Ethanol Proof Replacement For Solder ?

Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
Our wonderful British 5% ethanol fuel has dissolved the solder on my fuel tank pick-up connections.
Is there an ethanol resistant epoxy putty/sealant/glue that I can use to replace the solder ?
I would use JB Weld but, apparently, it isn't ethanol proof.


  • superwaspsuperwasp Posts: 397Member
    Strange. Are you certain the solder failure is due to ethanol? I can't think of how alcohol would damage an alloy solder like that. 
  • ToddhToddh Posts: 338Member
    Well I can tell you that stale ethanol gas can absolutely dissolve brass.  I bought Jack Miller’s ‘46 Convertible and the sender unit arm and float and pickup tube were completely dissolved up the the level of the old gas.  Fortunately here in Northern Virginia we have numerous filling stations that offer ethanol-free.  I use that in my antique cars as well as my lawn equipment. 
  • ToddhToddh Posts: 338Member
    Permatex #2 is what I use to seal the sender and pick-up tube gaskets
  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Posts: 2,689Senior Contributor
    I would think it may be more due to water that combines with the alcohol instead of alcohol itself  The water would definitely lead to corrosion of various metal parts.  At my company, we use high-purity alcohol and we do not have any "dissolving" of metal parts.  Alcohol is very hygroscopic and picks up water from the air readily.
  • ToddhToddh Posts: 338Member
    That makes sense, Dan. But ethanol in gas is only a 5% to 15% part of the concoction.  The whole mess turns extremely acidic with age
  • tigermothtigermoth Posts: 526Expert Adviser
    Ethanol fuel eating metals appears to be another internet rabbit hole. 
    Regards, Tom
  • Old Fogey UKOld Fogey UK Posts: 983Expert Adviser
    I think I'm going to have to redesign my fuel pick-up pipe to avoid solder, etc.
    It's an odd pick-up pipe as it passes through the top of the sender unit into the tank and It looks like it might be a lash-up job by the previous owner that I perpetuated when I had a new tank made.
    But from memory, there was no separate hole for the pick-up pipe in the old tank either so perhaps it was originally supposed to go through the top of the sender ?
  • tigermothtigermoth Posts: 526Expert Adviser
    My experience as a 50+ year mechanic and a thorough internet search I find there is no technical data support the theory a fuel / solder interface is an issue. 
     A poorly executed solder repair will give unsatisfactory performance whether it is mechanical joining, an electrical connection or a fluid seal application. 

    Make sure the base metal of both parts is clean, the soldering is done with proper solder at the appropriate temperature and you are good to goregards, Tom
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