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How to: Cleaning your cooling system with vinegar

Old 09-06-2012, 07:16 PM
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I have painted several things made out of aluminum. Shipping containers , motors cases etc. I use vinegar to to etch the metal.
Old 09-07-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stripbait View Post
why cant u use a mixing cup from saltaway with vineger;?
I've found that runs through the motor too quickly.

The lower unit fits fine in a 55-gal plastic drum with the top 1" removed. Have to take the prop off. Hang a rag over the tell tail and the water just runs back into the drum. Let 'er run at 15-min intervales until the water is too hot. Seems the hot solution loosens much of the salt, lime, etc.
Old 09-10-2012, 08:25 PM
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For what it worth I was given a 9.9 Honda motor that was used as a kicker motor. Looks pretty rough and had what appears to be bottom paint on the lower unit. I tryed the vinegar flush in a barrel and within an hour the bottom paint was comming off. This doesnt bother me at all because it makes the motor look better. I just wanted to warn others that may need their bottom paint. I don't think this paint was applied correctly in the first because there does not appear to be any primer under it. It does not even look like they sanded it first. Again not complaining just warning others.
Old 11-15-2012, 12:52 PM
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I noticed on my twin yamah 4 strokes sometimes when flushing with motors off from the factory screw off flush port that one motor dosent always pee out of the top.

I DO NOT thank god have any heating issues or anything like that. But want to prevent any future issues if I could and really bothers me when the one motor dosent pee out the top, it always flushes out the bottom.....

And yes with motors running it pees nice and strong stream etc on both motors with no issues at all....

The other motor always pees no matter what so I know its not dock preasure.

I was thinking maybe there is salt build up scale etc in there could be causing this.

I was looking for some sort of a flush and found the salt away , the volvo penta nuatralizer , salt off , etc...

I would think that vinagir would be to mellow and not aggresive enough and would be better as a maintance 3 times a year deal. But not great for a clogged outboard or semi clogged outboard with mid to moderate build up.

So I was thinking of a good ICE MACHINE COIL CLEANER for aluminum evaporators to flush my motors with beginning of next season.

Any thoughts on this? Its safe to use and is USDA approved and seen it in action and cleans the coils very well.

Great reading great info.. Just want to find a aluminum coil cleaner to run threw the outboards thats safe on aluminum and wont damagae the block and is oder free. Dont want the boat smelling like eggs either.

Im going to call some HVAC buddies and see if they know of any good aluminum coil cleaners that are aggressive....

Also What is a good neutralizer to run threw the block other then water. Baking soda is a great nuetralizer but im not putting that threw my block. Any thoughts?

Great post Thanks

I included some links to some cleaners i was looking into before finding this thread....

http://www.saltx.com/index.htm

http://gur-technologies.com/vmchk/Co...ypage.tpl.html

http://www.athea.com/products/104/a-...--coil-cleaner


http://www.sunbelt-labs.com/catalog/...812/SL-812.htm


http://gur-technologies.com/Ice-machines-cleaning.html

http://www.saltawayproducts.com/index.htm

THIS LAST ONE WAS THE ONE I WAS LEANING TOWARDS THE ICE CLEAN MIDDLE ONE... THANKS

http://gur-technologies.com/vmchk/Ic...-products.html
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:50 PM
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I have used Salt Away flush every single time I take my boat out of water on both of my engines. I tried the vinegar bath in a big plastic drum and ran the engine for about 40 mins. The water and vinegar solution got real hot but there was not much junk in the water when I was done. I guess flushing it with Salt Away over the years helped keep the buildup to a minimum.

I still plan on doing this as my 2 year maintenance.

My engines are 2006 Suzukis 90hp.
Old 11-16-2012, 10:35 PM
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Sounds great... Just wondering is anyone used aluminum coil cleaner and what the outcome was and also what a good neatrulizer could be to run threw after the flush
Old 11-17-2012, 07:38 AM
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I really can't give advice on using a product I have no experience with.
Old 02-05-2013, 01:00 PM
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Is it OK to use Saltaway at winterizing and leave it in the motor all winter.....might clean toooo well.
Old 02-05-2013, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bquick View Post
Is it OK to use Saltaway at winterizing and leave it in the motor all winter.....might clean toooo well.
It might freeze, which would not be good, no? ;?
Old 02-06-2013, 06:34 AM
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No, I just talking outboards....flushing at end of season.
Old 02-06-2013, 07:04 AM
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I asked our chemist to chime in. We get everybody and their cousin saying to use this or that household chemical instead of the "expensive stuff they sell at boat stores" This is why we manufacture Salt Off and don't just fill the bottles with vinegar, which would be good for us, since it'd cut our costs dramtically, but bad for you since it would not do the job as well.


As I always say, Use what makes you happy, but be aware of what you are using and any possible drawbacks. Have a good day - go use your boat!


"a lot of people do use vinegar (acetic acid)as a cleaning/descaling agent.

Also vinegar is a weak acid (ph of approx 2-3), so unless they leave excess amounts in the cooling system neutralizing by rinsing/recirculing water should be good enough.

So, the only drawback is often vinegar may not be strong enough for total decaling/cleaning (especially true for a buildup of deposits). So perhaps I’d mention that sometimes vinegar is simply not strong enough to tackle tough descaling/cleaning of cooling system."
Old 02-06-2013, 09:54 AM
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What really cleans your engine well is the warm/hot water PLUS the vinegar. It's not just the vinegar that is cleaning your engine.

If you were to flush your engine in warm water(instead of cool water) with Salt away, it would clean better too.
Old 02-06-2013, 12:44 PM
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Hot water works better with any of the products, Salt Off, Salt Away, etc. I run mine in a tub with about 15-OZ of Salt Away while I'm decarbing. 3 X 15-minute intervals. Foams like crazy the first time and by the 3rd time hardly any foam. I did this before change my stats, etc last year and the cooling passages, I could see, where remarkably clean. Not sure what the hot water does but it does something. All those products claim to leave a coating on the water jackets that offer additional protection.
Old 03-28-2013, 10:01 AM
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Mr. Demeanor

Thanks for responding to my PM with a link to this thread!

Will be trying this on my 1999 Yamaha T9.9 Hi-Thrust kicker. Using say a 30 gallon container, how much vinegar would you suggest to use?

Thanks - Dave
Old 05-06-2013, 08:36 AM
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Dave,

I had clogging issues with my Yamaha 9.9hp High thrust kicker.('99) I tried the following:

1. Replaced Impeller and thermostat. ( it was very cruddy)
2. Removed exhaust plate and picked out salt residue. It wasn't as bad as I thought.
3. Removed thermostat and poured vinegar in there.

These 3 things didnt really fix it. She still spit water poorly and when it came out it was very hot.

Finally, I took off the telltale hose and reversed flushed freshwater into the system. I had to go to the hardware store to go from garden hose threads to small ~1/4" tubing. After about 10 minutes of back flushing, I put her back together, and she now runs great. (Be careful, garden hose pressure is too strong. I controlled pressure with a valve)

Give it a try.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:39 AM
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Thanks John - will give that a try. Dumb question but that's with the motor not running, right?
Old 05-06-2013, 09:56 AM
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Sound like you had debris stuck in the system. You can also flush it by removing the lower unit and forcing water in through an open thermostat housing (do both one at a time). By removing the lower unit, you wont just flush it into the water pump and then pump it right back into the motor.
Put a bucket under the mid section to see all the debris that comes out. In your case, probably a shell or piece of impeller.
Old 05-06-2013, 09:57 AM
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Do you see any problem running a ox66 225 in a large garbage can? I'm a little woried about the heat out put.

What about hooking a hose up to the Hose attachment, and running it in a garbage can of water/vingar, see a problem with that?

My engines are 1999's, I think this will really help, especially the T-Stats

Thanks
Old 05-06-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by SRQMynatt View Post
Do you see any problem running a ox66 225 in a large garbage can? I'm a little woried about the heat out put.

What about hooking a hose up to the Hose attachment, and running it in a garbage can of water/vingar, see a problem with that?

My engines are 1999's, I think this will really help, especially the T-Stats

Thanks
Just watch the temp and shut it down when its gets too warm. With the hose flush, you could buy a cheap aquarium pump or pond pump and just use that to circulate the water. That being said, hot water does to a better job of dissolving salt and may be why the garbage can method seems to work so well.
Old 05-06-2013, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the info Mr D - goes to show that simple household products can be as effective as over-priced stuff at marine retailers.

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