Some years ago I read that a quick, effective radiator clean-out is half cup of the dishwasher soap Cascade. Run the engine hot, drain and rinse a couple of times with clean water, then antifreeze.
Anybody remember something like that? Is it still valid?
I wouldn't. You might check the label but all dishwasher soaps use to have a chlorine compound. This is death to steel and cast iron parts unless flushed and neutralized. Perhaps you're thinking of an alkaloid drain cleaner.
I seem to remember seeing that.
It seems to me that there are two kinds of cooling system contaminants -- Iron "spoil" from inside the system, including rust, and Oil.
The oil will tend to coat the surfaces and slightly impede the transfer of heat to and from the coolant.
Getting rid of the oil is what I suspect Cascade would do. In that sense, it would offer some improvement in cooling.
As for the 'crud,' if you did the Cascade routine and emptied the system after each flush by removing the bottom hose from the radiator, rather than just opening the petcock, that would be a big help in flushing out the particles of whatever. You'd probably be amazed at the amount of stuff that ended up on your driveway.
But, don't do it in your driveway, because the rusty water will stain concrete and is almost impossible to clean up.
And, while the hose is off, flood the radiator with clean water, in an effort to flush out some of the crud that is in its bottom tank.
Short of removing the radiator and power-flushing both it and the block, I see no harm in this exercise. Cascade certainly is not going to harm the block or radiator, and several flushes can only be a good thing.
Just be sure the anti-freeze you put in, is the "old" green kind, not the "new" kind made for aluminum radiators.
I'm not familiar with that. But I made up this set of fittings for flushing and it works great. The part on the left goes into the lower radiator hose, the part on the right connects to the hose on the block outlet, it discharges straight down. I just hooked it up with a garden hose and let the water run for about 15 minutes. I was amazed at how much crud came out.
Steve. Looks like a really good idea. What size PVC pipe fittings did you use. I can't tell from the pics.
Bailey - the elbow is marked 1-1/2". I don't understand the PVC measurement system, but the pieces that go into the hose is a little under 2". I reduced those end pieces to about 1.800" so they would be a snug fit into the hoses. The brass hose connector has a barb that is JB welded into an end cap.
Heavy equipment repairmen, myself included, use Dawn dishwashing soap to clean oil out of cooling systems. Failures in the engine oil cooler or trans fluid cooler can foul the cooling system with oil. Dawn breaks it down so we can drain it with the water. Sometimes takes several treatments. I don't see a model T radiator getting fouled with oil that way, rust and scale is the problem. Soap won't help with that. A serious flushing can help. In aggravated cases we have had to pickle the rust out with muriatic acid, followed by neutralizing solution.