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Help Advice Fuel Contamination

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Cricket, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Well I went and screwed the pooch.

    I dropped my pick-up saddle tank and installed a 31 gal TBI Blazer tank as part of a fuel injection swap. Long story short I bought a used tank based on the seller's word that it was clean and ready for install. Turns out the tank was filled with dried up gasoline varnish similar to a bathtub ring.

    Over the course of the last week and the first full tank of fuel my fuel system began to plug up. I dropped the fuel filter yesterday and out came a bunch of varnish flakes and muck. So this morning I pulled the tank and drained it, pretty nasty inside along the varnish ring and it looks like the inner tank coating may be bubbling in places. I pulled the TBI injector pod and the injector screens were clean as a whistle - no hint of orange crap. However the fuel I dunped out today looked like red sandy river water where you can see the tiny particles suspended in the fluid. When I'd pour out a bucket of the fuel it looked like a miner panning for gold. I have included pictures because I need your honest advice.

    1. Should I throw the tank away and a buy a new unit or try to clean this one?

    2. Considering how bad the contamination was should I replace the injectors?

    3. Should I replace the in-tank pump itself, will it be damaged?

    4. Beyond blowing out the lines and changing filters do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks, James.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  2. misterfnygy

    misterfnygy 1/2 ton status

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    take it to a radiator shop and have them boil it out. Mine cost about 50 bucks last time. Good as new after a coat of paint
     
  3. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    If the radiator shop uses caustic in their tank say bye bye to the plastic fuel tray.
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Toss the tank and get a new one.

    You can get a solid metal TBI tank for less than $150 (last I checked) I doubt a good cleaning/repaint will be much less than that, plus you've still got the cheesy plastic factory sump. (which is actually a good design, just poorly constructed)

    The sock around the fuel pump inlet should protect it from the stuff that would cause wear/damage, and the filter sounds like it did it's job. To be certain a new install was good, I'd pump a gallon or so of clean fluid (with your fuel pump) from the tank forward to the disconnected fuel filter line, into a bucket.
     
  5. misterfnygy

    misterfnygy 1/2 ton status

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    didn't think about the plastic-- mine was in a heep and all metal
     
  6. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    As always Dorian, thanks for taking the time to respond. I owe you several 12 packs at last count.

    :D
     
  7. K5er4Life

    K5er4Life 1/2 ton status

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    Theres this stuff called one kote, or something similar. Its just a 3 step process that coats the inside of the tank and leaves behind a hard plastic type coating. The first step is a acid solution that eats the rust out, then there is a water remover that cleans it all out and preps it for the last coat which is the final coating. Works really good and have used it for many things.

    Or of course the latter would be to just buy another tank.
     
  8. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The problem I see with that tank is that the COATING is bubbling. I have no idea what GM used in there (or if that is something aftermarket?) but I've seen this with metal GI gas cans as well. I thought all GM tanks were solely galvanized on the inside, but the one pictured certainly isn't just galvanized.

    If the "bath" of whatever (for an aftermarket coating) will eat that lining completely out, you might be ok. Otherwise, as evidenced by the pictures, you will simply coat the bubbles, which will eventually break and contaminate the tank again.
     
  9. K5er4Life

    K5er4Life 1/2 ton status

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    If you toss in a couple handful of large bolts and nuts with the acid solution and shake the living hell out of it then that will break that stuff free. Then start dropping in the magnet to retrieve them all.:crazy: To be honest though the largest tank I have used that stuff for is a 18-20 gallon saddle tank from an international truck.
     
  10. SHAWNSTER

    SHAWNSTER 1/2 ton status

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    tank cleaning

    I went thru a similar situation on my 62 caddy tank- I pulled it and took it to a Radiator shop to get it hot tanked(all metal) the guy says he cant do it-it has been done before. He said it looked clean enough and he would never be able to get it all out. So after painting the outside up I could hear all of this crap inside, and it was the coating (tank sealer coming out- so I went to the car wash and hosed the **** out of the inside, then used my 2700 psi power washer and got 99% of that stuff out(only place I could not get was on the inside of tank around the filler neck) Put in 4 large bolts with string tied to then and slung that b*tch around for 2+ weeks and rinsed w/ power washer again, and let dry my tank is shiny inside and no crap and ready to install
     
  11. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    If the tank had the newer style baffle I'd try to salvage it. The older style baffles have a reputation for coming loose from their mounts in the tank. If I have to spend any more money I'd prefer to put it toward a new tank with the upgraded baffle so I can just be done with it.

    I've got a short list of things Not To Do when swapping to TBI. If I can avoid adding any more to that list I'll be happy.
     

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