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post #1 of 5 Old 10-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Will Oxalic Acid Damage Brass HE?

Hi all, I am fabricating a new exhaust mixing elbow for my universal m25xp. I had to remove my heat exchanger in order to get the old exhaust off, so I figured that I would have it cleaned while I have it out. When I opened it up, it was virtually clean, with a very small amount of crust on the tubes. Can I just soak this in vinegar or oxalic acid? It shouldn't take much. I hate to drop it at a radiator shop if it really doesn't need it. BTW, it is made of brass.

Thoughts?

Cheers, Bill

Odyssey, '79 CSY 44 Cutter
Channel Islands, CA


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post #2 of 5 Old 10-19-2011
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I would stick with the vinegar, first especially if there is not much to clean off. If it doesn't work well then I might try the stronger acid, but would keep the exposure time short and then rinse well with fresh water, in either case. A mechanic I used when I bought the boat flushed the engine with vinegar and let it set for 24 hours to clean out the cooling system. It worked.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-21-2011
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Originally Posted by Sailonguy View Post
I would stick with the vinegar, first especially if there is not much to clean off. If it doesn't work well then I might try the stronger acid, but would keep the exposure time short and then rinse well with fresh water, in either case. A mechanic I used when I bought the boat flushed the engine with vinegar and let it set for 24 hours to clean out the cooling system. It worked.
full strenght vinegar or diluted to 50%?
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Thanks Sailonguy,

I used full-strength vinegar overnight and it did a very good job. Saved $85 that the radiator place was going to charge.

Cheers, Bill

Odyssey, '79 CSY 44 Cutter
Channel Islands, CA


"There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage."
Mark Twain
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-21-2011
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Bill, brass or bronze? In marine use bronze would be better, although the alloys overlap.

But I've never heard of using oxalic acid for radiators. Oxalic for rust, citric acid for radiators. And the "flushes" sold in auto parts stores should say on the bottle what they are safe for, or have a number to call. Not that expensive.
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