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How to dissolve varnish in fuel tank?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by blsnelling, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Sponsor

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    I've got this Poulan 5200 here that I need to clean up. I just removed the fuel cap, and the tank is entirely coated with a thick layer of varnish. I've not had good luck trying to clean this stuff out before. What have you guys found to work?
     
  2. little possum

    little possum Crash and Burn

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    I use gasoline and lead shot :)

    Dump it in, shake it around- dump it out in a strainer- repeat, repeat, repeat.

    I think Jerry- pioneerguy- had some kind of carb cleaner in a jug that he said would take the gunk out, but IDK if its available stateside.
     
  3. sefh3

    sefh3 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have used straight gas and ball bearings before and was pretty successful with that. I know others have used sea foam before but I have not tried that.
     
  4. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    I have known people to use gravel in fuel tanks of tractors when they get gummed up. Personally I used chain as I didn't have to worry about losing any. You might want to try a few links of 1/4" chain and shake with some fresh gas, drain and repeat as many times as necessary. With the chain you know you are not leaving anything behind.
     
  5. bama

    bama Addicted to ArboristSite

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    BB's are what I use. Got 1000's of them and I just use a magnet to get the stubborn ones out of the tank.
     
  6. jockeydeuce

    jockeydeuce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Lacquer thinner (with good ventilation)!! Let it soak awhile and then get in there with some cloth on the end of a welding rod and scrub it out. Do that two or three times and it'll be spotless. I sometimes swish it out with some purple cleaner after that to get the varnish residue and thinner out......Lacquer thinner will even break up the residue from a line or filter that has melted to the bottom of the tank.
     
  7. CentaurG2

    CentaurG2 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have cleaned some serious goo out of ancient pressure lamp founts with berrymans b12 chem tool and a handful of ball bearings of various sizes. Dump in, shake till you get bored and repeat as necessary. Works on rust inside old fuel tanks as well.
     
  8. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Tree Freak

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    I have used this product for over 15 years on a lot of saws and other two stroke mix tanks and carbs, it is an industrial strength cleaner and will strip 1/4" of the worst varnish from a metal tank or carb usually overnight. I have not used it on the nylon/plastic tanks as yet but I don`t think it would harm them.

    [​IMG]

    This stuff just cleaned up a RA that Dan Can had given me, there was at least 1/4" of varnish and goo in that tank and the carb was totally seized with that guck. They are now sparkling clean, just set overnight.

    Pioneerguy600
     
  9. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Tree Freak

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    Can`t really get a clear pict of the tank but this is what came out of there;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All that junk was stuck fast to the tank bottom and a screwdriver would hardly dent it.

    Pioneerguy600
     
  10. Guido Salvage

    Guido Salvage Supreme Saw Whoreder

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    Jerry,

    As they are a Canadian company is there any way to get their products in the U.S.? I see 4 Canadian offices (plus ones in Syria, Poland and Hong Kong), but nothing for us down in the States. How much does a 4 liter jug run?

    Gary
     
  11. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Tree Freak

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    I can find out for you and that one cost me around $45. a couple of years back. One of the sources we get this product from is UAP, not sure if you have them over on your side. We also had a product called Gunk carb cleaner that was about the same, it has gone out of avaliability since fuel injection has taken most of the carb engines off the road.

    Pioneerguy600
     
  12. stderr

    stderr ArboristSite Operative

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    Acetone. I've used it on both Magnesium and plastic cases. You do have to let it sit for a while though. Give it a shake once or twice a day. It's especially good if you have rotted fuel line stuck to the inside of the tank. The stuff dissolves the rubber line.
     
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  13. pioneerguy600

    pioneerguy600 Tree Freak

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  14. John R

    John R Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If it works good, it's probably been outlawed in the states by the EPA.
     
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  15. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Sponsor

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    Thanks for the tips guys. I have both lacquer thinner and Seafoam here. I also have lead shot. I'll give those a try.
     
  16. Rftreeman

    Rftreeman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use steel BB's and wal-mart brand carb cleaner, spray a can full in and put a hand full of bb's in and shake like hell, let it soak for a bit and repeat the shaking, do this till it's clean...
     
  17. srcarr52

    srcarr52 We can't stop here, this is bat country.

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    I use a scotchbrite cross-buff pad on a long mandrel to get most of the stubborn spots. I usually do while running mineral spirits through it in the solvent tank.

    I find with a nice long mandrel and a larger pad I can get most spots in any tank and it takes only 10 minutes.

    I bought my last cross-buff kit off Jegs or Summit (sold to idiots thinking they can clean/port their SBC heads with them).
     
  18. stderr

    stderr ArboristSite Operative

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    This works great if you can get into the whole tank. Some saws have oddly shaped tanks and it's just not that easy to get into them. Those old EMAB saws come to mind, since I've just had a royal battle with one (Husky 35, Frontier Mark I, Jonsereds m361, and many more). The tank goes down the front of the saw and under the crankcase. You can't get in there very easily.
     
  19. srcarr52

    srcarr52 We can't stop here, this is bat country.

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    It's gets the majority... the rest is where some loose shot and a little shaking will get the rest to a degree you can live with. In the end, nothing is going to be a perfect as new.
     
  20. procarbine2k1

    procarbine2k1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would like to know myself. I have a MINT P41, that has some unbelievable crud in the tank. Like 20 year old stuff (imagine, this saw still looks new). I would best describe it as road tar. I have never seen anything remotely as nasty, but the saw is so perfect Im just waiting on the right idea to take care of it I guess.
    I have used a bit of carb cleaner, and thinner- and seems to have loosened the stuff up... but not where it needs to be.
     

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