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  1. #1
    allfoden is offline Aluminum
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    Default OT Radiator Flush Middle of Nowhere

    I am at my farm in South America and I need to flush the radiator of my tractor. The nearest radiator shop is 100 miles away and there are no commercial products sold here to clean a radiator. I read that vinegar can be used. They recommended draining the cooling system and dumping in a gal of vinegar and fill the system and run until it reaches temperature and allow to sit overnight and flush with water. Any suggestion would be a big help. Thanks Ed

  2. #2
    Jeff_M_PA is offline Cast Iron
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    Seems quite reasonable to me; I found references to that using Google. The source I found recommended 50% vinegar / 50% water, but vinegar varies in strength according to the all-knowing Wikipedia (you pay your money and you take your chance). It says distilled vinegar (good choice in my mind - more pure) varies from 5-8% acetic acid in water. I'd probably go with 50% distilled and follow the procedure you state. Low risk, I'd think.

    Tell us about your South American hideaway...

  3. #3
    blake in spokane is offline Hot Rolled
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    I gota buddy that flushed CLR in the heater core of his Subaru. The crud bubbled out, the heater worked & didn't have to take the front fender off.

  4. #4
    Steve in SoCal's Avatar
    Steve in SoCal is online now Stainless
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    You may be able to get powdered citric acid at a pharmacy or drug store. Mercedes recommends citric acid as a flush for their alloy engines and cooling systems. The volume of vinegar or citric acid powder will depend on the capacity of your cooling system. A small tractor with a couple gallon capacity would use the gallon vinegar mix a large tractor will need proportionally more.

    If this is a large diesel engine I would also confirm that what ever you use is safe for the liners and you check the chemistry of the coolant after the flush.

    Steve

  5. #5
    allfoden is offline Aluminum
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    It is a small working farm in Uruguay where we have cattle, sheep, goats etc. I have a shop at home in the States and I wish I could find a lathe and milling machine for use at the farm. All of the used equipment for sale here is complete junk. I usually make all the parts I need for the farm at home and carry them to the farm in my luggage. Airport security always opens my bags and it is fun to see them trying to decide what they are seeing on the computer screen of the X ray scanner machine. I will try the vinegar flush. Thanks to all

  6. #6
    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
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    Dupont's "No.7" radiator flush was oxalic acid crystals.

    Which is found in Rhubarb.


    You most likely don't need to resort to stewing up a bunch of rhubarb, straining out the solids, and using that, but you could, in a pinch.

  7. #7
    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    if the radiator has no Al in it you can take it off lay it face down and fill with a water lye mixture. Leave it sit for a hour or so then flush it out. this will help if it has oil inside.
    Bill D.

  8. #8
    trevj is offline Stainless
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    Citric Acid. Got a brew shop around, that sells wine and beer making equipment?

    Citric Acid runs about $8 for a Kilogram around here.

    The expensive way, but avaiulable about everywhere, to go is with unsweetened Kool-Aid crystals. Lemon flavor has the least color added.

    Cleans brass a treat!

    Cheers
    Trev

  9. #9
    allfoden is offline Aluminum
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    No citric acid or Kool Aid here but I do have 6 lemon trees loaded with lemons the size of oranges that I did not know what to do with. So tomorrow I make lemonade (dilute citric acid) radiator cleaner. Nothing to lose at this point. I like solutions using what you have on hand.

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