Cleaning out a rusty engine coolant system.
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  1. #1
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    Default Cleaning out a rusty engine coolant system.

    I just bought a 2001 Elwell Parker 18k capacity forklift with a Vortec 4.3 motor that has a lot of rust in the block. I was thinking of flushing it in reverse with a expanding hose nozzle then hooking up a coolant pump and circulate some CLR through it for a few hours. Any better ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK07747 View Post
    I just bought a 2001 Elwell Parker 18k capacity forklift with a Vortec 4.3 motor that has a lot of rust in the block. I was thinking of flushing it in reverse with a expanding hose nozzle then hooking up a coolant pump and circulate some CLR through it for a few hours. Any better ideas?
    Flush with water then fill with strong mix of vinegar and water...run it till it's nice and hot then drain rinse and fill with coolant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK07747 View Post
    I just bought a 2001 Elwell Parker 18k capacity forklift with a Vortec 4.3 motor that has a lot of rust in the block. I was thinking of flushing it in reverse with a expanding hose nozzle then hooking up a coolant pump and circulate some CLR through it for a few hours. Any better ideas?
    I needs to be warm, so you may as well run it, use its own water pump and save the third-party plumbing and the cost of hot water. I HAVE that hot water, and handy. Few do.

    Water.. to reduce the amount of crud the chemical has to deal with.

    Packaged radiator flush, ELSE Arm & Hammer "washing soda"

    Water again. Have a care not to chill-crack.

    Repeat if need be. More time, each of more times is better than stronger chemistry.

    Expect probable leaks, radiator or white-metal parts, such as water pump and thermostat housing. Also heater system on passenger cars, but not here. Transmission lube or hydraulic oil heat exchangers can also develop leaks - if even it has such.

    Repair or replace those, the thermostat itself, relevant gaskets, and all hoses BEFORE going over to anti-freeze.

    Less mess as well as cheaper that way.

    NB: Oil & trans fluid changes are best done hot as well, but be wary of scalds. Very wary.

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    Is nt CLR hydrochloric acid......absolutely disasterous in terms of continued uncontrolled rusting.......if you want to use acid,get some phosphoric acid ,but even that will damage the solder in the radiator......assuming the rad isnt ally.In fact the rad will be the biggest challenge if the tubes are wedged with rust scale ,may be better to replace it with one of the welded ally ones that seem incredibly cheap.,compared to the $1000 odd for a copper rad.....An old trick with rusted engine s is to put a bit of stocking over the pipes,so that the coolant wont circulate rust flakes.Remove frequently tho,and replace before it blocks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Is nt CLR hydrochloric acid......
    No it isn’t. It’s not even a component.

    Diluted phosphoric acid will not damage solder.

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    Visit Napa or other parts place and get a can if cleaner.

    There is a 2 part can that opens both ends which is acid like cleaner and neutralized in other end.

    Drain and fill with just water and let idle until operating temp then open drain while running and add at same rate.

    This keeps thermostat open and will allow good flushing of motor.

    Keep at it until water is draining clear then shut off drain and pour in cleaner side of can and let idle mire time to mix.

    Run it for a few days maybe, in car take trip.

    After a few days repeat flush routine then pour in other side and run for fee days then repeat flush.

    Drive fee days and repeat flush and if clear drain and add coolant.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    My jug of CLR says active ingredient is lactic acid. Spoiled milk essentially.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Vinegar is an old trick, my dad was a mechanic for almost 60 years, 30 of which he specialized in auto HVAC only. This was his preferred method of flushing a system as it leaves no residue behind when flushed out. And it doesn't affect the coolant if any is left behind.

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    Thank you. I will give it a try with vinegar as it sound safest. ...Marc

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    Quote Originally Posted by MARK07747 View Post
    Thank you. I will give it a try with vinegar as it sound safest. ...Marc
    Vinegar can take yer LUNGS out, it gets HOT, you get near the fumes! Fair electrolyte, dis-similar metals, too.

    DAMHIKT!, but "white" vinegar is wot I uses to clean lime deposits, burnt foods, and surface discolouration off stainless cookware, every day of every week.

    The "washing soda" is about as cheap and a lot less hassle for cooling systems, their components, and the temperature range, nearly any liquid-cooled IC engine, 60-plus years, and counting.

    Find it in the laundry section as Arm & Hammer "Laundry Booster". It takes dirt, grease, and paints out of fabrics, or off of surfaces much the same as TSP, but without the phosphorous downside.

    Check the data sheets for the commercial magical packages on the shelf at the auto-parts store. Acetic acid (vinegar's family tree) is seldom a player. Basic Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) may be.

    2CW

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    Back when they had a device called a flush gun. It hooked to compressed air, and a garden hose. You take off one end of the radiator hose and put ;he tip of the flush gun in it so it flows backwards of the normal flow. The gun has several sizes on the tip to fit many different sized hoses. Get a flow of water going and hit it with a blast of air. The rushing water and air knock off the deposits fast and easy. Just be sure not to knock a hole in the radiator. Usually have to take out the thermostat for the cleaning. Expect some leaks to develop, as the crud has sealed them over the years. The chemicals work ok, but not like the flush gun. Its called reverse flushing.


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