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Old 08-08-2006, 10:52 PM
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Strife Strife is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
Radiator Removal/Cleaning?

I just removed my 560sl's radiator for cleaning at a shop (it doesn't leak, and has the copper insert in the neck fix). The upper hose was super hot and pressured, the lower not so much - and my cooling isn't as good as it was. I've done the usual things (thermostat, right mix/right MB/Zerex G-05 stuff, no water pump/overflow bottle leaks, new pressure cap (tried 120 and 140, etc). Removal wasn't very difficult and now I know why pro mechanics remove radiators before working in this area (too bad previous owner's mechanic didn't, more bent fins towards the back than I'd like to see, none contrbuted by me). The front of the radiator was buggier and dirtier than I would have thought possible, given the condenser in front. The tanks aren't bad in terms of gray stuff, goo, or scale but who knows what's going on in the aluminum parts (PO used green Prestone for who knows how long).

A few questions:
1. What exactly does a rad shop use in terms of equipment or chemicals?
2. Does straightening the fins help (I'd say that maybe 1-3% of my fins are bent). Is straightening risky?
3. Do you think the shop can give me an assessment of the radiator in terms of an improvement before I try it?
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