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Thread: Welding + fuel tank = BOOM?

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    Veteran stahlz_ae86's Avatar
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    Default Welding + fuel tank = BOOM?


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    Who here has actually engaged in the dangerous task of cutting and welding on a used fuel tank?

    I have heard lots of different ways of preparing the tank to make sure it's safe but it still concerns the crap outta me to take sparks and heat to such a dangerous unit. Some people wash it out thoroughly with warm soapy water and others hook up the exhaust pipe for 20 mins to kill the dangerous vapours with carbon monoxide.

    Any feedback from others who have done this would be much appreciated. I will only be doing this once I have all the info from someone who's done it safely and sucessfully.





    Disclaimer: I accept no reponsibility for information discussed in this thread, being used by someone else, resulting in them inflicting serious injury or death to themselves or others.

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    Senior Member Hachi_Tom's Avatar
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    if your welding ON to it, just fill it up with water.

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    Moderator Sam-Q's Avatar
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    I have done it on my ae86 tank and had it filled and welded 3 times and it's easier and safer than you think. All those tips are nice and all but not needed. All you do is put a small amount of detergent in it then take to your local car wash and hit it with the high pressure wash. Have the lid off where the fuel float is and hit it with the water through there and through the snout. It will fill right up with suds, use half of your dollar on that then the other half of your time putting it upside down and then cleaning the rest of the suds out. What blows up is the petrol vapor thats coming off the walls of the tank, if you can't smell petrol in it then it can't blow up, simple as that.


    Quote Originally Posted by ae_drift_86 View Post
    if your welding ON to it, just fill it up with water.
    that's a very big no. I tried that and the small pocket of air inside my motorbike tank where I was welding was enough to combust, lets just say I didn't have a dent anymore in my tank after that point.
    Last edited by Sam-Q; 6th March 2010 at 11:35 AM.

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    Sam is spot on the money. I welded a ring onto my tank to accept an in-tank surge/pump assembly and prepped the tank exactly as Sam did. Once it didn't smell any more I hit it with the welder.

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    Moderator Sam-Q's Avatar
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    that reminds me I think I am going to mod another tank soon, I have an idea for baffles I want to try out

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    Senior Member --Redwork--'s Avatar
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    First off.. tanks don't explode. The gasses catch alot and it goes whooosh for a second and thats it... You could infact weld on a tank with fuel still in it.. though I personally would avoid due to other problems that may arise from that...

    Simple drain the tank let it sit for a while and then weld away.. That vapour in the tank at some point will alight. but no biggy.. Just wait a sec for it to stop burnig and then continue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by --Redwork-- View Post
    Simple drain the tank let it sit for a while and then weld away.. That vapour in the tank at some point will alight. but no biggy.. Just wait a sec for it to stop burnig and then continue.
    I don't think you can possibly be more wrong.

    Draining the liquid and leaving the fumes can result in a stoic or close to stoic mixture that is EXPLOSIVE. Yes, it may just light and burn (too rich), but it may also explode. In fact, it is more likely to explode after prepping this way than it is to just leave the tank full. The blast may also not be enough to rupture the tank, but again it's speculation. Want to run the risk??

    Wash the fucker out and weld after the smell of fuel is gone. It takes half an hour.

    If this is the way you weld tanks, well, it's Darwinian selction at it's best
    Last edited by af300e; 7th March 2010 at 11:07 AM.

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    Senior Member H8CHIR6KU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --Redwork-- View Post
    First off.. tanks don't explode. The gasses catch alot and it goes whooosh for a second and thats it... You could infact weld on a tank with fuel still in it.. though I personally would avoid due to other problems that may arise from that...

    Simple drain the tank let it sit for a while and then weld away.. That vapour in the tank at some point will alight. but no biggy.. Just wait a sec for it to stop burnig and then continue.
    i also heard you can jump out of a plane and survive.

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    Moderator Sam-Q's Avatar
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    I am tottaly with af300e, I mean for a dollar and the 0:02h they give you or so you will be safe. Your advice is scary
    Last edited by Sam-Q; 7th March 2010 at 01:20 PM.

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    Senior Member --Redwork--'s Avatar
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    Scary...I've done it three times already... And once done the proper way with washing it out.. ( and it still caught alight)
    Its no more dangerous than putting some fuel in a coke bottle and lighting it up....


    Any one you watch Myth busters.??? They've shot at fule tanks. Strapped them to the front of cars and crashed them all trying to get an EXPLOSIVE result... Nothing... The one they shot at did squat and the one the crashed (with about 5000 friction ignighting matches) resulted in a big fire ball... NO EXPLOSION...

    As long as you leave and exit for the preasure to escape from its fine...

    Do it how you want.. if it makes you feel safe and confident pulling the tank and then washing it, then do it that way... I'm just saying thats it's not totally nessesary..


    I accept NO RESPONSABILITY if it explodes through lack of preparation....

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