Removing rust from the inside of a motorbike petrol tank?

I have a 25 year old motorbike which I have had from new. It has not been used for the last four years (it has been properly stored and looked after) However, there is rust in the Petrol tank. Anybody got any good tips for removing it and subsequently sealing the inside of the tank? All advice gratefully received.

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7 Responses to “Removing rust from the inside of a motorbike petrol tank?”

  1. p3200tmz said:

    I bought a 1985 Pontiac 6000 that was sitting in a garage for at least 6 years and I just ended up buying a new gas tank for it. That’s what you’ll probably end up doing as well.

  2. Frankie said:

    I run in to this problem every once in a while. If the rust is not real bad, you can use some B-12 carburetor cleaner and steel wool.

    Remove the tank, put enough B-12 in the tank to slosh around and put some steel wool in and slosh it around. You will probably need to do this several times to get it clean enough to use.

    If the rust is real bad, but has not eaten through the tank, a radiator shop can dip it in their acid vat like they do radiators. This method though, you will have to repaint the tank.

  3. JC said:

    Use M.E.K (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) to clean it and a sealer after or use kit SUM-900056-3 – Summit Racing® Fuel Tank Liner Kits at

  4. Please punctuate properly folks. said:

    Yes, he gave you a link for a tank re-sealing kit, and you can eBay or google search for those, but I am aware of a very effective way of de-rusting, which is to put a good deal of gravel into the tank, and then run a strong power-washer in it – this is done for car fuel tanks, your advantage here is that your motorbike tank is small, you can probably just shake it like it is a gravel cocktail!

  5. Adam said:

    I’ve had great success with Kreem products.

  6. Bardic said:

    First thing is to remove the rust, there’s no point in using a resealer until that’s been done. As others have said, you can put something in the tank along the lines of gravel, ball-bearings, nuts, bolts, marbles etc. and give it a thorough shake. That’ll dislodge the rust which you can then flush out. Then you can reseal the inner surface.

    I’ve done in the past just using gravel off the drive, it’s a primitive form of shot/bead-blasting and it works!

  7. who_is_jack_shit said:

    Trick of the trade is get a piece of string and about 10 large-ish nuts. Thread the string through the nuts and tie the two ends together like a necklace. That way they will be easy to remove from the tank and you will not have to fish around for hours trying to get loose ones out.

    Empty the tank and let the vapours evaporate as any sparks and it may explode when you shake the tank with the nut necklace in it!! Also after the big shake make sure you get all the rust flushed out and if not fitted already get a fuel filter just in case you missed some.

    Pet Seal is good for sealing tanks but there are hundreds available.


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