Repairing & Sealing KITT's Fuel Tank, Part 3

posted Jan 7, 2013, 8:02 PM by Jonathan Imberi
I started this morning by prepping the fuel tank. The kit I ordered came with a quart of Prep and Ready, which I poured into the tank and then sealed it with my flower pot. The solution has to sit for twenty minutes on each side of the fuel tank so the entire inside of the tank is thoroughly treated. 


After twenty minutes I turned the fuel tank like this:


Twenty minutes later:


Twenty minutes after that:


Another twenty minutes:


Twenty more minutes:


The last twenty minutes:


After the last twenty minutes, Sara's dad joined me in the garage and we flipped the tank over. I am proud to say my flower pot seal did not leak. I did add a layer of duct tape to the flower pot to ensure a tight fit.


Next I rocked the tank back and forth and turned it from side to side in order to get all of the Prep and Ready to run out the sending unit hole. This was not easy, and although the tank is not heavy, it was hard on my back. Good thing I only have to do this five more times...





Once I got all the Prep and Ready out of the fuel tank, we poured about half a gallon of hot water into the tank and sloshed it around. Then we repeated the above process of emptying the tank back out. After the initial rinse, Dad used the sprayer and sprayed hot water all around the tank to rinse it. After each rinsing I again went through the same process of emptying the tank. We did this four times with the sprayer. 



After the fifth rinse the tank was sufficiently clean and free of any sign of Prep and Ready. The instructions say a fuel tank will not dry out on its own and that forced air is necessary. I found out that I can fit my hand very carefully through that opening and I used a wad of shop towels to soak up the remaining water. I would say we got 98% of it out of the tank. Dad came up with the idea to place the fuel tank in between my two infrared heaters, allowing them to heat the metal of the tank and hopefully cause the water to evaporate quicker. The results were noticeable after only a few minutes.


In the time between prepping and rinsing the fuel tank this morning, I worked on cleaning up the garage. As I was putting stuff away I noticed the drive shaft and remembered I still needed to polish up the aluminum. Then I noticed the area I had previously polished seemed rusted already, so I began to question if this really is aluminum. A magnet proved it is not. So now I have another piece to clean, prep and paint.

I sprayed Marine Clean on the drive shaft and scrubbed it with a scrub brush, rinsed it off with water, and then repeated the process. 


Dad and I prepped the drive shaft with Prep and Ready for twenty minutes on each side and then rinsed it off with water. We got to thinking that if we used the heat gun we could probably speed up the drying process and still be able to paint this piece today.


The heat gun made short work of drying the drive shaft. We played a platform and tarp across my two saw horses and used a bungee to keep the drive shaft upright while it sat on the platform. This would allow us to paint the whole thing in one shot.


Here is the drive shaft after the first coat of POR-15. While Dad painted the drive shaft I touched up the overspray areas on the underbody that I highlighted in my video this weekend.


I also painted the shaft of the steering column.




Tonight Sara and I put a second coat of POR-15 on the drive shaft.


I also put a second coat of POR-15 on the overspray areas, mainly just to make sure I did not miss anything.


I also put a second coat of POR-15 on the steering column shaft.



These are the overspray areas I touched up tonight:






My beautiful wife posing for a picture next to the drive shaft she painted.


The last thing I did tonight was check on the tank to see if there was any water left in the bottom. I noticed the seams still looked wet. I used the forced air to see if I could dry it up, but it was a slow process, so I decided to turn the tank 90 degrees and let the heaters work on the two longer sides of the fuel tank.



Tomorrow afternoon I plan to seal the fuel tank.

Tonight I ordered Alston Sub-Frame Connectors and a Wonderbar Steering Brace from Top-Down Solutions. The sub-frame connectors are a bolt on style that I will also later have welded. I ordered both of these in gloss red.