Fuel Tank Cleaning with Electrolysis FJ60 (1 Viewer)

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Jan 7, 2013
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Graham, TX
Have a question for those who have used electrolysis to remove rust from steel parts, particularly those with closed interior access, such as fuel tanks. My FJ60 fuel tank had a thin layer of rust inside. Not bad, but enough that the loose rust powder was clogging the filter. I removed the tank and have used/am using electrolysis to remove the rust. It worked great, just one problem remaining. The rust is gone and now there is a black coating on most/all surfaces. I have read other accounts of the same thing, but in all the other accounts I've read, it has been on things like tools or valve covers or other parts where one could easily scrub the black coating with a stuff brush and rinse, to be left with a squeaky clean surface. However, there is not access to 99% of the inside of a fuel tank, so I am wondering what others have done to remove this coating without the ability to get in and scrub with a brush. I can scrub very small areas away through the various openings in the tank and the black coating comes off easily with something like a toothbrush, agreeing with what I've read in other accounts. But, it won't come off with simply a rinse of water (fill fuel tank with water and drain). Ideas or personal experience?
 

macdaddy59

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Fill it with a bunch of small nuts and bolts and baking soda and shake like crazy. Might need to be repeated a few times until clean.
 
Joined
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Graham, TX
Haven't tried various solvents like acetone or MEK. I'll give them a shot.

Nuts and bolts or length of chain inside and shaking is out because of all the baffles in an FJ60 tank. Hardware won't get past the baffles. For the same reason, I can't power wash it off as the baffles block the stream of water from getting to the interior surfaces.
 
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It's harsh but Sodium Hydroxide/Lye will fix you up. Can be tough to find the real thing these days but easily available online. The internal passages on my valve cover were caked solid with pure carbon. It's the only thing short of baking the valve cover at 500 degrees that would take care of it.


full
 
Joined
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Location
Graham, TX
MarkBC, I used a 3/8" carbon (not stainless) steel rod as the anode. I'm not sure what the residue is, whether converted rust, or something that came from the sacrificial steel anode. If you are doing electrolysis and wondering about switching to a steel anode from graphite so you don't get the black reside don't bother, because it still happens with steel!
 

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