Lemon Dishwasher Soap in the radiator -old VMF - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 08:01 AM
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I was searching on the old VMF for an oddball post from way back that made me laugh and couldn't find it. One of you guys reported using a scoop of lemon dishwasher soap to clean some rust out of your radiator. Which one of you was it, or was this another practical joke?

Delilah's new engine was not hot-tanked properly during rebuild and has some light rust coloring the water. I want it outta there.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 08:28 AM
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When I was in high school I worked for an old timer that specialized in exotic cars ( Ferrari, Pantera etc.) and swore using dishwasher detergent for a clean & flush did a better job on cleaning than anything else you could buy. I used to do it on my own cars (secretly) because it always seemed to work. But I stopped quite awhile ago after thinking about why they tell you not to put aluminum or copper pots & pans in the dishwasher. I assume it's because of the pitting or accelerated corrosion you see on the pans after running through the washer (yes I put the pans in the washer, too lazy to handwash). I related this "caution" about pots & pans to copper & alum radiators and what the detergent might being doing to them. I don't know for sure but I stopped anyway to be safe.

There, now another skeleton has escaped the closet. Used to be young & foolish now old and still foolish.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 08:57 AM
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This may be an old Mustanger's wive's tale but I had heard that if you wanted to get "even" with someone, put a bottle of "Prell" in their radiator. Don't know what it would do (besides foam a S#@t load). This was supposed to be as good as sugar in the gas tank.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 09:32 AM
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It's time for the garden hose routine..open the petcock on the rad..start the motor..turn on the heater..Hose into top of Rad..turn on water supply..let the engine run until..nothing comes out of the petcock but clear water..messy..but effective

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 10:28 AM
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I have also found that after a flush and drain that it is well worth the investment to refill the system with distilled water.
I get it locally at K-Mart for 59 cents a gallon.
It seems to keep the scale buildup away.
Just be sure to drain or flush the block as well.
Just my .02.
PS I work for a Benz dealer and we have a citric acid flush that dissolves all scale and sediment. It is part # 000-989-10-25.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 01:37 PM
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In reflecting on the contents of radiator flush (oxalic acid) versus something like Sunlight Lemon powder (tons of non-sudsing phosphates) I would think the dishwasher stuff would be less damaging to the car. Think about it, you wouldnt consider washing your dishes in Prestone radiator flush, would you?

There may be some sacrificial anode chemical issues with using dishwasher soap but hey! you're not doing it every week, are you?

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2001, 04:09 PM
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I disconnected the radiator from the engine and then used muriatic acid to clean it. Worked fine, and I wasn't about to let it go through my engine.
Isn't oxalic acid rat poison?

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