don't work much better.

Some people will steam clean or pressure wash tanks but it is a bit messy and you have to introduce something to break down the oils.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
farmuse
I don't think that would make much difference. The crud in the tank can't get past 2 filters anyway, so they clog. If you're getting soot and black smoke it means unburned fuel. The reasons could be a dirty bottom, clogged or restricted exhaust elbow (common), or injectors need retipping and are giving the engine the wrong amount of fuel.
Most of the particulates that form inside diesel fuel tanks are soft/deformable and will easily 'extrude' through common fuel filter media under increasing 'differential pressure' across a filter set. These particles 'can' then after extrusion can quickly reform into LARGER particles by the processes of 'coalescence' and 'agglomeration'.
Many of these particles are the byproducts of the metabolism of the fungi which are the principal cause of tank fouling, these byproducts usually contain broken down long chain molecules that reform into 'alkenes', which dont 'burn' well in the combustion chamber and sometimes freely pass downstream of the combustion chamber (as liquids) to deposit and form 'coke' in the hot exhaust sections of the engine.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Most tanks are baffled, and a center-mounted inspection port may not allow access to the baffled sections of the tank. This makes thoroughly cleaning these unreachable areas difficult.

Having the tank out should make things easier - you can scrub what you can reach, then put some solvent (or maybe a strong detergent) in the tank, close it up and slosh it around real well, maybe you'll get at the hard-to-reach areas. Last time we did ours I found some of the filmy deposits on the walls really needed to be physically scrubbed/wiped - we had good access to two of our 3 sections but were unable to do a good job on the center.
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