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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2010, 08:29 PM
Dancingchicken Dancingchicken is offline
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Fuel tank repair

Got a leaky front tank. I haven't taken it apart yet but it looks like it's coming from underneath the rear strap on that tank; a common place for them to develop, I've heard. Anyway, I bought this stuff from Advance today that looks like that Mighty Putty stuff that Billy Mays used to sell. According to the instructions you break off a piece, knead it to activate it and cram it in the hole (after cleaning the hole up, of course). Anyway, has anybody had any experience using this stuff? Does it work or should I start saving the $120 for a new tank? Also, if I go with a new tank, is a poly better than steel? Opinions? Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:35 PM
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it sounds like that jb weld stuff. it works as a temp fix but it'll leak again i've used it till i saved up enough money to replace it.

Kyle
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2010, 08:44 PM
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I have the f-350 version duel tanks , and my rear started to leak I did the JB weld thing as a temp fix.. but when you start getting leaks you will end up with compresion problems ...

Trust me theres many ways to temp, fix a tank.. but if you go to the Junkyard in your area. you should be able to pull off a similar tank to replace and if not.. temp fix the leak save the money you got about 3 month prolly on that fixed leak ...

Hope the advice helps... we all end up with the same issues
good luck
jayson
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:42 PM
Dancingchicken Dancingchicken is offline
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Thank you all for the advice. Wrecking yards are all under feet of snow right now so I'll probably just look to buy new unless my fix lasts til the thaw. Probably better in the long run, anyway. I appreciate your help and suggestions.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Dancingchicken View Post
Thank you all for the advice. Wrecking yards are all under feet of snow right now so I'll probably just look to buy new unless my fix lasts til the thaw. Probably better in the long run, anyway. I appreciate your help and suggestions.
Use some good ol marine tech and por 15 the tank when done. Problem fixed
BigLar
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:52 AM
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As others have said, the jb weld is a temp fix. If you don't want to shell out the $$ for a new tank, it is possible to weld a patch on to your existing tank. If you've got access to a welder and some sheet metal, that is- well, and if you're a decent welder.

If you do decide to patch it, here's some pointers-

1. Drain the gas in the tank however you see fit, be it drive it till its empty or siphoning it. Just make sure every drop of liquid gas is out of the tank.
2. Drop the tank and cap off the fuel lines that lead to it. This way you can still drive the truck without worrying about getting dirt in the fuel lines.
3. Let the tank sit for AT LEAST one week in a well ventilated area to allow the remaining gas vapors to escape the tank.
4. Cut out the area surrounding where it's rusting thru by at least 2 inches in every direction, or until you can no longer see corrosion on the edge of the cut. If you try to just patch over the rust, eventually the rust will be floating in your tank and clog your pump strainer.
5. After welding in the patch [which should be flush with the tank, with no overlap] you have two options-
A. You can weld a sealing strip over the edges where the patch and tank meet.
B. You can smear a good, thick layer of gasket maker approved for contact with gasoline over the edges where the patch and tank meet. If you opt for the gasket maker, make sure you give the weld plenty of time to cool first.

If welded correctly you won't have to worry about leaks, but the gasket maker or sealing strip is just a fail safe in case you have a small hole in the weld that you didn't catch. To check for leaks, fill the tank with water until the new patch is fully submerged. And keep in mind that the patch doesn't have to exactly match the original shape of the tank- as long as it's not oversized you're in good shape.

I know it sounds like a lot of work but it's worth it if it saves you the money of purchasing a new tank.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:21 AM
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In my opinion, you already have to drop the tank to make the repair. I'd throw away the old tank and replace it with another steel tank.

If you use a polly tank, you may have to change out your fuel pump but I'm not 100% of that.

Tim
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:57 AM
brokeasajoke brokeasajoke is offline
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Had jb weld on my ranger tank for about 5 years now still dont leak. Got aout 5 packs and mixed all up and spread on about 1/8 thick. No one makes a tank for my ranger so i had to. Holding for now.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokeasajoke View Post
Had jb weld on my ranger tank for about 5 years now still dont leak. Got aout 5 packs and mixed all up and spread on about 1/8 thick. No one makes a tank for my ranger so i had to. Holding for now.
That just means it's been a temporary fix for 5 years now.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:44 PM
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Well, I took the tank strap off today to see where it was leaking. Real knuckle-buster getting that strap bolt off. Looks like a rock got lodged between the strap and the tank and worked a hole in there. Good news is it was on the bottom and easy to get to. Bad news is while prepping the hole to be sealed it became obvious that the metal has gotten pretty thin due to rust in that area. So, as many have said, even if the putty does hold up for five years, the whole thing will probably rust out before then. If I remember correctly, I got a D- on welding in metal shop and I don't have access to a welder anyway, so it looks like a new tank for me in the near future. Thanks for the great write-up on that procedure anyway, DBGrif91.

That repair stick I bought was some interesting stuff, by the way. I've worked with the regular old JB Weld in two separate tubes forever, but this appears to be the same stuff with a sheet of the black portion molded around the gray portion in the middle. It seems just like that mighty putty stuff only not green. The brand name was Permatex, but it smelled exactly like JB Weld. Very easy to work with, unlike the tubes. Anyway, I found it interesting.

Thanks for the help everyone!!!
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2010, 11:59 AM
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92 Black Nite 92 Black Nite is offline
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Hey Dancing chicken, I have the same fuel tank issue. I want to get a new tank when I can. Till then I have to get a Temp. repair. I didn't get the strap off yet ( using penetrating oil now) but from what I can tell it's leaking from the rear bottom under the strap of my rear tank. I was going to use a impact gun and try the Permatex you used (how did it work)? I have used JB on small engines and it works well on small carb flanges & cracked blocks (common on Briggs when a connecting rod doesn't want to stay at home ) It has saved a lot of blocks and some folks a lot of money, But the surfaces must be cleaned well and roughed up forthe patch plate to get a good bond. I have never used the Permatex gas tank seal and wanted to know what you thought of it. Thanks 92
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:28 PM
Dancingchicken Dancingchicken is offline
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So far so good on the repair job, 92. After the patch set for a couple hours I poured about 1/4 tank of gas in the tank and it's been good all day. I haven't run off it yet, though. I drove about 150 miles today on the other tank. Gonna wait until tomorrow before I put the pressure to it to give it as much time as possible to set up. Even though the package said it was only necessary to wait two hours, I figured why rush things if I have another tank to run off of.

When I finally got the strap off I put it in the vice and took the wire wheel to it. Once it was nice and clean and rust free I painted it, then glued a strip of cork/rubber gasket material to it to cushion between tank and strap. As far as using the sealer, I just followed the instructions and it seems to have turned out fine. After I run it tomorrow I'll post something to let you know how it worked.

I have one thing to add to the instructions on the package of the sealer. After taking a close look at the odd shaped hole I had to deal with, I decided to round it out to make a more uniform surface to plug. I started out with just a little odd shaped crack of a hole about 1/16 of an inch long, but I took an awl and poked a perfectly round hole there instead. When you read the instructions on the package you will see why it seems preferable to have a uniform surface to work with. Also, I highly recommend using some brake parts cleaner as a prep like they say. Don't skip that part. It worked great.

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2010, 07:40 PM
Dancingchicken Dancingchicken is offline
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Looks like success on the repair. Fueled her up today and drove around town for about a half hour running errands. No leaks to report yet and the tank looks dry as can be around the repair.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2010, 03:35 PM
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That's good to hear DC. I did my rear tank Monday, I had a rusted area with a crack under the strap by the rear corner of the tank and getting the area clean with the wire brush, sandpaper & brake clean as you said to,,,then getting the crack open to some solid metal, then used the Permatex Tank sealer . I also cut some 1/8" rubber to use as strap gasket and checked under the other strap it was fine and put the rubber there too. It really looked to me that the strap on the leaking side wore into the corner of the tank and was rusted and pitted much more than the good side it just had a little rust at the seam and did not wear through the plastic liner like the bad side. It's Wednesday and I put in 3/4 tank this morning and it's working well no leaks. Now, I can have the time to get a new tank and put it in when I have more time. I really want to take the bed off not just for the tank,,, which I will do,, But to get the cab & bed painted too. Well we have come a long way with some Chemistry haven't we. 92'

Last edited by 92 Black Nite; 01-20-2010 at 03:40 PM. Reason: add to reply
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:12 PM
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I got both of my steel tanks from rockauto.com wiped them both down with paint thinner and used spray cans to prime and paint it. If you go this route put numerous coats of primer and paint on. I only did one coat of primer and two coats of paint and the slightest scratch takes it down to the metal.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:12 PM
 
 
 
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