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Protecting a fuel tank's internal strainer screen

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Here is an issue I'm certain you and many of your customers have encountered; any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have several antiques with fuel tanks, the most problemmatic would be my '56 Lincoln Premier with its 22 gallon tank. The other two tanks are small (<6 gallon capacity each), and gravity drain via 1/8" bottom-mounted FPT ports. However, the Lincoln tank has a welded-in drain tube connected to an internal strainer. The strainer screen is positioned just above the floor of the tank, and is completely inaccessable by hand (through the fuel sender port hole). So, the salient issue is, how does one strip and coat the tank interior without also completely coating the strainer screen, rendering the tank essentially useless?

One option, but not a good option, is to precisely locate the 3-D location of the strainer, cut a circular hole in the tank bottom, cover the entire strainer, apply a tempory hole patch, clean and coat the tank interior, remove the patch and strainer cover, and finally, replace the cutout core and seal with epoxy.

Another option is to somehow access and coat the screen face (after the cleaning step is completed) with a release agent, then coat as usual. The issue with option #2 is, again, how to assure access, and a further issue is how not to get any release agent on the tank's interior.

I have to believe that you've encountered this problem before. Have you any suggestions, or proven resolutions?


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