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Author: Subject: Petrol Tank Repairs - Is Fibreglass resin OK?
craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 02:08 PM Reply With Quote
Petrol Tank Repairs - Is Fibreglass resin OK?

Hi,
My Rover Vitesse has developed a fuel tank leak right on the very bottom of the tank, presumably where the water collects and causes corrosion from the inside out. The car is quite old (1993) and I don't want to spend any money on it if possible so I'd rather repair the tank than replace it.

I have two leaks on a 4 inch wide flat section which extends from front to back, right at the bottom of the tank between strengthening ribs. One is dripping fuel every 5 or 6 seconds, the other is only a gentle "weep". I expect that this whole section is corroded from the inside and would like to reinforce it with something like fibreglass resin and perhaps matting too. Can anyone advise me if fibreglass resin/matting is petrol resistant when cured (assuming I can stop the leak long enough to let it set properly) and whether this is a good repair method. Is there a better adhesive/sealant which I could use?

I intend to stop the leaks with petro-patch or a similar repair putty and then build the fibreglass over the top. Unfortunately I just filled the tank yesterday (68 litres) so I'll probably need to either use the fuel up or try to drain it into containers or into my wife's car for now. I'm a bit scared to touch it to be honest in case it makes the leak worse...

Cheers,
Craig.

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steve m

posted on 3/1/04 at 02:42 PM Reply With Quote
I dont think that fiberglass is fuel proof
and what about the MOT as I would have thought they would fail it as being dangerous

I know you can buy fiberglass fuel tanks
but I am sure they are of a differant composite


steve

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theconrodkid

posted on 3/1/04 at 03:13 PM Reply With Quote
down here we have a radiator repairers ,he welds tanks,might be worth a try up there,as for the petropatch stuff,been there etc





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andkilde

posted on 3/1/04 at 03:28 PM Reply With Quote
Hmmn

Being the twit that I am I have some experience with tank repairs.

I punched a hole in my wife's Minivan tank last year by backing over a parking curb. We dropped the tank, flushed it through with water a few times , then fed exhaust fumes through it for about an hour or so with the rubber flex hose at me friend's shop.

Now the nerve wracking bit -- then we chopped out the bad section with an angle grinder and Mig welded a patch in, ground the welds smooth, bit of black paint and it looks factory.

On the quick patch side, Loctite makes a repair kit with fuel proof adhesive -- comes in a sealed pouch, the fibreglass is prewetted with epoxy resin and you have to smear on the catalyst before slapping it in place -- you should be able to find it at an industrial or hydraulic supply house, I've used it -- patched a grotty hydraulic tank with it, repair is still holding two years on.

Can't say what your MOT man will say -- our cars are only inspected at purchase in Canada, a solid, functional patch would be fine here but YMMV.

Cheers, Ted

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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 03:28 PM Reply With Quote
Hi,
Conrodkid, are you saying that petropatch isn't very good?

As for the fibreglass, I'm simply trying to reinforce the areas which are not yet perforated, I'm not trying to replace steel with fibreglass as this would clearly be dangerous. As you know, rust tends to attack small areas which become perforated. The steel on the bottom is very clean with no rust in evidence although the petrol leak has washed off the underseal now which will leave it exposed. I only intend to keep the car until the summer which is why I'm reluctant to shell out 100+ for a new petrol tank.

Another option: I could make up a piece of steel plate the right size and bond this to the existing steel on the tank with a petrol resistant epoxy such as J B Weld.

Any other comments?
Cheers,
Craig.

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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 03:33 PM Reply With Quote
Ted,
Thanks for that.
As far as the MOT goes I will see how I get on. If I need to get a tank then I'll get one but if I can get a repair to hold for a few months then so much the better. My MOT isn't due until the end of April anyway.
Cheers,
Craig.

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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 07:15 PM Reply With Quote
Hi,
Well I got some Halfords petrol tank repair putty which surprise surprise turned the drip into a gushing leak...

Fortunately I was half expecting this and had various containers at the ready to mop up the 60 litres of unleaded. I have now transferred most of the fuel into my wife's car using a syphon pump and am just waiting on the last few dribbles dribbling out. I should then be able to jack up one side of the car and thus direct the remaining fuel away from the leak.

Doing some research on the web it seems that Plastic Padding Leak-Fix is the stuff to use for petrol tank repairs. It needs to be applied to a clean DRY surface so the tank needs to be empty but it does have a few people on the web who recommend it. One guy set off across the Sahara with his tank repaired using this stuff. Hopefully I can get hold of some tomorrow but failing that it seems that the following Plastic Padding products would also do and are resistant to petrol:

Chemical Metal
Marine Epoxy
Glass Fibre Filler

I hope this helps anyone with similar problems. I'll post tomorrow when I find out if it works!!
Cheers,
Craig.

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Hugh Paterson

posted on 3/1/04 at 08:41 PM Reply With Quote
you have a u2u if u stuck for a tank fix Craig
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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 08:48 PM Reply With Quote
Hugh,
U2U sent back, thanks!
Craig.

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andyps

posted on 3/1/04 at 10:16 PM Reply With Quote
I can vouch for the plastic padding leak fix or chemical metal working fine for repairing leaking fuel tanks. I have used these on a couple of cars and the results are great provided you have a clean, dry surface. If there is any petrol seepage whilst the filler sets it will not work.

I used it in a mini van/estate tank which had rusted through and it has sealed it for about 4 years now - not sure about MOT time though as it is on a hidden part so he has never seen it! Having said that, as long as there is no leak of petrol I don't see why it shouldn't be OK.

I am now concerned though, that my 1993 Rover Vitesse may also get aleak from its petrol tank I just wish mine would start.





Andy

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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 10:40 PM Reply With Quote
Andy,
Thanks for the vote of confidence for the Plastic Padding stuff.

By the way, do I recognise your name from the yahoo rover800 forum?

Anyway, I believe that the Rover 800 does have problems with fuel tanks rotting from the inside out as do many cars. A friend from Barrem motors in Aberdeen breaks 800's and he can never get enough fuel tanks to meet demand. I got a fuel filler tube from him a while back because it was rotten. I also had to repair my high pressure fuel pipe under the nearside rear wheel arch as the metal pipe had rotted completely. I repaired it by cutting out the rotten section and using high pressure rubber pipe instead. It was either that or pay Rover about 120 for a 0.5 meter long fuel pipe... Robbing b**tards!!

Anyway, I hope your car is okay but maybe worth reinforcing the bottom of the tank in the spring with some fibreglass or something just in case. If I was you I'd certainly empty the tank and scrape back the underseal and give it a poke with a blunt instrument just to see if it is sound.

All the best,
Craig.

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thekafer

posted on 3/1/04 at 10:54 PM Reply With Quote
por-15 tank repair kit

O.k., I've been in your shoes with a beetle based kit car I owned once(mg-tc and total shite).The tank had a weeping leak.
I pulled the tank,used lava rocks(out of the grill)and alcohol and swished them to remove the rust. Rinsed it out,with more alcohol.Por-15 has a fuel tank sealing/repair kit.It comes with a conditioner to remove any hydrocarbons that will prevent a bond. After its "conditioned" and dried out you pour in the sealer and swish it around and pour out the excess.It took 10 hours to dry(humidity) and the guy I sold the car to says all is well. Just a thought!
Fletch

[Edited on 3/1/04 by thekafer]





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craig1410

posted on 3/1/04 at 11:16 PM Reply With Quote
Fletch,
Sorry for what may be a daft question but what are "lava rocks"? The only thing I can think of is "Pumice stones" but I suspect that may not be what you are referring to.

Sounds like an interesting process and I especially like the extensive use of alcohol... I guess that Texas moonshine comes in handy when your petrol tank springs a leak eh??

I think I'll give the Plastic Padding products a try tomorrow before I hit the alcohol...

Thanks,
Craig.

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thekafer

posted on 4/1/04 at 04:05 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by craig1410
Fletch,
Sorry for what may be a daft question but what are "lava rocks"? The only thing I can think of is "Pumice stones" but I suspect that may not be what you are referring to.

Sounds like an interesting process and I especially like the extensive use of alcohol... I guess that Texas moonshine comes in handy when your petrol tank springs a leak eh??

I think I'll give the Plastic Padding products a try tomorrow before I hit the alcohol...

Thanks,
Craig.





O.K. You got me .Yes they are indeed pumice stones. I used alcohol because it was only 3 bucks a gallon at Ace Hardware (seeing as how none of the beer here has any in it,it seems be in hardware stores in large quantities).

Fletch





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