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Old 18-09-2008, 22:30   #1
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Cleaning Perkins Heat Exchanger

I pulled the heat exchanger off my 4-108, took forever and I don't look forward to getting it back on and connected. But the problem of the moment is cleaning it.

Close to half the tubes were fully or mostly clogged. I have reamed out all but 2 of them (which are clogged solid). But even the ones that now have flow still have buildup in them, just as there is caked around the top of the honeycomb.

What's a working way to clean this? The radiator "dip" shops I remember from way back when are gone. I went to the auto parts shop but all the heavy duty radiator cleaners of times past are also gone. There is only the quite mild "Prestone Super Flush" whose active ingrediant is merely sodium citrate. A guy at the counter recommended I go to a home/industry a/c service company and get a spray cleaner they use to clean the vanes on external a/c units. I have a recollection from way back of someone saying concrete cleaner (muriatic acid) was the way.

I'm open to experienced suggestions.

Oh... and about the gasket. At the end where the cap comes off there is a round rubbery gasket that seals the cap and the division between the two halves of the tube. Is this a special part? Readily available or no? Or can I use rubber gasket material and cut to fit?

I know that eventually I will replace this unit. And when I do it will be with one from a larger perkins model, for this exchanger is no bigger than the one I had on a 25hp British diesel long ago.
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Old 18-09-2008, 22:43   #2
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Is this the new model or old model Perkins 4-108?
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Old 19-09-2008, 07:19   #3
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Soak the tube bundle in a 10%-15% Muriatic Acid solution for awhile. Muriatic acid can be obtained inexpensively at your local pool supply store. Soak, ream, soak, ream... It may take a couple of cycles but it works.

Gaskets and end caps need be replaced and can be obtained a Atlantic Diesel, Foly et al

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 19-09-2008, 08:16   #4
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I took my 4-108 heat exchanger to a nearby radiator shop. They boild it good in some acid that took everything off, then some.

Good idea on replacing it with a bigger model, been thinking along those lines myself, but not sure there is enough room in there to fit a bigger version.

The engine will overheat at high RPM, slowly but surely...
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Old 19-09-2008, 10:10   #5
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Try Rydlyme, www.rydlyme.com this is safe for you and the enviroment, workd good.
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Old 19-09-2008, 11:41   #6
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Originally Posted by Inlet Marine Services View Post
Try Rydlyme, www.rydlyme.com this is safe for you and the enviroment, workd good.
Looks promising - but I couldn't find any info on the site for how to buy?
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Old 19-09-2008, 14:12   #7
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I use Trans Atlantic Diesel (TAD) on the Internet for all my 4-108 needs. They have everything and special tool rental if needed. If any questions they are happy to help.
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Old 22-09-2008, 22:52   #8
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After reaming out the pipes I followed the advice of a mechanic who lectutured at the SSCA gathering. Purchased muriatic acid from Lowe's and poured it in. It began foaming immediately. Not quite the mintos w/diet coke effect, but darn impressive nonetheless. And the fumes - let there be no doubt this not only should be done outdoors, but only when there is wide space in a full 360 around you. And if there is no breeze then a fan placed several feet away to put a light breeze passing from behind you is essential. As are gloves (that go as far up the arm as possible), mask, etc.

The mechanic was real specific that no more than 5 mins should be allowed with the acid inside. I stopped at 3. The inside is descaled and clean for the most part. But a couple of the tubes still have restricted flow, though not blocked. Reghardless, I'm done for now. When I pulled it off half the pipes were clogged. So this is a big improvement. As soon as the new gasket arrives I'll put it back on the engine. In the meantime I will take the resevoir off and pull the thermostat.
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Old 04-09-2012, 14:33   #9
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Re: Cleaning Perkins heat exchanger

Going to do the same thing myself - one question for Trekka ? what proportion of acid did you use I have read on other threads it is 10 to 15 % acid to water ?? - MVR
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