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Q: Propane Tank Restoration
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject: Q: Propane Tank Restoration Reply with quote

OK, OK, I DID use "THE SEARCH" and it was pretty strong for me, BUT (and it is a BIG one) I still have some questions. I read:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=359287
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=288602
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=245466

All good. BUTT, I have two unanswered questions:

1. Powder coat or just paint well?

2. What are the thread sizes so I can put plugs in before media blasting?

Edit: Question 2 answered by inspection - just standard npt pipe threads..see pictures below.

1. Tank close to ready to be cleaned and coated by RW Little Company. My die grinder waiting to take off plate to expose rust....
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Data plate off. Lookie at that rust under there!
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Nasty chrome fitting that is NOT steel is tough for me to remove...it WILL come out!
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Nasty chromed fitting out after soaking and back and forth.....but it still smells 2 days later!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


TOP tag welded on too. Has rust under it too.....
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Tank back from RW Little. The tank was derusted, zinc coated and electrostatically painted white. It IS thick.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


To me, this looks like there is a lot of material on there.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by r39o on Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:53 pm; edited 8 times in total
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the answer to question #2?

a) Fill Valve 3/4 inch npt

b) 80% Stop Bleeder 1/4 inch npt

c) Service Valve 3/8 inch npt
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did powdercoat my two tanks. I don't think it is woth it though since they will start getting chipped by road debris the minute you drive off. I did it because I found a cheap powdercoating place.

You will also have to find a place that feels comfortable powdercoating a used propane tank. There are some safety risks involved with that. It can be done but some places will just tell you no way we do this.
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hiram6
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

two votes for powdercoating.

The powdercoater insisted that all propane be evacuated, all fittings removed, and the tank be left open to the atmosphere for 48 hours before he would touch it.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vote paint.
I've seen rust creep under powder and get really bad before poking through. With paint, it will show faster so you can fix it and not just hide it.

Use a good zinc primer and rattle can it yourself.
I have some that says it provides rust protection even after it's chipped.
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Alaric.H
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would hate to see you waste money on powder coating when good paint will be just fine.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about rhino liner? Won't that prevent it from getting all torn to shiz?
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did I get question 2 correct?

I want to go and get the plugs.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paint well and do it frequently. Or paint well and put something to guard the leading edge from gravel. Rhino liner or spray on bedliner would work, but it, as mentioned may hide rust.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did mine myself - I sanded the shit out of it and used horrid chemicals but I got it down to clean metal and painting it with several coats of epoxy paint and a few clear coats.

A little but of rust is peeking through after 20k miles. Whatevs...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About using bedliner, somewhere I read that outdoor propane tanks are supposed to be painted in light colors, preferably in white.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Higher End Bedliner is available in a color you might want it in---

Strip the paint, phosphoric acid the tank, zinc chromate it, and lay a good coat of Imron over the Vari Prime.

Raptor tintable bedliner is another option, and as tough if not tougher than the Imron.

But like everything else it has to be applied over a well prepared surface for any sort of long term longevity.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.rwlittle.com/

I am going to see these fine folks. They know EXACTLY what to do. Stay tuned.

Terry,

I still need an answer to #2, the sizes of the plugs I need.
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Eastwood Company
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the proper prep. powder coat will not chip or rust. The finish is extremely durable when prepared, shot, and baked correctly. Either way post pics after you get it refinished!

-Matt
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kshbaja
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my tank and brackets powder coated for $50. This included bead blasting. For that money, it's worth having someone else do it even if it doesn't last longer than paint. Sanding is not one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. I've had mine on the road for a year now and it still looks great.

If you do decide to powder coat the tank, read a few posts about getting the ID tag off and then back on again. There is likely rust lurking behind that tag that you will want to have addressed.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: propane Reply with quote

The color isn't a factor under a van. Unless you park on mirrors.....
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Is the answer to question #2?

a) Fill Valve 3/4 inch npt

b) 80% Stop Bleeder 1/4 inch npt

c) Service Valve 3/8 inch npt


I answered a and b correct, but I can not get my stupid auto stop filler out to see if c is right. It seems c is not 3.8 but rather 3/4.

Is c 3/4?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BY taking a look at the exposed threads beyond the tank you should be able to see that the shut off valve sure isn't 3/8's npt.

You can't get thevalve outa the tank?
How come?

An 18" or 20 " crecent wrench will break it loose without building a sweat.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a big enough wrench on it. I got it to budge a bit. I went back a bit. I went forward a bit more. What I realize there is rust in the threads and I do not want to ruin them. What is a SAFE way to get the fitting out?

Can I use lube? If so, what? I dare not lube it as I do not know what I could mess up for later use. This is unknown territory for me.

I have left the tank open for more than a day. It STILL wafts out some fumes from time to time. What do I have to do to bleed that puppy? The vapor and the bleed are open.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tank is steel, the valves are brass.
which one is going to lose the threads first?

Not the tank.

Oil them up the old fashioned way--get an oil can with some 30 weight oil in it and work the valve back and forth.

It'll break loose.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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