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SOOOO I finally got around to opening my emptied gas tank yesterday to give it a nice oil bath for the winter. Using a flashlight I examined the (very limited) areas that I could see, and spotted two extremely small red rust dots. I'm talking 1mm at the largest, and the other was even smaller. I sloshed the tank well with oil and plan to leave that in over winter, but I'm concerned about the rust spreading. Will the oil 'suffocate' it sufficiently, or is this going to turn into a gastank-coating project...?
 

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Your oil coating should arrest any further rust development. Cleaning it in the spring should be a simple matter as Polish described if even that is necessary. I wouldn't coat/line it unless necessary to stop leaks. Tank liners often cause more problems in the long run than the one they were meant to fix.
 

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So I've just checked my 1981 tank as I'm about to spray it and inside is peppered with little rust spots. It sat empty for over a year (mistake?). Scotland is a damp place. I've kept the petrol fuel cock in a jar of petrol.
I can buy the metal rescue, is this the way forward? I've had a look inside with my endoscope camera and that's all there is, just a peppering of rust.
 

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I used a couple of galons of white vinegar and filled the rest with distilled water. I let it sit for two days or so and then put a bicycle chain inside the tank and swirled it around. It left the inside of my tank looking like new. Granted, my gas tank was covered in rust, so it may be a bit overkill for a few rust spots.

Edit: I removed the petcock to avoid damaging it with the bicycle chain.
 

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Metal rescue worked for me, I recommend it if you don't want to bother with harsh chemicals or fight to neutralize the vinegar before it flash rusts. Just make sure the temperature is kept above 20ish Celsius while using it.

If your rust is truly only two little spots it's probably worth it to just to keep it oiled or full when not in use and keep an eye on it.
I found that it's possible to see down the sides at a certain angle, if you can't see rust there you're probably fine.

Also to put your mind at ease, if you've got the tank off/empty you could always pull the petcock and see if the screen is picking up particles of rust. If the screen comes out without a fight that's a good sign, mine was rusted in (look up my thread about how not to remove it).
 

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Rob,
Could you walk me through the process you used? I just acquired an 81 CM400T that sat for 15 years; fair bit of rust in the tank. I power washed it to flush out all the old gas and debri and them put a mixture of gas and oil in it while I decide how to deal with the rust.
 

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Pretty simple.. first get good gloves and eye protection .. do this outside..removed the old petcock, flushed with water to get the "big stuff" out.. plugged the crossover lines.. poured a gallon of the acid...closed the lid and lightly sloshed it around to get all surfaces covered..
Approx 5-10 min.. drained the acid, washed the tank with water, then fuel with oil added to keep flash rust from settling .. now comes the fun part, nuitralizing the acid with baking soda.. not bad, but it will depend on the concentration of your acid (pool acid is stronger than the stuff u find in the paint isle)... the baking soda is cheap enough.. 3 for $1.50.. I think I used 6 boxes for a gallon of the high concentration stuff..
 

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I've got another tank I recently took possession of.. PO said "typical surface rust"....not sure exactly what he conciders "typical" IMG_5448.jpg
There is another thread here where someone is using Apple cider vinigar ...keeping my eyes on it as the muriatic acid worked great and fast... but it was also kinda "scary"... as I don't mess with this stuff normally..
 

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The reasoning behind the vinegar route is that it's environmentally safe as opposed to acid. When done you can dispose of it down the drain or use it as a weed killer.
 
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