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Radiator flushing


Accelerating Away
Hi Guys,
Anyone have any old Grandmother recipes for flushing radiators. Where I live we do not have any shops.
Try some vinegar, pour it in pure or mix it with water, Stinks a bit but does the trick if nothing else at hand. My radiator and cooling system packed up on Series 3, (swb, 1982, petrol) in Mauritania some years back and some chap took it to bits, split the raditor (unsoldered the joints) the cleaned each chanel with acid and soldered the whole thing back together again. Runs like a dream to this day. I generaly run the cooling system though on 100% anti freeze though which stops all corrosion and limescale.
I was in Tiwi beach many moons ago ( in 1993 and 1994 in fact) after graduating, messing about all over East Africa for 6 months and doing an overland trip for 4 months in an Ex- army Bedford! Fabulous place. You must have some bush mechanics close by!


Never heard of the vinegar trick before, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work. I was told that pure distilled water run for a month then replaced and done again twice over gets rid of scale. Can be expensive though.
What about one of those sludge and scale removers that would be used to clean your centeral heating system?
Or get a garden hose and connect it to the hot tap. Open the drain cocks and fill the radiator, this should open the thermostat allowong hot water to run everywhere, keep it going till the water runs clean. I also connected the hose at the heater valve.
Thanks everyone. Yes there are alot of bush mechanics here but if you could see what they do you would die. The flushing of the radiator is not for the Landy it's for my 1962 18 ton Berliet 6 x 6 truck. Don't think the vinegar would touch the sides. Like the thought of the caustic soda. Any ideas on strength and whether I should run it briefly whilst the solution is in there??
Re Overland Sahara. I think I was the first one to bring trucks overland that route in 1971. Had 15 trucks do the trip in the 70's. Did 7 trips myself.
Tiwi Beach is still as beautiful as ever! Thanks for all the help.
When I'd got my radiator off my Landy I stuck a hosepipe into it and left it to run through,it cleared tons of brown goo out of it.Then I turned it upside down and flushed it the other way,loads more brown goo.
Just leave the water to run through until it comes out clean.I can't see much point in using chemicals until you've tried flushing it out with water first.:)
Aussie Mike,

Excellent trucks those Berliet! Caustic soda sounds a good bet but how much and how long is anyone's guess!
Glad that Tiwi is still as fabulous! You must have heard about "British Dave" then from Transafrique expeditions, the first chap to drive from London to Nairobi in a London black cab, which I was told is still pounding the streets!


As for the caustic . It is generally recomended as a no no. Although if you use the head. My estimate would be to start with one or two tablespoons to a gallon of water. When its mixed a good bit stronger than this it cleans aluminium nice. Put ally in solution for a few mins no longer or you`ll think the Pirhannas have eaten it:D . I would run it for 5 mins. then flush.

See what comes out then decide. You could try Coke:D

Thanks everyone.
Just for the record British Dave from Transafrique was a guy called Dave Barton who started up the campsite down on Kandi Beach in Malawi. The guy you are talking about in the London Cab was Taxi Dave who was really a Dave Osbourne from Hastings. It's when I was living with him in Hammersmith that I convinced him to do the trip in a London Cab. No, the cab is no longer functioning but there are many more here that were imported in the 80,s.
Taxi dave now runs a company called Absolute Africa and is operating out of Chiswick.
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