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Old 08-20-2015, 11:26 AM   #1
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Vintage RV Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4
Rusty Fuel Tank, oh joy.

We need some help. We bought a 1984 Vogue II, (454, chevy chassis) to restore. Everything is going well and has been fairly easy to resolve at this point; however, there is rust in the fuel tank and it has been challenging to find help. None of the RV shops I've called so far around here (Tulsa, OK) do that kind of work and I haven't found a garage that is interested in taking it on.

We have found a radiator shop that will clean it out once we empty and drop it. It is an 80 gallon tank and I feel like dropping this monster in our driveway is not going to be a small task. Besides the mere task of dropping it, I question whether there will even be enough clearance with a jack underneath it, to pull it out.

We keep being told, "'oh ya, this is a common problem in older motorhomes' but I would think if it is a common problem it should be easier to find the solution. ha.

So, my questions are:
1) is there a solution to rust removal without removing the tank
2) what type of garage could I call that might want to deal with dropping AND cleaning
3) would it be smarter to install a new tank and where would I even find one.

The 'ol guy has put a second fuel filter on it. He said he figured it was added security to let the first one filter out the rust and the second to catch any that might sneak through. The first small filter gets clogged within a matter of miles so we know it's pretty bad. We just want this thing resolved. It's really the only major problem we have but it is proving to be a doozy.

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Old 08-20-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 162
Just a guess, but have you tried any truck repair shops that work on the big trucks. They would probably have the equipment necessary to lift the motorhome and have at least some experience with removing large parts. They might even have the expertise & equipment to clean it out. If not you could ask them to remove the tank then take it to the radiator shop for cleaning.

One other long shot idea. If you think you and maybe a friend could remove it, you might see if you could find one of those oil change shops that drives you car over a pit in the floor for servicing. Maybe they would let you rent one of the pits for the day on one of their slower days.

Their is a forum on this site for the Workhorse chassis (Workhorse bought their chassis line from Chevrolet). Have you looked through their posts?

Hope one of these helps.

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Old 08-20-2015, 12:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 44
I had a rusted tank that eventually contributed to engine failure. The Ford dealer had the tank repainted by another company in Ohio. To do this, I was told they had to cut open the tank and weld it back close.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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We used to remove and repair truck and automobile gas tanks in the shop regularly. The easiest way to remove it without a hoist is to lift the rear axle of the motorhome with a suitable floor jack and support it with jack stands. Then place a large piece of heavy plywood on the jack pad and raise it to touch the bottom of the tank. Then remove the straps holding the tank in place and lower it slightly. Once there's enough clearance between the top of the tank and the frame you can disconnect the wires and fuel hoses. Then lower the tank to the ground.

We always took the empty tank to the local radiator shop after it dried out and had them clean it in the same tank they use to clean radiators. Once it's clean you can use a pour in liner to coat the steel and keep it from rusting again.

There are many products on the market to reline the tank, but they aren't necessarily cheap.

Here are a couple:

Damon Industries Red-Kote RED KOTE-1 - Fuel Tank Liner | O'Reilly Auto Parts
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #5
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Ford Super Duty Owner
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Location: Horse Town USA, CA.
Posts: 2,703
POR-15 makes a fuel tank repair kit. Still need to drop the tank to use it. Probably need at least two kits for an 80 gal tank.

POR-15 Fuel Tank Repair Kit
Chuck & Teri, 1999 35 ft. Dolphin 5350, F53 Chassis with tag axle, Chassis build date 1/99 in Mexico, Banks System, Trans Command, Air Lift Air Bags on rear, Koni Shocks, Blue OX TruCenter, TigerTrak track bars front and rear, Roadmaster 1-3/4" rear auxiliary sway bar, 2013 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium, 1994 36 ft. Avion 5th Wheel. FMCA #F430129
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:14 AM   #6
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Thank you, everybody, for your suggestions! Hikerdogs, after reading your post, and talking to several others, my husband conquered the task. He ended up renting a transmission jack, removed the brackets on the top platform and bolted on a piece of plywood, the size of the tank. With the help of our longtime neighbor, they successfully removed the tank. He took the tank up to the radiator shop we had been in contact with to clean it and the guy said, "nope, sorry, I won't do it". Haha, ugh. Reboot. Well, after several calls, I finally found a small garage that was more than happy for the work. We just got the tank back yesterday and it's been put back in. We are waiting until tomorrow to add gas and give her a go. In the meantime they will be cleaning lines & carburetor & replacing filters, etc. Lets hope all this does the trick and the 'ol gal runs like a gem. Thanks again.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:51 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 3,775
Just read this thread. I had several ideas of how to fix your issue but they were all answered by the other posters. Very glad that you've finally gotten some results and are about to restart the engine.

We live in the Springdale, AR area about 100 miles east of you. This is a hot bed of tractor trailer repair facilities (JB Hunt, PAM, and several more) and I was going to suggest that you could find a tank repair facility around here but it seems that Tulsa also has the places.

We lived in the Detroit area back in the 70's. My self and some of my friends who taught welding at the local HS where I taught automotive had MH's and actually made their spare fuel tanks out of aluminum. They made a 50 gallon one for our MH. One of the guys Dad also owned a Vogue at that time and they loved it.

Best of luck with the restoration. Some pics would be nice when you get er done!!!!


TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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fuel, rust, tank

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