Being a former Merchan Marine Engineer, I can verify that a similar methed
is used on tankers to purge empty cargo holds of explosive vapors. The ship
is equipped with an Inert Gas generator or IG unit, which is essentially
nothing more than a large fuel oil furnace that dumps its exhaust into the
cargo hold. Te IG machine is activated shorlty after the offloading process
begins, so that the vapors are dispersed as the cargo is offloaded,
lessening the risk of explosion. I see no reason why an automotive gas tank
could not be safely soldered on using this method.
'59 GMC 100 V8
>The Sept 8 issue of Old Cars had the following printed in their question
>and answer column. This is a fix that I have not heard of previously and
>thought that you fellow old truckers might find it as interesting as I did.
>I am not endorsing this method but invite any comments. Perhaps one of you
>with a leaking tank will try it and (hopefully) report on the results.
>I wanted to share with you my method of soldering gas tanks. Thls was
>shared with me by a well respected mechanic friend of mine who was working
>on cars before I was born. It has worked for me on car, truck, tractor, and
>small engine gasoline tanks. First, make sure all the gas is out of the
>tank. Then stick the mouth of the tank over the exhaust pipe of another
>car. Start the car and let it run for 10-15 minutes until the tank feels
>warm. Leave the car running and solder away. If the tank is impossible to
>remove, use pipe fittings to pipe the exhaust from a lawn mower or other
>such device into the mouth of the tank and run the mower until the tank
>feels warm.The carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust displaces the oxygen
>in the tank. No oxygen, no fire. This method has worked for me many times.
>I hope it helps some other folks. Reggie Stone, Stanley, N.C.
>Mr. Stone's method for displacing gasoline fumes with carbon monoxide in
>order to solder leaking gas tanks seems to be popular. We also received
>letters from Max Mann, of Miles City, Mont., H. P. (Skip) Vrooman, of
>Clarkston, Mich., and Rich Fay, of St. Louis, Mo., endorsing this
>technique. Mr. Mann writes, "Simply put a hose or pipe on the exhaust pipe
>of a car, pickup, etc. Run the engine for a few minutes and the exhaust
>will cook out all the fumes. I've done this several times with no problems.
>By the time the tank is hot to the touch, the gasoline fumes are all gone.
>If in doubt, just run the exhaust a few minutes longer. I have soldered
>several Model A tanks with fumes, all by using a soldering iron. The tank
>never gets hot enough to cause any problems. I suppose irons are pretty
>scarce nowadays as everyone uses a propane torch and therefore must worry
>about the explosive likelihood of the gasoline fumes."
>Mr. Vrooman points out the advantage of the carbon monoxide's purging the
>tank of all residual water vapor. Mr. Fay's method also leaves the hose
>attached and the vehicle running while the tank is being soldered. If doing
>so, be sure to have plenty of ventilation (outside a building), since
>carbon monoxide is a deadly poisonous gas.
>oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959
oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959