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Old 03-27-2014, 02:33 PM   #1
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Toad radiator sludge at filler neck...Carolina dirt colored

Wow, the radiator filler neck was almost closed with a very soft/muddy build up.

Looks like red Carolina dirt and is firm enough to make into a mud ball. Very water soluable and not greasy.

Any idea what and where this came from?

Would a Prestone flush product clean it all out?

Yuk!
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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Loose radiator cap and mud daubers?
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Called local radiator repair shop--Normally from weak coolant, and air getting into system. Leak or bad cap. Allows rust and sludge to build up. You May be able to flush and clean the system. If that doesn't work, you may be able to backflush or have the radiator rodded out. May be hard to get out of the heater core...
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:57 PM   #4
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Wow, the radiator filler neck was almost closed with a very soft/muddy build up. Looks like red Carolina dirt and is firm enough to make into a mud ball. Very water soluable and not greasy. Any idea what and where this came from? Would a Prestone flush product clean it all out? Yuk!
What brand, year, mileage? GM with Dexcool?

All of the OEMs used to use cooling system pellets in new production, but most have stopped (I think and hope).

They used to muddy up the coolant recovery bottle (looked like sludge) or the top of the radiator near the cap.

Just a thought.

If it's an old vehicle, a leaking intake or head gasket will put combustion gas into the coolant sometimes and make a mess. But you should have another symptom
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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It's a very low mileage 93 Ford Aerostar with the 3.0 V6. The rad cap may be OEM. I think I will replace the cap and flush the system.

Isn't there some kind of flush cleaning agent out there that will remove grunge from the system?
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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It's a very low mileage 93 Ford Aerostar with the 3.0 V6. The rad cap may be OEM. I think I will replace the cap and flush the system.

Isn't there some kind of flush cleaning agent out there that will remove grunge from the system?
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Prestone AS107 Super Radiator Flush - 22 oz.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:52 PM   #7
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We use a cup of tide laundry soap in diesel trucks to flush the radiator. Drain the radiator. Put in the tide and drive for a hour or two. Then drain and flush with water until clean. Then refill with coolant and you should be good to go. You could drive the car for a day or two with the tide in there. It will not foam. Then flush two or three times with the engine running. Run you heater while you are driving to flush heater core. Most cars nowadays circulate through the heater core all the time anyway and use a door system for hot and cold air. The old cars used to shut the flow off too the heater core, but not for many years.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:46 PM   #8
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Looks like I have my weekend chore scheduled. That and a full detail and spring cleaning.
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:56 AM   #9
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Years ago, on our fleet if we had an oil cooler failure we would use a coupe of cups of Cascade. Run it 'til the thermostats opened, then drain and re-flush with fresh water (run again until warm). Drain and fill with coolant. It did a pretty good job of cleaning the oily crude out of the cooling system.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:30 PM   #10
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I would pressure test this system. Let it set and see if there's a leak internally. That's a pretty old vehicle, regardless of mileage. I would want to make sure to there's no intake gasket leak prior to any other work.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:22 PM   #11
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Old school flush.

Place water hose in top and open drain and adjust flow at fawcet to alliw water level to just stay full.

Start engine and let idle with heater full on.

Watch until water is clear.

Drive to store and get can of 2 part cleaner the type with acid.

After cool pour in acid and drive 20 miles or so with heater full.

After cool repeat flush as first done then add neutraluzer and make another short trip.

After cool flush again.

If nit cokd enough for antifreeze leave it water only for a few trips to be sure nothing else shows up as it could be blown head gasket.

If still clean thed dump tge water and add af if mucky then you got bigger problems.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It's a very low mileage 93 Ford Aerostar with the 3.0 V6. The rad cap may be OEM. I think I will replace the cap and flush the system.

Isn't there some kind of flush cleaning agent out there that will remove grunge from the system?
From a retired ford tech, have the cooling system checked for a blown head gasket. I have removed 3L heads in pieces because they were cracked that bad, spicificly the rt head. Not one of fords better ideas putting the 3L in an Aerostar.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:29 PM   #13
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Yep, that's a great idea. I'll see if I can get a block tester from Autozone and see what I can see tomorrow, first thing. Fingers crossed for no green or yellow in the test...
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:34 PM   #14
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Ok, performed the block test and after several test sessions from cold engine to warm....NO CHANGE in color...Blue is beautiful!

From what I understand, this is a solid test to rule out hydrocarbons getting into the cooling system.

Whew!!

So, I drained about 2 gallons of fluid out and started running about 3-4 gallons of fresh water. There must be a lot of muddy debris in the system, as I never saw clear water.

After all of this, I decided to just close the petcock valve, pour in the Prestone flush fluid....nobody local had that super stuff... and topped of with water.

Going to run the van all weekend and drain. I think I'll try and find that super stuff this weekend to finish the flush. I have an idea that I am going to need it...we'll see.
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