Cleaning a neglected system

Messages
427
Location
SC
Is cleaning a neglected system a [censored] when it comes to causing leaks? I just changed coolant on a very neglected 96 Ford f150. It was so bad i didnt flush the system, just drained and refilled to avoid leaks. , I'd like to get the system clean, how would you handle it? Frequent changes? Filling system with distilled water and driving, draining and refilling? Flushing? Or just frequent changes? Or infrequent to not disturb the crud possibly sealing the system?
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
Fill it with regular tap water, drive it a few days, then rinse and repeat until the water in there comes out clean. You're in coastal SC, so you won't have to worry about freezing for another 4-5 months yet.
 
Messages
10,744
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: sciphi
Fill it with regular tap water, drive it a few days, then rinse and repeat until the water in there comes out clean. You're in coastal SC, so you won't have to worry about freezing for another 4-5 months yet.
I wouldn't use regular tap water in any cooling system. Anti-freeze also prevents corrosion and also raises the boiling point of the system, water would be 212 and a 50/50 mix would be 223. Also when it's under pressure, it's another 45 degrees higher.
 

Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
Messages
427
Location
SC
Originally Posted By: Chris142
If its that bad beg,borrow or steal a bazooka flush gun. I pull the block drains and bazooka the cooling system till it comes out clean. Theres lots of rust stuck in the corners and lower edges of the block that cant be removed by just draining.Once your done with that you can run your distilled and coolant mix. http://www.ebay.com/itm/OTC-Blast-Vac-Mu...ols&vxp=mtr
That seems cool, but wouldnt you be concerned about leaks?
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Nothing wrong with straight water, the pressure in the system plus the waters boiling point is more than enough to cope with the heat. Plus the water holds more heat than Antifreeze so it should work better for short term while cleaning. I wouldn't be concerned with corrosion during a cleaning cycle.
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
Not necessarily. I've used flush products and a flushing tee on neglected cooling systems without problems. If you do flush, make sure that you have the heater on high if this instalation uses a heater control valve. Look at it this way. A flush doesn't create leaks. It only makes them readily apparent. Would you rather discover and fix the leaks now, or would you prefer that they reveal themselves when you're far from home? Go ahead and flush the cooling system. It'll probably be fine and if it isn't, you can fix anything that needs fixing in the comfort of your own driveway. Also, unless you know that the themostat had been changed recently, change it while you have the system drained. It's usually worth it to spend a little more for the OEM part. You might want to replace the pressure cap as well and have a good look at the various hoses.
 

Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
Messages
427
Location
SC
Changed radiator cap and t stat as part of large prev maint on the truck.
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Not necessarily. I've used flush products and a flushing tee on neglected cooling systems without problems. If you do flush, make sure that you have the heater on high if this instalation uses a heater control valve. Look at it this way. A flush doesn't create leaks. It only makes them readily apparent. Would you rather discover and fix the leaks now, or would you prefer that they reveal themselves when you're far from home? Go ahead and flush the cooling system. It'll probably be fine and if it isn't, you can fix anything that needs fixing in the comfort of your own driveway. Also, unless you know that the themostat had been changed recently, change it while you have the system drained. It's usually worth it to spend a little more for the OEM part. You might want to replace the pressure cap as well and have a good look at the various hoses.
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
You've got two options, then. Run a number of drain and fills with plain water until it comes out clean, or install a flushing tee, use a flush chemical and continue flowing water through the flushing tee until it comes out clean. Citric acid is a good and safe cooling system cleaner. Many dishwasher detergent booster are citric acid. You can check labels and then use whatever's left in the dishwasher.
 
Messages
3,352
Location
LONESTAR state
drain the radiator, fill it up, run the car for 10-15 mil, cool down, drain again and fill it up with tap water is fine ( garden hose ), run for day or 2, let it drain over night, next morning fill it up with coolant. or repeat drain and fill many time you like. you be fine running straight water for few day,
 

gathermewool

Site Donor
Messages
8,927
Location
New England
Getting creative may not be worth the risk or investment... IMO, you've done more to lengthen the life of this truck by just changing the fluid. So long as you drained and refilled with a compatible fluid and you weren't overheating to begin with, the corrosion inhibitors you just added will be all this engine needs for now. I tried being creative with an old Subie and ended up with a leaking coolant system when everything was fine before. I should have simply drained and refilled with Subie coolant (and Subie coolant conditioner) and called it good...
 
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Messages
25,814
Location
Upstate NY
I would do a couple of drain & fills with G-05. If the truck experiencing any problems like overheating? That is when I might consider a flush chemical.
 

Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
Messages
427
Location
SC
Originally Posted By: Donald
I would do a couple of drain & fills with G-05. If the truck experiencing any problems like overheating? That is when I might consider a flush chemical.
No overheating, but prior to the drain the indicated temp would raise slightly in traffic---but this was 100 degree. Heat gridlock traffic were talking about.
 
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Messages
1,697
Location
Auburn, GA
I've used industrial Cascade (with Phosphates) as a cleaner before, mixed with water. Works well. Forget the naysayers, if something is leaking - it needed to be repaired anyways, thats no reason not to do proper maintenance.
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
A little trisodium phosphate will do the trick. I never need more than a citric acid based cleaner. Last time I did a flush I used two of the Prestone super radiator flush bottles paired with extensive drain and fills of Distilled.
 

Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
Messages
427
Location
SC
Hey Donald, On the MMO forum, a minority will actually put a small amount of MMO in the radiator. While i use MMO in the engine, i would never use it in the radiator. In light of your MMO disdain i thought you may find this funny.(dumb to use oil in a radiator, obviously)
 
Messages
2,201
Location
socal
On my daughter's truck, I drained the sludged dexcool from the rad, fillled with distilled water and prestone rad flush. Drove it for a week. Drained and refill the rad again using only distilled water. Drove another week. Did this for another week. Then I removed the thermostat, and ran straight distilled water. Let cool, replaced the thermostat w oem, and used prestone am am 50% and distilled water 50%. Truckruns fine
 
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