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Old 01-25-2017, 04:43 PM   #1
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Rear DP Radiator Cleaning

After reading several blogs regarding overheating and multiple chemicals used to clean the hard oil/dirt build up I thought I would share what has worked very well for me. The solidified buildup is due to oil and dirt. I elected to use kerosene rather any "chemicals" that may or may not damage the CAC or radiator.

First, I used a 6" hole saw to cut access hole on the top of the radiator shroud. Used the circular piece that was cut out as a plug and two aluminum straps to fasten back in place with SS sheet metal screws (see below). 6" provided enough room for my hand and hose nozzle to fit through for rinsing purposes.

Here is my step by step method.
Remove closet floor to access fan shroud area.
Cut the 6" hole @ 12:00 in the center of the shroud.
Start engine and allow to warm to 1/4 on temp gauge. Turn engine off.
Using a spray bottle, spray kerosene through all fins from the REAR
Through your new access hole spray kerosene same as you did from rear.
Spray down all other items: fan blade, pulley(s), inside of shroud......
Allow kerosene to work for 30-40 minutes. The heat from the radiator helps the kerosene to lift the hard debris off the surfaces.
Begin rinsing with HOT water from the rear FIRST until water runs clear.
Ditto from the front along with fan, shroud and other items.
Mix Dawn dishwasher soap 50/50 with water. Repeat same steps as with the kerosene.
Rinse same as you did with the kerosene process.
Start engine and allow the water to blow back through the CAC and radiator until all water is displaced.
Make two straps, preferably aluminum: 1/2" wide x 1/8" thick x 8" long
Bridge the plug so you have four tabs extending outside the diameter, fasten to plug with 2 #10 SS sheet metal screws each strap.
I recommend drilling a pilot hole of 1/8" for the screws.
Align the plug with the access hole and install same screws to the shroud securing the tabs to the shroud.
Reassemble closet.
DONE.
*** For those with an exhaust brake its a great time to lubricate the linkage per the manual.
*** The Dawn soap mixture does two things. Cleans off all kerosene residue along with removing any final oils AND breaking down the kerosene put to the ground. (we have a gravel drive so it also reduces the weed killer needed directly under the project) Which is worse, a little Kerosene or Roundup?

Our rig, fully loaded with a 18' boat in tow, climbs the Jelico mountains at 62-65 mph and NEVER exceeds 1/2 on the temp gauge. She purrs like a COOL kitten.

Hope this helps those that can DIY
Travel safe
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:02 PM   #2
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Sounds like you did an exceptional job! Thanks for taking the time to write the description. I still need to cut that hole in the shroud. Do you be any chance have a few pictures you can post?
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:37 PM   #3
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Thanks, really cleaned very well. I inspected at night with an inspection camera to find it was 99.9% clean. The trick I found is the temperature of the radiator pre-application of the kerosene. I used "cleaners" before this method to find they did a so,so job. I tried heat with them but the product flashed off the water in the product and never cleaned. So, I figured if the "gunk" buildup was petroleum based, oil and dirt, then so should the liquid to break it down. I found the kerosene migrates under the gunk that was caked on the fins and it came off in solid pieces rather slim. Just be absolutely sure your first initial rinse is from the back towards the engine or you will push all the gunk into the radiator through the CAC. I'll get some photo's of the access hole and straps for you next time the wife has all the stuff out of the closet. So busy doing the project I neglected to take any pic's,,,, Da
One last note, youll need a solvent capable spray bottle(get at HD). The dollar store units wont take the kerosene.
Good luck and in hopes you find my process beneficial. Yes, I am an engineer,,,,
George
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thanks, really cleaned very well. I inspected at night with an inspection camera to find it was 99.9% clean. The trick I found is the temperature of the radiator pre-application of the kerosene. I used "cleaners" before this method to find they did a so,so job. I tried heat with them but the product flashed off the water in the product and never cleaned. So, I figured if the "gunk" buildup was petroleum based, oil and dirt, then so should the liquid to break it down. I found the kerosene migrates under the gunk that was caked on the fins and it came off in solid pieces rather slim. Just be absolutely sure your first initial rinse is from the back towards the engine or you will push all the gunk into the radiator through the CAC. I'll get some photo's of the access hole and straps for you next time the wife has all the stuff out of the closet. So busy doing the project I neglected to take any pic's,,,, Da
One last note, youll need a solvent capable spray bottle(get at HD). The dollar store units wont take the kerosene.
Good luck and in hopes you find my process beneficial. Yes, I am an engineer,,,,
George
I'm civil engineer, retired road/bridge design & construction.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:33 PM   #5
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Masters in Mechanical, Electrical and Hydraulics over here.
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:14 AM   #6
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And where did the kerosene fall ? on the ground ? polluting ? What ?

Dawn has always worked for me and many others without the pollution on the ground
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:10 AM   #7
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And where did the kerosene fall ? on the ground ? polluting ? What ?

Dawn has always worked for me and many others without the pollution on the ground
What proof do you have of this claim? What makes you think Dawn is any better for the environment? Or Simple Green or many other degreasers for that matter? The only part of Dawn that is biodegradable is the very small component called surfactants. The rest is non biodegradable. By the way, what exactly is biodegradable? Where does the bio stuff go after it's been degraded? Does the small amount of kerosene that is killing grass in the driveway any worse than Roundup Weed and Grass killer that would be used instead?

I am as environmentally conscience as the next guy, probably more so, but I am also a logical thinker, and I always look for scientific proof, backup or reasons to substantiate claims. I guess I should have been from Missouri, the Show Me State.
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Old 01-26-2017, 09:06 AM   #8
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Do you use a tank sprayer for the hot water or do you use a hose from some other location?
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Old 01-26-2017, 10:05 AM   #9
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Thank's for the info, I will give it a shot this spring.
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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I use a garden hose connected to the wash tube in the basement to have how water. I'm not convinced a tank sprayer has enough volume or pressure to push the gunk off the surface.

To my fellow engineer. I agree with your logic(common sense) and eco friendly concerns. I did use biodegradable water! LOL

Thanks for everyone's positive comments.
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:07 PM   #11
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Not to far off subject but the Valdez and deep water horizon major spills were cleaned up with Dawn and other surfactants.., one thing is for sure though, almost everything here on this 3rd rock from the sun, has already been here and stays here. It just changes its type of substance... sounds like a great way to clean the radiator and other components,, good job
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:13 PM   #12
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Ah hell just pull the coach ahead after done and throw a match to the gunk on the ground and burn it off that way it won't soak into the ground.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:01 AM   #13
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I've used a product called Carbon-X for years , everyone might want to research it ,it's a great cleaner (even had success cleaning walnut tree sap)
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discovery39s View Post
Thanks, really cleaned very well. I inspected at night with an inspection camera to find it was 99.9% clean. The trick I found is the temperature of the radiator pre-application of the kerosene. I used "cleaners" before this method to find they did a so,so job. I tried heat with them but the product flashed off the water in the product and never cleaned. So, I figured if the "gunk" buildup was petroleum based, oil and dirt, then so should the liquid to break it down. I found the kerosene migrates under the gunk that was caked on the fins and it came off in solid pieces rather slim. Just be absolutely sure your first initial rinse is from the back towards the engine or you will push all the gunk into the radiator through the CAC. I'll get some photo's of the access hole and straps for you next time the wife has all the stuff out of the closet. So busy doing the project I neglected to take any pic's,,,, Da
One last note, youll need a solvent capable spray bottle(get at HD). The dollar store units wont take the kerosene.
Good luck and in hopes you find my process beneficial. Yes, I am an engineer,,,,
George

Just curious since I've cleaned mine with Dawn & with simple green extreme. What engine is in your motorhome, is it a rear radiator, & what was the before & after coolant temps while towing?
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