How to clean a Ner-A-Car gas tank

This Neracar had clearly sat for some years, judging by the amount of varnish in the gastank.  Underneath the varnish was a Kreem job that was bubbling up.

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The POR-15 Heavy Duty Utility & Cycle Tank Repair Kit had the best balance of wide use and of rare horror stories.  The kit seems very well thought out, with three different cleaning steps with explanations for their need.  The company claims that their product is different from the two other main classes of tank liner on the market, and the few failed applications I read about, the authors admitted that they hadn’t strictly followed the directions.

The POR-Strip got out most of the varnish and Kreem liner, and rust was visible underneath.  However, there were still flecks of the Kreem and some sort of cakey brown stuff stuck to the tank that the stripper wouldn’t remove, but that scraping with a screwdriver would.  Days and days of experimentation with different chemicals, a horrible process, was no help.

Filling the tank with nails and shaking made some difference, but took too much time and too much physical effort for little results.  To help, I built a contraption powered by an electric drill, and my sister hooked up a ceiling fan dimmer to control the speed.

About four hours of this cleaned all of the Kreem and brown stuff out, leaving shiny metal.  There was still a little of the brown stuff, which I guess is converted rust, in the pits of the metal, and you can still see a little of the Kreem in the tank’s center seam.

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The POR-15 went in easily, but of course I made a mess.  The result looks beautiful.  I hope it turns out to be one of the success stories.  I’ll get a pic in here soon of the results.

Here are some neat pics of the emblem on the gas tank’s side and on the gas cap.

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5 Responses to “How to clean a Ner-A-Car gas tank”

  1. Yammy Says:

    Awesome work! The inside of the tank looks so clean and beautiful! Tell us what light bulb you used to take the pic of the inside or just the flash the camera carries?

  2. jman Says:

    Ha ha, thanks Yammy for helping me work out how to get those pics, not easy! The first one of the sludge was sheer luck, done with a flashlight and macro lens. The second of clean metal was with a small incandescent lightbulb dropped inside the tank.

  3. Carl Says:

    John, that’s a delightful video of your power-drill gas-tank-cleaning contraption in operation. Looks like a rodent, weight on its hind legs, front legs dangling, jaws cranking away. Audio makes it complete. I can’t stop smiling at the vision, and at knowing it has succeeded.

    Your contraption seems easy to make. It changed your Ner-A-Car tank’s interior from congealed grime to sparkling clean in a few hours, after weeks of trying the other unsuccessful, unpleasant alternatives you list. Vintage gas tank restorations will become easier for everyone.

  4. Katerhiner Says:

    Wow! That’s so cool! Wish I were over there helping you out, or just bothering you while getting mosquito-bit.

  5. Susannw Kindred Says:

    I have one too! Will post pics soon and be ready to sell! Only downside, missing the original engine. I know they are out there. By the end of May I will have pics, mines all original…get ready!

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