The radiator on my '94 inline 6 F150 has all sorts of bugs dirt and weeds in the fins from driving back and forth through agricultural areas on my way back and from work. I am thinking about spraying the thing down, from behind, with a garden hose to dislodge some of this crap. I really do not want to take things apart to do this job. Am I wasting my time? Does normal driving in rain usually clean out the radiator or will a good spray from behind help out?
Start by spraying thru the front, shooting downward as much as possible to slide the stuff down the fins. That usually cleans it fine, but shooting from the back will help, too. For stubborn, baked-on bug guts, use a wire brush - you should be able to reach in from the bottom, or by removing the grille. If any of the fins are crushed, you can get fin combs from an A/C supply house or Harbor Freight.
To prevent it in the future, attach some wire mesh to the back of the grille - paint it flat black first, and it'll be almost invisible.
I can understand that, but I like the rigidity of the wire - it has stayed where I bent it for over 6 years. I suspect the nylon might blow around some if it's not well-attached, and my grille doesn't have many places to tie it on. I don't know about the later grilles.
I agree about the rigidity of the wire, but as a rule of thumb, the wire will have a tendency to slice the offending critter into pieces, allowing these pieces to sometimes travel on into the radiator. Nylon gives a little with the impact, so it's not prone to doing this. Of course, it all depends on how fast you tend to drive relative to oncoming bug bombers. Pull the screen, if you have one, get a spray bottle with soapy water and spray the inlet side of the radiator. Let it soak up to soften the dried on critter goo, then hose out from the opposite (fan) side. No sense driving the rascals farther into the radiator. It's usually a good idea to check the condition of the fins before you do this, 'cause if you've got a good case of the crumbles (fin detrioration) the last thing you want to do is take a high pressure hose to it. Believe me, when you run a couple thousand dollars worth of radiator in front of that big cat motor on your big rig, you learn how to take care of them.
its best to blow it out with air first then wash with water and use air again. if you use water first and dont get it good and clean the dirt will set up and get hard. but rain will cause the same problem. i was a diesel tech for 17 yrs and run a shop now i have done this are years and its the best way i have found to clean them lot of dust to start with it works best
Last edited by Gwrenchplus; 06-18-2003 at 10:08 PM.