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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Verified that I need to buy a new radiator for Serenity


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6 replies to this topic

#1 the_bard

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:37 AM

Thought y'all might get a big kick out of this... I got bored today, and although I'm still broke, I thought I'd pull the radiator out of Serenity ('97 OBW), and take a look at it. And a good look is what I got :-\

Posted Image

Now I'm not a genius, so I gotta figure it's fairly obvious that having this fall out of your radiator is not a good thing. Having an inch long mineral deposit with a rough diameter of around half an inch isn't going to promote the flow of coolant.

Now if that was sitting on the side channel in the radiator, I can only guess what the actual passages that run through the fins look like.

After cleaning out as much as I could, I slapped everything back together and filled it, just so I can give it a drive around the apartment complex so it doesn't just sit 'til I can get a replacement radiator...

And I sure won't be using tap water to mix coolant ever again. Premixed 50/50 from Prestone, hoping that they use distilled water (they ought to, right?).

Blech.

#2 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:55 AM

Thought y'all might get a big kick out of this... I got bored today, and although I'm still broke, I thought I'd pull the radiator out of Serenity ('97 OBW), and take a look at it. And a good look is what I got :-\

Posted Image

Now I'm not a genius, so I gotta figure it's fairly obvious that having this fall out of your radiator is not a good thing. Having an inch long mineral deposit with a rough diameter of around half an inch isn't going to promote the flow of coolant.

Now if that was sitting on the side channel in the radiator, I can only guess what the actual passages that run through the fins look like.

After cleaning out as much as I could, I slapped everything back together and filled it, just so I can give it a drive around the apartment complex so it doesn't just sit 'til I can get a replacement radiator...

And I sure won't be using tap water to mix coolant ever again. Premixed 50/50 from Prestone, hoping that they use distilled water (they ought to, right?).

Blech.


wow!

You could try cycling some hot vinegar through it. (phosphoric or citric acid would be better I guess)

#3 2X2KOB

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:07 PM

Can you attribute this buildup to your tap water? How long did it take to get this way?

#4 wondercow2

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

Can you attribute this buildup to your tap water? How long did it take to get this way?


After putting microscopic leaks in aluminum heater cores twice in less than 4 years, I've started swearing by distilled water. Radiators are usually tough enough to survive corrosion, they only get blocked with deposits. But tap water, especially if you live in a hard water area, is full of interesting chemicals that react with the coolant, and metal surfaces of the engine and cooling system as the temperatures rise and fall.

Don't waste your money on premix- a gallon of distilled water (NOT spring or mineral water) should only cost a buck at the grocery store.

#5 the_bard

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 09:07 PM

wow!

You could try cycling some hot vinegar through it. (phosphoric or citric acid would be better I guess)

I'm going to try this tomorrow... drain all the coolant out again, plug the bottom of the radiator somehow, and fill it with hot (from the stovetop) vinegar. I'll let it steep for a while (10-15 minutes sound good? I'll google for research on time), then drain it, rinse it out, then put fresh coolant in again (not the old stuff, in case I get more grit and minerals out in the current coolant). I can't imagine the vinegar harming the aluminum radiator, but I'm expecting to buy a new one anyhow. No sense keeping my hopes up ;).

I figure removing those chunks did make a rather large improvement, so I'm hoping the coolant passages themselves aren't too gunked up. After removing that gunk from the radiator and reinstalling it, I idled it, letting it come back up to normal operating temperature. Previous to the degunking, once the temp. was normal, the upper radiator hose would be pressurized a lot. It took significant hand strength to collapse the hose. After the degunking, the hose was gave easier, but not as easily as if it was cold. I figure this means, before degunking, that the radiator was blocking the coolant flow enough for the coolant to significantly build up pressure. Now that the gunk is removed, coolant's flowing easier, and not building up that pressure. Either that, or I left a lot more air in the coolant than I want to believe.

After letting it idle, it came up to normal operating temperature and stopped. I drove it around town for the rest of the afternoon, ready to pull over if the temp. gauge so much as raised above normal... it stuck to normal like it was glued there. So I'm hoping the vinegar trick will keep things together for a month or so 'til the cash flow opens back up, and I can afford to replace the radiator ('specially before warm weather kicks back in).

Can you attribute this buildup to your tap water? How long did it take to get this way?

Long story short, I've only owned her since August, and it's spent most of its time back at the garage, getting two engines replaced after overheating problems. Everytime I talked to the owner of the garage, he was adamant that he checked the radiator (yeah, my arse he did). So I haven't done a coolant flush myself, but I've done them with previously owned cars, and usually used tap water.

Like wondercow2 said... those minerals had to have gotten in there somehow, and it's most likely through tap water. Distilled water, when it undergoes distillation, ends up dropping all the impurities (theoretically, at least) out, leaving just pure water behind. Tap water still has all that mineral content, letting it build up inside the radiator and other coolant passages.

It'd be cheaper to buy the full gallon of normal concentrate coolant, then mix it with a gallon of distilled water, but I'm lazy :drunk:. I'd be saving a couple bucks by doing it that way, rather than the premix, but then I'd just blow the couple bucks on something frivolous. If it was substantial savings, I'd switch... *shrug*

#6 the_bard

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 11:21 AM

Update: I heated a couple cups of vinegar in the microwave to boiling, then poured it into two different glass coffee cups. Dropped a chunk of the mineral that I got from the radiator in one... dropped a piece of aluminum foil into the other.

Waited about an hour... and there's no visible difference between before and after on either the chunk or the foil.

Looks like I'll be buying a new radiator sooner rather than later.

#7 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 11:56 AM

Update: I heated a couple cups of vinegar in the microwave to boiling, then poured it into two different glass coffee cups. Dropped a chunk of the mineral that I got from the radiator in one... dropped a piece of aluminum foil into the other.

Waited about an hour... and there's no visible difference between before and after on either the chunk or the foil.

Looks like I'll be buying a new radiator sooner rather than later.


good idea though on the test!

thanx for reporting back




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