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  1. #1
    nsschwenk's Avatar
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    Cleaning out tarnish in plastic gas tank!

    Hey guys! just like the title says.. What is the best way to remove tarnish build up in a gas tank? I have put fresh gas in and pumped out the old a few times but I still get tarnish residue clogging my fuel filter and leaving me stranded on the lake. Oh, how can I do this without removing the tank?

    I heard acetone sloshed around in the tank would possibly work to remove all of the tarnish? BTW my fuel lines and selector switch is new and clean! Carbs are clean and rebuilt.

    Let me know what has worked for you before. Thanks

    Below is what I'm finding in my fuel filter!!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsschwenk View Post
    ... I still get tarnish residue clogging my fuel filter and leaving me stranded

    ... my fuel lines and selector switch is new and clean! Carbs are clean and rebuilt...
    Well, the fuel line was clean. Once you get the tank cleaned out be sure to replace the hoses up to the filter.

    If some of that gunk got past the big fuel filter it may be partially clogging the cab internal filters, if your carb has them.

  3. #3
    nsschwenk's Avatar
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    How do I clean tarnish residue from a plastic fuel tank? It keeps coming out when I take it to do a lake test. I pumped out the contaminated gas from the tank using a primer bulb. I cleaned the new fuel lines from the tank to the filter. I put about a gallon of mixed gas into the tank and sloshed it around and pumped it out with a primer bulb. It will slowly get some residue each time I repeat this process. I did this 3 times. The carb is cleaned every time after a lake test. Again... it keeps coming out and clogging the fuel filter when I take it to do a lake test. I'm getting tired of working on this ski as I have been working on it every weekend all summer and I still can't get it to run right because of this reason. My woman just wants me to get rid of the damn thing because she thinks its junk. I will not give up though...

    What would you guys do if you had this issue?! Do I need to use some chemicals to clean the tank? Should I try putting BB's in the tank to use as a abrasive to break up the tarnish residue? I can only remove the tank if I remove the engine and electronics and that is more work than I'm willing to take on for the moment. I can assure you that the ski runs great on the lake till the fuel filter clogs, so nothing else is causing the problem.

  4. #4
    if you are CERTAIN it's the tank...pull the damn engine and tank. Sometimes you have to go a few steps back to really make headway. It maybe a PITA but once it's over...you won't have to worry anymore.

    I just cleaned the tank on my GTX(very easy though) and it looks brand new in there. 20 years of shit made it look terrible.

    Do it right or don't do it all.

  5. #5
    nsschwenk's Avatar
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    Even if the tank was out, I still have the problem... I still don't know how to clean the shit out. The tarnish is coated to the walls of the plastic tank. I can move and slosh the tank around freely just as much as if it was out. I have it on a shop cart with 4 swivel wheels.

    I need advice on how to remove tarnish residue from a plastic tank even if it is installed on the jet ski or not. What breaks down tarnish so it doesn't stick to the plastic walls of the tank? Do I need to try only lacquer thinner or acetone in the tank?

  6. #6
    kerosene might take care of it - may have to let it sit for a while. My neighbor had his boat tank cleaned out professionally at the marina near him - really didn't cost that much considering the benefits. You may try to call around and see what a place like that would recommend. Or just buy a used tank...

    I'm always amazed at how much crap can come out of a tank that actually looks really clean!!

  7. #7
    nsschwenk's Avatar
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    What about some CLR?

  8. #8
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    I'm not familiar with that model ski but...
    Empty the tank and disconnect all lines and electrical and pressure wash it .. the inside if it.
    A pressure wash nozzle should be able to blast the embedded stuff out. Siphon it empty and
    dry it out completely (fish tank pump?) Again I don't know how much arm/hand wiggle room there is.
    Maybe a new "different" hose for drainage and apply a little pressure to the tank "air compressor" style
    to force all of the particles suspended in liquid out of the tank. Maybe some simple green liquid cleaner too

    Maybe a bigger "pre-filter filter"

    Just some ideas here.. going back to my sled days..( just a different water type)
    I don't know if there is an easy, pour it in the tank and watch it work solution.

  9. #9

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    Pull the tank, it's really not that hard. drain out all of the gas. Go to home depot and get some heavy duty de-greaser. Pour some in, and get a garden hose and thoroughly wash it out. That worked for my gtx.

  10. #10
    Any chance you can scrape it off? If not empty the gas tank, throw some chemicals on it such as some citrus cleaner for petroleum (or CLR as you mentioned), scrape it off and then clean up the tank really good.

    Are you filling up at the same gas station every time? If so, try a different gas station.

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