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Sludge Buildup in Radiator

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by sleeoffroad, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    OK, we recently pulled a really nasty radiator and I decided to take the sawzall to it. It was from a 97 truck with about 90k miles on it. Most of the deposits were right at the filler neck.

    The bottom of the radiator was pretty clean, so it seems that the coolant takes a diagonal path from the intake to outlet and deposits most of the debri on the outer edges.

    See

    http://www.sleeoffroad.com/technical/images/radiator_1.jpg


    [attachment deleted by admin]
     
  2. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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  3. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Christo,
    Any chance you would send this "sludge" out to be analyzed?

    It's been reported by a couple of knowledgeable people that they think it is casting material from the manufacturing process. Others have speculated that it is an aluminum precipitate; partly due to very hot aluminum. Some think it is from mixing coolant types.

    It would be a great service to the 1FZ-FE community if we could get a scientific answer.

    -B-
     
  4. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    [quote author=cruiserman link=board=2;threadid=6701;start=msg54894#msg54894 date=1067012830]
    Blown head gasket?
    [/quote]

    Actually not. This is one of those wife trucks that gets driven up and down I 70 with little attention to guages etc. Did mention that it overheated once. Not sure on how much and when.
     
  5. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    [quote author=Beowulf link=board=2;threadid=6701;start=msg54896#msg54896 date=1067013098]
    Christo,
    Any chance you would send this "sludge" out to be analyzed?

    It's been reported by a couple of knowledgeable people that they think it is casting material from the manufacturing process. Others have speculated that it is an aluminum precipitate; partly due to very hot aluminum. Some think it is from mixing coolant types.

    It would be a great service to the 1FZ-FE community if we could get a scientific answer.

    -B-
    [/quote]

    I would if I knew where to sent it.
     
  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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  7. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    what's the consistency of this stuff?
    E
     
  8. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    It's usually a pastey substance. This is the first time we've seen a picture of the stuff inside the radiator. It's usually seen in the coolant overflow and/or the top portion of the radiator that can only been seen inside the cap.

    -B-
     
  9. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Eric,
    If someone was able to get a chemical analysis from some place like the company mentioned above, I would suspect that most of us wouldn't be able to interpret the results.

    Would you have the expertise?

    -B-
     
  10. instigator

    instigator

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    is there any way to remove the sludge(chem flush?) i have noticed a slight build up at my radiators filler neck and now it kinda (really) concerns me. its not overheated yet and the needle stays pretty much at or a little below the half mark.
     
  11. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    Did it have the Green coolant in it? I hate the green sludge in the overflow bottle.
    Does the red or orange stuff leave a sludge?
     
  12. Scamper

    Scamper

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    [quote author=Beowulf link=board=2;threadid=6701;start=msg54928#msg54928 date=1067017745]
    If someone was able to get a chemical analysis from some place like the company mentioned above, I would suspect that most of us wouldn't be able to interpret the results.
    [/quote]

    B: I think it depends on the type of analysis...if they do a basic elemental analysis (reports the chemical composition in terms of percent carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, aluminim, etc.), then you would only likely be able to tell: a) that there was/wasn't significant amounts of aluminum in the precipitate; and b) if it contained organic materials (like salts, chelates, or degradation products of the antifreeze components). This is generally a relatively inexpensive analysis to run, but would probably answer the basic question about the aluminum. It would not tell you exactly what was in the gunk.

    A more extensive (and very expensive) analysis would be able to give you the actual components of the stuff--some of which would likely not be the original components of what was put into the cooling system. For example, if under heat and pressure the individual components of the antifreeze were combined and/or degraded to form new compounds, you may not recognize them. It may however, give you and idea of what they were formed from if you knew or could figure out what chemicals were in the coolant to start with (most of these we could make an educated guess on given the types of antifreeze on the market).

    Tom
     
  13. Rich

    Rich

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    Here is a firm that is in the coolant analysis business:

    http://www.amalgatech.com/amalgatech.htm

    If they are not a good fit, I imagine they can point you in the right direction for getting the sludge analyzed.

    I think it is incredible that the radiator can provided any reasonable amount of cooling in that condition. If it is casting sand, then Toyota owes a new radiator. I expect that it must be coolant and or corrosion related.

    Rich
     
  14. Seminole

    Seminole

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    If there is really genuine interest in this "sludge", I might be able to get it analyzed for nothing (FREE). I work in the mining industry (phosphate in particular), and my office is right next to analytical lab(where I get all my analyses done) They can run qualitative analysis from organics to metals. I would need at least a 250 ml sample. Regrettably, I can't abuse this "freebie", so I can only run this stuff in limited quantities and on the sly. Otherwise I'm on the street!
     
  15. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Find somebody, setup a paypal donation account, I'm in for a five.
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    Count me in if we decide to go the donation route. I think we should take Seminole up on his offer!!!
     
  17. erics_bruisers

    erics_bruisers

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    this stuff's better than porn -- well almost... :)
     
  18. landtoy80

    landtoy80

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    I found some old bottles of the green stuff. Don't know how old it was but when I dumped it out it came out like jello in big chuncks :eek:
     
  19. cruiserman

    cruiserman

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    I found some of that sludge in the oil cooler and various coolant passages after tearing down the motor. I'm going to toss the OEM rad, so I could do an autopsy on it.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich

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    [quote author=landtoy80 link=board=2;threadid=6701;start=msg54999#msg54999 date=1067025380]
    I found some old bottles of the green stuff. Don't know how old it was but when I dumped it out it came out like jello in big chuncks :eek:
    [/quote]

    The silicates in the "normal green" type of coolant can do that. If it happens when in an engine it is due to using too high a concentration of coolant to water. In the trade vernacular, the term is "green goo".

    What Christo has photographed is very different. I have seen a prior example, not as severe, as what Christo pictures. What I saw was a grey, clay like material. If you rub it between your fingers it turns into a very fine talcum like powder.

    I find it rather odd that it appears to be very common in LC 80s, but I've not come across references on the web to exactly the same stuff showing up in other vehicles.