I can't find a decent usable gas tank for my 1917 Maxwell and am considering using the Renu process to save my old tank . Anybody have any experience good or bad with this method of saving antique gas tanks? You can Private Message me if you want don't want to go public.
Had a1929 A tank done by them. They open the tank up by cutting holes in obscure areas, to get in to sand blast the interior and the baffles. It's blasted on the outside also.
The holes are welded shut, and the interior is coated with an ethanol proof coating. The outside is primed.
I was very happy with the job they did for me.
However, I took my tank to the shop with the franchise and discussed the procedure, and made sure they knew what they were doing before I turned it over to them.
Their backlog pile was very modern, and the guy that did mine wasn't sure what a model A was.
Cost ---about $300.==Len
I'd like to keep my original tank off my 16 but it has rust on the inside and a loose baffle. Will Renu also fix broken baffles?
I would say yes. The shop that did mine seemed to be a good sheet metal shop, and they have never had any explosions, if that means anything.---Len
I had a tank done for a 1929 Dodge Brothers about 10 years ago and it is still perfect. Whomever made the tank did a fantastic job and it looked just like the factory tank. The only problem was they used galvanized and did not prep or clean the welds properly.
The folks here that did the Renu process were very helpful and accommodating. They knew that this was going on a restored car and they were sure to ask what parts would and would not be visible. They cut three openings in the top of the tank and did there work from there. The only "drawback" was that I had to have the tank repainted after it was finished, but aside from that it looks and works great.
They had given me a couple of scrap pieces of material that had the Renu lining on it, I keep them in old jelly jars in the garage. One is in brake fluid, one is in hydraulic fluid and the other is in acetone. When people ask me about the Renu process I just show them the jars, no peeling or separation after almost ten years.
Peter, any idea how thick the coating is they use? My tank has some porous sections and I wonder if the inside outside coating will give the tank back some strength as well as sealing it?
I want to say that it is about 0.060", but don't quote me on that. I can check the thickness on one of the pieces that I have and let you know, but it is dark and cold right now, so I will do that tomorrow. After they had done the cuts and media blasted the tank, and welded everything back in place, they did pressure test the tank to check for any leaks. The one thing I forgot to mention is that anything that is soldered in place will have to be brazed or welded in place.
Thanks Peter, I'm thinking that would mean 0.060 on each side? Did they do the brazing as well as mine has a soldered neck and outlet as well.
just for reference there is a local radiator shop that boils out tanks and uses the Red Kote Tank liner.They have alot of work go thru that shop and no complaints.
Allis Chalmers G gas tank, 85 dollars.
John Deere A dual fuel tank 195 dollars.
Just to give you some ball park of what tank work cost here in NC.this is what my neighbor paid to have these 2 tanks done just in the past week.
This guy repairs the tanks and such as well.
I use Red Kote now on the small tanks of engines I restore and have have good results.It helps when you pour this liner in to apply light compressed air for a few seconds,like 10 pounds,and it will force the liner chemical into smaller pin holes than it may flow into on it's own.
I see no reason why you cannot do this yourself. Here are a couple of threads from 2010 which helped to educate me on cleaning and sealing my 1926 cowl tank which I did in October of 2010 and if I can do it, anyone can.
I cleaned my tank of old tar-like gasoline and varnish by filling it with MEK and allowing it to soak for several days. After the MEK did its' work I sealed it with POR 15...
I'm surprised I did not post the results of my efforts in the last thread, but I can report now, that, after 3 years the results were, and remain, fantastic. The POR 15 is still lining the tank and is proving to be impervious to gasoline.
...After cleaning my tank with MEK and drying it bone dry using a heating gun, I let it cool, sealed the outlet with a plug then poured in the entire quart of POR 15 and sealed closed the gas cap tight. I sloshed the POR 15 by turning the gas tank in all directions for several minutes until I was sure the baffle and all surfaces inside the tank were coated. I then removed the gas cap and the plug, tilted the tank and let the POR 15 run out the outlet into the POR 15 quart can. As I recall, about 1/2 quart came out, which I still have and can re-use on another project. Be sure and thoroughly clean all threads of POR 15. Jim Patrick
I have used POR 15 but after I used Renu on a 1933 Pierce Arrow, I don't think I will ever do another tank myself.
Had the Renu process on my 1924 Buick tank. Very happy with it so far. Been about 4 years. The nice thing is they thoroughly clean & sandblast the inside before coating. Few of us can do that very well and end up just encapsulating the crud that's still in there.
WARNING: If you have any threaded openings, like a for a screw-on gas cap, or pipe threads where fittings would attach, make sure they know to mask them! The coating is thick and a bitch to remove from any place you don't want it.
Also, I believe it's their standard practice to coat the outside of the tank as well. If your tank will show, or if the added thickness on the outside of the tank will cause it not to fit where it belongs, or cause any mounting straps to not fit properly, tell them to NOT coat the outside.
I didn't have trouble with either of these things because I was warned about them prior to taking the tank in.
One word of caution. After my A tank was coated, I took My 15 T tank to have it coated.
During our discussion, they told me they would cut out both ends to get inside to be sure everything was blasted clean before coating, and re welding the ends, then priming the outside. Cost ----about $200. My solution was a new tank with a galvanized interior and exterior.---Oh yes, I use period type gas without ethanol. Cost,---about $150.
One of the great things about the Model T is the challenge of doing as much as possible, yourself. For may of us in these hard economic times where money is difficult to come by and we don't have the $300.00 or so it takes to have Renu refurbish your tank, this is one job that takes little skill that you can do yourself in order to save that money for other more difficult and necessary jobs requiring the services of skilled craftsmen who have the knowledge experience and tools to do such jobs as getting your mag coils refurbished or getting your babbits repoured... two necessary jobs that take real skill (and money). Sending off and paying others to do jobs that you can do easily yourself, will quickly add up and turn an enjoyable project into a worrisome, expensive task, plus you will be deprived of the pride and enjoyment of having done it yourself. Keeping the costs down will also make the wife happy and allow you to have more to spend on her. Jim Patrick
Renu is really not cost effective for a Model T tank. Replacements are cheaper but, recall that the original poster asked about a 1917 Maxwell tank. In that case, where there are few options for a replacement, Renu is a cheap and trusted repair.
As for the challenge of doing things myself, I totally understand your point. However, there's a point where my skills end and others begin. In my case, that point would be reconditioning my own gas tank. (Doing my own dental work is right up there too.)
yes, to what Jim says. But i did buy new tanks for my projects that run.I have a tank made by a local sheet metal shop that is going on the speedster.
I do alot of things for the challenge and fun of it.I have more time than money to.
But for trouble free on a 17-25 T,new tank is about the best option.Not many Maxwells around so the orignal poster has much fewer options.
I just checked the thickness of the coating on the pieces that I have and it comes in between 0.058" and 0.062", on an average. The coating is only on the inside of the tank, not on both sides.
When I had the tank done I did not have to worry about the soldered items as they were welded in place by whomever made the tank. I would guess that whomever does the work for you can braze/weld the neck or fittings in place. Just be sure that you have them mark it well in case there is an issue with orientation of a gas cap or the like. And as Jerry had said, be sure that threads are masked properly or have "plugs" in them, that is what I had done, plugs.
As for others doing it themselves, if that is the route they want to go, that is fine. One fact that is often overlooked when you do something yourself is, what is your time worth an hour? You have to buy the chemicals and sealer, do the work, dispose of the chemicals and then the only warranty/guarantee is yours. For the $225 that it cost me to have the tank done, there is no way that I could have done it cheaper or easier. It would have cost more in time, material and just plain aggravation.
As Jerry had said, for a Model T tank, it is not cost effective, new replacements are readily available. But for a Maxwell, my Dodge Brothers or Buick, it is far cheaper and easier to have it done.
Thanks Peter, for checking that thickness for me. Did you request only the inside to be coated? I ask that because the company literature says they coat both inside and outside which would be desirable to me to both seal and strengthen my weakened tank.
On the porous areas of the tank, I would spread on Aluminum Devcon 2 part epoxy putty that comes in a 1 lb box and mixes 4 parts grey putty to 1 part white cream activator (McMaster Carr PN #74575A72). This stuff cures out as hard as, or harder than steel and is impervious to gasoline and with the consistency of cake icing, dresses out to a glass smooth finish if you use your water dampened fingers to gently smooth out the surface after about an hour, just prior to it starting to cure out hard. Also, it cleans up with water.
20 years ago, instead of returning it due to a factory defect, I repaired a cracked crankcase that was leaking oil from my brand new Troy Bilt lawn mower. I had that mower for another 15 years and it never leaked oil again, even subjected to the intense heat a crankcase is exposed to.
I've been using Aluminum Devcon personally and for repairing leaks in railcar bottom outlets in our business, for 35 years and it remains one of the most useful and reliable products I have ever discovered. Jim Patrick
PS. an application of Aluminum Devcon putty will also strengthen the thin areas of your tank and give it the support it is currently lacking due to being so thin.
I had requested that only the inside be done as the outside was being painted to match the body color. I wanted to end up with a "known" surface when it was done. I wasn't sure of what the finished texture would be on the outside of the tank.
The Aluminum Devcon putty sounds good but I wonder if it would survive the oven baking that the renu process uses?
Check with Renu before pre-treating the tank with anything. I'm sure they've seen all kinds of problems and know how to handle them in a way that works well with their process. Chances are, trying to "help" will cost more in the long run.
Some finishes, such as Glyptal require 2 hours baked in a 250 degree oven to complete the curing process while other products, such as Aluminum Devcon and POR 15 cure completely at room temperature without the need for a 2 hour stint in an oven, so why worry whether it would survive a baking process that is not necessary and will never be necessary once the tank is full of fuel and in service. Jim Patrick
Renu uses 350 degree oven temperatures to bake the coating on and Devcon's own specs say it is good to 250 degrees so I doubt it would survive.
I HAVE A 27 COUPE THAT HAS AN OLD LINER IN IT SEEM TO BE COMING APART. WOULD THIS PROCESS WORK ON IT?
Howard. Again why would you want to bake Devcon or Por 15 since they fully cure without heat? The point is mute. Obviously, Renu is using a coated lining that requires baking in order to fully cure it while Devcon's cure is achieved by it's activator. I am simply trying to save you an excessive amount of money but if you have it and want to give it to Renu to do something you can easily do yourself, go ahead. I did mine myself and obtained superb results at a fraction of the cost allowing me to spend the money on other jobs I could not do. We will agree to disagree. Good luck. Jim Patrick
The Kreme I think it was called,white liner,lets go and makes for white sheets of mess in the fuel system.I dont for sure if it is due to poor cleaning or alchol in the fuel.Coulda been both.I know this stuff was common about 15-20 years ago?Sold out of a Bill Hersh catalog.?
Methyl ethyl keytone MEK,is the chemical used to clean a tank before useing the Red Kote.It also will thin it and clean up after it's use.
But that stuff is stout.Be careful with it.
It "MAY" desolve the old liner to get it out of the tank.Try it,cant hurt any worse than a loose liner is allready.
Jim, I appreciate the help but I'm positive you started with a good tank that only needed sealing to stop the internal rust. I don't have that luxury. My tank has had a large patch soldered to the top, it has been filled with frozen water that popped all the seams and distorted it all out of shape and it was filled with rodent nests that made large sections porous and weak and it is now in two pieces. If this site didn't have such a restrictive photo allowance I'd show you just how bad the best tank available is! Renu not only welds the halves back together they also weld patches where needed and then cocoon the tank in baked on PVC to form both an inner and outer seal that no quickie sloshing compound can match. I think I'll stick to someone that does this daily rather than try to take a cheap quickie way out.
You're right Howard. My tank was solid with no rust and good seams. I had no idea your was so bad and being a rare, hard to find tank, while I would be reluctant to restore it myself, I might try the brazing, Aluminum devcon, and POR 15 route before giving up and admitting defeat. LOL! Good luck.
I wished I had a better starting point but this is the best available. I just got off the phone with a fellow in Michigan who has been doing this for almost 30 years and 30,000 tanks. Many on antique cars. I found him posting on the Ford Barn forum. He assured me they weld up anything of any size and my worry about pinholes would be taken care of with a pre-filler before the actual inner coating is used so the inside will be double sealed and the outside will be sealed once. I feel a lot better having talked to the person actually doing the work.
Not sure whom you talked with in Michigan, but if it was the "Main Office" on Greenfield in Detroit, those are the guys that have done my tanks.
POR-15: knock off loose rust, coat the interior with POR-15, drain excess, let cure and go with it.
"My tank has had a large patch soldered to the top, it has been filled with frozen water that popped all the seams and distorted it all out of shape and it was filled with rodent nests that made large sections porous and weak and it is now in two pieces."
Should he still go with POR-15?
Here is a link to the POR 15 site so you can read about it yourself. www.por15.com/FUEL-TANK-REPAIR-KIT_p_62.html. This is the kit I bought and it worked great. I still think this, in addition to the Aluminum Devcon spread over the thin spots and seam would do the trick. Of course I would pop rivet the tank together at the seam using a strip of metal riveted on both sides of the seam, then seal from the inside using POR 15. In a way, the fact the tank is separated at the seam is to your advantage, for you can remove all the rust, then seal the thin portions of the interior of the tank with Devcon epoxy putty for extra strength, then once it has cured, paint on the POR 15 over the cured Devcon. Then you can devcon the halves together with a thick belt of Aluminum Devcon. Then once cured, wrap a metal strip around the seam covering the devcon repair and pop rivet the belt to each side of the seam. Seal the rivets, the belt seams and the porous areas of the exterior with Devcon and coat with POR 15. Let cure, than pour the POR 15 into the tank and slosh it around for a couple of minutes. Let dry then install it in your car and drive away. Now. Wasn't that easy? Jim Patrick
... then call the fire department in the middle of the night to extinguish what's left of your garage, then tell your insurance company that "I did it myself".
I agree with jerry, and will go a few steps further. Epoxy ( by whatever fancy name) doesn't belong on gas tanks, engine blocks, or injected in rotting wood. If you care about your antiques, do it right. That is my opinion, and the opinion of the poor fella that may end up with it someday.
LOL! Good one, Jerry. Been there done that.
Jerry......I missed the "porous sections" part.
In this instance, where another proper tank seems to be unobtanium, I'd plate the weak portions first and then POR-15 it.
I poured a thin test blot of POR-15 to see how tough that stuff really is.
Even as thin as it was I could not tear it with my hands alone so, yes, it's a very strong film but there's no substitute for steel.
I've stayed out of this since my first posts, but since I know nothing about 1917 Maxwell gas tanks or where there located on the vehicle, or if you are looking for show or go, there are shops that can fabricate a solid tank for you.
It may not look like the original but it will serve the purpose. If you want to get this car on the road this might be the best route to take. I don't think there are too many 1917 Maxwell experts around to be critical of your tank. Perhaps a smaller tank to fit inside your tank would be a cost saving choice and allow you to use Bondo fillers and paint on that basket case to fool the experts,---Len
Glad you "got" the intended humor. Sorry however that you've "been there done that".