Vinegar in the radiator seems to have worked...

Well, I gave the radiator a good soak with white vinegar. It seems to have helped quite a bit. The only real test will be getting it out in some serious traffic or on the interstate.
For those not following my previous overheating thread, the temp gauge was exceeding 210 (12 o'clock, or directly in the center of the gauge). When I'd slow down in the stop-and-go traffic of Atlanta, the truck couldn't dissipate the heat, so when I'd take off again, it'd continue heating up. It was compounding and just kept getting hotter. The only way I could keep it out of the danger zone was to run with the heat on--not exactly fun in 95 weather.
I first connected a garden hose to the side of the heater box that returns to the radiator. Then I flushed the whole system till it ran clean. Then I removed the radiator, and after flushing it with clean water, I capped it off completely, and filled it with White Distilled Vinegar. I let it sit for about 3 hours, then drained it, flushed it with water again, re-capped, and refilled it with vinegar. I drained and flushed again after 3 hours.
I then filled it with vinegar a 3rd time and let it sit overnight. This morning after a good flushing I reinstalled it with new hoses, and ran a hose straight from the intake manifold to the radiator, eliminating the heater core. (hopefully to improve the performance of the A/C).
I took it out for a spin a few minutes ago, and it was better. In fact, after trying some Prestone radiator flushing product (waste of time if you ask me) I took it out on a cool night, and it still ran hot. Today, it's 93 outside, and it did NOT overheat after the vinegar treatment. I even tried to make it overheat by running up steeper grades while keeping the carb out of power mode (richer) and it would not get up to 210. I don't know what temperature "normal" is, but it's around the 1/3 mark on the gauge, 1/2-way being 210.
Thanks to SnoMan for the vinegar suggestion and all the others who've helped. I'll be installing an auxillary electric fan, maybe one of those neat dual-fan setups, as time and money permit.
Thanks again,
~jp
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wrote:

Glad it worked for you as it should have worked and the way you did it should have cleaned it well. I would suggest that you give it a qucik flush with baking soda to neutralize any acid left behind and do not forget the install a valve in bypass too if you want max cooling capacity on a hot day (it will help AC too) ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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Well right now, the heater core isn't even in the loop...the hoses going to and from it are disconnected.
The strange thing I'm noticing, is that the compressor is cycling itself on and off...on for 2 seconds, off for 2 seconds...I haven't tried it on the road with the A/C blowing, but I had heard the clicking on and off of the compressor in the past.
Is that strange or normal? Does it have anything to do with the heat switch no longer being connected, as the ESC/ECM is no longer in the circuit??? Seems that the old wire that went to the compressor did pass through the ESC.
~jp
SnoMan wrote:

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I didn't follow this post, but I've seen blocked heater cores overheat the engine because the flow was blocked from the hose to the intake manifold. Or the other hose to the head from the core. You've bypassed the core, and maybe the engines getting more water flow now... also. May not apply to Chevys. I think im going to flush my suburban now with vinegar. thanks

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wrote:

GM's bypass water through heater all the time and they can make a engine run hotter at time because some water is never cooled. If you insert a shutoff valve in the hose from intake to heater it will do too things. One, it will increase cooling capacity because all coolaant must go through radiator and the second is it will improve A/C output because there will not be a hot core in box that leakes heat into it and you will not get that hot start blast of hot air from AC from "box" being heat soaked from hot core when you shut down a hot engine fore a bit. ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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Jon R. Pickens wrote:

It could also be a bad cycle switch (usually on the accumulator) or a plugged orifice tube. But most likely just low :) Wont have anything to do with the heat switch.
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Sounds like its low on Freon.I would start there 1st,by having it checked.
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Jon R. Pickens wrote:

Hi gang
I just joined the group :-)
After reading this I thought I'd pass this along. A radiator shop owner owner once told me -- " If everyone would put a cup of laundry detergent ( Tide , ETC, ) in their radiator and run the vehicle two or three days, then flush it with water, and refill with a 50 / 50 mix I'd be outta business"
Johnny
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A cup of soap in my small towns water fountain played havoc with it when I was a kid. I don't think I would do this. Soap is on the caustic side so I can see why it may work. However ????
GM
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My 2001 S-10 4X4 4.3L is running HOT here in Las Vegas afternoon heat. Yes, it's hot here and of course something has gotta give, so to speak. But, I'm wondering if this is normal. This is my first summer driving this truck. I've also had a tranny cooler installed in front of the radiator (I was thinking about pulling a camper).
When the outside temp gets above 95 (by the overhead console), the coolant temp starts to climb. By the dash gauge, it will climb to around 205-210 when the fan clutch engages while tooling around town. As previously mentioned, the fan sounds like a Cessna at 45-50mph down the road.
Now, with the temp running as hot as it is without a load, I'm hesitating about pulling a trailer, especially at highway speeds.
Does the temp for this setup seem to be about right? A quick look inside the radiator cap doesn't reveal any scale build-up. I was thinking about the vinegar trick. Would it be recommended to disconnect the radiator from the engine before trying this or would it be safe to dump a gallon or two of vinegar into the cooling system and running the engine without disconnecting anything?
Denny
Jon R. Pickens wrote:

Hi gang
I just joined the group :-)
After reading this I thought I'd pass this along. A radiator shop owner owner once told me -- " If everyone would put a cup of laundry detergent ( Tide , ETC, ) in their radiator and run the vehicle two or three days, then flush it with water, and refill with a 50 / 50 mix I'd be outta business"
Johnny
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205-210 is normal. The thermostat doesn't open until 195 degrees.
Whitelightning
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After reading through all of the replys that I could find I noticed that they didnt check to see if the fan clutch and thermostat were matched temp wise or if the fan clutch was even good at all. I ran across a problem with a truck cooking it self sitting in traffic or driving at hiway speeds and got worse with the a/c on riding at around 220 degrees. The cooling system looked clean but went ahead and did a mild acid flush and it did not cure the problem. Even tried a wetter water/be-cool type additive with little noticable change in temp. Found that the previous owner had installed a 160 t-stat in the engine which by the way was a 95 s-10 with a 4.3 v-6 TBI engine code z. It calls for a 195 for the computer to operate the engine correctly, the stock fan clutch and the lower temp t-stat wreeked havoc on this thing. Installed the correct 195 t-stat and pulled the fan clutch and checked its temp numbers and condition to make sure everything jived, reinstalled and it now stays rock solid just shy of 205 driving hard or sitting in traffic and with the a/c on full blast in the summer here in the mid-west. I wonder if the previous owner was given the idea to boost the horse power a bit by installing a lower temp t-stat such as ones offered from JET performance which all it does is to trick the compter into thinking its still in warm up condition and enriches the fuel mix, I dont think its a good idea unless you match everything else not to mention fuel milage suffers. :-) Happy wheeling
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This truck you mentioned 4.3 V-6 Z code. Did this truck boil water or show any visual signs of heating other than the guage.Mine on the guage gets up above 220 when sitting in traffic with A/C on.Moving down the highway at 60mph.210deg.I put in a 160 degree thermostat,but now that I read your post I am gonna get me a good 195 and put back in.I got some Zerex Super Flush to clean radiator,but the directions say drain and flush and fill and flush again,add cleaner and run engine 3 to 6 hrs.Thats a long time!And how do you test a fan clutch to tell if it is a 195deg.same as therm.O stat? Thanks! Bobby
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On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 20:50:14 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (bobby swift) wrote:

A 160 actaully reduces cooling capacity because the radiator efficency is reduced (the greater the temp differentail, the more heat it can loose). At the link below you will fine instructions on how to tweak or adjust a clutch fan.
http://forum.snoman.com/viewtopic.php?ty ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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Thanks for the clutch tweaking link.My fan has no side play,and is tight when trying to turn by hand..I can also hear it make noise when engine is cold..but I don't hear it after eng.gets warm..So I may adjust it.When I took the engine out for rebuild,there was a lot of rust in the system..I did a lot of flushing,before I put the motor back in.This has been quite a journey..I have just about built this S-10 Blazer from the ground up.But it's been a joyful and painful expereince. Thanks Again! Bobby
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