Aluminum fuel tank repair? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Aluminum fuel tank repair?

Some spotted pitting on the aluminum fuel tank in my newest project boat. Holds fuel fine, no leaks. Should I use some type of epoxy or other material to fill the pitting, replace the fuel tank ($1k), or have the pitting areas welded?
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:24 PM   #2
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I believe they make some epoxy type gas tank sealant/liner. Pour it in, swish it around as you're flipping the tank upside down and sideways for an all over coating, pour out the excess, let dry. I'd do it for a "just in case".
I'd clean the bottom with an aluminum cleaner and ss brush, then use JB Weld Marine to plug/seal the holes. g/l.

Last edited by CurDog; 12-10-2019 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-r-cy View Post
Some spotted pitting on the aluminum fuel tank in my newest project boat. Holds fuel fine, no leaks. Should I use some type of epoxy or other material to fill the pitting, replace the fuel tank ($1k), or have the pitting areas welded?
A little more info would be helpful:
1. Some pics of the pitting.
2. "Some pitting". One, five, fifteen?
3. Is it safe to assume the tank is removable (or already out) since you indicate welding is an option?
4. Are there other pits that you may not have seen, like in the bottom?
5. Do you have any dis-similar metals in the system, like brass fittings or ss fasteners?

If it isn't already leaking, you might not have to replace it, but more info would help us help you. There are numerous coating products available, but if it isn't leaking now you might be able to just have the pits welded, but that depends on how many there are. It's important that you eliminate (by isolating) any non aluminum components in the system since that's probably what caused the pitting in the first place.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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Classic pitting where the pour in foam trapped water. Probably 5-6 places that are any degree of deep. Doesn't leak now, no need to coat or do anything on the inside of the tank. Tank is out of boat.
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Old 12-11-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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So....We know that this tank is under the deck....We know it was foamed in from the factory. We also know that the factory installed it as bare alum.


The fact that we are dealing with a large safety item and it's at the bottom of all the building you will be doing.


I like to call it the foundation....or damn close to it. The last thing you want to do is build the boat and then have to take it apart and cut the deck.


Do the tank 1st. Replace it.....Document it.....when the new tank is built....Coal Tar epoxy it......foam it in with 4lb density foam....Not 2lb and damn sure not Great Stuff House foam. Then cut the foam even with the top of the tank and bridge over it with 1 layer of 1 1/2 oz Mat or some 10oz cloth.....This will totally seal any water from getting in to the foam. Have a limber drain even with the top of the tank , so if any moisture gets in there it can run to the bilge.


This is the Right and Safe way to do it. Documentation will get you more $ when it's time to sell. Pitting has weakened the alum....Remember most tanks are built of 1/8in. When they get above 60gal.....I like to move to 3/16 material as a replacement, but the factory will not.




It's part of the build....."Just good enough...Is NOT good enough!"
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Old 12-13-2019, 11:05 AM   #6
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Default X-Shark is right on target.

Your fuel system is the last place to scrimp. Gasoline is the most dangerous item on your boat. Even a tiny leak can end your life. Replace everything in the fuel system, even the fuel filter canister holder. Older hoses are suspect because you don't know what they are and what kind of fuel/additive/cleaner has been run through them. Also replace the connector and bulb on the motor end of the hose. Make sure your hose clamps are marine grade.

Gas scares me and diesel smoke smells better. Diesel smoke and a cup of coffee has started many days for me and I dang sure miss it.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:20 AM   #7
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What Ken said

On the fuel filter mount....Get a Stainless one. Not a Black Powdercoated alum unit.
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