What can I buy to clean out a old factory radiator for a 26 T? It's not running hot but has a a lot of build up in it. Will buy a new one for it later. So just look for opinions on what you used and how it worked....Tim
I tried for 2 years to get the '26 running cooler. Flushed it, tried the Acetic Acid thing (and only succeeded in causing a weep), run an inhibitor in it, all to little avail. Talking around to those with more knowledge than I , who reckoned that with age the cooling fins loose contact with the tubes and thus the ability to transfer heat away, I shook the moths out of the wallet and had a local firm build up a flat tube unit for me. Cost was better than I could import one from USA. Took her for a 100 mile run on Saturday and never looked like getting hot, got up to halfway on the moto-meter running in our winter temperatures of around 70 deg. F. There was a few low gear hills in the route and she kept her cool all the way. My advise, for what it's worth: Save yourself the angst and bite the bullet for a replacement.
there is a very strong likelihood of creating one or more small leaks if you do clean it out. If it is not running hot, why bat a bee's nest?
If it's not boiling over after you come to a stop after a good drive where the engine is at operating temperature it probably will be OK for a while.
You can spend the money and time getting it cleaned out but in the long run you'll be happier with a new radiator.
Radiators and tires are the 2 items that age catches up to.
If you know of a good shop that can recore it with a flat tube core that's the way to go if the tanks and the rest is still good the price is around 5-600.
A new Bergs is around 825 or so.
Use your money on one of the 2 alternatives. You will be many dollars ahead.
Folks are always concerned about cleaning the inside of a radiator but you should also clean the outside between the tubes and fins.
Sometimes there can be a lot of dirt accumulated on the fins and tubes of an original radiator. You might not see it on the front and back surfaces but if you use a stiff wire or dull hacksaw blade you may find that you can poke out a lot of crud.
What kind of build-up Tim?
Baking soda works pretty darned good on scale from the water used in the rad in certain areas.
From Dyke's encyclopedia; 2 teacups of baking or washing soda dissolved in water, run the engine hot for 15-20 minutes, drain and flush well.
I'd quote the book if need be. :-)
Do you have some (perish the notion) silicone or acrylic latex caulk available if leaks come a-new?
Worked very good for me 20 years ago and still doing its job well.
I was way too poor then to replace it. Now I plain old refuse as it works.
Disclaimer: NOT a tourer but I beat it, ran it and paraded the crap out it with the "ears up" and never a gurgle or boil over.
I DO have a damn good fan in this Crappy 24 tho (some unknown brand grafted in place).
The engine is just plumb wore out also.
I never tried an acid but a buddy uses it with good success.
What Erik says too. :-)
Old radiators will cool fairly well until one can get it replaced. :-)
I made this rig from PVC and a garden hose fitting to flush the radiator and motor. The small fitting attaches at the bottom of the radiator. The larger on at the block outlet on the left side, buth are attached with the short hose sections. A garden hose attaches to the short fitting. It pumps water up through the radiator, into the engine, then out to the ground via the large fitting. When I first flushed my 24, I let it run about 10 minutes and was amazed at how much brown crud came out.
They will run hot on a hot day, but if you keep moving, they should not boil. I live on a mountain and for about 3 miles there is a 6% grade and then a steeper hill where I need to use Ruckstell or low gear. When I get home on a hot day, it is not boiling until I shut off the engine. After shut off, it gurgles a bit. That is normal for a T.
There are more than one problem with an old radiator. One is dirty inside with clogged tubes. But another is separation of the fins from the tubes. The metal gets corroded at that joint and then it does not conduct heat as it should. No amount of cleaning will fix that problem. In that case you need a new radiator or a re core.
Tim: Here is a link to a Farmall forum where they give the formula to make a cleaning solution that IH said use in their tractors. That should work in a T. Let us know how it does. Dan
Baking Soda and Washing Soda are entirely two different things. They are only interchangeable in a sentence, not use.
I have also been running hot.
Flushed the radiator only to open up more leaks. I did flush the block using the water and compressed air method and was amazed to see the scaling and rust that came out. It is all back together, still running hotter than I like, but a little better. I decided to throw in the towel and am now waiting for my new Berg Radiator. No regrets, and looking forward to the rest of the driving season running cool.
"What can I buy to clean out a old factory radiator for a 26 T?"
I just dumped out a gallon of Evapo-rust ($22.00) out of my T's engine head after sitting three weeks. It was that bad. I have about a third of a gallon ($2.40) of distilled vinegar in the block sitting there now. If your buildup is rust then try one of these and flush with water afterward. Our radiator is next on the list. Consider that there is not much sense in cleaning out the radiator only.
As everyone will agree, a new radiator is the best option. But, if you want to try and clean out a clogged radiator just pour in enough vinegar to fill it and let it sit for a couple days. Then flush. May or may not help. For tough cases of scale I have used a product called The Works toilet bowl cleaner and diluted it with some water. Let it sit in the radiator for a few hours, then flushed. Some old radiators can be cleaned and resurrected, most not. Remember if you want to make it look pretty again, DON'T paint it with regular flat black paint. Get some radiator paint.
Scott. Well said. That subject was talked about just a few days ago and I never mentioned the differences betwixt the soda's on this thread. :-)
Side note: A new rad MAY not cool a tight engine right away.
The IH formula says to use WASHING SODA, Not Baking Soda. But you can make washing soda from baking soda. Dan
If your local grocery store doesn't carry Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, it's usually readily available at Walmart.
It's also available at Menards here in the midwest.
You can always purchase it online.
Washing soda is highly alkali. I doubt it will dissolve rust or calcium build-up in a radiator or engine block. It will probably just clean out any dirt, grease or oil in the cooling system.