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The radiator off the '85 has gotten kind of rusty inside. Does anybody know of a way to clean it out and then coat it with something to keep the rust from coming back?

This will have to be done on the cheap because, well, I'm cheap.

I'm thinking 'rinse it out with vinegar' but what could be used to keep it clean?
 

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Do they still have radiator repair shops with a dunk tank?
I know those type places could do coating in gas tanks, seems like radiator would have similar technology

Use of certain additives and changing the coolant every few years would be cheapest way to prevent rust IMO
 

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I've heard of using "the Works" toilet bowl cleaner to clean rusty gas tanks. I'm not sure how the thin metal of a radiator would take to it tho.
 

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The vinegar will clean it. Put 50/50 vinegar and distilled water in it, run it until it gets hot and circulates a few minutes then drain it. It shouldn't need anything but new coolant to keep it clean. Everything in the system is either brass or aluminum, it shouldn't rust.
 

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The vinegar will clean it. Put 50/50 vinegar and distilled water in it, run it until it gets hot and circulates a few minutes then drain it. It shouldn't need anything but new coolant to keep it clean. Everything in the system is either brass or aluminum, it shouldn't rust.

This is off the '85. I'm just trying to arrest the rust to preserve the unit until someone needs it. I think I can get it clean but what can I do to keep the rust from returning?
 

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In Canada brass doesn't rust so you could send it to me.:grin3:
Is the radiator brass? It definitely looks like it's rusting inside the tank. It was left lying on the ground for two or three years with the hoses an cap attached. This is what I found when I took the hoses off this morning.
 

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have a radiator shop boil/clean it, then place it in a vacuum seal bag for long term storage.

I would NOT leave coolant in it, as the additives do go bad and turn acidic, (the reason we change it)
defeating your very plan to preserve the part for someones needs!
 

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have a radiator shop boil/clean it, then place it in a vacuum seal bag for long term storage.

I would NOT leave coolant in it, as the additives do go bad and turn acidic, (the reason we change it)
defeating your very plan to preserve the part for someones needs!
Tom,
Coolant that is not exposed to either combustion gases or heat will not become acidic. No different than storing in a bottle. It is usually heat that starts the chemical process that lowers PH.
 

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I don't see trying to keep it full as viable, anyway. Surely it would leak.

I'll probably just run some vinegar through it and then, after it dries out, try to seal it into a plastic shopping bag, or some such and put it in a box until someone wants it. It's not really worth much, I see them on eBay for under 20 bucks.
 

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Vinegager is a good plan. After rinsing it out with water a solution of baking soda will neutralize the acid. The next problem is storage.The interior could be coated with WD40. Then keep it in a dry place. That shouldn't be too hard in AZ. You couls seal it to keep any moisture out.
Whar you might be seeing is left over crud from the PO never changing the fluid. How does the bottom look?
 

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oooh I didnt realize it was heat causing coolant aging, thank you for the knowledge

Its worth 20 bucks... sell it quickly and dont worry about the rest
 

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on a side note...once you get all the inside taken care of, keep the fins cleaned out by using a mild degreaser and a garden hose. The first time i flushed out the fins, I could not believe the road junk that came out of it. Keep it running cool!
 

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I've just had my XJ-S radiator redone at a local rad shop. I think I'd call one and ask. Maybe having a pro clean it out would be helpful even if it's a couple of bucks.
 

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There are several rust preventive and restoration products ..google rust prevention. or search the gas tank threads lot of talk there about products.
 
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