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Monday, May 17, 2010

Final Tank Testing








If you haven't visited in a while, you may want to go back a few posts... I've added some new ones in the past couple of days. With our new studs in place we were able to install all (fourteen) fuel tank inspection hatches with gaskets, cap off all the fuel plumbing vents, fills, etc. and put some pressure in the tanks to make a final check for leaks. Before bolting down the covers, we thoroughly vacuumed and wiped clean every inch of the tank interiors. I've heard of hardware, wrenches, welding rods, and worse being left in tanks when they are sealed up after construction so we made sure there was nothing in our tanks but air. Then we prepped and painted the seating surfaces of the hatch and tank top with 235 marine epoxy and cleaned and treated all the threads with never-seize, on the off chance that we ever have to deal with opening the tanks up again. The covers were bolted down with 1/4" nitrile (fuel-proof) gaskets. Whoever invented the impact ratchet gun deserves a round of applause... with this we were able to torque all 500 hatch bolts in less than hour. With 2-2.5 PSI in the tanks, we sprayed every weld on the tanks and all the welded fuel plumbing with soapy water and looked carefully for any bubbles that would indicate a pinhole or weld defect. We found a few spots which will need to be fixed, but they are all easily accessible, and we'll be getting to those this week and then re-testing. After that it will be on to paint prep...

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