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Old 03-05-2010
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How to clean a heat exchanger core?

I have a 1994 4JH2E Yanmar. I've pulled the heat exchanger core and need to clean it. I was told by a local mechanic that it shouldn't be dipped in acid because it has an aluminum shield around the brass tubes. (The aluminum isn't compatible with the acid.) He said the correct way to do it is using an ultrasonic cleaning machine, however he didn't know of a shop that had one. Can anyone verify this advice and suggest a place I could take it near Annapolis (or ship it elsewhere) to have it cleaned?
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Read this article by Maine Sail. Basically, if you take the heat exchanger to a radiator shop, they can clean it for you.
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Old 03-05-2010
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You can also use Rydlyme.

P.S. Most all automotive radiators and engine blocks these days are aluminum and radiator shops clean and flush engines on a daily basis. Even more so these days with the advent of crap like Dex-Cool aka Death-Cool.....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-05-2010 at 08:05 PM.
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MS—

Tell us how you really feel about Dex Cool... :-)
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Old 03-06-2010
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Okay I'll bite - what's wrong with Dex-Cool?
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Okay I'll bite - what's wrong with Dex-Cool?
SEE HERE, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
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All I can do is to tell how I've cleaned my heat exchanger core from a Perkins 4-108 over the years. I would check with some others before you do as I, but I used a muric acid(the type for cleaning urinals). I put the core into a PVC pipe closed at the ends and let sit for a couple of minutes with the acid. I then empty the pipe and put in a baking soda solution to neutralize the acid and then finally rinse with fresh water. Next I use a rod with a cloth to pass through each tube much like you clean a rifle. Looking through the ends will then show clean shinny tubes. I 've done this probably three times over the 25 years peried that I've owned the boat and it's probably ready for another cleaning, but just be careful with the acid and check to make sure that the manufacturer agrees with the approach.
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My company does industrial heat exchanger cleaning, so I thought I could add some input...

lancelot9898 is doing it "right". If you are going to use acid, do a "quick" cleaning with acid (minutes, not hours or days!), rinse, soak in a baking soda bath to neutralize any remaining micro-pockets of acid, rinse again.

Although acid is not compatible with aluminum, copper, or brass, short contact times should not significantly affect the metal. Especially if you have scale coating the tubes already.

Rydlyme is an interesting product. I do NOT agree with their claims that it is "non-corrosive" nor some of their other claims. They claim the pH is "unreadable, generally <3". We've tested it at <1 pH and their literature raises enough red flags that I consider the product to be misleading at best.

I'd use a 10% - 20% solution of muriatic acid (available from Home Depot in the pool section), and be sure to use nitrile gloves, goggles, etc. Be safe!)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveInMD View Post
Okay I'll bite - what's wrong with Dex-Cool?
More info..

Steve my 2003 Westerbeke had some rusty sludge issues and only ever had Dex-Cool used. It was never, ever mixed and it was changed regularly since new every two seasons.

You never know until you look or have an issue.. My engine was currently cooling fine but was well on her way to not cooling well.

I do not bring this up to tell you what you should do with your own engine. I bring it up in the hopes that some will do more research beyond what the engine manufacturers say to do. GM is still putting Dex-Cool in cars & trucks while at the same time paying out hundreds of millions in damages from the Dex-Cool suit.

Here is an interesting point to consider:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enviro Tech Chemical Inc.
As long-lived as OAT-based antifreezes are, GM does not recommend using Dex-Cool in older vehicles with copper/brass radiators and high lead solder seams. The reason is that the additives in Dex-Cool can eat away at the solder, leading to premature radiator failure. There is also concern that it can erode water pump impellers that experience a lot of cavitations. (New GM engines have specially designed water pump impellers to minimize cavitations).
and this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemmings Motor News
Can you run organic coolant in an earlier vehicle? Yes and no. OAT will work if your radiator is aluminum and you flush your entire cooling system with water and completely refill with OAT, but there are some issues with the interaction between organic coolants and lead solder, so using OAT in a copper radiator is not recommended.
Of course the makers of Dex-Cool insist it is safe for copper radiators & HX's...?? Who to believe is up to you guys..

Boats use copper heat exchangers which are generally soldered together with a tin/lead solder and they some times mix aluminum in there too. Again I have done my own research, and know my own experience with Dex-Cool, I only post this as a beginning point for your own research..

Unfortunately we'll never know the real cause of these issues because GM took the easy way out and chose to settle instead of fighting this or taking this to court so we would all finally know what the real issue and answer is. With settlements, they avoided lots of potential liability by covering only "named" issues. These "named issues" BTW do not include marine engines..

My engine was still running cool but was developing the all too common Dex-Cool sludge in the HX and engine. I think we'll eventually begin to see more issues especially with engines using copper HX's that are brazed with solder..

I spent a long time talking about this issue with a guy who makes this his profession. He showed me piles and piles of parts he claimed were destroyed by Dex-Cool and a 2007 automobile sitting in his shop that he was converting back to global. This was a car owned by the wife of a guy who had GM / Dex-Cool head gasket failures. Paul even showed me the test strip on that 2007 and it was highly acidic. This car had less than 50k and was less than two years old. Dex-Cool claims 5 years or 150k.... there is NO WAY it should have been that acidic..

One of my problems with Dex-Cool is that it is sooo finicky. It does not like air or systems with low water, it does not like any sort of other antifreeze, it does not like some solders, copper, brass etc. etc.. There are literally millions of vehicles affected by these issues I don't see why marine engines would be immune, mine was not. Green or global antifreeze is no panacea, and it needs to be changed on a regular basis, but my engine still got switched to a global coolant

This was the cleaner of the two ends of my HX. Unfortunately taking a picture into a tube is tough and the other end did not come out as well (to dark). As I said still cooling but for how long..? The sealed side of a cooling system should NOT look like that especially after having been changed with brand name Dex-Cool every two season since new in 2003..


If your own research leads you to a conclusion to stick with Dex-Cool that is all that matters as your own personal comfort surrounding your engine is paramount.

Some more reading:

ConsumerAffairs.com / Dex-Cool



DEX-COOL Class Action (LINK)

DEX-COOL Class Action (LINK)[/quote]

and more:

GM Owners Steaming Over Dex-Cool (LINK)

Dex-Cool.net (LINK)


San Carlos Radiator Specializing In Fixing Dex-Cool Issues (LINK)
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I think I'll just keep it simple and stick with the green stuff.
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