I’ve got a 1992 Nissan Primera wagon. Because of a small hole or crack in the gas tank the mechanic suggests a new tank. As good used ones are hard to come by and new ones are ridiculously expensive, is there a cheap fix possible for such a thing? Is that false economy?
There’s not much that will fix a fuel tank permanently. There is some stuff on the market, and epoxy type goo that is advertised as a fuel tank repair kit, but it’s very temporary at best. Basically, it’s a waste of time. Bite the bullet and buy a tank. You might check with JC Whitney and see if you can get an aftermarket tank cheaper than factory.
The legal answer is you need a new tank. The practical answer is if you need to ask this question you shouldn’t attempt this repair. I have fixed several tanks and the repair is based on the type of damage and location on the tank. No repair should be made if it can not be considered safe and permenant.
If this is the original tank, it’s 16 years old, and is likely to start resembling Swiss cheese from rust. A new one is the way to go if you want to keep the car.
The mechanic can only suggest a replacement. He has self-liability concerns; who can blame him? If you can locate the crack and easily get to it yourself, it may be worthwhile to have a go at sealing it. There are many products you can try. But if the tank must come off each time the repair needs to be renewed, you might as well replace it altogether.
The vehicle is now 16 years old, so this particular leak is only the first of many that are likely to occur if you keep the vehicle. Are you going to patch it each time?
In the event of a collision, you may REALLY regret having patched the tank, rather than replacing it, as a patched tank (especially one designed prior to more recent safety requirements) is more likely to spew gas and thus, cause a fire.
If you really plan to keep this vehicle, I really think that you should just replace the tank.
Replace it and be done.
The only people I could recommend for a gas tank repair are Gas Tank Renu, they do a good guaranteed job but they’re not cheap, you’d need to weigh the costs of Renu vs the new gas tank cost.
If you decide to replace the tank, lining it with POR 15 is a good strategy - it’s good stuff and prevents internal corrosion, other than that a heavy external coat of Rustoleum or Hammerite will make the tank pretty well rot proof.
Gas Tank Renu are on : http://www.gastankrenu.com/index.htm
POR 15 : http://www.por15.com/
If you drill down into the POR offerings, you’ll spot a product used to seal gas tanks. I have used this product on both motorcycle and automotive gas tanks. When replacement tanks are impossible to locate or prohibitively expensive, I will go this route. The resulting cured material is tough as nails and will outlast new OEM metal IMHO.
I had the same problem before when I was still living in Asia. There’s no way to get a new or even used tank. I have to improvise. So I helped my mechanic took the tank off (after draining all the gasoline), opened it, let it dry a day or two, fixed the hole (welded). So no more leaks after that.
There is a 2 part putty formulated to cure even on gasoline wetted surfaces. Truck stops that service semis should have it.
While the putty will last forever, as others have said you should only consider it temporary.
I know the product and it does work but to be honest I couldn’t ‘hand on heart’ say it would fix the problem. But yes POR make some good products for this application.
I’ve just replaced the gas tank in my 73 New Yorker and am replacing both tanks in my 76 Jaguar. I always use POR products on new gas tanks, definately worth the few dollars and small amount of work to apply.
That is about as safe as smoking in the dynamite shed at a coal mine. Don’t do it.
would it be possible to water the fumes out, and weld it? then drain the water out?