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Cooling Service / Evaporust Question


Victor W
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Working on a 1940 series 40 sedan. First, though I need to thanks the forum as I've been mainly lurking and learned loads that helped me get this Special up and running. The information here has been invaluable. 

 

I made it through most of the major systems on the motor (oil, fuel and charging) and am down to the cooling system. The car runs nicely but seems to be running hot as the temp gets to 220 pretty quick if the gauge is remotely accurate.  By quick, I mean 3 miles at 45 mph and temp is kissing 220. Once warm the motor will push coolant out the filler neck in cycles. It's almost like there are parts of the block with minimal flow and the the coolant boil out of those spots forcing other coolant with it, then settles down until the cycle starts over. It builds pressure fast but it does act like a blown head gasket. 

 

So the problem is I think I may have made an error in bringing this car back to life. It was sitting with no coolant in it when I got it. It had been sitting for 10 year when I got it, and hasn't been on the road since 1959. When I first started it I neglected to put a filter on the upper hose. Checking when warmed up (or overheating) the radiator is half hot and half cooler. Feeling inside the filler neck I can feel what must be rust flake in the upper tank. My suspicion is I kicked those rust flakes into the radiator when I was running it without a filter plugged half of it. 

 

I have flushed the whole system about three times and drained a lop of crap, but obviously there is more. The block drain was partially obstructed. I have already replaced the water pump since the seal was leaking badly. 

 

So, my plan is to next run Evaporust in it to clean out the block, then knock out the frost plugs and scour out the block, and then get the radiator cleaned.  My question is simply is that a reasonable plan? Or do I try to clean the block through the frost plugs first, and then run the Evaporust? Either way I figure the radiator needs to be the last step once the block is clean. 

 

Thanks for any advice.

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Pull the radiator, and back flush it. If you have organics in the system, it needs to be dried out and cleaned out. Organic material is rat nest, mouse nest, ect. Usually when your getting hot that quick it’s multiple problems. As a 1940 your fortunate that it’s easier to service than most of the early cars you have been reading about. Do yourself a favor.....pull the radiator, clean it professionally, and FLOW check it........if it’s plugged, recore  it. You can’t drive a car with a bad cooling system, it’s not worth the effort to do a half assed job......do it right the first time. Best of luck, post some photos. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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My 1940 Special sat for decades and the bypass pipe was so full of rust there was no flow at all. I took a phillips head screwdriver and jabbed it through the rust, it was completely blocked.

 

Take the radiator out and turn it upside down, and flush it with a hose. That's the ONLY way to get the crap out of it. Then fill it with vinegar and soak 24 hours. Stuff costs 3 dollars a gallon at the Piggly Wiggly.

 

Evaporust does the same thing as vinegar but costs 4004 times more and is no better.

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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

Pull the radiator, and back flush it. If you have organics in the system, it needs to be dried out and cleaned out. Organic material is rat nest, mouse nest, ect. Usually when your getting hot that quick it’s multiple problems. As a 1940 your fortunate that it’s easier to service than most of the early cars you have been reading about. Do yourself a favor.....pull the radiator, clean it professionally, and FLOW check it........if it’s plugged, record it. You can’t drive a car with a bad cooling system, it’s not worth the effort to do a half assed job......do it right the first time. Best of luck, post some photos. 

 

What he said!  First thing to do with any old car.

 

  Ben

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9 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

My 1940 Special sat for decades and the bypass pipe was so full of rust there was no flow at all. I took a phillips head screwdriver and jabbed it through the rust, it was completely blocked.

 

Take the radiator out and turn it upside down, and flush it with a hose. That's the ONLY way to get the crap out of it. Then fill it with vinegar and soak 24 hours. Stuff costs 3 dollars a gallon at the Piggly Wiggly.

 

Evaporust does the same thing as vinegar but costs 4004 times more and is no better.


 

Vinegar will attack the copper, brass, paint, and not help with cleaning the radiator tubes. Fact is evapo rust is not a cure all for all problems or severe problems. We do it to EVERY car we buy, regardless of how long it’s been since the engine was built. You car pour in sulfuric or muriatic acid also. But then again you won’t have much of a car left. Evapo damages nothing, is bio degradable and goes down the drain. And it works better with heat. The problem with the internet is there are too many experts that don’t know what they are talking about. Most mean no harm, but doing something half assed because it cheaper and will damage you car is no way to attempt repairs. 

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Thanks for the replies. To be clear, I plan to remove the radiator and at minimum back flush, and more than likely have it rodded out. 

 

My big question was (and I wasn't as clear as I should have been)should I knock out the frost plugs and scrape the water jacket clean first, then let evaporust do its thing, or run the Evaporust first, then manually clean the water jacket? 

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Right now I have 3 cars running straight evapo rust as total coolant since the end of April and will run it in them till it turns black.  At that point I will flush the system and repeat.  Come October one more flush and then coolant.   I collect Mopar's and the flat heads really need this done for a few months before pulling the water distribution tube for the first time in generations that is always clogged at the rear and rust stuck in the block.  I have taken cars that could not go 3 miles without overheating and turned them into daily drivers , 40 miles each way to work and back, just with a radiator flush out and evapo rust. I am running an experiment right now (14 months in) of mixing the evapo 50/50 with antifreeze.  Still get correct temp protection and the thermo housing is shiny as can be. Rad looks great. Have not seen any drastic change in the coolants ability. Outside having to replace a few knock out plugs that only the rust was keeping from leaking, I have not seen any issues. Heater cores definitely work better.

Edited by Brooklyn Beer (see edit history)
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 I have a '41 Roadmaster coupe, and before I pulled the engine apart for a rebuild I flushed the daylights out of the system, but when the back frost plug came out the back part of the block was still filled with crap.

Part of the issue is the length of these engines, and they are inclined backwards, so all of this crap tends to settle to the back. Not that you should ignore the rad either! Without a sound rad, it won't ever run cool. The annoying thing is the rear most frost plug in the block is only at no. 7, so it took a bit of work to get it all cleaned out around the jacket at no. 8 cyl.

I also needed a recore, so I went for a modern high density type of core, as my car was going to be a driver. The look is slightly different, but is not easy to see and it works very well.

 So after a few years of driving and regular maint of it, the car was running hotter than before, even after a professional cleaning, so I filled it with Epvaorust, and drove it for a while, then a flushed and refill, then it finally ran as cool as it did before. I have also installed an electric rad fan, manually switched to increase air flow during slow or stopped driving. Last summer I did kind of a torture test of it and went through a longish drive through coffee shop one afternoon when the temp was about 95F, and it stayed under 200, and was stable at that for 15 mins or so I was in line.

 The thing to remember as well is anything you use to remove rust might also cause leaks, particularly in a frost plug or something.

 Keith

 

 

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On 6/26/2021 at 3:10 PM, edinmass said:


 

Vinegar will attack the copper, brass, paint, and not help with cleaning the radiator tubes. Fact is evapo rust is not a cure all for all problems or severe problems. We do it to EVERY car we buy, regardless of how long it’s been since the engine was built. You car pour in sulfuric or muriatic acid also. But then again you won’t have much of a car left. Evapo damages nothing, is bio degradable and goes down the drain. And it works better with heat. The problem with the internet is there are too many experts that don’t know what they are talking about. Most mean no harm, but doing something half assed because it cheaper and will damage you car is no way to attempt repairs. 

 

Vinegar does absolutely nothing to attack copper or brass. You can leave copper in vinegar for 10 years, the copper will remain unchanged. It doesn't attack copper it reduces the oxides on it, but that's only a minor improvement compared to what it's really meant to do....it's meant to dissolve the RUST inside the tubes, the iron rust, that comes from the water jacket, which flows into the radiator, clogging it. Comparing the weak acid vinegar to strong acids sufuric or muriatic, and saying "you won't have much car left",  as if that somehow applies to vinegar, is deceptive and false. Vinegar does not attack iron, the other two acids do, so why do you bring those two strong acids into the discussion? Your comment "Evaporust is biodegradable and goes down the drain" serves no purpose since those apply much moreso to vinegar, which is so harmless you can drink it. I would never put Evaporust on my salad. Vinegar removes paint? I think you are just making that up. Prove that vinegar removes paint. Your comment, "The problem with the internet is there are too many experts that don’t know what they are talking about" doesn't apply to me any more than your claims apply to vinegar. Evaporust is a very expensive way to do something no better than vinegar does. People have been using vinegar to remove rust for centuries, and make pickles.

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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With all due respect Mr Wright, You are correct in that vinegar will not attack copper.  It will, according to my sources degrade Brass, lead (used to solder radiators), aluminum, and if spilled on some paints degrade them also.  I would suppose if used carefully, be useful in some cases, but a safer alternative such as evaporust would certainly be superior for use.    

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On 6/27/2021 at 6:08 PM, DAVE A said:

With all due respect Mr Wright, You are correct in that vinegar will not attack copper.  It will, according to my sources degrade Brass, lead (used to solder radiators), aluminum, and if spilled on some paints degrade them also.  I would suppose if used carefully, be useful in some cases, but a safer alternative such as evaporust would certainly be superior for use.    

 

Brass and lead are far less electronegative than iron, so if vinegar doesn't attack iron it certainly won't attack lead or brass. Aluminum is MORE electronegative than iron, yet every time I order salad to go at the Italian restaurant and they put oil and vinegar dressing on it, they serve it in an aluminum to-go container. I've never seen it degrade the aluminum. Pickles are sold in glass jars with a metal top, never any oxidation there. Vinegar REMOVES oxides from ALL metals, so how can something oxidize metals and remove oxide from metals at the same time? You can't do both. I have no knowledge of vinegar removing paint. You need to disclose your "sources" so we can evaluate them, they may be wrong.

 

Vinegar removes more rust and does it faster than Evaporust. I've done experiments and compared them side by side. 

.

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)
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Thanks for the tips. From what I gather I'm fine to give the Evaporust a go before knocking out any frost plugs.  The radiator will get pulled and back flushed first as there's a lot of junk in the top tank. 

 

I'm thinking a new mechanical temp gauge would be a good addition temporarily to confirm coolant temp as well.

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8 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

Since you have never done it that way, you have no right to discuss the results, since you have never seen them.

 

Well, I'm not sure I don't have the "right" to say that cut-rate solutions often cause unintended consequences, but whatever. My point was only that there are proper ways of doing things and then there are the other ways that may or may not deliver the intended results. The differentiating factor between doing it properly and not doing it properly is often cost. When things are screwed up on an old car due to a previous mechanic's work, the only reasons are because the guy doing the work was either stupid or cheap. There's the right way and then there are the other ways, that's all I was implying.

 

Vinegar is acidic. Just because you can eat it doesn't mean it won't hurt other stuff. Avocados are perfectly safe for me to eat but they'll kill my dogs. Just because something is appropriate in one situation doesn't make it appropriate in all situations.

 

Look through the archives of this very site and you'll find all kinds of threads about "I did X and now Y is broken!" Vinegar may or may not work. It may or may not hurt the solder in your radiator. It may or may not eat aluminum and brass. But are the very same guys who argue over just how many micro-grams of zinc to add to their oil so their engines will last 1000 years really the same guys who are willing to find out what vinegar does to an ancient cooling system, all just to save a few bucks?

 

Or is it simply a better decision to do it the way that is proven, safe, reliable, and effective, even if it is more expensive?

 

You can make your own choices. You also have to live with them. Personally, I'm tired of doing jobs twice and having a car that's a constant problem child. All my stuff runs properly and I can get in any of my old cars and drive them to California and back tomorrow without any prep at all.

 

And that isn't because I took shortcuts.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Morgan is a nice guy. I have no doubt about it. He helps people with early Buick's often. Problem is, he is running Evans coolant in his Buick because he can't keep it from boiling over. So, while his car no longer pushes water and steams, it is going down the road hot........to the point of probably causing damage. It is NOT a correct fix. It is NOT the proper way to service a car. It does NOT respect the historical importance of the car. That said, it's his choice what he does to run his car. My experience is limited to countless miles driven in pre war cars..........countless (and fifty years). And at the risk of sounding full of myself........my stuff doesn't break down, over heat, or have band aid repairs done to it. Am I always right......nope. But I work on the best cars in the world.........for a reason. In my field you make results, not excuses. I don't like cars that are not 100 percent reliable and performing as new. That is how you fix a car. I sorted my 1917 White, and have driven it about 1400 miles since it was finished being serviced. I carry NO tools. No reason to carry them, it's 100 percent as new. Quick, easy, cheap repairs leave you pissed off on the side of the road, often cause damage to the vehicle, and just make no sense. A car with fixing is worth fixing correctly..........do you go to a discount surgeon? Do you try the cheapest operation first before you do what is actually necessary? Craftsmanship and pride in work is a very rare thing today........I try my best to fix EVERY CAR to the best of my ability EVERY TIME. Guess It must be a good approach.........as I get to work on the worlds best cars. It's also nice to have the confidence of your customers, peers, and employers. 

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23 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Well, I'm not sure I don't have the "right" to say that cut-rate solutions often cause unintended consequences, but whatever. My point was only that there are proper ways of doing things and then there are the other ways that may or may not deliver the intended results. The differentiating factor between doing it properly and not doing it properly is often cost. When things are screwed up on an old car due to a previous mechanic's work, the only reasons are because the guy doing the work was either stupid or cheap. There's the right way and then there are the other ways, that's all I was implying.

 

Vinegar is acidic. Just because you can eat it doesn't mean it won't hurt other stuff. Avocados are perfectly safe for me to eat but they'll kill my dogs. My point is that is appropriate in one situation doesn't make it appropriate in all situations.

 

Look through the archives of this very site and you'll find all kinds of threads about "I did X and now Y is broken!" Vinegar may or may not work. It may or may not hurt the solder in your radiator. It may or may not eat aluminum and brass. But are the very same guys who argue over just how many micro-grams of zinc to add to their oil so their engines will last 1000 years really the same guys who are willing to find out what vinegar does to an ancient cooling system, all just to save a few bucks?

 

Or is it simply a better decision to do it the way that is proven, safe, reliable, and effective, even if it is more expensive?

 

You can make your own choices. You also have to live with them. Personally, I'm tired of doing jobs twice and having a car that's a constant problem child. All my stuff runs properly and I can get in any of my old cars and drive them to California and back tomorrow without any prep at all.

 

And that isn't because I took shortcuts.

 

Ha ha ha Evaporust didn't even exist until a few years ago but lots of other rust removers did, but now all of a sudden it's the "correct" one. Ha ha ha ha. The same thing happened years ago when marketing geniuses discovered they could take phosphoric acid and make it into paste and die it pink and call it "Navel Jelly" and say it's the correct way, much better than vinegar, which all of a sudden became the wrong way. Ha ha ha. My father never used Navel jelly because he said vinegar worked better but I think it's because he was a Marine. Nobody uses Navel Jelly anymore, not even sailors, the fad is gone, just like it will be with "Evaporust"

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8 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Morgan is a nice guy. I have no doubt about it. He helps people with early Buick's often. Problem is, he is running Evans coolant in his Buick because he can't keep it from boiling over. So, while his car no longer pushes water and steams, it is going down the road hot........to the point of probably causing damage. It is NOT a correct fix. It is NOT the proper way to service a car. It does NOT respect the historical importance of the car. That said, it's his choice what he does to run his car. My experience is limited to countless miles driven in pre war cars..........countless (and fifty years). And at the risk of sounding full of myself........my stuff doesn't break down, over heat, or have band aid repairs done to it. Am I always right......nope. But I work on the best cars in the world.........for a reason. In my field you make results, not excuses. I don't like cars that are not 100 percent reliable and performing as new. That is how you fix a car. I sorted my 1917 White, and have driven it about 1400 miles since it was finished being serviced. I carry NO tools. No reason to carry them, it's 100 percent as new. Quick, easy, cheap repairs leave you pissed off on the side of the road, often cause damage to the vehicle, and just make no sense. A car with fixing is worth fixing correctly..........do you go to a discount surgeon? Do you try the cheapest operation first before you do what is actually necessary? Craftsmanship and pride in work is a very rare thing today........I try my best to fix EVERY CAR to the best of my ability EVERY TIME. Guess It must be a good approach.........as I get to work on the worlds best cars. It's also nice to have the confidence of your customers, peers, and employers. 

 

I use Evans because it costs a lot more. Sure water works, but it's the cheap way. Evans doesn't form steam pockets like water does, only liquid cools, steam doesn't cool. Evans stays liquid where it touches the steel, it doesn't form any steam pockets anywhere, if you use plain water there a places where pockets of steam form and there is no cooling there. Water is the cheap way.

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Evapo Rust has been available at retail since 1999. I started using it in 2000 by accident. Any new car in our collection is treated with it from day one. It isn't a miracle cure. It helps and often times will make a car that isn't drivable go down the road. I can say that if I am going to tear down an engine, I treat the car BEFORE I tear it down for a few months. Makes it much easier to clean the block and time is money. If you have organic contamination in your cooling system, nothing will help without disassembly. I'm guessing multiple treatments of evapo will sole overheating problems related to rust and scale 70 percent of the time. The correct way to clean a block is to hot tank it.  And recore the radiator. It's easy....you just need unlimited time and money. Let's face it, none of us here have that benefit. I consider evapo a good band aid...........since it actually does remove rust and scale and is a practical home solution for most people, I recommend they try it.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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26 minutes ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

Ha ha ha Evaporust didn't even exist until a few years ago but lots of other rust removers did, but now all of a sudden it's the "correct" one. Ha ha ha ha. The same thing happened years ago when marketing geniuses discovered they could take phosphoric acid and make it into paste and die it pink and call it "Navel Jelly" and say it's the correct way, much better than vinegar, which all of a sudden became the wrong way. Ha ha ha. My father never used Navel jelly because he said vinegar worked better but I think it's because he was a Marine. Nobody uses Navel Jelly anymore, not even sailors, the fad is gone, just like it will be with "Evaporust"

 

Yep, and whale oil for our gas lamps will be making a comeback any day now. These electric lights are just a fad... :rolleyes:

 

I don't care what other people do to their cars (until they become my cars, but that's a different topic). But when asked for advice, I will continue to offer my experience, as will you. Then others can decide how to proceed based on that. Regardless, I continue to believe that in the old car world, the cheapest answer is almost never the best one.

 

Don't you ever wonder where all these f*cked up old cars come from? They weren't built that way.

 

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On 6/26/2021 at 3:41 PM, Victor W said:

Thanks for the replies. To be clear, I plan to remove the radiator and at minimum back flush, and more than likely have it rodded out. 

 

My big question was (and I wasn't as clear as I should have been)should I knock out the frost plugs and scrape the water jacket clean first, then let evaporust do its thing, or run the Evaporust first, then manually clean the water jacket? 

That is a no brainer.  If my engine was representative, the rear plug was completely covered with rust and scale, the next forward plug was about 1/2 covered.  No amount of flushing and Evaporust will remove that much buildup. Removing the plugs and digging out the buildup is a good start to restore the system before treating with ANYTHING to remove the rust.   John

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Vinegar removes ALL the rust, right down to bare metal. It harms nothing.

 

Evaporust removes ALL the rust, right down to bare metal. It harms nothing.

 

But one is the correct way and one is the wrong way, because Ed says so. And he say it with a Massachusetts accent.

 

"The baa metal. Right down to the baa metal. It haams nothing"

 

LOL just kidding.

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Morgan.....what type of apples are they using for the vinegar? 🥸
 

I expect the bolt will take two or three days if you brush it several times a day. I have never used vinegar to remove rust on anything but have used it as a prep on galvanized before priming. I would be much more interested in citric acid as a rust remover.........I have never had enough time to try it. I’m guessing added heat with vinegar would also be a plus.

 

 

Morgan, I’m from the hills of Western Massachuetts.......a “hillbilly” where we talk and vote normal. 😏

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, TexasJohn55 said:

Label don't say but it shows they are RED apples.


 

Molasses would be an interesting one to use also for comparison.
 

Beet juice as was used by some of the guys on “smokestack”.

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41 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

Morgan, I’m from the hills of Western Massachuetts.......a “hillbilly” where we talk and vote normal. 😏

 

Yeah Western Mass doesn't have the Eastern New England accent, NW Mass in the Berkshires even sounds like a Vermont accent or should I say the Vermont accent comes from Western Mass? I had an optometry practice in Greenfield back in the 1980's they didn't have much accent at all just typical northern US accent.

 

Doesn't matter where the sugar comes from to make it, vinegar is vinegar. It's 5% acetic acid wherever the sugar comes from. Apples, grapes, beets it makes no difference. Yeast ferments the sugar into alcohol and acetyphylic bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid. Rust removers made from molasses or beets are just vinegar, only takes a few days for molasses to ripen.

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This is thrown out just as a possibility.  Bore scopes are pretty cheap these days, you might consider putting a bore scope in the water jacket if possible, either thru the thermostat opening in the head or if this engine still uses a water jacket cover you might get a peek inside thru one of the cover bolt holes without removing manifolds.  An engine with mud half way up the outside of the cylinders inside the water jacket won't cool well even with a brand new radiator.   Just a thought.   If it is full of md and has a water jacket cover take the manifolds or whatever is in the way off, get the cover off and clean the mud out around the cylinders and put it back together.  That coupled with a radiator flush will work miracles with the temp gauge...

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The above is correct.......there is NO free lunch. Do it right. It takes lots of time, and lots of money.

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Thanks guys. The bore scope is a great idea. I own one and never even thought to try it. 

 

Sounds like the wise and right move is to scrape out whatever I can first and then use the Evaporust. No disrespect to vinegar but I've used Evaporust before on other projects and am comfortable with how it works. 

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Posted (edited)

Morgan, maybe this will bring a smile to you face............no evapo rust needed!

 

With a little photo shop, it would make a Great Wall hanger for you home or office.

 

 

EA4A726B-1E4D-4B83-A097-DC845FD50C2D.png

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

So I knocked  the freeze plugs out tonight. Wow! You guys weren't kidding. She was full of rusty mud. I scrapped and flushed for an hour and got pounds of junk out of the water jacket.  It can't of flowed much at all. 

 

I'll flush and scrap  a bunch more, but that was obviously the heart of the issue.

 

20210630_200108.jpg

Edited by Victor W (see edit history)
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