Cleaning and rec-oating rusty fuel tank? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Question Cleaning and rec-oating rusty fuel tank?

I was planning to replace my rusted tank (following Jyuma's advice), but I can't seem to find the after-market tank in stock anywhere.

Plan B:
I found a local radiator shop that can clean, boil and re-coat my tank. They mentioned that some tanks may have a plastic section in them that would prevent them from doing the re-coating process.

What has been your experience with re-coating the tank for the R107...specifically the 380sl?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 07:39 AM
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If they can't re-coat one with a plastic section they can't re-coat yours. The swirl pot is plastic.

I can't recall anyone reporting successful re-coating.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:43 AM
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If they can't re-coat one with a plastic section they can't re-coat yours. The swirl pot is plastic.

I can't recall anyone reporting successful re-coating.
*2 don't have them recoat the tank. Just boil it out.

The coating will flake and clog up everything.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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*2 don't have them recoat the tank. Just boil it out.

The coating will flake and clog up everything.
How likely is it to recur?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:15 PM
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How likely is it to recur?
Will implies 100% certainty

Nobby (I think) mentioned how he did this and it started flaking off inside the tank eventually clogging.

That stuff on the inside of your tank that looks like rust isn't rust. It's a sort of caked on sediment that forms as gasoline breaks down.

If you slice your tank in half, you can scrub the stuff off to reveal a pretty tank. I was able to clean my tank using a combination of acetone, water, and a few days of sloshing. It got pretty much 99% of the crud and the rest I treated with some Techron rinses.

Just have the shop boil but don't coat.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by okyoureabeast View Post
Will implies 100% certainty

Nobby (I think) mentioned how he did this and it started flaking off inside the tank eventually clogging.

That stuff on the inside of your tank that looks like rust isn't rust. It's a sort of caked on sediment that forms as gasoline breaks down.

If you slice your tank in half, you can scrub the stuff off to reveal a pretty tank. I was able to clean my tank using a combination of acetone, water, and a few days of sloshing. It got pretty much 99% of the crud and the rest I treated with some Techron rinses.

Just have the shop boil but don't coat.
sounds good. Is there a gas additive I should use afterwards to keep this from coming back?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 06:32 PM
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Thinking a better question would be "does anyone have a source for aftermarket gas tanks" that ehawk01 might look into.

Quick search for '83 specific tanks doesn't look good but was only a quick search.

But sure would be the best option if they are available and within budget.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 10:37 AM
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sounds good. Is there a gas additive I should use afterwards to keep this from coming back?
Stabil will keep gas from breaking down 24 months (2 years). If you plan on wintering your car I would pop some of that in on the last fill up of the season and run the car a bit to let it permeate the fuel system.

Fuel without Stabil breaks down in 3 months. No doubt, someone will chime up and say they parked a car for 7 months with out Stabil and didn't have an issue. Honestly, I would hate to look inside that tank.

If you plan on storing any longer than that, drain the gas out of the tank, and start the car (remove as much gas from the delivery system).

Draining the fuel tank on these cars is as easy as driving it down to the 1/4 tank mark, putting up on ramps, removing the fuel pump plastic cover on the rear, and removing the main fuel hose into a 5 gallon bucket.

Most of the fuel tank issues we have here would be resolved if people simply knew that gasoline breaks down rather quickly into varnish, sludge, and other nastiness.

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Originally Posted by CavallinoRed View Post
Thinking a better question would be "does anyone have a source for aftermarket gas tanks" that ehawk01 might look into.

Quick search for '83 specific tanks doesn't look good but was only a quick search.

But sure would be the best option if they are available and within budget.
SL Shop has a tank and RMeuropean.com had some in stock not too long ago.

The reman tanks don't have a fitting for the in tank strainer, but I frankly that may be over kill because the pump has a similar mesh strainer and the main fuel filter will do the same thing. Don't throw stuff into the tank and you should be fine.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:01 AM
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since no one directly mentions it

"red kote" can be used sucessfully in ANY fuel tank, but they key is in the prep, not just boiling clean but taking it further, like using a small chunk of chain to slosh around in the tank to help remove any scale etc, ive done bike tanks and car tanks

as far as rust goes, youll tyipicaly find rust at the TOP of the tank where the vapors and moisture have beatin it to death and this pretty much applys to cars that have sat for 10-20 years cars that never sat for more than a couple years between use useualy dont have any rust in the tank but just a buildup of crap

also NOT filling the tank actualy helps cause the build up as well as exsessivly running the car around on 1/2-1/4 tank in the heat of summer helps vaporize the fuel and build up on the tank quicker

fastest and easiest way to drain ANY FI car/truck is to find the engine feed in the engine bay, dissconect it and run a hose off it to a fuel tank and turn the car on..let it pump the fuel for you!

a word of warning on leaving the system "dry" that has been an issue more recently is that any rubber part in the system will "dry out" a whole lot faster and get hard if left "dry" ...at this point my bikes i maintain them in a wet state just to keep things from getting hard
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:36 AM
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sounds good. Is there a gas additive I should use afterwards to keep this from coming back?
In my area you can buy the non ethanol gas and is far better to leave in a tank over a few months. It does need Stabil or the like as well. On refurbing the tank has anyone called one of the RENU franchises for fuel tanks?

https://www.gastankrenu.com
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