cleaning brass or alum with vinegar

Ok, here's the problem. I have poor heat in my truck. Over time the heater
core has become less efficient at transferring heat due to whatever is going on
inside the heater core, be it a buildup of rust from the engine block or
whatever happens with the anti-freeze. I have used the traditional radiator
flushing procedures with over the counter products such as Prestone, etc. with
minor improvements. I would replace it with a new one but the repair process is
very expensive if done by a shop and is a lot of work if you tackle it yourself.
It involves removing the dashboard to get access. Complicating the unkown is
that because I cannot see the actual heater core, which resembles a small
automotive radiator, I do not know if it is alum or brass. The tubes leading in
are brass but that doesn't guarantee the actual heater core is brass, it may be
alum. Right now I have drained it and blown it out with compressed air. My
plan is to fill it via the outlet tube with boiling white vinegar, 5% solution.
Is this the right approach? Is there anything I could do to "supercharge" the
solution without etching away the surfaces? Any thoughts? By the way it is a
1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck. Thanks.
Reply to
asonofsam
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If the tubes are brass the core is brass. In over 50 years I've never seen a "hybrid" aluminum/brass heater core.
Reply to
clare
If you didn't blow it up with the compressed air, try reverse flushing it with a bit stronger hot vinegar solution.
Also doublecheck your water pump. Impellers rust away and the slower flow can keep the heater from working even as the truck runs hotter.
I've never known anything to -really- help a plugged heater core. That crap is industrial strength.
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These vids might help the final outcome.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
+1
The closest I've seen to a hybrid is ABS top and bottom tanks with aluminum-tubed body, crimped together with o-rings to seal 'em up, and that was a radiator.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I don't know if radiator gunk has anything in common with tripoli polishing compound, but I clean my brass parts in an ultrasonic cleaner filled with vinegar and kitchen degreaser. I don't know if it will work in your truck , but I don't think you'll damage anything as long as you flush it well aft erwards.
Reply to
robobass
Yeah. That was my POS '82 Rabbit! The cooling system in that thing was deserving of a Darwin award.
Reply to
robobass
"asonofsam" <
Perhaps there is something going on outside the core? Like getting plugged up with organic debris? Or a plugged up cabin filter? Just thinking outside the box on this.... :>)}
Reply to
Phil Kangas
"Brass"? I thought cores were either aluminum or copper. Brass is a much poorer conductor of electricity, so I'd expect the same with heat. Yes/no?
Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Yes! Always check the simple stuff first!
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Erik
Reply to
Erik
Oops, pushed sent too soon...
Also, if so equipped, be sure the heater valve is actually operational.
Good luck!
Erik
Reply to
Erik
Is the vehicle air conditioned? And the AC doesn't work? Oil from the A/C system due to a leaking evaporator can attract dirt and almost totally plug the heater core.
Reply to
clare
Have not seen a pure copper radiator on anything newer than the twenties, and evennthen brass was MUCH more common.
Reply to
clare
OK, thanks.
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Well brass has about 1/4 the conductivity of copper (at 300K) but it's still pretty good. (about the same ratio as in the electrical conductivity) I expect the weak link in the thermal conductivity chain is the metal to air interface.
George H.
Reply to
ggherold

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