Restoration Wednesday, What’s in a Gas Tank?

posted in: Restoration Wednesday | 0

1119151317 1119151318 1119151318a 1119151318b


These aren’t the best pictures but guess what, I’m photographing gas tanks. Is there anything less sexy on a car besides a stock gas tank? Tires? Love me some red walls. Brakes? Please. Cad plated calipers and cross drilled rotors. Exhaust? Chrome pipes jetting out from under a bumper reminding you of the power they represent. Oh! I got it. The antenna. Nothing sexy about an antenna. Yet everything on a car including the antenna are sculpted for style. But the gas tank? It gets shoved where the sun don’t shine. It’s boring. Typically black unless you modify for an aluminum race tank all spiffed up with braided lines and red and blue hardware.

However as I wrote the above, I wanted to retract my own words. Old Porsches are different. You can see the tank when you open the bonnet of a 911, 912 or 914. 911 tanks are actually kinda sexy with the donut shaped space for the spare wheel. Should I be more concerned with the appearance of the tanks I just got “Renu’d”? They have goop tripped all over them. The holes they cut for sandblasting the inside are clearly visible after welding shut. They are coated and black as the original. But. Not original.

We all know there are different types of restorations. Concours condition, that is highly scrutinized to exacting standards, only original once and everything in between. The in between includes: repaints, rebuilds, reworked, reconditioned and hopefully most importantly running. Aside from buying a re-pop tank for big money, there does not seem to be a better treatment available to restore a tank. They offer a limited lifetime guarantee. The coatings were patented. Sure you could have a tank boiled and coated for about half of the $375 they charged me. But the Renu guys tell me a good part of their business is reconditioning tanks where the inside lining peeled away. Coatings that are poured in one hole don’t spread to all corners of baffles easily. Whose to say the inside was completely free of corrosion and moisture before hand? The reason for the drilled holes and sandblasting is to reach all corners and to visibly check before coating. If they see corrosion, they blast some more.

If it sounds like I’m getting paid by Renu, check out my new sponor. Kidding. But let me lay you down this perspective. Think of all the variations in a paint job: prep work, rust repair, filler, clear coats, type of paint, glass out, new rubber, color sanding. How about in an engine rebuild? Machine work, balancing, regrinds, replacement parts, break in. Now add in the reputation of not only the products and parts but the person doing the work. Lots of variables. A fuel system is susceptible to corrosion, additives, degrading rubber lines, different fuel types such as methanol, ethanol and whatever else we add in the future. Why not cross one variable off the list? This tank is designed survive it all. It should and hopefully will never be the source of a fuel problem. And that my friends, is actually pretty sexy.

Renu has been in business for almost 30 years, since 1988.

Leave a Reply