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  1. #1
    Member C3forME's Avatar
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    Default cooling system question

    I just recieved a book by Richard Newton called How to Restore Your Corvette 1968-82. In it he talks about cleaning out the cooling system and say to drain it out and refill it it with plain water and add some dish washing detergent to the system and drive for a couple of weeks. He says that the combination of the high engine temperture and the dish detergent would clean up the system better than any commercially available system flushes and won't eat holes in your radiator like regular radiator flush does. Then he says to drain it again and if it's not clear fill it with water again and add the detergent again, and drive for another week. He says to do this until it drains out clean without any dirt coming out of the system and then fill it with a 50/50 mixture of anti-freeze and water. Has anyone heard of this or tried it? I would think that the dish washing detergent would do damage to the water pump bearing by cleaning out the lubricant in it. Am I wrong or is this method safe to do to your car?


  2. #2
    SwaveDave
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    Use the Prestone method of cleaning and flushing. Get thier Super Cleaner and a Prestone Flushing Kit (tee, clamps, etc..). This is the best method . When you drain out the cleaner...open up your block drain plugs too ., then, flush out the system with the plugs still out. Follow the directions and your system will be very clean. Fill with 75/25 distilled water - coolant with a rust inhibitor solution if you have a/c. IF you dont have a/c, fill with 100% distilled water and a rust inhibitor. (water offers the best cooling over coolant or..a mixture thereof).

  3. #3
    Member Vette/Berlina-coupe's Avatar
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    Larry: -while you've some intelligent replies here, my vote goes with author R.Newton's notion about cleaning the krap out of your cooling-system; --but did he say a cup-full of Tide-detergent or what? Your waterpump bearing has a resilient-seal which keeps the bearing dry, so if the soap gets passed the seal its time to replace the pump anyway! I would follow his perceptive advice, owing that he obviously had to have done a lot of research toward writing the book... ~Bob vH

    ;stupid

  4. #4
    Member Jack's Avatar
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    Default forget the prestone super cleaner, tide, dawn, pine-sol etc ... read on.

    No offense ... but forget the prestone super cleaner, tide, dawn, pine-sol etc ... do use “DRY” 2-part Prestone Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner P/N AS100 (GM P/N 12346500) ... read on.

    Just Friday, I had email & phone conversation with retired GM cooling systems engineer John Brunner about cooling & flushing late model GM pickup with failed DEX-COOL. John writes, consults & teaches. I realize we're not talking DEX-COOL here ... but the principles involved are much the same ... if not simpler.

    Below is a list of the three most commonly available aggressive radiator cleaners/flushes. They are all liquids, all contain primarily water & some citric acid ... BUT are not recommended by GM bulletins because “The diluted cleaners that are available in liquid form are not recommended for this repair.” quote from GM bulletin #99-06-02-012D dated 04/09/2002.

    Prestone Super Radiator Cleaner (1 liquid qt) P/N AS101
    Prestone Super Flush (22 liquid oz) P/N AS107
    Radiator Specialties/Gunk/SolderSeal Super HD Radiator Cleaner (1 liquid qt) P/N C2232

    I have MSDS for all three ... I know what's in them & concentrations ... BTW, both prestones are the same ... one is a bigger jug. & No BS ... I've done a tastetest on all 3.

    Quite simply, the above three are wimps. The above bulletin & Brunner recommend Prestone Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner P/N AS100 (aka AS-100) ... this is a DRY chemical in a discrete 2-part canister; 9 dry oz of Oxalic Acid cleaner and 2 dry oz of Sodium Carbonate neutralizer. This is available at your GM dealer under GM P/N 12346500 ... I bought some Friday a local GM dealer parts room. Albeit many years ago, I’d used this product many times with great success. I’ve searched for it several times recently but could not find it at any parts house and it is NOT listed on Prestone website. This is not a routine warning ... it is a VERY STRONG ACID and can be quite hazardous if not handled carefully ... Perhaps that is exactly why it is not readily available to an increasingly litigious consumer base. I personally was mistaken in that I’d surmised that oxalic acid was too strong an oxidizer for use with aluminum radiator, head, water pump etc. Again, I was apparently mistaken because the AS100 canister reads “Harmless to aluminum cooling system metals and parts when used according to directions” ... AND ... GM bulletin #99-06-02-012D dated 04/09/2002 (and earlier revisions) specifically addresses vehicles with aluminum radiators & aluminum-lined heater cores filled w/DEX-COOL such as my 97 4.3 V6 Sonoma has.

    Bottom line for flushing? ... don’t fuss with those wimpy liquids on shelves at most parts houses & wally world. Get the “DRY” 2-part Prestone Heavy Duty Cooling System Cleaner P/N AS100 (GM P/N 12346500) ... cost about $6 ... only a dollar or two more than ineffective liquids. Follow the directions exactly & use extra safety precautions (goggles are essential). And replace your radiator cap with a new one of USA manufacture ... Stant is a good choice. Also, GM bulletin #99-06-02-012D is a VERY complete procedure on how to properly flush ... there may be others that more closely address your needs ... just go to your GM dealer service dept & ask ... mine printed it off for free.

    BTW, I have it on very good authority just what the problem is with DEX-COOL. There is NOT a problem with DEX-COOL itself. It works VERY well so long as there is NO air in the system. Its composition makes it much more reactive when exposed to air than the green stuff is. It seems the problem often begins when GM dealers fail to properly topoff-fill during new vehicle prep & check. The air combines with the DEX-COOL and quickly (20,000 miles or less) oxidizes/reacts with metals and forms a rusty goopy mess on radiator cap & neck that disables the radiator caps ability to let coolant back into system from the overflow tank ... more & more air is introduced as a result ... more rust & goop forms and can completely clog a rad or core in as little as 20,000 miles. Since I don’t want to be married to a coolant that can’t stand a bit of air now & then ... and $10 of green stuff/2 yrs is cheap ... I’m gonna flush w/ dry AS100 & refill w/ green stuff.

    JACK

  5. #5
    SwaveDave
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    Jack,

    Thanks for your lengthy writeup, but, if its a 'very strong acid'...theres no way im going to take any chances with it regardless of the neutralizer coming with it. I can see someone using this IF theyve had an engine sitting for 15 years, but , not cleaning a cooling system every other year . Im sticking with the Prestone Super Flush .

    Dave

  6. #6
    Member Jack's Avatar
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    Default

    Dave:
    If the flush is simply a routine one done every year or two ... and there is not a problem with heavy buildup or clogging ... then I agree wholeheartedly with you ... the citric acid Prestone AS101 or AS107 are just fine. But beyond that they may not cut it ... literally.

    My very strong acid warning is mainly in regard to eyes, skin etc. The dry AS100 was the standard until just a few years back. If used improperly it has always been a threat to both humans and metals ... that hasn't changed. Humans' tendancy to disregard directions/skip steps hasn't changed either ... I do so daily.

    JACK

  7. #7
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    Default

    i read the same book and it sounded ok to me. the chemicals that they want you to put in to clean and flush radiators would in logical terms not be good for your waterpump bearings either.

    anyway, i would recommend not putting straight distilled water in as coolant does raise the boiling point of water and it will keep the water from freezing and cracking your block if you live in cold climates.

  8. #8
    SwaveDave
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    Yak,

    Of course i meant that the 100% distilled water would have to be drained IF in a cold climate., but, for summer usage, its the way to go.

    Its the pressure in the cooling system which has a greater impact on raising the boiling point than the coolant ; if you check with RedLine Products or Stewart Water Pumps...they will tell you to minimize the amount of Coolant used and if you can....to go with 100% distilled water with a bottle of Water Wetter (for non a/c cars) and no more than 25% coolant (for cars with a/c) - this offers the greatest chance against overheating. The reason you need 25% coolant WITH a/c , is because, the cooling coil could discharge very cold air which could start to freeze the heater core especially if a shutoff valve is used to stop flow thru the heater core in the summer.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Default

    dave,
    thanks for the input. some good stuff to think about there. i have a buddy that took his now wife's old 53 belair for a drive one day in the summer and they put in, as i'm sure you know, water. then they put it in the garage and never thought about it again until the next spring and you can pretty much guess the rest of the story.

  10. #10
    SwaveDave
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    Yak,

    I can relate to that story. I didnt put in enough antifreeze last Fall and i live here in far northern Illinois. I go out in the garage in late January on a 0 f. night to say 'hello' to Ol Blue...and i see slush in the expansion tank. The entire system had slush in it - 'nearly' frozen solid . I immediately got out the Kerosene Heater and stood it next to the engine while i went out for 3 gallons of antifreeze. I emptied the system , then refilled with 3 gallons of antifreeze and water. Then. , i started up the motor and prayed (literally) . My prayer was answered favorably with no cracks. Oil still looks good today. But i think i came very close to loosing my motor which i just spent $6,000 on for a major buildup, last summer.

    I learned my lesson ; either add lots of anti freeze or move to the Sunbelt.


    Dave

  11. #11
    cooling system question
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    Default

    Other than pure cooling, the most important function of anti-freeze is to protect the engine and cooling system against corrosion, which is why manufacturers recommend changing the coolant every two years. The anti-freeze components don't lose strength, but the additive package (particularly the corrosion inhibitors) are depleted gradually as they do their job. Using just water is false economy, as the corrosion that occurs in the dissimilar metals in the system is galvanic in nature, and will proceed much more rapidly in a pure water solution. This is particularly true with aluminum radiators, which are non-repairable and expensive. Even if you live in a warm area, you should be using at least a 30% concentration of anti-freeze, and change it every two years.
    John
    '67 Convertible

  12. #12
    cooling system question Daryllawman's Avatar
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    Default

    Whats the diff. in the orange that GM is putting out now and the green antifreeze?

  13. #13
    SwaveDave
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    John,

    According to RedLine, thier Water Wetter has anti-corrosion inhibitors in it. Both RedLine and Stewart say to use distilled water only with WW , (if you are able) . Ive done this for the last 6 years of owning my BB Vette and when the block was disassembled for a motor rebuild, the water passages looked great. I am , however, cleaning , flushing, and changing to antifreeze each fall though.

  14. #14
    Member Jack's Avatar
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    Default

    I am pleased to report that my flush job with the GM P/N 12346500 Prestone AS100 (dry oxalic acid) was a complete success. I have absolutely NO leaks ... aluminum radiator, intake & heater core ... NO leaks. The water pump was leaking before flush so I replaced it after flush. Keep in mind this acid stayed in system for about 4 running hours ... at least 3 of which were at full operating temp. Have since gone through many heat cycles & a tank of gas in the 97 V6 GMC ... no leaks. I followed GM bulletin #99-06-02-012D CLOSELY ... procedure did a fine job of cleaning out ALL DEX-COOL and ALL the funky residue that failed DEX-COOL is famous for creating. I refilled w/ green stuff & DH2O.
    JACK

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