Chassis Cleaning

Ballard

New Member
I am in uk
Oct 15, 2016
14
0
1
Hello everyone,

Only recently discovered this site. Really enjoying reading through all the 90 threads.

I have a very good lwb Colorado 3.4 V6 which has a solid but slightly crusty chassis. I would like to use a wire wheel attached to a drill to clean off the surface rust before painting with POR15 and squirting Dinitrol in the cavities.

My worry is that the sparks produced by the wire wheel would be a problem in such close proximity to the fuel tank. Is this in fact the case and if so what precautions should I take to do it safely?

Also, if anyone has any better suggestions about how to clean and protect the chassis I'd be glad to hear them.

Many thanks.
 

Rob Cowell

Well-Known Member
I am in wales
Nov 15, 2011
1,340
645
113
Wales
Hello everyone,

Only recently discovered this site. Really enjoying reading through all the 90 threads.

I have a very good lwb Colorado 3.4 V6 which has a solid but slightly crusty chassis. I would like to use a wire wheel attached to a drill to clean off the surface rust before painting with POR15 and squirting Dinitrol in the cavities.

My worry is that the sparks produced by the wire wheel would be a problem in such close proximity to the fuel tank. Is this in fact the case and if so what precautions should I take to do it safely?

Also, if anyone has any better suggestions about how to clean and protect the chassis I'd be glad to hear them.

Many thanks.
I'd drop the tank. There'll be bits of chassis and floor pan you can't get to with it in. Be a good chance to assess the solidity of the fuel filler pipe too. My experience is that'll be on its way out if the chassis is flaking. Tank protectors rot, and you'll be able to clean and paint that properly. Plenty of Plusgas on the tank strap bolts a day or two ahead will help immeasurably. And try to remove it with very little fuel in the tank. They're not too heavy on their own, but you don't want 70 litres of fuel sloshing about inside. A trolley jack makes putting it back much, much easier than manouvering it by hand.
 

Chris

Super Moderator
Supporter
I am in europe
Feb 24, 2010
17,226
3,972
113
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Garage
I think you'd be hard pressed to set fire to the tank with small sparks like that. You wont get that many off a wire brush. They are quite aggressive though. Maybe try a brass / bronze one before a steel one. OK if you had fuel pouring out through a leak I wouldn't try it, but this isn't the movies! Better to have a full tank rather than a part filled one too.
 

Shayne

Well-Known Member
Guru
Feb 2, 2013
13,492
5,149
113
South Wales UK
As above diesel takes a fair amount of heat to make it burn and you won't light it with a spark no matter how hard you try .

Wanting to remove the tank and rear bumper to do the bits i can't see is one of the things preventing me from taking mine to be done by a pro .
 
Last edited:
Don't like the adverts? Remove them by becoming a supporting member.   Click here

Ballard

New Member
I am in uk
Oct 15, 2016
14
0
1
Taking the tank out is what I was hoping to avoid. My collection of tools is about equal to my mechanical knowledge, that is to say pretty limited. I don't have any means of lifting the car, for example. I have a drill and a socket set and not much else. I suppose what I am really asking is if it is possible to do this without removing the tank?

Also, I don't want to have to take the car off the road for any length of time. However, I was intending to remove the fuel tank guard together with the sump guard. Indeed, I am tempted not to put these back as the car rarely goes any further off road than a damp field. Would this be unwise for any reason?

If using wire brushes with a full tank is safe, that is what I will do. I suspected it was the vapour that was more dangerous than the liquid.

I was intending to use the brass brushes rather than steel anyway, as I already have some of these knocking about.

Thanks very much for the advice guys, it's really helpful.
 

Shayne

Well-Known Member
Guru
Feb 2, 2013
13,492
5,149
113
South Wales UK
Sorry my mistake petrol is a different ball game but still i reckon you could drive over a bonfire without producing a hollywood bang .

Based on watching cars burn , the tyres give the biggest bang quite some time before the fuel tank erupts with a sort of muted thump that produces more flame but not much else . Mind you i suppose they could have been low on fuel .
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Rusty Bottoms

flint

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Mar 11, 2014
1,303
830
113
As long as your fuel tank and pipework is sound with no leaks or seepage, you should be ok with sparks, but you’re wise to be cautious. The advantage of having the tank guard in place is that if a strap goes, it’ll stop the tank dropping too far. One tip, if not already known or too late, is don’t open the POR 15 lid but put a couple of self tapping screws into the bottom of the tin, then you can remove them and just pour what you need into a container. It stops what’s left in the tin going off so quickly. And wear gloves !
 

Ballard

New Member
I am in uk
Oct 15, 2016
14
0
1
I should have been clearer, most of them seem to be diesels after all.

Sounds like the odd little spark shouldn't be a problem, which makes life easier. I sort of thought that was probably the case but it's not something I wanted to take a chance with.

Great tip for using the POR15. I'll be doing that with other similar stuff now,too.
 

dyladams

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Aug 15, 2011
402
77
48
London
Garage
Just a brief work of warning.....

When I was a young boy, my father was doing some work on his boat in the driveway in preparation for a fishing trip. He was busy installing a rod holder when the there was an explosion causing him to be thrown from the boat and spent the next 6 weeks in hospital recovering from his burns.

My father's belief is that a spark from the drill's motor ignited the petrol fumes from the adjacent empty petrol tanks.

Maybe it was a freak incident, but it's worth thinking about. Maybe look at alternative options or maybe the good old wire brush and a rust converter?
 

Ballard

New Member
I am in uk
Oct 15, 2016
14
0
1
That was my fear. Although, I believe an empty petrol can full of vapour is a much more dangerous scenario than a full, fitted tank of petrol. Is this correct, I may well be wrong?
 

StarCruiser

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Guru
I am in uk
Oct 7, 2014
11,803
4,811
113
Bognor Regis UK
Garage
Or just look into Krown UK, scrape the worst of the rust off and let the Krown guys do the rest. It's supposed to stop existing rust in its tracks and prevent new rust forming. Have a look at my thread on here if you're interested.
 
Last edited:

Ballard

New Member
I am in uk
Oct 15, 2016
14
0
1
Just read the Krown UK thread, Very interesting, sounds like great stuff. I'll have to think about it.
 

Cptsideways

Well-Known Member
Sep 23, 2010
526
11
38
Garage
Just a brief work of warning.....

When I was a young boy, my father was doing some work on his boat in the driveway in preparation for a fishing trip. He was busy installing a rod holder when the there was an explosion causing him to be thrown from the boat and spent the next 6 weeks in hospital recovering from his burns.

My father's belief is that a spark from the drill's motor ignited the petrol fumes from the adjacent empty petrol tanks.

Maybe it was a freak incident, but it's worth thinking about. Maybe look at alternative options or maybe the good old wire brush and a rust converter?
Boats are different, they should not leak & petrol fumes sit in the bottom of a boat. Petrol fumes are easy to ignite, hence why boat electrical componens like alternators are shielded & different to car ones. That's also what bilge blowers are for to rid the hull of fumes.
 

clivehorridge

Well-Known Member
Guru
I am in romania
May 23, 2012
14,870
4,870
113
Comarnic, Romania
Garage
Boats are different, they should not leak & petrol fumes sit in the bottom of a boat. Petrol fumes are easy to ignite, hence why boat electrical componens like alternators are shielded & different to car ones. That's also what bilge blowers are for to rid the hull of fumes.
:text-+1: on the above.
Some caravans can suffer too with stray or leaked propane or butane gas collecting in low lying storage compartments or under-floor cubby-holes.
 
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks