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Evaporust as coolant or hot flush?


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So, slowly working on making my 1937 Packard 120 100% reliable.


I recently did an in-frame overhaul. Prior to tearing the engine down, I had flushed the entire cooling system with oxalic acid. While I had the engine apart, I took the radiator to a shop that verified flow (fairly new core) and did a pressure test. Came back all clear. I verified the water distribution tube was clean. I flushed the block as well as I could with a pressure washer, series of picks, etc. etc.

 

Because I wasn't totally satisfied with the condition of the block, I installed a gano filter in the upper radiator hose. For intial light off and tuning, I ran water mixed with a little cutting oil to prevent corrosion.

 

Pictured below is what my gano filter caught after three hundred miles of operation!

 

Here's my question: I was planning on just running evaporust until the end of June, when I have to park the car for 6 months due to work obligations. Based on the gunk in the filter, I'm thinking maybe I should do a hot flush for a week or two first, using the @Matt Harwood method. My thinking is that I could just flush the block with this method, and minimize the chances that I gunk up the radiator. When I drained the water from the car today, the stuff in the radiator looked pretty good, almost clear; the water from the block drain was very muddy.

 

Thoughts? I'm leaning towards the hot block flush, but I wanted to probe the minds of some experts here as well.

 

Second picture is just for fun.

 

 

Crud in gano filter.jpg

View over the hood last weekend.jpg

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Hi Ken,

First, keep on posting the fun pictures just for the fun of it ! Thanks ! 
 

And now, since you have asked for thoughts, I’ll give you a few of mine. FWIW, while we are waiting for the REAL experts here to give some worthwhile advice, I will just have to offer a little logic in the meantime.

 

A fundamental basis for your diagnosis and Rx is what your “gano filter caught after three hundred miles of operation!”. BUT, (and this is a pretty BIG but), the deposition rate over all those miles is totally unknown. Most likely , from what I can see, 90 some percent of that crud could have been leftover “crumbs” or other low hanging fruit. Maybe caught in the first 5 or 10 miles. Drive it another few hundred miles, and check again. That will give you solid evidence upon which to base a meaningful statistical extrapolation. The other reason for a repeat is to continue a “mud analysis”.  Very muddy water from the block drain does mean something, but again we can’t really determine WHAT from a short sentence at a long distance from from your efforts. 

 

While we wait for more valuable input, water-up and put some more wonderful fun miles on your delightful car. Filter crud and block drain mud at next drain could give us a meaningful basis to determine whether more aggressive and time consuming effort on your part is warranted. Also the preparation for lay-up can be more efficiently and effectively done. 
 

I hope my point of view helps. In any case , please keep us in the loop with pictures from the road !    -     Carl 

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35 minutes ago, ArticiferTom said:

You will first need to remove oils so it can work .


How? Another oxalic acid flush? Maybe just some simple green? Think a teaspoon or two of cutting oil will make that big of a difference?

 

@C Carl thanks for the sound logic! I know there is rust in the block - based on visual inspection of the block when I had the head and water pump off. I didn’t have/make time to do the evaporust flush at that time - and I succumbed to the desire to just get it running again! I was planning on just running evaporust in lieu of coolant for several months, but based on the amount of solids that my filter caught, I’m inclined to not plug up my radiator.

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Ken,

Give her TWO courses of dawn and hot water (by running her) to de-oil the insides.

Add 2 gallons of Evap-o-rust and drive her. I works better when it's warm.

You can store it with  Evapo in her if you want.

I did that to my '40 Buick and it sat in the barn all winter with the Evapo in it.

Got so clean that I ended up having to replace all the frost plugs in the spring.

But I could see inside, and it was squeaky clean, even in the back where the crud tends to accumulate.

But she runs cool now..........

 

Mike in Colorado

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PLEASE!!  Do not put Dawn, Palmolive, Simple Green or Purple Power in your cooling system! It will take FOREVER to get the foam and suds out of the system. You must use a non-sudsing detergent.  "Cascade" or similar dishwasher powder works very well. Remove the thermostat.  Mix a cup of powder in a pail of hot water to dissolve and pour it in, top off and run 30 min or longer, driving or revved up. It will cut any oil in the system, even motor oil or trans fluid. Drain and flush at least twice until it runs clear.

       As a diesel mechanic for 40 years, it is what we used to clean system after oil cooler failures.

 

(PS: " FOREVER " was an exaggeration.) 😉

Edited by TexasJohn55 (see edit history)
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Thanks for that info! I was going to just use Dawn this morning!

 

I'll run it for 30 minutes with detergent. Repeat.

 

Then I'm going to flush it for a week on just the block with hot evaporust - my heater gets here today. Once that is done, I'll determine if I should continue the flush, shift to driving it again with evaporust, or just put in antifreeze and enjoy!


Thanks all for the thoughts.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, I turned the evaporust black, and got some gunk in the bucket. Flushed everything with water, then put in antifreeze and distilled water. 
 

She still runs hot. Got up to to 200, 205 sitting in traffic (ambient was 65).

 

Cleaned the gano filter, found a bunch of crud (a bunch!) including one piece about the size of a nickel. 
 

Verified thermostat function, but pulled it for a run today, just cause. Put about 100 miles in, ran warm - like up to 190 in 60 degree weather going 50 mph down a country highway. More crud in the filter.

 

Pulled a freeze plug, block looked pretty good, but a couple pea sized pieces of corrosion products came up. The plug is between 6&7.

 

I think I’ll pull the water pump, pressure wash through the freeze plug, reassemble (including thermostat), and try ‘Er again.

 

Just for SA- also verified timing, installed rebuilt distributor (unrelated but could play a role), and verified not too lean. If anything it’s a little rich still. As discussed above, just did an in-frame overhaul. New exhaust valves, lapped the valves, new rings, honed the cylinders, radiator gone through.

 

Pictures are post flush, a couple of crud shots, and the interior of the water jacket.

 

I’ll report back with findings soon. I’m so close I can feel it. Fuel system and electrical system are dead reliable, car runs great, except she’s a little warm.

 

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Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
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I would run straight evapo again.......and leave it in for a few months as long as there is no freeze danger. You may still need to pull your radiator and back flush it. Given enough time, evapo can work wonders.........just keep heat cycling it.

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@edinmass - appreciate the thoughts! You think a second back flush might be needed because of all the crap coming out of the engine?

 

@Mike "Hubbie" Stearns - didn’t mention it, but during the in-frame I disassembled the water pump, cleaned everything up, re-assembled and re-did the packing. Shaft and impeller both looked good, and I set the impeller clearance by the book.

 

@hwellens - interesting. I hadn’t heard of thermocure. I’ll look into it. Thanks! Have you tried it?

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Just a quick chime in from my experience with thermocure...I may have done it wrong or just every case is different, but for my block I guess the buildup was just too much and had little effect, although the front water passages that connect to the intake manifold and up to the thermostat weren't "too bad" the back off the block where the block off plates and the ignition wire brackets are were, how I should say... horrific. Best of luck to ya!

 

 

front water passes through manifoldPXL_20210329_164417345.jpg.c84fe281ee949d6cb3d52e00f0a605f7.jpg

 

Rear of engine @ block of plate

PXL_20210329_164455348.jpg.b64dc52be894672fbc42f7c4cb04f8fb.jpg

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50 minutes ago, Ken_P said:

@hwellens - interesting. I hadn’t heard of thermocure. I’ll look into it. Thanks! Have you tried it?

They said to put it in and drive the car for a few days. Water has to be hot to work. I am going on a 3 day car tour next month and will give it a try.

Edited by hwellens
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I'm a fan of just straight evapo.............if you have lots of scale that is from aluminum or organics, evaporated will not help. Evapo only works with RUST not corrosion or mineral deposits. You can run something like CLR if you think you have issues from mineral deposits.......but it may damage the radiator and other components. Evapo is HARMLESS on everything, and only binds to iron oxide. I left my evaporator in my 32 Pierce for 7 months...........and the system looked like it was a new casting made the day before. If evaporated turns black rather quickly, its contaminated from rust and need to be changed again. 

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Updates:

 

I pulled the water pump, pressure washed the engine through the freeze plug best I could. Got a little more sediment out, all still magnetic. Distribution tube looked clean.
 

Re-checked the water pump impeller clearance. It is supposed to have .021-.039 between the impeller and housing. I have about 0.060. Can’t get it any closer with the limited tools I have (arbor press, hammer, vice). My supposedly brand new spare pump had negative clearance, so I’ll send it out to a pro to rebuild, and swap it it in to eliminate that as a problem.

 

Re-installed the pump, thermostat, freeze plug and filled back up with water (and a little dishwasher detergent to flush out any residual oil and make life easier for the evaporust).

 

One odd thing- the book says my car should take 20 qts of coolant. I drained all the drains, everything was as dry as I could get it, yet the coolant system only took 13 qts. Not sure if the book is wrong, the rad/block has that much crap in it, or something else. Again, a radiator shop checked out my radiator six months and 400 miles ago, said it looked great. Newer core, flowed well, pressure tested sat.

 

Drove for about 30 minutes, including 10 minutes idling at a train crossing and a few miles on the freeway. Car ran consistently between 175 and 185. Seems hot to me for a 60 degree day with a 160 degree thermostat. We’ll see what 6 weeks of evaporust does, then I’ll have to drain and flush and fill with antifreeze while it sits for 5 months.

 

Any thoughts? Is my temp ok? Any idea why I need so much less coolant?

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FAA0B8AA-6A1B-4BFA-8A16-067EDF573FD5.jpeg

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1 hour ago, JACK M said:

175 to 185?

I would be OK with that if it stays consistent.

 

 

At 60 degrees outside, that sounds warm to me. Check actual temperature at the block, and top and bottom of the radiator. Flow could be an issue. On a hot summer day, your going to have issues. You may get lucky with the evapo after some weeks. Be sure to temperature cycle it as often as possible. Long drives are the best.

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Thanks for all the info guys! 
 

I’m going to put evaporust in tomorrow, and try to put 570 miles on it in the next month. That will give me a month to test things out after I’m positive the rings are fully seated.

 

I’ll update...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, I put the evaporust in, and the car pissed me off :) I put 82 miles on last Saturday, and the car ran about 175-185. Suddenly, while going 60 (had been for a few miles), about 3 miles from home she suddenly shot up to boiling over. I pulled over, waited for it to cool, and filled up with water. 
 

The first picture is the crap in the gano filter after that 82 miles. The second is old, watered down evaporust vs new. It was shot after 82 miles, apparently.

 

A few questions.


Should I just stop running the gano filter? Let the radiator filter stuff out until the gano runs clean, and then pull the rad again. Keep it mind, on my car it is nearly impossible to pull the rad without pulling the front clip.

 

Or, pull the gano, put a pantyhose foot in the radiator upper tank, hope for the best?

 

Or just plan on draining down and cleaning the gano filter every 40-50 miles until it cleans out?

 

Turns out boiling over with evaporust makes a hell of a mess... and I should’ve bought stock in evaporust!

 

 

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Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
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On 4/26/2021 at 5:52 PM, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Ken, for the fun of it, spray the front of the radiator with a garden hose just after shutting the engine down after a run or prolonged idle up to max temp run.   The goal is to see if it dries evenly. 

 

  Ben


Ben - I haven’t forgotten this idea. Trouble is, I was so mad when I got home last weekend, I just parked the car and shut the garage door! It’s on my list for the next drive.

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Ken, I’m going to send you my number by PM. Don’t get discouraged. It’s all part of the fun of old cars. Ed

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I would definitely keep the filter and clean it as often as necessary. The fact that the EvapoRust changed color so quickly and the filter clogged means you're making progress. So while it's frustrating, you're on the right track. Just keep it circulating and keep cleaning out the filter whenever you feel flow is being inhibited. The stockings in the upper hose do work well and don't clog like a Gano filter, so that might buy you some freedom--it won't clog during a run and you can wait until you get home to clean it out. That might be the best solution. 

 

You're making progress, but this middle area is always frustrating. It'll get better!

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Posted (edited)

Matt is correct................🥸

 

The car has two issues.........evapo will fix one..........the other, isn’t so easy.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I might have already said this,  but I'm with Ed and Matt.   I had to 3 full flushes with the evaporust before I stopped getting crap.   Running it 100 miles on each flush and maybe longer as it clears out makes sense.

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Thanks guys! Not too discouraged, just temporarily pissed!

 

I can’t complain too much, I’ve put 500 miles or so on since the in-frame overhaul, and I keep making it home. 😊 Hope that doesn’t curse me!

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3 minutes ago, Ken_P said:

Thanks guys! Not too discouraged, just temporarily pissed!

 

I can’t complain too much, I’ve put 500 miles or so on since the in-frame overhaul, and I keep making it home. 😊 Hope that doesn’t curse me!

 

If you keep making it home then you shouldn't get that mad.   But I know what it is like to have "temp gauge eyes".    I was testing my car on 90 degree days,  but still something was wrong.  The evporust did a good enough job so that as long as you were moving 30 mph or more you were fine.   But if the light changed red...

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Just now, alsancle said:

 

If you keep making it home then you shouldn't get that mad.   But I know what it is like to have "temp gauge eyes".    I was testing my car on 90 degree days,  but still something was wrong.  The evporust did a good enough job so that as long as you were moving 30 mph or more you were fine.   But if the light changed red...


So what was the actual problem?

 

(gets popcorn)

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Posted (edited)

First thing is to run the car for a week, and have the evapo stay yellow. Then you know it’s time to go on to problem number two........shall we take bets on what it is? And if I am correct? 🤔

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Just now, Ken_P said:


So what was the actual problem?

 

(gets popcorn)


 

If I tell you, I would have to kill you! 😛

 

Rather discuss it in private. First things first......the system MUST be clean.......two choices..........evapo till you cry in frustration, or pull the engine, disassemble, hot tank, and reassemble and install. Makes evapo a cake walk. Once the system is clean, and we get feedback, we will go on to issue number two. Walk before you run.......

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Posted (edited)

BIG SMILE!
 

Sometimes you need to keep quiet. 
 

 

Evapo got the car to go down the road without puking.........so, the miracle in a can got you to the finish line. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Holy crap - I was re-reading the service manual.

It specs a 147F thermostat when not using the heater, and a 162F thermostat for temporary use when using the heater.


I'm running a 160F thermostat. Is it possible that some of my slightly hot running (175-185 before the gano filter plugs) is caused by running a thermostat that is slightly too hot? Off topic from the thread title a little bit, but related. 

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
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The thermostat only controls the lowest temperature at which it will run, not the highest. So if it's running above 160 anyway, changing the thermostat won't do anything--it'll still find an equilibrium temperature where the radiator is rejecting as much heat as the engine as putting in. A cooler thermostat won't make it run any cooler if the radiator can't get rid of that extra heat.

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Posted (edited)

@Matt Harwood - fair enough, and if I thought about it objectively, I knew that. Sometimes it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees! I’ll keep running this thermostat for now, and think about swapping it out for a different one once the block is de-crudded. Sounds like all the vendor ones open at 160F anyways.

 

Reading between the lines on the packard service manual, sounds like those 147 and 162 values may be when it starts to open anyway. That is how they are referenced in another section.

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)
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On 5/10/2021 at 8:27 AM, Matt Harwood said:

The thermostat only controls the lowest temperature at which it will run, not the highest. So if it's running above 160 anyway, changing the thermostat won't do anything--it'll still find an equilibrium temperature where the radiator is rejecting as much heat as the engine as putting in. A cooler thermostat won't make it run any cooler if the radiator can't get rid of that extra heat.

Hummmmm. . . . . yeah. . . .but . . . . 

Recently there was a thread about the temperature change one might expect between the input and output sides of a radiator. The consensus was that maybe 20 degree difference was what could be expected. Maybe an excellent radiator could shed 30-40 degrees and maybe a shot radiator can only shed 10 degrees. (yes the cooling system is a system and there are other components involved, but I will focus on just the "radiator")

 

I accept that an excellent radiator would also have more capacity to shed heat on summer days and going up hill etc. where a bad radiator would be working at its limit.  

 

So, If we use one of those figures (20 degrees?) and a hot thermostat sets the go to radiator water at 160, then the return water is 140.

If a cold thermostat sets the go to radiator water at 140, then the return water should be 120 

 

If you have a bad radiator (sheds only 10 degrees) and a 160 thermostat, then the return will only be a warm 150. 

However if you use a 140 thermostat then shouldn't the return water be a cooler 130?

 

Bad radiator and cooling system. Car runs "hot".

Common sense says that a colder thermostat would result in a cooler operating engine even when the radiator is bad . . . . What am I missing? 

 

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