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Intercooler Cleaning #5387822 03/28/20 11:15 AM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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What do you guys do?

I’ve got mine off while replacing the starter and want to get this thing cleaned while it’s out.

I plan to use undiluted Simple Green for the inside and outside. For the inside I’ll add just as much water as is needed to slosh around and wash away the cleaner and residue. For the outside I’ll use a low pressure hose from the bottom/back to the top/front.


14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5387827 03/28/20 11:19 AM
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benjy Offline
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oily intercoolers are common + good idea to clean them inside + outside

Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: benjy] #5387846 03/28/20 11:36 AM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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Originally Posted by benjy
oily intercoolers are common + good idea to clean them inside + outside


Just left it sitting for a bit and nothing drained to the elbow. I’m happy about that. There is an oily residue though.

Ive got about 15 oz of SG sloshed around inside and sprayed the outside. I’ll let it sit for a bit and then rinse it all out, then put in in front of my dehumidifier to dry-out.


14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5387856 03/28/20 11:50 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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Make sure that you get all the water out of it. A tablespoon of water in a cylinder could destroy an engine.


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Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: Chris142] #5387863 03/28/20 11:56 AM
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2004tdigls Offline
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EXACTLY, this would cause a hydrolock

never use any water solution

use alcohol, (it evaporates and leaves zero residue)

Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5387870 03/28/20 12:00 PM
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Olas Offline
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brake cleaner, petrol, alcohol, carb cleaner or any similar solvent with no water and high volatility.

Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5387897 03/28/20 12:36 PM
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bdcardinal Online Content
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I have used about a case of brake cleaner to clean out one on a Terminator before.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5387964 03/28/20 02:11 PM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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I already douched the inside with Simple Green concentrate and thoroughly rinsed it. I've got it in front of a dehumidifier exhaust, set on constant-on.

Man, you wouldn't believe the crap that came out of the OUTSIDE of the core. Even still, there are probably a million or so small bugs I'll never be able to get out from between the fins! The INSIDE effluent came out clear-green, which I guess is a good sign.

Luckily, this IC is designed to allow for easy draining (both sides point downward, allowing water in the core to drain almost completely. I'll obviously shake it angle it and do whatever I can to determine if there's any water left in. If there's any risk I'll pour in a bottle of alcohol and swash that around to pickup any residual water, then put it in front of the dehumidifier for another night.

Regardless, I've got a couple of days before this thing needs to go in. I'm tired today and haven't yet determined when I want to tackle lubricating the starter prior to reinstall. Best bet is that it (and then the inter-cooler) will be ready for install late tomorrow. A more likely scenario is that I'll hold off until Monday to install the starter.





14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: bdcardinal] #5387966 03/28/20 02:14 PM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bdcardinal
I have used about a case of brake cleaner to clean out one on a Terminator before.


Jeez, why was it so bad? Did you just keep spraying until the effluent was clear?


14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5388017 03/28/20 03:02 PM
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bdcardinal Online Content
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Originally Posted by gathermewool
Originally Posted by bdcardinal
I have used about a case of brake cleaner to clean out one on a Terminator before.


Jeez, why was it so bad? Did you just keep spraying until the effluent was clear?


Yes, it was a modified engine with a different supercharger replacing the factory Eaton. Lots of oil in it. This was the one mounted under the supercharger, not the coolant heat exchanger in the front bumper.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5388029 03/28/20 03:12 PM
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Cujet Offline
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Simple green is the best I've found. Cheap, effective, easy.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5388246 03/28/20 07:31 PM
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There is a Simple Green HD that is purple in color. Only found at home depot I believe. Safe for aluminum and other "exotic" alloys. I've been using a gallon jug for years. I dilute it and spray on rims of my vehicles then scrub with a toilet brush. Works super.
I bring this up because I thought Simple Green can be harsh on aluminum?

Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: Hysilver] #5388527 03/29/20 10:13 AM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Hysilver
There is a Simple Green HD that is purple in color. Only found at home depot I believe. Safe for aluminum and other "exotic" alloys. I've been using a gallon jug for years. I dilute it and spray on rims of my vehicles then scrub with a toilet brush. Works super.
I bring this up because I thought Simple Green can be harsh on aluminum?


I’ve heard the same thing, which is why I didn’t let the Simple Green sit very long before flushing it out. From what I recall, the concern was having it pool in some hard to wipe location and then cause issues.


14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: gathermewool] #5388586 03/29/20 11:37 AM
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GMBoy Offline
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I've had my 87 Buick Grand National since new and I've flushed the intercooler out several times over the years. I fill it with gasoline and dump. That gets all the oil out and no need to worry about water because any left over gas simply burns at start up.

Re: Intercooler Cleaning [Re: GMBoy] #5388742 03/29/20 03:15 PM
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gathermewool Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GMBoy
I've had my 87 Buick Grand National since new and I've flushed the intercooler out several times over the years. I fill it with gasoline and dump. That gets all the oil out and no need to worry about water because any left over gas simply burns at start up.



What do you do with the excess gas? How dirty is your IC normally?


14 Forester XT Touring FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 D1G2 + FU filter (2nd OFI) (77,760mi, 3/7/20)
15 Legacy Premium FB25
Magnatec 0W-20 D1G2+ FU filter (2nd OFI) (54,621mi, 3/4/20)
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