fuel tank patching

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MikeHaugen

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I have a mep002a generator that has developed a fuel leak. Before I investigated too far I bought an external patch kit, but upon looking closer I found a few pinhole leaks (pinhole may be an understatement as some of them are nearly 1/8") so a simple patch job won't do I don't think since they will just keep popping up. I have read about many internal tank coatings but I don't know if I can trust them not to come apart and start clogging things. Does anyone have a recommendation for an internal tank sealer, as in the type that you clean the tank, pour the stuff in and roll it around a little? Maybe 1/8" holes are too big for that type of treatment? any other suggestions? I looked into a replacement, and gmg had a bare tank for 175 + 55 shipping, which is a bit steep but I would do it if I had to, but they are sold out now. They also sell a complete tank with fittings, sending unit and everything for around 700... way more than I'm willing to spend, I would make one before I did that.

This all started when I thought I was doing a good thing by cleaning the tank with kerosene and fish tank gravel.

Thanks a lot, I love this place, I only with I had more to contribute other than asking questions.

Mike
 

jamawieb

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I have a mep002a generator that has developed a fuel leak. Before I investigated too far I bought an external patch kit, but upon looking closer I found a few pinhole leaks (pinhole may be an understatement as some of them are nearly 1/8") so a simple patch job won't do I don't think since they will just keep popping up. I have read about many internal tank coatings but I don't know if I can trust them not to come apart and start clogging things. Does anyone have a recommendation for an internal tank sealer, as in the type that you clean the tank, pour the stuff in and roll it around a little? Maybe 1/8" holes are too big for that type of treatment? any other suggestions? I looked into a replacement, and gmg had a bare tank for 175 + 55 shipping, which is a bit steep but I would do it if I had to, but they are sold out now. They also sell a complete tank with fittings, sending unit and everything for around 700... way more than I'm willing to spend, I would make one before I did that.

This all started when I thought I was doing a good thing by cleaning the tank with kerosene and fish tank gravel.

Thanks a lot, I love this place, I only with I had more to contribute other than asking questions.

Mike
For holes that big your going to need JB weld. Liquid sealers won't seal holes that big. I would use JB weld and then use a sealer. I buy a product from Oreilly's that is red, I'll get the name and send it to you.
 

Guyfang

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Not long ago, I was looking in fleebay. I used MEP for my search. Got about a million hits, and as I had lots of time to kill, it was 01:00 at the time, I looked at every one of the hits. Many were motorcycle winshields and such stuff. BUT, the vast majority were milatary generator "things". And I do remember at least ONE tank being in there. If you havent looked, maybe you should. Often parts will not show up under MEP-002A. But will show up under MEP.
 

MikeHaugen

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Zed, I believe that is probably the same one I saw. I'm not really interested in buying a new tank... especially at that price.

I will try the jb weld (or maybe my existing tank sealer) to fill the holes I see, then try an internal liquid sealer.

Jamawieb, I've heard a product called "red kote" recommended... maybe that's it?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Chainbreaker

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If your considering using Red Kote, or similar, beware their disclaimer:

"Diesel Fuel Tanks - A brand new tank intended for
use with diesel may be lined prior to use. A tank that
has had diesel fuel in it will need to be sand blasted
prior to using Red-Kote. Diesel fuel leaves a paraffin
coating inside the tank that Red-Kote will not stick to.
There is no known cleaning method to remove this
paraffin coating other than sand blasting. If you choose
to line a diesel tank you do so at your own risk."

I think of Red Kote as more of a "preventative treatment" to prevent pin holes from forming due to tank interior rusting or corroding.

In general I like JB Weld but... I'm not sure how it would do as a permanent fix on a fuel tank. I would want a layer of JB Weld on both surfaces inside & out and perhaps impregnated into patches of fine brass mesh screen. I would be somewhat concerned that JB Weld by itself, when subjected to long term vibrations, might eventually come off metal if only applied to one side of hole unless it oozes through to the inside to form a balloon type of seal from inside.

You could have the holes welded up, as in Guy's Metal shop suggestion, for a permanent fix and then have it Red Koted afterwards to prevent future rust outs.
 

MikeHaugen

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Chainbreaker, I appreciate that warning... I had not heard that before and it is not readily advertised on their website. Oddly enough, neither por15 or kbs give that warning and I can't believe their product would be different enough to not be affected by that. I wonder if sandblasting a tank that small would even be worth it.

I'm thinking more and more about fabbing a new tank. I could make it thicker and probably even get a little extra capacity while I'm at it.
 

Ray70

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Guys, The absolute best product is Caswel Plating's 2 part epoxy tank sealer. It's available on ebay.
I have posted several other times here as to how to use it.
It's a bit pricey but it works.
You clean the tank, mix the epoxy, dump it in and just keep tipping the tank around until the epoxy starts to harden.
Depending on how much you put in you can easily create a layer 1/16" thick, way thicker if you let it collect on the bottom before it hardens.
I can personally say that it works fantastic and it lasts! I have machines that I used this sealer on over 8 years ago and still no problems! You can easily seal 1/8" holes, but I have sealed tanks with holes over 1/4" by putting tape over the hole, applying the epoxy, then once dry I brushed on another coat of epoxy on the outside, along with a layer of fiberglass mat embedded, just for added measure.
 

SCSG-G4

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If you were coming to the VA Rally over Labor Day or know someone from closer to you that was coming, I could hand it off there. It's a pull and looks clean inside, complete with a couple of ounces of fuel. Main problem is it's a MEP-003A tank which is by itself 24.5 x 14 x 9 inches. It is listed as one of the items that can be swapped between the two sizes, but I'm not sure how it's done. I would match GMG's stripped tank price.
 

Light in the Dark

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Yeah I dont know how it would fit in the same envelope, but if your machine is stationary, I am sure you could fab up some bracketry to have this tank sit perpendicular to the regular tank mounting footprint, and work fine (might need to amend fuel hose length to get to the pickup and return ports)
 

Chainbreaker

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Chainbreaker, I appreciate that warning... I had not heard that before and it is not readily advertised on their website. Oddly enough, neither por15 or kbs give that warning and I can't believe their product would be different enough to not be affected by that. I wonder if sandblasting a tank that small would even be worth it.

I'm thinking more and more about fabbing a new tank. I could make it thicker and probably even get a little extra capacity while I'm at it.
Here is Red Kote's PDF file. Check out the "Warnings" section top of pg. 2. I was not aware, until I just reread it, that it is also listed as being incompatible with Biodiesel fuel. I wonder if they are talking 100 BD or any percentage of BD?

Anyway, I would not use it for your intended application.
 

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Chainbreaker

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Yeah I dont know how it would fit in the same envelope, but if your machine is stationary, I am sure you could fab up some bracketry to have this tank sit perpendicular to the regular tank mounting footprint, and work fine (might need to amend fuel hose length to get to the pickup and return ports)
Here is a MEP-003a fuel tank that I installed on My MEP-002a that I enclosed in a NF-2 trailer. It requires relocating the batteries off the skid due to the tank encroaching on the battery location in skid area. Its nice if you can do it, as 15 gallons gives 30 hrs run time at "full load" on MEP-002a.

IMG_1888.jpg
 
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Chainbreaker

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Just a suggestion... See if there are any fabrication shops around you that would build you one. You should be able to have a steel or aluminum one built to your specs for a reasonable price. Wouldn't hurt to get a few quotes.
If you do decide to have a tank built, I would strongly recommend aluminum so you will be done with future pinhole rust outs & better compatibility with any % of biodiesel you might use.

I found the below part fit reference drawing a while ago at GMG that had a custom fabricated tank offering for sale at the time I was looking for one (it was & still is out of stock as of this date). It may help provide ideas for your tank design if you choose to go that route. This was advertised as being designed as a drop in replacement except for the fuel cap. All the bung sizes called out are to accommodate the milspec OEM fuel tank fittings except for the aftermarket "Kelch" fuel cap necessary to purchase:


1594674818108.png
 
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MikeHaugen

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Wow, you guys keep giving me more to think about. I had forgotten about that aluminum tank that gmg offered. I would not have one fabricated probably as it is something I could do myself if need be. I'm once again leaning toward trying to repair. Worst case is I screw it up and have to fab a new one anyway. If the liner fails I don't think any of it would make it to the ip, and I'm not sure that anything that could be sucked up through the pipe would damage a lift pump. By the way, I assume the electric pumps are a diaphragm type? I contacted caswell and they said the diesel shouldn't be a problem, though I'm not sure how they can make that claim. Nonetheless I will do a very thorough cleaning, and I may even check with a few local sandblasters to see what they say.
 

MikeHaugen

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Lee, IL
One other question... if I decide to make a new one, putting in the fittings and pickup tube shouldn't be a problem but has anyone tried to remove/reuse the filler assembly? It looks doable if you cut/drill the rivets, but I'm not sure what is sealing it and how hard it would be to remove without distorting it too much.
 

Chainbreaker

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Oregon
One other question... if I decide to make a new one, putting in the fittings and pickup tube shouldn't be a problem but has anyone tried to remove/reuse the filler assembly? It looks doable if you cut/drill the rivets, but I'm not sure what is sealing it and how hard it would be to remove without distorting it too much.
There was a thread a few years ago about someone taking out the filler assembly to clean & weld up his tank. I recall he said it was manufactured to use copper rivets on the flange because it is soldered around the flange to seal. He drilled out rivets and replaced with new copper rivets, after cleaning inside, so the flange assembly could be re-soldered to seal.
 
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