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#1401318 Sun Mar 14 2021 08:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 54
Simso Offline OP
1950 Chev Ute - Austraian Built 216 motor with a wagon / sedan delivery fuel tank.

Starting new topic rather than continue old one.

Here is a link

I have a tank issue.

It has a few problems
- its had a hole cut in the top previously,
- its got a bulge in the back of the tank where the spare tyre is meant to sit and cannot fit because of the bulge as it looks like its gone bang on someone when they cut it
- its been sealed and the sealer has failed and is blocking up fuel lines
- it has a fair amount of rust inside.

I got a quote from a raidator shop that specialises in tank relining, to clean fix and reseal will cost me 1145 dollars

I got a quote from a tank builder, 1450 dollars and it will no longer be original or even a copy of original

I am looking at another used rusty tank next week, that I can possibly clean out with some nuts and agitation and then seal it

Or, i can just buy a wagon delivery tank 1948 repop from classic chevy for 760usd delivered which is about 1100 aussie dollars.

Not sure whether to bite the bullet and just get the gal tank or have a go at rebuilding a rusty tank,

I dont think i should stick with the current tank as i cannot fit my spare wheel in due to the bulge and its got a hole cut in the top which shouldnt be there, if I was to keep my tank I think I would cut the top off, sandblast it clean, panel beat the dent out and then make a new top or refurbish the removed section and hopefully be good enough to tig weld it back on, i can tig weld thick items but never really tried thin steel.


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Last edited by Simso; Sun Mar 14 2021 09:34 AM.
Simso #1401324 Sun Mar 14 2021 01:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,492
AD Addict
My vote would be to buy the correct replacement tank and resolve this issue knowing it was done right. If it was just cleaning the tank I would vote to clean and seal, but having to cut the top to gain access to remove the dent, that changes everything. Not having the experience of welding sheet metal, I wouldn’t even attempt something so important as a gas tank. In addition to the repair, your still going to have to clean it and treat it to stop future issues. Once you weld in the top that you used to gain access, the weld area inside the tank will very difficult to get clean enough to be properly treated to prevent further issues.

Bite the bullet and replace the tank. You’ll have years of trouble free service from that new tank. Once that money is spent, you’ll never regret it.

Edit: The link to Classic Parts said “limited quantity” so I wouldn’t waste any time.

Last edited by Phak1; Sun Mar 14 2021 01:18 PM.


1952 Chevrolet 3100
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‘59 235 w/hydraulic lifters
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Simso #1401334 Sun Mar 14 2021 02:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 128
ASU Offline
I agree with Phil, repairing this tank has a low success rate. how far will the metal stretch or bend from original while repairing the dents, will it fit back together cleanly? The welding will have to be very good to get it to seal all the way around. A used rusty tank will likely need to be cleaned and resealed. The new tank should be a drop in and forget.


Simso #1401353 Sun Mar 14 2021 04:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 645
Hi Simso
If I was you I would try to save it for those kinds of dollars
If you fail you can spend money afterwards
I grew up without any budget to work on these trucks
So I feel your pain

use the nastiest most destructive paint stripper to remove the old lining that is failing, the stuff that comes in metal cans and melts nitrile gloves
After you slowly turn the tank every way to let it sit for ten
Minutes in all surfaces the liner should be like thick gravy skin

Put a lot of gravel in there the shake it all about with the paint stripper if you can
Repeat the stripper and gravel until it’s reasonable
Have a plan where to dump that stuff before you start
Some metal buckets use a plastic coating on the metal
That coating is rolled into the bottom seam of the bucket
That will melt and the bucket will leak
Suggest a metal bucket for slaking lime,
Those are usually soldered tight

Let it dry good and maybe even do the gravel shake dry too and see if any more flakes out

Heat the edges of the kink where it is bulged to push and massage it back into shape

When you get to “welding” I suggest don’t
Use braising or silver solder with decent overlap in your patches
Maybe even use small screws or fold crimp the patch and braise the fold for a liquid tight seal
Oxygen/ propane works very well for brazing and silver solder btw

Also check the original outside seam if you find leaks braise away

Don’t bother with relining the tank
Modern fuels that contain ethanol won’t allow water pooling and its always a loosing battle in the long run because moisture rots metal under the lining anyway
Just plan on using a fuel filter

I’ve got gravel cleaned rusted tanks going onto 15 years now no problem in Canada
One doesn’t even have a fuel filter
If you use them enough it will be okay

Simso #1401358 Sun Mar 14 2021 04:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,502
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
I have wasted huge amounts of time, material, and money trying to rehab old fuel tanks- - - -and I've rarely, if ever been really successful. I'd suggest that you try fabricating a tank from thick aluminum sheet metal,( 3/32" or so) folding the sides and ends into a box shape, and TIG welding the seams where the corners meet. Then fab a top with the appropriate relief area for the spare tire, and nest it over the box-shaped lower piece. Weld the perimeter where the trop and bottom nest together. There's no point in trying to duplicate those rounded shapes- - -just build a square-cornered box to fit the space that's available for the original tank. You might lose a few pints of capacity that way, but it won't leak or contaminate the fuel supply.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

Simso #1403083 Fri Mar 26 2021 09:53 AM
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 54
Simso Offline OP
So, went against trying to keep the old tank, bulge in the back of tank that shouldnt be there, big hole in the top that shouldnt be there and a failed liner internally, added up to I just dont want to deal with it smile.

Before I have a new tank made or buy the 760usd tank, I managed to find another tank, albeit its sat in a field for 10yrs, i gave it a quick wash out and have identified 7 small holes., the good thing is they are all at the top of the tank.

Currently just running a watr based de rusting solution inside it, then when its back in the ute will throw some gravel into the tank and hopefully clean it up better internally.

So brazing is the path I am going to go with fixing the 7 small holes.

When brazing, should i just try and smooth fill like lead wiping or shou.d I cut a small piece of steel up and braze it in, does it have to be steel?, can I use brass etc

Trying to be on the safe side, even though its sat empty for so long, is it safer to braze it when its 3/4 filled internally with water or is it best just having it empty.

Attached Images
F7A08061-A275-4E04-959C-4D35C2ACC0EF.jpeg (217.86 KB, 102 downloads)
Last edited by Simso; Fri Mar 26 2021 10:00 AM.
Simso #1403091 Fri Mar 26 2021 12:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,677
Crusty Old Sarge
I know this may be a little late but if the original tank can be cleaned it looks to be in better shape. I know the dent... I have repaired smaller tanks with some severe dents (motorcycles). If you have access to a large freezer you can seal all the openings an fill it with water, once the water freezes it will expand and push out the dent, it may take more than once to get it right. I only add this comment because I know you are facing a large expense buying a new tank, normally as recommended I would suggest you replace the tank. Freezing it might be an option here.


Come, Bleed or Blister something has got to give!!!
59' Apache 31, 327 V8 (0.030 over), Muncie M20 4 Speed, GM 10 Bolt Rear... long term project (30 years and counting)
Simso #1403102 Fri Mar 26 2021 01:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,866
If you get the metal clean, brazing the tank should not be a problem. In contrast to brazing, you can also consider using Harris Stay-Brite silver bearing solder and the acid flux they sell for use with it. It melts at a much lower temperature (450 F) than a brazing rod and can be easily used with a common Mapp or propane hand held torch. And this solder will bond to almost all metals (except aluminum and some stainless...nothing you'll have to worry about with that tank, however). Are these what you'd call pin-holes or are any of them larger?


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Simso #1403103 Fri Mar 26 2021 01:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,866
One other thing...I would drain all water out of it. That water will act as a heat sink and cause you to use more heat to braze or solder than is necessary. After 10 years there should not be any flammable things left there. And another point: you can use J-B Weld to fill those holes if you wish. Use the regular formula and not the Kwik-Weld formula. The company (around for about 50 years now) says once it is cured it is resistant to all fuels. In fact I used it diluted with acetone to paint the inside of a gas tank on a log splitter and it worked just fine.


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Simso #1403104 Fri Mar 26 2021 02:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 32
In the past I've used co2 in the tank to weld them up. Co2 is non combustible and heavier then oxygen. If you don't have a tank of co2 drop a piece of dry ice in the tank. When you put an open flame to rusted metal, rust starts popping loose all over the place. You may end up with a lot more pin holes than you can shake a bronze rod at.

51 GMC 100 with 59 chevy 261 under the hood.
3 on the floor with 3.42 gear.
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