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Day 5 - Driver Side Gas Tank... Part 2

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12/18/05 - Beautiful outside today. A perfect day to start working on that shield plate. First, I pulled out the staples holding on the rubber sealing strip, and removed the strip itself. This is in good shape, though it will need to be glued back. After removing the strip, I went crazy with the wire brush attachment on my drill. During this process I washed the piece several times in engine degreaser. Note that I wasn't concerned with eradicating every speck of rust and paint; I just wanted to clean the surfaces I'd be J-B Welding. In the course of these prep activities I discovered several other holes, one of which corresponds nicely to the other hole in the gas tank. My theory of yesterday is looking promising.

After preparing the surfaces reasonably well, I put duct tape over the side that isn't going to have the metal patch plate. I then cut and bent pieces of sheet steel to cover the four areas to be patched, and experimented to see how I could clamp down the largest piece. After mixing the J-B Weld (memo to self: store this at room temperature, it's annoyingly difficult to work when cold), I filled all the holes amply and pressed the steel down on top, then added a fillet around the edges of the larger pieces. I'm assuming I'll be able to sand down the extruded resin on the other side once it's hard. After allowing it to cure for a while, I took the clamp off so I could put a fillet along the remaining edge of the big patch. Given the current outdoor temperature, I'm going to leave this for at least 48 hours before trying to work with it. I'm planning to use Rustoleum Stops-Rust primer and flat black paint on this part.

The gas tank is waiting patiently for the sealant to arrive. I've put duct tape over the holes to reduce the amount of evaporation. It seems that even at low temperatures, the volatile fractions evaporate out and form a thick hydrocarbon soup inside the tank that attacks anything it can reach. I initially used vinyl tape over the holes, but the gas fumes ate through this tape in less than an hour! The duct tape is holding up better, although the adhesive has decomposed in the region of the hole.

Go on to Day 6... and all original content herein is © Copyright 2005 by Lewin A.R.W. Edwards. "" is a trademark protected under U.S. and international law. Infringement or attempted dilution of the intellectual property rights held by Lewin A.R.W. Edwards will be prosecuted to the fullest possible extent.