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Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

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Old 03-12-2006, 06:27 AM
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old bird
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Default Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

What is the best spray can product for fuel proofing the inside of a fuselage? In my limited experience, most fuel tank stoppers over time will develope leaks. I have epoxied the front bay on several of our planes, but we are looking for an easier spray can solution.

Thanks from the old bird.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:42 AM
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Dsegal
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

For the engine side of a firewall I use thinned epoxy for maximum protection. But for the fuel tank compartment it is a lot less trouble to just brush on two coats of Balsarite which will seal the wood.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

I tried spray cans once upon a time.

It's like almost everything in our hobby. It's a technique that has to be learned.

Some cans produce a HUGE amount of fog. I was outside and still fogged my arm above the rubber glove (that went halfway up my forearm). The fog got on the outside of the plane. It went out the hole in the firewall and wafted out the wing saddle opening.

I was doing a 40-60 size fuselage and that meant that the spray nozzle was only inches from the target. I didn't care a bit about runs, but at that distance you're going to get LOTS of them. Turns out you're going to discover ANY opening in every joint that gets sprayed. The firewall leaked in a couple of places and the covering around the nose showed paint inside it along one seam. (Taught me a lesson about the "quality" of ARF construction) The runs inside the fuselage sometimes become dripping paint on the outside, or inside the outside monokote.

I figure if I ever do it again, I'm going to rig a remote button pusher and a way to hold the can on the end of a stick. Either that or use a paint color that matches the shirt I plan to wear for the next week or so. I'm also going to mask off the whole outside of the model.

I figure there is a way to do it. I'll use my airbrush, the very smallest one.

And there still will be a bit of a problem. Getting the "back inside" of the bulkheads is tough. Getting the spray can (or anything) pointing "back toward you" is tough because it's so cramped. So you got to rely on overspray and those runs. After throwing the can as far as I could, I started tilting the model around to get the runs to backfill the hidden sides of the bulkheads. Got no idea if they needed it or not, nor if tilting the flood did any good.

Like I said, it's a technique. I'd suggest that your question is an excellent one, because I'm sure that there are certain brands of cans that spray the kind of spray needed for the task. I just didn't find it. I got the shortest can I could buy, knowing the confines of the fuselage would make a long can worthless. And that short can PUMPED out the paint. And holding a can in your hand sort of uses up all the spare room you got.

So the important detail is: which brand? and that's actually which can?

But then, I bet the 20% models are no problem.
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Old 03-12-2006, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

What I do now is use a dauber and a can of Perfect paint.

The dauber is a wool blob on the end of a twisted wire handle. I've got some house wiring wire that's heavy enough and bendable and wire it to extend the dauber's handle and give better control.

I bend the handle so the dauber can easily be placed against the back of the bulkheads (where you can't see nothing) and do them first. It's fairly easy to feel where you're painting even if you can't see where you're painting.... chuckle When I've gotten all the hidden nooks and crannies, I straighten the handle out and do the rest.

It took about 15-20 minutes for my .46 sized Warhawk the other night. My very accurate scales say that I added almost zip for weight. Maybe a tenth of an ounce. No runs out any holes, but maybe the firewall and fuse seams were better for this model.

I throw away the dauber when I'm done. I got a bag of them from a leather place that's like Tandy Leather and they cost about a quarter each I think. The wool makes a very good brush head. It's easy to control the flow. They do leave some chaff at first, but who cares.

The Perfect paint seems to be pigmented lightly. I've got red and white and cure somewhat transparently when brushed on. I remember airbrushing something with one of them and got lots better pigment "coverage" after that cured. But what the heck. One coat seems quite adequate for fuelproofing to the degree needed.
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

As with anything in this hobby. The BEST is a point of view. I've had great success with Lusterkote, Since it's on the inside matching color wouldn't be that big a deal. I've had trouble matching colors before, with it but I didn't use the primer or the clear cote, once I did it was fine, except for the mis matched can of paint, I did get em to replace it but what a pain. With this stuff you have to follow the directions of using their primer, their paint and their clear kote to get it to match the monokote[:@] This is true of any specialized fuel proof paint so if you think this as a turn off then fine it sucks, built it works
coverite works good as well. Birate dope is great brush on solution. I still just use thinned epoxy for most situations
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

I use Tremclad or Rustoleum -- in non metallic colours -- both work just fine.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:50 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

Just remember, if you fuel proof your tank and rear portion of the fireall, your tank will NOT leak.....failure to fuel proof that area will result in a tank splitting or a fuel line coming off!!!!
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

Thanks for all of the ideas, I am going with a combination of epoxy on the engine side of the firewall, and spray the fuel tank bay with Rustoleum clear polyurethane. Tailskid, I hope you are right about this, I know the first part of your answer is true. If you DON'T fuel proof the tank area, it is SURE to leak. Already been there and done that.

Thanks again from old bird.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:58 PM
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Default RE: Fuel proofing inside of fuselage.

ORIGINAL: old bird
What is the best spray can product for fuel proofing the inside of a fuselage?
Lustrekote clear.
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