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cooling system flush
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Joined:
2011/11/28 20:57
From Palmer, AK
Posts: 381
I'm hoping to tackle a cooling flush before weather gets really cold. I have a flushing tool and found oxalic acid at the hardware store. Site research tells me to use about 2 cups oxalic and flush engine and radiator separately.
Question: How long should I leave the oxalic in the system before flushing and neutralizing?
Thanks.

Posted on: 2016/10/26 22:27
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15715
Here's one method: if you have antifreeze in the car, drain it and replace it with water and add the oxalic acid which you've premixed in some of the water, preferably warm. Go for a drive, perhaps 20 to 40 minutes. Allow the engine to cool down a bit and then drain the coolant and disconnect upper and lower radiator hoses. After the engine has cooled down completely you could use your flushing gun; I presume it's the kind with both water and compressed air feed. Do the radiator with reverse flow, then the block similarly and if you have a cylinder head thermostat, of course remove it. Assuming you'll be flushing with plenty of water it shouldn't be necessary to use a neutralizer (sodium bicarb or similar) to treat any residual oxalic acid though of course it wouldn't hurt to do so.

Posted on: 2016/10/27 8:17
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2006/5/15 20:07
From Irwin, Pa
Posts: 3484
Textbook advice Dave and thank you for reminding us. A good flush at least every three years can't hurt.

Posted on: 2016/10/27 10:09
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 15715
Just on the general topic of auto radiators, my local club went last night to visit one of the very last of the radiator repair shops in the area. Twenty-five or so years ago there were probably 20 such shops within a 20 mile radius, now just one as radiators have become replacement items, no longer practical to repair. This shop, in our county seat (Hackensack, NJ) does recores for hobbyists, and also does off-site work such as radiator repair for emergency diesel/generator sets at hospitals and the like.

One thing I found interesting that I honestly had never thought much about was why sometimes folks who get a 4-row or 3-row radiator and find it does not cool any better than the 3 or 2-row it replaced, is that there is a lot more to it than the number of rows. He showed us several examples, most tubes in fin-and-tube radiators are 1/2 length but the spacing can vary, cheaper cores have tubes on 1/2 or 9/16 centers but better quality (and more expensive) cores will have them on 3/8 centers - hence more tubes per row and more cooling capacity. So it's the number of tubes we should be concerned with, not simply the number of rows. Also he showed various fin counts on the tubes, from 8 or 9 fins per inch to 12 or more on higher cost cores - again more heat exchange capacity with the higher fin count. Another comment of some concern from him, the number of companies that actually make replacement brass cores has been and continues to decrease to now, just a few. The major reason car makers went to aluminum cores with plastic tanks was not because they performed better or were cheaper (which they probably were), but rather most significantly the reduction in weight was a significant part of their programs to meet the corporate average fuel economy requirements.

Posted on: 2016/10/27 10:21
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2013/6/15 10:57
From Hammonton, NJ USA
Posts: 153
Sad but true, around here there is only one radiator shop that actually does re-core jobs. There used to be four or five I remember that are gone now.
It has become a obsolete business, like a hat fitter.
Also I guess the environmental and health issues are tough to deal with, enter OSHA.

Posted on: 2016/10/27 14:00
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2010/8/18 5:19
From Viola, ID (but living in Norfolk, VA)
Posts: 714
Jumping on an old thread with a new question.

I don't have a flushing gun. No one in my local club has one.

Any thoughts on using a pressure washer to do the job? Will I damage the radiator? My 37 is a non-pressurized system, but I was thinking I could dial the pressure down (it goes as low as 1300 psi, and I think that's optimistic)

Posted on: 7/19 5:45:59
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1937 120 1092 - Original survivor for driving and continued preservation.

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=16514&forum=10


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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2012/11/30 6:55
From TX
Posts: 2551
Ken, not sure what kind of industrial compressor you have or if its fat finger syndrome on your keyboard, but dialed down to 1300 psi? Obviously 1300 psi blows your radiator to pieces. What I've done to make up for not having a water-air gun is stick a garden hose in the engine or radiator, put a regular airgun in there and cover it with your hand/fingers. It blows out a lot of stuff. I thought at 1 point to take a thick rubber plug (like a drain plug on a cattle tank) and put a half inch pipe in for water and a quarter inch pipe to hook up air, but holding it by hand was sufficient enough to not want to build that contraption.

Posted on: 7/19 6:05:33
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Re: cooling system flush
Home away from home
Joined:
2010/8/18 5:19
From Viola, ID (but living in Norfolk, VA)
Posts: 714
BDC, appreciate the response. I was talking about a pressure washer, not an air compressor Normal pressure washers run 2200-2500 psi. My pressure washer has an adjustable dial where you can dial down to 1300 psi at the pump discharge - the water coming out of the gun is not that pressurized.

Tracking on your suggestion though, and that would be easy enough, thanks!

Posted on: 7/19 7:28:17
_________________
1937 120 1092 - Original survivor for driving and continued preservation.

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=16514&forum=10


Past Packard storage locations:
Amelia Island, FL
Saratoga Springs, NY
Viola, ID
Groton, CT
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2012/11/30 6:55
From TX
Posts: 2551
I'm sorry Ken, I didn't see the "pressure washer" in there. (Trying to read too quick syndrome on my part).

Posted on: 7/19 7:42:38
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Re: cooling system flush
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Joined:
2016/3/13 15:24
From Coalmont, B.C., Canada
Posts: 632
Great post, Dave, with good info on rad make-up. I just re-cored my rad and, as is sometimes my misgiving, thought the 'more is better' theory should apply to the 2-row, 3-row core material. After a quick tutorial by the rad specialist, he soon convinced me that what you have stated re number of tubes and quality of construction has more to do with maximum cooling than just 'stacking up the rows'. Easy enough mistake to make though, I suppose. Same goes up here in Canada with rad shops... used to be many - now they're few and far between. Have to say though that with the re-cored rad and new, not rebuilt water pump and a freshly flushed block, the car sure 'holds her cool' now and I'm not sure enough can be said about getting rid of old radiator tubes. The mineral build-up in the already-small tubes can be a working engine's worst enemy. Just for curiosity and cross-border comparison's sake, my rad bill was $800 CDN or about $595 USD Chris.

Posted on: 7/19 15:23:35
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