Author Topic: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification  (Read 13694 times)  Share 

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Offline Danie

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Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« on: July 18, 2015, 08:11:27 pm »
So I was sitting with this extra fuel tank, which came from my 2001 (scrapped) Lada. Somebody was interested in buying a fuel tank at FB, I send him a PM to discuss the condition of my extra tank, but the prospective buyer did not respond.  So I decided to try and clean this tank for myself, because there are indications that my Lada's tank is also rusted.

The initial observation - when I removed the fuel pickup, the tank was clearly rusted:



So I bought 10 liter of white vinegar, and shook and flushed the tank many many times for one week. I also tried to clean the tank with high pressure equipment, which helped a lot to remove some rust and gunk:



Although a lot of rust have been removed, it became clear that the tank needed more cleaning. So I visited a local Silverton Radiator shop, to get some ideas about proper fuel tank cleaning. There I discovered that they tried to restore a tank by cutting it in half to clean it properly, and then applied a product called "Jotun" by roller to the inner tank walls - to prevent future rust.

So I decided to do the same. After cutting the spare tank in half, I was quite surprised. After using vinegar for a whole week,  spending a lot of time on  shaking, cleaning and flushing, it was clear that a lot of rust and gunk was still sitting inside the tank:



It also became clear why I couldn't clean the tank properly with high pressure equipment - the plate at the center of the tank made it impossible to reach half of the tank with the equipment I used:








Silverton Radiator's way of restoring fuel tanks gave me another idea. Welding the two halfs of a tank together requires very specialized welding, because the tank walls are very thin. So I decided to remove my Lada's current tank as well, and also cut it in half, and clean it properly. The bottom half of my spare tank (see 4th pic above) will be used, because the flat "strip" which held the two halfs together, is still in place.  The top half of my Lada's current tank will be cut in such a way that the flat "strip" will also still be in place. An additional flat strip of sheet metal (40 or 50mm wide) will then be welded between the two tank halfs, to make a bigger tank.

The modified (bigger) tank will obviously cause another slight modification inside the Lada's cabin, because the Lada's rear seat will have to be lifted as well.

This modification might still take some time to complete, but I am quite exited about the possibility of having a bigger, properly cleaned fuel tank fitted to my Lada.




« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 08:15:48 pm by Danie »
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Offline Spikes

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 06:10:07 am »
Interesting observations and pictures, Danie. It is very interesting to note that the tank actually does have a baffle plate(this came up on the whatsapp discussion the other night).

Thinking about the 4cm higher tank... It will need modifications to the seat hinges and a base for the seat to rest on. Unless of course you are planning on doing way with the  rear seat altogether. I also found that the floor of the boot where the existing cover of the tank screw down is quite thin. I needed larger screws to refit the cover plate. Screws kept coming loose.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 06:47:20 am by Spikes »

Offline Danie

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 08:37:48 am »
Hi Spikes,

I must admit, I am seriously considering  doing away with the rear seat completely. I am hoping to undertake a long trip with the Lada in future, and chances that we will ever need the rear seat are very slim.

I could be wrong, but I think the baffle plate only  helps by times when the seal at the tank cap doesn't seal properly.

The two breather outlets at the top of the tank (which connect to the plastic expansion / breather bottle, were both blocked as well. The two outlet pipes at the tank are very small, and I discovered some gunk sitting inside the pipes as well.
I think owners who experience a vacuum / sucking noise when they open the tank cap, should have a close look at those two breather pipes at the top of the tank. The small metal pipes will probably be blocked.

I will also have to modify the big inlet pipe to the tank when I weld the 40 or 50mm plate in place , because the inlet pipe connected to the tank will not line up with the pipe which holds the tank cap. I think I will also weld two bigger stainless steel breather pipes to the tank - I do not like those small metal pipes.

So you have enemies ?    Good.   That means you stood up for something, some time in your life  -  Winston Churchill.

You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks  - Winston Churchill.

Offline Ari bezuidenhout

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 08:37:13 pm »
Hi Danie,  post some more pics of the tank please. It's the first and only time most of us will see the inside of a ladaniva fuel tank. 
Thanks


My Lada runs on grace from God, and breaks due to my failings.

Offline Danie

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 10:10:49 pm »
No problem Ari, I will post more pics tomorrow evening.

So you have enemies ?    Good.   That means you stood up for something, some time in your life  -  Winston Churchill.

You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks  - Winston Churchill.

Offline marius

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2015, 09:46:44 am »
Nice post Danie  :)


Offline Ihar

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 01:00:43 pm »
hmm, I also have 2 tanks and this sounds like a good plan!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 01:03:51 pm by Ihar »

Offline Spikes

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 01:07:11 pm »
Personally I'd rather fit an extra tank. Welders that can successfully weld two parts of the fuel tank together are few and far between in this part of the country.

Offline Spencer

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 01:12:01 pm »
HI Guys.

What would be the gain in liters be?

Regards
Spencer
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 01:23:33 pm by Spencer »

Offline Spikes

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 04:03:00 pm »
Roughly 17 litre taking the tank as 1m long by 35 cm wide and the band 5cm wide

Offline Danie

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2015, 05:55:23 pm »
The tank width is 450mm, and the length is 970 mm. A 50mm lift should only cause a gain of about  20 liter, due to the tanks shape (450mm x 970mm x 50 mm = 21.825 liter)

A 40 mm lift should cause a volume gain of about 16 liter, due to the tanks shape  (450mm x 970mm x 40mm = 17.46 liter)
So you have enemies ?    Good.   That means you stood up for something, some time in your life  -  Winston Churchill.

You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks  - Winston Churchill.

Offline Danie

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2015, 07:22:30 pm »
More photos:

On Friday I poured some white vinegar on both halfs of the tank to get rid of the rust. Early today,  (Monday morning) the upper half of the tank looked like the photo below. Unfortunately the vinegar did not cover the plate completely, but it clearly removed a lot of rust:



In less than 20 minutes after the vinegar has been removed, it was clear that the tank already started rusting again:



Still the upper half of the tank, still upside down.
The tanks come with  hoses at the top / inside of the tank, which helps to get rid of the air pocket above the fuel, when the tank gets filled.



One of the two small breather pipes can be seen at the center of the tank. The other small breather pipe is located at the other  side of the tank, also at the top of the tank:



The fuel inlet pipe........also rusted:



The bottom half of the tank has been taken to a professional firm, which specializes in zink plating and electro galvanizing today. The inner part of the tank will be properly de-rusted, and will then get zink plated. I spoke to one of the owners of the firm, and he gave me more good  advice...

I hope to forward more pics and comments in the near future.




So you have enemies ?    Good.   That means you stood up for something, some time in your life  -  Winston Churchill.

You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks  - Winston Churchill.

Offline Ari bezuidenhout

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2015, 07:33:09 pm »
Thanks Danie


My Lada runs on grace from God, and breaks due to my failings.

Offline Spikes

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 06:15:27 am »
Thanks Danie.

Offline Danie

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Re: Fuel Tank Cleaning and Modification
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2015, 05:51:30 pm »
Got the bottom half of the tank back today - de-rusted and nicely zink plated:


My Lada's tank will  be removed, and get cut in half in the near future.



« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 08:12:01 pm by Danie »
So you have enemies ?    Good.   That means you stood up for something, some time in your life  -  Winston Churchill.

You will never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks  - Winston Churchill.