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Old 07-09-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
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Radiator Fin Cleaning?

It's been two years, should I clean the rad fins? Haven't had any over temp issues and would I use water hose or HP air? It is a rear mount radiator.
Thx/Brian
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:12 PM   #2
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Do not use high pressure hose.
You need to get access to the front of the rad, because the problem is the transmission cooler is in front of the rad. It has to be cleaned, also for good air flow.
Use a garden sprayer with a solution of 1 cup Dawn, 1 cup Simple Green Extreme. and 1 1/2 gal water.
From front of rad spray.
let set 20 minutes
spray with water hose
run engine
spray rad with solution while engine is running, be careful
stop engine
let set 20 minutes
flush with garden hose with engine running
do previous 5 steps again
You should be good to go.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian-nicola View Post
It's been two years, should I clean the rad fins? Haven't had any over temp issues and would I use water hose or HP air? It is a rear mount radiator.
Thx/Brian
Brian,
Well Sir, first off, what you should do is, get as close to those CAC and radiator fins as you can, so observe whether or not the need cleaning. You may find that, they're in pretty good shape. It's not really going to hurt anything if you clean them and they didn't need it but, why do it if it's not needed.

As for the use of high pressure, well, that's a matter of opinion. When I had a radiator leak on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, I had to pull it out along with the CAC. Both were seriously clogged in the fins area. About 45-50% of the total area of both were clogged. I placed the radiator on a set of saw horses and, used and used a citrus based industrial cleaner made by ZEP.

Then, while it was soaking, I fired up my 2650 psi pressure washer and, blasted that radiator. Now, since I was not born yesterday, I WAS CAREFUL about bending any of the fins. I was constantly checking for damage to them. NOT ONE FIN WAS BENT IN THE PROCESS of cleaning that entire radiator.

And, not only that but, it took at least 3 applications of that ZEP cleaner and pressure washing, before it started flowing out the other side of the fins. To say the least, that stuff was really caked in those fins. If I'd have done it the "soaking" method and, just using standard garden hose pressure/water, the process would have taken me weeks.

Anyway, take a good look at them prior to committing. Here's a suggestion. I used an "Inspection camera" I purchased from Costco. It has a 3' flexible lens so, I can get real close to those fins to check for conditions. I've used that camera multiple times for work on the coach. It's paid for itself several times just in using it on the coach.
Scott
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:55 PM   #4
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Web 14 oz. Condenser Coil Cleaner-WCOIL - The Home Depot

This stuff is amazing and seems very easy on the hands and has not harmed my paint in any way. I use it on my AC coils as well as radiators. Two cans will do a great job. One for each side of the radiator. If you can open the engine compartment and spray from there so much the better.

I spray mine down and let it sit for a few minutes then gently spray it deeper into the fins and let it sit again. It rinses easily.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:45 PM   #5
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Thank you all,
She is only 2yrs old and low mileage, but off next week on a series of long grades. I can crawl right inside and just about have a party in the engine bay! So I will see how much, if any cleaning required.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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I like the Prestone Bug Off, garden sprayer, let soak, rinse with garden hose.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:16 PM   #7
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Get a radiator fin tool, just in case you need to straighten some out. Get a Gunk siphon spray rod. Then you can do just about anything you want, easily. You can use whatever concoction you want to use. You can regulate the pressure to what you want. You can adapt the spray rod to work in incredibly tight spaces if you need. You could also look for someone to give you a pass with a steam cleaner which is extremely effective.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Get a radiator fin tool, just in case you need to straighten some out. Get a Gunk siphon spray rod. Then you can do just about anything you want, easily. You can use whatever concoction you want to use. You can regulate the pressure to what you want. You can adapt the spray rod to work in incredibly tight spaces if you need. You could also look for someone to give you a pass with a steam cleaner which is extremely effective.
What is the Gunk Siphon spray rod? I ran a Google search and don't find it. Sounds like maybe something I should have for cleaning the radiators in my RV. Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:33 PM   #9
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I agree. Never heard of it. Sounds interesting.

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Old 07-10-2015, 08:38 PM   #10
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google siphon spray you get lots of results
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:24 PM   #11
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Yeah,
I've used those siphon spray tubes before for engine cleaning in my younger years. If I'm not mistaken, it uses air from your home air compressor to create a venturi in a nozzle and, that siphons what ever liquid you've got for it in a bucket or, bottle or gallon jug etc. We used to use it for spraying paint thinner and or, any other bulk engine cleaner on greasy engines. There no real power there, just the ability to lavishly spray on a surface, whatever you want.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:25 AM   #12
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The siphon spray rods most folks would need are in the lower price range from $10 to $30 but some of the really lower end stuff is not so good. You can spend a few hundred to get a really good one but that's nuts for an occasional user. A Brink gun is pretty good and can get the pressure higher than most folks should use...high pressure is not the key to engine cleaning, the solvent is.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:28 AM   #13
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I've used a pressure sprayer many times with Simple Green (be sure it's for Aluminum use). Sprayer - the simple garden type used for insecticide, etc. works great.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:32 PM   #14
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I just cleaned mine last week after a buddy of mine told me he does his monthly. I did get some dirt out of it so worth doing and then you will get the picture about how often it needs it.

I did notice that my buddies MH throws a lot more soot than mine. Likely why he does monthly.
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