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  • Back Flushing the Cooling System

    To do a good cleaning of the Model A cooling system, you need a good strong flow of water to dislodge the junk in the rear of the block, and to remove the junk laying on top of the radiator tubes. Even after running vinegar for 30 days in my Model A, I wanted to give it a good back flush, so I removed the radiator and turned it upside down then back flushed it with a sump pump. I used a large radius 90* elbow, so as to not impede the flow. I then connected the pump to my engine and flushed it out also. I got a lot of rust particles out of the system by doing this. I'm sure just running a garden hose wouldn't have done much for the system.

    What you see in the tub is just a small portion of the rust that came out. I changed the tub of water at least 5 times. This was a few years ago, and I haven't overheated it since.
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  • #2
    Maybe a dose of evaporust then your power flush would be a good combo also.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"


    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

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    • #3
      Yes, if I have to do this again on an engine, I will use Evaporust for the block, and rinse the radiator first in gas to remove any grease. The vinegar did work for me, but it made quite a mess also. Someone recently posted about a product like Evaporust, but it costs much less. I'll have to see if I can find the name of the product.

      Comment


      • #4
        Some time ago on "Another Barn" it was suggested to use phosphoric acid and not vinegar in the block. Vinegar, being acetic acid in water, forms acetate salts with rust etc. Almost all acetates are water soluble, so can be washed out. Phosphoric acid forms phosphates and Iron phosphates are insoluble and cannot therefore be washed out unless loose. They are very likely to be locked onto the interior surfaces of block and radiator.
        So my opinion is Vinegar and evaporust (which forms soluble iron complexes with rust) and Rust911 plus many other soluble iron complexing agents are the ones to use.
        My roadster and Diane's Tudor both run at 160 Deg with thermostat in and about 140 Deg without thermostat.
        I used a "flush gun" with water and compressed air bursts to back flush mine and insects and lumps of rust came out after my cleaning treatment.
        SAJ in NZ
        Last edited by SAJ; 05-26-2017, 06:42 AM.
        SAJ in NZ

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        • #5
          After reading all these comments I bought a gallon of Evapo-rust on my way to home depot last night. Was cleaning shock links and arms, nuts and bolts and dumped them in the bread pan while I was painting my shocks. Cleaned up around the garage and checked on them a few hours later. Wow!! I'm sold on that stuff. Wish I would have tried it long ago.

          Comment


          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            Remember it's reuseable

        • #6
          Originally posted by Mitch View Post
          Maybe a dose of evaporust then your power flush would be a good combo also.
          Mitch, do you think draining the coolant and refilling to the top with straight Evaporust for a day would hurt anything? I'd hate to see gasket damage from it.

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          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            It wont hurt anything, you'll have more of a chance for damage using vinegar.
            I would leave it in for longer maybe 5 days, then do a flush but use a pipe in the upper hose going out over the car, while you keep a running hose going into the radiator. you don't want to feed anything into the radiator until it flushes out clean. keep the idle elevated about 1000 - 1200 ish, use a rag or a rubber plumbing cap to block off the rad neck where the upper hose would go
            or do something like Tom did

          • Dennis
            Dennis commented
            Editing a comment
            Suddenly my coolant started running a little warmer than usual so I'm thinking it might have some rust chunks in the top tank.
            I'm going to pull the radiator out and backflush it off the car. Then I'll fill it with evaporust and let it soak. When I let the evaporust drain from the top into my capture tub I'll know if it had rust in the top. I might have to look for a pool pump. I wonder where a good place to look for that would be?

          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            you need to leave it soak long enough to dissolve the rust. the evaporust will turn black and once it did its job you may not see actual chunks. buy a sump pump at lowes then return it, woops . i didnt just say that

        • #7
          I bought my sump pump at a garage sale many years ago for $5. I'd check garage sales or Craigslist for one.
          If you have a basement, you might need one anyway.

          Comment


          • Dennis
            Dennis commented
            Editing a comment
            Tom, basements in Southern Cali are far and few between. Most houses around here are a slab or raised floor on a foundation.

        • #8
          Originally posted by Dennis View Post
          After reading all these comments I bought a gallon of Evapo-rust on my way to home depot last night. Was cleaning shock links and arms, nuts and bolts and dumped them in the bread pan while I was painting my shocks. Cleaned up around the garage and checked on them a few hours later. Wow!! I'm sold on that stuff. Wish I would have tried it long ago.
          Evaporust works much quicker when the temperature is higher like 90* F
          it work really slow at 60*F. Also once
          you open the container and put it back in don't seal the container tight, allow air to breathe in and out, or the Evaporust will die, I speak from experience :-(

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          • Dennis
            Dennis commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow thanks for that information. Didn't know that's what kills it.

        • #9
          I think rust flakes in the top of radiator tubes is the most COMMON cause of OVERHEATING!
          In the past I've talked about an EASY backflusher. Just poke an expanding "plumbers' helper" on a garden hose, along with a long skinny pipe on blow gun, into the rear of the lower hose & BLOW AWAY!---(Take out the thermostat, first.)
          I "think" this should be done at least ONCE a YEAR.
          We all know that these 80 something year old blocks are like a RUST FLAKE "FACTORY" (OLD heads, ALSO!)
          I SURELY hope this will be a HELP to someone. We're here to help, when we can, just ASK away!
          Rusty KDad---(The "K" is a private joke?? with me & my Son, Mitch)

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          • #10
            Will products like evaporust really dissolve rust flakes? Surface rust and even deep surface rust I've seen it work first hand but I never tried is with something that had flakes. I say this because the radiators are brass and don't rust so the purpose of evaporust would be to dissolve the flakes from the block.

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            • #11
              Originally posted by Dennis View Post
              Tom, basements in Southern Cali are far and few between. Most houses around here are a slab or raised floor on a foundation.
              I'll bet you guys have swimming pool circulating pumps, which should be the same thing as a sump pump.

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              • #12
                No swimming pool in my yard... but the next door neighbor has a pool he hasn't used in 16 years. Maybe I can borrow it from him. :D He always tried to tell me the pool wasn't built right. :

                Anyway got the coolant drained and hoses off. See a small amount of sediment, but rust scum in places. Got a few small flakes from radiator turned upside down doing a backflush. Going back on and filling er up with evaporust for the recommended 5 days.
                Last edited by Dennis; 07-11-2017, 01:26 AM.

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                • #13
                  Rust flakes in the top of the tubes causes pressure in the top tank & it'll just PUKE water out the overlow!!!
                  If I repeat too much, just say, "You tole me that BEFORE"!!---And I'll say, "HOW MANY TIMES"???--LOL
                  Bill W.
                  Last edited by BILL WILLIAMSON; 07-11-2017, 11:16 AM.

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                  • Mitch
                    Mitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    i have a question pop,

                    What happens when the top tubes are blocked by rust flakes as you mentioned and the vehicle has your nail trick installed with a tight sealing cap?

                  • Dennis
                    Dennis commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Bill, no spewing out the overflow. Radiator was filled to baffle about 1/4" from bottom of baffle. I was going by the water temp gauge reading from upper neck.

                • #14
                  Good question, I don't "think" it'll cause a problem???---BUT, you gotta' flush out the flakes, FIRST & FOREMOST!!! The nails' purpose is to prevent "splash over" into the overflow tube. It DOESN'T pressurize the system, as it just "dances" around in there!
                  Dad Nail

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                  • Mitch
                    Mitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    if the nail is in place and the tubes are blocked up where will the excess water go that can't drain ?

                • #15
                  A "little" "might" escape out the overflow, BUT, it's NOT a good combo-------YOU GOTTA' FLUSH OUT THE RUST FLAKES, FIRST!!!---You GOTTA' get the horse in FRONT of the CART!!! (Comprende' Vous?)
                  Dad Adimate

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                  • #16
                    Would something like this work if you took the filter cartridge out? I'm sure this won't be the only time nor the only Model A that I'll ever flush..

                    https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Krystal...ords=pool+pump
                    This is rated at 1000 gph

                    Comment


                    • DaWizard
                      DaWizard commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That is only 16gpm. You may need a bit more, something closer to the 35gpm flow of the car. Even a 1500gph would only be 25gpm.

                    • Dennis
                      Dennis commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I thought about that later. Not much flow...

                  • #17
                    IF you have a COPPER Head Gasket, I'd think TWICE about filling it with STRONG chemicals. You've SURELY seen what happen to PENNIES, when left a few days in jar of VINEGAR!!!!---Just ask any COIN collector!!!
                    Bill Warning

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                    • #18
                      Originally posted by Dennis View Post
                      Would something like this work if you took the filter cartridge out? I'm sure this won't be the only time nor the only Model A that I'll ever flush..

                      https://www.amazon.com/Intex-Krystal...ords=pool+pump
                      This is rated at 1000 gph
                      Here is one like what I used. This one pumps 3600 GPH.

                      When you're not flushing Model A's, you can have a fantastic water fountain in the front yard.

                      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Flotec-FPPM3...3D232336431189

                      Comment


                      • #19
                        Thanks Tom, I'll have to look for one like that.

                        Comment


                        • #20
                          When I was back flushing the engine, I did start it and rev it up a few times in hopes the vibration would help shake out any rust flakes along with the strong water flow.

                          Comment


                          • #21
                            Guru Claude (RIP) was a GENIUS at cleaning Model A & Flathead V-8 blocks. He used a frayed speedo cable in a DRILL & all kinds of "POKING" wires. I've seen PILES of stuff he removed, including SAND/CASTING WIRES/EVEN SOME SMALL SCREWS!!!---He was noted for making a COOL running Flathead V-8!!! We sure miss his EXPERTISE!!
                            He was SO SURPRISED, when I taught him how to diagnose a Center Main knock! He was also the booster for the "NAIL" trick, along with Chief, who said it was an OLD TIME TRICK!
                            Bill Sad
                            Last edited by BILL WILLIAMSON; 07-12-2017, 12:28 PM.

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