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Fiberglass Fuel Tank Patches


superfunk

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Hi,

In the long quest to get my z on the road, i've run into a leaky fuel tank. I went underneath and found half of the tank covered in fiberglass. This made it nearly impossible to find the leak, since the fibreglass diffused the gas nicely to make it drip from the entire bottom of the tank. I decided the best idea was to rip off the fiberglass, which was easy... too easy. I found moisture (gas) and rust under the glass. I am planning on (i know this is the wrong thing to do, but im very tight on cash) fixing up the hole I found with JB Weld or Seal All. Any recommendations on this? Will this pass safety in ontario? I do plan on sealing it properly in the long run, so dont get all mad at me for the cheap fix.

Thanks,

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I used Marine epoxy resin (what is used to make built in boat fuel tanks) to repair pin holes in the bottom of my 280zx and to lock down the rust that I couldn't get out-this was before I found true gas tank repair materials. 11 years later, the tank still holds gas and has not been the source of any problems.

AS to passing muster in the great white north-I have no idea-here in the hot humid south the powers that be don't even look at fuel tanks unless they step in a leak.

Will

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I'd FIRST address WHY the tank rusted in the first place. No sense in effecting (costly?) repairs only to discover that it re-occurs in a short period of time.

Also, just how rusted out IS your tank. Might you be patching tissue thin metal?

You know that the tank has been repaired at least ONCE, and you know that THAT ONE wasn't a good repair. Why chance it, find a replacement fuel tank, it might be a pain, but it would be MUCH safer.

FWIW

E

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So....do you have some sort of death wish or something??? LOL Hmmmm...gasoline dripping all over the place...gasoline explodes...car explodes...bit and pieces of Car & YOU found within couple hundred feet of blast crater...Hello...get another tank and be around to talk about it with your grandkids....LOL

webdawg1

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Whats everyones fear about gasoline? In reality, gasoline is not THAT volitile of a substance. Ever wonder why there is such a small range in the fuel to air ratio that will work. I have never heard of gasoline exploding from something like that. Yes, it will burn, but my car is not going to blow up. To make it burn it would also need to be dripping on something very hot, like the exhaust manifold.

I need a temporary fix because I am VERY short on cash. I'm graduating very soon and have a really good job lined up. So this fix would be for just a couple of months until I can afford to do it right. As for getting a cheap tank, unfortunately im in Canada, and all the tanks for sale (the few that I found) were in the same shape as mine.... so there is still the cost of properly sealing the tank.

I am aware of the risks in what im doing, and understand the responses I've been getting. So I guess I'll just kinda refine my question.

Will a patched gas tank pass safety inspection in Ontario.

Thanks

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That's not one of the items listed on the safety check form in Ontario that I remember. I haven't had one in hand for a few years now though. I think the responses you are getting from your question reflect the concerns of just about everyone when it comes to a safe fuel system. This is one area I would not compromise on. There is a reason you don't see this type of repair advertised and that is LIABILITY.

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Saw a decent looking tank on eBay just a couple of minutes ago. It's for a 1976 280Z but you could probably press it into service. Would have the tank redone as it looks like it would need it. Outside looks really good tho....

Ebay auction number #130089291259

webdawg1

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Whats everyone's fear about gasoline? In reality, gasoline is not THAT volatile of a substance. Ever wonder why there is such a small range in the fuel to air ratio that will work. I have never heard of gasoline exploding from something like that. Yes, it will burn, but my car is not going to blow up. To make it burn it would also need to be dripping on something very hot, like the exhaust manifold.

funk , I must take issue with you on this . Gasoline is a dangerous substance . And it CAN explode . I speak from experience on this issue . One gallon of gasoline mixed with the proper amount of air, has the explosive power of 26 sticks of DINAMITE . Doing any repair on a fuel tank that could involve the chance of a spark , let alone flame , can and in all likely hood have catastrophic results . I personally have seen garage doors blown off the mounts and windows blown out of buildings from just that . So don't be sharing information here that can cause a injury or death because of an uninformed opinion . A leaking gas tank , even slight, in a closed garage can result in a BIG problem . Especially if there is a water heater or furnace there also. Being short on funds I am afraid , on this issue doesnt cut it . Do it right or not at all . hls30 offered a viable solution . Gary La City Fireman retired :hurt:

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Superfunk - Contact Charlie Osborne at Zeddfindings (in Kingston) and see what he might have in the way of a used gas tank. Suggest you call today as he is leaving for warmer climes tomorrow (if the snow doesn't delay him).

His website is http://www.datsunzparts.com/ and his number is 389-1397.

If he doesn't have anything try Marc Guimont at RMC ([email protected]) or Jeff Fleming ([email protected])

GWGarrard

Thousand Island Zed Car Club

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...indeed, gasoline as a fluid is not a problem, it's the vapors. I'm a KC-135 crew chief, we deal with fuel all the time...JP-8 has a very high flashpoint, it's almost like kerosene. You could drop a match in a puddle of the stuff and it wouldn't light. If there was vapor coming off of that puddle, though(hot day, evaporation)...WHOOOMPH! At any time we're working, there's a 25 gallon halon fire bottle close by. I found a small halon fire bottle that I keep wedged between the seat and trans tunnel of the Z.

I had a '72 Plymouth Fury with a hole in the tank from flexing due to bad venting. I got an instant fiberglass patch kit from Kragen and put it on there in 20 minutes on a Saturday. Never had a problem after that, but I did it with the tank almost completely empty, and early in the day before it was warm. I uncapped the tank for about 10 minutes prior to vent vapor / release pressure. I sanded the patch area thoroughly. The cap went back on and I mixed the resin far from the car. I made sure that the time spent with the hot resin in contact with the tank was minimal as I didn't want a chemical reaction, if there might be any.

Best thing to do is bite the bullet, pull the tank, and either replace it or have it professionally boiled out / coated / repaired.

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Superfunk:

While you may think that you are being lambasted for attempting a cheap fix, the problem is that the cheap fix was ALREADY attempted on your tank...and apparently it has failed.

Now you want to do a cheap fix AGAIN.

The biggest problem here is that you're into "diminishing returns".

If you grind what is left of the metal in order for the fiberglass resin, JB Weld or any other substance to attach itself properly....you're removing what little bit of metal may be left. You may open up more holes, or find what is there tearing itself up into even smaller bits. How thin is the metal? Thick enough to hold up under the weight of a full tank? (approximate each gallon at 8 pounds and you can see that 15 gallons is 120 pounds) Or will the first bump cause you to dump or start dripping gas?

If you attempt to use fiberglass resin, JB Weld or anything else....how clean do you intend on getting the tank in order to try to get it to stick? If it isn't clean AND scuffed up....that's why the original "fix" didn't work, and why it allowed moisture to creep in and continue rusting the tank.

Are you even going to drop the tank to try to do the repair? If not, then you're looking for something to shove up there.

Are you simply looking for how big a wad of chewing gum we recommend?

Or how many rolls of duct or speed tape you'll need.

Your cheapest fix, is to contact a boneyard and see if they can locate a tank to swap in.

FWIW

E

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OK,

So I patched up the hole using JB Weld, Its sticking nicely. It seems that over the years with moisture trapped under there, the tank has become porous. Gas will literally seep through the metal. So i guess the tank is coming out and getting the proper work done.

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Excellent, sorry to have brow-beat you on the subject.

Now your profile says you have a 70, could you elaborate on manufacturing date so that maybe amongst the rest of us we might be able to help you find a fuel tank?

It may be that someone out there has one that they wouldn't use on their show car, but would be perfectly fine for a daily driver.

FWIW

E

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My bad on that one.

I really havent bothered with my profile since I registered, and it turns out I had checked the wrong year. My car was built in 3/71. From what I have been able to decipher, it is not a series one, no big deal to me, its still going to be a sweet daily driver.

Were the tanks on these cars that different over the years? I might have a lead on one out of a 74 that was wrecked from the front, tank is in OK shape... needs work but should do.

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There WAS a change, but right off the top of my head I couldn't tell you when. I believe 71 to early 73 are interchangeable, but the LATE 73 and 74's due to the shock absorbing mounts for the bumpers did differ in shape/placement.

Ok, according to the club CD, 17201-E4100 or E4600 should work for cars through 7-73, however the E4600 is the one for "EVAPO", which I take to imply the evaporation tank, hence SMOG tank. Can someone else verify this?

Next, let's find him a tank!

Enrique

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