Oh, the screwups


dan mulholland
 

I've been spending a lot of time working on boats during the fun.  Some of you know that I managed to test the floatation  in the San Francisco Pelican I took to the Toledo show last summer.  The motor didn't get dunked, and the tank floated.  I started the engine after the fun, all was good; went with the guys to Newport on Monday, engine ran fine.  I was surprised at how little fuel was used, since the primary  purpose of a  1971 Evinrude 4 hp engine is to transfer gas and oil to the water, and, while doing that, move a boat along a little bit.

To rid myself of old mixed fuel, I use it in the lowest social status  engines I have, the lawnmower first, and then the chipper second.  The outboard gas seemed dirtier than usual... and then the  lawnmower and chipper didn't like the fuel.  It turns out that they just will not run on salt water.  Because, of course, that was what was in the  bottom of the tank, and dirtiness was  rust.

This provided me with an opportunity to try electrolysis as a method of rust removal.  A piece of rebar, with some wood and PVC pipe to act as insulators, water with washing soda, and DC power from the battery  charger.  It worked, but it is hard to get the anode- the rebar- close to all of the areas of the tank bottom.  So, I followed the electrolysis with Oxalic acid treatment.  That looks like it worked pretty well.  Then  a baking soda solution  wash, to "kill" the acid.  The tank is sitting in  the sun,  with  the remaining water evaporating, I hope.  


Dan

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