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Aluminum fuel tank, repair, replace?

Old 12-10-2019, 01:51 PM
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Default Aluminum fuel tank, repair, replace?

124 gallon aluminum fuel tank. Was holding 90 gallons of fuel when remove from hull. Some scattered pitting. Should I replace tank, put some type of epoxy or other material over pits, or have the pitted areas aluminum welded over?
Old 12-10-2019, 02:01 PM
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If you have it removed already I can't imagine it makes sense to repair rather than replace unless you are planning to only have the boat a year.
Old 12-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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A new replacement is $1k+. Don't want to spend it if it's not 100% necessary.
Old 12-10-2019, 03:04 PM
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How hard was it to take out?If its a massive job to put it back and rig get a new one.What happens if the fix leaks? Boat goes boom.
Old 12-10-2019, 04:10 PM
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1K spent now is better that lots more in the future. Not replacing it when there is visible damage is kinda silly
Old 12-10-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sea-r-cy View Post
A new replacement is $1k+. Don't want to spend it if it's not 100% necessary.
How much to you enjoy your life?
Is it worth a grand?
Old 12-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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Replace it. If the tank is showing signs of age and corrosion, now is the time. Good time to replace all fuel hoses and grounding wires, too.
Old 12-10-2019, 08:42 PM
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Replace it!!! I am dropping a new 142 gal. aluminum tank in my Robalo tomorrow. Old tank was pitted and leaking on the bottom do to excessive corrosion from a blocked bulkhead drain. It’s a 2004 and the OEM tank mfg. is still in business. I called them for a quote and they sent the original cut sheet (plans) with the quote. It pays to shop around for quotes. Most were in the $1400 dollar range but I found a local marine tank fabricator that built it for $840! Just for the heck of it I put two coats of Coal Tar Epoxy on the new tank because I never want to worry about this issue again.

I weld aluminum. I did all the research and it was a solid thumbs down for attempting to repair. Once aluminum absorbs salt welding is no bueno. Plus there’s the issue of residual fuel vapor in there that can go boom so you have to basically figure out how to hook the thing to an exhaust pipe and fill the tank with Carbon Monoxide prior to welding. And then MAYBE it won’t explode and MAYBE it will last another season or two. With the amount of labor and materials involved with removing and replacing it just makes sense to replace it with a new one.
Old 12-10-2019, 09:06 PM
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There are times in a boat project you can try to save money. This isn't one of those times. Buy a new tank. The consequences of a problem are too high.
Old 12-11-2019, 05:50 AM
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As far as a welding patch, isn't a properly repaired hole/corroded area as good as a new tank? My tank is 99% corrosion free, the cleanest tank I've ever removed. Only a few, maybe 4-5 places that there's any corrosion at all. The rest of the tank looks like brand new. Seems to me that since the original tank was welded together, perhaps 20' of seams, that another 24'" of properly welded seams wouldn't be any safety hazard.

Old 12-11-2019, 06:56 AM
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If the tank is 99% corrosion free, a pic of the 1% of corrosion may help with beneficial suggestions. How deep is the corrosion?
Old 12-11-2019, 10:22 AM
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Have a fabricator look at it and give you a price for both if he thinks a repair is both cost effective and possible. Had a similar problem, the fabricator told me 90% of the tanks he sees are shot but most people think they can/should be repaired.
He repaired mine at 25% of the cost of new. I got lucky.
where u located?
Old 12-11-2019, 10:24 AM
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Your tank is TOAST, replace it before you kill yourself !!!!!
Old 12-11-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sea-r-cy View Post
As far as a welding patch, isn't a properly repaired hole/corroded area as good as a new tank? My tank is 99% corrosion free, the cleanest tank I've ever removed. Only a few, maybe 4-5 places that there's any corrosion at all. The rest of the tank looks like brand new. Seems to me that since the original tank was welded together, perhaps 20' of seams, that another 24'" of properly welded seams wouldn't be any safety hazard.
How old is it?
Old 12-20-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by HeadHunt View Post
How old is it?
20 years. However, there are only 4-5 very small spots with pitting. The rest of the tank looks brand new.
Old 12-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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I did this once before on my first boat. I filled the all the pits, sanded, zinc coated, etc. Put tank back in the boat and by next season it was leaking again. I was so mad!
I don't recommend fixing based on my experience.
Old 12-21-2019, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Intrepid30 View Post
I did this once before on my first boat. I filled the all the pits, sanded, zinc coated, etc. Put tank back in the boat and by next season it was leaking again. I was so mad!
I don't recommend fixing based on my experience.
OP: you’ve gotten the answer you weren’t looking for here many times over. The only question now is whether you will heed the advice or not.
Old 12-21-2019, 08:46 PM
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replace

its only one boat buck!
Old 12-22-2019, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Burgmane View Post
OP: you’ve gotten the answer you weren’t looking for here many times over. The only question now is whether you will heed the advice or not.
the correct answer is a few posts back. Take it to a Fabricator and let the professional determine if he can safely repair the tank or not. Cost to repair was 20 - 25% of new.


Old 12-22-2019, 07:41 AM
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There isnt a fabricator with insurance that will patch a pitted and leaking gas tank.If it blows the insurance will go after him.Not worth it.

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