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.
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On Thu, 30 Jan 2014 03:18:02 +0000, asonofsam

If the tubes are brass the core is brass. In over 50 years I've never seen a "hybrid" aluminum/brass heater core.
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On Wed, 29 Jan 2014 23:07:36 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

+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.
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Yeah. That was my POS '82 Rabbit! The cooling system in that thing was deserving of a Darwin award.
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On Thu, 30 Jan 2014 03:18:02 +0000, asonofsam

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.
http://tinyurl.com/jwm966e These vids might help the final outcome.
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n
.
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.
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"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.... :>)}
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Yes! Always check the simple stuff first!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubleshooting
Erik
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On 1/30/14, 2:44 PM, Erik wrote:

Oops, pushed sent too soon...
Also, if so equipped, be sure the heater valve is actually operational.
Good luck!
Erik
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On Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:45:00 -0500, "Phil Kangas"

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.
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"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
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On Thu, 30 Jan 2014 13:32:36 -0500, Bob Engelhardt

Have not seen a pure copper radiator on anything newer than the twenties, and evennthen brass was MUCH more common.
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On 1/30/2014 5:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

OK, thanks.
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On Thursday, January 30, 2014 1:32:36 PM UTC-5, Bob Engelhardt wrote:

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.

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