View Full Version : External Radiator Cleaning
09-30-2009, 02:08 PM
I have been told that the best way of cleaning your radiator is to spray it down with brake fluid, let it dry then blow out with 60 to 90 psi air. Has anyone out there ever tried this. I have always used Simple Green then flushed with water.
09-30-2009, 03:19 PM
Never heard off the brake fluid rinse but do know that brake fluid plays havoc with paint. I would stick with the simple green and always rinse from the backside if it's road debree. JMO
09-30-2009, 04:02 PM
I agree with Nash, and flush from the backside
11-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Is the radiator aluminum or copper/brass? Why are you wanting to clean it? If you blow that much pressue on the fins, be careful not to lay the fins over. If you do, you will cause more damage than good. I am in the radiator business. I have a repair facility and a manufacturing company. I have never heard of brake fluid. If it is running hot, you might have another problem.
11-11-2009, 12:27 AM
Where have you been? Yes, I thought I had a problem but found out that my dash instruments are calibrated for a Cummins and not for a Cat. A Cat engine runs 10 to 15 degrees higher then the Cummins. I would get high alarm and high temp indication on my gauge.
Now to answer your question. Because of the slobber tube I like to clean the radiator after each trip. One day after a cleaning with Simple Green and a water hose I could not get my engine to start. I had to call a Cat mech. to start the engine. I got water some where it should not have gotten and messed up the computer. The mech. had to reset the computer then the engine started up. This is the mech. that told me about the brake fluid for cleaning the radiator. I have not tried it but thank you for your input.
How would you check to see if the radiator is cooling properly? I have an IR gun. Not sure how to confirm the correct flow of the water. :question: :)
11-12-2009, 10:04 PM
It is a good idea to clean your radiator if you have extreme conditions. But driving in everyday, normal conditions over the road, it is not necessary. I don't want you to be one of those guys that damage your radiator, condenser due to laying the fins over because it needs cleaning or it is running hot. Under normal conditions, external cleaning is not necessary. If you begin to run a little hot and it is clear for external debris (Major Blockage not a few bugs), it is usually internal or another issue. Now, it would only be external if something unusual has happened. One of the most common things we might see is oil due to a leak, it sprays on the radiator and then attracts dust, it will clog one up in a heatbeat. Then you would need to wash it out with high pressure and probably use a degreaser to break down the oil. Now, to me it does not sound like the case. You just want to make sure it is clean. Unless the fins are stopped up (and a visual inspection would tell) I would leave it alone. You can cause more damage than good. A visual inspection should be fine. You just said you got something wet and must have cost you money? I hope this helps. Is it aluminum???
11-13-2009, 06:33 PM
Yes I believe it is aluminum. Thank you for your input. Question, Seems that my cooling water flows from the top hose on the left side of the radiator, down to the bottom of the left side, then flows up to the top of the right side, down to the bottom of the right side then back to the engine. The reason I ask is, when I take a temp reading the top left is hot, bottom left is warm and the top right is cool and the bottom right is cooler. I have spoke with a radiator shop and they said that my right side could be plugged. I have a hard time believing this. What do you think. If the right side is plugged wouldn't I be getting hot all of the time. Right now I only get hot when climbing long steep grades. I will get up to 220 degrees which is only 5 degrees more than what CAT likes to see and 10 degrees below shutdown. :question:
11-16-2009, 11:53 AM
The radiator you have is a double pass. I am not sure of the specifications ( operating temp) But it sounds like it is working correctly. Now, is it stopped up? hard to say without a physical inspection. You can do a visual inspection of the external core. You will need to look deep in the fins and look for debris in the fins. Sometimes you think it is clean but deep in the middle of the core it is stopped up. You would probably need to have the radiator removed to do an inspection on the inside and possibly on the outside. Once off, you could have it flushed out if it is aluminum. I don't know if you can find a radiator shop that would be willing to cut the tank off and rod the radiator out? which is the only way to know if it has internal blockage. We can do that at our facility, but we manufacture radiator / aluminum. visit my website www.cgj.com. If it is copper, any reputable radiator shop can take it apart and rod it out. You might want to talk to Cat and find out what else could cause the temp rise going up the mountains and check those first, if they are less avasive and less expensive. Let me know what you find out.
11-16-2009, 03:26 PM
Hey thanks for your reply. To bad you are so far away. I am going to take a flood light, put it on one side of the radiator and look thru the other side. This should show any blockage. Thank again. Good Web Site. :cool:
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