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Thread: Flushing engine block and radiator?

  1. #1
    turbo addict
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    Flushing engine block and radiator?

    A buddy of mine has a 89 shadow we always seem to be working on... Anyways we flushed his heater core a couple weeks ago because it was clogged and was putting out no heat. We got a TON of "mud" out of it. I noticed while we were messing with the car that inside of the brand new radiator seemed to have a bunch of sludge/mud on it. A swipe of your finger inside the radiator and it was covered in it. I told him then we may have to flush the whole system but we were out of time. He called me today and the heater core is plugged again less then two weeks later. So now we need to flush EVERYTHING. We flushed the system with straight water when he first bought it so I am thinking we need to use some sort of cleaner this time. I think in this cars past it had a blown HG and water and oil mixed and it was improperly flushed. So I need something that will cut the oil, not hard water deposits. I did a bunch of googleing and found two things that are supposed to work great for this. Dish washer detergent or simple green. Has anyone used either of these? What kind of results did you get? Just looking for a little extra info before we dive into this tomorrow morning.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Hybrid booster
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Well i think the dish soap would work well but it is going to make a ton of suds and be tough to rinse out. Simple green may not suds as much and rinse better.

    Good luck!
    Gene

  3. #3
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor zin's Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Simple Green, less residue and should be better at breaking up/emulsifying the gunk, which may take a few go-rounds. Seems like you can only get a certain amount out each time ...

    Mike
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  4. #4
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    I bet you somebody pour "stock leak" into the coolant system.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    I second tryingbe's conclusion. That stuff is the worst and you never really get it all out. I've had a couple of customers cars come in with it in their systems. I flush and flush and it never really all comes out. I've used a degreaser like Simple Green. It does an okay job. Your best best is to take the plug out of the lowest point in the back of the block to drain it out when you're flushing.

    A.J.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor shackwrrr's Avatar
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    Use laundry detergent, dish soap has lots of phosphates that attack aluminum.
    Ian Adams

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  7. #7
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Shout laundry detergent works good. An older mechanic i used to work with told me about it and we've used it a few times at work, all successful.

  8. #8
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    I've used the small bottle of Prestone flush with success. Get that and a Prestone flush kit. The instructions will be on the bottle and on the flush kit. When you back flush the system (the second step) you'll see a lot of crap come out of it. Prestone gives you that little yellow tube to stick in the top of the radiator but I like to run a hose off the end of that to get the back flush away from the car.
    Scott
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    CLR,
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    CLR,
    That chit work and not harm anything?

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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Quote Originally Posted by roachjuice View Post
    That chit work and not harm anything?
    It can put holes in but then if it does, it would have happened anyway. I clean out my heater core every year with that stuff, I would be on year 7 or so if I was driving it this winter. I need to replace my core but too lazy,
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Diesel with a remote mounted turbo setup burning WMO.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

    TIII adapter plates for a dizzy.Link to info.

  12. #12
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Well, we ended up using dish washer soap. Like a 2 second squirt. Ran it tell it warmed up and then flushed it good (took the thermo out too). Did that 3 times, got a ton of stuff out the first time. After that it was more of "we are here, let make 110% sure it is clean". Then we filled it and dumped/flushed it again 3 more times. Then added antifreeze and called it good! We never even touched the heater core and it was putting out super hot air by the time we were done. Ill call it a success for now.

  13. #13
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Clr or the napa radiator flush stuff it works.

  14. #14
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor zin's Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowFromHell View Post
    Well, we ended up using dish washer soap. Like a 2 second squirt....
    What brand/style did you use?

    Mike
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

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  15. #15
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Whatever my wife had under the sink lol. Eco something.

  16. #16
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor zin's Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    OK, so it was the "liquid" dishwasher stuff?

    I was pretty sure it wasn't the powder since that stuff would probably leave some kind of grit in the system... I guess in theory it would be flushed out, but it's one of those things that if you know about it, it bugs you... (or at least me!)

    Mike
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

    Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Yes liquid. From my google research that I did before doing this I read the powdered stuff is not the stuff to use for the very reason you are concerned.

  18. #18
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    I CLR'd my heater core once. Worked ok to get the gunk out of the core. Problem is it started cleaning out the rust in my block. I flushed the crap out of the thing, Engine on, hose in the rad, water pooring out the t-stat housing, NEVER did get all the rust and CLR out. New heater core, new engine, new rad were the only way to get rid of it.

  19. #19
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor zin's Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    Rust forms a pretty dense "mud", kind of clay-like. Seems like without physically stirring it up, most cleaners just dissolve the top layer, which is why I'm keen on hearing what's really getting the job done.

    I'm definitely trying the dishwasher detergent! Once the muck is out, CLR will probably give it a "final rinse", though I thought it wasn't good for aluminum? ...

    Mike
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

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  20. #20
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor bfarroo's Avatar
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    Re: Flushing engine block and radiator?

    I've used CLR in the past. Like simon said if there is anything being held together with rust it will remove it and you will have a leak there. Mine started leaking at the turbo coolant line the first time I used it. I've also used rinses with Oxilic acid and base nutrilizer. They came in a tube with the acid on one side and the base on the other. You drain the system, add the acid to water and run up to temp for some amount of time. Drain the mixture, flush with water, then add clean water and the base to nutralize.
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