Rust in Fuel System

Hello Folks.
'79 Chev Van. 20 Series. 3/4 Ton. 350 V8 + 350 TH Tranny. Camper Van. Rochester 4 bbl carb ( fuel filter inside carb at fuel inlet ).
I've experienced symptoms of fuel starvation under load, several times, + replaced fuel filter( round cardboard thing, ~ o.5 in. dia. X ~ 1. in long ) located in carb. On inspection, old filter had rust dust inside. Latest filter only lasted ~ 500 Km. ( ~300 mi. ) before becoming plugged.
Van is camper + sits all winter; w/ full tank + fuel stabilizer.
?? Is removing + cleaning fuel tank inevitable to prevent rapid clogging of fuel filter ?
If so, any advice on procedure + cleaning material + difficulty of replacing fuel line ?
?? Will an inline additional fuel filter w/ replaceable cartridge just before carb be a satisfactory " work-around " of rust problem? ( I find re +re the existing filter to be no fun on side of road. )
?? Probably a stupid question, but here goes ( perhaps I'm in denial / looking for easy way out ) ... The previous time the filter got clogged I had no replacement on board so drove home ~ 500 mi. without filter, before replacing it, with no apparent deleterious effect. ?? Can I just remove filter + run without one ? ... or will carb die ? What else will suffer from contaminated fuel ?
Any advice gratefully rec'd. Please reply to NG. Thanks, -JS
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I had a brand new Chevy once that did this from day one. Filter clogged with rust. They replaced fuel filters every few weeks, etc. Finally the tank perforated and had to be replaced.
I think if you run without a filter, you will just transfer the problem into a more expensive area. You will end up with problems on the road somewhere.
If you add another filter, it will likely just plug.
You are going to have to address the problem which is likely in the fuel tank. A cleaning may work, but Im betting on a new tank.
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Question Authority wrote:

Obviously, rust is coming from the tank and lines. You may have future problems to deal with there. A big fat inline filter before the carb will hold much more than the tiny carb filter and is easier to change. So that is well worth doing. As an aside, if you were to take the air horn off that carb you would probably find a pile of rust inside the float bowl area. It's remarkable how much rust still get through and sometimes the needles get rusty themselves. Don't go spending money you don't need to, but put the extra filter on now and keep in mind the possibility of a leaky line and tank.
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...and he also will find a pile of rust in his fuel pump as well. I Assume it has it's owm little filter screen in there trapping some of the rust beforehand.
Any rust that gets through to the combustion chamber will eventually foul his plugs.
My old Triumpg TR6 had a very rusty tank until I changed it. Lucily, I found a nice clean replacement, otherwise it would have needed a cleaning and sealing. A service offered by many radiator repair shops.
Cheers, Howard
Cheers Al Bundy wrote:

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I sealed a few tanks with POR-15 Tank Sealer. That was like 2 years ago, and I have not had any problems. You can buy a kit here that will do an entire tank: http://www.por15store.com/page/por15/PROD/TankSealers/FTRK
And that is a cheaper option than trying to buy a whole new tank. Maybe that will work for you.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The rust is caused by water in tank. You need to get the water out and keep it out.
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wrote:

True, but once rust has formed, it will continue to be a problem whether you keep the water out, or not. Only solution is a new or good used tank, or using a tank sealer as previously mentioned. BTW, tank sealers are not all created equal. The one from POR15 is one of the good one's.
Dave
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Hairy wrote:

Not really, rust cannot continue without moisture to react with it. A few cans of dry gas should get it out and a can of it every tank or to should keep it out too.
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wrote:

you
of
Even if what you say is true, which it isn't, the rust that is already there will continue to flake off and plug filters. Or does your magical dry gas also make existing rust disappear?
Dave
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Hairy wrote:

It will only continue to flake of if it is active and making more rust which it cannot do without moisture being pressure.It cannot rust if there is only fuel in it. It is the water that causes it.
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wrote:

will
whether
or
there
gas
How do you propose to keep moisture out of the tank? Dry gas won't remove it, or prevent it. It only causes it to mix with the gas so that it can be burned. Moisture will still be present. Your turn. Dave
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Hm. I had a '68 Camaro once which suddenly started giving me fits with very fine talcum powder-like rust in the carb. No help for it until I finally gave up and pulled the tank, and rinsed it out with much gas. No trouble afterwards. I must have gotten a load of really crap gas, probably from some gas station which let its tank get too low.
In-line add-on fuel filter which was suggested above sounds by far the best way to go. If that doesn't help after awhile, then try the other solutions.
-= Larry A.
wrote:

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Just be sure to keep an extra filter in the glove box at all times and be prepared to change it along the side of the road. BTDT
Dave
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The gas tanks used to be made of terneplate. That is steel, coated with lead. (Yes, I know, some tanks are made of polymer now, others of different metals)
As long as the lead was intact, corrosion was low. If it penetrated, corrosion proceeded rapidly, since iron is a good bit higher on the electromotive series than lead.
It doesn't take much water. Traces will do it. If you are TOTALLY dry, corrosion cannot occur, as Snoman has said. But that condition seldom happens on a practical level. Even traces of water adsorbed into the tank rust will allow the corrosion reaction to continue.
We used to send out tanks to be steamed (converting some of the rust to black magnetic iron oxide) clean, and when they were clean and water free, sometimes they held up. And, sometimes they very much didn't.
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Hello Folks. I'm putting ~ 1 litre of isopropyl alcohol + stabiliser in full gas tank over winter; will install inline filter with replaceable cartridge before carb, next season. If that fails to rectify problem, will have to re + clean tank.
Thanks to all posters for advice. -JS

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Do not use Isopropyl unless it is pure. Over the counter, it has 30 to 50% water in it. Use dry gas or gas antifreeze or the like or pure menthanol.
Question Authority wrote:

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Hello SnoMan. I'm using isopropyl alcohol I got at Pharmacy - It's 99 % pure. USP grade. I believe that's the best I can get. What constitutes " dry gas " ?
( BTW Snowman is my dog's name - 115 lb. Malamute. ) Thanks for advice. -JS

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99% would be fine. I cant get higher than 90% here.
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