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Best way to check an old radiator
#1
From what I can tell the car I purchased sat off the road for about 17 years. The radiator had some nice green fluid in it when I pulled it out. If I can avoid it I'd rather not have to spend a couple of hundred on a new radiator. Is there a way to clean the internal core, looking in doesn't look that bad though. I can fill it and watch for leaks, let it soak and try to flush it clean. The overflow wasn't that bad either. Does anyone have some good tips on how to save this if possible?
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#2
Take it to a radiator shop and have them clean and pressure test it. It has to be pressure tested for leaks. The shop will tell you if it's worth saving.



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
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#3
u can try to clean but i'm with don on this... but set the rad bottom side up. cap off and turn on hose into the bottom (now top) and see how it looks.
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#4
I had the same situation and have the following opinion.

I took my original radiator to a shop for a "check".  They told me it was bad and it would be very expensive to repair or re-core due to the advent of the plastic/aluminum radiators used today.  They said I was much better buying a new one and that my core was shot and leaking all over.

I came home and figured it didn't cost me anything, so I ought to try it to start my car.  I still don't have it on the road, but it has done fine during break in.

So my thoughts are to rinse it out real good and see if it works.

kcmash
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#5
You can do a quick pressure check yourself. You can either put air in the radiator and push it under water in like a kids swimming pool or put water in the radiator and put air  pressure on the whole thing to see if you see bubbles under water or liquid squirting out full of water. 15 - 18 lbs. of air is all that is needed most run a 15 lb. pressure cap.
You need to make sure you have the right thermostat in the engine also.
If you look into the radiator cap and you see deposits hanging off the ends of the tubes then it is probably partially clogged.
If a radiator repair shop takes the tanks off they rod out the tubes. Run a rod through each one to clear deposits. Then they have to solder the tanks back on.
When you put coolant back in the system be sure to use distilled water that prevents the deposits from the minerals in tap water.
The labor today has almost made repairs more than new. The top of the radiator has the Ford part number on it and should match they year of your car. If it does not then someone changed it before.
I have never tried using CLR on a radiator but might work I do not know would look on the container. It will dissolve deposits of minerals. I have used to clean sea shells before and rust off tubs.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#6
runninpony 
I had mine done by a radiator shop here in town. Around $120 if I remember correctly. Hasn't been installed in the car since rebuilt.

71-73 Mustangs never die, they just go faster!
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#7
I checked it out a little more thoroughly this afternoon. It's a deep brown inside and some of the fins have blue deposits running down so I'm assuming they were small leaks. The overflow tank was also really brown and thick. I also checked for any Ford logos or part numbers, all I found was a fill line marking. I can get a new matching radiator for around $175. My only question is how good are these new radiators with plastic tanks? This old one has is all metal.
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