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Discussion Starter #1
Well with temps topping 100* in NYC, I thought it would be wise to check my radiator for obstructions. Now I'm used to catching the occasional piece of paper or a plastic bag, so I was surprised when I looked up at the radiator and saw it be relatively clean. Something about it looked off, it looked much more black then I remembered it. So I ran my hand along it and started pulling off layer after layer of LINT! We're talking human hair, lint, and just general shmeg! I park my car in a garage in NYC and drive it occasionally. The problem is that since my car is in a corner and does not move much, the rest of the cars in the 2 level garage (capacity is 600+ cars) do. Thus pushing *tons* of dust over to my car. When I start it up the car sucks all the dust up, thus coating my radiator with the foulest stuff I've seen (and smelled).

I spent 45mins using non-lint degreaser wipes to clean the radiator as best I could, but I think I need to do more. I'm afraid that my wiping may have forced some of the little bits in between the fins. I was thinking of spraying some mild degreaser and then hosing down -- and was even contemplating a wire brush. Any thoughts on how to really clean this thing down would be appreciated.

-N
 

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I shoot some 409 or Simple Green on it and then hose it off. Keeps it clean and looking good. If you don't have access to a hose buy a garden sprayer and use it to apply the Simple Green deluded with water. It should clean up right up.

D.J.
 

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I'm sure Simple Green or 409 or any degreaser will work. Personally, I use either ZEP Orange (Home Depot) or Purple Power (Walmart). Both are excellent degreasers and can be used straight or diluted. I'd spray them on full strength, let it sit there for a few minutes and hose off.
Good luck.

Charlie
 

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What you are looking at is the AC condensor the radiator is behind it.
What I would do is remove the airbridge and the plastic radiator support at top and flush it out between the 2.
Thers is a 1" space between them that is open at the bottom and the fans suck up a whole lot of crap between them.
 

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Take it from me, the only effective way to clean the radiators is high pressure air or water. Take it to a Dealer or competent mechanic and have them put it in the air and blow it out.
 

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I routinely use water squirted by a garden hose from inside the engine bay towards the front of the car. Sometimes, funny things are found floating under my car! :yeadog:
 

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I would be careful with simple green, I think I heard somewhere that it will corrode aluminum. Of course I am assuming the rad is alum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
FRC Tom said:
What you are looking at is the AC condensor the radiator is behind it.
What I would do is remove the airbridge and the plastic radiator support at top and flush it out between the 2.
Thers is a 1" space between them that is open at the bottom and the fans suck up a whole lot of crap between them.
Tom -- just to clarify, when I look under the car the rectangular unit I see, is actually not the radiator? Does anybody have a diagram I could see to get a sense? I will take apart the plastic piece and spray some 409 with a hose.

Randy: I will stop by a place to throw compressed air at it too.

Any suggestions on what I can use brush-wise?

The car ran alot cooler today, if this was the A/C Condenser I cleaned, would it being blocked up stop air flow to the radiator?

Thanks all!

-N
 

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Nabbs. Once you take the plastic cover off the top of the radiator, you will see how the AC condenser is bolted to the front of the radiator.Best way to clean would be to blow it out with an air hose,preferably one with a long nozzle,so you can get all the way down to the bottom. All you have to do is remove the air bridge and a 10 mm socket to remove the four bolts that hold the top cover in place. Good luck.
(and yes, buy cleaning the condenser, more air will flow though that ,which in turn lets more air flow through the radiator.)
 

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Alternately, you can access the gap between the Condenser and Radiator from under the car without having to remove anything. That's how I did it. Air nozzle with about an 18" long small diameter bendable metal tube. Car in the air, reached up between the radiators with the nozzle and blew for about 5 minutes while moving the nozzle back and forth, aiming for the nooks and crannies. I was still getting crap out of the radiator after 5 minutes, but I was getting tired of getting crap in my eyes, so I stopped.

I would not recommend your putting a solvent on the radiator unless you're sure it won't attack the Aluminum (yes, the core of your radiator is 100% Al, with bonded plastic end-tanks). The fins are quite thin, no point in hurrying corrosion, and there's adhesive to worry about on the end-tank joints. If you're concerned about greasy deposits, use alcohol.

Don't put a brush to the radiator. You're not going to be able to get in to the fins, anyway, and you're likely to bend/deform the fins and reduce the efficiency of what is already a marginal design.

In my case, the cleaning fix only had to last a week or so. I subsequently bought a DeWitts 2-core replacement radiator and 160º T-Stat, and installed that for some additional cooling capacity. I'm still not quite happy, the car generally runs much cooler (175º-185º in typical operation) except when the AC is on and I'm in traffic (then, it still climbs in to the 210º-220º range). But the Vortech obstructs a fair amount of the rear of the fans, so I'm starting to think I'll just have to live with not pounding on the car in hot weather with the AC running.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Gang,

Thanks for all the tips!

I ended up picking up some orange degreaser, and a very soft ceiling brush (it's long and meant to clean the top of cieling fans or moldings -- so it's very light). We then took of the Vararam and the molding that covered the radiator and condenser. I used the brush first and my hand to get as much of the schmeg off as I could, then sprayed the degreaser and hosed it as much as I could.

After that even with the AC on in stop and go traffic in NYC, the car did not climb above 195* water temp. So I am fairly confident my car is fine now.

Oh, I also found that my Vararam air filter had *completely* disintergrate! What a piece of crap that thing is!! Rich B. glued the filter back together, and the car was running just fine again.

I also got the car re-tuned a few days ago, and what a difference! No more pinging, and the thing just goes!!

I need to spend some more time really cleaning the car, and doing some more minor maintenance stuff (car has 11K, should I be replacing plugs and wires?).

Thanks again guys!

-N
 

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Get the K&N filter for the Vararam. Alot better quality.

Your plugs and wires should be fine for a while. I changed my stock plugs at 30k and the wires at 50k.
 

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When we took the Vararam filter out of its housing it split into 4 pieces.

At least I was able to hone my glue gun skills yesterday.

Anyone need me to make them a popsicle stick dinosaur?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Richard Branca said:
When we took the Vararam filter out of its housing it split into 4 pieces.

At least I was able to hone my glue gun skills yesterday.

Anyone need me to make them a popsicle stick dinosaur?
Lol!

Hey at least by buying a Vararam filter you are supporting Local 412 -- Blind Air Filter Fabricators of America! I'm glad that 90% of what I paid for the VR went to train their seeing eye dogs as opposed to quality inspection, it's a trade off I am willing to accept!!

/sarcasm.

It's nice to be able to push the loud pedal and not worry about the car climbing to astronomical temps.

So has anyone tried these screens that stop debris from going up into the radiator?

-N
 
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