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Old 05-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
Raleigh , North Carolina
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Fiberglass Blackwater Tank

I am restoring our '57 Overlander. One of the few good things that survived the deconstruction was the fiberglass blackwater tank. The tank fittings on the inlet and outlet were cracked though. With what can I connect new ABS fittings to the fiberglass tank? Will the West System Epoxy I have (used on the marine plywood) work to seal that fitting to the tank?
Any advice greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:06 AM   #2
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1957 22' Caravanner
Port Hadlock , Washington
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Should work ok. I'd get some fiberglass cloth, something light like 6 oz. boat cloth, to strengthen your bonds. Sand the fittings to help them bond. I made my own black tank and used epoxy for the fittings, a couple pages back in my thread.

'57 was a very very good year.

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:11 AM   #3
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I had the same tank in my 1964 Avion. I used fiberglass cloth and resin to bond the sanded ABS fittings to my tank. I glassed a female threaded floor flange upside down on the top of the tank. I then used a threaded male floor flange for the toilet to sit on. This allowed me the adjustment I needed between the floor and tank and still be able to remove the tank without cutting the fittings. I used Vulcum on the threads to seal it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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I used West epoxy on the flange on the new fiberglass black tank I got from Inland. All the above tips are good. Give the surface "tooth" with course sand paper, clean it well with acetone or MEK, and use glass cloth to bond everything together. West System epoxy is one of the most useful things I had during my rehab. Mixed with filler to a peanut butter consistency makes a great filler to cover the heads of sunken elevator bolts before you put the new floor covering in.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
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Morro Bay , California
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Question on your Black Tank Repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by movinair View Post
I am restoring our '57 Overlander. One of the few good things that survived the deconstruction was the fiberglass blackwater tank. The tank fittings on the inlet and outlet were cracked though. With what can I connect new ABS fittings to the fiberglass tank? Will the West System Epoxy I have (used on the marine plywood) work to seal that fitting to the tank?
Any advice greatly appreciated!
I was really happy to come across this thread. While I own a 68 trailer it is not an airstream but I am in a similar situation with my fiberglass black tank. When I got it the 4 corners of the outlet where it would marry up with a Valterra blade valve were broken off. See the attached photo.

I need guidance on the best way to connect a new abs fitting to the outlet. The plan I have now is this:

1. Remove the remainder of the broken valve carefully. Hopefully exposing the roughly circular fiberglass outlet.

2. Clean off the outside and inside of the outlet. Rough up all abs surfaces for better bonding.

3. The ID of the outlet is 3". I am going to take a 3" OD piece of ABS tubing and insert the piece into the outlet. (If a 3" od tube exists) Bond the outside of the ABS tube to the inside of the fiberglass outlet. (What is the best way to do this?)

4. Take a marine grade 2 part epoxy and some fiberglass cloth (Which ones do you suggest) to add strength and ensure a watertight bond.

5. Take a 3" Valterra slip hub (Which has a 3" ID) and slip over the ABS tube and bond together (With what? The 2 part epoxy? Something else)

6. Finish with bolting the 3" Valterra Blade Valve to the slip hub. Get a watertight seal and trouble free black water experiences forever

Thank you in advance for any help and guidance on this and referrals to particular bonding products and approaches that you have used successfully.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:25 AM   #6
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Bond ABS parts together with ABS cement. Is the part with the broken off ears ABS? If so clean it up good and rough it up with sandpaper and use ABS cement that plumbers use to glue other ABS parts to it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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Is the part with the broken off ears ABS? .
As I got in their I realized that a previous owner had taken the valve fitting and glassed it directly to the opening of the tank. I was able to remove the valve fitting and expose the opening to the tank. A glassed on "lip" of what maybe abs but can't be sure is left


Here's my new plan. The ID of the lip fits a 4" abs coupling perfectly and the ID of the opening in the tank is 2.97" on my calipers.

My thought is to
  1. connect the coupling flush to the opening bond the coupling to what I hope is the abs of the tank (HOW CAN I CONFiRM THAT IT IS ABS) around the 3" opening and the lip with abs glue.
  2. Layer an epoxy laminating resin with fiberglass a few layers thick, then apply a coat of premium marine resin, and then Formula 27 all purpose filler from Marine (Evercoat) to build a strong bond and layer the fiberglass leaving about half of the coupling exposed.
  3. Then glue a 3" Valterra slip hub to the coupling which slips into the 4" coupling perfectly.
  4. Attach the 3" valterra blade valve to the hub
  5. Finally take a stainless turnbuckle, something like below, to attach to the coupling and the bottom of the trailer above for additional support.

Did some research on bonding abs to fiberglass and it is do-able. Most of the info comes from forums that talk about motorcycle or car body repair. They suggest, like you did, to rough up the abs so the fiberglass can bond to it. If anybody has more info on the resin's and fiberglass that would be great. Surfboard ding repair is the limit of my experience working with fiberglass and resin's.

Any thing I'm missing or steps to definitely watch out for would be appreciated. Really want to make sure I only have to do this once. Least favorite job on the trailer restore by far.
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