Fuel tank repairs

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 14:18
ThreadID: 6111 Views:4490 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,
I have a GQ on LPG with the usual steel belly tank for petrol under the drivers side. The tank has developed a stress crack and is weeping so I need to get it repaired. My question is... does anyone know what is involved in 'degassing' of the tank in order to make it safe to weld? This is apparently an approved process that removes all traces of fuel and vapours and is used commercially by those in the industry who carry out this type of work. I'm finding it hard to find someone to carry out the repairs for me (I'm in Adelaide) and while I'm quite capable of doing the repairs myself, there is NO WAY I want to attempt any welding unless I'm absolutely convinced that it is safe. I have heard all the suggestions such as filling with water, using inert gas etc. but I am particularly intereted in finding out what the 'approved' degassing method is. Hope someone out there can help.
Cheers
Gerry
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Reply By: Charlie - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 17:15

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 17:15
As far as I’m aware steam cleaning is the only way to remove fuel residue from a tank. You can then filling with water or inert gas is then used as a extra safety precaution and is not a substitute for proper cleaning.
Charlie
AnswerID: 25615

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 20:48

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 20:48
Hi Gerry..Click on my picture because i know what you are going through..I removed my fuel tank just today because of the same reason ( 2 fractures ) from the road back from Cape York a coupla weeks ago.. I took mine this morning to Green Welding 8349 4888 and it will be back to me on Thursday all treated and welded for about $120.....

I hope that helps...._____________________________________________

_____________________________________________
AnswerID: 25629

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 22:35

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2003 at 22:35
Gerry,
Steam cleaning is the safest method with a gas test afterwards just to be safe, you have to check the LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) before you go anywhere near a fuel tank with any means of ignition. If possible when welding it would be good to have a continous gas test happening just in case the conditions change. The steaming out process is not putting the kettle over the fuel filler line for five minutes either, this is a long process. A vapour space with hydrocarbon vapours in it is bad news. You have to be 100% certain the tank is gas free.Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 25647

Reply By: Member - Raymond - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 at 08:00

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 at 08:00
Hi Gerry
Having been a fireman and seen the damage a petrol tanks that are empty and only have vapours can do when the explode, suggest it is a job for professionals. Which brand of tank is it, as I would want to know why it has fractured and what has to be done to stop it happening again.
If you are going to do it make sure you top up your life insurance so that the widow can live on as she is now a customed.
regards Raywanderin' in retirement. victor 2010
AnswerID: 25658

Reply By: Gerry - Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 at 09:56

Wednesday, Jul 23, 2003 at 09:56
Thanks all for your replies - and thanks Voxson for the contact. I'll whip out the tank on the weekend and let the experts do it. For $120 it's not worth mucking around and taking chances.
Cheers
Gerry
AnswerID: 25672

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 20:26

Thursday, Jul 24, 2003 at 20:26
Hi again Gerry... I picked it up today and it cost me $140.... I was 20bucks out... sorry...but the two day turnaround was great........_____________________________________________

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0
FollowupID: 17541

Reply By: Member - MightyQ - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 15:03

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 15:03
G'day, I've looked, read and pondered the question and answers Gerry, I own a GQ with exactly the same problem. Remedy: a good mate of mine( boiler maker) and my brother in-law, engineer/inventor/very bright fellow and I all sat down and had a very practicle conversation about the said problem.
You'll have to realise that the three of us have had many problems to solve over the years we've riden and raced motorcycles since our teens( yeah! a long time ago). Getting back to the fuel tank: first, empty tank of all fuel.
second, fill tank with water, I MEAN FILL up
third, empty tank
fourth, fill tank again, slosh around
fifth, leave tank to dry out, wish/hope for a
sunny day
sixth, light up your oxy torch and wave it over
fuel tank filler inlet, if it 'pops' well and
good. If not you know that you've cleaned
all the fuel out
seventh, weld the bugger up, or do what I did
and remelt the weld with the oxy and
fill all holes, Job done
Look man it's easy, just be careful not careless
good luck
MightyQ
AnswerID: 27263

Reply By: Member - MightyQ - Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 15:13

Saturday, Aug 09, 2003 at 15:13
G'day, I've looked, read and pondered the question and answers Gerry, I own a GQ with exactly the same problem. Remedy: a good mate of mine( boiler maker) and my brother in-law, engineer/inventor/very bright fellow and I all sat down and had a very practicle conversation about the said problem.
You'll have to realise that the three of us have had many problems to solve over the years we've riden and raced motorcycles since our teens( yeah! a long time ago). Getting back to the fuel tank: first, empty tank of all fuel.
second, fill tank with water, I MEAN FILL up
third, empty tank
fourth, fill tank again, slosh around
fifth, leave tank to dry out, wish/hope for a
sunny day
sixth, light up your oxy torch and wave it over
fuel tankfillerinlet,then put the torch head
inside the tank filler opening, if it 'pops'
all well and good, if not you know you've
done the cleanout properly
seventh, weld the bugger up, or do what I did
and remelt the weld with the oxy and
fill all holes, Job done
Look man it's easy, just be careful not careless
good luck
MightyQ
AnswerID: 27264

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