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Greetings all from warm sunny Ohio! I recently purchased an 87 K100RS for tooling around town on those days when the Lt is just a little bit "too much" The P.O. had parked this bike in his garage about 3 years ago when he brought home his new LT and it has languished, untouched, since.

There was about 3/4 full tank of gas in the bike, which I pulled off to drain. What I found after I emptied it was a goopy black smeary mess left over from the rubber gasket around the fuel pump and the fuel return line, I have scraped out what I can from this goopy mess but there is still a fair amount of residue left in there. I haven't found anything yet that would cut this stuff and allow me to wipe out the tank a bit cleaner. I have tried CRC degreaser, spray brake cleaner, and gasoline with poor results.

Can anybody recommend a solvent that might cut this stuff or maybe point me in the direction of a commercial service that would clean the inside of my tank? As always, I thank you in advance.
 

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If unable to find anything, there are 7 gas tanks on eBay right now, maybe one will match the one you have.
 

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You can try acetone. I used it to clean a tank after someone did a poor seal job. It was a pink coating, cream.
Use outside, no ignition sources.
Can be purchased at home improvement stores.
 

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Acetone and a BUNCH of bolts, nuts, drywall screws, etc. Shake vigorously in all directions including upside down, rinse, repeat until the remaining acetone comes out perfectly clean. You'll need to strain it through a white coffee filter to make sure. If there is ANY black crud keep repeating. It's a PITA, takes time and Acetone is of course nasty to work with, so you'll need serious chemical resistant gloves and plenty of fresh air - as in do it outside on a breezy day or with a fan blowing on you. Oh, yeah, it will RUIN your paint too. :D

I've tried Por-15 and Kreem coatings - not worth the effort. Caswell plating makes an epoxy liner that is simply the best. You'll need to follow their directions exactly as it is VERY temperature sensitive. If you "like" them on Facebook you can get a discount. :rolleyes:

Epoxy Gas Tank Sealer - Restoration Aids - Caswell Inc
 

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Acetone is akin to a really strong alcohol, good for some stuff, but not for others...If you want a powerful degreaser, solvent, use laquer thinner, it is way better for petrolem based goo...BUT as Ron said above, it too is highly flammable, and not good for breathing. Just do it outside, and keep away from open flame. Forgot to add that Laquer thinner will disolve thin rubber gloves, and it will remove all the oils out of your hands, so you don't want to soak your hands in the stuff. Probably find that if you pour some in the tank, swish it around, a lot of dark liquid will drain out...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advise. I will try the laquer thinner and maybe some scotchbrite pads to srrub the inside problem areas. I like the nuts and bolts idea but would prefer to avoid shaking the $hit out of to try and preserve the paint on the outside which is in pretty good shape yet. The fuel pump and it's periferils are on the way and I wanna get this thing fired up. I'll post the results.
 

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Pick your poison:

Lacquer thinner: Used to dilute, dissolve and clean up of lacquer products. Typically too caustic for oil paints, lacquer thinner is often used additionally for removing inks on metal, and adhesive residue from a variety of surfaces. Lacquer thinner is very strong and rapidly deteriorates many surfaces and fabrics. Always test in inconspicuous area before use.

Acetone:

A moderately aggressive solvent. Acetone is often used to clean glass, general dirt and grime. In restoration and conservation practices acetone is often used to clean dirt, soot and grime from paintings and furniture. It is also used for the slow dissolving of varnished paintings, to clean, then re-varnish the painting.

The Scotch Brite pads will melt in either, and maybe I missed something but I thought you were concerned with the INSIDE of the tank. Not sure how you can use those inside. :think:

Caswell recommends Acetone.


Por 15 recommends their own $$ product, Metal Ready:

Metal-Ready is a special water-based liquid formulation that is non-toxic, non-flammable, non-caustic, and noncorrosive. It is an OSHA-approved biodegradable solution.

I don't know, but I think this is most likely a citrus based solvent. Some of the newer ones work quite well, but will not cut varnish or the so called *heavy ends* that you are likely to find puddled in the bottom crevices of the tank. You'll need to use a surfectant first to dissolve any oils.

Kreem is pretty vague, but they too recommend using a surfectant first, and their own $$ "Tank Prep" which seems to be highly acidic since they claim it etches the metal. It's probably Phosphoric acid.

Whatever chemical treatment you use you'll also need to mechanically attack it as well.... hence the nuts and bolts.

You can protect the existing paint by DOUBLE wrapping the tank in *Saran* wrap and being extra careful when you add the solvent AND when you drain it.

I've restored several dozen tanks over the years, and the Caswell 2 part epoxy coating is bomb proof. I've had catastrophic failures of the other types. That did NOT make me happy.
 
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