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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Tennessee
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    614

    Default Welding on a gas tank ?

    Thought I'd get the groups opinions/experiances on welding a small gas tank. I've done this type of repair before but it was 12+ years ago. I filled that tank with water and all went well but was wondering if a argon purge would be better. The tank still has a gas odor but has been rinsed out several times. Wish I knew something that would neutralize that gas completely. I'm open to ideas and suggestions.Btw this is a super nice 1957[I believe] right-side tank of a panhead and I've got to fix a small pinhole on the backside.Thanks
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Delmont, PA
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    Default

    Hey Showdog,
    If the tank still has a bit of gas odor, just fill it again with hot water with some dishwashing liquid & add a cup of Baking Soda & let sit overnight. Rinse completely with hot water & use a hair dryer or heat gun to dry the inside. Since it appears you are going to TIG the repair, I would purge with argon so as to have a completely inert chamber that would eliminate any chance of ignition. Should work out nicely & post your results.

    Denny

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
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    1,684

    Default

    Show Dog, On a small tank like that fill it up with water push the fumes out, drain, and through an inert gas hose which could be Argon, 75/25, co2, or nitrogen, If your tig welding it then argon or helium would be best.

    Keep the gas flowing through.

    I like to start welding right away within 10 minuts or so.

    The inert gases mentioned above will push any flamable fumes out of the tank.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    National City CA
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    1,086

    Default

    Filling with water is not to push out the fumes although it will do that as well.

    It is really done to reduce the volume of the air space. less air space smaller pop if and when it happens. Same with Hydro testing, Using a liquid to pressurize a vessel is far safer then using a gas to test it's integrity.

    Argon purge with water fill is best technique I've found so far other then a direct replacement
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    South Carolina, Dixie
    Posts
    515

    Smile Gas Purge.

    Showdog:

    In the marine environment I get called on a dozen times a year to repair these tanks.

    I've used the exhaust coming off the TB 302 running through a steel flex hose to purge the tanks.
    I've rinsed the out with Simple Green.
    I've used a ZEP product ( a degreaser).

    All these have worked great.

    I like the Zep stuff personally. Especially IF I think there is any residual fuel left in the tank.

    The biggest issue is what's inside the tank on the tak walls. In gasolines' case it leaves a residue commonly referred to as VARNISH. It's tough to get off the walls of the interior of the tank without scrapinig it. And it is flammable. And the stuff will get into the weld puddle.

    Running an argon purge is a common practice for me. No matter how I cleaned the tank out. Depending on the tank size, I usually run it for 10 minutes prior to stiking the arc.

    Anyway, Nice pictures of your work you posted the other day!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Williams Lake, British Columbia
    Posts
    722

    Default

    With choosing an inert gas for welding a gas tanks, it all depends where the hole is and where your gas entrance and your vent hole "" if you have one.

    Me personally I would only use Helium for your inert gas when welding a gasoline tank.

    I would make sure the hole where your hose from the helium bottle goes in is down at the bottom and the hole you need to weld is at the highest point of your set-up, Like this when you fill up your tank
    ""from the bottom with the hose as high as you can inside the tank""
    slowly so not to make any disturbance of gas in the tank,

    the helium will slowly fill the top of the tank and will push down with no effort the gasoline fume thru the bottom hole easier since gasoline fume are heavier then air and oxygene it naturaly sets at the bottom anyway.

    I make sure this helium fill up of the tank goes on for a while and make a prayer and weld away.

    PS: make sure you steam wash the tank first a couple time before doing this.

    You put the nozzle in the tanks with the fill cap at the bottom and steam wash it .

    I never weld gasoline tank it's not safe and the steam wash fluid you end up with as nowhere to be disposed of. They use to do it in the old days when they didn't care about the environement and just let all the water saturated with gas in the ground by their garage or in the drain .

    You can get a aftermarket gas tank really cheap nowdays, not really worth the pain of welding them.

    Sorry for the long post. Hope this help.

    Fuel tank are different you dont need to steam wash them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Williams Lake, British Columbia
    Posts
    722

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by captkipp View Post
    Showdog:

    In the marine environment I get called on a dozen times a year to repair these tanks.

    I've used the exhaust coming off the TB 302 running through a steel flex hose to purge the tanks.
    I've rinsed the out with Simple Green.
    I've used a ZEP product ( a degreaser).

    All these have worked great.

    I like the Zep stuff personally. Especially IF I think there is any residual fuel left in the tank.

    The biggest issue is what's inside the tank on the tak walls. In gasolines' case it leaves a residue commonly referred to as VARNISH. It's tough to get off the walls of the interior of the tank without scrapinig it. And it is flammable. And the stuff will get into the weld puddle.

    Running an argon purge is a common practice for me. No matter how I cleaned the tank out. Depending on the tank size, I usually run it for 10 minutes prior to stiking the arc.

    Anyway, Nice pictures of your work you posted the other day!
    It's easier to put a patch overtop the crack or hole then trying to weld the crack itself captkipp, we never weld the crack by itself for the reason you mention, dont have to worry about contaminent that way.
    I never weld gas tank but I've done many many fuel tanks and tanks of different liquid and always use the patch system unless it's on a corner or around a valve or bracket. It is easier to weld that way as well. For me anyway.
    Last edited by Daniel; 02-11-2010 at 07:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Got er done. I cleaned and rinsed tank twice then purged with argon[inert gas is inert gas argon or helium]. The tank tried to gas[porosity] abit [varnish on inside ?] but was fine after I put a little stainless filler to it. Thats a x-ray joint welding trick when your having porosity issues on carbon a little stainless will usually take care of it. Tank is fixed and the paint wasn't hurt[cold wet rags]= happy customer with a $hit eating grin. Thanks guys.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Smile Tank

    Nice work. Easymoney!

    As they say in the dive world.."tanks, BC'n ya!"
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    KANSAS
    Posts
    511

    Default Nitrogen purge

    I've made tie-in welds on gasoline lines with a nitrogen purge, didn't have any trouble.

    Argon would work to, nitrogen is just cheaper.

    Never mind. LOL
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