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Unpaid Intern
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
We pulled our diesel fuel tank on our '84 Sabre 34 because we had some ongoing filter fouling issues last season. On our boat, you can't inspect the tank in place, but you can remove it so we did.

The yard folks think that it MIGHT be pitted in the bottom, but they are not sure. I looked at it myself (I'm no expert), and I see little black specs that don't seem to move when you scratch at them with a long screwdriver. The yard guys think that might be pits with carbon built up in them. But they aren't sure.

Our tank was not OEM (which was Mirax). It was a replacement that was made in 2002 by Luther's in Rhode Island of 1/8" aluminum (an upgrade from original). I'm checking with Luther's to find out if they can make a replacement from plans still on file (based on serial number).

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out whether we really NEED a new tank or not. And to that end, I may also need a local fabricator if Luther's doesn't still have the plans. I may need help to A) figure out if the tank needs replacement, B) repair the current or fabricate a new tank for us.

Does anyone know of a fabricator in the Annapolis are who works on fuel tanks and might be able to help?

Thanks in advance for your help.
-J
 

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But if not...
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128 Posts
Highly recommend Jeff Carter of Carter Fabrication in Millersville. Used him for several fab projects and he did great work on all.
 

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2002 & 1/8" thick.. Holes? Very doubtful.. If Bud made it this is a QUALITY aluminum tank made with quality aluminum. The standard Mirax tank was half that thick and they too can still make you one, and up the wall thickness if you request it.

I highly doubt you have pin holes in a 2002 tank. Possible welding slag/splatter. Take a long awl or sharpened coat hanger and see if you can "prod" these like a cavity. I suspect they are likely proud of the tank not etched into it...

BTW I have a 34 year old Sabre / Mirax tank in my barn, in an "experiment", that has virtually no corrosion and it is 34+ years old.... Owner wanted it cleaned but once we got it out he decided that for the $400 clams, to just order a brand new one with 1/8" walls.

Does An Empty Tank Accumulate Water?
 

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Unpaid Intern
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Here's an actual picture of the inside of the tank. Probably doesn't tell you much, but here it is nonetheless.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/josrulz/13746053965" title="photo by josrulz, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3732/13746053965_92027efb53_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="photo"></a>

-J
 

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Unpaid Intern
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992 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
2002 & 1/8" thick.. Holes? Very doubtful.. If Bud made it this is a QUALITY aluminum tank made with quality aluminum. The standard Mirax tank was half that thick and they too can still make you one, and up the wall thickness if you request it.

I highly doubt you have pin holes in a 2002 tank. Possible welding slag/splatter. Take a long awl or sharpened coat hanger and see if you can "prod" these like a cavity. I suspect they are likely proud of the tank not etched into it...

BTW I have a 34 year old Sabre / Mirax tank in my barn, in an "experiment", that has virtually no corrosion and it is 34+ years old.... Owner wanted it cleaned but once we got it out he decided that for the $400 clams, to just order a brand new one with 1/8" walls.

Does An Empty Tank Accumulate Water?
Maine Sail, I can confirm there are no leaks or pinholes at this time. The only question has been about whether or not there is pitting which could lead to pinholes sooner rather than later. I'm not convinced that I'm looking at pitting here, one way or the other.

Thanks again for your thoughts on this.
-J
 

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992 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Steve. I'll keep them in mind. They did some rigging work for me and were very helpful.
 

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Unpaid Intern
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I spoked with the folks at Luther's this morning. The new tank will take 3 weeks to make, so that would put us into May. But the price is reasonable.

That said, Bud looked at the pic I posted and said he thinks there is some pitting, just that it might not be that bad.

So the decision now is whether to steam clean the existing tank and see how bad the pitting is, or whether to just order the new tank.

Decisions…decisions…

Here's a zoomed in pic of the area Bud was looking at. Thoughts anyone?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/josrulz/13759261413" title="pitting or not by josrulz, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7248/13759261413_8fb870f8c8_b.jpg" width="780" height="663" alt="pitting or not"></a>

-J
 
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