Jerry can restoration

Spence621

New member
I've recently bought (3) 5 gallon jerry cans from craigslist ($15 total!) and they look pretty disheveled. They are functionally sound, Just need some cleaning, painting and new gaskets. Can anyone give me any tips to clean and paint them? thanks
 

Bitosin

New member
Assuming they are the older metal type, the interior rust and crud can be cleaned out with Muratic Acid (available at swimming pool supply place). Be careful not to spill it on concrete as it will eat it up. Twin City Surplus has the spouts and gaskets. For the exterior, sand and repaint to your liking.
 

Spence621

New member
What kind of paint would you recommend? And is there anything less dangerous than that acid you mentioned? haha
 

CashMoney

I piss excellence.
What kind of paint would you recommend? And is there anything less dangerous than that acid you mentioned? haha

I'd go ask a paint supply store what would hold up to gasoline the best if it were me. My guess would be some kinda acrilyc laquer paint. a lot of enaml ones will bubble up from gas.
 

Spence621

New member
okay. Do you think a spray can primer and then a few coats of another spray paint (that works for gas contact) would do it? Or should i put a clear coat over that too.
 

Bitosin

New member
Muratic Acid is fairly safe, it just doesn't like concrete and vice-versa. It is comonly used in swimming pools to adjust the Ph.
 

RARECJ8

Well-known member
i hasve a number of jerrry cans and to keep the insides clean and happy i annually take the empty can and pour in about 1/2 qt of motor oil. Shaken shake and turn then let it sit flat, then on side,m ratating, etc. and over a few days give the insides a good coating and soaking. then fully drain the oil into the next can and repeat. Seems to work very well.
 

Dr Smash

Well-known member
Reno4x4 Vendor
Do NOT get muratic acid near or on anything zinc plated!!! it will create a gas that will suffocate and possibly kill you. As for cleaning you could go and get some ceramic tumbling media for deburring metal parts in a Tumbler. Harbor freight http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-2-half-inch-x-7-16-inch-large-ceramic-polishing-media-97029.html will possibly have this as will MSC or any industrial supply place. put the media in the can after cleanig it out with mineral spirits. add some water and shake them for a while. employ your freinds with beer and pizza to help.
 

Spence621

New member
I'm not sure if it's zinc plated or not, but I'm not about to find out haha. The motor oil and mineral spirits sound like a good idea. Ono of the cans the guy gave me had rocks and dirt in it, no joke. I asked him why and he couldn't tell me. I was like "whatever" *hand $5 over and leave*. Also, one of the cans had old gas in it, about half full. Any ideas of how to legally and safely get rid of it?
 

Dr Smash

Well-known member
Reno4x4 Vendor
you can make an appointment with the carson city landfill to render up to 5 gallons of old fuel.
 

Spence621

New member
So as far as storage, what would you recommend? I don't really want 120 more pounds on my roof rack, it would mess up Center of Gravity and look awkward. I would probably go with the rear bumper option. Would it be possible to make something to go into a hitch reciever?
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Premium Member
Store them OPEN!!!! That's how they rust. People seal them up and they condensate inside and sooner than later they rust.

I filled mine with some rocks and cleaned out the inside....then some gas, maybe half a gallon, and shook it around for a while.

You'll be amazed how much stuff comes out of them. I'm pretty sure someone makes a coating you can apply to the inside by pouring it in and swirling the can around.

As far as painting the outside.....I sanded mine with some 100 grit to rough it up, slapped some primer on and painted silver since I'd never seen a silver one...only red and green.
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Premium Member
I'm sure they're fine with fuel in them. It's when you have NOTHING in them when you want to store them open. People don't realize it's not a plastic gas tank and they condensate inside which leads to the rust. I'd use them like normal however find a good screen to put between the tank and whatever you're filling. Maybe buy a funnel with one so you clean out the tank and can use them at the same time.


Or fill it with rocks and bang it around and rinse it out a lot.

http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=58089&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

some more info for ya.
 

Spence621

New member
Oh so maybe that's why there were rocks in it when I picked it up. What do you guys think of the liner fluid that you can put it them?
 

Brizzman

Active member
Premium Member
I've used the sealer on motorcycle tanks before. It's definetely better than just leaving it with nothing. The motorcycle tanks always rusted again without it.
 
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