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Thread: Suggestions for Cleaning an Aluminum Tank? '89 K75

  1. #16
    A quick update. According to the people at POR their "Prep and Ready" acid treatment is safe to use on Aluminum tanks when used as directed (e.g., don't let it soak inside the tank). The did recommend using their "Marine Clean" to prior to the prep and ready to remove residue for the decayed rubbber bushing that held the fuel pump. I had the POR 15 kit and ordered a quart of Marine Clean for $15 delivered.

    I also checked the web site of a local shop, Looper Service, that I used before to repair a bike radiator. I haven't contacted them about the tank yet--I want to try my own repair first.

    As a back-up I found a K75 tank in Upstate NY on Craigslist and my brother checked it out and picked it up for me. I'll be driving up and seeing him this weekend.

    Kontoboy

  2. #17
    Here's an update--sorry for the late reply. I left the tank cleanining to last after getting the rest of the bike restored.

    After some head scratching I decided to go ahead and try POR Marine Clean-- and it worked very, very well. I think my delay in cleaning the tank helped. When I first drained the tank and removed the fuel pump. the rubber gasket around the pump had dissolved into a sticky black goo, but after several weeks of sitting in the garage that goo had dried solid. In addition to the black goo there was also a patina of light brown gasoline residue and bits of broken fuel hose. With some cautious scraping with a variety of tools I was able to able to get a lot of it out. What I couldn't scrape out I hit with carb cleaner and scrubbed and blotted up best I could. All in all I spent a couple hours with my armin the tank just cleaning before moving on the POR Marine Clean.

    Marine Clean is POR's water based cleaner--one part of MC with one part hot water. Pour it in an slosh it around, and around, and around, and around ad nauseum. The first batch of dirty MC/water that cme out would have easily qualified for a hazardous waste manifest. (Luckily my county has a drop off site that will take just about anything.) It was pure black and littered with debris. After a thorough rinsing and a second washing with MC and I was amazed--the tank was almost pristine with little evidence of the decade of old stale gas it harbored.

    I finished up with the Metal Ready and the POR Sealer per directions, patching a pinhole leak in the process, and I am now waiting the recommended 96 hours for it to dry before installing the fuel pump, sending unit and hoses.

    I can't wait--the rest of my Zombie--back from the dead--is back together and hopefully ready to test fire after 15 years of sitting dormant!

    Thanks everyone.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    A safe medium to tumble-clean the inside of a gastank with is glass. Get a piece of broken car glass (preferably a door window) in a junkyard and smash it. It will break into small pieces. Put them in the tank and use the dryer method.
    The glass will remove all the debris and corrosion inside the tnak without damaging or reacting with the tank metal. Also, if for whatever reason a piece gets stuck inside, it will not corrode.
    Let me tell you that EM Simon knows his stuff. Do what he says.

    He may be a little whacko but he knows his stuff!! hehehe

  4. #19

    My K75 Resurection

    I'm also stripping down a 1992 K75RT fuel tank to access the level of corrosion, and identify any pinhole leaks. I've identified several on both sides of the tank so far. As preciously discussed, the description fits mine to a Tee.

    I liked reading the results of the POR-15 process, any idea what the total cost of materials were? Living here in SoCal, I got to be so careful with the disposing "waste" products; I receive a quote from a local radiator shop to perform a caustic hot tank and acid tank cleaning process, then perform a seal coat of the interior (guaranteed not to leak again ), $150. Decision time... your comment please.

    Now I must be procuring the replacement internal components in anticipation of the previous step. Could someone point me in the right direction where I may find/purchase a complete fuel pump replacement kit and Fuel Level Sender Unit.

    Appreciate your feedback folks.

  5. #20
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scckayak View Post
    I'm also stripping down a 1992 K75RT fuel tank to access the level of corrosion, and identify any pinhole leaks. I've identified several on both sides of the tank so far. As preciously discussed, the description fits mine to a Tee.

    I liked reading the results of the POR-15 process, any idea what the total cost of materials were? Living here in SoCal, I got to be so careful with the disposing "waste" products; I receive a quote from a local radiator shop to perform a caustic hot tank and acid tank cleaning process, then perform a seal coat of the interior (guaranteed not to leak again ), $150. Decision time... your comment please.

    Now I must be procuring the replacement internal components in anticipation of the previous step. Could someone point me in the right direction where I may find/purchase a complete fuel pump replacement kit and Fuel Level Sender Unit.

    Appreciate your feedback folks.
    The hot dip tank will also damage and/or remove the paint on the tank. That's fine if you're going to repaint it anyway, but if the paint was decent, I think I'd go with the POR treatment. They do make good stuff (don't get the actual sealer on anything you don't want it on, it won't come off..)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  6. #21
    I realize this is a pretty old thread but hoping it's still active. I'm seeking to clean out my K75 tank with the vinegar/roofing nails method - fill and slosh. My concern is, do I need to remove the fuel pump and the fuel guage or can I leave them in? In other words, will this cleaning method damage either? I'll immediately follow-up the sloshing/agitation with a water rinse and a Marvel Mystery Oil wash - to coat/protect everything until I refill it. Thoughts?

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by bdogchicago View Post
    I realize this is a pretty old thread but hoping it's still active. I'm seeking to clean out my K75 tank with the vinegar/roofing nails method - fill and slosh. My concern is, do I need to remove the fuel pump and the fuel guage or can I leave them in? In other words, will this cleaning method damage either? I'll immediately follow-up the sloshing/agitation with a water rinse and a Marvel Mystery Oil wash - to coat/protect everything until I refill it. Thoughts?
    I don't know but I would not risk it.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I don't know but I would not risk it.
    Ditto. I can't imagine that NOT damaging the wires, sending unit, and pump inlet filter.





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  9. #24
    I thought as much but thought I'd ask. Any other options. The tanks is fairly clean, just some residual residue from previous deterioration of the cap gaskets, etc. The bike had sat for about 10 years prior to the PO's purchase. He had a new fuel pump and guage installed but the tank was not scrubbed clean.

  10. #25
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdogchicago View Post
    I realize this is a pretty old thread but hoping it's still active. I'm seeking to clean out my K75 tank with the vinegar/roofing nails method - fill and slosh. My concern is, do I need to remove the fuel pump and the fuel guage or can I leave them in? In other words, will this cleaning method damage either? I'll immediately follow-up the sloshing/agitation with a water rinse and a Marvel Mystery Oil wash - to coat/protect everything until I refill it. Thoughts?
    Welcome to the forum!
    I have no experience with the tank on a K75. When I have encountered the need to see how much crap has accumulated in a device that has fragile electronics inside, I have done a flush-rinse with kerosene.
    Filling the tank, air aeration, vacuum of the kerosene multiple times until the removed kerosene runs clear.
    Kerosene is still flammable so all procedures are done via air powered tools. Using clear tubing really helps. Think that suction device that hangs in the mouth during dental procedures.
    OM
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  11. #26
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    Cleaning an aluminum tank

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I don't know but I would not risk it.
    I'm with Paul and Lee.......DO NOT use anything sharp inside the tank!! Especially sheetrock screws!! I do a lot of BMW tanks here and if one needs some agitation to clean the trash out I use a quart of small pea gravel with phosphoric acid in a 5:1 dilution. I have a small cement mixer and use packing blankets packed tightly around the tank. An hour of tumbling will clean up even steel tanks.
    If there are barnacles, a half gallon of straight Pine-Sol cleaned the organics out, rinse clean, followed by the acid bath. Advise taking the pump/filter/sending unit out beforehand.
    Phosphoric is used on aluminum, not muriatic acid, and can be left in overnight if needed. Neutralize with a good water rinse. Blow dry with compressed air. Coat if necessary, I use Red-Kote just to be sure.

    POR products are an option and can be trusted. And there is also Caswell, if there are pinholes.
    Just an old guy here. Killin' bugs at a rapid pace since '68. Desert dweller.
    Current force: '77 R100/7 ,'85 K100RS-Aug84, '85K100RS-Aug84, '85 K100RS-June85, '93K1100LTSE, '93 K75LTP, '98 R1100GS, '08K1200GT, (2)'72 CB 750s, '76 Honda CB500,

  12. #27
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    I purchased a 93 K1100LT a few weeks ago that had sat a long time with fuel [and water] in the tank. The pump , sender, and filter were crusted and the tank had a nice coating of brown. I followed the suggestion to soak the tank [and sender] in vinegar. It worked for the tank, but the sender is toast. I ordered a new one , but in the meantime I removed the sender and spliced 2 new wires for the pump .
    I would definately remove the sender, pump, filter from the tank for cleaning. The sender can even be carefully disassembled for cleaning. There are good links to how to operate on your sender , if needed, in my thread.
    http://www.motobrick.com/index.php?topic=14248.0

  13. #28
    Before you use the POR-15, I would check around the petcock area for rust/leak. Thats where the water settles and since you have it clean maybe it could be fixed (welded, Brazed) as there is no gas in it.

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