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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

Being lazy...varnish removal from tank


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  #1  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:59:00 PM
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R. Kern R. Kern is offline
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Default Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

I recently got a nicely restored Hercules that is all prettied up and runs just fine...I found the check valve was stuck and cleaned it up just fine and added about 1/2 gallon of gas and it ran great...wanted to drain the tank so pulled the drain plug and a very small amount of gas mixed with some black slime dripped out and then stopped...I "probed" with a long wire and got lots of gooy black varnish goop...not hard but plenty sticky...I know I can pull the tank out of the base but wanted to try a bit simpler approach if anyone has tried something similar...I have a gallon of Xylene (yep I'm very aware of the issues with Xylene...used it for years in my boat for an octane booster) but wondered if it will cut the goop that resides in my tank...the prior owner said he had drained the tank when he stored the engine a couple of years ago and I don't question...I think he missed a bit of resdual gas that has turned to goo...I don't think it's hardened so before I have to flip the engine over and risk damage to it I thought I might give it a soak in place....any ideas? thanks
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:09:56 PM
Norman McGinnis Norman McGinnis is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

The best thing i have found to remove varnish is denatured alcohoal,it's safe to use and availble at most paint stores
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:11:02 PM
Rod Fielder Rod Fielder is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

I have used automotive spray gun cleaner on tanks before, and then i rinsed them out with acetone. Be careful. Not the safest method, but it worked several times for me. Not too friendly to anything rubber.

Rod
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:19:53 PM
Dave Wight Dave Wight is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

try cleaning your tank with carb cleaner, if that don't work use regular vinegar. good luck dave
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:50:47 PM
Ed Radtke Ed Radtke is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

Denatured alcohol is the way I go.It also dissolves dried goo.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:58:22 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

I've had real good luck with Lacquer thinner. Use in a well ventilated area, and as with most of the above. Avoid sparks or a flame.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:39:43 PM
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

I have used E 85 gasoline with good results for cleaning tanks and lines.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:17:35 PM
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R. Kern R. Kern is offline
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Default Re: Being lazy...varnish removal from tank

Thanks to all..used the Xylene and followed it up with some acetone and all is nice an clean now..If anyone ever uses this stuff make sure you know the risks..as I said I've used Xylene for years in another application so not careless at all with it--it's nasty stuff...pulled out the fuel pick up nipple and cleaned the screen on the end and put it all back together and no worries now...sure didn't want to have to pull the tank out...I was lucky that the varnish in the tank was just goo and not hard varnish..I'm thinking things might have been a whole lot worse if it had hardened.

Kind of interesting what I found..I coldn't understand why the engine would run on the fresh gas if the nipple and pick up that comes out of the tank was plugged...turns out there was enough clean area on the upper part of the pick up screen filter to let the engine suck enough fuel to run but when I tried to drain it there was just a dribble and lots of goo...I'm guessing the amount of fresh gas had been used up down to the point that it was only covering the bottom of the tank and up just a small ways....The lower 1/2 of the filter and just a small area in the tank were involved and the balance of the tank seems just fine and clean. Cleaned the screen well when it was out and swabbed the area near the screen in the tank bottom with a rod and shot gun patches, and rinsed it all really good...think this is a pretty good indicator of what happens if we drain the engines and don't tip them up toward the drain....a residual pool of gas gathers and goes to varnish.

Last edited by R. Kern; 02-25-2010 at 04:26:41 PM.
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