How To Fix A Hole In A Plastic Gas Tank? Compared to metal gas tanks, plastic gas tanks weigh less than half the weight of metal tanks. Motorcycle racers and ATV enthusiasts are attracted to plastic gas tanks because of their durability and lightweight capabilities.
I strongly recommend you read my article (7 Best Epoxy For Plastic Gas Tank Repair) first, get all the tools prepared, and then try to follow the tutorials in this article.
A Complete Tutorial on How To Fix A Hole In A Plastic Gas Tank
Materials Required To Repair Hole / Crack / Leak In A Plastic Gas Tank
Plastic gas tanks with some fuel inside may not be as effective to repair using a 2 Part liquid epoxy technique. The epoxy won’t dissolve, but it will still leak through before it has a chance to cure, which means it will still be leaky when the epoxy is done.
A wet repair of a plastic gas tank can, however, be accomplished with an epoxy putty compound stick. This is the best material to use in this case. With both components already measured and ready to use, this epoxy putty stick differs from most two-part epoxy putty sticks.
Using the two components, you need to cut off the required length and blend them together. Once you apply it to the leak in the tank, it becomes hard within five minutes and cures completely in one hour. As epoxy putty has a clay-like consistency, it cannot be penetrated or passed through by gases or liquids.
In addition to its thermal stability, this epoxy putty can withstand pressures of up to 900 PSI and temperature fluctuations of up to 300°F, making it a perfect sealant for fuel tank leaks.
Prepare Surface Before Hole Repair
You must locate the leak on a plastic gas tank before starting any repair work. It can sometimes be difficult to find the leak, but drying the tank with a towel will help you locate it. It may be necessary to use brake cleaner to locate a leak if the tank is dirty or rusted.
If you find a leak, it’s important to mark it and clean the area surrounding it thoroughly. It is important to clean the surface 3 to 4 inches around the leak in order to ensure that the repair adheres well. If necessary, use sandpaper to clean the entire area. Medium rough sandpaper is ideal for this task.
A rough surface provides better adhesion for the plastic stick to the PE tank, and secondly, sanding prevents cracks from forming and ensures a more durable and stronger repair.
After sanding and prepping the area, you’re ready to fill the leak with the epoxy putty compound stick and seal the leak permanently. Apply enough pressure to create a rough surface, but not too much to damage the plastic tank.
How To Apply Epoxy To Repair Crack / Hole / Leak In A Plastics Gas Tank?
First, drain the gasoline from the tank and let it dry before doing any repairs. Once the tank is dry, sand the area around the hole or crack and clean it with rubbing alcohol-soaked shop cloths.
In Step 2, combine the two parts of the epoxy in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread epoxy all around the perimeter of the hole or crack. Apply a fiberglass patch over the epoxy.
During Step 3, apply more epoxy to the patch and surrounding area, pressing firmly to ensure that the patch is fully saturated.
In step 4, allow the patched area to dry fully and then sand it flat. If desired, spray the patched area with plastic paint to match the tank’s color.
FAQ of Fixing A Hole In A Plastic Gas Tank
Q: Will JB Weld Fix A Hole In A Gas Tank?
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A: There are several popular brands that make epoxy-based solutions for repairing holes in gas tanks, but JB Weld also makes a gas tank and bumper repair kit that covers everything you need to fix gas tanks. It includes epoxy putty, fiberglass cloth for reinforcement, and sandpaper for finishing. The applicator makes it easy to apply epoxy putty to the affected area and ensures a smooth finish. Read my article on “JB Kwik Vs. JB Weld” for more info.
Q: Can You Duct Tape A Leaking Gas Tank?
A: A gas tank leak cannot be repaired with duct tape, despite its many uses. In contact with gasoline or other chemicals in fuel, duct tape adhesive can dissolve or degrade quickly, and it is not designed to withstand these substances. If you need to repair a gas tank leak using duct tape, it’s not recommended or safe. Instead, use approved methods and materials, such as epoxy putty or plastic welding kits.
Q: Does Flex Seal Work On Plastic Gas Tanks?
A: Although Flex Seal can be effective at sealing some types of leaks and cracks, it is not designed or tested to seal fuel systems or other flammable materials. Since Flex Seal is not designed to withstand gasoline or other chemicals found in fuel, it poses a significant safety risk when used on plastic gas tanks. When the seal breaks down over time, the leak might recur, posing a fire or explosion hazard.