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Maybe I shouldn't rush out to the radiator shop just yet.....


ZondaC12
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Yes Im sorry, the barrage of questions isn't quite over yet haha grin.gif I was draining the system yesterday so I could put a correct antifreeze mixture in so the car could be outside for a couple hours in 26 degrees of average kinetic energy without nice big ol gash in the block (needed to work on the other car). So I have my bucket full of water and pump lube, I empty that, and notice a whole buncha black stuff in a conical shape up one side of the bucket! As in particles from tiny bits all the way to maybe 1/16" big or even a little bigger. Quite a few of em. Almost like there was a lot of sand in the bucket. Hard to describe it exactly, but not just like 4 or 5 particles. A LOT more. I've noticed this the last 3 or 4 times I've drained the system. It's gotten to be more and more each time, this time surprassing the last few by quite a lot.

Im thinking of trying Prestone Super Cleaner again, but following the INSTRUCTIONS this time and driving the thing with the stuff in, instead of just pumping it through with a stupid little utility pump for an hour. I feel like maybe the crud in there is finally loosening up (and more importantly there IS definitely some crud in there that shoudlnt be and probably is clogging the radiator). So should I do this? Im asking because I dont want to run the risk of loosening too much stuff and REALLY stopping something up. Would it loosen large chunks? Or would I just encounter some VERy dark water when I drain it out again?

I remember the back label, the list of ingredients, "oxalic acid" was listed. On their website they call this stuff "non-acidic" and that it contains a mild "chelating agent". Some e-research reveals that stuff is indeed a chelating agent, and is used for rust removal and stuff like that. It "grabs" other elements, that apparently is what "chelating" means. Like a crab grabbing something with its claws.

Anyone know about this, or about this kind of product in general? Its relatively new, I spotted it at Pep Boys this summer and havent seen it before. I figure its worth a try before jumping right in and having it either rodded out or re-cored, since its showing signs of the stuff loosening up. Am I interpreting this wrong? The water was NOT discolored at all, which surprised me. But the solid matter was there. What to make of this...

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When you had it drained did you look inside the filler neck on top, to see if the core was clogged? At this point if the radiator comes out easy enough I would recommend you do so, turn it upside down, and then run water through it while it's upside down to try and back flush the core yourself.

But it will still keep clogging till you come up with something to hold back the silt and debris that it too big to drop down the tubes of the core.

Someone suggested ladies panty hose as a filter, I would stretch this over the top radiator hose so that water returning to the radiator gets some filtering action. Just be ready to clean it out often till you catch most of that silt etc...

JD

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Good ideas there! The only thing I can't do is look inside. The filler neck is part of a 90 degree bend that is attached to the top of the radiator so I have no line of sight of any of the radiator's innards.

The filter idea Im real keen on, I was thinking I ought to have a filter, I know you bought a unit and I remember the pricing, I really cant be spending that kind of $$ on something like that now, so something more crude (though effective) is what I'm after, and that sounds like it would work.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ZondaC12</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Good ideas there! The only thing I can't do is look inside. The filler neck is part of a 90 degree bend that is attached to the top of the radiator so I have no line of sight of any of the radiator's innards.</div></div>

Most tool shops will have the small inspection mirrors...if you don't have one, you may want to spend a couple of bucks...shine a flashlight on it, which reflects the light and you should be able to get some general idea about condition.

They're sometimes sold as a set with a magnetic pick up tool...also can be handy to have around.

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Just thinking out loud but it sounds like at one time someone may have put stop leak in to stop a leak sometime ago and thats what you are getting out. That Bars stuff use to be pretty dark, worked good too. Bad part about it is often too much was used or not used properly and it would plug the heater core. I'd go the less expensive route of run and flush before you move on to chemicals. Just keep in mind you may have to deal with a leak sometime down the wire.

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Thriller---

The fill hole is actually on a horizontal neck that extends far enough back that I dont think anything other than one of those flexible tube-cameras could see in there!

Brh--never thought about that good point. Unfortunately I didnt hear this soon enough...I already "started with the chemicals". I filled it up with water and the cleaner and on Saturday took it for a 15 minute drive just to mix it all up and start the process. If I can get 3-6 hours worth of driving in before the salt hits the roads by me (my time may be up sooner than I was hoping) I'll do it and see what's there when I drain it. I think I'll remove the radiator again and do the fill it with water plug the bottom, unplug it see how high the water shoots deal regardless of how much driving time I do, and see what happens. Along those lines...can that be done more accurately? As in, can radiator shops perform a flow "bench test" or something with a meter and say for sure whether or not its stopped up? I just thought of that now, might be a good idea?

This week and next of classes, then semester's DONE! So then I'll be devoting much more time to this, I'll keep everyone up to date on my progress.

One thing I'd like to note is that after my drive, car warmed up (well not really, probably at about 140 degrees thats all shell do in 30 degree weather!), I felt the front of the radiator. The top seemed much warmer than the bottom. I couldnt find any concentrated "cold spots" that were isolated in some random area, but it seemed generally up top was hot and the lower maybe 1/3 of the surface was much cooler. This would make sense for how the thing works but could it mean down below the heat isnt being conducted? Just thinking aloud too grin.gif

PJT

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My best results were when I finally took the radiator to a shop and had it flushed and leak checked. The guy ended up repairing a couple of small leaks. No need to core it, just find an old fashioned guy who can do the flush and repair.

While the radiator is out, pull the water pump and thermostat housing. With a garden hose, flush the block out using the ports uncovered when the pump came off. Better yet if you pop out the freeze plugs - gives the junk a good place to flow out. Also, remove the brass drain fitting on the side of the block, just ahead of the starter. Even better is if you can solder or braize a brass fitting on to the end of a female garden hose fitting that will allow you to attach about three feet of 1/4 inch copper refrigeration tubing. This can be bent in any shape to get into all the nooks and crannies of the block. Plus, the velocity will be pretty substantial. Rebuild the pump, replace the thermostat and all the hoses and you are good to go.

Or, just flush the system as is, and see what happens! You may be OK, particularly if the car hadn't gotten too bad over its life.

Jeff

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I battled with an overheating problem a couple years ago got so bad I had the idiot light glowing with heater on full blast while I would put the car in neutral to rev the engine to pull more air through the radiator. This was after flushing, etc etc. Finally pulled the radiator, it was original. They determined it was 30% blocked. I don't know how, but to me it appeared to be operating normal. I know its not cheap but taking the chance of getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic while she overheats and starts the process of breaking down the oil and in my case vapor lock is not a happy place to be. At the very least pull the radiator and take it to a recommended shop.

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