Need help with 52 year old fuel tanks!

Posted: December 11, 2005 By: humberpigdoc

Home Forums Ask Eastwood Ask Eastwood Archives Need help with 52 year old fuel tanks!

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    I am restoring a 1953 Humber ‘Pig” Mk II “Squirt”. This vehicle began life as a Humber 1 ton truck (a division of Rootes) in 1953. In 1954 it was converted into an armoured personel carrier by GKN Sankey & the Royal Ordnance Factory-Leeds, and then went to Germany, where it served the British Army of the Occupation of the Rhine (BAOR) fron 1954 to 1969. This vehicle had a single layer of armour, weighed 10,000 lbs, has a rolls-Royce B60 series 6-cylinder engine, a 5 speed transmission, and 4 wheel drive. In 1969 it went into storage.

    Also in 1969, the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland flared up, and the British Army found that these overweight vehicles worked well in an urban setting. In 1972 this vehicle (and 461 otheres) were blessed with additional armour- taking it now up to 14,000 lbs. It was also one of 36 fitted specifically for riot control. (Of these, there are less than 20 that still exist.) It served in Northern Ireland from 1972 until sometime in the mid-1990s. When it got to the US is unknown, but I think it was in 2000.

    My problem is the fuel tanks. This vehicle has 2 tanks, both are 41″ long, 18″ high and 12″ wide. There are no holes, leaks or rust-thru. But there are 3 internal baffle plates, dividing each tank into 4 compartments.

    The previous owner left about 3 gallos of unleaded gas in each tank- for about 4 1/2 years, with no fuel stabilizer used. The tanks now have some corrosion as well as a nasty “paint thinner” inside.

    Getting them boiled out is a problem as no one here wants to do them. One party wanted to cut holes into the tanks, clean and coat them, and then weld the access holes closed. As I cannot get replacement tanks, nor can I afford to have tanks made, I’m not sure what to do.

    I’m seriously considering using a phosphoric acid fuel tank cleaner formulated for boats, in fact some of the ex-Brit Army mechanics I’m in contact with have suggested a similar approach.

    I posted one request for help back on Oct- but got no response. So I’m trying again. However- this is NOT a rust bucket 😡 – it’s been repainted on the outside, just had surface rust…and considering it’s age…I’ll put up against a 57 Chevy anyday! Besides, there were only 1700 Pigs built, 462 re-armoured, 36 fitted for riot duty, and of those, less than 20 still exist. This is one of those 20. Yeah, it may not go faster than 50 mph, but don’t be in front of me when I’m comin’ down hill…these were not known for being brake friendly! 😮


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