Originally Posted by WindLove
Maybe if I don't have a problem I should leave well enough alone but.... Recently I went to a discussion on Diesel
engines and the guy said one of the most important routine maintenance
tastes is to remove and clean the heat exchanger
. He said the little tubes would get clogged and the engine
would start to overheat.
I think it's been years since the heat exchanger
has been removed. If everything seems to be working fine, is this something I should proactively do. How difficult is it to remove the heat exchanger, and what is involved in cleaning
it. Is this something better left to a mechanic
The thing about heat exchangers is that they can be only just coping, and you won't know till it matters.
For instance, if you usually run the engine
at around 50% power, the heat exchanger may keep the engine temp reasonably steady, despite being quite clogged. However, the first time you need 60% or more from the engine, you find that it no longer has the capacity to dissapate the generated heat at the rate required. Bingo, boiled engine, just when you REALLY don't need it to boil, since sudden needs for more power are generally not matters of choice. I suspect very few of us decide to throttle up to near top power just for the fun of it.
Also, some, like mine, have sacrificial anodes that need to be replaced quite frequently. I don't actually know how long my anodes will last, we have not had the boat long enough, but I have read estimates between 6 months and a 6 years. Time will tell.
I just cleaned mine last week, and the whole job took less than four hours, including draining the cooling
system (into the bilge
.... oops!) taking the core
home, poking out the passages with a copper rod (mostly pretty clean) fizzing it in MILD hydrochloric acid (ok for my type, don't know if this is safe with what you have), neutralising it in backing soda, cleaning
the rubber seals
, replacing the two zinc anodes (unknown age but pretty well gone), refilling the cooling
system and finally pumping out the mess in the bilge
with my niftly vaccuum oil
Did it make a difference? No way of knowing really. But nice to know the HX is as efficient as it can be.