coating the inside of a 55gal drum

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by gunbunny, Oct 12, 2008.


  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Has anyone used a paint or product to coat the inside of a steel 55 gallon drum for fuel storage? I was going to buy a drum, until I found one in my parent's backyard. It is in good, sound condition, but it was stored without the bung in place. I cleaned it out and took a looksee inside. Just surface rust.

    Buying a drum isn't a big deal, but since my truck broke down ('95 F-150) I can't transport another drum to where I need it. I remember a friend of mine coating the inside of his motorcycle gas tank with something (because it started to get rust inside) but I can't remember what it was called or where he got it. Now he's in FL and I'm clueless...
     
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    There are any number of "repair" coatings available, easy to find on the web. My own experience has not been that good, mostly because I didn't get the internals cleaned up well enough; coatings require really clean bare metal. For your 55 gal drum, I'd suggest throwing in a few rocks and roll it around to get the loose rust out, you can pour in a solvent of some kind that might help, and will flush out the rust that comes loose. There is no need to take it down to bare metal, just get the loose stuff out. Dry thoroughly, then go ahead and fill it with gas (leave expansion space) and stabilizer (drying agent) no coating is really needed for your purposes. BUT: Make sure to properly seal it, there will be no new rust if you keep air (humidity) out. When you tap the drum, filter the gas going into whatever tank you are filling. A filter is always a good way to go, ESPECIALLY if you are feeding a fuel injected engine from a steel tank storage.

    The one successful fuel tank coating operation I saw was done by a pretty creative mechanic that rigged up a small motor to roll the (Suzuki) tank for several hours with small ceramic tumbling stones that are normally used to break flashing off cast parts. He shifted the axis of rotation three times. Not a trivial task, but it worked. The m/c ran for many years after that without fuel problems.

    Good luck.
     
  3. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Good clean sand will polish the drums insides, then you have to "flush" it out...
    Now, I do NOT recommend, that you do, what I did to my 2 fuel tanks, on my '73 ford pickup.
    I used a gallon of 'acetone' to flush them out and it acts a great drying agent as well.
    BUT, if you have so much as one spark, it's all over!
    I then added fuel stabilizer in to each tank and rolled them over and around to help coat the fresh metal to stop any rust from forming right away.
    I re-installed the tanks and filled them with gas.
    No more problems after that.
    Prior, I was changing out inline filters 2 times a week due to rust!
    Bill
     
  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Thanks, guys. I have plenty of sand. I'll have to look for a filter, or fittings to make a filter fit on the discharge end of my rotory pump. I was planning on making a grounding strap for the drum anyway; I'm a little weary about static electricity.
     
  5. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    is there anyway you could just buy or find a plastic drum?? i have two plactic 55 galon drums and a plastic 25 gallon drum for gas. if i would have know i would have picked up more i came across a few in the dump . next time i'll pick up a few more. if you guys pay for shipping i'll gladly ship them to you.
     
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    The only problem with poly drums, outside the static....
    The additives here, in Phoenix, will eat those poor things really fast!
    In fact, there are horror stories of jet skis, and boats and atv's having their tanks dissolve and burst into a ball of nasty, like napalm!
    Even the Coast Guard has put out a warning to all boat and watercraft owners/users, to check the tanks and replace them with the compliant types that won't dissolve from the additives, they call them "oxygenators". (MTBE's)
    We call them B.S.!
    In a number of instances new motorcycle manufacturers banned their use in their vehicles, and issued a warning that ANY use of those fuels, automatically cancelled your warranty!
    I love those engineers!
    Bill
     
  7. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i would be worried about using any kinda fuel like that!!!seems a bit unstable to me.
     
  8. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    The motorcycle coating you're talking about is called "Kreme" It's about $30 for enough to do a 3-5 gal tank. It really doesn't work very well unless it's REALLY prepared well. Also, it only lasts a few years. For all the work involved cleaning and prepping, you'd almost be better off renting a U-Haul pickup for $20 and buying a few newer ones.
     
  9. padkychas

    padkychas Monkey+++

    you can remove the passenger seat and the back seat out of a car with some hand tools and it will give you the space of a drum +.
    I use to haul a lot of big things in my old ford escort.
    remember to leave the seat belts in place to strap things down.
     
  10. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i can just see someone driving into town with a small escort type car with the seats removed and a 55 gallon drum in the car. all you would be missing is a turbin. you'll get shot at or reported as soon as you get in the car if not just while loading the drum. i know if i seen my neighber takin the seats out and putting a drum in the car my mind would be screaming car bomb!!!!!
     
  11. mobilus

    mobilus Monkey++

    Oh, don't fill the barrel without it being properly grounded to the pump. Static electricity can build up and arc from the nozzle to the barrel, igniting the gas vapors. That's the reason they say not to fill gas cans in the bed of a truck. Just search for gas station fires at YouTube. I'm not saying it can't be done, but grounding the tank is absolutely necessary.
     
  12. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    as for as the coating of the inside the barrel call your local harley davidson shop or bike shop they have this coating they put on the inside of a bike gas tank so it won't rust. a buddy of mine just got his tank for his 1200 sportster back and they done his but the bike shop sent it to a auto body repair shop to be put on so you might wanna check there too.
     
  13. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Ask Conhager he has coated a few bike tanks he will know.
     
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