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Old 12-13-2015, 03:27 AM   #1
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Default Flushing Radiator and Heater Core

In the future I plan on flushing out my radiator and heater core, I have always changed the antifreeze regularly,and it still looks like it did when I out it in there, but the car is around 19 years old now, and I think a flush would do it good.
I am planning to run some of this through it, hopefully it does not expose any leaks that where plugged by sludge, then again my radiator looks close to brand new, I have taken care of the cooling system.
Amazon.com: Zerex ZXC01 Super Radiator Flush - 22 oz.: Automotive Amazon.com: Zerex ZXC01 Super Radiator Flush - 22 oz.: Automotive


My main question is has anybody used these?
Prestone AF-KIT Flush 'N Fill Kit
Amazon.com: Prestone AF-KIT Flush 'N Fill Kit: Automotive Amazon.com: Prestone AF-KIT Flush 'N Fill Kit: Automotive

I thought about getting it and using it, but I don't fancy the idea of splicing it in, and leaving it there, just looks like an invitation for a leak.
If it helps with the flush I am not opposed to using it, because afterwards I plan on replacing both heater core hoses anyway, as they are 19 years old as well.
If I can just loosen the petcock, and run the water hose into the heater core inlet hose, and collect it from the petcock, or would removing the lower part of the lower radiator hose be better?
I am thinking the flush would go faster vie radiator hose.

I will replace all clamps on all hoses, I just need to look up the clamp sizes I need.
Unless somebody already knows what size clamps I'd need for both radiator hoses, and both heater core hoses for my 96 Park Ave.
I think the heater core hoses are 3/4" ID and 1" OD, not sure about the radiator hoses.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:46 AM   #2
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These look like they should cover the 4 I'd be using on the 2 heater core hoses.
Amazon.com: Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 12, 11/16" to 1-1/4" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Industrial & Scientific Amazon.com: Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 12, 11/16" to 1-1/4" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Industrial & Scientific

Or would a tad bigger clamp be better, the other was 1&1/4" max OD, that would leave only 1/4" on the clamp.
This one would give me 1&1/2 OD max.
Amazon.com: Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 16, 13/16" to 1-1/2" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Industrial & Scientific Amazon.com: Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 16, 13/16" to 1-1/2" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Industrial & Scientific

For my radiator hoses one says 2.5", the other 3"
Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 44, 2-5/16" to 3-1/4" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific Breeze Power-Seal Stainless Steel Hose Clamp, Worm-Drive, SAE Size 44, 2-5/16" to 3-1/4" Diameter Range, 1/2" Bandwidth (Pack of 10): Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
So these look like they'd work for both hoses, sucks I have to buy packs of 10 for each, maybe I should just visit my local auto parts store, or hardware store....

My heater core hoses are going to be a PITA to remove since the clamps are hard to get to, what is the tool used to make getting to them easier, I am pretty sure they are worm gear clamps like I am buying, I'd have to double check to be sure though.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:53 AM   #3
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Oh how I miss the days I could edit and fix my typos, I see I made a few, bahhhhh!
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:32 AM   #4
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I tried to re use the original clamps with C-pliers with good success.
Since every hose on my PA was a custom bend/ cut to fit, the Delco hoses are the best quality. Gates, then Goodyear can be substituted.
Gear clamps, ya you got to position or orientate them for easier screwdriver/socket access.
They can be a real pain to remove at firewall.
Flushing...most do a back or reverse flush at home with tap water.
That being said, the best flush is done by a shop with a coolant recirculating machine.
I had the 4x4 lately done $150 out the door.
That guarantees that distilled water/coolant mix is installed correctly.
Any tap water in a system is corrosion waiting to happen.
I would wait until spring when it is above freezing. Then replace everything, do a back flush at home, and then take it into a shop that has the machine.
Advise them tap water only is in the system at time you drop it off, but call around if you are particular about coolant type/brand.
As far as strong chemical flushes are concerned, it may not be the best idea on an old scaled system, new leaks could show up!
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #5
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I considered using the old clamps, but I have heard many say that it is best to go ahead and replace them with worm gear ones.
Of course I could get the moose clamp rings, and something like this, the tool is a bit pricey though, may look for a cheaper one to help me access the firewall clamps.
Amazon.com: OTC 4525 Cable-Type Flexible Hose Clamp Pliers: Automotive Amazon.com: OTC 4525 Cable-Type Flexible Hose Clamp Pliers: Automotive

I could get a shop to do it I suppose, do they flush with distilled water only?
If so I guess that is worth it, I just figured I could save money doing it myself, the flush kit, 2 gallons of coolant, and 2 gallons of distilled water would only run me around 35.00
Then again my well water is full of iron oxide, even though it is low in overall ppm'*, it is still a gamble to use, I doubt I could flush the system, and then get all if the tap water out.
As for the chemical flush stuff, I'll probably just avoid it, I am aware that it can possibly uncover small leaks, but my system looks so clean from what I can see, that I doubt a chemical flush is needed, my radiator coils are still nice and shiny.
I have always considered going with Zerex G5 AF, but I think considering my experiences using it, I'll be sticking with Dex-Cool, IMO it is not the fluid that causes all the problems some talk about, but more of a users fault, if you let the system overheat a lot and do not address it, if you never replace your coolant when you should, if you never get all of the air out of the system, if you mix other types of coolant with Dex, then it is your own fault it starts to turn to crud, not the coolants fault.
I wonder if a shop would mind if I already had the coolant, I can get 2 gallons of Prestone Dex Cool for 30.00, when some places want 40.00...
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #6
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I could get some flat band instead of the moose ring clamps, at least for the two at the firewall, then I may be able to use this tool on the clamps, although I am only guessing it would allow me to access the clamps, it is a tight fit and you need a good bit of reach to get in there to those clamps.
Amazon.com: Lisle 17100 Flat Band Hose Clamp Plier: Automotive Amazon.com: Lisle 17100 Flat Band Hose Clamp Plier: Automotive
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:11 PM   #7
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Personally I have had too many problems with the gear clamps. I prefer the Oem'*.
It seems the gear clamps bite down and can cut into the hose.
Then the battle about over tightening, and as the hose ends bulge, either they spring a leak or drip.
I forgot you had well water. I would pass on that idea all together.
Find a dealer or local shop that has the recirculating machine, and ya they will get it right with Distilled combo correctly. You can talk to them about the entire process...
I use Pretone long life.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:39 PM   #8
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I'd be ok with using the OEM'*, but when I search for OEM parts all I can find are worm gear clamps so far.
Like this one listed for the upper, and the lower radiator hoses, seems the clamps need to be bigger than I thought.
4.2 x 4.2 x 4.1 inches

http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-123380...0046081&sr=8-1
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:59 PM   #9
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Yeah I give up. I have searched for the OEM style clamps, but all I can find is worm gear clamps.
Now I am wondering if the clamps I originally listed will fit right, going off of specs listed for the hoses they are a tad different in size, but not so much that one clamp won't fit both radiator hoses.

From doing a little research it seems I need these pliers to remove the heater core hose clamps at my firewall, it is a bit pricey for a tool I'll probably only use once, unless somebody else comes to me to get their hoses replaced..
http://www.amazon.com/Astro-9409A-Ho...9&sr=8-2-spons
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:06 PM   #10
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The more I look at the heater core hose at the firewall, the more I am doubtful I'll be able to tighten a worm gear clamp on the hose, with that tool it should be easy though.
Now if I could only find the OEM style clamps...
Maybe I can reuse the old clamps, they have held up for 19 years...
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