Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

1952 - 1968, M38A1, M170, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38a1 series.
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w30bob
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Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by w30bob » Sat May 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Didn't know if this should go here or in the Mods section. I found an original M38A1 tank, which is soaking with lacquer thinner now to clean it out. It has a couple small dents in what I guess are the usual places, meaning those places that can be seen and hit with something to dent them. The dents I have are one on the passenger side top of the tank and one on the driver's side where someone probably smacked it with their heel when climbing in. The dent on the d-side may be accessible thru the large pickup hole, but the p-side dent isn't accessible from what I can tell. What's the best way to pop those dents out? I'm thinking stud welder, but figured this has been tackled by untold numbers of folks over the years and someone may have a better way. Any thoughts?

thanks,
bob

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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by Ben Dover » Sat May 13, 2017 1:50 pm

Best not to use any type of welder during gas tank repair. BOOM! I have witnessed more than one.
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TGP
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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by TGP » Sat May 13, 2017 5:19 pm

I have found using drain cleaner and water then power washing after soaking
Goes a long way.
Other than a radiator shop.
Tom
"47" Dodge WDX ww
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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by w30bob » Mon May 15, 2017 6:59 pm

HI TGP,

The lacquer thinner got rid of all the crap, but I've got it filled with Oxi-Clean to flush the thinner out. Tomorrow I want to sandblast the exterior, and then I'll put some Evapo-Rust in it and let it sit for a bit. I got the drain valve out tonight and made that functional again, and the lacquer thinner got the sender clean and working perfectly. It was a caked up frozen mess. I already blasted the pickup assembly and the vent, and got a new filter. Should be all back together next week. :D

Regards,
Bob

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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by W. Winget » Mon May 15, 2017 7:23 pm

have you filled it to the brim with a garden hose, and flared a lit propane torch at arms length over the fill tube to watch it FOOM, then held the propane torch near the neck as the water ran out to get the second and third FOOM of gas residue (even after your blasting and oxy clean.... the residual stuff likely kills several people a year...
Only way I will work on one is to flush, FOOM several times so it doesn't go boom...
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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by TGP » Mon May 15, 2017 7:41 pm

You can run a hose from engine exhaust to purge any fumes and
Continue to purge as you weld.
Have done many myself after watching Dad do it when I was a youngster.
Tom
"47" Dodge WDX ww
"52" Dodge M37 ww
"54" Willys M38A1
"65" Kaiser M35A1 ww
"86" M1028A2

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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by w30bob » Wed May 17, 2017 5:35 am

Yes, I've watched the videos on YouTube of folks lighting off the vapors in an old tank. Really is amazing how long fuel vapors can linger in an old tank. We had a local kid blow his head off a couple years ago now........he wanted to see how much fuel was in the tank of his tractor......so he opened the cap, looked inside and couldn't see anything....too dark. So he used his lighter to shed some light on it. And BOOM. Really was tragic.

regards,
bob

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Re: Getting Dents out of A1 Gas Tank

Post by w30bob » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:48 pm

Update.........tank is all soldered up and I was able to work out the majority of dents using paintless dent repair techniques and a ball peen hammer from reaching inside the tank. I painted the outside with POR 15 gloss black, which was essential to do the paintless dent repair, as you have to watch the shine on the tank change as you tap out the dents. I've still got 2 dents on the other side of the tank to deal with that I can't access from inside due to the baffle. I've got a new bad ass stud welder I need to try out......so will give that a try maybe this weekend.

Regards,
Bob

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