How to repair a fuel tank? - RC Groups
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Sep 24, 2009, 06:42 PM
Lost it again!!!!!
dirtman's Avatar
Help!

How to repair a fuel tank?


I crashed and put a tiny hole in my tank. I can't even see it, just the drip. What is the best way to fix it?

I would buy a new one but cant get them anymore. I need the flush fit,the stopper fits through a hole in the firewall. Of course I can get a Dubro and make it work, but would like to fix this one.

Curt
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Sep 24, 2009, 06:58 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
In general you can't get a satisfactory repair of the plastic fuel tanks. The residual fuel/oil prevents any glue from bonding.
Sep 24, 2009, 06:59 PM
Real Time Recon
realtimerecon's Avatar
How about melting a plastic patch -over the hole...RTR
Sep 24, 2009, 07:01 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Again... the residual oil prevents a decent bond.
Sep 24, 2009, 09:10 PM
Registered User
I get the soldering iron and run it over the hole to get melted plastic over it. I sometimes also put some epoxy over it as well. To my surprise, it sticks well.

If there is oil on it, surely it can be cleaned with something like acetone?
Sep 24, 2009, 09:41 PM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Last thing you want to do is create a "leak waiting to happen".... and thats what you get when you repair a plastic fuel tank.
Sep 24, 2009, 10:05 PM
Bombs away! Err...landing
Ira NZ's Avatar
Just replace it, they're cheap.
Sep 24, 2009, 11:13 PM
Lost it again!!!!!
dirtman's Avatar
Yea, thanks for the replies.

I think I will just replace it. No need to deadstick it. It doesn't float to well. It is a 60 size Shoestring by great planes. Beautiful plane(or was till I forgot to put my antena up) and flies great. No need to crash it again over something stupid, that could have been prevented.
Oct 01, 2009, 04:29 AM
TigreJohn
If you have an ARF with a leaky metric sized tank (no exact USA replacement), they can be successfully repaired if you don't want to cobble your airframe for a larger replacement or install a smaller tank. All it takes is a bit of mineral spirits or a strong detergent, a low temp soldering iron, and narrow strips of plastic milk bottle. But if its a neck split - forget it. And don't attempt on a Sullivan flex tank, the walls are too thin.

I have repaired a few tanks successfully by melting the milk bottle strips onto the crack in the tank. First clean the area to remove the oil from the fuel, then a quick swipe with the iron on the tank to burn off the excess petroleum that is inherent with polyethylene, and then melting the bottle strips onto the crack. The key is to back off with the iron if you see the tank material turning clear. Usually two layers of bottle strips, if done right, will stand up to 10 psi. Your basically resealing the crack and adding material.
Dec 14, 2014, 02:19 PM
Model airplane collector
Science always proves that there IS a solution to anything !... But giving up before ever starting and making no attempt to research a solution only proves a serious lack of thought and lack of skills !.. And passing on one's failure's to others is twice the error!.
Dec 14, 2014, 02:40 PM
Closed Account
If the small hole is not on a corner, you can drill the hole larger and install a nylon screw, a couple of nylon washers and nylon nut through the hole and it will seal the tank. I have used nylon hardware through the tank several times to mount a tank on a platform.
Dec 14, 2014, 03:07 PM
Bombs away! Err...landing
Ira NZ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by exf3bguy
If the small hole is not on a corner, you can drill the hole larger and install a nylon screw, a couple of nylon washers and nylon nut through the hole and it will seal the tank. I have used nylon hardware through the tank several times to mount a tank on a platform.
I'm pretty sure he's found a solution in the last 5 years.
Dec 14, 2014, 03:40 PM
Closed Account
LOL. Good info none the less.
Dec 15, 2014, 08:44 PM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
not sure this was mentioned but tanks are "CHEAP". The problems that hole will cause with idling, suction and leaking fuel in the plane, etc just isn't worth it... IMO
Dec 15, 2014, 09:32 PM
Closed Account
While I agree that the best option would be to replace, sometimes the correct shape and/or size can't be found or can't be had right away. In that case doing a quick fix can save a weekend.


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