Unusual Way of Cleaning a Go Kart Gas Tank




i recently bought a project go kart for my sons and i to work on so we can ride our karts together one of the issues we came across when getting this thing to work properly was the gas tank was full of rust and varnish from the tank having old gas left in it for a long time. because this is a project i decided to do whatever i can to get this thing running before dishing out alot of money on parts and since a new identical gas tank cost about $60 online i had to find another way to get this thing to work before spending that much.

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Step 1: The Solution

the way i saw it is i had 2 options to get this done i could either spend the $60 and buy a new tank or spend about $40 for a tank cleaner and sealer kit. at that price i might as well go with the new tank, but since im set on not spending much unless i absolutely need to or want to for after it is running i found another solution to our problem. with that being said, today i am going to teach you how to clean a rusty gas tank with aquarium gravel now lets get started.

Step 2: Required Items

to clean out you gas tank you will need

gas tank that needs cleaned

aquarium gravel


the gas tank i have is 1gal so not to much gravel is needed even though its cheap i just pulled out 2 scoops out of our aquarium with an aquarium net and that was enough. for the water make sure you dont use too much but also not to little

Step 3: Do Your Favorite Maraca Dance

now for this step put your gravel and water inside the gas tank, put the cap back on and close it, if your tank has a shut off valve on the bottom make sure it is in the closed position or you will lose water. if you do not have a shut off valve make sure to keep it sealed somehow so you wont lose water. now that your materials are now mixed just shake and slosh the gravel/ water mix inside the gas can for about 10-15 mins( or as ling as you need to depending on the condition of your tank) i shook mine up for about 10 mins, looked inside and saw how dirty the water was and drained it and then added clean water and shook it up again you will start to notice the difference right way

Step 4: Remove Gravel Rinse Tank With Water

now for the hardest part.....
drain as much water as you can out of the tank once it is drained take the gravel out this may require more shaking of the tank just make sure you get it all out because you dont want a anything left over that can cause a clog once it is filled back up with gasoline and hooked up to the fuel lines. after you empty your tank take an air compressor( if you have one) and blow out any water as you do not want any left over if you dont have one use paper towel and whatever you can to reach inside and dry up the tank, it also helps to leave the tank open outside on a hot day and let the water evaporate this will probably take the longest though.

Step 5: Be Amazed About What You Can Do With Aquarium Gravel

once you are done take a look at the difference in before and after you started this process mine has spotting from where the gas had turned into varnish but only rust left to be found is right where the fuel filter goes thought which i can clean out with a copper fitting brush later on. over all im pleases with how my gas tank turned out. hope this helps you out

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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Sooooo.. Like the project, but I can give you a fix for Major cleaning if you plan on coating a tank. You'll need an orbital sander, a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, some https://www.harborfreight.com/5-lb-Rust-Cutting-Resin-Abrasive-Tumbler-Media-60542.html , water, a heavy vise, and some way to hold the tank down. Bungies screwed into the plywood does okay. I'd also put an upside down ziplock bag over the sander. Mount the plywood to the sander,Put the sander in the vise plywood upwards, bungie the tank to the sander, seal all holes and tubes from tank, add a quart of water and about half the tumbler media (That was enough for my old 1 gallon tank) Put the lid on the tank, and power on the sander. after an hour or so of running, the tank should be super clean. Use a cheapo sander, you can over heat them if you put too much water in and weigh it down. If you plan on coating the tank, instead of water you can use mineral spirits, but do so at your own risk, the stuff is flammable. Might be overkill, but I wanted to epoxy coat my tank perfectly. It's been 6 years and the guy I sold it to has had no trouble out of it.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    thats for the tip. will deffinatly do this in the future for a more permanent solution. for now though since its a project im working on with my sons im trying to stick with the cheap/free solutions until the kart is good and dependable enough to actually be worth spending the money on parts or materials to do permanent fixes. thanks though i like the idea that when i get to that point i now have a way to make the tank look new and it be permanent


    Reply 2 years ago

    It can be made into a mini tumbler for parts too..> Everything the same, just attach a bundt cake pan, and drop your parts, water, and polishing pyramids in the bundt pan, and let 'er go. Great for nuts and bolts


    2 years ago

    I have never thought of that but often had the problem . Have one to do right now . Thanks Also if you use some metho , (alcohol ) after that it dissolves out the water . Use it to dry wet phones and some in the fuel allows the fuel to pass through carby jets with the water passing too.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    cool i will keep that in mind thanks for the tip. the only thing i forgot to add to my write up was if you add a little bit of 2 stroke oil to your fuel it should keep it from rusting over again should you run your tank low or empty it. its alot cheaper than buying a tank cleaner and sealer kit also