Shoulda, woulda, coulda . . .
But now that my 26/27 engine is together and running as well as can be expected, I've put straight water in my brass radiator for test running purposes. We notice that we drain some water, it is coming out really oily and gunky. Don't think we have a head gasket or leaking issue, but that we are just flushing out a lot of residue.
So, prior to adding coolant, I'm thinking of flushing the system with something that will remove as much gunk as possible without ruining the radiator or other moving parts. What would you suggest?
A mild mixture of degreaser and water?
A mild mixture of a fairly friendly drain cleaner?
A mild mixture of dishwasher soap?
A commercial radiator flush product from the auto parts store?
I'll hang up and listen.
I use vinegar. Put in a gallon and drive the car. Then flush and replace with fresh water.
Be careful your radiator can plug up if you use anything to strong. The rust can come off in large flakes and really clogged up the radiator
The best way my (opinion) is to remove the radiator and flush them separately
I liked DuPont #7 Cooling System cleaner. It did a great job. DuPont sold it's line of that type of product. I don't know if it is still made. It was a aluminized cardboard can with an acid cleaner and an alkali neutralizer. If that stuff wouldn't clean the cooling system, you were in for parts replacement.
Vinegar works great. 2 gallons and let it sit overnight. Drain and flush with water. Refill with 50/50 ethylene glycol and water.
I'll give the vinegar a tray. Want to play with charging magnets, so I'll drain some water, add a few gallons and l leave it in while I ttest start and short run the engine while trying to charge the magnets and seeing if it will run on magneto.
After a day or so, I'll drain it all out, flush with water and then add my 50/50 and be ready for the winter sitting in the garage.
Thanks to all.
How involved is radiator removal? My head is currently off and it's about to turn VERY cold, so travel plans, holidays and weather are likely to push much forward movement on my project into 2017. Or at least better weather.
But, if it's not overly involved, maybe I could get the radiator off and use the opportunity for some "indoor" type work and end up with a spotless radiator.
If you are worried about the radiator, you don't have to remove it, there are two rubber pipes that connect it to the motor. You could plug the side inlet and take the upper outlet hose off and fill through it or another longer pipe connected to the head connection.
Removing the radiator is a 5 minute job. Do you have the Ford shop manual? It gives step by step instructions for disassembling and reassembling the entire car.
As for the radiator, the mistake made by novice Model T owners is that they think the hose clamps should be removed. This is not the case.
To remove the radiator first remove the bolts from the inlet and outlet connections on the engine. hit those connections with a dead blow rubber mallet to break the gasket free. Remove the nuts securing the radiator to the frame. Loosen the nut that clamps the radiator upper support to the firewall. Clamp a set of vice grips to the upper support. Turn it counter clockwise until the radiator is free.
Lift out the radiator. The lower radiator inlet pipe and hses come out with the radiator.
I'm a newbie here, so take what I suggest with a grain of salt. But, we are in the process of wiring up our headlgihts and I thought my sonran son ran some of the wires through the bottom holes in the radiator or through some clips on the radiator, so make sure you don't have those running through or the choke wire when you go to remove the radiator.
Royce - I posted the books I have currently on another thread, but will post again. I'm pretty sure I don't have the Ford Shop Manual you mention above. Is it the same as the Model T Service Manual that's on this link? http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
Here is what I have. I have a Ruckstell axle so not sure I need the axle manual. My car's also been modified enough so that the Electrical manual wouldn't mean that much.
Here's what I have. Maybe more in the storage locker.
Just got through flushing the coolant system with radiator and all hoses on.
Started with draining the existing water.
Premixed and added some Calgon dishwasher dry soap.
Heated up and ran engine for a few minutes, left solution in car for 12 hours and drained. It came out like green tea.
Put 2 gal vinegar and same process. Left in for 24 hrs. Came out like Hunter Grren. I painted my engine Ford green, so maybe I was removing some of the overspray from the inlet and outlet and tube painting.
Flushed with clean water and ran engine up to temp again and drained. Kept getting globs of oil and grease.
Put another round of dishwasher soap and some commercial degreaser I had laying around in a spray bottle. Ran up to temp and short drive. Drained and came out foamy, which I would expect with the soaps I put in. Flushed with hose and water and engine running until water came out perfectly clear and no oil globs.
Put in 3 gal of premixed Prestone and I should be good to go for the winter and well into next fall.
I'm not the original owner, so I don't know if this is the first engine flush in 100 years, but I was surprised at how many flushes it took to get clean water.
the '26-'27 requires that the front fenders come off to remove the radiator, and I think the hood shelves as well.
Ive had radiator out of my 26 without removing fenders. Maybe I did something wrong?
Although I've got a 26/27 engine in mine, it's a 1915 frame and metal work. The brass radiator is a separate mount from the fenders, engine pans, and hood shelves.
Radiators that have an apron may be a different set up.
I removed my radiator in my 27 without taking off the fenders. If it hadn't been for the incredibly stiff hoses caked with years of hardened deposits, it would have been a 10 minute job. Has anyone out there tried cleaning a radiator with CLR? If that was successful, what dilution did you use?
I forgot to mention that I did put a little CLR in one of my concoctions because we had it. Most of the ratios on the lable are 50/50 but you are not going to put 1 1/2 gallons of CLR in your system. I'd go with a whole bottle and fill the rest with water and let it do it's thing.
While draining, we found it easier to remove the petcock as the little opening kept clogging with the junk we were trying to remove. If you are just doing the radiator, I'd lay it on it's face and keep the cap in the top and fill through one of the hose connections until full and let sit a day or so and then flush the heck out of it. IMO, CLR will remove the lime or some slight rust scale, but is not a really heavy hitter to deep cleaning or rust removal.
One other suggestion is to use distilled water with your antifreeze or get the premixed Prestone as it takes the chemicals out of the tap water out of your system. I don't think your cooling system will get cavities, so it doesn't need fluoride.
Well Robert I've got a variety of stuff in my system. Car sat for at least 10 years before I inherited it, so there was a living eco-system in there. So I drained what I hope was very old coolant and filled with vinegar. My hope was to get car running to circulate vinegar before the cold weather set in. Draining the coolant through the petcock just clogged it so it wouldn't completely close, so it dripped. Didn't get car started before cold forced me to drain vinegar. So now radiator is in my cellar. Vinegar seems to have killed the vegetation growing in the system, but looking in the radiator it still looks in need of flushing. The engine's water jacket doesn't look as bad, but it feels silty and what I wipe out of it looks like mud. So I've got my challenges cleaning this up before reassembling.
I too took my rad off by itself. I don't see any reason to be removing the hood shelves or fenders. My only problem was with the nuts holding the rad on. I also took off the hood shelves as the wood under them was rotten.
I laid it on the bench, put a cap on the neck,used a wad of gum to plug the overflow tube, then filled it up with white vinegar and left it for a few days.
When finished I strained it all back into the container so I could use it again. Worked great.
I bought 5 gallons of evapo-rust and let it soak in the engine for two days. Looking into the radiator inlet I could see clean shiny metal. Surface rust will form fast after flushing the engine, so put antifreeze in. Save the drained evapo-rust for reuse.
I think moving water will clean out my water jacket, will rig up something with ferncos when the weather gets warmer and run water through with a garden hose, however Paul the vinegar didn't remove the crud in the radiator. Thanks for the advice Greg, I've never heard of evapo-rust before, where can you get it?
Just found it on Amazon, about $35 for 32oz.
Never used it,but might give it a try as my engine has rust in it.
Go figure, it's only 90 years young.