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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found and repaired a very small leak in a diesel tank by cleaning and fiber glassing the area. Checking the inside of the tank it looks pretty clean. Any thoughts on additional cleaning, testing etc...?

I did fill the tank with water after the repair, no leaks.

Rich
 

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There are a lot of unknowns for a commentator on your job. The job might range from "indistinguishable from stock" to "bomb about to explode" depending on the extent of the original damage and the skill with which you addressed it.

If you are at all concerned, have a surveyor look it over. Your peace of mind will be worth the $$$.
 

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I found and repaired a very small leak in a diesel tank by cleaning and fiber glassing the area. Checking the inside of the tank it looks pretty clean. Any thoughts on additional cleaning, testing etc...?

I did fill the tank with water after the repair, no leaks.

Rich
what is the tank made of. if fiber glass then it should work. if aluminum it will hold for a while. hard to tell how long. what type resin. epoxy is the best for repairs on either.
 

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A further thought: Why did the original tank leak? I was in a similar position with an aluminum diesel fuel tank. It turned out that it was the first of many pinhole leaks from water-based corrosion across the back of the tank. I just replaced it. I only saw the extent of the damage after I looked at the old tank out of the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I see why it leaked, there was mounting tab that was welded on the tank. The tab extended 1.5 inches off the tank. The tab was supported but not the end of the tank. Other than that the inside and outside of the tank look pretty good, no Swiss cheese...

Rich
 

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I know it's after the fact but:

You weren't clear but it sounds like you put the patch on the inside of the tank? That's usually the preferred method unless not accessible.

I'm have no clue if all epoxies and polyesters are diesel tolerant so it's best to check with the vendor for compatibility.

Some good information on patching aluminum with epoxy and making fuel tanks using epoxy can be found at West System:
WEST SYSTEM | Metal Boat Repair - Patch holes in aluminum boats with G/flex Epoxy
WEST SYSTEM | Modifying and Customizing Boats - Wood/epoxy composite tank guidelines

While not all of it is applicable to your problem it has a lot of useful information.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Aluminum is tough to get stuff to stick to it, I would be surprised if your patch holds for long. That said, my sister in law patched a hole in the bottom of an aluminum skiff with bubble gum and it lasted as long as the boat did :))
Why not just have the tank welded?
 

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Re "I did fill the tank with water after the repair, no leaks.", a friend had his water separator break (hint, drain the water before temps go below freezing) and gravity-feed much of his diesel tank contents into the bilge. Interestingly, the fuel leaked out around the keel-hull joint, even though water *never* leaked in there. Apparently water molecules are larger than diesel (or so I read) so not-leaking-water doesn't necessarily mean it won't leak fuel.


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