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Author Topic: Vinegar to flush cooling system ?  (Read 3892 times)
Hobie
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« on: August 10, 2007, 06:27:31 PM »

Anyone use vinegar to flush and clean their cooling system?   Plumbers use it to clean steam bath coils.  (brass and copper)
 
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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 06:54:26 PM »

  An OTR trucker told me the same thing. It seems that all the local truckers use it to flush their radiators.

  DD and Prestone probably don't want the word to get out since they are financially prejudiced.

Ed
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RTS/Daytona
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 07:01:54 PM »

I've used vinegar and water in an ultra-sonic cleaner for 5-15 minutes or overnight in a glass bowl - followed by a quick baking soda water rinse and running water to clean and restore my antique scuba equipement for years - it removes all the saltwater corrosion and scale and leaves the copper and chrome intact

Pete RTYS/Daytona

and even more powerful cleaner is Phosphoric Acid as found in  SKYCO brand OSPHO: "a balanced formula of Phosphoric, Dichromate, Wetting Agents and Extenders" according to thier web site
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 07:04:42 PM by RTS/Daytona » Logged

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justin25taylor
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2007, 09:39:25 PM »

My dad uses vinegar as well. He claims it works great.

 I was told by a very elderly black man that has owned the local radiator shop for years to use plain powdered Tide laundry soap and plain table salt.
For a normal (car) sized radiator he said to use a half cup of each and leave it in at least an hour. followed by normal rinsing.
It did wonders on my truck.
I bet the Ospho works best. I'll bet it also finds any soon to be leaks. Wink

Justin
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buswarrior
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2007, 11:54:06 PM »

For the purists, DD sells a two part flushing agent.

Put in the first to cleanse, put in the second to neutralize, rinse and re-fill.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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superpickle
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2007, 06:01:48 AM »

For the purists, DD sells a two part flushing agent.

Put in the first to cleanse, put in the second to neutralize, rinse and re-fill.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

Those Commercial Flushing agents are VERY Costic. Be carful how long you use it. I knew an Idiot that used one, he put in the Cleaner and Left it there. It Dessolved his Radiater in spots.. What a Maroon..  Roll Eyes
I rather like the Home brew stuff better, its Safer and more forgiving  Grin I'll go for the Vineger every time. I use it on my Swamp Coolers too.

Paul....
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2007, 06:30:14 PM »

Hehehe...vinegar was fine for years ...the old lady (ex) used it to keep a personal item or two clean...I didn't have any squawks about that!

Now they think they've discovered something new?

Am I gonna catch h*ll for this post!

Bob
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2007, 07:28:57 PM »

Vinegar is an acid and is very strong so you can't leave it in too long. Just how long is hard to judge, depends on a lot of things. I used it on an old JD tractor radiator and it found some holes that were plugged by lime buildup for an untold number of years. Also the loosened lime scale can plug radiator tubes.

It would take a "Maroon" to just leave it in a long time, it is very caustic. Put a piece of rusted steel in vinegar overnight and it will be clean the next day.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2007, 07:38:27 PM »

Ok y'all got me ready to try it, since I gotta drain the system soon to replace a "used" hose I had to put on in an emergency a couple weeks ago while I waited on the special order cone shaped molded hose from Setra! My question is what kinda % mixture should I use for flushing my system? Thanks 
Grin  BK   Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
belfert
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2007, 08:08:29 PM »

Vinegar can't be that much of an acid.  I looked at my gallon bottle and it says reduced to 5% acidity.

They wouldn't recommend using it for general cleaning if it would destroy things.  Yes, it will remove lime.  If a radiator had lime deposits plugging holes then the radiator needed repair anyhow.

I'm planning to pull my radiator and having it professionally cleaned.  One of my friends thinks he can get someone to pull and replace the radiator at no charge.  I will have to spend $30 or $40 to drive the bus there and back.
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Hobie
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2007, 08:39:38 PM »

I used about a cup per gallon.  Warmed engine up.  Allowed to cool about an hour then drained and flushed with water.  Filled with tap water, run engine again allow to cool and drain.  I too used the 5% vinegar, so it was a weak solution.  It cleaned the goo from the top of the vertical fins.  No leaks or problems so far.  I will rinse one more time before installing antifreeze.  I also liked to drain into the gutter.  Easy and I won't piss off my enviro neighbor!   

ahhh... old school rules!

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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 05:15:13 AM »

Belfert, why not bring your bus to BK's rally and get it done here?  Sure you would have to pay for the fuel to get here and registration fee BUT.....you get Bryces help in cleaning the radiator and his and Dallas advice on other things for your bus.  I know both of them would be glad to give lots of free advice.  Cat
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2007, 08:50:35 AM »

Belfert, why not bring your bus to BK's rally and get it done here?  Sure you would have to pay for the fuel to get here and registration fee BUT.....you get Bryces help in cleaning the radiator and his and Dallas advice on other things for your bus.  I know both of them would be glad to give lots of free advice.  Cat

I would love to go to the rally, but I don't really have either the vacation days or the funds really to make it.  The other issue would be finding a radiator shop to clean it and test it on a weekend.

$30 or $40 in fuel to have the radiator removed locally is a lot cheaper. 
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gus
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2007, 02:31:57 PM »

Yes, it is a weak dilution, you sure wouldn't want to mess with it at full strength.

The point is not to leave it in contact with any radiator or other light metal for very long.

I once left it on my bathtub drain too long and it removed the chrome. Our water has a lot of lime so we have to clean shower heads, sinks and bathtubs often.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2007, 09:03:37 PM »

Belfert, why not bring your bus to BK's rally and get it done here?  Sure you would have to pay for the fuel to get here and registration fee BUT.....you get Bryces help in cleaning the radiator and his and Dallas advice on other things for your bus.  I know both of them would be glad to give lots of free advice.  Cat

I would love to go to the rally, but I don't really have either the vacation days or the funds really to make it.  The other issue would be finding a radiator shop to clean it and test it on a weekend.

$30 or $40 in fuel to have the radiator removed locally is a lot cheaper.

I can make that happen!
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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JohnEd
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 10:33:41 AM »

Guys,

I, as many of you probably, have a long history of dealing with a marginal radiator.  The two part flushes are the most effective as they NEED a neutralizing flush.  In the past I have always just anticipated the water pump failure I would experience after flushing with anything and that includes the very effective "washing soda".  I mean every time I ruined the water pump!!!! I had an excellent mech tell me one day that he had the exact same history and his involved many more autos than I.  In later years I understood the problem and escaped the water pump failure associated with this process.  The problem was that when the instructions said "fill the radiator and "FLUSH" with clean water I took them at their word and did that once oe twice.  It is way more complicarted than that.  I did a friends bus a while back that was powered by a Cummins.  He had had a turbo failure and he injected a lot of exhaust gas into his cooling system.  The shop replaced the turbo and refilled his system with coolant.  6 months later he had his coolant analyzed and the results were that his coolant was an acid and had exhaust residue and they suggested a blown head gasket or cracked block.  Poopy city!  He was lamenting his bad fortune to me and he happened to mention that his turbo had failed and had blown all the water out.  Light bulbs went on for me and I had him drain the coolant and refill the system with a quart size box of powdered washing soda.  I knew that if his next test was done without a complete cleaning that new test would detect exhaust and be missleading.  I also wanted to verify that his new turbo install was done correctly and not leaking.  We ran the engine for a half hour with the soda and the heat turned to max till we got heat at the defrosters.  With coolant flowing throughout the system we shut her down and drained 1) the radiator 2) the right side block drain  3) the left side block drain 4) the heater lines running to the front of the coach and the mid ship heater.  We then refilled and ran it another 45 min to get it hot and drained again in the same manner.  We did that 3 times and when the fourth filling came out the water still had the "slipery" feel of having soda in it.  the fourth flush yielded water that didn't even tast of soda.  We draind and refilled the system with coolant and ran it 2oo miles and had the coolant analyzed and it came back with a perfect rating.....no gas.  Had we not done the extensive flushing I know he would have discovered the location of the water pump while under way in the middle of nowhere.

Good luck

John
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 10:39:14 AM »

So why would that have toasted the water pump, and why did you and the mechanic go through so many water pumps?  Is it because the acid eats the water pump bearings /seals?
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maria-n-skip
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 12:16:21 PM »

Please enlighten,

  How does a turbo inject exhaust gas into the cooling system?


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JohnEd
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 12:33:21 PM »

The flush or vinigar or washing soda are all acting like detergents.  All water pumps NEED a lubricant in the coolant.  Poor flush will lead to a pump seal failure and I don't mean maybe.

The turbo on that Cimmins had a bearing cooler that used the engine coolant.  Most use the engine oil to cool the turbo bearings.  Oil with water cooling is superior in potential performance.  You can't make this stuff up.

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
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maria-n-skip
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 12:40:11 PM »


 Thank you I hadn't known.


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