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Cletrac Tractor Discussion => Subjects Related To All Models => : IanR August 27, 2011, 05:11:49 AM



: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 27, 2011, 05:11:49 AM
Guys

A bit more detail on where I am at with my Cletrac.

I have had the steering bands relined, the injection pump and injectors checked (this was interesting as they don't see old stuff like this much these days), replaced the primary cloth bag fuel filter with a modern cartridge filter, and replaced the bellows type air pre-cleaner with a modern cyclone pre-cleaner.  I have a Britstand blade and also a 3 yard Britstand scoop.  The leather buckets in the blade rams were shot so I had new ones machined on a CNC lathe using some sort of modern synthetic material.  I also had to replace the hydraulic hoses to the left hand blade ram as one of the was perished to the extent it burst and sprayed me and the tractor with oil.  Fortunately the oil wasn't yet hot enough to burn me.

My issues are primarily engine overheating, a leaking radiator and the general state of the track rollers and sprockets.

I particularly remember my old man having trouble starting the Cletrac and we don't live in a particulalry cold climate area.  In fact we could be considered as sub-tropical with only a few frosts each winter.  I remember seeing the big plug on the inlet manifiold removed and a rag on a wire dipped in diesel and lit to hold against the plug hole while it cranked.    Anyhow I don't have trouble starting now although I do usually use a squirt of aerostart aerosol.  While this sounds great I wonder if in fact my timing is a bit out such that while it starts easily and runs smoothly it could be lacking power and overheating.  However there is no significant black smoke from the exhaust.

My first strategy is to address the state of the cooling system starting with the fan belt tension and then flushing the radiator and block.  I've already tried the usual commercial radiator flush chemical but I'm not sure I've achieved enought yet.  I'm thinking of being a bit more aggressive and using caustic soda followed by hydrochloric acid (with inhibitor added so only the rust and not the iron gets eaten).  Any comments on this?

If I have to I will take the top tank off and run each core with a soft wire followed by a reverse flush.

Enough for the moment with more to follow later on the tracks.  Comments and suggestions most welcome.

IanR


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Joshua_d August 27, 2011, 05:46:38 PM
hey mate welcome! did you happen to get the engines off a fella in gin gin qld? i was going to buy his stuff if he didnt find a buyer.. couldnt live to see it going to the scrap metal place! im from Bundaberg myself :)


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz August 27, 2011, 08:30:52 PM
 Hi Joshua , My mate up here ended up buying the engines ETC  from the guy in bundy .

Ian , The guys on the cat forum swear by citric acid ,for desolving rust . One of my forum friends  had the steering clutches on an RD6 rusted and stuck badly .He used citric acid  which eats away the rust ,but not the steel . Steering clutch now works fine . I will get some more info from him .


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 27, 2011, 09:53:57 PM
Ianoz

Thanks again for your tip on citric acid.  I was nervous about using hydrochloric undiluted.

Quite a few years ago I bought a set of tracks from Don Lederhose at Inverell but I recall him being sick at the time and also saying he had sent a lot of cletrac stuff to Simsmetal for scrap.  I remember him also saying he had bought Cletrac stuff from someone in Bundaberg.  My spare dozers and engines cam from Chinchilla/Miles area.

I hate the thought of what could be good stuff going for scrap.  I've even contemplated advertising for Cletrac bits on the basis I would take it for nothing or at worst scrap steel price.

IanR


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz August 28, 2011, 12:25:11 AM
I will ask about the amount to use . I do rememver him saying that it does not work as well in cold weather .He also said it needed to be circluating .He had a small pump .. Mike is a member here so , i will see if i can get him to post  about the method he uses .


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 28, 2011, 09:02:31 PM
Ianoz

I'm kicking myself again for not remembering that everything known to man is on the Internet.  I looked up citric acid radiator flushing and was overwhelmed with the number of good hits.  In particular there were a lot related to Mercedes Benz engines and several mentions of Benz selling Citric Acid for this purpose.  I even have a part number!

It looks like a 10% solution although I've also seen on US sites 2 pounds in 2 gallons or 3-5 pounds in 10-15 gallons.  One site said to use the solution as coolant for a week while others talk about flushing after getting the engine hot.

The issue with both strong alkaline and acid radiator cleaners can be its detrimental effect on aluminium.  However citric acid at the recommended concentration does not affect aluminium, steel (other than rust) or copper. In any case there is no aluminium inmy cooling system as the top pipe from the engine to the radiator is now fabricated steel.  I think it was originally aluminium and I'm also thinking that the thermostat disappeared when the aluminium one was removed.

Where do you get citric acid?  - it is a well known food aditive and apparently you can get it in Woolworths and Coles but it won't be economical for the quantity required.  It is also sold by home brew shops but at $3 per 100 grams!  Butchery supply places in Brisbane do not sell it (Lesnies and Vadals).

Will keep looking and then report after I've used it.

IanR



: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz August 29, 2011, 05:08:27 AM
Hi Ian , I will ask Mike where he buys his .I am sure the quanitys he uses he must have found a bulk supplier at a reasonable price .Ian .


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz August 29, 2011, 06:40:23 PM
Hi Ian , I was expecting the penny to have dropped and a reply here waiting for me . He said he googled citric acid suppliers . and got a 25 kilo bag for 180 bucks .On ebay there are a lot of different suppliers .Quick look said 4.8kilos for about 30 bucks ,buy now price with 20 bucks delivery .. For future reference for cleaning up parts.Mike said he puts hot /warm water in 2 gallon bucket adds citric acid to the water . he works on a cup full to 50 litres  if bigger container  a kilo of acid to 400 litres of water .He uses a fish tank pump to curculate the solution . Said presssurewash parts first , then remove and pressure wash  every couple of days . Don't leave machined surfaces in for weeks at a time a machined parts will etch if left in too long . Their other tip was wash parts at the end and spray with phosphoric acid  to prevent surface rust forming . How that helps .Big thanks to the ACME forum brains trust .


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Blake Malkamaki August 29, 2011, 10:19:20 PM
You guys might want to start a new thread on cleaning parts with citric acid rather than posting in the introduction section. I might suggest that you may want to try electrolysis to remove rust rather than just the acid. I've not tried it myself, but I've been told it works great.

Blake


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 30, 2011, 05:13:26 AM
Blake

I was thinking the same thing but can't see immediately how to create a new thread.  I was wondering if I should/could start a thread on my whole restoration project - it would be initially about my overheating issue then move on to undercarriage etc.  Or should I do as you seem to be suggesting and start a new thread for each topic, the first being citric acid cleaning?

I will search your site a bit more to learn how to post photos and videos as well as I am an avid photograper and carry a small digital camera on my belt while on the farm.  I'll also try not to ask questions that have already been asked and answered satisfactorly.

IanR


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz August 30, 2011, 07:55:27 AM
Hi Ian , Chose the forum you want to start the thread in . For Citric Acid , Myself i would probably use  for all cletrac model one .On the top of the coleum there is a row of info boxes .Click on new topic .Give it a title ,then do you post .click on to post it and your in business  :).When you do a post ,at  the bottom of the page is a Manage Attachments box  Or Additional Options ,Click on it . Follow though the promps . My photos are stored in "My Pictures " in my computer ,  Go to your photos,Click on  the one you want  click on open ,which takes you back with the code of the photo to manage attachments . I think it attaches Automaticly  click on Attach more ,and keep adding photos . I think there is a limit of three or four photos . but it tells you when the limit is reached .Click on post and its done . >If you smart enugh to be able to use Photobucket or imageshack , post them though there ..Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Blake Malkamaki August 30, 2011, 11:37:37 PM
I did it for you Ian.

Blake

Blake

I was thinking the same thing but can't see immediately how to create a new thread.  I was wondering if I should/could start a thread on my whole restoration project - it would be initially about my overheating issue then move on to undercarriage etc.  Or should I do as you seem to be suggesting and start a new thread for each topic, the first being citric acid cleaning?

I will search your site a bit more to learn how to post photos and videos as well as I am an avid photograper and carry a small digital camera on my belt while on the farm.  I'll also try not to ask questions that have already been asked and answered satisfactorly.

IanR


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 31, 2011, 06:30:36 AM
Blake,

Thanks for doing this for me.

In preparation for acid flushing as well as further trouble shooting my overheating problem I've done some plumbing as follows:

Installed a 2 inch gate valve in the top radiator hose, a tap at the firewall end of the water return manifold (because I didn't have room at the radiator end next to the gate valve), and a tee with ball valve and cam lock fitting in the bottom radiator hose.

By turning the top gate valve off and connecting a water pipe from a pressure pump off the shed tank I can backflush the radiator as well as rapidly drain the block and radiator.  Doing the back flush showed a good flow of water and only a little gunk which leads me to conclude that the radiator is not as clogged as I thought.  Midn you I've already used 3 lots of commercial radiator cleaner in the last 2 days.  Draining the radiator and block was also rapid which further confirms my conclusion about the radiator not being or no longer as clogged as first thought.

My next test was to open the tap on the water return manifold while keeping the gate valve closed and pumping water in via the bottom tap.  This also produced a good flow which suggests the block is not badly clogged either.  I then turned the water supply off, kept the top gate valve closed and the manifold tap open and started the engine expecting to see a significantly stronger flow that demonstrates the water pump is working.  I did NOT see this and am now wondering whether I have a water pump problem.

The water pump seems ok in that the shaft turns and it doesn't leak.  However I now wonder if the impeller is turning.  This observation also remined me that when I look into the top of the radiator when I first start the engine I don't see water agitation or movement that I expect.  Initially I thought that this was because the thermostat was still closed but I have now discounted this as I believe the thermostat was removed when the fabricated steel water return manifold was installed in lieu of the original aluminium one.

I have a spare water pump and I'm contemplating installing it.  Any comments on my trouble shooting approach or conclusions most welcome.

I've ordered 5 kg of citric acid but won't now be able to do this for about 4 weeks as I'm off farm either in Brisbane or on a 10 day driving holiday in Victoria.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR August 31, 2011, 06:40:25 AM
Blake

I tried to put some photos of my plumbing up but I get a message that says the upload folder is full.  Am I doing something wrong?  I tried a single photos aboy 44Kb in size.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Blake Malkamaki August 31, 2011, 07:07:31 AM
No, it's not you Ian. I need to make some changes to the settings and clean out some of the pictures. Won't have time today though.

Blake

Blake

I tried to put some photos of my plumbing up but I get a message that says the upload folder is full.  Am I doing something wrong?  I tried a single photos aboy 44Kb in size.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Blake Malkamaki September 06, 2011, 09:54:43 PM
Ok, I increased the available space for uploaded pictures, so you can go ahead and post them. Any pictures you upload and wish to remain on the site for a while, they can be uploaded to the Photo Gallery rather than to the forum. I'm going to have to start removing pics from the forum as we are getting low on space.

No, it's not you Ian. I need to make some changes to the settings and clean out some of the pictures. Won't have time today though.

Blake

Blake

I tried to put some photos of my plumbing up but I get a message that says the upload folder is full.  Am I doing something wrong?  I tried a single photos aboy 44Kb in size.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: brock38 September 09, 2011, 09:48:46 PM
Hello Ian. The Thermostat was original fitted in the Hose's between the Radiator and the water manifold, It's like a canister (cylinder metal shape ) not like a conventional Thermostat! It as probable been removed, and replaced a by a piece of straight pipe.

Your serial number of your machine, 2L1290 was made in 1948, and it cost new in USA,  $6,336 US dollars,

numbers 2LO194 to 2L2140 were made in 1948.

brock38 Melb,


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: brock38 September 12, 2011, 01:36:41 AM
Hello Ian,
  I think your problem is in the Radiator, (Blocked Tubes ) I suggest you remove the Bottom tank from the Radiator, and you will find rusty sludge in the lower part of the Tubes, blocking off water circulations through the Radiator, If you clean out the tubes with a small bottle brush,  this should cure your Overheating problems ! Use plenty of Penetrene Oil on the nut's that hold the Core to the bottom tank, they will be red rusty, (maybe the original that were fitted back in 1948 ? ) be careful not to brake the Studs, that are screwed into the bottom Tank, you will need to make a new Gasket for between the Core and the bottom Tank,  Hope this Helps !
brock38  Winston  age 73,   :o


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR September 14, 2011, 03:52:48 AM
Brock

Thanks - I now suspect you are right.  I pulled the water pump off and found it to be working as far as I can see.  The impeller is firmly connected to the shaft which as noted previously turns and doesn't leak water.  So it is back to the radiator cleaning.  Before i take the bottom tank off I'll try the citric acid cleaning and back flushing.  Taking the water pump off also allowed me to further modify the plumbing I described such that I now have a large gate valve at the bottom of the tank in the water pump line as well as the tee and ball valve after that allows me to connect a high pressure flow to do back flushing.  Still on holiday in Victoria so sometime after the 19th before I get back to it.  One other advantage of pulling the water pump off was the need to remove the oil filters.  This revealed not only significant sludge in the filter that needed removing but also that someone had previously used a silicone gasket material in excess that appeared to have blocked some of the oil passages.

I have on a previous occasion taken the top tank of the radiator but never the bottom tank.  I have 2 spare old radiators which both have holes worn through by the Britstand hydraulic pump shaft rubbing on it.

I have heard of people running soft wires or copper strips down the tubes from the top but I'm a bit nervous about doing this.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz September 14, 2011, 05:14:32 AM
Hi Ian , Most of the Radiator places use steel pallet strap  to rod out the core . My son just did of Fowler 3.30 radiator , which was about 90% blocked , It worked OK .


: Steering Band Adjustment, DD machines,
: brock38 September 15, 2011, 02:27:41 AM
  It is wise to have a length of String tied to the Spanner,

     When you adjust the Steering Bands through the rear Inspection Hole or even with ( top Tramsmission Cover removed )  tie a length of String onto the 3/4 AF Ring spanner ( wrench ) that you are using,  so if you Drop-It, you can easily recover it, I myself back in my early days, would cut a Ring Spanner in half so that you have a stubby size Ring Spanner, then drill a hole in handle to take a length of String tied out side the Case, so if you drop the wrench you can easily fish it out ! Because if you drop it into the Oil under the Diff centre You will have a job finding the Wrench !

brock38


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR November 15, 2011, 04:35:49 PM
Winston was kind enough to send me an email enquiring about progress as I hadn't posted on this site for a few weeks.  What follows is my reply to him:

Winston

I did as you suggested and pulled the bottom tank off and then pushed a thin metal strip down each core.  More than half the cores were blocked solid with what looks like mud more than calcium scale.   I now of course have a radiator with more leaks in tubes that had previously been sealed with radiator stop leak.

Before doing all this I did as originally planned and that was flush the radiator with a 10% citric acid solution.  I got the engine hot and kept the acid in for over half an hour before flushing with clean water.  I can?t say that it made any noticeable difference though other than eating the galvanising on some GI pipe I have on the tractor.  I suspect I didn?t leave it in long enough but I wasn?t confident about leaving it there for a week as some of the US automotive sites suggest for car radiators.

I have finally found a cheap supply of citric acid ($1.50/kg) and may have another go now that I have a 25 kg bag of it.

However I have now bitten the bullet and ordered a new radiator core at a cost of about $1500.  I?ve done this out of frustration but also because I have a second Cletrac in nearly going order that just needs a radiator.  I will put the old radiator on this second tractor. 

I am inclined to try the citric acid again though on the first tractor even with a new radiator as there appears to be a lot of scale and muck in the block.  I would not want to clog up the new radiator though so may do this with the old radiator before I replace it.

Speaking to the radiator repair bloke who is old school I am advised that there is no better solution for cleaning a radiator and block than running an engine hot before back flushing through a filter so that the crap doesn?t go back into the top tank.  He claims this peeling process done multiple times is the only way to go and that radiator cleaning chemicals of any type including citric and hydrochloric acid do not do any better job.

Your thoughts most welcome and I?m also looking forward to talking more to you down the track when I move on to refurbishing top and bottom track rollers.

Everyone else your thoughts also welcome.


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: Blake Malkamaki November 15, 2011, 06:27:39 PM
IanR, I know a lot of guys swear by electrolysis for cleaning rust from parts. This is generally done in some kind of plastic tank, but I'm wondering if it could be done internally within your engine block? Not so much for the radiator as it might cause some destruction to the solder and brass, but if you filled your engine block up with some kind of electrolytic substance and then put the right charge on it for the right duration of time, it might come out as clean as new inside.

I don't know what the particulars would have to be, but some of the guys here may have some ideas.

Blake


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR September 18, 2012, 12:27:09 AM
Hi Guys

Its been a while since I posted or even looked at this site.  I've been busy farming, travelling and doing family things but am about to come back to my Cletrac to do some serious tree regrowth control.  Since I last posted about my overheating problems I've bitten the bullet and spent about $1500 on a brand new custom made radiator.  This has solved all my overhearting problems in one go.  The engine temperature now sits exactly where the manual says it should - 165 degrees F.  So now off to do some work although I still have concerns about the state of the tracks and the rollers.  I'll be trawling through this site and the manuals looking for info on this topic and will ask for help as needed.

Ian


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: ianoz September 18, 2012, 05:50:15 AM
Hi Ian , Good to see you back posting on the forum . Glad to hear the overheating problem is now under control ..
I was down near Kingaroy at a tractor rally on the weekend .Was talking to a guy that had an OC18 Oliver .


: Re: Radiator cleaning: using citric acid, etc.
: IanR September 19, 2012, 07:11:07 AM
Ian

We are at Captains Mountain which is on the Goondiwindi side of Millmerran which is about an hour west of Toowoomba.  The radiator repair bloke in Toowoomba gave me names and numbers for 2 collectors of Cletracs near Toowoomba.  He says one of them has dozens of Cletracs.  When I find the piece of paper with the details I'll contact them to confirm.

Ian


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