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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

I'm back on the '72 850 restore starting with the electrical and found the fuel gauge low fuel light not working. I had drained the tank a couple weeks earlier of the old fuel that had been in there for probably 20 years. Very stinky. When I removed the sending unit, I found it covered in a black crud, some hard and some soft. Shining a light in the tank, I found it in pretty much the same condition. I would like to clean this tank in place as it looks like I would have to remove the transaxle to remove the tank. Carburetor cleaner seems to dissolve this crud but it would take about $50 worth to get to the level of the crud in the tank. Someone on U-tube suggested toilet bowl cleaner but I'm not so sure of putting a corrosive in there. Does anyone have suggestions for cleaning out the tank in place?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Personally..

I would half fill with fresh fuel..

Thats basically the consituent ingredients of what has created this gunk


It should soften it enough to make removal : flushing straightforward

You can strain the used fuel to catch the junk.. and reuse.


From my dirtbike days I know the US has massive variations of fuel quality and ingredients.

Dellorto carbs couldnt stand for more than a month in some states.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Thanks. I'll experiment soaking the old trashed sender first to see how well it will dissolve the gunk.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Do let us know how it goes

What part of the US are you buying fuel?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
Do let us know how it goes

What part of the US are you buying fuel?
Southeast US, in the northwest corner of Alabama.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Hello , I have had to remove the tank from my 1974 850 only few weeks ago
In order to drop the tank u will have to remove the heater pipe there is two but u will get away with one then will have to remove the shock on rear left then remove the drive shaft , then remove the fuel filler cap pipe and there are two bolts holding on the tank itís pretty straight forward job, remember to bleed the system after your finished as it will be air locked hope this helps
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Sorry forgot to mention rustbuster . Look up rust .co.Uk
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Quote Originally Posted by Liebherr1750 View Post
Hello , I have had to remove the tank from my 1974 850 only few weeks ago
In order to drop the tank u will have to remove the heater pipe there is two but u will get away with one then will have to remove the shock on rear left then remove the drive shaft , then remove the fuel filler cap pipe and there are two bolts holding on the tank itís pretty straight forward job, remember to bleed the system after your finished as it will be air locked hope this helps
I would have to remove the transaxle to remove the tank on my '72 850 Spider. I put about 3 gallons of gas back in the tank and am letting it soak for a few days. It seems to be dissolving the black crud. I'll try running a brush around inside the tank and then drain the tank again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

I did that fuel tank removal/replacement job a few months ago and was thankful for the time the coronavirus quarantine allowed me to do it. It was a pain, but gave me the opportunity to check and replace shocks, most of the driveline parts, clutch parts, trans lube, hoses, cables, fuel gauge sending unit, etc. I'm now getting ready to do the same on a '67 which should be a little easier since it doesn't have the extra vent tubes of the later model.
Hopefully your tank was fairly full of gas during the years it was stored so that rust hasn't formed on the inside. It should be easier to clean out the gunk from old gas than rust, since the rust particles will cause an ongoing problem of carb jet clogging. Possibly consider two fuel filters inline.
I missed an opportunity to check out your project when I drove by your area on my way to the Indycar race in Birmingham a couple weeks ago.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions

Quote Originally Posted by mjsizemore View Post
I did that fuel tank removal/replacement job a few months ago and was thankful for the time the coronavirus quarantine allowed me to do it. It was a pain, but gave me the opportunity to check and replace shocks, most of the driveline parts, clutch parts, trans lube, hoses, cables, fuel gauge sending unit, etc. I'm now getting ready to do the same on a '67 which should be a little easier since it doesn't have the extra vent tubes of the later model.
Hopefully your tank was fairly full of gas during the years it was stored so that rust hasn't formed on the inside. It should be easier to clean out the gunk from old gas than rust, since the rust particles will cause an ongoing problem of carb jet clogging. Possibly consider two fuel filters inline.
I missed an opportunity to check out your project when I drove by your area on my way to the Indycar race in Birmingham a couple weeks ago.
When I took out the sender unit, there was just a little bit of surface rust around the hole so hopefully rust isn't an issue. I'll probably drain the tank this week and see how it looks inside. I'm about 35-40 minutes from I-65 so if you're down this way, you're welcome to drop by.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Re: Cleaning Out Fuel Tank Suggestions


If you determine that you need a replacement tank I have a couple of solid late model used tanks sitting around the shed. I now have only early model 850s so I don't any longer need spare late model tanks.
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