Vinegar Method Of Cleaning Radiator & HOTTER HEAT ◄

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Vinegar Method Of Cleaning Radiator & HOTTER HEAT ◄

Postby ARCHINSTL » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:25 am

When I had the radiator out for easier access for the water pump installation, I took the opportunity to do the “vinegar method” of cleaning it. The radiator did not appear heavily deposited when inspected through the fill hole, and the AF has always appeared quite clear, but it seemed logical to do this while it was out of the car. This AF refill would be the third since I got Goldie 9 years ago. I don't know how old the radiator is.
I used a gallon of regular white vinegar, cold from the jug. The radiator was laid flat for the soaking.
1. Mixture 50/50 with distilled water, in for an hour, then flushed with tap water from hose.
2. Straight vinegar, also in for an hour, then flushed again.
3. Repeat #2.
4. Filled with distilled water and let sit for another couple of hours, then drained and installed in car.
5. No sign of leaks anywhere.

See the attached photos - I saved the deposits for the photos. There were more deposits that were extremely fine - perhaps 1/4 teaspoon.
I was pretty pleased with this and will do it again and also with the heater core when I do the timing belt this Fall.
Tom M.
►►► EDIT in 2016: It probably makes no difference, but my radiator is not OE with the plastic top; mine is all metal, two-row, with a brass (copper?) top and is apparently a replacement by a PO.

Left-click to enlarge.
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T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
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Mark Twain

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: Vinegar Method Of Cleaning Radiator

Postby Petros » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:47 pm

I may have to do this with mine. I used vinigar in the heater core for a hour last fall, helped greatly but it needs some more soak time (you do not even have to remove the heater core to do this).

Now on long up hill runs at low speed on hot days my temp climbs until I turn on the heater. so looks like my radiator needs a good flush.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

User avatar
ARCHINSTL
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 5936
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: Vinegar Method Of Cleaning Radiator & HOTTER HEAT ◄

Postby ARCHINSTL » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:00 pm

As outlined in the OP, I vinegared the radiator back in 2014.
When installing the new pump and timing belt this past June, I again vinegared the radiator (no chunks this time, just milky fluid-YAY!).
When I replaced the 3 heater hoses (a PITA on several of them!), I also vinegared the heater core.
Warmed the vinegar and let it sit in the core for about an hour, all the while expecting drips on the carpet from perforation.
Success, but was almost kinda disappointed that nothing beyond just some "dust" was present in the recovered vinegar.
Followed up with a garden hose flush and then a distilled water flush before installing the new hoses and the proper AF/distilled water mix.
Frankly, after noting that not much was in the vinegared drainings from the core, I was not expecting much of an improvement in heater output.
BOY, but I was pleasantly surprised!
The heater output now is nothing short of amazing!
I've not put a remote reading on it, as my Ryobi laser remote gun has been acting up, but believe me, the heat is MUCH improved!
I would recommend all do this the next time you renew the AF or pump or belt, even if the ancient heater hoses are not replaced.
Really!
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain


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