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Old 14 October 2014, 22:23   #1
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Aluminum fuel tank leak. Small crack in the welds.

Anyone here have any experience with Aluminum fuel tanks? My 24 gallon tank developed a leak. There is a tiny tiny crack about 1 inch long in the middle of the weld, not where the weld meets the sheet metal. Wondering if I can have this section rewelded or if I should be searching for a new tank. Not sure what caused it, there is no external stress on the tank (no sitting or standing on it, etc..)

Also, if anyone wants to watch me struggle to keep standing up while in rough seas with 20 gallons of fuel spilled all over the deck...I can upload the gopro footage. I did not know gas was so slippery!
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Old 15 October 2014, 02:31   #2
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Yes be careful
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Old 23 October 2014, 13:27   #3
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2rotor:

Just got an e-mail, had this stuff advertised:

Flamemaster CS 3204A2 Gray Integral Fuel Tank Sealant - Quart at SkyGeek.com

I sort of think a bit of epoxy would do the trick though.


jky
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Old 23 October 2014, 13:48   #4
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Remove the tank, then call a radiator repair shop to see if they can tig weld it. If not a good welding shop should be able to fix it up. They often can easily repair them. The key is to flush the remaining fuel out with water and soap, then either fill it with water, or keep a constant air flow flushing the fumes out as they weld it. Then a liner could be added. Cracks don't get smaller they get bigger. Drilling the ends of cracks would stop them most likely but it leaves you with a hole.

If you do some of the cleanup first, it probably will run around $60.
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Old 23 October 2014, 13:51   #5
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You have to completely clean and dry every last drop of fuel from the tank if you want epoxy to stick (or reweld). Replacing with an HDPE tank is probably better, they don't crack. Vibration is the cause of the cracking, along with the fuel sloshing around.
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Old 23 October 2014, 14:23   #6
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This works well POR-15 Fuel Tank Sealer
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Old 23 October 2014, 15:13   #7
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Repairing aluminum is a toss up, my fabricator buddy isn't a fan of trying to fix aluminum, hates it actually, curses at it. I bet you can find equal stories about the repaired tank then being good forever or the repair failing soon after. You don't have much to lose by trying, a few bucks, but the most conservative answer is to replace the tank. Loose gas can be dangerous as I'm sure you know and although it's rare the consequences can be real bad.
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Old 23 October 2014, 16:19   #8
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Thanks for the ideas guys!

I just went out and got a new tank altogether, figuring that this tank isnt ideal anyways since it was too tall and blocked off the hatch to my new console. If anyone wants a 24 gallon tank for free its all yours! I have no info on it, as it came with the boat.
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Old 23 October 2014, 22:36   #9
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Well, if it's free, I'll see if I can foist it off on my dive buddy.

Shoot me a pm and we can set up a transfer.

jky
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Old 23 October 2014, 23:55   #10
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pm sent!
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