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Old 11-08-2019, 06:43 PM   #1
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Cooked corn in radiator

The first time I ran my newly-reassembled 1929 Coupe, it overheated quite quickly. I did a dumb thing by opening the quail radiator cap before she had cooled off and got a geyser of hot water and cooked corn! When the excitement was over, it looked like I had dumped a can of hominy on the hood. Well.....I figured that whatever the chipmunks had put in the top of the radiator probably had been gushed out. I refilled the radiator and went for a few short drives, but the overheating is starting to happen more quickly now. This time, after she cooled off, I took a flashlight and looked at the top of the core and it looked like someone had dumped a can of creamed corn into it.

Ugh. Since the plugging is obviously made of corn, is there anything that would dissolve it so it could flush out? I saw one post that mentioned Drano, and it was answered by "you're kidding, right?"

So....I'm looking at removing the radiator and flushing it out upside down? Or is there something less drastic that could liquify the foodstuff so it could be drained out or backflushed while still in the car?
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

disconnect both top and lower rad hose and try flushing, probably have corn in the engine also, which should be cleaned out , should take to rad shop and have it cleaned!Simple green after you flush it out may help!
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Catch a mouse and put it in the top tank. When he's finished there will be small pieces of youknowwhat to flush out.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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Catch a mouse and put it in the top tank. When he's finished there will be small pieces of youknowwhat to flush out.

I love the thinking outside the box (radiator).
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Is there an easy way to adapt a garden hose to the lower radiator hose? I'm thinking that letting the car warm up to soften the corn residue, then draining the radiator quickly while it is still warm, and then backflushing with a garden hose. There is a NAPA store and an ACE Hardware in Hawthorne, 13 miles south of here. The nearest big box store is 60 miles north in Fallon, NV.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
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Unhappy Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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Is there an easy way to adapt a garden hose to the lower radiator hose? I'm thinking that letting the car warm up to soften the corn residue, then draining the radiator quickly while it is still warm, and then backflushing with a garden hose. There is a NAPA store and an ACE Hardware in Hawthorne, 13 miles south of here. The nearest big box store is 60 miles north in Fallon, NV.
Careful,careful my friend. Hooking up a garden hose and running cold water into a hot engine is bad news.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Easy! And remember, backflushing is reversing the normal water flow direction. I bought one of those expanding plumber's helper thingy that hooks to a garden hose to blow out drains. I have an air blow gun with a 12" piece of 1/8" copper tube attached that I use to "sweep" my garage.
Method: Take out your thermostat,if you have one.
Disconnect lower hose from block, leave radiator cap ON, poke rubber thingy in hose, along with tube on blow gun. Holler for the wife to turn on the faucet. When system is Full, hit the air gun, kachung, kachung, let her fill with water again, do the kachung, kachung, again and repeat over & over. A stocking over the block side oulet is fun, so you can see what you blew out! WARNING: Don't use a GOOD stocking, or you'll be in deep POO POO wih the wife.
I hope many print this out, 'cause I've typed it out slooooowly so many times! Bill W.

(I found this in an older post by Bill W.) Good ideas!
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

I would take the radiator off if I were you, it doesn't take long and not a big deal. You can turn it upside down and let the water flow both ways.

For the adapter, I would go to the hardware or plumbing store and get a pvc cap for pvc pipe, then I would plumb a nipple in that for the water hose to fit. Make sure the pvc cap will fit inside the radiator hose so you can clamp it.





Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerlakeprinter View Post
Is there an easy way to adapt a garden hose to the lower radiator hose? I'm thinking that letting the car warm up to soften the corn residue, then draining the radiator quickly while it is still warm, and then backflushing with a garden hose. There is a NAPA store and an ACE Hardware in Hawthorne, 13 miles south of here. The nearest big box store is 60 miles north in Fallon, NV.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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. . .Since the plugging is obviously made of corn, is there anything that would dissolve it so it could flush out?. . .

Yes but not readily available. The corn kernels have a tough cross-linked cellulose structure. Canned corn (think 'Niblets') will stay in the can water forever and not dissolve. You need two enzymes, endocellulase and exocellulase to break it down to soluble sugars. They use that stuff in some corn to ethanol conversion plants to increase efficiency, as yeast cannot touch cellulose as a food source but loves sugar. Getting just a quarter pound of it (plenty!) is not easy.

You would need to flush out as much as of the present goop as possible and fill the system with a near pH7 mix, kept well below 90F and circulated without the engine running for many hours.

That said, several rounds of the Drano and flushes to clear the block, followed by pulling the radiator and having it hot tanked and internally inspected with an endoscope may be the way to go.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Okay, I gotta ask. How did you get corn in the radiator?
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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Originally Posted by walkerlakeprinter View Post
Is there an easy way to adapt a garden hose to the lower radiator hose? I'm thinking that letting the car warm up to soften the corn residue, then draining the radiator quickly while it is still warm, and then backflushing with a garden hose. There is a NAPA store and an ACE Hardware in Hawthorne, 13 miles south of here. The nearest big box store is 60 miles north in Fallon, NV.
Is this what you were thinking
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

That 'Mighty Mouse' advice was good, as many of us that keep 'The Car' in the barn have a ready supply.


Anyway, do as others have advised. 'FIRST', use a 'heavy duty' flushing product on the engine (follow the directions). Always let the engine 'cool-off' while carrying out this process. Clean up the cooling system as best you can to start with.



Then, 'DO' take the radiator to a 'radiator shop' and have them clean it out for you (you will be glad you did). They will clean out all the tubing as well.



Next, FLUSH the block with a water hose repeatedly (over and over) before you re-install the clean radiator. I would take the water pump off at this point to allow better water flow and also to inspect it as well (always a good idea with the radiator out).



The issue is 'STILL' the corn left in the block (and you know some is still there) - Connect the radiator and then 'AGAIN' use a 'heavy duty' flushing product and FLUSH the engine after running.



Then, disconnect the radiator and flush it and disconnected engine with water, over and over (after running - remember let the motor cool down).



While this may sound like a lot of work, Remember, 'The CAR' is NOT just an automobile, it is a work of LOVE. Pay that extra attention to the ones you love!



That should do it. If you 'still' have issues then you 'may need' a new radiator and/or a new water pump.


My final word, I had Florida heating issues for years. Five years ago I bought a new radiator and 'leak-less' water pump and have not had a single problem since. Runs at 160 at 50 mph, but with my Weber carb I run the car around 65 mph and it stays at around 185 degrees even in the Florida summer. SO HAPPY NOW
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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Okay, I gotta ask. How did you get corn in the radiator?

Apparently, my neighborhood chipmunks used the upper tank for a storage spot. I did not notice this when I installed this radiator that I purchased on eBay. Live and learn.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

This was an 'old' cheap short-cut remedy to leakage problems. Much like the old trick of using saw-dust to quiet knocking values/lifters/rocker arms. Today, the 'leak-stop' products on the market are used - limits the problem for a short time, but does not actually fix the issue.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

tape a piece of garden hose in the end of your shop vac hose and try fishing that in there to suck out the corn.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

If you bring the radiator into a radiator shop be sure to inform them that a Model A cooling system is nonpressurized and the radiator should not be pressure tested.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

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Originally Posted by walkerlakeprinter View Post
Is there an easy way to adapt a garden hose to the lower radiator hose? I'm thinking that letting the car warm up to soften the corn residue, then draining the radiator quickly while it is still warm, and then backflushing with a garden hose. There is a NAPA store and an ACE Hardware in Hawthorne, 13 miles south of here. The nearest big box store is 60 miles north in Fallon, NV.


I use properly sized automotive rubber freeze plugs that fit into the radiator hoses. Glue two of them together, get cheap plastic garden hose repair fittings, drill a hole through the center of the freeze plugs slightly under sized for the repair fitting. Insert the fitting into teh freeze plugs. Insert teh assembly into teh radiator hose and use the existing hose clamps to tighten.


If it does not fit tight enough, use duct tape around the flush adapter/freeze plugs.


I also use a cheap on/off garden hose valve on the repair fitting so I can turn the water on/off at the flush adapter.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Folks used to use all sorts of stuff to try to stop leaks. Oatmeal was one. If rodents can get in, they will and its not easy to get that crap out either. The tubes are likely partially clogged too. A good rodding out may be necessary.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by noboD View Post
Catch a mouse and put it in the top tank. When he's finished there will be small pieces of youknowwhat to flush out.
Then he'd need a cat to get the mouse, a dog to get the cat, etc, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerlakeprinter View Post
Apparently, my neighborhood chipmunks used the upper tank for a storage spot. I did not notice this when I installed this radiator that I purchased on eBay. Live and learn.
No help, but I'll commiserate. Our "yard find" 30 Sport Coupe sat for years. The previous owner's kids amused themselves by packing the radiator full of mud. You'd think water would flush it but it was clay mud with sand/fine gravel. Probably plugged the tubes - never did get it flushed out enough to cool properly.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Cooked corn in radiator

I've got some radiators stored out in the shed. Never dawned on me that a critter would go on in there and raise a family. I suppose that I should plug the openings with something.
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