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do it yourself radiator unclogging


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Here is a wild one. Connect the bottom outlet of a rad to the exhaust pipe of a car and rev up the engine. Supposedly the hot exhaust blows all the sediment and scale out of the rad cap hole.Apparently they used to do this all the time in Australia.

A more gentle approach would be to fill the rad with a solution of CLR (Calcium lime and rust remover) from the hardware store. Mix the CLR with hot water and let it soak a while, then rinse with the garden hose. It might take a few applications to dissolve all the lime and rust gunk.

Or you could take it to a rad shop and have it hot tanked and tested.

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My Dad used to fill radiator up with CokaCola and let it sit over night , drain and flush, talk about clean. also I have never been able to drink Coke since. Also Taco bell taco sauce will shine copper in a matter of minutes. Like new. Put half of a badly tarnished penny in taco sauce and see what happens.

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I made a fitting, it is pipe that fits in to the bottom radiator hose i welded a fitting in the end to take the water hose from the garden tap , in the side i brazed in a tyre valve , just connect it up turn on the hose then occassionly give it a burst of air . no more than a few pounds of pressure or you will blow your core. it works well i have never had a blocked radiator that i couldn't fix myself since i made it . i got the idea out of an old Chrysler workshop manual

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I have done a similar thing as Elmo, just used a rag to stop the water back flow from the bottom pipe, and had an air gun also feeding into the radiator through the rag. Ran the water and pulsed the compressed air at the same time. It certainly shakes a lot of crud loose, but if your radiator is weak then this method could kill it if you are not careful.

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As a retired mechanic of 45 years I can only recommend you have a radiator shop remove the top & bottom tanks and rod out the core. There is no substitute for this method of cleaning.

Chemicals, water-under-pressure and air are only short-term remedies if they work at all. Yes, they get some of the crud out on occasion, but the water/air, etc. just take the path of least resistance while avoiding the real clogged passage ways.

Rodding out the core is the only sure way of removing a known radiator clog.

Go out of your way to find a reputable radiator shop to do it.

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Honeycomb radiators can be rodded out. They also have the vertical passageways running through the core. They just look different because you can't really see the vertical tubes in the core.

Honeycomb radiators are notorious leakers. The metal used in construction of them is really thin and are prone to leaks anyway. They aren't as efficient as modern radiators, either. There is not enough cooling surfaces in them.

Even after rodding out you may expose more leaks because the crud was keeping it from leaking! A recore may be your only alternative, but I would pay the extra to have a cool running car as opposed to the alternative!

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Model ts have for years used toilet bowl cleaner. It is acid so it will remove lime build up but as was said earier some of that lime is probably sealing small leaks. Even rodding the core will open up leaks as the brass is very brittle on those old radiators.

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