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cooling system cleanup tip?

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  • cooling system cleanup tip?

    I was told yesterday that a good way to really clean out a cooling system is to drain the antifreeze, add clear water and a cup of dishwasher detergent, run the engine for 15 minutes at operating temperature and drain.

    Knowing the caustic nature of dishwasher detergent I can believe that it would clean things up nicely but wonder if it might not do as much harm as good. Does anybody have any experience using this tip?

    Gerry

  • #2
    A myth from the diswashing detergent comanies

    The best 'caustic' cleaner available is/was the Studebaker stuff in cans. Not sold in stores any more (because of the nasty chemicals), but still available from SASCO (IIRC). But.........
    That's like treating blocked arteries with aspirin.....[xx(]
    And... Think about the water pump bearing getting washed with a caustic flush[:0]
    To really clean out your sustem requires a good sloppy day of hard work. Remove the battery cables, the starter motor, and all the freeze plugs. Remove the two drain plugs also. Throw them out and get all new freeze plugs (I like the Dorman (and NAPA) bolt in copper freeze plugs)[]. Take a coat hanger and a hose and start digging around the casting inside the freeze plugs (snorkel gear really does help here). Poke areond especially dilligently at the lower rear of the block and rinse the crud out of there. Then reassemble everything.. And..... Take your radiator out and over to a good radiator shop and have them rod it out and check it. That only needs to be done every 25 years or so. New hoses and a new thermostat would be nice here...
    Then, for maintenance.....
    Never more than a 50-50 mix of anti freeze.
    Change it out according to the manufacturers reccomendations.
    (or test it with a Ph strip and an anti freeze spectrum analyzer (which no Stude guy would ever actually have [:0])
    Moral? None really, but there are no shortcuts that don't bring risk.
    Being frugal to the point of endangering your pride and joy makes little sense.
    Jeff[8D]



    quote:Originally posted by gecoe

    I was told yesterday that a good way to really clean out a cooling system is to drain the antifreeze, add clear water and a cup of dishwasher detergent, run the engine for 15 minutes at operating temperature and drain.

    Knowing the caustic nature of dishwasher detergent I can believe that it would clean things up nicely but wonder if it might not do as much harm as good. Does anybody have any experience using this tip?

    Gerry
    DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
    '37 Coupe Express
    '37 Coupe Express Trailer
    '61 Hawk

    http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Jeff,

      I know you're right but I'm always looking for the easy way and this was represented as gospel so I thought I'd check for experience.

      Gerry

      Comment


      • #4
        I once saw a man put two bottles of CoaCola into the radiator. He said it cleaned the system, hum,? I have never tried it but question the cleaners action on the water pump's bearings. Do the bearings get flushed or is the seal eaten? I have no idea. I just change antifreze yearly.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jeff,
          I tried those copper expandable and was less then impressed. I could get the center section with the large THIN hex to hold still while I tighted the center bolt. Did you have any problems with that.
          I went back with standard flat style and that was fun (NOT)
          But no leaks so I'm happy.
          Russ

          quote:Originally posted by DEEPNHOCK

          A myth from the diswashing detergent comanies

          The best 'caustic' cleaner available is/was the Studebaker stuff in cans. Not sold in stores any more (because of the nasty chemicals), but still available from SASCO (IIRC). But.........
          That's like treating blocked arteries with aspirin.....[xx(]
          And... Think about the water pump bearing getting washed with a caustic flush[:0]
          To really clean out your sustem requires a good sloppy day of hard work. Remove the battery cables, the starter motor, and all the freeze plugs. Remove the two drain plugs also. Throw them out and get all new freeze plugs (I like the Dorman (and NAPA) bolt in copper freeze plugs)[]. Take a coat hanger and a hose and start digging around the casting inside the freeze plugs (snorkel gear really does help here). Poke areond especially dilligently at the lower rear of the block and rinse the crud out of there. Then reassemble everything.. And..... Take your radiator out and over to a good radiator shop and have them rod it out and check it. That only needs to be done every 25 years or so. New hoses and a new thermostat would be nice here...
          Then, for maintenance.....
          Never more than a 50-50 mix of anti freeze.
          Change it out according to the manufacturers reccomendations.
          (or test it with a Ph strip and an anti freeze spectrum analyzer (which no Stude guy would ever actually have [:0])
          Moral? None really, but there are no shortcuts that don't bring risk.
          Being frugal to the point of endangering your pride and joy makes little sense.
          Jeff[8D]



          quote:Originally posted by gecoe

          I was told yesterday that a good way to really clean out a cooling system is to drain the antifreeze, add clear water and a cup of dishwasher detergent, run the engine for 15 minutes at operating temperature and drain.

          Knowing the caustic nature of dishwasher detergent I can believe that it would clean things up nicely but wonder if it might not do as much harm as good. Does anybody have any experience using this tip?

          Gerry
          DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
          '37 Coupe Express
          '37 Coupe Express Trailer
          '61 Hawk

          http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
          Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
          57 SH (project)
          60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

          Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
          53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
          57 SH (project)
          60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting you mention that...
            I had a bulk box of Dorman plugs that I have been using with great success for the last few years. The last engine I cleaned out I bought the NAPA version of the same plug (that came in a cute little plastic bag with a 'MADE IN CHINA" sticker on them. I had no problem with all but one of them, and it wanted to spin in the hole. I held the body with a pair of Channelocks and it snugged right up into place.
            Jeff[8D]


            [quote]Originally posted by rusty nut garage

            Jeff,
            I tried those copper expandable and was less then impressed. I could get the center section with the large THIN hex to hold still while I tighted the center bolt. Did you have any problems with that.
            I went back with standard flat style and that was fun (NOT)
            But no leaks so I'm happy.
            Russ



            DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
            '37 Coupe Express
            '37 Coupe Express Trailer
            '61 Hawk

            http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock
            HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

            Jeff


            Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



            Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

            Comment


            • #7
              I hope my water pump bearings don't depend on anit-freeze for lubrication. There's a seal - which looks more like ceramic than rubber.
              Now, do I think it'll work[?] Nah - not unless you've got lots of organic gunk in the cooling system.

              As Jeff says, the REAL flush stuff is still available from SASCO. I bought a case awhile back just because. To tell the truth tho, I've never used a can of it. The cans make nice garage decor tho![^]

              Miscreant at large.

              1957 Transtar 1/2ton
              1960 Larkvertible V8
              1958 Provincial wagon
              1953 Commander coupe
              1957 President 2-dr
              1955 President State
              1951 Champion Biz cpe
              1963 Daytona project FS
              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have heard tell of people using CLR (the stuff that removes rust stains from your bathtub) as a flush, but only in engines with no aluminum whatsoever. I don't know that I have the intestinal fortitude to try it myself, but on the flip side, I suspect that the Stude cleaner is lye crystals so...

                nate

                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                62 Daytona hardtop
                http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the paddles in the water pump are aluminum.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The impeller's made of cast iron. At least, the originals were. Maybe some latter-day repops use aluminum, but I haven't heard of such.

                    Miscreant at large.

                    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
                    1960 Larkvertible V8
                    1958 Provincial wagon
                    1953 Commander coupe
                    1957 President 2-dr
                    1955 President State
                    1951 Champion Biz cpe
                    1963 Daytona project FS
                    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

                    Comment

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