Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sealing My Fuel Tank - Part 1

Yes Paul, I have been working on my project...

My friend Larry Geiger came over yesterday to help me seal my tank with ProSeal. Larry had completed an RV12 not too long ago and he had some experience with ProSeal on his RV12 fuel tank. Over the last several weeks I worked on preparing the tank for sealing. I cut both holes for the filler cap and the fuel sender. Attached the corresponding nut plates and prepared the fuel sender for final installation.

I made a few changes to how the top attaches also. While using the EAA chapter metal break to bend the end flanges on my tank top, I decided it might be easier to mount 1/16"x3/4" aluminum angles to the inside side walls at the top and use them as a mounting surface for the tank top. I think it turned out well. Bending the flanges to the sides of the top would have been possible (just like I did for the bottom), but not nearly as easy to construct.

I purchased solid pull rivets from Hanson Rivet & Supply Co. (800-777-4838). I needed 3 different grip sizes to complete the project. These rivets are on the pricey side, so be warned. You don't have to use this style of rivets, but they don't have to have their centers sealed like regular rivets do.

Here are several photos of the tank after part one of the sealing. I don't think I'll have to add sealant to anything I have done, but I will do a leak test with water before I put on the tank top (Part 2).

I found that working with ProSeal wasn't tough, but I was glad to have some experienced hands around to help. Larry applied ProSeal to the stem of each rivet before placing it in its' hole. I placed a bead of sealant on each surface and then flattened it out with a popsicle stick. Towards the end of the project, the ProSeal was not as pliable as it was when we first mixed the batch, but it was still manageable. I used acetone as a solvent and was able to clean up spots yet a day later with no problem. Just make sure the room is ventilated when using this stuff. After the ProSeal is squeezed out of the seems, just use a popsicle stick(s) to smooth out and scrape off the excess sealant.

I have added many photos to my project album, so don't forget to take a look at it if you want to see more than what I posted here. Just click on the slide show in the right hand column of this page to be linked to the album.

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