Rust in Gas Tank

I just purchased an inexpensive 94 Yamaha XT 600 to hop on after work to go ride country roads/dirt roads around here. (My WR is set up more for dirt) Was running fine then started sputtering and quit on me like it had trash in the gas. Got it started and rode a little further and it kept quitting and now won't start. Opened the gas tank and found rust - comes off on my finger. Can someone suggest steps to repair and get started again? What are the easiest things to try first?


Mechanical Novice

I had an 89 XT600. I had to replace the tank with a Clark plastic tank. Problem is, the shrouds won't fit the Clark tank so it look kind of funny after that.

The rust is a problem with the XT. You'll have to clean your carb and probably change the plug. That should be it.


I've seen some stuff in the Dennis Kirk catalog that is for coating the inside of metal tanks. I think it's called "Kreem" or something like that.

If you put an in-line filter $1.00 between the tank and the carb, you won't have to tear it down and clean it again because of the rust.

Bonzai :)

My goal is to just spend minimal money on this bike and keep it running for a while.

Based on Yamakazi's comment, can I just flush the current gas tank with gas, put in a fuel filter and change it occasionally - basically living with the rust problem?


Had a leak on an old enduro tank and the guy that fixed it filled it with water to weld it, but left it in too long and it rusted.

Anyways, I just put a bunch of BB's in it and shook them around to knock all the loose rust off. Worked fine after that with an in-line filter.

this one kind of combines some of what was told to you. put about a quarters worth of gas in tank pour entire tube of bb's in there and play shake em up baby for quite a while wear out some of your buddies too. Dump the conction. In the alley. Get some Kreem the next day after letting thourghly dry Pour it in and do the shakem up babies once again let dry for several hours pour out any left over.Now let dry over night once more

fill it up and it should be fine. oldasdirt :)

[ July 03, 2002: Message edited by: oldasdirt ]

I have had this same problem before....Honestly, you can BB it, use a coating, flush the tank regularly, and your probably still gonna have the same problem. The BB trick will get most of the loose flakes off the walls, but not 100%, The coating will work if you can get 100% coverage, if not, it's just a matter of time.

Once a tank starts the rust process, it should be replaced. A Filter will only insure that the junk doesn't get sucked into the carb and screw up the works. The filter will clog after a while and need to be replaced.....But this will buy you enough time to find and replace the tank on your terms.

Additionally, if you keep the tank full, it will slow down the rust process.

Bonzai :)

Thanks guys for the helpful info.

Once I put the new filter on, if I can push off on a big hill and get the bike started, do you think I can blow the old rust out of the carb or do you think I'll have to definately rebuild?


Mike, Rebuilding a carb is not a hard process. Try it, and you'll see.

If you don't clean out the carb your probably going to lean out your bike, overheat it, and seize it.. that's my guess, because that rust will cause blockage of the fuel jets (pilot and/or main), thus leaning out the mixture.

Just spend the 20 minutes and clean the carb. (I'm talking the inside of the carb, not the outside).


I used the Kreem method on the gas tank of an '87 Ninja with excellent results. It comes with 3 solutions; cleaner, etcher and sealer. The rust did not return and I never had any additional problems with rust plugging the carburetor. Just follow the simple instructions EXACTLY and it should work well for you. Most dealerships carry Kreem and I believe that the price is about $30. It will take most of a weekend for drying time. Be careful, the fumes are very strong and some of the solutions will eat paint.

Before you do seal the tank, carefully inspect the tank for rust damage. Especially around the lower seams and petcock opening. If the metal seems weak, thin or is already leaking, don't even bother trying to fix it.

Next, take the time to disassemble the carburetor and clean out the rust. This will ensure reliable operation and is an excellent and easy learning experience. A $15 Clymer repair manual purchased at your dealer is money well spent as opposed to winging it. Be sure to clean out the petcock and replace the fuel line as well. Finally, you should probably put an inexpensive inline filter on any motorized vehicle. It is cheap insurance to avoid future problems. If you decide not to disassemble the carburetor, at least remove the float bowl and clean the gunk from the bottom. I know that it sucks spending money on something like this, but the resale alone is well worth it. Besides, how much are your time and patience worth to keep redoing a job that you didn't do right the first time? Fix it once and forget it.

[ July 04, 2002: Message edited by: EricZ ]

[ July 04, 2002: Message edited by: EricZ ]

Kreme all the way, unless as stated earlier: Leaks :) .

I purchased a used tank (sight unseen) for an 82 XT250 for $85.00. The side was slightly dented in. Even though a new OEM tank will cost big $$$, I thought $85.00 was TOO MUCH for the given condition!

Thanks for all the info - VERY HELPFUL!


I had an ooooolllllddddd CT-1 with this problem. I agree with all said but consider emptying the wood/sheetmetal screw tray into the tank in lieu of the bb treatment. I had good results with the sharp edges scraping more gunk out than bb's when I shook the tar out of the tank. Either way it worked until the bike got totaled a couple years later. LOL Mark

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