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Cat 252b Rust in fuel tank

Discussion in 'Skid Steers' started by du5tyl, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. du5tyl

    du5tyl Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
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    Location:
    Idaho
    Hoping for some advice - I bought this 2006 cat 252b in 2008 (had 330 hours). Since then, I have put 200 hours on it. Recently, I experienced power issues (smokes and has an erratic idle at high idle). So, off to the dealer I went. The dealer found rust in the fuel tank.

    I store my fuel in new steel drums. I get off-road diesel from sinclair. Before I knew any better - I did run 50 gallons of bio-diesel through the system right after buying the unit.

    take a look at the photo.

    My question is this - how does this type\much rust form in the fuel system (I can see some from water, but not this much)? What can I do to make sure that a few years from now, it does not come back?

    Fuel Tank (2).jpg
     
  2. donkey doctor

    donkey doctor Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Ladysmith bc canada
    Take it to a radiator shop and they can cook the rust out like the they do with a rad. They then coat the inside with plastic, no more rust. Rust is probably from condensation in tank. Had this happen with a portable welder fuel tank many many years ago. Still got the welder and it never happened again. Hope this helps .Regards D.D.
     
  3. du5tyl

    du5tyl Active Member

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    Location:
    Idaho
    Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately, the tank is 'part' of the chassis - so the repair shop tells me that it is not possible to boil out the rust.

    Any one have any other thoughts on how to have this not occur in the future?
     
  4. xcmark

    xcmark Senior Member

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    fuel additives year round and if the tank has a low point drain open it a a few times a summer. And the real problems is where the water is comming from, do you store fuel in a vented container? if so you may have a condensation issue with hot days and cold nights .
     
  5. upnover

    upnover Well-Known Member

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    How do you store the fuel drums?
    I know if you store them standing up right that is a recipe for moisture. Pilots will tell you drums must be stored on their sides with the bungs covered with fluid. This keeps any moisture or condensation from creeping in. Also are your drums clean? Add a filter system to your drum pump if you dont already have one.

    As for getting the rust out check out POR-15 they have a product to clean, prep and coat the inside of tanks. Good luck
     
  6. Lil' Puss

    Lil' Puss Senior Member

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    If you store your fuel in drums make sure they don't sit on the ground, this helps alleviate condensation issues. Usually whenever condensation is present that can mean diesel bugs are too, and they can really mess up your fuel system big time. Also, bio-diesel will have inherently higher moisture, and has been known to attack rubber fuel system components.
    I had a serious bug issue awhile back and had to pressure wash my fuel tank, dry it out with heat, and treat five subsequent fuelings with bio-bor. Now I check my storage tank and fuel tanks with Kolor Kut water finding paste on a stick. Knock on wood, no problems so far.
     
  7. du5tyl

    du5tyl Active Member

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    Apr 8, 2010
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    Location:
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    Thank you everyone -

    I store fuel in 55 gallon steel drums - purchased new. I store them upright on pallets in one of my barns (plenty of ventilation in the barn, but keeps the barrels under cover). No fuel filter on the hand pump (yet - will add one). In the winter, I add 'diesel heat' to keep the fuel from gelling. I will look into POS-15.

    Does everyone keep their fuel tanks on their skids full all the time? Some days, I may only use my skid for 10 minutes. In the past, I would fill up at 1/4 tank - but the mechanic is telling that I need to keep my tank full all the time to prevent rust......
     
  8. firetruck dvr.

    firetruck dvr. Active Member

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    Your mechanic is right keep it full especially in winter!
     
  9. frogfarmer

    frogfarmer Well-Known Member

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    With a steel tank you are going to have rust it is a fact of life. Coating the tank is almost always a bad idea. The condition of your tank is not uncommon the skids take a beating where moisture is concerned because the heat generated during use will draw moisture into the tanks when they cool. The manufacturer knows this when they build the unit and install filter systems capable of combating the unwanted particulate. If the filters are maintained properly from the begining the rust will be minimized. My advise would be put it back together and make sure the fuel filters are changed regular and the water is drained from the filter on a regular basis. The rust in the tank will cause little or no problem. You would be surprized how many skids have a couple inches of sludge in the bottom of the tanks before a problem is noticed.
     
  10. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

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    ohio
    I have never had any luck at all with steel fuel tanks, same problems you are having. Go to a junk yard and buy an old semi aluminum tank, they are usually not too expensive and they dont rust. I would absolutely keep your drums full, although that defeats part of the purpose of storing the fuel!
     
  11. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
    If you are looking to additize your fuel look at Maryn's / PowerUP Gen49D to take care of more than just water and gelling issues.
     
  12. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Not familiar with that model but what does the tank have for an inspection port etc? I've had great luck with smaller tanks, remove the sender etc, wash the tank out with soapy water, if you can get a pressure nozzle in there, even better, remove as much junk as you can, shop vac can work too.

    Get some washing soda, pool / spa PH+ (sodium carbonate) mix a quarter cup per gallon in water, fill the scrubbed tank with this mix. You'll need an electrode, a piece of copper pipe should work for a long tank. Grab a good battery charger, one with some output and doesn't need a battery to work, + to the electrode immersed in the solution, - to the tank and crank it up, you'd like to see an amp or more current flow. You may have to move the electrode around to get the corners really well, let this run for a day, clean the gunk off the electrode now and again and after a couple days, drain the tank and pressure wash it out again. You might have to do this twice if its really crusty but what you'll get is FE2O3 (red oxide) changed over to FE3O4, (black oxide) a much more stable form of rust and much less likely to rust in the near future compared to an acid cleaned tank. The byproducts aren't harmful and some shrubs love a little alkali water. The next trick is to figure out how that much water got in there.
     
  13. du5tyl

    du5tyl Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Idaho
    Thanks everyone! Thought I would let you all know. The local CAT dealer finished the tank scrub. There were two tank access panels that allowed them to scrub it out. They tell me that as long as I keep the tank full, should not have an issue in the future.

    Turns out that the fuel injection pump got rust in it. From what they tell me, water got past the fuel\water separator and caused rust build up in the fuel injection pump.

    From what everyone tells me - by not keeping my tank full, condensation was able to build up in the tank. Not keeping the tank full was an expensive lesson.