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Old 05-24-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
roccaas
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Default Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Too much internet surfing...

Seems there you can run your engine up to operating temperature on vinegar, then flush the vinegar and that will pull all of the crud out of the tubes, etc.

Like cleaning your coffee pot.

Anyone try this? Is it for real?
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
Gary WA
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I've Heard it is for real never have tried it myself but is suppose to be good for cleaning!
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:38 AM   #3
Christoph
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

No - i didnt try vinegar, but i tried lots of other "cleaners" .
(Best result: Bar`s Cleaner - This drained a sauce near to ketchup)

Vinegar (as other cleaners) might help if your cooling system is somewhat dirty....

But IM SURE that vinegar wont help once you got a clogged radiator.

As all cleaners, vinegar will not have any reason to flow into
clogged parts of the core. It will flow the direction of the smallest
resistance.

After use of "cleaners", the visable part of the upper tank might look
shiny inside, but clogged parts will remain clogged.
Dont try drain-tests as they dont help.

Once handling a overheating issue:
Leave the vinegar in the kitchen an choose out of 3 options:
- go to a pro and get your radiator core rod out
- go to a pro and get a new radiator core
- contact a Vendor and get a new heavy-duty-radiator

Just my 2 €uro-Cents

Best regards
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Yes, I have flushed the radiator with vinegar. Yes, it did flush out a lot of rust colored gunk. If you do it, be very careful with what drains out as it will stain anything it gets on. I followed the vinegar by flushing with baking soda.

Yes, it did help some. After having done it, I would recommend you just remove the radiator and have it rodded.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I have cleaned my blocks out, several times with vinegar. Obviously, it will not fix a radiator that needs rodded out. Vineger is a mild acid, which will cut through a lot of crud. Leave it in for several weeks, running it too. Get it warm, several times. It is very popular with the V8rs.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I have used drain-o (Lye) (with the radiator off the car) for about 15-20 minutes then back flushed it out good.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Short of taking the radiator out of the car. If you don’t have a back flush tool you can make one out of an old gooseneck. Take the gooseneck, drill and tap for an air blower chuck hooked up to a air compressor, block off the head hole on the gooseneck with some sheet metal and tap in a water sill cock. Hook up to the bottom radiator tube with a piece of hose. You can turn on the water and squirt air into the radiator. It will blow out a lot of junk. Be gentle squirting air into the radiator, they are delicate.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Ron,
You wouldn't have a picture of your device would you?
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

If you just have oily stuff in the rad, use Simple Green to clean it out. I would probably use SG first, then vinegar if you want. Baking soda is a good idea to neutralize the vinegar.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlG View Post
Ron,
You wouldn't have a picture of your device would you?

Carl, I don't but I will try and post one soon.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonC View Post
Short of taking the radiator out of the car. If you don’t have a back flush tool you can make one out of an old gooseneck. Take the gooseneck, drill and tap for an air blower chuck hooked up to a air compressor, block off the head hole on the gooseneck with some sheet metal and tap in a water sill cock. Hook up to the bottom radiator tube with a piece of hose. You can turn on the water and squirt air into the radiator. It will blow out a lot of junk. Be gentle squirting air into the radiator, they are delicate.
Ron,

Is there any reason why both the water and air fittings couldn't be installed in the blockoff plate, so that one doesn't need to drill holes in a good outlet?

I like this idea. I'm going to try it on an old replacement radiator that I think is good but has a lot of rust stuck in it.

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Old 05-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I'm looking for some clarification! Doesn't the term "back flush" imply forcing water in at the bottom of the radiator and letting it flow out the top? Perhaps the suggestions above are more properly a "forced flush" with the water flow moving in the same direction as when the radiator is in normal use? I'm trying to determine whether the value of "back flush" is derived from the water flowing backwards through the radiator or if the value comes from adding air pressure and isn't dependent on the direction of flow. Thanks a lot!!
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I like the idea of flushing from the bottom up, so you can dislodge any larger pieces of rust or other junk that may be setting on the tops of the tubes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Joeway, they could be installed in a blockoff plate. I used a junk neck and all I had at the time was a thin piece of metal for the plate. Experiment with lye (drain-o) but don't leave it in to long maybe 15 min.

Pilotdave your correct, the backflush is in reverse. You would flush it from the bottom outlet back up into the radiator.

Be gentle with the air so u don't blow any tubes. Just tap the air at first to see how much water is moved out. Do it with a full flow of water going in from your garden hose.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I recently found my block was extemely rusty after relying on water wetter for corrosion protection. I looked for a way to find the old dupont 2 part block cleaner-now unavailable because of EPA.

I found oxalic acid sold as DAP wood bleach at any hardware store is the ingredient they used. Neutralize it with arm and hammer washing soda NOT BAKING SODA.

Mix 9 oz oxalic acid with a gallon of warm water,pour in and warm engine up to 160 or as hot as you can get it. let sit for one hour. flush and neutralize with 2 oz of sodium carbonate (washing Soda) mixed with water.

Oxalic acid only dissolves rust and is harmless to steel,paint,and anything else.

Here is a link to a long thread about this. If you read down you will find the GM service bulletin for corvette radiator service.http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...ner-flush.html

Wood bleach is cheap to buy. Try soaking a rusty part and see how it comes out. I did a rusty axle nut before i used it in my A.

Here is a good tech article on the HAMB with amazing pictures.
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...ht=wood+bleach

John
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I use Lemon juice straight from the bottle .Pump it through the radiator ,starting at the bottom .I use a small condensate pump ,the ones that are used on air conditioning systems .Pump it up to the top and attach a hose to the overflow on the radiator and pump the juice back to the pump,recirculating the juice .The radiator cap must be on the radiator ,locked down .You will not believe the junk that comes out of the radiator .I also use this type of setup to clean water cooled compressors .
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john in illinois View Post
...Oxalic acid only dissolves rust and is harmless to steel,paint,and anything else...
John
...except nickel plating...

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Old 05-26-2011, 08:20 AM   #18
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Default Re: Vinegar to detox and clean the radiator?

I have had this "ZOO" flush gun for many years, it has worked very well for me ---the inside of the end of the cone is threaded for a nipple to flush heater cores --

The idea is that you fill with water, then push out the water fast with air pressure ---you can't start with a full shot of air --that can overpressure and cause leak problems, as the clogs are flushed out you increase the first shot of air --heater cores need xtra care

The reverse flush method is very good for mouse nest removal.

To make a simple one all you need is a way to hook up a garden hose, and a blow gun to your radiator hose.
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