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Author Topic: Oil Cooler cleaning  (Read 2293 times)

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stevo4204

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Oil Cooler cleaning
« on: September 13, 2011, 03:57:07 PM »

I went through some road construction this past weekend in Glacier National Park. When I got home and started washing off the dirt, I found that there was a bit of the stuff packed into my oil cooler just behind the front tire on my FLHRSE3. I was reminded that dirt up there and on the east side of Montana is commonly referred to as "Gumbo". Gumbo when wet is quite slick however when it dries, it is like concrete!!!!!! :'(  I do not want to damage the cooler and am trying to figure out how to clean between the fins. Any ideas?????
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Hugh Janis

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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 04:16:53 PM »

I'd try a pressure washer with a wide tip with the motor on idle from 2 feet away or so. I'm sure others would cringe at this. Otherwise, hot soapy water, a hose, and a toothbrush.
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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 04:51:02 PM »

If it is a tar-like substance, you'll have to keep it wet with a solvent until it softens up.  Had the same thing happen in Texas Hill Country....they were using tar and gravel to cover a road and I got tar all over floorboards, boots, etc.  i stopped at a gas station and covered a rag in gas and worked the tar off.

See if you can find a foam solvent that will stay on the "gumbo" and not run off.  There are foam based engine cleaner solvents...try this.   
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wreckman 42

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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 09:09:48 PM »

WD40 Works on everything
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Hugh Janis

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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 09:22:40 PM »

WD40 through a power washer. Now you're loaded for bear!
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Rimjam

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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 12:55:48 PM »

Don't, don't use high pressure on the front side of the cooler.  You'll only drive particles deeper into the fins.  Its almost impossible to get directly behind the cooler with the spray wand but even at an angle at least you're washing toward the front.  If its mud you're dealing with use a water hose w/ spray nozzle from behind, if its an asphalt product soften it with WD-40 or one of the orange peel based solvents (d-limonene) then use water under pressure, again from behind.  Be warned that some of the industrial grade orange peel products can remove paint it left on very long.
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LC110

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Re: Oil Cooler cleaning
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 01:26:53 PM »

I just removed the three nuts off the bottom of the cooler. Lifted the oil cooler out of the holes, soaked it down good with bug and tar remover.
Let it sit for a while than use warm water, dawn dish soap and a soft brush. Flushed it off from the back side with garden hose.
I have been thinking about laying a piece of screen material between the cooler and the chrome cover. May help with keeping the bug and tar off. But it may also restrict to much air so I have not convinced myself in trying it yet.
I should just come up with a bracket,and hoses to move the stock cooler up and out so it could do a better job of cooling and not have to worry about the tar and rocks.
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