POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

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POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by stang_krazy on March 1st 2010, 6:32 pm

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This is a fuel tank from a 8 year old coal truck and hasn't never been cleaned maybe a wash every month or so if it was lucky. This was a trade in and I had already buffed out the paint a couple weeks before.

The first picture is with the steps removed and wiped down with some mineral spirits.


This picture is of the end of the tank after I washed down and sprayed with alcoa step 1 rim cleaner(acid) and scrubed with a brush and then sprayed some more to keep it wet while I let it stay on for about 7 minutes and then rinsed off completely.


And here's the whole tank washed down cleaned with the alcoa cleaner and rinsed off, dried and ready for polishing.


Here is the alcoa rim cleaner. I use on just about all bare aluminum

This picture is after the first application and applying the second and showing how little polish that is needed for this section. Almost forgot, I use a DW849 dewalt rotary buffer with a wool cutting pad to do my aluminum polishing.



This picture is after the second application of polish. On the first application I used the rotary on speed of 1400 rpm's with alot of pressure (about 20lbs or so) also almost forgot to mention about the bucket of water and a micro-fiber towel in it to also help remove the leftover polish and then the second application at 1000 rpm's with alittle lighter pressure (about 10lbs or so) and also use alot of mineral spirits in a spray bottle to remove all the dried leftover polish from the deep scratched and pitted area's that would other wise show up like a sore thumb. I start from the top and buff down and repeat process until just about all the black residue is gone from the surface and a bright reflective mirror shine appears.



Here is a before of the rear of the fuel tank.


And after 3 applications of polish.


I thought this would make a great during picture and it shows great detail of bare aluminum and polished aluminum. And also the only thing I hate about polishing fuel tanks is that you can see where I can no longer buff with the rotary, so then I have to get out alot of terry towel's cut into 3''X3'' squre and alot of elbow grease (or the correct term "PASSION")and polish the rest of it by hand


After I finish the whole tank with two applications I will go back over the whole tank again with a third application with hardly no pressure applied so as not to get to much heat on the surface and going over the surface until all the polish is gone so I can bring a true mirror shine to it so I don't have to go back over it with the micro-fiber towel , it really brings a reflective shine out.

This is the finished tank with the garage door down.


And here's with the garage door open to get a sun shot on the tank and to see a better picture of what it would look like out on the road


Thought I would show the drivers side tank finshed.

In all each tank takes about 4 to 5 hours to polish out if you don't run into any problems, don't know what alot of you guys think about this process but I find it pretty cool to take something old & nasty like this and turn it around to a mirror like shine is just too cool!

I've polished 28 fuel tanks now and each one was almost completely different from the other one in the technique and process, some wouldn't work with that much pressure and then other could be brought back to live with just some polish without the acid cleaner. Also if you sanded out the aluminum tanks to remove all the deep scratches and pitts and then used enough acid to turn them snow white you could use some polish with a foam pad and by hand and put a great mirror shine as good and probably better then what I've shown.
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by retired plumber on March 1st 2010, 9:01 pm

You talk about acid. Is that the same as the alcoa rim cleaner and if so where can we get it? This stuff will work on old groody wheels I assume since it is called rim cleaner.LOL
Mike
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by stang_krazy on March 1st 2010, 10:52 pm

Yeah Mike, It states that it contains a mixture of organic acid.

One trick when using this cleaner or any other is to start spraying from the bottom from the left to right or right to left and work your way up,this way help keeps the stains from appearing.

Try at any truck dealer like peterbuilt-westernstar-kenworth-mack you get the idea, any where they sell the rims.

And only use on uncoated/bare aluminum. I have used it with fantastic results even on uncoated diamond plate.

Most of the time I will mix it 50/50 with water unless the rims were pretty nasty, like in the rim test I did, have you see it?

If you can't get it or find any let me know and I will pick you a bottle up or two(I think it is under/around $10.00 if I'm not mistaken)and send it to you with the reciept and what ever the cost of shipping is.

I've got 1 new bottle left and half another so maybe I'll go where I used to work and see what kind of deal they will give me because I'd like to have another one or so.
LATER
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by Squire Cobra Jet on March 1st 2010, 11:15 pm

Looks great!
cheers
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by RoboGeek on March 2nd 2010, 9:35 pm

very nice!
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by T-Bone on March 9th 2010, 4:49 pm

Hey stang finally got a chance to check out this site. This is one of your projects that I haven't seen yet, but it looks great !! Keep up the good work as always bro thumbs up
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Re: POLISHED BIG RIG FUEL TANK

Post by Sneke_Eyez on March 25th 2010, 4:44 pm

Looks really nice, I use the Alcoa Aluminum Polish on my Magnum SRT8 wheels on my Intrepid and the stuff is amazing... Shines them up like nothing else!
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