Cub Cadet FAQ's

Cleaning Rusted Tanks

Info by Eric Lewis

I did the usual soap and water mixed with sheet metal screws shaking vigorously thing to remove what I thought was most of the scaly rust from the open part of the tank which is 2/3's of it's capacity. the other third of the tank is hidden behind a blind baffle with only a small opening at the bottom center, which by the way for those who don't know is the end where the fuel bowl screws onto the tank underneath.
the "shake-shake" thing does not get the rust out from behind the baffle. is the way to clean out the tank, the whole tank, and nothing but the tank!
here is what you will need:
a large plastic container that will hold the capacity of the tank at least like a five drywall bucket.
chemical proof gloves, and this i stress! safety is important here!
a well ventilated area-outside in the open away from all metal where a breeze will carry off chemical fumes is best.
another thing i will stress as a must is a face shield to protect against splashing acid/water mix in the eyes!
a stand or place to secure the tank so it cannot roll over or fall.
we are going to be working with a mix of MURIATIC ACID and WATER! so making safe, slow moves is important here to restrict the possibility of spills and splashing.
another thing you need is a funnel.
ok, let's begin!

Here is the amount of rusty scale deposits in the tank looking through the fill neck.

This is after the soap/water/metal screw procedure I did tonight.

Here is what I strained out when i dumped and rinsed the tank, heavy scale and rust!

here is a picture of the Muriatic Acid, chemical gloves, and my kitty litter container I use.

I filled the tank to the top of the neck with water and dumped it into the container and marked the tank's capacity with a sharpie marker.

I dumped half of it out since the mix of acid and water is 50/50 ratio.

Here I have plugged bowl nipple and placed the tank across two saw horses and used some thin wood slats to stabilize it from rocking. in the container I mixed the 50/50 acid and water, then inserted a funnel and slowly poured the mix in until it reached the neck of the fill opening. it is brewing in tank in this picture. do not put the tank cap on! the acid produces pressure as it works!

now after 15 minutes, I removed the plastic venting piece from the tank cap and plugged the tiny hole with wood splinter, screwed on the cap and turned the tank upside down and unplugged the bowl nipple .(I have a small valve on this one so I opened it). let it sit for 15 minutes.

I then close valve at bowl nipple, turn tank over and remove cap. now dump mix into the container slowly pouring from the fill neck.
Make sure all the mix is removed. I took the mix from the container and poured it into another container leaving this in the bottom.

35 minutes later, no rust. this is just after pouring the acid/water mix out of the tank. it is important to rinse the tank several times by filling and emptying or use a running hose stuck in the filler opening to let dilute the residue of acid mix. several rinsing will bring out the rust deposits trapped behind, but loose in the 1/3rd of the tank behind the baffle. when you don't see any more deposits in your rinsing dump, it is cleaned!
now you must do something to prevent rust from forming right away. the acid exposes clean metal which during the drying process will start to rust.
use a hair dryer or place tank near a hot surface so it will dry very fast. take some ordinary oil and dump in the tank after dry, rolling the oil all around to coat all the surfaces, remove excess oil and it will stay rust free until your ready to use it. make sure to rub some oil around ANY exposed surface where the cap screws on too. once the tank is installed on the tractor, the best way to keep it rust free is keep the tank full of gasoline. i fill mine when dome using after it cools down every time.

Please just remember this procedure is dangerous! do not breath vapors, wear safety equipment including a face shield and chemical PROOF gloves. READ the precautions and safety requirements on the acid container! Muratic Acid will burn the skin and is very irritating to mucus membranes.
and detrimental to the lungs!
folks that have been waiting for this how-to on tank cleaning by acid method, PLEASE USE CAUTION!


Copyright All rights reserved. 2005-08