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Old 05-18-2022, 05:38 AM   #1
Peter in NH
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Default 32 Ford Fuel Tank

I own an early production 32 5Win and recently discovered that the Bill Hirsch
tank sloshing agent I installed many years ago is blistering on the bottom of my
tank. I need some suggestions to find out if there's anything that can be done
to effectively dissolve most of the agent. I plan on removing the tank so as to
be more capable of working on it. I'm also interested in some input regarding
the possibility of installing a new reproduction tank. My car is a restored all
original Model B with a very rare, very early tank so I'm interested in finding
out how similar new tanks may be and any other possible issues that may have been encountered when attempting to replace an original with a reproduction
unit. I'm also interested in knowing if anyone would have an original restorable
tank I might buy.

Last edited by Peter in NH; 05-18-2022 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 05-18-2022, 10:59 AM   #2
alchemy
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Tanks Inc makes the best repro tank I think, but even that one is not really close to original. For a hot rod it's fine, for a restorer, it won't be good enough. An for a restorer who is wacko enough to covet early 32 parts (I do too), that's a whole nother level of dedication.

Can you tell us what the early production differences are on the tank?

Those Tanks tanks have a new modern sender mount area, no drain on the bottom, make you install the doubler triangles on the sides, and the fitment is a little tight in some places.
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Old 05-18-2022, 11:07 AM   #3
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Acetone should dissolve it. It might take more than a few gallons though. The tank will have to be re-positioned multiple times to get it out of there. It would certainly be easier to replace if a good reproduction is available.
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Old 05-18-2022, 11:51 AM   #4
DavidG
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

The open question about the reproduction '32 gas tanks in the case of early production fours is whether or not they can accommodate the unique-to-early four-cylinder air/fuel sending units that exit the tank angled to the right side rather than parallel to the drive shaft like all of the V8 and later four-cylinder '32 air/fuel sending units.

If not, even if the reproduction was perfect in all other respects, his siamesed fuel/air lines would be too short to reach the fittings on a straight ahead sending unit and would have to be replaced along with the angled sending unit.
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Old 05-18-2022, 03:20 PM   #5
Peter in NH
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

David G hit the nail squarely on the head as to what is different about my very early tank.
I posted the same info on the EFV8 site this morn and a fellow there responded by indicating
he had two fuel tanks stripped by a radiator shop. They used Methyl Ethel Ketone. I'm really
psyched to think I can have the same thing done to this tank as it would be a crime to have
to replace it with a poor reproduction tank.
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Old 05-18-2022, 04:48 PM   #6
mercman from oz
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'32 gas tank with unique-to-early four-cylinder air/fuel sending units - DavidG
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Old 05-18-2022, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Here is DavidG's awesome photo enlarged...

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Old 05-18-2022, 05:06 PM   #8
Kube
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter in NH View Post
I own an early production 32 5Win and recently discovered that the Bill Hirsch
tank sloshing agent I installed many years ago is blistering on the bottom of my
tank. I need some suggestions to find out if there's anything that can be done
to effectively dissolve most of the agent. I plan on removing the tank so as to
be more capable of working on it. I'm also interested in some input regarding
the possibility of installing a new reproduction tank. My car is a restored all
original Model B with a very rare, very early tank so I'm interested in finding
out how similar new tanks may be and any other possible issues that may have been encountered when attempting to replace an original with a reproduction
unit. I'm also interested in knowing if anyone would have an original restorable
tank I might buy.
My rather recent experience with a tank removed from my '31 Buick... Car sat for ten years with perhaps a half full tank. Some corrosion and a lot of Hirsch's sealer floating around.
The tank was very solid.

It took me four gallons (total) of acetone (as Rotorwrench had advised) to get the inside of the tank squeaky clean.
I'd placed two gallons in the tank with a 2' pieces of chain (1" links), sealed the openings and sloshed it all around. Let it sat on one side for twelve hours or so, sloshed it around and set the tank on another side for the next twelve hours. repeat....
Dumped this junk out and then, with compressed air, all openings "open" I blew inside the tank in any direction I could manage. When the poopy stopped blowing out, I'd dumped a fresh two gallons in the tank and repeated the entire process.
After the two applications, the tank appears as new inside. I have had zero issues since.

I did NOT apply any new sealer.
Oh, be certain to blow the fuel line(s) out thoroughly as well.
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Old 05-18-2022, 09:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Be very careful using MEK! It’s somewhat dangerous. I had dealings with the MSD sheets in the auto plant. Serious stuff.
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:29 AM   #10
Peter in NH
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Thanks men for all of your contributions. I now feel very positive about being
able to save my original early tank. Now I just have to find the time to do what
needs to be done to remove the tank from my car. Ah, yes, what a lot of crooked
roads these old clunkers take us down.

Peter
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:00 AM   #11
Kube
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by 325w View Post
Be very careful using MEK! Itís somewhat dangerous. I had dealings with the MSD sheets in the auto plant. Serious stuff.
Good point.... be careful.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

I've used MEK for many years in the aviation business. It will remove some coatings but won't touch others. It didn't work on one of the sealers I tried it on. Acetone did work. It just depends on what sealant coating it is I guess.

I'm building one good 29 model A fuel tank out of two crusty ones right now. No one has ever reproduced these and most are rusty. They have to be cut apart to clean & repair them properly due to the internal baffles. I'm seriously thinking of using aircraft hardware to put it back together so that I can use aircraft fuel tank sealer and can open it back up in the future in case it ever leaks. I'm using the same techniques that are used for wet wing airplanes. It should last longer than I will. These things were made from 16 gauge pressings. I think Ford had at least 16 presses dedicated to their manufacture plus the complicated rotary resistance welding system to weld the seems. These were only two small places where one of them was welded by hand to finish seams in a difficult spot in the front outer bottom corners

The fabrication process was so complicated that I don't think they will ever be reproduced. The 1932 tanks were a way lot easier to construct for Ford. The complicated fuel quantity system was the most difficult part.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 05-19-2022 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 05-19-2022, 01:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

This maybe helpful information, ethanol is hydroscopic (it attracts water). I am not a fan of tank coatings because of the horror stories, so I add two stroke oil or Marvel Mystery oil in the gas tank. So far so good, years on the road and no corrosion in the tank. Your results may vary.
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Old 05-19-2022, 02:09 PM   #14
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

In aviation operations we were always instructed to keep the fuel tank filled to the top. This kept the posibility of condensation to a minimum which would also reduce the chance of corrosion. This doesn't always work in the automobile world since motor fuel is not the same formula and most older vehicles have steel fuel tanks. Aircraft tanks are generally made from aluminum in either welded assemblies or wet wings and most modern aircraft have synthetic rubber bladders in there where practicable to aid in crashworthiness.
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:51 PM   #15
Randy in ca
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

So is the problem with the Hirsch tank sealant (original type) limited to the use of gas containing Ethanol? Or? What is sold now is called Ethanol Resistant (or something like that) - has anybody had problems with the newer stuff?
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:20 AM   #16
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 32 Ford Fuel Tank

The Hirsch stuff looks just like the Kreem stuff I first used back in the 70s. POR 15 has a similar color to it. They are all made to seal automobile gas of all types. Modern gas has oxidizers in it so it's not as stable as it used to be. If there is even a pin hole in the seal coat the corrosion will come back.

The problems associated with use of any sealer is how well the interior of the tank has been prepared. If there is any corrosion in there that has not been removed or converted completely then it will just start rusting again. Another problem is whether the water used in rinsing is fully removed. The sealer will mix with solvents but it won't mix with water. Oil contamination is another possible problem. The tank has to be completely cleaned of all corrosion and contaminants or the coating won't stick right. It can flake or peel off in sheets on an improperly prepared tank.

Cleaning out any enclosed item where you don't have access is a very difficult and tricky operation even under the best situations.
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