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#1445881 Fri Mar 25 2022 12:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,396
Tommy Offline OP
I have a portable generator with a dirty 5 gal. gas tank. Someone left gas in it and it is nasty, So what is the best way to clean it? I was thinking some laquer thinner, or maybe some dawn dish washing soap and a lot of water? Any ideas would be helpful.

59 apache 1/2t
261 short stepside
Tommy #1445887 Fri Mar 25 2022 01:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,343
I don't know what you'll wind up doing, but I had a log splitter like that and ended up having to take the tank off, split it at the seam and paint the inside of it with JB-Weld diluted with acetone enough that I could paint a couple of coats on with a cheap bristle brush. 4 years later it is still fine, but there was no way to dissolve that stuff. I tried everything including toluol, xylol and some other solvents most people haven't even heard of. Good luck!


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Tommy #1445888 Fri Mar 25 2022 02:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 155
E85 works very well to dissolve varnished gas or diesel. I use it regularly for carb cleaning and last time was on my 47 3600 under bed tank that had a black sicky goo from forty years of sitting.

1947 3600 Chevy
Tommy #1445889 Fri Mar 25 2022 02:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,396
Tommy Offline OP
Don't want to sound stupid, but what is E85?

59 apache 1/2t
261 short stepside
Tommy #1445890 Fri Mar 25 2022 02:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 155
85% Ethanol you buy at the gas station.

Last edited by lumbersawyer; Fri Mar 25 2022 02:13 PM.

1947 3600 Chevy
Tommy #1445891 Fri Mar 25 2022 02:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 956
Herder of Cats, Goats, and Sheep (moderator)
It is a fuel that is 85% ethanol. You can get it at some gas stations.

Are you familiar with "flex fuel" vehicles? They are ones that can run normal gasoline or E85.

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1958 Apache, long bed Fleetside, V8 w/SM420
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Tommy #1445897 Fri Mar 25 2022 02:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 26,308
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
I put a shovel full of gravel into a dirty tank, strap it to the rear wheel of a tractor, and bush hog one of my pastures for a couple of hours.

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Tommy #1445925 Fri Mar 25 2022 06:54 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,328
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
I removed a heavy layer of tar from the tank on my Model A with a gallon of lacquer thinner. Then had to deal with all the rust flakes inside it that were stuck to the tar. Just about any solvent should eventually dissolve the tar-like gasoline residue.

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.
Tommy #1445930 Fri Mar 25 2022 08:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,396
Tommy Offline OP
It's a plastic tank, (something other than metal). Guess I'll try the lacquer thinner and slosh it around for a week or so.

59 apache 1/2t
261 short stepside

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