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Old 01-31-2010, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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?Radiator cleaning?

Has anyone used a diluted solution of CLR or any type of calcium, lime, rust remover to clean out their radiator? I'm pretty sure it would do a great job of cleaning but what else is there to consider.
Thanks for your help! Oh, I have an 88 3.0 5 speed

thefreq
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Octane doesn't make power, run cleaner, bake fresh chocolate chip cookies, or do any of the things that are commonly misunderstood.

Last edited by thefreqofnature; 01-31-2010 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thefreqofnature View Post
Has anyone used a diluted solution of CLR or any type of calcium, lime, rust remover to clean out their radiator? I'm pretty sure it would do a great job of cleaning but what else is there to consider.
Thanks for your help!

thefreq
I've always wondered that as well. Or diet coke should work since it's acidic and corrosive. I've used diet coke to clean parts before, as well as my Australian coin collection, lol.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Give it a try and see what happens, then let us know how it worked.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah what's the worse that could happen, ruin the clogged radiator?
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah what's the worse that could happen, ruin the clogged radiator?
True. I'd be more worried about the water passages in the block or the water pump getting damaged or stuck.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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oh well I'd take the radiator out, dont run that crap in the truck, lol
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myyota View Post
Give it a try and see what happens, then let us know how it worked.
Great, thats exactly the kind of reply I was looking for. LOL

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Originally Posted by DupermanDave View Post
True. I'd be more worried about the water passages in the block or the water pump getting damaged or stuck.
Yeah, that was my main concern...the water pump.
Here's my plan, drain the anti-freeze, refill with water and CLR, run it.
If I ran it for only a hundred miles or so, I cant see what it would hurt.
More feed back please!
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Originally Posted by quicksilvr View Post
Octane doesn't make power, run cleaner, bake fresh chocolate chip cookies, or do any of the things that are commonly misunderstood.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you don`t like the answers that people give you, then don`t ask questions. If you do try it, then remove the radiator and from the truck and then try the CLR, it seems like it should work if the radiator isn`t to far gone.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefreqofnature View Post
Yeah, that was my main concern...the water pump.
Here's my plan, drain the anti-freeze, refill with water and CLR, run it.
If I ran it for only a hundred miles or so, I cant see what it would hurt.
More feed back please!

http://www.hescoinc.com/Msds/comcl4.pdf

Thats the MSDS sheet for your CLR. Looks like it would be fine to use it to try and clean it, but drain your radiator, unblot it from the engine bay, use the CLR, rinse it well, then reinstall.

Looks like the liquid has a problem with heat. If you are watering it down it might not have the same problem but still....

DO NOT PRESSURIZE, CUT, WELD, BRAZE, SOLDER, DRILL, GRIND OR EXPOSE CONTAINERS TO
HEAT, FLAME, SPARKS, STATIC ELECTRICITY, OR OTHER SOURCES OF IGNITION. THEY MAY
EXPLODE AND CAUSE INJURY

Don't run CLR and Water in place of proper coolant and water.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I cleaned out a partly clogged radiator once with CLR. Took it out, drained it then filled it with CLR with the radiator laying flat on the ground. Sloshed it around from time to time, rinsed with a hose and it seemed to work out OK. Took a few days to do, or take it to a radiator shop and have them clean it, just did my VW radiator, pressure tested and cleaned for $50.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
I cleaned out a partly clogged radiator once with CLR. Took it out, drained it then filled it with CLR with the radiator laying flat on the ground. Sloshed it around from time to time, rinsed with a hose and it seemed to work out OK. Took a few days to do, or take it to a radiator shop and have them clean it, just did my VW radiator, pressure tested and cleaned for $50.

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Old 01-31-2010, 05:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You could also apply this to your heatercore to?
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You could also apply this to your heatercore to?
don't see why not


but you could probably work around it and leave it in the truck, just make sure you rinse it out well when done

I'd hate to remove it just to clean it, lol. The only time you want to dig in there and remove it is if you're REPLACING it...

But, just a forwarning... I backflushed mine which cleaned it out, and the heater worked great afterwards... UNTIL it sprung a leak a couple weeks later... it's not uncommon for the cores to start leaking after cleaning them...
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your help and feed back. I'll go ahead and give it a try!






Quote:
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If you don`t like the answers that people give you, then don`t ask questions.


What a troll
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WTB a trailer hitch or a rear bumper tire carrier with a hitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilvr View Post
Octane doesn't make power, run cleaner, bake fresh chocolate chip cookies, or do any of the things that are commonly misunderstood.

Last edited by thefreqofnature; 01-31-2010 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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why don't you just go down to napa and buy the napa brand radiator flush? it's in a bottle that looksa like a mini jug of coolant. it's only like $5. that way there's no guessing involved. and believe me that stuff works very well with unclogging radiators and heater cores.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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why don't you just go down to napa and buy the napa brand radiator flush? it's in a bottle that looksa like a mini jug of coolant. it's only like $5. that way there's no guessing involved. and believe me that stuff works very well with unclogging radiators and heater cores.
I've never had good results with that. So I'm looking for an alternative. Thanks
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Octane doesn't make power, run cleaner, bake fresh chocolate chip cookies, or do any of the things that are commonly misunderstood.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I havent tried clr.Heard it works ok.I have tried citric acid.If you have ever tried to clean a dex cool slime infested cooling system,this is about the only thing that works.I bought mine at an aquarium supply house.It has to be mixed,and it will kill a battery,but its cheap and strong.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I know this is an old post, but............napa has a flush that you have to order, it won't be on their shelves. It's called et106. or that's the part number, either way if you asked for that they can have it same day or next day. this stuff is amazing. once had a 74' dart with the dirtiest radiator I've ever had. after using that stuff, was clean as could be
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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NAPA ET106 is made by Etech. Be aware it contains a strong acid - sulfamic - that is related to sulfuric acid. Yes, it will remove scale, but you also run the risk of the acid eating through a thin spot in the radiator or heater core and causing a leak. Permatex makes a radiator flush that is based on citric acid, an organic acid that is still effective (many industries use citric acid for washing metals) but it is safer and less likely to eat through the soft copper and brass metals. More info in this post:
http://www.yotatech.com/f116/cooling.../#post51303314
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think CLR, rad out of the truck, soaking for a few days is the only way this could work.

I had the classic bottom-hose-stays-cool thing going on...ie slow flow and with the truck just starting to run hot when climbing really long hills. (It's amazing how crappy the rad can be yet still these things run decent...)

I ran 2 bottles of the napa stuff through it and absolutely nothing happened. Pulled the rad and let CLR just sit in it for like 3 days. This worked better (bottom hose was warmer than before) but I just ended up getting a new rad as summer was rolling around and I wanted to be safe.
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