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  #1  
Old 08-18-2021, 10:43 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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What do you use for a coolant flush on a neglected cooling system (not FSJ)

My son bough an 86 Ranger recently and we are getting it back on the road. It looks like the engine is fairly fresh but someone probably put tap water and coolant in the cooling system so its got some rust throughout.

Reading around I see some folks use citric acid, some vinegar, some C.L.R., and some the coolant additives (like the coolant flush stuff from Prestone). His truck has an iron block and heads, aluminum water pump and timing cover, and plastic/aluminum radiator (which also looks relatively fresh but has rust coating the inside).

We are replacing the water pump and thermostat now so the cooling system is in pieces.

What would you use? I am thinking vinegar and water to clean out the rad, water and CLR through the heater core, and water and CLR through the engine. Then flush with Distilled 2 or 3 times before adding concentrate.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2021, 02:40 PM
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Tripwire Tripwire is offline
hey,does anyone here know how to.......
 
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I would use the store bought and run it for a week or two before draining it?if it is still nasty repeat? be sure to use distilled not de-ionised water alot of folks make that mistake and toast their radiator
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Old 08-19-2021, 07:34 AM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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Muriatic acid works best but you have to manage the ratio to water and time in the system. Plus, it has to be thoroughly flushed afterward. I would start with a 4:1 ratio and run it through the system for 15-20 minutes and then flush it out with the cap off [water hose in the radiator fill] and the drain open for another 10 minutes. Once your sure the acid is out, drain the water and add the coolant to the system. However, if you dont want to deal with Muriatic acid, vinegar will work [is safer] but takes a lot longer to break-up the rust. Dont leave the acid in the vehicle for a long time thinking it will work better. I had a buddy that did the Muriatic acid in his '68 Galaxy while drinking beers and messing up his judgement. He decided to leave it set for a while but then fell asleep. The next day he woke to find that the bottom of his new copper radiator was dissolved away--true story
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:47 AM
MysticRob MysticRob is online now
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I've heard great things about Thermocure and Star Brite products to flush rust, scale, etc, from cooling systems.

I'd do that then follow up at Jiffy Lube or similar place that puts the entire system under pressure with those awesome machines that pump the old stuff out and put new stuff in. Did that on my 84 Mustang GT 'vert and was surprised how much crap came out even though the fluid looked good through the overflow tank and with the radiator cap off.
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:09 PM
inkedmonkey inkedmonkey is offline
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I've had good luck with Vinegar. Haven't tried the others.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2021, 04:24 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Copy all, gentlemen! I appreciate the updates.

Looking over this cooling system, it has a greasey rust look. I have a feeling the cooling system was neglected, then the head gasket failed, then the engine was either rebuilt or replaced without scrubbing the cooling system.

I soaked the rad with hot vinegar and water for about an hour and got some stuff out. Then I drained it, rinsed it, and poured dish soap and hot water in it. Got more out. Then rinsed it well again. I got the majority of the heavy stuff out, I think.

Then I moved on to the overflow tank. It has a fairly heavy greasy/rusty interior coating inside. Hot water and vinegar got some out. I then put a bunch of oil eater in there, some water, and a fist full of 5/16" nuts and shook it all up. That scrubbed the inside out pretty well. Then I put 3 zip ties on a metal rod and chucked it into my drill. I used that to scrub the rest of the inside of the overflow tank. Now it is just sitting with boiling water with degreaser in it it.

I plan to use hot water, vinegar, and dish soap in the heater core too. Then flush it out with the hose and compressed air. Once it is all back together, I will fill the cooling system with distilled water and McParts rad flush. I will drive that for a while, and drain, and refill with distilled water. Then repeat. Then top off with green coolant.
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2021, 05:19 PM
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letank letank is offline
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I used the prestone for neglected cooling system and followed direction... I installed a flushing T by the heater hose to back flush the cooling system with a garden hose... and it took about 20 gallons to have a clear liquid out of the radiator, the iron blocks have a lot of rust.





I have been using distilled water for the last 10 years ... but in the early years I used dionized water from our lab still.


Interesting post from Tripwire about not using DI water...
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Last edited by letank : 08-20-2021 at 05:26 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2021, 06:18 PM
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Tripwire Tripwire is offline
hey,does anyone here know how to.......
 
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Distilled is just water thats been boiled and the steam collected and condensed back to pure water - sans minerals and other stuff and is great for your car

.....De Ionized water is water that's been processed to remove ION's and some other necessary elements. De-ionized water attracts replacement Ions from your engine block, radiator copper causing corrosion and causing joint failure or "eat through" of some non ferrous materials

My old company where i serviced particle accelerators had a 2 hour class on this to put religion in you on best maintenance practices

Dont use it ! there are lots of articles on the web explaining the difference

Steve
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88 Wrangler 4.2, Howell TBI and MSD - Borla Headers w/ Cat-back + winch and 31's AND a M416 trailer (-:
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Old 08-20-2021, 11:26 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Can you still by the two part flush? Was in a stacked can with oxalic acid in one and a neutralizer in the other. The acid component reduced the rust meaning converted it back to iron. This causes it to shrink and loosen up.

I read once that a molecule of rust is 10x the size of the iron molecule it started as so it shrinks a lot. I should look that up and verify now that info like that is so easy to find.

Oxalic acid is still available for bleaching wood, I think, even if not as a cooling system cleaner.

Hydrochloric acid, aka muriatic acid scares me as a flush agent.
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:51 AM
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chubbinius chubbinius is offline
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Sounds like you are already working on it, Rang, but when I have had to flush out radiators a jug of Blue Devil brand Radiator Flush dumped in and topped off (distilled water ), run for a day or three (then drained) cleaned them up pretty well. Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2021, 06:33 PM
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letank letank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripwire
My old company where i serviced particle accelerators had a 2 hour class on this to put religion in you on best maintenance practices

Dont use it ! there are lots of articles on the web explaining the difference

Steve




Can we get a second hand particle accelerator to boost the FSJ power.... thank you for your educational post
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74 wag, 349Kmiles on original ticker/trany, except for the rust. Will it make it to the next get together without a rebuilt? Status: needs a new body.
85 Gwag, 226 Kmiles. $250 FSJ test lab since 02, that refuses to give up but still leaks.

See Ouray 2013, Engine bits and Fuel and brake lines, and Body work
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:38 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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I worked for 20 years at Rocketdyne testing Delta and Atlas turbopumps. We used DI water rather than RP-1 on the fuel side. All the plumbing was stainless but it was stored in a carbon steel steel tank. Never rusted through.

The test article was mostly aluminum. Granted it only saw water for a few days but we had some development pumps that were wet for weeks.
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Old 08-22-2021, 05:46 AM
Runyouover86GW Runyouover86GW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letank
Can we get a second hand particle accelerator to boost the FSJ power.... thank you for your educational post




I work with a first hand particle accelerator or at least we have one on our campus and when there is down time and it's not running I will go down there and replace any parts needing it or run other tests. During the normal day when I am not down in the accelerator tunnel, I am doing RF testing or other instrumentation/electronics testing or I am helping build different components for other particle accelerators around the U.S. So, I am sure they wouldn't mind if I just borrowed the particle accelerator for a bit. Lol. I am no Nuclear Physicist, just an Engineer, but I have just the smallest of feelings something very bad would happen or I guess you could say good depending on your perspective. I do have a feeling there would be a fire and a lot of radiation though. But like I say, only one way to find out. But my wife keeps telling me to stop saying that and there are more than one way to find something out. I choose not to believe her.
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:32 AM
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letank letank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runyouover86GW
I work with a first hand particle accelerator or at least we have one on our campus and when there is down time and it's not running I will go down there and replace any parts needing it or run other tests.


Make sure that it is turned off:

Anatoli Bugorski has survived a strong proton beam passing through his head:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski
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74 wag, 349Kmiles on original ticker/trany, except for the rust. Will it make it to the next get together without a rebuilt? Status: needs a new body.
85 Gwag, 226 Kmiles. $250 FSJ test lab since 02, that refuses to give up but still leaks.

See Ouray 2013, Engine bits and Fuel and brake lines, and Body work
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:49 AM
Runyouover86GW Runyouover86GW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letank
Make sure that it is turned off:

Anatoli Bugorski has survived a strong proton beam passing through his head:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski




I think I will still pass on trying that out. Different particle accelerators perform different functions, so I guess you would just need to narrow it down to the proper type of particle accelerator for your need.
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:09 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Taco Bell is the only particle accelerator I have any experience with. You probably don't want those "particles" passing through your head either... at least is smells that way.


So after 2 flushes with vinegar through the rad, 2 flushes with Blue Devil 3 in 1 cooling system flush, I have come to the conclusion that my "greasy rust" is either head gasket in a can or radiator stop leak. either way, it is never getting "clean" and it is what it is. We are running distilled water through it right now and will use the Blue Devil stuff one more time but the water keeps coming out clear so I think it is "done" and will be greasy rust looking for the life of the engine.
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:23 AM
oregonphil oregonphil is offline
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Yea, that should be good enough for a Ford.
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Old 08-23-2021, 08:56 PM
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That's not a "greasy rust" look...it's an internal patina!
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Old 08-31-2021, 03:57 PM
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I had a 91 Firebird that suffered from "block rot." Never heard of it before but it's basically a poorly cast engine block, and it rusted up quick internally (it was a V-6). Freeze plugs rusted prematurely and the coolant had to be flushed every 60 days. My mechanic says they usually get identified while under warranty and a new motor goes in. Ran great though. After a year I got tired of all the flushing and sold it (and disclosed the problem to the new owner) but today I would try running Ospho through the cooling system (phosphoric acid). I didn't know of Ospho back then, always wondered if it would have helped.
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Old 09-01-2021, 10:23 AM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonphil
Yea, that should be good enough for a Ford.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chubbinius
That's not a "greasy rust" look...it's an internal patina!
Hahahahahhaha! Good perspective!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff
I had a 91 Firebird that suffered from "block rot." Never heard of it before but it's basically a poorly cast engine block, and it rusted up quick internally (it was a V-6). Freeze plugs rusted prematurely and the coolant had to be flushed every 60 days. My mechanic says they usually get identified while under warranty and a new motor goes in. Ran great though. After a year I got tired of all the flushing and sold it (and disclosed the problem to the new owner) but today I would try running Ospho through the cooling system (phosphoric acid). I didn't know of Ospho back then, always wondered if it would have helped.
Every 60 days?! That sounds miserable!!! I don't even change my underwear that often!
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