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#1682511 - 11/23/09 09:28 PM How to clean gunk out of cooling system.
JustinC25 Offline


Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 806
Loc: NH
Hey Guys,

I've just been charged with changing the coolant in my uncle's '01 Windstar. The problem is that the coolant resivoir has black (mixed) coolant, and much sludge. What would be the best way to clean it out without a flush machine ? and What coolant should I refill it with. I was thinking of using G-05, as I'm going to NAPA tomorrow to buy brakes for it.

Thanks,
Justin

I just realized that I posted this in the wrong forum. How to I move it to the right one ?


Edited by JustinC25 (11/23/09 09:32 PM)
_________________________
'95 Camry 2.2 298k R.I.P.
'10 Camry 2.5 6 spd 78k PP 0w20
Toyota 04152-YZZA1 Filter
'02 Outback 2.5 194k Total Classic 5w30 Union Sangyo C-840 Filter

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#1682519 - 11/23/09 09:35 PM How to clean gunk out of cooling system.
JustinC25 Offline


Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 806
Loc: NH
This is a repost, as I accidently posted it in the wrong forum.

Hey Guys,

I've just been charged with changing the coolant (along with other things) in my uncle's '01 Windstar. The problem is that the coolant resivoir has black (mixed) coolant, and much sludge. What would be the best way to clean it out without a flush machine ? and What coolant should I refill it with.
On mine I just drained the radiator, block, and hoses. But mine didn't have any sludge. It also has half the mileage.
What do you think of the chemical flush products by prestone, or Zerex ? For coolant, I was thinking of using G-05, as I'm going to NAPA tomorrow to buy brakes for it.

Thanks for your help,
Justin


Edited by JustinC25 (11/23/09 09:38 PM)
_________________________
'95 Camry 2.2 298k R.I.P.
'10 Camry 2.5 6 spd 78k PP 0w20
Toyota 04152-YZZA1 Filter
'02 Outback 2.5 194k Total Classic 5w30 Union Sangyo C-840 Filter

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#1682520 - 11/23/09 09:36 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: JustinC25]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 20719
Loc: NY
You can add a cooling system flush, then do a heater hose T flush. Prestone sells a kit for doing the flush. As far as moving the post goes, hit "Notify" and tell the mods to move it to the Mechanical Maint section.
_________________________
GOD Bless our Troops!


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#1682523 - 11/23/09 09:37 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: JustinC25]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12900
Loc: Irvine, CA
Remove the coolant reservoir from the car, use dishwasher detergent and hot water to clean the gunk/sludge then rinse with cold water real clean before re-install.
_________________________
'94 LS400
'00 E430
'04 S2000
"Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry" Pop Francis

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#1682524 - 11/23/09 09:40 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: JustinC25]
defektes Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 3216
Loc: Hesperia, CA, USA
I used CLR in the old company 2000 astro van that was sludged and rusted to garbage. I put a entire bottle of CLR and topped it with distilled water and ran the van for a couple of long trips with it and drained it out real well with a hose and the engine running.

You should have seen the [censored] that came out of it.

NOTE: I dont know what CLR can do to gaskets so be advised it isnt a proven method!!! The van was on its last leg and the company really didnt care what I did to it and I had CLR on hand. It did run for another year of heavy towing and abuse before the transmission died.


Edited by defektes (11/23/09 09:42 PM)
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#1682527 - 11/23/09 09:41 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: HTSS_TR]
JustinC25 Offline


Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 806
Loc: NH
That's a great idea. Never would have though of that.
What about the residual gunk in the cooling system ?
Do you recomend any of those chemical flush products ?

I know that this is a BIG system. When I did a complete (Rad, hoses, block) drain and fill on my '03 it took almost 3 gallons.
_________________________
'95 Camry 2.2 298k R.I.P.
'10 Camry 2.5 6 spd 78k PP 0w20
Toyota 04152-YZZA1 Filter
'02 Outback 2.5 194k Total Classic 5w30 Union Sangyo C-840 Filter

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#1682539 - 11/23/09 09:55 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: JustinC25]
mechanicx Offline


Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 8576
Loc: Ohio
For cleaning sludge out here's what I would do. I think a radiator flush like Super Radiator flush works great and I'd get a couple bottles of that. There's two ways you could go about about flushing the system depending on how fast you want it to go and how hard it is to get to the engine drain plugs.

Since I'd probably change the thermostat and pressure cap, you could drain the radiator (and block drains if easily accessable). Then fill with water and the super flush, Run it till hot and the thermostat opens. Then drain the system again. Let it cool while you take take out the thermostat and reassaemble without T-sat. Then stick a water hose, preferably hooked to a hot water outlet like your washing machine hot water spickot, in to where the radiator hose hooks to the radiator and flush out the superflush with the engine running.

Another way that I think is easier, faster and probably more effective is to install a T-flush according to directions in the heater inlet hose. Flush all coolant out with the T-flush and drain radiator. Then add the super flush and run it hot. Now flush the super flush out using the T-flush hooked to preferably hot water to speed the process and clean better. Now, change the thermostat. You might want to drain the water out of the radiator so it will be easier to get half the capacity of new anti-freeze in and you should be good to go.

I think convential green or G0-05 would be a good choice.


Edited by mechanicx (11/23/09 09:59 PM)

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#1682561 - 11/23/09 10:18 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: mechanicx]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12900
Loc: Irvine, CA
Preston T-flush with Preston Super Radiator Flush are what I used to flush the coolant in my 240+k miles '94 LS400 every 4-5 years.
_________________________
'94 LS400
'00 E430
'04 S2000
"Consumerism has accustomed us to waste. But throwing food away is like stealing it from the poor and hungry" Pop Francis

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#1684006 - 11/25/09 12:29 AM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: HTSS_TR]
fjasper Offline


Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 11
Loc: MT
Wood Bleach and Washing Soda. Coin of the realm. Search for 99-06-02-012D, it's a GM service procedure for fixing the sludgy/coagulated coolant problem. The flush they call for is no longer widely available, but powdered wood bleach (available at some Ace hardware stores, and probably other places) and washing soda (I found Arm & Hammer brand at an IGA store) are the ingredients they call for. Some people prefer citric acid (from the bulk/health food store at 1 pound per gallon-apparently a Mercedes-Benz recommended procedure), but I think oxalic acid (wood bleach) is particularly good for the coolant-mix problem.

Doesn't hurt to hit it once with dishwasher soap (not dish washing soap, you understand, but non-sudsy soap that goes in the dishwasher) first to take out any oils and let the acid flush work. Flush well between soap and acid. It's a long, messy procedure, but it does the trick. The real key is getting it hot enough during the flush, and rinsing completely, with engine running, between flushes. Getting a good rinse is almost impossible without hooking it up to a hose (hot water is definitely better), so the Flush 'n' Fill kit really helps.

I think you're better off driving it around than doing the high-idle procedure in the bulletin, but it's up to you. FWIW, mine kept belching horrible crud for 3 iterations of this procedure, but it had mineral scale worse than I'd ever seen. All better now.

Once it's totally cleaned out, you can pick a coolant without worrying about interactions. Don't be shocked if it starts leaking after you do a thorough flush. I'm not saying it will, just that sometimes the flush dissolves some crud that was plugging up a little leak. I found a couple of o-rings leaking after the procedure.

Also, be careful with the acid solution, it will mess with the finish on metal and plastics. I wouldn't let it dry on any parts you care about the looks of.
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1948 C170, 1988 80 quattro, 1997 R1100RTP, 1999 Miata, 2002 allroad quattro

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#1684812 - 11/25/09 07:16 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: fjasper]
GoalieFergy53 Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 77
Loc: Tacoma, Wa
I bought GM Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner (P/N: 88861344) to run in my bus's cooling system. I have no idea when the coolant was last changed by the previous owners, and I've heard this is the best stuff out there. I'm just waiting for a break in the weather to run it and see how it does.
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98 Saab 900S Delo400LE 5w40-NG/Wix-RL MTL
94 Chevy LLV Delo400LE 10w30-NG/Wix
97 Go-4 Interceptor Delo400LE 10w30-NG/Wix

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#1686854 - 11/27/09 07:30 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: GoalieFergy53]
fjasper Offline


Registered: 09/30/09
Posts: 11
Loc: MT
I guess I should mention that wood bleach (oxalic acid) and washing soda weren't picked at random, they're the components of the old GM heavy duty flush product mentioned in the service bulletin.

The old two-stage product (Prestone AS100=GM pn:123465000 or something like it) has been replaced with the new, one-stage product (pn:88861344). I haven't heard anyone with experience using both, so I can't compare the two. I'm sure either would work fine.
_________________________
1948 C170, 1988 80 quattro, 1997 R1100RTP, 1999 Miata, 2002 allroad quattro

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#1687692 - 11/28/09 04:45 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: fjasper]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13180
Loc: Upstate NY
My guess is you have sludge in the reservoir but not in the rest of the system. I would take out the reservoir and clean it with Dawn or some dishwasher detergent, shake it a lot and use hot water. I would not use a radiator flush unless I saw sludge other places.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#1687693 - 11/28/09 04:45 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: fjasper]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13180
Loc: Upstate NY
My guess is you have sludge in the reservoir but not in the rest of the system. I would take out the reservoir and clean it with Dawn or some dishwasher detergent, shake it a lot and use hot water. I would not use a radiator flush unless I saw sludge other places.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#1687790 - 11/28/09 06:32 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: JustinC25]
Dan55 Offline


Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 699
Loc: jersey
I have used heavy duty two part cleaning systems in the late eighties that consisted of an acid and a nuetralizer. The vehicle was maintined properly yet there was a tremendous amount of aluminum scale. A few years later I started to see coolant in the oil and finally the engine seized (100K+). Could it have been the heavy duty cleaning system, a product from the 60's primarily designed for cast iron blocks and brass radiators. Maybe not,just a leakey head gasket instead. Since then I have steered clear of those type of products. If I had to I would use a light duty cleansers such as the Prestone products,due to the the predominant use of aluminum in coolant systems today
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#1687971 - 11/28/09 09:06 PM Re: How to clean gunk out of cooling system. [Re: Dan55]
mechanicx Offline


Registered: 10/23/09
Posts: 8576
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Dan55
I have used heavy duty two part cleaning systems in the late eighties that consisted of an acid and a nuetralizer. The vehicle was maintined properly yet there was a tremendous amount of aluminum scale. A few years later I started to see coolant in the oil and finally the engine seized (100K+). Could it have been the heavy duty cleaning system, a product from the 60's primarily designed for cast iron blocks and brass radiators. Maybe not,just a leakey head gasket instead. Since then I have steered clear of those type of products. If I had to I would use a light duty cleansers such as the Prestone products,due to the the predominant use of aluminum in coolant systems today


I do agree with you there. If I recall correcly the GM HD coolant cleaner was for badly sludged cooling system primnarily made of iron. The citric acid one like Prestone super radiator flush is probably best for most flushes. Also I assume the car in this post has original green. If you see it turn dark in the reservoir it probably turned acidic and that's from the acid causes hoses breaking down etc. It definitely needs flushed but a regularly radiator flush cleaner should do the trick.

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