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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    seattle, WA

    best way to clean dirty heater core?

    hey all,

    A while ago I took a stab at watercooling when I (and my offiicemates) had had enough of the whine of the glaciator. I pulled a heater core out of an old ford escort, and MAN was it dirty. Filled with all kinds of rusty water and gunk. I kept flushing it with water until the water ran clean, and hooked it up in the system. Omitting _many_ details and trials and tribulations, but everything worked just fine until the day the core accidentally took a fall, and on impact dislodged a ton more the rusty stuff to fill up my nice clean tubing.

    I'd like to keep using this heater core, but need to find a much better way to clean it. I remember seeing an article on this here a long time ago, but it recommended soaking the entire core in some sort of hcl solution, 'found in many household cleaning products'. The only cleaning products I can find that list their ingredients are basic , not acidic.

    So what's the best thing to do? Can I let it soak in a bucket of warm water and radiator flush? Can I put that stuff through my pump (eheim 1048) ? Are there better ways to go about this?

    Thanks a lot for any input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    York, UK
    Acid flush is what I used... I used some kettle limescale removing stuff, it's acidic. Lemon juice / vinegar will also work to an extent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    There is an article on the main sitehere that explains on how to clean out all the crap.

  4. #4
    You are better off getting a new one. Given a new core only cost around $18 at Autozone. The time you save and the risk of the old core leaking or clogging you the tubes will be worth then the money you spend on a new core. You can alway take it to a radiator place and have them flush it and coat the core. But I think it will cost more.

  5. #5
    Senior TIFOSI Sonny's Avatar
    10 Year Badge
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Welcome To The Forums!!!!!

    .....and to the addiction

    If you can't find the cleaning products with the hydrochloric acid then you could just add it yourself to the water & detergent. You might also want to take a look at some of the radiator cleaners that are suppose to flush out the rust.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Milton Keynes, UK
    i have not tried this yet but am sure taht a cleaner such as alloy wheel cleaner will work instead, it you have any around try it, it is very strong stuff.

  7. #7
    Member azhari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I wonder if you can use the engine cleaner stuff at the carwashes. You know those car wash places that you drive into, drop a couple of quarters, and choose what comes out of the power hose? Most of them have a setting for engine cleaner. I've used it before to clean the filters from a restaurant's kitchen vent. They weren't rusty though, just clogged with that greasy crap you get from all the cooking.

  8. #8
    THIEF AND A TROLL -Silversinksam
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Twister City
    You might also call a raditor repair shop and see what they would charge you to dip it. It can't be that much especially if you tell them what you are doing with it. Most people will bend over backwards to help. Sometimes the reactions you get are worth the cost of having work done. Have fun.
    Stay Cool

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