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Old July 2nd, 2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
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Arrow safe cleaning tricks to rid calcium deposits n radiator...

Hi all,
So my radiator in my 71 cutlass supreme has A LOT of calcium deposits. Id like to keep the original radiator and not buy an aftermarket one, so I wanted to know if anyone knows of a SAFE method to clean out the deposits?

I read ppl used vinegar,but then read that using vinegard (due to the acid) would cause heavy rusting to occur.
Someone then suggested after using vinegar to flush the system out w/a mixture of water&baking soda to neutralize the radiators metals to prevent the rusting issue.
Anyone try this?????

I also read ppl using limesclae cleaner..

Anyone here use either of the above methods w/successful results?
Or anyone have other safe cleaning alternatives?

By the way,I was told rodding causes leaks&the guy didn't want to take the chance to rod my radiator due to its age hence why I'm asking for othe solutions

Last edited by 71CutlassSupreme; July 2nd, 2011 at 12:19 PM.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta. And "I am Can 'eh' jun - eh"
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I'm sure that vinegar/water will clean some of it. I've been thinking of cleaning mine too. If I do though, I'll probably take it out so I can paint it after I'm done, or take it to the rad shop if something goes horribly wrong. I saw a rad comb on the web I want to get that will straighten out all the rad fins and take any bugs caught there out. Seems like just when you want to do something simple, there are lots of other things that 'pop up'. I was thinking of trying CLR. It works really good on my shower and taps + I've got it on my hands and it hasn't created a trip to the Dr.s office.

One thing you might want to think about if you're doing the rad? The heater core might also be heavily encrusted too. I know you can replace that but not as easy as running a flush through it. Have you looked at the Prestone rad flush kit to do the rad? I have one in the garage, just that I'm not sure if I want to cut a heater hose to install the tee.

The opinions expressed by Allan R are solely those of an Olds enthusiast and are not in any way meant to hinder a relationship between other Olds fans and their dreams...

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Old July 2nd, 2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 71CutlassSupreme View Post
By the way,I was told rodding causes leaks&the guy didn't want to take the chance to rod my radiator due to its age hence why I'm asking for othe solutions
Rodding ?

I'm not sure how caked up your rad is, but I'd think running some CLR or vinegar wouldn't hurt it. Its just plumbing. Anything that the vin/CLR disolves wasn't meant to be there. I wouldn't run vinegar or CLR in it while attached to rest of the cooling system...and I'd make sure you flush it well w/ clean water when done.

Treat it like the coffee maker ! Run vinegar thru it and flush with clean water !
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 06:38 AM   #4
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I use plain old tried and true prestone flush. I run it thru the whole system including the heater core. It's simple not expensive and generally works.

Please note that if your cooling system is really caked up, a radiator shop will most likely be your next stop.

After your done rinsing your system really well, add a 50/50 mix of coolant and water, your good to go!!
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 06:38 AM
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