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Old 03-01-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
kaiserbud
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Default Debris in Gas Tank - Siphon or Remove

After 7 years of having the gas tank exposed (without the body on), now I can see debris in the botom of the tank.

I am conerned that even if I siphon all the gas out - I may not get all the debris. I hate to pull that thing.

The debris looks like little pink clouds - maybe the gas has a pink tint. I don't see how I could have missed all that debris. It almott looks like lint from those red shop rags. It maybe has 2 gallons in it.... and the debris is floating, not stuck to bottom.

Anyone have a procedure?
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:24 AM   #2
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Back 25 years ago I had a 72 and it had all kinds of funk in the tank including a small grasshopper,
I did the Siphon trick like cleaning my fish tanks and it took a while and I had to add bad gas...which I just fintered and returned,

My 69 had pink clouds that in my case were water...I siphoned a heck of a lot of water out and then used fresh gas and some Sea foam,

It really depends how much and what type crud you have
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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Use our shop vac, a Chem Engineer friend said it is fine.....but I still used a long hose all taped up, with the small one going into the tank....on a stick to probe it around....

first time I got a bunch of water/gas outta there, second time it was all gas,....due to dropping the sending unit outta the bottom....

even though I set the vacuum outside to be safe just in case, he was right, not a issue....poured the gas outta the shop vac through a rag to filter it, and into the lawnmower can....fine...or use it for cleaning parts....

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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With the body off the frame it is a perfect opportunity to replace it. I would put a nice new Quanta in it and you will never have to worry about it again. It's alot easier now.
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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you might consider removing as much fuel as you can and then blow air in the tank to remove the junk until its all gone.....
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvette View Post
Use our shop vac, a Chem Engineer friend said it is fine.....but I still used a long hose all taped up, with the small one going into the tank....on a stick to probe it around....

first time I got a bunch of water/gas outta there, second time it was all gas,....due to dropping the sending unit outta the bottom....

even though I set the vacuum outside to be safe just in case, he was right, not a issue....poured the gas outta the shop vac through a rag to filter it, and into the lawnmower can....fine...or use it for cleaning parts....

My friend used a shop vac to get gas out of an old truck. First load was fine. When he turned it on for the second time it blew like a mortar. He was in the hospital for 3 months.
.....
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:41 PM   #7
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I did the wet/dry shop vac thing with my 73, and the cheap plastic parts of the shop vac started to melt from the gas. I ran about 40 gallons of water through the vac when I was done to rid it of the gas fumes, then threw it in the trash.

My 71 had the pink clouds of water like yours and I tried using the fuel pump to pump it into an old gas can by running the engine from filling the carb bowl full of gas by hand. It got rid of about 90%, but the pick-up is not at the bottom of the tank. It took over an hour and was a major PITA. I put aobut 10 gallons of good gas in there and pumped it out, but there was still water and some trash in the very bottom. I had to use a siphon for most of the rest, then dropped the pick-up and got out all that I could and let the rest evaporate and blew the trash out with air pressure. It is not an easy or quick task.

Buy a siphon pump from Harbor Freight.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:03 PM   #8
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garage-ghost...your friend is lucky as hell to be alive!

Thrills chills and hospital bills....
All due respects...
I do not care who says they did it and it worked fine no way no how is mixing Gasoline flumes with electric motors and then even to a degree compressing the flumes can be a "good" idea...it rates up there with the Redneck "Hey ya'all watch this..." that never ends well....

Look up the Myth busters episode where they proved that while a vacuum isn't a good jet turbine it IS a wonderful flame thrower when gas is added.

I did just fine with a siphon....and if I had to drop the tank so be it...good excuse to install a trick looking fuel cell.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curby View Post

Buy a siphon pump from Harbor Freight.

That's a great idea!

I don't think I would use a shop vac. Glad it worked ok for mrvette, but gas fumes are extremely volatile and I am pretty sure shop vacs run on electricity and an electric motor. If it doesn't ignite you are fine, but too easy for some highly volatile gas vapor to reach the running electric motor, like garage-ghost said.

But I probably would try to clean out the tank and salvage it if it is otherwise ok. I replaced my own gastank but crud was not the problem - it had a hole in it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #10
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People who use shop vacs to vacuum gasoline are destined to not make further contributions to the gene pool.

I don't know about the pink stuff, by anerobic bacteria will live and grow in the water/gasoline interface if you've water in the gas tank.
I got an infected gasoline tank once after a trip to Mexico. This bacteria culture made a reddish-brown slim in the tank.

If your gasoline tank is old; i.e. the original tank, it's time to get a new Quanta and be done with the problem. The Quata tanks are reasonably priced ($238 for my last one I think).

Last edited by 68/70Vette; 03-02-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:37 PM   #11
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With my paranoia of electricity, compounded with concern of car fires, and Murphy's Law...... much less the faintest possibility of 7 years work going down the tubes.......I think I will stay away from the vacuum.

What is a Quanta. My tank is in really good shape.

So - these pink clouds are water pockets? I guess pulling the tank might benefit as getting into open air and being able to rinse easier.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserbud View Post

What is a Quanta. My tank is in really good shape.

So - these pink clouds are water pockets? I guess pulling the tank might benefit as getting into open air and being able to rinse easier.
Quanta sells, from all I know, very highly accurate duplicates of the original tanks. I suspect they have the original tooling, but for some reason can't advertise that.

If you have an original tank, it's what.... 35 year old? What ever, do the math. They were only contemplated to last 10 years by GM. Get a new tank and get rid of your probably corroded and now bacteria infested tank. IMHO. The pink clouds are probably not water pockets, I would guess they are colonies of aneorobic bacteria/rust etc.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:59 AM   #13
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Mix a good quantity of alcohol (quart?) into the fluid [whatever it is ] in your tank. Stir it around to mix it well; it will mix the water and fuel together and allow you to suction it all out. Then throw in some more alcohol to flush it out. If the tank is not rusted through (check for small pinhole areas inside), clean it up and reuse it.

Now would be the opportune time to pull it out and refurb it, also. But, that is another troublesome job and your decision to make.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garage-ghost View Post

My friend used a shop vac to get gas out of an old truck. First load was fine. When he turned it on for the second time it blew like a mortar. He was in the hospital for 3 months.
.....
.
.
.

.
Sorry for your friend, it's obvious he didn't take much care or common sense, such as after turning it off, drain the vac canister, wash it out, before reusing it.....and if sucking more than a couple gallons, something rong with that scene too, much easier to drain the tank far as you can first....eh??

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Old 03-03-2010, 10:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
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That's a great idea!

I don't think I would use a shop vac. Glad it worked ok for mrvette, but gas fumes are extremely volatile and I am pretty sure shop vacs run on electricity and an electric motor. If it doesn't ignite you are fine, but too easy for some highly volatile gas vapor to reach the running electric motor, like garage-ghost said.

But I probably would try to clean out the tank and salvage it if it is otherwise ok. I replaced my own gastank but crud was not the problem - it had a hole in it.
I said put it on a long hose, and set outside the garage, keep the airflow decent....then drain the vac when done, not to let it set around with gas in it, that's a bit chancy I have to admit....

my old sears 16 gallon vac is not affected by gasoline....

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Old 03-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7T1vette View Post
Mix a good quantity of alcohol (quart?) into the fluid [whatever it is ] in your tank. Stir it around to mix it well; it will mix the water and fuel together and allow you to suction it all out. Then throw in some more alcohol to flush it out. If the tank is not rusted through (check for small pinhole areas inside), clean it up and reuse it.

Now would be the opportune time to pull it out and refurb it, also. But, that is another troublesome job and your decision to make.
Charley - the tank is in really good condition. So the alcohol will make everything mix together.... hmmm. I am not knowledgable of mixing these liquids - so will do a bit of research as well.

Ok - then you are saying siphon out with a pump, then re-rinse with straight Isoprpoyl Alcohol? In this scenario - are you envisioning removing the filter/inlet cover at the bottom of the tank? What is a good siphon pump to use?

Hal - can bacteria actually live in gasoline? Gee if gas didn't kill it, I wonder if the alcohol would touch it.

Last edited by kaiserbud; 03-03-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:30 PM   #17
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Charley - the tank is in really good condition. So the alcohol will make everything mix together.... hmmm. I am not knowledgable of mixing these liquids - so will do a bit of research as well.

Ok - then you are saying siphon out with a pump, then re-rinse with straight Isoprpoyl Alcohol? In this scenario - are you envisioning removing the filter/inlet cover at the bottom of the tank? What is a good siphon pump to use?

Hal - can bacteria actually live in gasoline? Gee is gas didn't kill it, I wonder if the alcohol would touch it.
I have tried all that crap, and there is simply nothing that completely draining the tank, one way or another, then putting in GOOD gas will not cure.....I know of nothing that will take out much water and still run the engine decently....

having said that, on a Dodge D50 Mutsobitchy pickup years ago up north, it had a gas line freeze trick to it, and some gas line antifreeze did cure the problem with it....

but when like here in Florida, we get the ground water is only ~3' down, and it WILL FLOAT CONCRETE/GUNNITE SWIMMING POOLS outta the ground....I seen it myself....I have to wonder WTF the gas stations here do to keep their underground tanks clear of water....

all I can say is there was 1-2 gallons of CRAP in the bottom of my tank, it looked like watered down cream coffee...and smelled like rotten ASS....worse, actually knock a Buffalo at 50'....

but then again I not smelled any GOOD gas since the leaded fuel daze, wish they'd just give up on that lie, but it's another story...

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Old 03-03-2010, 02:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I said put it on a long hose, and set outside the garage, keep the airflow decent....then drain the vac when done, not to let it set around with gas in it, that's a bit chancy I have to admit....

my old sears 16 gallon vac is not affected by gasoline....

Sparks from electric motors and gas fumes do not mix no matter how hard you try to sell it.....

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Old 03-03-2010, 02:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserbud View Post
After 7 years of having the gas tank exposed (without the body on), now I can see debris in the botom of the tank.

I am conerned that even if I siphon all the gas out - I may not get all the debris. I hate to pull that thing.

...
For about $80 bucks you can buy a mityvac from sears that holds about 8 liters. The pump is hand operated and should make quick work of sucking out that fuel. Although, pulling the tank really isn't that hard or time consuming either. (I assume the body has been re-installed already?) The hand operated vacuum pump from Harbor Freight works also...just not as easy as the mityvac though. The larger pump will come in useful for other things as well..

I would definitely NOT recommend using a shop vac. 2 high school students were seriously injured this past year in our district trying that very same procedure (I think 1 of them eventually died...). Very sad. Be safe and don't try it.

Last edited by Bronze76; 03-03-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #20
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Yes - I agree - the safety issue is one not to take lightly... that's why I want to learn more on mixing the liquids.

Charley - I searched for info on mixing alcohol and gasoline. Your suggestion is to use the alcohol - s that to initiate the mixing of the water with the gas? I guess that makes the water/gas combo less immiscible? How much do I need to add and what type?

My body is already on the car. I will check into teh mightvac. Now - I do have a small pump to bleed my brakes - but I think that might take .... f o r e v e r

Last edited by kaiserbud; 03-03-2010 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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