NotTaR of small Gasoline Engines and Rotary Lawn Mowers : Metal gas tank repair                   
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Metal gas tank repair

Yes, you have to remove the gasoline first! And, make sure all traces of vapors are gone - if it smells like gas, it may very well explode!

(From: Greg Fretwell (JRFC31A@prodigy.com).)

The best way is to braze it, but before you get your torch out take a bottle of ammonia to the car wash and have them steam the tank out, pour in some ammonia and rinse. Repeat a few times. Ammonia will remove the residual gasoline and make it safe to weld on. This is the procedure required by the welding shop that fixed my tank. They needed to see the receipt from the car wash before I could even bring the tank on the property.

(From: Doug Younker (dougy@ruraltel.net).)

I have gotten lucky and have been able to solder repair leaks in small engine tanks using my 140 watt soldering gun after leaving the tank to preheat in the sun all afternoon while I was at work. You have to be patient to do so...