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  #1  
Old 09-04-2007, 05:02 PM
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commercial condenser cleaner (Phosphoric acid)

Brain Carlton in another post says to use
commercial condenser cleaner (Phosphoric acid)
to clean the radiator fins.
In my search for this product I found this description:

PROFESSIONAL GRADE THICK PHOSPHORIC ACID BOWL CLEANER

Decals, cleans and deodorizes every bathroom surface,showers, tubs, fixtures, stainless steel, sinks, mirrors and floors. Clings to vertical surfaces, non-poisonous and safe on hands. Contains 25% phosphoric acid,the same acid that is used in Coke and Pepsi. Has pleasant sassafras fragrance.

QUESTION 1: is 25 percent solution strong enough ?

QUESTION 2: Indeed the bottle of Coca Cola on my desk contains
Phosphoric Acid (this is scary) - can I just spray Coke on my radiator ???

Second product found at:
http://www.hydrobalance.com/CoilCleanersHome.htm
http://hdsupplysolutions.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10051&productId=65980&sType=SimpleSearch&searchTerm=907236
HYDRO-FOAM CONCENTRATE
ACID-TYPE, FOAMING, AIR-COOLED CONDENSER
CLEANER & BRIGHTENER
* Expanding foam action
* Best for brightening – makes condenser coils look new
* Dilution rates from 2 to 10 parts water
* Must be thoroughly rinsed with water
* Contains hazardous components hydrofluoric acid and phosphoric acid
* Outdoor use only, protective gloves, and eye & face protection required

Would this be what I am looking for ?
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Last edited by rhodes2010; 09-04-2007 at 05:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2007, 06:07 PM
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I'm going to try the foaming acid based cleaner from HD supply. It's currently backordered, so, we'll see how long it takes to get here. The SD is badly in need of some attention and this product ought to do a fine job.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2007, 06:13 PM
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Brian, I am curious as to how you will apply it.

I have considered a large basin to soak the radiator in
thinking that a soak will give it more time to work.

It seems pressure wash with the solution won't give it time to work.

And last, how to dispose of it ?

Down the gutter, or into the sewer through the house plumbing ?

Or... take it to the hazardous waste disposal site like I do paint and batteries ?
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02 Z71 Suburban 100,000
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00 Harley Sportster 24k
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2007, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodes2010 View Post
Brian, I am curious as to how you will apply it.

I have considered a large basin to soak the radiator in
thinking that a soak will give it more time to work.

It seems pressure wash with the solution won't give it time to work.

And last, how to dispose of it ?

Down the gutter, or into the sewer through the house plumbing ?

Or... take it to the hazardous waste disposal site like I do paint and batteries ?
I'll just brush it on the fins........liberally. Naturally, the radiator will be horizontal and the solution will work it's way down into the fins and drip out the bottom.

Don't want to use enough to fill a large basin.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:02 PM
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White vinegar is probably strong enough to clean up calcium and hard water deposits and the like if that is whay you are doing.

Acids will not be very effective on grease or oily buildups. Detergent or solvent is needed for that.

Phosphoric may etch shinny finishes that it, or its fumes, come into contact with (think chrome, polished alum, pink lung tissue, etc.).
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:28 AM
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I have been searching for a way to get to the condenser to clean the fins. Has anyone gotten to it to actually clean it out? I assume you can clean it in place?

Thanks in advance. If there are links please add them. Just haven't found them.
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2008, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Benz View Post
I have been searching for a way to get to the condenser to clean the fins. Has anyone gotten to it to actually clean it out? I assume you can clean it in place?

Thanks in advance. If there are links please add them. Just haven't found them.
The fin design on the condenser is different than the radiator and it won't clog in the same way the radiator does. When you have the radiator out of the vehicle, you can easily clean the condenser with a garden hose or with compressed air from the back side.

Clogging of the external radiator fins is the major problem with these vehicles.
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:48 AM
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Ahhh, the radiator will be my next project. Still looking to clean the AC Condenser, and how to get at it properly.
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1979 300D
1983 300D Turbo 260,000 Miles
1984 300D Turbo 345,000 Miles (sons car)
OBK #31
1998 Ford Expedition 5.4l (fer Haulin'!) 145,000
1973 19' SeaRay with 115 Mercury TOWER OF POWER!
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  #9  
Old 03-15-2008, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by NC Benz View Post
Ahhh, the radiator will be my next project. Still looking to clean the AC Condenser, and how to get at it properly.
.........ahhh..........the radiator will be the first project.........
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
.........ahhh..........the radiator will be the first project.........
I'm going to briefly hijack this thread somewhat... Brian, I've got a 240D with 270k on the clock that I bought with a broken odometer so real mileage is unknown. It runs hot in the summer going up hills. Now I live at really high elevation so I know the car is really straining. I've flushed the radiator but it didn't really help. As far as I know, its got the original radiator and water pump. I've thought about replacing both for preventive maintenance and to possibly help the car run cooler. Do you think its worth removing the radiator and cleaning the fins first? Has this really helped you with a problem or do you just do it as regular upkeep? The radiator looks fairly clean already so I don't know how much help it would be.

Thanks,

Scott
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott98 View Post
Do you think its worth removing the radiator and cleaning the fins first? Has this really helped you with a problem or do you just do it as regular upkeep? The radiator looks fairly clean already so I don't know how much help it would be.

Thanks,

Scott

My personal belief is that most radiators suffer from partial clogging of the fins. The design is not good for airflow and a tremendous amount of debris accumulates in the air passages.

If you pull the radiator and hold it up to the sun.........attempt to look thorough the air passages. You'll be positively astonished at what you find..............

Note that none of this blockage is readily apparent from a casual glance at the surface of the radiator.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:10 PM
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If you will check at your local specialty AC supply store... The place where AC techs for room and other stationary AC systems get their supplies...and knowhow... you will find two products used for cleaning fins.... one for the inside fins which is less caustic than the one for the outside fins... typically these will only be available in gallon containers of concentrated cleaner.... typically these produce bubbles while they are cleaning the area...you would spritz them into the area with a plastic spray bottle.... then they would be flushed from the fin area by large amounts of water under no pressure... just gravity and large flow amounts... this might need to be repeated...and follow all the directions carefully because they can eat up the fins if not flushed or left too long... by the time you have used plenty of water to flush you should not have any problem with it going onto the ground with no problems... that would also be a good time to buy one of those fin combs.... shop around ... some places charge way too much for them...
If you do have the radiator in the horizontal position it would sure make the whole process easier...but it can be done with it in place just as stationary AC units are.
Somewhere a long time ago I went up front and took pictures of the gallon containers and posted them to this site...
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2008, 03:09 PM
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The reason that vinegar cleans well .... is that it is acidic -- perhaps 5%.

Apple cider vinegar is also excellent for killing stubborn cases of foot fungus and some warts. (fungus -- treat morning & night ... warts, soak a cotton ball & affix to a pre-soaked wart, repeat until the wart dies. it hurts but it's cheap)
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:33 PM
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MY BAD!!!! I didnt mean the condenser, I meant the EVAPORATOR! DUH!!! (Didnt start my coffee out early enough today.

Lets try again.. has anyone opened up the EVAPORATOR area? Any tips?

(going to hide in my corner....)
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:55 PM
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Lightbulb

Phosphoric acid should work.
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Last edited by Skid Row Joe; 03-16-2008 at 03:09 AM.
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