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Coke to remove corrosion in radiator?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90K5, May 11, 2002.

  1. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    i figure since you can pour coke on battery terminals to get rid of corrosion, what about radiators? A year ago whe nI didn't know what i was doing, I used tap water instead of distilled to fill the radiator. I'm changing the heater core soon, and figured it would be a good time to clean it up. The radiator is only a few years old, so I doubt the corrosion is hiding any holes...Would there be any bad effects of emptying the radiator and filling it with coke? Maybe even running it for a few minutes to clean that stuff out? No matter what I do, I'm gonna flush it real well when I'm done, so i get all the coke out. I've tried the radiator flush stuff before and it didn't really work too well. I figure as long as I keep the engine cool, as in watching the temp gauge carefully, and setting a fan up in front of it, should it be allright? Thanks
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I would be most worried about the liquid boiling off and the sugar/syrup accumulating in the water jacket and cooling fins. There's a bunch of chemical flushes available, and they are designed to work in a cooling system atmosphere. I would suggest checking them out before you throw soda pop in your rad......

    Neat idea, though. It's nice to see someone using their imagination........./forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  3. NoSmog73

    NoSmog73 1/2 ton status

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    I may also add that you can buy a backflush kit by preston that when you hook it in line with your upper heater core hose it will help to back flush the whole system....mike
     
  4. 76JIMMYWPG

    76JIMMYWPG Registered Member

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    My 76 had some corrosion on the rad, and i took it to a local rad shop, and they gave it a good cleaning for free (wanted to check for leaks) unfortunatley we found some. While i had the rad out, i held the garden hose up to my upper heater core hose and totally flushed out the cooling system, all came out the lower rad hose! bolt all back together and is as good as new! BTW flushing the heater core out makes it work better too!
     
  5. René

    René 1/2 ton status

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    To use Coke or lemonade isn’t a good idea, but tries it with toilet cleaner. That solves deposits and can be heated up also. If a radiator is corroded, you can’t save it mostly. Often it has then big holes.
     
  6. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Would it be all right to run it with toilet cleaner in there? I got the heater cor ein a few hours ago, and don't wanna do anything to mess it up...I guess i could bypass it though....
     
  7. NoSmog73

    NoSmog73 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know about the toilet cleaner but I really would get that backflush kit ( about 5bucks) and all it is is a T fitting that you put into the upper heater core hose that has a hose fitting, then when you change the radiator fluid you can back flush the whole system heater core and all by just hooking the hose up to the fitting and starting the motor with the heater on......I know that kragon has them and pee-boys...mike
     
  8. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    yeah, I already have a back flush kit, and it only got rid of a little of it, after several tries. Anyway, what about carbonated water? The carbonation in coke is what gets rid of corrosion right? Wouldn't carbonated water work, and since there is no syrup...it shouldn't clog anything up.
     
  9. NoSmog73

    NoSmog73 1/2 ton status

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    I never used anything but the super flush stuff and that took all the crap out in one shot....mike
     
  10. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    DON'T USE COKE!!!! READ THIS!!!!
    It tells you what to use, it's not the "coke" that helps it's carbonic acid that helps.

    The URL for this page is

    http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/acid.htm

    Later, Shane
     
  11. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I figured that, which is why I said carbonated water. And yes, I used several bottles of the super flush stuff wtihout any positive results...so, will carbonated water work or not...any better ideas? I don't wanna pay someone a bunch of money to clean it out when I can do it for a few bucks if possible.
     
  12. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    Coke removes corrosion because it is acidic. The acid neutralizes the base and the corrosion is gone. I don't think carbonated water is nearly as acidic. Distilled water has a pH of 7 (which is neutral) tap water and non "acid" rain is more like a pH of 5.6, lemon juice like someone mentioned has a pH of something like 2.5. I think Coke is probably around pH 3 or so. I'm sure there would be a better acidic solution that could flush the radiator than coke, which contains all the sugar. However if it is too acid it will start dissolving the metal too, but not many people have acid with molar concentrations that high readily available /forums/images/icons/smile.gif (battey acid is around pH 1, which is pretty damn strong) I would look a bit harder for something made for the use, maybe talk to a radiator shop. Looks like I have retained a few things from my 2 years of college chemistry.
     
  13. rugger03

    rugger03 1/2 ton status

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    maybe try viniger. i've use it to remove rust on tow chains and old tools.
     
  14. René

    René 1/2 ton status

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    Normally, radiators are from copper or brass. If distilled water is used the material reacts chemically and destroyed within a short time the radiator. Around lime and boiler scale to remove many professional workshops use a liquid, similarly the toilet cleaner. But as already said: If one rust far away is often a hole under it.
     
  15. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    I ended up using some carbonated water...jsut filled up the radiator, and let it sit overnight. It broke down some of th ecorrosion, but there's still some there...oh well....
     
  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    replacement is the best bet, you definitely can't see whats going on near the base of the radiator where the tubes empty, only the top. Vinegar didn't work for me, I had the radiator flow tested (free) after a gallon of vinegar and it was still half the GPH it should have been.
     
  17. Erich_in_AZ

    Erich_in_AZ 1/2 ton status

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    Take it to a rad shop and have them do it. Usually gives very good results without all of the hassle
     
  18. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    oh man - I brought this up on another board (<a target="_blank" href=http://www.stovebolt.com>stovebolt.com</a>), and now I'm known as the coke / pepsi man. lets just say they did a very VERY good job of proving that neither coke or pepsi with do a thing. you might as well pour water on it. (search the forums over there - I'm sure you'll find it /forums/images/icons/wink.gif)
     
  19. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    Damn Solo you get all kinds of $hit over there don't you! I like the way you thought of getting the wood out of the bed faster!! That's great!!

    Shane - LOL!
     
  20. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    LOL - yea I kinda play to them over there - they think I'm some kinda dumb hick, and I'm not about to let them think otherwise... /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     

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